Tuesday, 9 May 2017

TTT (15) - Things on my Reading Wishlist

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Follow the link to know more about the meme and join up, it's a great way to find out more about the book blogging community.

This week the theme is: things on our reading wish list. Tropes, characters, settings etc. This week's post by The Broke and the Bookish post can be found here.

Lately I've had the impression that I'm not really sure what I want more of. I seem to read 8 books at the same time and depending on mood will jump from one to the next only to change books again after reading a chapter. But there's definitely a few things that I can think of to put on this list.
  • Morally Grey Characters. Battlestar Galactica did this so well. And to a certain extent Game of Thrones.
  • Well Developed Villains (that are maybe even super likeable). I like to root for a villain.
  • Anti-Heroes. They're much more complex and interesting than the simply good ones.
  • Defrosting the Ice Queen. I like when the protagonist has to work their way through some walls to get through to their love interest.
  • Parallel Worlds. I love stories with alternative versions to our own world.
More like these, please.


What are things you want to read more of? Share your lists with me!

Monday, 8 May 2017

Sunday Post (17) - May is Meh

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

The Rules can be found here. And this week's post can be found here.

If you participate, and you should because the community is amazing, don't forget to link up and if you leave me a comment, I will definitely check out your blog!

I didn't have a good week, sadly. I should see a doctor regarding a small health problem that 99% will turn out to be nothing but in my mind I'm (obviously, what else?) dying. So, I feel hiding under a blanket is a much better option than closing my eyes and calling my doctor? And then I end up being an anxious bundle of anxiety. Which is why I didn't blog much last week. Nor did I do much in the range of productive things in general. I'm a bit mad at myself but at the same time I'm also aware that anxiety is anxiety is anxiety and is a bitch.
Last week I reviewed Moroda by L.L. McNeil which was a great fantasy with dragons that I immensely enjoyed. The review can be found here.

And we had a very interesting Top Ten Tuesday and the theme was COVERS. I love covers.

Would someone please come to the cinema with me?

I hope everyone else is having a great week and that I have more time to focus on blogging and reviewing and reading. I'm currently reading The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett and have a ton of reviews to do!

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Moroda by L.L. McNeil

Book Title: Moroda
Author: L.L. McNeil
Genre: Fantasy
My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Source: Paperback ARC
Amazon UK, Goodreads

You can order paperbacks from the author's website here.

Goodreads Summary: Moroda’s life is thrown into turmoil after she is publicly arrested—her city is destroyed and she narrowly escapes the chaos on a sky pirate’s airship. But she finds no salvation outside the blackened city walls; a vigilante from an exiled race has left a trail of destruction everywhere his growing army has travelled. With compulsion at his fingertips, he strengthens his hold over Linaria’s people by stealing the power of dragons. It’s only a matter of time before she, too, is forced to submit.
With war nipping at her heels and danger lurking in her companions and adversaries, Moroda must quickly learn about herself, her world, and the dragons so intent on reducing it all to ash.
I received an ARC of the paperback from the author in exchange for an honest review.

What did I think? 

4.5 Stars.

Moroda is L.L. McNeil's debut novel and I was excited when I found out that it's an epic fantasy with a female protagonist and dragons. Who doesn't love dragons?

It's an easy read that starts a bit slow but quickly turns into a gripping story about a young woman who sets out to save her world, Linaria, from a war. On her journey she meets a varied bunch of characters. They all feel authentic and have interesting pasts and promising futures.

The world building is creative, yet straightforward making this a good book for someone who does not usually read fantasy and might shy away from the sheer complexitiy of some of the work out there. The different races in Linaria are fresh and well imagined and I especially hope to see more about the Varkain in the sequels.

It took a while to get into the book. The first chapter sets everything up nicely and is certainly intriguing but Moroda is young and reluctant, even a bit shy at first and it takes a few chapters before her character fully blossoms and starts kicking ass.

L.L. McNeil has created several strong female characters, but the one I enjoyed most was Amarah the sky pirate with her airship. The book also has an interesting villain and some compelling morally grey characters I found myself rooting for halfway through.

I would recommend Moroda to anyone who is looking for a new twist in epic fantasy with a character driven plot and dragons.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Follow the link to know more about the meme and join up!

This week the theme is a freebie as long as it includes covers. Their post is about covers that depict food and drink and can be found here.

I've been blog hopping for about an hour now (instead of writing or doing any of the other chores I should be doing today) in an attempt to find an idea for today's theme. Something original. Something exciting. Isn't 'covers I love' a bit boring? But that's what I'm coming back to: covers I love.

So without further ado I present you books that I picked up because of the cover and not because of the author or blurb.
I'm starting to think that there's probably a slight colour preference visible in my choices and that it's obvious I like both blue and purple. I've seen that Annette Marie's sequels in the Red Winter Trilogy are out, so I'll have to pick those up.

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones I haven't read yet but the cover is simply gorgeous. Claire North's Harry August has a very intriguing cover as well with the mirrored images.

I haven't yet read anything by Laini Taylor but I keep hearing that her books are filled with wonderful prose and I'm very curious to read one.

Also Tom Toner uploaded the three covers of his series next to each other to Twitter the other day and I can't find any information about book 3 yet and Goodreads doesn't even have it listed. But they all look gorgeous.
I was so annoyed when I found out that the first book and the second book hadn't been printed in the same format though, so they don't match. Is anyone else bothered when books in a series don't match on the shelf?

I hope everyone is having a great week! Link me to your lists! I'm a sucker for covers!

Monday, 1 May 2017

Sunday Post (16) - Long Weekends are the Best

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

The Rules can be found here. And this week's post can be found here.

If you participate, and you should because the community is amazing, don't forget to link up and if you leave me a comment, I will definitely check out your blog!

This week wasn't particularly eventful. I've been running after my Goodreads reading goal all week and somehow never really managed to catch up with it. 5 books behind, tssk! But it's a Bank Holiday weekend in the UK and that means Monday is off as well... more time to read! I'm almost done with editing my children's fantasy and am hoping to edit my adult contemporary novel (with a bit of a speculative twist) in May.

The snail is doing well, the dogs are doing well (the Aussie stopped limping, but I'm not letting him jump after frisbees for another few weeks.) For now, everyone is happy and the cold snap seems to be over. Summer is hopefully coming soon.
Last week on my blog:
Last week in my kitchen: I stuffed a pork tenderloin with a homemade pesto paste (mushrooms, spinach, pine nuts, lemon zest, goat cheese, garlic and some herbs and spices with a bit of olive oil). It turned out amazing. I also made both beef ribs and pork ribs and ended up having to eat them on my own (not complaining) because they were too fatty for my girlfriend. I wonder if I braise the beef for longer if more of the fat would render out.

Next week on my blog: Still years behind my reviews, or so it seems. I have yet to review The God of Small Things, The Lions of Al-Rassan, I Let You Go, Dark Places and Truly Madly Guilty. That's without the two SF books I've read last week, which were The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August and The City & The City.

I wish everyone a lovely week.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Book Title: Big Little Lies
Author: Liane Moriarty
Genre: Mystery, Contemporary
My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Source: Library

Amazon UK, Goodreads

Goodreads Summary: A murder, a tragic accident, or just parents behaving badly? What’s indisputable is that someone is dead. But who did what?
Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads.
Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare.
New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.
Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.
What did I think? I wasn't sure about this book at first. I happened upon the trailer for the show and since I usually read the book before I watch an adaptation, I jumped at the chance to read this with a few members of a bookclub.

It didn't take long for me to be hooked and then I read it in a few sittings. I almost couldn't stop myself from racing to the last page.

Big Little Lies starts out intriguing, before quickly turning into a gripping tale, tackling some important and serious issues along the way.

I loved it. The only reason I'm not giving it 5 stars is because I found the ending a little bit too neat. Everything wraps up just a tad too conveniently.

This book is filled with amazing yet believable character development and just when you think you've got someone figured out Moriarty adds another layer. The three main women are strong, independent and all face their own personal problems, some of them quite dark and unexpected.

To be honest, at first I thought it would just be another light and fluffy mystery, because that's exactly how Big Little Lies starts out. I didn't expect some of the dark subjects Moriarty decided to tackle and the combination between casual humour, every day problems parents face and serious issues is extremely well done.

I recommend this to everyone who likes a good mystery and isn't opposed to reading about the pits of suburban parenting.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin

Book Title: The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth Trilogy #2)
Author: N. K. Jemisin
Genre: Fantasy
My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Source: Library

Amazon UK, Goodreads

As usual there will be NO spoilers for previous books in the series, so the summary is the one for the first book.
My review of the first book can be found here.
Goodreads Summary: A season of endings has begun. It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world's sole continent, from which enough ash spews to darken the sky for years. Or centuries. It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter. It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester. And it ends with you. You are the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where orogenes wield the power of the earth as a weapon and are feared far more than the long cold night. And you will have no mercy. 
What did I think? The Fifth Season was unlike anything  I'd read in a long time. A perfect blend of science fiction and fantasy in a fascinating world. But when I picked up The Obelisk Gate, I had just read something like it, not too long ago: The Fifth Season.

Don't get me wrong, the second book in the trilogy is just as good as the first, but I knew what to expect and was no longer blown away by the novelty of it.

It's very hard to write about this series without giving too much away, because I believe this world should be experienced without any prior knowledge. There are strong female characters, clever world building, an interesting and novel magic system and wonderful prose. Part of it is written in the 2nd POV, bringing you even closer to the main character. It takes a little getting used to at first, but Jemisin knows how to make it work.

A beautiful read that I recommend to every fantasy fan with a bit of patience, because Jemisin does ask for some patience with her slow and subtle reveals.