book review

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman || Book Review

Neil GaimanTitle: Norse Mythology

Author: Neil Gaiman

Published: 7. February 2017

Edition: Bloomsbury

                Paperback, 281 pages

Genre: Mythology | Short Stories | Fiction

Summary:

Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he turns his attention back to the source, presenting a bravura rendition of the great northern tales. In Norse Mythology, Gaiman fashions primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds; delves into the exploits of the deities, dwarves, and giants; and culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and the rebirth of a new time and people. Gaiman stays true to the myths while vividly reincarnating Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki, the son of giants, a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator. From Gaiman’s deft and witty prose emerges the gods with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to dupe others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.

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◄ 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ►

Another book by Neil Gaiman that I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s not my favourite of his books that I have read so far, but I still enjoyed it a lot. Before reading this book I had no knowledge of the Norse mythology, so I found it very interesting to read Gaiman’s version of the myths.

Neil Gaiman has a way of writing stories that simply sucks me in immediately and I can’t put his books down. And this book was no exception to that. I was a bit worried going into this book, as I had never previously read any of his short stories (and in general I don’t tend to read that many short stories). My worries turned out to be unnecessary, as I ended up enjoying all of his stories – obviously some more than the others.

In his short stories Gaiman gives us an overview of Norse mythology and some of it’s stories/legends. First he gives us an introduction to the three main gods (or the ones that are present the most), Odin, Thor and Loki. Then he proceeds to tell us how everything was created and about Yggdrasil and the nine worlds. That is followed by some stories about the gods and their adventures. There were 16 stories in total.

I enjoyed most of the stories. Some aspects were really gross and weird, but I find that to be the usual when it comes to mythology. I simply loved learning more about Norse mythology, as I had previously know nothing about it. And yes, I would recommend this book to everyone! (Especially if you are interested in mythologies.)


Have you read Norse Mythology? What did you think of this book?

Thank you very much for reading my review and I hope that you have a wonderful day!

-Anna♥

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book review

Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault by Candace Robinson || ARC Review

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher (through NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


Quinsey Wolfe's Glass VaultTitle: Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault

           ( Glass Vault #1 )

Author: Candace Robinson

Published: 16. May 2017

Edition: Kindle, 168 pages

Genre: Young Adult | Horror

Summary:

Some see it… Some don’t…

People in the town of Deer Park, Texas are vanishing. There is a strange museum, known as Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault, that appears overnight. Perrie Madeline’s best friend and ex-boyfriend are among the missing. Perrie, along with her friend August, go on a pursuit to search for them in the mysterious museum. Could the elusive Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault have anything to do with their disappearances?

A book that intertwines horror with retellings

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◄ 2 OUT OF 5 STARS ►

This story was rather addicting, I just needed to know what was going to happen next. I even managed to read it in one sitting and that doesn’t happen often to me. The beginning of the book was boring and slow. It basically introduced the characters and their situations, I didn’t care much about that if I’m being honest. Once the retellings start it gets much more interesting and it becomes impossible to put this book down. The retellings were amazingly creepy and I greatly enjoyed them! I wish there were even more of them, as they were definitely my favourite part of the book.

The characters were bland, I don’t feel like any of them developed in any way and they weren’t really memorable either. There wasn’t a single character that I particularly cared about. I just cared about the story as I wanted to know what was actually going on in that museum. There was also kind of a love triangle thing happening (somewhat?) and as you may know I tend to very much dislike those as well.

Now onto the two of the biggest problems that I had with this book.

First there was an instance of ACEPHOBIA at the beginning of this book. (I believe in the first 5 to 7 %) Our main character, Perrie thinks this while describing her best friend:

“Maisie gets plenty of offers from both guys and girls, but as I have come to realize, there’s no one like her. Sometimes, I think she’s asexual like certain plants.”

Everything is fine, aside from the last part. “Certain plants” was seriously unnecessary and could have easily not been mentioned. As this is an ARC that I read I hope that the finished edition doesn’t have this. It put a bad taste in my mouth immediately and honestly I’m happy that it was the only instance of it.

The second problem was the TOKENISM. Maisie, the best friend of Perrie, is biracial. Her father is from somewhere in the Middle East. And I’m wording it like that because we have no idea where he is actually from, as it’s only referenced in passing. Nothing else indicated that Maisie was biracial, I honestly forgot that she was while I was reading the book.

Overall this book didn’t impress me. I expected a lot more from it and was left rather disappointed. I honestly wouldn’t recommend this book.


Have you read Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault? What did you think of this book? Did you have the same problems as me?

Thank you very much for reading my review and I hope that you have a wonderful day!

-Anna♥

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book review

The Wingsnatchers by Sarah Jean Horwitz || ARC Review

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher (through NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


Carmer and Grit

Title: The Wingsnatchers

           ( Carmer and Grit #1 )

Author: Sarah Jean Horwitz

Published: 25. April 2017.

Edition: Algonquin Young Readers

                Kindle, 368 pages

Genre: Fantasy | Middle Grade | Steampunk

Summary:

Aspiring inventor and magician’s apprentice Felix Carmer III would rather be tinkering with his latest experiments than sawing girls in half on stage, but with Antoine the Amazifier’s show a tomato’s throw away from going under, Carmer is determined to win the cash prize in the biggest magic competition in Skemantis. When fate throws Carmer across the path of fiery, flightless faerie princess Grit (do not call her Grettifrida), they strike a deal. If Carmer will help Grit investigate a string of faerie disappearances, she’ll use her very real magic to give his mechanical illusions a much-needed boost against the competition. But Carmer and Grit soon discover they’re not the only duo trying to pair magic with machine – and the combination can be deadly.


Goodreads | Bookdepository | Amazon

◄ 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ►

This was such a fun and exiting story. It sucked me in from the beginning and I was very interested in both the characters and the world. It was also an easy read, as is the case with most middle grade books.

The world in The Wingsnatchers was very fascinating and one of my favourite aspects of the story. There is a vast difference between the faerie world, which is surrounded and made of nature, and the human world, which is a steampunk society with many machines and a lot of metal devices. It was interesting seeing how these two worlds coexist with each other and I loved finding out about both of them.

Carmer, one of the main characters, is an inventor and assistant of the magician Antoine. Through him we get a look at the human world and how far it’s advanced, with all the automatons and other machines – that Carmer finds fascinating and thinkers with them. I really loved him as a character. He is very smart and inventive, he always manages to get out of tough situations. (Even with some mishaps.) He was probably my favourite character. It was also wonderful discovering the world of the fae with him, as he is for the first time confronted with it.

Grit, another main character whose perspective we get to read from, is a faerie. She is not only a fairy, she is the princess of the faeries. Not only that, she is a faerie that was born with only one wing and can’t fly, which makes her different from any faerie that she has ever met. She is very fiery, temperamental and strong. Grit knows what she wants and how to achieve what she wants as well. The only problem I had with her was her short fused temperament – I tend to get annoyed easily with such characters. (In one instance she really angered me.)

The mystery of the disappearances of the faery very interesting. I really wanted to know what was going on and how it was going to be solved. But I found the pacing to be off and some of the story points didn’t sit right with me. Nothing too major, but some slight things bothered me. (And I can’t go into detail because of spoilers.)

Also the cover is beautiful. But if you have read the book you will know how fitting it is for it and see even more details than you already did! I was really mind blown when I looked at it after I was done reading the book! (Can’t go much into that, because that would spoil things.)

Overall this was a very fun book and I would highly recommend it to everyone!


Have you read The Wingsnatchers? What did you think of this book? Do let me know!

Thank you very much for reading my review and I hope that you have a wonderful day!

-Anna♥

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book review

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury || Book Review

The Forbidden WishTitle: The Forbidden Wish

Author: Jessica Khoury

Published: 24. January 2017

Edition: Razorbill

                 Paperback, 352 pages

Genre: Fantasy | Young Adult | Retelling

Summary:

She is the most powerful Jinni of all. He is a boy from the streets. Their love will shake the world. . . .

When Aladdin discovers Zahra’s jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn’t seen in hundreds of years–a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra’s very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity–only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of the Aladdin story from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.

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◄ 4.5 OUT OF 5 STARS ►

I never knew that I needed an Aladdin retelling until I read this book. This book was everything that I hoped it would be! It’s one of the most imaginative retellings that I have ever read and I simply couldn’t get enough of it.

The writing in this book was simply beautiful and very poetic. It fit the story perfectly and brought the magic and the world to life. The world created within this book was mesmerising and I loved finding out more and more about it, as the story continued. The world in itself was very well developed and I could easily imagine myself being part of it, as I was reading the story. I loved the magic and myths that were woven into this story as well, it made all of it feel even more real.

I loved the characters in this book. My favourite was definitely Zahra, whose perspective we read from throughout the book as well. She is a powerful and old jinni and you definitely feel that throughout the story. But she isn’t without flaws. While she is powerful, she is also insecure about things. While she is wise, she also makes mistakes. Zahra’s perspective was amazing to read from, as she is familiar with both the human world and the jinni one – so we are able to get a lot more information about both through her. I also loved finding out about her past with Roshana. (Not going into that, because of spoilers.) Zahra was such a fascinating character and I couldn’t get enough of her. I loved everything that she stood for!

Aladdin is another character that I loved. As you may know I’m a big fan of thief (assassin’s and other morally grey) characters in books, so my love for him was quiet obvious from the beginning. But the more I read about him the more I liked him. I loved how flirty he was, he just had a fun personality – although he had problems that were bothering him as well. He was such a well developed character and he kept surprising me throughout the whole book. It was also amazing finding out more about his origins and the things he has been through.

The romance in this book is one of the best that I have ever read! It was very sweet and simply heartwarming to read about. And it was very slow burning, which made it even more amazing. (I’m beyond sick of the insta-love stories!) The interactions between Zahra and Aladdin were so cute and fun to read about. I just adore the both of them, together and on their own.

The plot of the story was also very intriguing and a lot more complex than I thought it would be. I had some problems with the pacing at a some points, but beyond that I have nothing to complain about when it comes to this story. This book was simply wonderful and I would highly recommend it to everyone!


Have you read The Forbidden Wish? What did you think of it? Did you enjoy it as much as I did?

Thank you very much for reading and I hope that you have a wonderful day!

-Anna♥

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book review

Miss Treadway & the Field of Stars by Miranda Emmerson || ARC Review

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher (through NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Miss TreadwayTitle: Miss Treadway & the Field of Stars

Author: Miranda Emmerson

Published: 12. January 2017.

Edition: Fourth Estate

                Kindle Edition, 297 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction | Mystery

Summary:

Soho, 1965.

In a tiny two-bed flat above a Turkish café on Neal Street lives Anna Treadway, a young dresser at the Galaxy Theatre.

When the American actress Iolanthe Green disappears after an evening’s performance at the Galaxy, the newspapers are wild with speculation about her fate. But as the news grows old and the case grows colder, it seems Anna is the only person left determined to find out the truth.

Her search for the missing actress will take her into an England she did not know existed: an England of jazz clubs and prison cells, backstreet doctors and seaside ghost towns, where her carefully calibrated existence will be upended by violence but also, perhaps, by love. For in order to uncover Iolanthe’s secrets, Anna is going to have to face up to a few of her own.

Goodreads | Bookdepository | Amazon

◄ 2.5 OUT OF 5 STARS ►

I really don’t know where to start with this review. I have very conflicted feelings about this book, I enjoyed some aspects of it but I also had problems with it (as it’s obvious by my rating of it).

When I first started reading this book I was very much enjoying it. The writing style flowed very nicely, it was very easy to read. Miss Treadway seemed like an interesting character and I wanted to know more about her. I liked the writing style and I felt that the introduction to everything (characters, setting, plot) was very well executed.

But as the story progressed I found myself more and more bored. By the end of the book I just didn’t care what was happening anymore, I just wanted to be done with it. I also didn’t particularly care about any of the characters, while they seemed interesting in the beginning they just didn’t capture my attention throughout the story. The mystery didn’t live up to what I thought it would be, I expected it to be a lot more exiting and gripping than it was. The mystery wasn’t actually the main aspect of the story, as I expected it to be, rather it served as a tool to showcase the society and the relationships of that time period.

The story follows a diverse cast of characters with their own problems and stories woven  into the main story. This book also deals with important topics like: racism, xenophobia and misogyny.

OVERALL:

This was an alright book, but nothing too special. It wasn’t the exiting mystery that I expected it to be, which was rather disappointing. I’m unsure if I would recommend this book. Definitely not if you’re looking for a mystery novel. But if you enjoy historical fiction that explores society and it’s issues then this book might be for you.


Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

Thank you for reading my review and I hope that you have a wonderful day!

-Anna♥

book review

Dark Tales by Shirley Jackson || ARC Review

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher (through NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Shirley Jackson

Title: Dark Tales

Author: Shirley Jackson

Published: 6. October 2016

Edition: Penguin Classics

                 Kindle Edition, 208 pages

Genre: Short Stories | Gothic | Horror

Summary:

There’s something nasty in suburbia. In these deliciously dark tales, the daily commute turns into a nightmarish game of hide and seek, the loving wife hides homicidal thoughts and the concerned citizen might just be an infamous serial killer. In the haunting world of Shirley Jackson, nothing is as it seems and nowhere is safe, from the city streets to the country manor, and from the small-town apartment to the dark, dark woods…

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◄ 3.5 OUT OF 5 STARS ►

I’m really conflicted on how to rate this book. It is a collection of short stories and I did enjoy many of them. However, there were also quiet a few confusing ones and ones I didn’t care about at all. I’m not that well versed when it comes to reviewing short story collections, or reading them for that matter, so we shall see how this review will go.

This collection consists of 17 short stories. And each of them is beautifully written. I haven’t read anything by Shirley Jackson before now, but after reading these stories I definitely plan on reading more of her works. Her writing style is simply beautiful and captivating, like nothing I have encountered before. It reminds me of Gothic novels and if you know me you know I love that way of writing.

The horror in these stories is very subtile. It isn’t always apparent, but rather as you continue reading a story you notice how unnatural it is. How some things the characters say don’t make any sense, how the thoughts of the character whose perspective we read from start getting more and more unrecognisable. Sometimes you notice the weird, creepy, dark things only at the end of the story. But all of them have definitely managed to spook me and unnerve me in some way. I wouldn’t call them horror stories, but instead I would refer to the title and call them dark stories. The title Dark Tales perfectly explains the atmosphere and tone in all the stories within this collection.


My favourite stories, from the first half of the collection:

The Honeymoon of Mrs Smith:

She just got married to Mr Smith a week or so ago and currently they are living in an apartment, where they are having their honeymoon. She comes from a rather rich family and she didn’t know Mr Smith much before their marriage. A neighbour comes to talk to her while Mr Smith is at work and confesses to her the fear that Mr Smith might be a killer, that was recently mentioned in the paper, and that he is going to kill Mrs Smith.

Jack the Ripper:

One day, while going home, a man comes across a girl that is asleep in an alley. She appears to have passed out due to the alcohol she consumed. Worried about her, but not knowing who she is he walks into the nearby bar to see if someone there knows who she is and what he should do. He manages to find out some information about her, but all in all the people in the bar weren’t helpful. He decides to take her home himself.

What a Thought:

A woman is sitting in her living room with her husband. Each of them is reading a book and relaxing after diner. The woman has had an uneasy feeling all day and she didn’t know what was making her restless. Suddenly it occurs to her that she could take the ashtray and hit her husband over the head with it and kill him. She proceeds to think of many different ways she could kill her husband, while thinking that she would never actually do it.


OVERALL:

I rather enjoyed the stories in this collection. Most of the stories were very interesting, but quiet a few disappointed me as well. I think that’s the way collections are, you just can’t love every single story. It was a very fascinating collection and one I would definitely recommend to everyone who enjoys creepy and unnerving stories. It’s also not very scary, so it might be a good starting point for people who want to get into horror but aren’t sure if they will enjoy it, or rather don’t know if they can handle the scary things in horror books.


Have you read this short story collection? Or anything else by Shirley Jackson? What did you think of her works?

Thank you for reading my review. I hope you have a wonderful day!

-Anna♥

book review

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare || Book Review

WARNING: This review contains spoilers for the first book, City of Bones.

ShadowhuntersTitle: City of Ashes

           ( The Mortal Instruments #2 )

Author: Cassandra Clare

First published: 28. March 2008

Edition: Margaret K. McElderry Books

                  Paperback, 512 pages

Genre: Fantasy | Young Adult | Paranormal

Summary:

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go—especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil—and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings—and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

Goodreads | Bookdepository | Amazon

◄ 4 out of 5 stars ►

First of all I would like to mention a few things, before I actually start my review:

  • I was debating whether or not to continue reviewing this series, I just didn’t feel that it was needed – as nearly everyone has read these books. But I really wanted to write about these books, as I continue reading them – just for myself, no other reason.
  • So, basically there are going to be reviews for The Mortal Instruments as I continue reading the series.
  • I don’t know how long the reviews are going to be. The length of them might vary from book to book. (Depending on how much I have to say about each one, obviously.)

That’s all that I wanted to say beforehand. Now, let’s get into the review!


I love the world that Cassandra Clare has created in her books. I just find all aspects of it fascinating and very enjoyable to read about. I’m more fascinated with Downworlders than with Shadowhunters. I don’t know, I just find them more interesting.

There was A LOT more of Magnus in this book and I couldn’t be happier about that! He is, after all, my favourite character and the reason I decided to read this series in the first place. I fell in love with him in The Infernal Devices and I knew that I had to read The Mortal Instruments just because of him. So I’m very happy that I got to read a lot more about him than in the previous book. I do hope he continues appearing a lot in future books as well.

Now onto the other characters. I do like most of them. Alec, Izzy and Simon are amazing and I adore reading about them. They are all very interesting and I enjoy learning more about them, plus their interactions are always fun to read. Then there are Jace and Clary. I really don’t like either of them, I didn’t like them in the first book and I still don’t like them. I have to be honest, I’m warming up towards Jace a little bit (and I do mean a LITTLE BIT). But Clary is the most annoying character that I have ever encountered. I dislike her very much, I can’t even count the times I wanted to punch her while reading about her. She seriously frustrates me.

I also hate the relationship of Jace and Clary. It’s my least favourite aspect of the whole book. I thought I could escape it, at least for a while, now that they are siblings. But nooo, I still had to deal with them and their emotions for each other. It was even worse than in the first book, which I didn’t think could be possible. Also Clary’s other romantic relationship in this book was pointless and frustrating as well. I really felt bad for the guy, as Clary is clearly obsessed with Jace.

I’m glad that we got to see more of Valentine in this book. He is a character that interested me in the first book and I wanted to know more about him as soon as he was introduced. So I’m very happy that we got more of him in this book. I really like him as the villain of the story.

The story in this book was a lot more interesting than in the first one. I found it flowed better and the pacing was good as well. Not much more I can say about that without going into spoiler territory, so I’ll be leaving it at this.

OVERALL:

I enjoyed this book a lot more than City of Bones. I loved the fact that I got more of Magnus. I’m still very much disliking Jace and Clary, both on their own and together. Overall I enjoyed myself while reading this book and I’m very much looking forward to continue with this series and seeing where the story will go.


Have you read City of Ashes? What did you think of it? Do you agree with anything I said? Do let me know!

Thank you very much for reading my review. I hope you have a wonderful day!

-Anna♥

book review

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab || Book Review

Victoria SchwabTitle: A Darker Shade of Magic

            ( Shades of Magic #1 )

Author: Victoria Schwab

First published: 24. February 2015

Edition: Titan Books

                 Paperback, 400 pages

Genre: Fantasy | Young Adult | Magic

Summary:

Kell is one of the last travelers–magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magical city.

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad King–George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered–and where Kell was raised alongside Rhy Maresh, the roguish heir to a flourishing empire. White London–a place where people fight to control magic and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

Goodreads | Bookdepository | Amazon

◄ 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ►

First of all I would like to mention that this review turned out to be waaaaay longer than I thought it would be (and that I intended it to be). Apparently I just had a lot to write about this book. Enjoy my rambling! 🙂


Victoria Schwab has done it again. She has created a wonderful book that I fell in love with. On one hand I can’t believe that I waited this long to start this book, as I wanted to read it since it was announced. On the other hand I’m glad that I waited this long, as it means I don’t have to wait for the sequel to come out – I already own it and plan on starting it as soon as I finish this review. Plus the third book comes out relatively soon and that makes me very happy.

THE WORLD:

The whole concept of parallel worlds and parallel Londons was simply fascinating. Especially since they are all very different from each other, yet similar in some ways. I loved learning more about them as the story progressed and Kell traveled through them.

Red London seems magical…for the lack of better world. Everything just seems beautiful and fascinating. I would love to explore that London and see everything that it has to offer. Especially since magic is a norm there, I would love to experience some grand event (like the one we had in the book). White London honestly scares me. Everything about it, from the way it looks to the people. I just find it creepy and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near it. Grey London I imagines as our world but in the past. (Which I think it also is.) It was the easiest one to imagine, for obvious reasons and one I was interested by, but not fascinated as with the others. I think it’s simply because it resembled our world and I was already familiar with that. I would have loved to learn more about Black London. The whole story with it interests me a lot and I loved hearing about it, but I wish there had been more.

I’m really glad that this is a series and that I’ll get to explore more of the world in the following books. There are definitely many more things I would love to learn about it. And Victoria Schwab is a master at world-building, so I’m even more exited because of that.

THE CHARACTERS:

Kell was my favourite from the first page to the end. I just adore him. (You can guess who has a new fictional crush.) He was basically perfect and everything I love in a character. Not that he doesn’t have his flaws or anything like that, because he does. I love the fact that he messes up big time, but takes the blame and does everything in his power to fix said mistake. (I can’t go into that, because spoilers!) I love how sassy he is as well, his comebacks were amazing. Can we also talk about his magical coat? Because that’s amazing and I seriously want one of my own! Plus his whole Antari magic is fascinating, I really want to know more about that as well.

Lila I didn’t like in the beginning. I don’t really know what it was, it seems thats she just rubbed me wrong when she introduced herself. (So to say.) I really can’t explain it. But as the story progressed and I got to know more about her I liked her more and more. And by the end I found myself loving her! She really is amazing and I love how ruthless she is. Not that I expected anything less from her, after all she is a thief who has to survive on her own. I love the fact that she wants to be a pirate and cross-dresses and everything. Lila is wonderful character. Plus I love her and Kell’s relationship and how it progressed (from somewhat enemies to friends), plus it was amazing to see them saving each other.

Rhy is a potential favourite of mine. I say potential because we didn’t get to see enough of him for me to consider him a favourite. But I still loved what we got to see of him. He is overconfident and spoiled, as you would expect from a prince – but he is also very kind and caring and wants the best for people. I really can’t wait to find more about him! (And I’m hoping that there is a lot more of him in the next book.) Plus I love that he treats Kell like a brother and their relationship is amazing.

Holland is an Antari like Kell, which means he can travel to the other Londons as well. (I though I would mention him as well.) But Holland is seriously creepy, he unnerved me from the first page he was introduced in. Everything about him simply unsettles me. I did feel sorry for him and I was sympathetic towards him, but then he does something bad and I really hate him for it. But then he is tragic again and I don’t know. (Well, I do but I can’t mention it because of spoilers.) I’m very conflicted with my feelings towards him.

THE STORY:

Okay. I really feel the need to talk about a lot of the things that happened in this book. But I CAN’T because it’s all spoilers!! And I don’t want to do that. So I’ll try and be vague as possible. If you have read this book, then you probably understand my struggle with this.

The story starts out rather slow, the world being introduced through Kell and his traveling to Grey London. It also continues being slow, with things happening but they are not crucial towards the main story, so to call it. That’s not a bad thing in my opinion, I do love it when fantasy stories start out slower as it allows me to get to know how the world works and in this case magic as well. But I know some people don’t enjoy books that start out slow, so I thought I should mention that here as well.

Once things started moving and some rather bad things happened, the action didn’t stop. Everything was happening all the time and the story was moving very faster. There were many twists and turns, and I was surprised by quiet a few of them (which is always wonderful). I like the direction the story took and I just flew through the second half of the book, it was impossible to put down.

OVERALL:

If you have read through my review and gotten this far you would know that I ABSOLUTELY LOVED this book! ❤ As simple as that. The characters are wonderful (both the good and bad ones – in different ways obviously), the world fascinating and the story compelling as well. So obviously I can only recommend it! And I would definitely urge you to read it as soon as possible! This book has definitely become one of my new favourites.


Have you read A Darker Shade of Magic? Did you enjoy it? What was your favourite moment in the book? Do let me know!

Thank you very much for reading my rather long review. I hope you have a wonderful day!

-Anna♥

book review

The Wishing World by Todd Fahnestock || ARC Review

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher (through NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

The Wishing WorldTitle: The Wishing World

Author: Todd Fahnestock

Published: 25. October 2016

Edition: Starscape

                 Kindle Edition, 222 pages

Genre: Fantasy | Middle Grade

Summary:

In the Wishing World, dreams are real. You can transform into your own hero, find wild and whimsical friends, and wield power as great as your imagination. But Lorelei doesn’t know about any of that. All she knows is that a monster took her family.

It happened during a camping trip one year ago. Hiding inside the tent, she saw shadows, tentacles and a strange creature. By the time she got up the courage to crawl outside, the monster–and Lorelei’s mom, dad, and brother–were gone.

Lorelei is determined to find her family. When she accidentally breaks into the Wishing World, she discovers a way. It’s a land more wonderful than she could have imagined, a land of talking griffons, water princesses, and cities made of sand, where Lorelei is a Doolivanti–a wish-maker–who can write her dreams into existence.

There’s only one problem: the monster is a Doolivanti, too. What he wishes also comes true, and he’s determined to shove Lorelei out, keep her family, and make the whole Wishing World his. To save them, Lorelei must find the courage to face him, or her next wish may be her last.

Goodreads | Amazon

◄ 3 OUT OF 5 STARS ►

The beginning of the book wasn’t the best. I felt really confused as to what was happening and how exactly the Wishing World worked. I was as confused as the main character. (Which I, in some cases, enjoy but this time I didn’t.) It just didn’t seem like everything was connecting as it should.

But as the story continued, things got a lot more clearer and I began to enjoy the book a lot more. I found the whole world very fascinating and the adventure was a lot of fun to read about. I enjoyed learning about the magic and how everything worked. I think the world was my favourite part of the book.

The writing style was interesting, in a good way. It flowed really well and I flew through it a lot faster than I usually do. It was just easy to follow and enjoy. This writing style is not for everyone though, I can see how some people wouldn’t enjoy it. So I would recommend reading an excerpt, so that you can see if it’s to your liking.

The characters were all right. Nothing particularly outstanding or memorable. I enjoyed reading about them, but they were not my favourite. I couldn’t really relate to the main character, which I expected going into the book as she is a lot younger than I am (and very different from me). Still, I did like her, though I had some problems with her as well. (Not going into that, because it’s full of spoilers.)

OVERALL:

I liked the world that was created in this book. The writing style was great as well, it fit the story perfectly. But I didn’t really care about the characters and I felt like the story lacked something. The beginning was confusing as well.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, if it sounds like something you would enjoy! And definitely if you enjoy Middle Grade.


Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Do you plan on reading it? Do let me know!

Thank you very much for reading my review. I hope you have a wonderful day!

-Anna♥

book review

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo || Book Review

WARNING: Spoilers for Six of Crows (in the summary for this book and in my review as well).

GrishaTitle: Crooked Kingdom

            ( Six of Crows #2 )

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Published: 27. September 2016.

Edition: Henry Holt and Company

                 Hardcover, 536 pages

Genre: Fantasy | Young Adult | Magic

Summary:

When you can’t beat the odds, change the game.

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

Goodreads | Bookdepository | Amazon

◄ 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ►


A few things I would like to mention before I actually start the review:

  • I have reviewed the first book in this duology, Six of Crows, as well. You can check out my review of it HERE.
  • I’m not sure how coherent this review is going to be (as I absolutely ADORED this book and can’t properly express my feelings), but I’ll try my best!
  • EVERYONE definitely NEEDS to read this duology!

That is all. Now onto the actual review!


Where to actually begin is the question now. Let’s talk about the world (as that’s the easiest one). The world that Leigh Bardugo has created in these books is simply wonderful, fascinating and one of my all time favourites. This is the 5th book in her Grisha universe, so I don’t think I need to go much into the world building and magic system. Just know that I adore everything about it! (And yes, that’s going to be a common theme throughout this review, as you will notice.)

My favourite aspect of this book are the characters. I simply ADORE all six of our main characters. They are all wonderful, unique and very different from each other (and I do have a weakness for characters that are thieves and criminals – so there is that). I honestly can’t say who I love the most, all of them are amazing and I love all of them for different reasons. They were a delight to read about. And we FINALLY had chapters from all their points of view. (This made me extremely happy!)

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A few characters from the Grisha trilogy showed up in this book as well. (Not going to mention who though, as that would be spoilers.) The first book had references to the Grisha trilogy, which was amazing and it made me very happy. After all, it was the Grisha trilogy that made me fall in love with this amazing world and Leigh Bardugo’s writing. Soooo you can only imagine how delighted I was when the actual characters from the previous books showed up in this one. (Especially one of them!)

I LOVE the relationships in this book. Just wow. They were all wonderful. And I’m not only talking about the romance, but the FRIENDSHIP. I loved how everyone interacted with each other, how they bantered and cared about each other. They all became such amazing friends throughout their journey. Definitely one of my favourite aspects about this book. (But let’s be real, I loved everything about it.) The romance and pairings in this book are amazing as well. I just loved reading about all of them!

GIF

As you probably already know – this book is very diverse. From race, disability to sexuality. Just in case you didn’t know, I thought I would mention it here.

Now about the actual story. It continues basically where the last book left of. (Or rather some short time later, after they collected themselves.) When it starts it doesn’t stop! It was VERY fast paced, many things were happening all the time and there were SOOO many twists and turns, they blew my mind. I LOVED the direction the story went and I’m quiet satisfied with the ending. But I want MORE as well – I just love everything about it and I want more!

OVERALL:

Crooked Kingdom was an amazing sequel. It reached all my high expectations and it even surpassed them. I couldn’t be happier (or I could, if something didn’t happen). Leigh Bardugo has done it once again and created a book I simply adored. I would definitely recommend everyone to check this duology out!


Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Do you plan on reading this duology? Do let me know!

Thank you for reading my review! I hope you have a wonderful day.

-Anna♥