Top 5 Wednesday – Favourite Science fiction and fantasy books

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Usually I don’t join in on this, (Because I forget), but this week’s subject appealed to me so here we go! (Creator: Ginger reads Lainey. Host: Thoughts on tomes)

The Spook’s Apprentice by Joseph Delaney

A, (middle grade?), fantasy about a young boy who’s training to be the last spook, dealing with witches, boggarts ect.

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Goodreads / Amazon UK

This is one of the few books that I re-read. My copy is now all yellowed at the pages. I love the simplicity of the writing. You can sit back, relax and enjoy the story.

(I’m very annoyed that they changed the book cover half way through. -_-) (P.S. Don’t watch the trash that is the so called movie.)

The Wee free men by Terry pratchett

About a nine year old girl who must deal with foul mouthed wee men and must save her baby brother from the Queen of fairies.

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Goodreads / Amazon UK

This was a hard choice. I adore Terry Pratchett’s novel and I struggled to decide which to put here. I chose this one because this, and it’s sequels, affected me so strongly. They are very important books to me and I would probably recommend this book to people if they’ve not read Terry Pratchett before. (Your poor souls.)

Rosemary and rue by Seanan McGuire 

This first book in an urban fantasy series. Toby is a changling, half changling, half human and all badass. A friend is murdered and she has to figure out what happened or she’ll die.

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Goodreads / Amazon UK

This was actually my first foray into urban fantasy and, omg, I loved it. I loved the main character and just how its set up because within the first few pages you know you’re going to read the next book. And there was great care in explaining all the different fay and rules, especially for someone who hasn’t delved into UF before.

Darklord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones

Set in a fantasy world which is ruled by someone from a world like ours and they must put on pilgrims, which are basically like a trope fantasy world. (How terrible am I at explaining plots?)

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Goodreads / Amazon UK

I remember finding this book in the library and I devoured it within a few days. I was completely enchanted and it was on of my first fully fantasy reads. The wide array of magical creatures are so clever and just the unique plot itself.

I am legend by Richard Matheson

The last living man in a world full of vampires.

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Goodreads / Amazon UK

This choice actually surprised me. I gave this an average rating. I liked it, but I wouldn’t have called it a favourite. Apparently, it’s one of those that grows on you.

Most will know of the movie, which I like too, but it completely misses the message. The ending of this book is powerful. One of the greatest ending I’ve ever read.


Alright! This was fun! Apparently, I love fantasy more than sci fi, though it may be I’ve just read more fantasy. I may have to join in more of these. Obviously, I left off Harry Potter and LOTR because, they’re a given really.

How about you? What’s your top 5 fantasy/sci fi? Or have you done a post? Link it to me!

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Other posts

I am legend by Richard Matheson book review

Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire book review

The spook’s apprentice by Joseph Delaney book review

The wee free men by Terry Pratchett book review

 

 

 

 

Pokemon X.Y Vol 1, 2 by Hidenori Kusak and Satoshi Yamamoto manga review

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Goodreads / Amazon UK

Volume 1 

Art: Very good and clean. I like the shading used and the boxes aren’t all squished.

I bought these because they’re Pokemon and fully admit, I may not have bought them otherwise. The reason? They are very skinny. 96 pages skinny.

“How are they going to give me a good story when they’re so short?” I asked myself.

Very well is the answer.

I really like the introduction and premise of the set up and I like the group of characters and just the fact that it is a group, rather than one main character is fun. Despite only being 96 pages, it didn’t feel too rushed. (I’d still want more though. #greedy.)

Flame 5 grey

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Goodreads / Amazon UK

Volume 2

Art: Still as lovely as the first volume. The pages feel rough though, but that’s just a me thing.

This book completes setting the scene, who our bad guys are ect. Again, love the group of main characters we have. A really diverse set of characters. So many questions to answer and exciting things to happen.

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I was genuinely surprised by how good these volumes are. Mainly because of how few pages each book is. The story moved very smoothly and I’m looking forward to the next one!

Twitter / Craft blog / Esty / Writing blog


Other posts

Pokemon adventures Vol 1, 2, 3

Naruto Vol 1, 2, 3

Book haul!

Bunny drop Vol 3 & 4 by Yumi Unita manga review

Spoiler free!

Volume 3

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Goodreads / Amazon UK

Art: Still as pretty as ever, perhaps even more pretty. I love the extra shading on certain pages.

The cuteness and awww factor was cranked up a few notches because I found myself grinning like a loon and going aw a lot.

Daikichi Kawachi is growing so much as a character and I love it. A few more minor cast characters are introduced into this one and I love them to pieces. It really makes the story well rounded.

Flame 5 grey

Volume 4

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Goodreads / Amazon UK

Art: Excellent as always. Love the backgrounds.

Daikichi Kawachi why you so adorable?! All these reviews are just going to me babbling how much I love them. I’m so sad there’s only 10 volumes. ;-;

I can’t wait to see what happens next, I feel in the next couple we’re due some major plot shenanigans.

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Hopefully, the next plot event will happen in the next volumes. I loved these two just as they are, but it’s only 6 volumes until the end, so I also want closure on plot aspects.

Twitter / Writing blog / Craft blog / Esty


Other posts

Bunny drop vol 1 & 2 by Yumi Unita manga review

Pokemon adventures volume 1, 2, 3 by Hidenori Kusake and Mato Manga review

Book haul!

Naruto vol 1, 2, 3 by Masashi Kishimoto manga review

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell book review

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Goodreads / Amazon UK

I’m 4% in at the point of writing this and can already tell you I love it. I understand why people love this book so.

How many people identify with Cath? Because I can tell you that I do.

I don’t think I’ve felt myself in the characters shoes before. I don’t tend to connect to characters like that. Perhaps because I don’t generally read these types of books.

But it’s not just how strongly I connect to Cath, I don’t think this book would be so good if not for the writing too. Rainbow Rowell is a beautiful writer. I’ve always been a fan of more simplistic description than overly flowery.

Yes, I would’ve rather the book focus more on how Cath deals with family, college, social anxiety rather than romance. I was disappointed by how much the 2nd half focused on that,but that’s a personal preference. Many people will enjoy it.

This is a rare read for me, but I’m glad I picked it up. It’s one of those books that, when you finish, you feel a little different.

If you don’t usually read this genre, (like me), if you prefer sci fi, post apocalyptic ect, and, also if you’re someone whose social life is online, I still recommend you read this.

Flame 4 grey

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Other posts

The unlikely pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce book review

Silent child by Sarah A. Denzil book review

Bunny drop vol 1 & 2 by Yumi Unita manga review

Year of the Griffin by Diana Wynne Jones book review

Note: This is a spoiler free review!

This is the sequel to, The dark lord of Derkholm. Be sure to check out that review first!

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It is eight years after the tours from offworld have stopped. High Chancellor Querida has retired, leaving Wizard Corkoran in charge of the Wizards’ University. Although Wizard Corkoran’s obsession is to be the first man on the moon, and most of his time is devoted to this project, he decides he will teach the new first years himself in hopes of currying the favor of the new students’ families—for surely they must all come from wealth, important families—and obtaining money for the University (which it so desperately needs). But Wizard Corkoran is dismayed to discover that one of those students—indeed, one he had such high hopes for, Wizard Derk’s own daughter Elda—is a huge golden griffin, and that none of the others has any money at all.

Wizard Corkoran’s money-making scheme backfires, and when Elda and her new friends start working magic on their own, the schemes go wronger still. And when, at length, Elda ropes in her brothers Kit and Blade to send Corkoran to the moon… well… life at the Wizards’ University spins magically and magnificently out of control.

Initial thoughts

The Dark lord of Derkholm was the first Diana Wynne Jones book I read and I think one of the first fully fantasy novels I’d read. By that, I mean, properly set in fantasyland. It being the norm. 

I loved that book and so was super excited to discover a sequel. (Took me long enough to read it though.)

Writing

Diana Wynne Jones seems to have knack for juggle several characters at once. It doesn’t read chaotic or annoying. I really like enjoy it.

She does the occasional head hope, but not too much and, if I’m honest, it has a certain charm. (Rules made to be broken, am I right?)

Plot

The plot is fun and light hearted. No angst. Now I like me some angst, but sometimes it’s nice to read something that’s just good fun.

But there was a whole other plot happening in the background that you never get to see which sucked because it seemed interesting. A few things happened off scene. And some plot elements were wrapped up too quick or not evolved on. I think the book was a bit too quick and short. I would’ve loved more book.

I think you’d get away with reading this without the first, although you’d miss a couple of ‘inside’ things. 

Characters

Many of the characters from the previous novel show up, but only one is a main character. I was really sad about this because I’d loved those characters. 

But I really enjoyed the new characters too. 

Overall thoughts

The main let down is plot for me, but I still considered it to be an excellent, well worth reading novel. If you’re looking for something light and fun, then I recommend this!


Was it worth the read? Yes

Would I re-read? No

Would I read this Author again? Yes

Flames: Flame 4 grey


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The fireman by Joe Hill discussion post

Note: This post has spoilers. If you want a spoiler free review, go here.

This is a little bit of a different post than usual. I felt the need to discuss the book and I may not make much sense because it was spur of the moment kind of thing. Let me know if it’s a post that interests you and I may continue doing this kind of thing as well as the usual spoiler free reviews. 

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It’s been a day since I’ve finished The fireman and I’ve had time to digest it, mull over the book. I still maintain I enjoyed it, BUT, it’s slowly sinking in that I was underwhelmed by the plot itself. Everything seemed to be too shallow, skipping the surface instead of diving deep. (Look at me, getting all poetic.)

So, let’s discuss.


Viewpoint

I felt like we were missing a viewpoint. We had Harper, showing the side of infection. I think we needed Jakob’s too.

There was obviously still some form of government. The radio still worked, so someone must’ve keeping stuff working. (<-Clearly know what I’m talking about.) It would have really interesting to see how their world was, what had changed. And I was interested in Jakob’s character progression too.


Camp Wyndham

Camp Wyndham is where Harper ends up after he husband reveals himself to be the cliche douche that we all knew he was going to end up as. It’s obviously supposed to be an important part of the story. A lot of it takes place there, but…it was pretty forgettable. 

There are supposed to be over 160 (?) people in this camp. And, yes, I understand that you can’t meet every single one of them, but I never got that impression of scale from the descriptions. It felt more like…16 people. 

And I didn’t get to see much of the daily life of the Camp, what people’s day to day life was. The most I saw was that they had lookouts, (rarely mentioned), and they slept in the day and came out at night. VAMPIRES! They even glitter like the modern ones.

(Makes no sense really because you’d have to use torches, fires ect. Wouldn’t that bring MORE attention to you?)


The fireman

The fireman was another supposed to be important, but wasn’t anything special really, kind of things.

I think the only reason I took any notice of him was because the book is named The fireman, which was basically, LOOK, THIS CHARACTER HERE? HE’S IMPORTANT. 

He spends all his time in that little cabin and usually completely delirious because he’s broken the million and one bones in his body.


The lady of flame

After hearing Sarah’s story. I knew immediately what was cracking off. (Everything in this book just seems really unsurprising?) I’m disappointed by the lack of use this plot point got. I mean, she knocked off Jakob at the end with a big thwack of a fiery hatchet, but I felt she had more potential, that she should have been a bigger plot point. 


The flame itself

It turns out that people are able to manipulate the flame. Mainly Nick and The fireman, (I’ve forgot his name! OMG.) I like the reason they learnt this quicker than others, because Nick’s deaf, but it sounded a little far-fetched the way it was described and weaved into the plot. It wasn’t used much either. I feel like it should’ve had consequences. It just seemed too easy.


Dragonscale

The ‘scale sounded super scary at the start, then Harper arrived at the Camp and she pretty much learnt to control it. She called it the social network hormone (AKA the peer pressure hormone.)

It wasn’t scary after that, not even a big deal. It happened. Now we deal with the aftermath. I think it would’ve been cool for it to still be a big deal. (It does sound really pretty. I want a tattoo of those swirls with gold flecks up my arm.)


Cliche

It wasn’t so cliche that I was rolling my eyes, but the progression and the characters themselves fit into their roles nice and snug.A few examples:

Carol: She’s your typical found relgion, but goes cuckoo and twists it a little too much. I was fine with her character, but I think it was underused. The whole Camp Wyndham section was underused.

Allie: The typical rebellious teenager who’s told not to do something so, of course does it. She was really into her Aunt’s religious stuff. I was surprised how quick she turned from it. I think this is because it isn’t really shown beside the whole rock section. I didn’t read her struggle with what was going wrong. 

Harper: I like Harper. She starts off as an almost meek character who has a strength underneath, shown by the way she cares for the people in the hospital at the start. I felt like she dealt with the realization her husband was batty and moving into Camp Wyndham a little too smoothly though. The main thing that gets your eyeballs rolling is, of course, the husband thing. I saw that coming from the start. 

Jakob: The beginning of Jakob was so obvious, but, by the end, he was really creepy and scary. I will never get over Mr. Truffles. #devestated. He just seemed dead inside. I would have LOVED to have seen his progression into that. 

Father Storey: The typical kind man that doesn’t see the crap fest until it’s too late and someone’s bonked him off. (And yeah, it was obvious that it was Michael.)

Bits I loved

All things Renee: Renee may be cliche as they come, the kindly, sort of old, lady, but I loved her to pieces. Cliches are cliches for a reason.

Glibert: I think Gilbert was in it all of ten pages, but his death was one of the worst because POOR RENEE! He seemed like such a sweetheart too.

Captain America and Tony the tiger: Allie and Nick turn up randomly up at Harper’s door, all mysterious like, with pregger vitamins. Amused me highly.

Democracy: The whole, we’re taking the cat with us, which ended with Renee mentioning to Harper, “You know, I don’t think this is my cat.” Oh, Renee, you wonderful woman, you.

The sass: Harper is so sassy! It’s my favourite thing about her.

The potato and the parsnip, (radish?): The most powerful of all medical tools.

J K Rowling’s cameo: We all knew she’d be badass in the apocalypse, this proves it.

Martha Quinn island: Not the island itself, because it was obvious it was a set up. It was the journey to it, where they walked through towns, were given, food medication, kindness. I was almost convinced that the place was real and not a trap, which was impressive because I 100% knew it was a trap. I would’ve bet a ton of money on that.


Disclaimer: These are all my opinions. There may be many you disagree with, that’s cool. In fact, the whole point of this post is to open up a discussion! Leave a comment about your thoughts and opinions. I enjoyed the book, but there was just a few niggles and I felt like talking about them.

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Never let me sleep by Jennifer Brozek book review

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What would you do if you discovered that everyone–in your house, on your street, in your town–was dead? Then you discovered you weren’t alone–and whatever was out there was hunting you?

Melissa Allen, a troubled teen who was under house arrest, is the only person left alive in South Dakota. After discovering the mysterious deaths of her guardians and hearing of the massacre on the news, she realizes that there are monsters out there. They are pretending to be human, and they’ve have begun a door-to-door search–for her.

Melissa is unable to leave the quarantine zone, and has no help except for Homeland Security agent David Hood on the phone. Before the government takes drastic action, she must figure out what killed everyone and stop it from happening again. Or did Melissa herself, in a psychotic fit, murder her guardians–and the rest of the apocalypse is happening only inside her mind?

I had high hopes for this book. The blurb was brilliant and I’d read the prologue and was immediately hooked. I settled in for what I thought was going to be tense, book gripping, fear filled, adrenaline rising, ride. Unfortunately everything went downhill after the prologue.

It’s written in first person which isn’t my favourite viewpoint to read from. I think people mistake it to be easy to write from, but I think it’s the hardest and so easy to get wrong.

The writing itself is well written, but there’s so much unnecessary description, entire rooms are described for no reason and have no bearing on the plot. In fact, there are a lot of things that seem unnecessary to the plot. And what plot there is, which could have been a solid, excellent idea, has things in it that are never resolved or explained. The Author also has the habit of telling us what action the character is about to take and then the character does it.

The entire book seemed pointless. I’m aware that there are sequels and this feels like something that the Author has used to set up for the next books instead of being a great read in its own right. It needed to be longer and to have a more solid plot. It felt flimsy and unbelievable

I was constantly aware that this was a piece of fiction. I couldn’t immerse myself into the book and kept being jolted out of it.

The main Character, I couldn’t get on with and she didn’t read as the age she supposedly was. She also seemed too calm, ironically, and way too competent.

I felt Melissa could have been an excellent character and that her issues could have really made the book. I think that is what the Author was going for, but didn’t quite make it. She was way too nice to her character.

I’m unsure whether or not I’m willing to try the sequel as I mentioned the writing itself is good, but the execution is not. I may try a few chapters in the hopes that it’s an improvement.

Was it worth the read? No

Would I re-read? No

Would I read this Author again? Yes, the writing is good, it’s the execution that’s not quite there.

Stars: 2/6