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

 

 

 

 

The Castoffs 1, 2, 3 by MK Reed, Brian Smith and Molly Ostertag comic review

Issue #1

The Castoffs #1

Goodreads / Comixology UK / Amazon UK

Art: The art is so pretty! I love the colour style, just the style in general! The world looks so interesting and the characters themselves look unique.

The intro to this comic is excellent. I was immediately intrigued. It did very well with introducing characters and the world without making it overwhelming.

I found this volume quite short, perhaps this is because I’ve not read comics before? So this may be a normal length.

It did, however, do its job. As soon as I finished it, I was scrambling to get the next one because it had me hooked.

Flame 5 grey


Issue 2

The Castoffs #2

Comixology UK / Amazon UK

Art: Still loving the colour pallet, lots of warm oranges and yellows that suit it  very well.

The comic’s moving smoothly. A little disappointed by how quickly the cliffhanger from the previous comic was resolved, but I love what happened. (Haha, is the vagueness killing you?!)

I feel as if it ended too soon again. I finish it within 20 minutes easy. This may be normal for comics. I am used to mangas which are longer and, of course, novels.

Flame 4 grey


Issue 3

The Castoffs #3

Comixology UK / Amazon UK

Art: I really love how uncluttered the art boxes are. The artist knows what they’re doing. I’m never confused as to which box is next, (and believe me, this has happened to me a lot.)

I like the characters so far and plot line is interesting, this particular arc is very recognizable, but still fun in this world. I feel like the climax of this part will come to head in the next volume.

Flame 4 grey


Right now, there only seems to be 3 issues available, but I will be continuing this comic once there’s more. (Hopefully there’s more because the last issue released December 2016.)

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell book review

E-book haul!

Bunny drop vol 1 & 2 by Yumi Unita manga review

The girl with all the gifts by M. R. Carey book review

Note: This is a spoiler free review!

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I need to learn how to take better pictures. -_-

Initial thoughts

This blurb immediately had my attention. Short, sweet and hooked. Along with the fact, that the bookish community loved this book!

Writing

The beginning of the book was crammed with telling me stuff, I remember thinking, “I hope it isn’t like this all the time.”

Thankfully, it wasn’t. The book got into its rhythm and showed instead of told me. I liked the switches of POV between the main characters. Although, I’d preferred more in Melanie’s POV because I believed her to be the MAIN character.

The sciencey bits went over my head and some of the words choices were unnecessarily complicated.

Plot

This book is labelled as a thriller all over the book, but it didn’t read that way to me. It’s a familiar post-apocalyptic plot, told differently. I kind of wanted it to delve further into what was presented at the beginning and tension from the beginning dwindled away by the middle. 

This is most definitely a stand alone, it’s all wrapped up by the end, and it seems unlikely of a sequel, but there are a few plot threads I wanted to learn more about. The ending was excellent though.

Characters

The characters are the best thing about the novel. They are incredibly well-rounded. A few started almost like ‘cliche’ characters, but were revealed not to be. (Their story arcs were predictable though.)

By far, my favourite character was Parks. 

Overall thoughts

*Sigh* Me and Standalone’s have a love/hate relationship. I wanted MOAR. But, I find standalone’s always tell a story in a unique way with a message that always has me quiet and thinking when I finished it. 

I was disappointed that a few things were never addressed or used after being introduced, but I enjoyed the plot, the ending and the characters.


Was it worth the read? Yes

Would I re-read? Yes

Would I read this Author again? Yes

Flames: Flame 4 grey


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Weekly update

What I read last week

Mudman by James A. Hunter

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By far my favourite thing about this book is the main character, Levi. Has to be one of my favourite character’s of the year. 4/6


Usually, I read at least two books a week, but, wow, I’ve had a slumpy week. I’ve not wanted to read anything. I think it’s going around. Many of my bookish friends online seem to be in slump mode! :/

So, things I do to get out of a slump:

(There are many ways to get out of a slump, but here’s a few that work for me.)

  • Go for a walk/ exercise.

Sometime being cooped up without moving makes me feel crappy. A short walk in the fresh air does wonders and I come back motivated, whether that’s to read or other stuff!

  • Re-read an old favourite/ An ‘easy’ read

Some books are knife wielding serial killers who stab you right in the feels. When I’m in a slump, this is not generally the kind of book I want to read. I want something that uses simple language and tells a light tale. Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett are those kind of author’s for me. Fun, fantasy tales. (Although, TP can lay on the angst. ;-;)

Manga’s/graphic novels are great for this too!

  • Push through it

Sometimes, if I know that the reason I’m not enjoying a book is because of a slump and not because it sucks, I push through it. Many times, I eventually settle into the story and it can pull me out of the slump.

  • Do something else creative

Sometimes I feel the need to be creative myself rather than burying myself in someone else’s wonderful creativity. 

  • Go on twitter and see how excited other bookish peeps are

Excitement is contagious. Often I discover books through people talking about them, (or talking about books I want to read.) It makes me want to read and fangirl about them!

  • Buy a new precious!

Not exactly cost effective, but occasionally just buying a new book that’s caught my eye, which I immediately begin reading and devouring is a great cure for a slump! You can always go bargain hunting in charity shops for books too! 

Hope these help for anyone in a slump. If you do something else when in a slump then let me know! 


What I’m reading this week

I have started, and would like to finish these two books: 

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A sci fi, dystopian novella. A discovered this by reading this book review. It’s also christian fiction, something I’ve not delved into before, so it’ll be interesting to see a dystopian twist on that.

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A middle-grade, fantasy, horror WHICH HAS A WESTIE IN IT! *Ahem* I’ve read the first chapter or two and I’m hooked so far. (Also that book cover is gorgeous!!)

I also plan to read:

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That’s Charming is a whimsical fantasy/adventure novel with sprinklings of humour for a middle grade audience which was shortlisted for the 2012 Guardian/Hot Key Books Young Writers Prize.

This is written by fellow blogger, Heather Lawson. You can find more about the book at its own blog here(you can read the first chapter free here!)and here. (Super gorgeous art on there. Check it out.)

So far, I’ve read the first two chapters and cannot wait to get my hands on the rest! Those two chapters, have helped immensely to end my book slump. 


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Weekly update

Seriously, what’s up with the weather?! Today may be the first dry day of the last two weeks!

I’m having to do this post on my iPad because my laptop charger died on me. Let’s see how we do!

What I read last week

Library of souls by Ransom Riggs 

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So, I finally finished this trilogy. I thought it was a solid series, but this last book was a little underwhelming. I think the climax came too soon. It may have needed another book before ending. 3/5 

Lock in by John Scalzi

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This is one of those easy read were you can relax and enjoy it without having to think too much. 4/5


What I’m reading this week

Swallows and amazons by Arthur Ransome

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I grew up watching the film and this is a very important book from my Dad’s childhood. He actually went and visited the place where it was set.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

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I’d seen the film a long, long, looong time ago. And, after reading The fireman by Joe Hill, it reminded me of this book as Joe Hill mentions it. (I think.) It’s also part of the sf masterworks challenge I set for myself. (Again, I think.)


 

So, what have you been reading? And what do you plan to read this week?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lock in by John Scalzi book review

Note: This review is spoiler free!

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Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent – and nearly five million souls in the United States alone – the disease causes “Lock In”: Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

A quarter of a century later, in a world shaped by what’s now known as “Haden’s syndrome,” rookie FBI agent Chris Shane is paired with veteran agent Leslie Vann. The two of them are assigned what appears to be a Haden-related murder at the Watergate Hotel, with a suspect who is an “integrator” – someone who can let the locked in borrow their bodies for a time. If the Integrator was carrying a Haden client, then naming the suspect for the murder becomes that much more complicated.

But “complicated” doesn’t begin to describe it. As Shane and Vann began to unravel the threads of the murder, it becomes clear that the real mystery – and the real crime – is bigger than anyone could have imagined. The world of the locked in is changing, and with the change comes opportunities that the ambitious will seize at any cost. The investigation that began as a murder case takes Shane and Vann from the halls of corporate power to the virtual spaces of the locked in, and to the very heart of an emerging, surprising new human culture. It’s nothing you could have expected.

Initial thoughts

I had previously read a stand alone Redshirts by John Scalzi and, while I was disappointed by it, I liked the writing style and where he had been going with it. In the end, I kept an eye out for other books by him.

I spotted this at the library, (as I’m sure most of you know), and the blurb is SUPER interesting.

Writing

I really like the simplistic style of John Scalzi’s writing. I’m a simple kinda gal! (Although, I do like the occasional foray into more ‘complicated’ books). It’s written in first person and Scalzi does a good job of making sure that doesn’t feel too restrictive.

Plot

The world that the story is set in is it’s most fascinating aspect. It didn’t feel used to its full potential. The mystery I felt was solved a bit too conveniently and I didn’t feel the cost of not solving it. They were there, but I just didn’t feel it.

Characters

There is a diverse array of characters in this novel. They were all enjoyable even though we didn’t really get to know them. One of the most interesting to me was the main character’s Dad. He was cliche, but not cliche. 

And speaking of cliche, the main character’s partner only got away from being the most cliche character because she’s likeable. 

Overall thoughts

An interesting world with a lackluster representation of it and plot. It was entertaining enough and I liked the ride enough that I’ll be keeping an eye out for the next book. (Expected publication 2017!)

It’s one of those easy reads that you can relax into.

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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Four books I’ve recently DNF’d and why

It’s a rare thing for me to DNF a book, not because I feel bad about not finishing it, but because, even if I’m not enjoying it, I think, what if the ending is soooo good and worth it?! And I miss out?!

So, let’s start!

Zom-B by Darren Shan

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I listened to the audio of this. (Although, I did read a few pages too because I wanted to compare as it was my first time listening to an audio book.) I got 10 chapters in and decided that I couldn’t take anymore. Here are my reasons.

 x  I really couldn’t stand the main character. Yes, I got why he acted the way he did. He’s actually a very realistic character, but, ugh, I couldn’t put up with him for one book, let alone, from what I’ve read, a very long series. He was the main reason that I went, NOPE!

x I picked this up because I love me some zombies. There was prologue, but that was it for the next 10 chapters. This book, up to that point, focused on racism. It was awful. I couldn’t deal with the character behaviours in this and, as I said, picked it up for a zombie story.

I have read that, while this book isn’t too good, (I.E. Too much setting up for the rest of the series), that the next books are good. Leaves me torn. :/


The deep by John Crowley

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This is part of the SF masterworks list so I’m not 100% DNFing it, just putting it aside for a long, long…long time. I got about 40 odd pages into this 170 odd page book. And I never figured out who was who or what the heck was going on. Just thrown in to the deep end, unable to swim and no armbands.


The sandman by Lars Kepler

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It’s actually is and isn’t this books fault that I DNF’d it. Crime readers who love books that build up the tension will most likely LOVE this. I, however, have learnt that I am a scaredy cat. The suspense was too much for me and it read so real, that it scared the heck out of me. So, yah, really it was my fault.


Reckoning by Kerry Wilkinson

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I got to around 30 pages in this book and I’m pretty sure it’s over 300 pages and it managed to get me to roll my eyes so many times in so few pages. The main character was irritating as well, the love interest and the plot were obvious and cliche.

It’s YA dystopian which I like, but this seemed so much like a mash up of Divergent and The hunger games. I read the first of those book series and wasn’t particularly enthused so something that was heavily inspired by them was not something I was willing to give a try. So, those who like those books may like this.


Any books you’ve recently DNF’d? Or have you read and enjoyed any of these books?

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Book reviews

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Weekly update

Ugh. I’m ill. -_- Not majorly though. A cold that’s now gone and been replaced with a sore throat and cough that I started taking medicine waaay before it revealed itself because I knew it was. Lurking. What a douche. 

ANYWAY!

What I read last week

Do not disturb by A. R. Torre

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Was not a fan. It took so long to get to the ‘action/conflict’, if you can call it that. It reads like a fan service to the main character. 2/6

Life, the universe and everything by Douglas Adams

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Third in the series. I enjoyed it. It was zany. Plot was there, but not that important, more like fun times and puns. 4/6


I also started two other books this week and then proceeded to DNF them. Jeez, I’ve had a sucky reading week!

I’m going to do a post on some of the books, including these two, that I’ve recently DNF’d and why I chose to do so.


What I’m reading this week

I still have Fool moon by Jim Butcher and Lock in by John Scalzi on loan from the library so I’ll be reading them. Although, at the minute, I’m reading Castle in the air by Diana Wynne Jones.

I also plan to read the resident evil novels, both the S. D. Perry books and the movie novelizations. Not sure which I’ll read first. If anyone wants to readalong with me, I’ll tweet out a few days in advance when I’m starting. Most likely July area. 

I also reeeeeaaaaallly want to read The hollow city  by Ransom Riggs, like, now, but I have a lot of books already on my shelves that I suppose I ought to read first… -_-

I considered doing something a little more structured, but, I didn’t know if there’d be much interested in it. Maybe, if there is, I may. Lemme know if you are interested!

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P.S. Don’t forget to check out my other blog where I, along with my two co-bloggers, bring you upcoming book releases! If you know of one, or have one coming out, then let us know!

 

The life, the universe and everything by Douglas Adams book review

Note: This is a spoiler free review!

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The unhappy inhabitants of planet Krikkit are sick of looking at the night sky above their heads–so they plan to destroy it. The universe, that is. Now only five individuals stand between the killer robots of Krikkit and their goal of total annihilation.

They are Arthur Dent, a mild-mannered space and time traveler who tries to learn how to fly by throwing himself at the ground and missing; Ford Prefect, his best friend, who decides to go insane to see if he likes it; Slartibartfast, the indomitable vice president of the Campaign for Real Time, who travels in a ship powered by irrational behavior; Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed, three-armed ex-president of the galazy; and Trillian, the sexy space cadet who is torn between a persistent Thunder God and a very depressed Beeblebrox.

Initial thoughts

This is the third book in a trilogy of five, (Although, there’s another by Eoin Colfer). I read the first and enjoyed it, didn’t enjoy the second.

I always planned to read the entire series. It’s kind of like those books that needed to be read. Still, I was wary about whether it was going to be like the second. 

Writing

No one can deny that Douglas Adams is an excellent writer,( or maybe you can and will), there is a reason why he’s so popular, so well known. I love the style of description. He uses unusual describing words. Seriously, where does he come up with them?

Plot

Honestly? There’s plot, but…it’s so zany. I  would’ve like a little more plot, but this book is more humour than plot. It’s creative and fun. I enjoyed it. It succeeded where the second failed.

While reading this, you spend most of your time reading it in the same state of mind as Arthur Dent.

Characters

I love Arthur and Marvin. Those are my two favourite characters. (I read Marvin’s in Alan Rickman’s voice.) All the character’s are brilliant. Their personalities shine through, but there’s not much development in this book. They just sail along for the ride. 

Overall thoughts

I’m not sure where this book series is going. They seem to jump from one adventure to another without a main goal their working toward/against. Still, I’m enjoying it. They’re all quick read. To me, Douglas Adams is the sci fi version of Terry Pratchett. (I do prefer TP’s books though. More plot.)

Was it worth the read? Yes

Would I re-read? Yes

Would I read this author again? Yes

Flames: Flame 4 grey


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Weekly update

First off, Happy Father’s day to all the amazing father’s, (and father figures), out there! Keep on being awesome. 

OK, now onto the update!


What I read last week

The fireman by Joe Hill

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I think I’ve mentioned before how much of a chunker this book is. I read it for #tometopple. It’s good writing, I enjoyed it, but was also disappointed by it. In fact, along with the usual spoiler free review, I wrote a discussion post. (Warning: Spoilers.) I gave the book 4/6.

Redshirts by John Scalzi

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Another book that I enjoyed, but was also disappointed by. It had a Star trek humorous take, and I like Star trek and also like humorous tones too. I’d heard good things and had been excited to read it. Expectations was given a slimy fish slap by reality. 3/6

I’ve also read Do not disturb by A. R. Torre, and Life, the universe and everything by Douglas Adams. They’ll be reviewed this week on Wednesday and Saturday.

Wow, read a lot this week! (I am two away from having read 50 of my 100 goodreads goal!) Whoot! What have you read? 


What I’m reading this week

Fool moon, Lock in, and The deep are library books so they get priority. The deep and Earth abides are part of the SF Masterworks list which I’ve set a goal to read all of them. Whether I get all these read remains to be seen. I’m most looking forward to reading Lock in. 

It looks as if I’m in a apocalyptic/Dystopian reading mood. (Besides Fool moon which is urban fantasy).

Anyone else currently in a specific genre kind of reading mood?


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