A Darker Shade of Magic Re-read: Part II

A Darker Shade of Magic Reread Header

Welcome to my re-read of A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. This is the second part of my weekly re-read posts. If you have read ADSOM, come re-read and discuss it with me. If you never read it, I highly recommend it especially if you like fantasy books, sarcastic protagonists, kick-ass heroine, and fabulous coat. Even though it’s a re-read, I will do my best to avoid spoiling future chapters in the post itself, which is quite easy because most of the time, I didn’t remember what happened. So even though this is the first time you read ADSOM, you could follow along. However, please note that although the post itself is spoiler-free from future chapters, the comments section are spoiler zone, where you can talk about anything including the plot twist and the book conclusion. Without further ado, let’s sail through A Darker Shade of Magic. All aboard!

This week I covered Part II Red Royal, which consists of three sub-parts (I refer to them as Chapters).

Summary:

In Red Royal, V.E. Schwab introduced us to the Red London, the guards, and the royal family. In the first chapter, Holland, the other antari took time to visit Rhy, the throne heir, and gave him a birthday present from his king and queen. Holland used his magic to send away Rhy’s guard, Gen, and to erase the memory of the other guard, Parrish. When Rhy questioned Holland what’s the gift for, he simply answered, “For strength.”

On Chapter II, Kell was back in his London and took his time trying to blend in with the crowd near the palace river, to enjoy his time before going back to the palace. This proved to be unsuccesful when a kid accidentally recognized him. He hastily went back to the palace.

On Chapter III, Kell joined the royal family, the King Maxim, Queen Emira, and Prince Rhy on their late night tea time. They were discussing Rhy’s birthday celebration that will happen soon and Rhy tried to get Kell to support him. Rhy told Kell about Holland’s visit, which was off schedule. Then, Rhy tried to make Kell confess on what he smuggled into Red London this time, but no dice. After Rhy left him, Kell traveled to his secret room, in a tavern called Is Kir Ayes—The Ruby Fields—where he stored his treasures.

My Rambling

Part II felt somewhat too short for me, but it’s an interesting one for sure. Here, we met the royal family of Red London for the first time. In Part I, we learned that Kell was really fond of the prince, Rhy, and here, I think I begin to understand why. Prince Rhy was said to be spoiled, but also good-natured and kind to his guards. He is funny and he thinks of Kell as his brother, not just as a person who serves the crown. The relationship between Kell and the king and queen, however, seems to be much more complicated. We saw that the queen tried to become a mother for Kell, but he somehow didn’t feel like a member of the family. It seems that there’s trouble in paradise after all. We also saw how Kell tried to make the most of his free time before he was forced to come back to the palace. It’s clear that he was reluctant to go back.

Another interesting thing is that Rhy knew about Kell’s favorite pastime. He asked Kell to stop doing it or he will take actions, but it’s obvious that the two boys care for each other. It’s always nice to find a good bromance or any kind of relationship between siblings in book or film (hence, why I love The Demon’s Lexicon so much …wrong book) so it’s good to see that these two are very close despite Kell not quite felt at home in the palace. He is after all an antari, who was brought to the palace when he was five with a scar on his arm bearing the remnants of his lost memory. We found that all those questions we had in Part I will likely to remain unanswered, at least for now, because Kell himself has no idea who he was before he became the antari.

And that brings us to Holland. The other antari. He brought a gift to Rhy from his masters. It was not clearly mentioned who his masters are, but considering there were only three Londons at that time, I suspect Holland’s masters are the rulers of White London. Holland delivered a gift to Rhy after he managed to convince him that the gift was obtained from Red London (he didn’t smuggle it unlike … you know). I found his visit to be highly suspicious. Let’s see. Not only he’s off schedule by almost a week, he came in silence and used his magic to send away Rhy’s guard and made the other one forgot his visit. I could be wrong, but people without ulterior motive usually doesn’t try to sneak in AND hypnotize PLUS erasing another person’s memory. Holland also brought Rhy a gift, for strength. Why on earth would Rhy need a gift to become strong? From the text, Rhy is supposedly strong enough physically, so I’m guessing he was talking about magical strength. Rhy told Kell about Holland’s visit, but it was not mentioned that Rhy told Kell about the gift. What do you guys think? Did he tell him or not?

Part II ended with Kell leaving the palace to go to his secret hiding place, a small room in a tavern named The Ruby Fields. Here, he contemplated his origin, just like we did in the first chapter. We found out that his name, Kell, came from the initials bore in the knife. K.L. became Kay-ell, then Kal-El (sorry, I cannot resist), then Kell. The chapter ended with Kell turning the crank of his new music box and drifted off to sleep.

Which is fine. Because it’s time we visit the second protagonist, the badass, Lila Bard.

Favorite Scenes

  • The awkward tea time with the royal family.
    It’s just so fun to see Rhy trying to get his wish and to see Kell interacts with them.
  • My second favorite scene is quite a heavy one. It was the flashback scene with Rhy ended up punching Kell after Kell said that he felt more like a possession than a prince.
    You can feel how much Rhy cares about Kell (that he showed by punching him… it was an expresion of love, of course)

Favorite Quote

“It’s called a birthday. Not a birthdays and certainly not a birthweek.”


That’s it for this week.
Next week, I’ll continue with the third part, Grey Thief. Until next time!


INDEX

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV


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The Pastry Book Tag

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I was tagged by Trisha @ The Bookgasm to do The Pastry Book Tag which of course led me straight to browsing pastry pictures. Yummy!

Let’s get to it.

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CROISSANT: Name a popular book or series that everyone (including you) loves

Percy Jackson and The Olympians by Rick Riordan.
The default answer is Harry Potter, but if I’m being honest, I love PJO series no less than I love HP. People keep telling Riordan to stop already, but if he decides to write another 100 books set in PJO world, I would devour all of them.


Macarons: Name a book that was hard to get through but worth it in the end

The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2) by Brandon Sanderson.
I took my sweet time reading The Well of Ascension. Nearly every time Vin paused, I wanted to pause. Don’t let me deter you from reading it. It is a good book, just so painfully slow, at least in the beginning. Once the pace has picked up, chaos ensued and I couldn’t stop reading it.

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VOL-AU-VENT: Name a book that you thought will be amazing but fell flat

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard.
I had high hopes, but within the first few chapters I just knew it wasn’t working for me. The latter part of the book is better than the first half and almost redeem it, but not quite.


PAIN-AU-CHOCOLAT: Name a book that you though would be one thing but turned out to be something else

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell.
I thought Carry On is a fantasy book, and in a way it is. But it’s not a fantasy book per se. It’s a romance book set in fantasy world. There’s enough world-building, but the emphasis of Carry On was not in the magic world itself, it is on the relationship between people. You can read my review here.

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PROFITEROLE: Name a book or series that doesn’t get enough attention

Unwind by Neal Shusterman.
I know it’s a bestselling novel, but I still think the book didn’t get enough recognition for what it’s trying to achieve. This is a Public Service Announcement to ask everyone in the world to read Unwind.


CROQUEMBOUCHE: Name a book or series that’s completely complex.

The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.
I was going to put The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson, but since I talked about that book too much already, I’m choosing The Name of The Wind. The Name of The Wind is the first book of The Kingkiller Chronicle and it tells a story of Kvothe, from his childhood, his time in the university, and his many adventures. I’m going to post a complete review some time in the future, but for now let’s just say that the magic system in this book made my head hurts.

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NAPOLEON: Name a movie or TV show based off a book that you liked better than the book itself.

Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
Don’t get me wrong. I LIKE the book a lot. The movie, though, I LOVE. With ALL CAPS. Since Chbosky also directed the movie, so I hope he doesn’t mind. I don’t know what it is about the movie version, but I’m guessing it’s Ezra Miller with a sprinkle of Logan Lerman and Emma Watson.


EMPANADA: Name a book that was bittersweet

Micro by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston.
Crichton received a lot of criticism throughout his career, but I am a big fan of his writing. The fact that he always conduct thorough research for his book, no matter how implausible his theory turns out to be scientifically, appealed to me. Micro is his last book and he didn’t even get to finish it (it was completed by Preston). I put off reading it for as long as I could because I was scared it would not be as good as his previous books and because it was the last ever Crichton book I am going to get. Fortunately, Richard Preston did a great job finishing Crichton’s last legacy. The last Michael Crichton’s book was satisfying, but bittersweet indeed.

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KOLOMPEH: Name a book or series that takes place somewhere other than your own country

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith.
I could pick almost any book, but I decided to go with Cormoran Strike novel by Robert Galbraith, specifically The Cuckoo’s Calling. It took place in London, and although there are many books set in London, there’s something remarkably British about this book. After all, it’s a detective story about the death of a supermodel, so culture, environment, and people play big role in the book.


PATE-A-CHOUX: Name a food from a book or series that you would like to try

I grew up reading The Famous Five series, and these kids eat a lot! They ate tons of buttered bread that made me hungry all the time. Also lemonade. And bacon.

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Spread The Love (of Food)

I tag these lovely bloggers:

Grace @ Quirky and Peculiar
Ashleigh @ A Frolic Through Fiction
Jacqueline @ bluejaybooks
Dee @ Under The Midnight Sky

P.S. It’s okay if you don’t want to do it. It’s no big deal. 😀


That’s it for today!
I’ll be honest. I spent more time looking at pictures than actually typing this post. I hope you enjoy it!

Credit: Images Source for Vector Pastry and Sweets Illustration Designed by Freepik

Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

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Book Title: Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon

Everything, Everything is a creative and ambitious project from debut author, Nicola Yoon, to give us a glimpse into the life of a girl with SCID and her coming-of-age love story with the boy next-door.

Does it live up to all the hype it received? Let’s discuss.

Summary

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Review

Everything, Everything tells the story of 18-years-old Madeline Whittier (Maddy) who never left her house due to severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). She practically lived in a sterilized house with air lock and only have ever seen her mom and her nurse, Carla, on daily basis, besides the rare visits of her teachers. She likes reading, has tons of books, and has her internet friends, which doesn’t sound so bad until you realize that she could not sneak out from her house, meet up with her friends, or even go to the grocery store. Everything was going okay-ish for Maddy until a family moved next to her house and her new neighbors disrupt her daily life, especially the boy next-door named Olly.

For the sake of discussing my opinion about Everything, Everything, I will divide this book into three parts.

The first part of the book was the best part. It was hilarious, creative, sincere, and you could totally see why Maddy fell head over heels over Olly. The episode with the Bundt cake is so funny and cute, it’ll make you feel ALL THE FEELS. As the relationship grew, Maddy no longer felt content with her life as it is. She wanted Everything. This proved to be the turning point of the book.

The second part reads like your regular teenage romance. It is adorable and I have to give props to Nicola Yoon, she sure knows how to make you swoon (pun only partly intended, and yes I know it’s an awful pun). I have some problems with the second part, and I became a little disconnected with the characters, but it could still be remedied by some sarcastic jokes.

Then, the twist happened.

That brought us to the third part.
How I wish she didn’t choose it as her plot twist. I am sure not everyone would feel the way I do about this twist, but I feel like she’s taking the easy way out. The ending was also a little rushed, it’s almost like she ran out of pages and needed to wrap things NOW. The good thing that came out of it is Nicola Yoon left it as kind of open-ended.

There are many things worth praising about Nicola Yoon’s debut novel. It incorporates beautiful illustration, IM and email conversations, even project reports that are often hilarious as well as heartbreaking. Her protagonist is a mixed race girl, but the book itself never made such a big deal about it, which I love. Yoon also succesfully describe two persons falling for each other through written emails and IMs, which is not an easy feat. She is a very creative author, for sure.

Nobody is more disappointed than me that I do not love Everything, Everything as much as I want to. It has all the ingredients to make it great and it was on the course to become amazing up until that twist and ending.

Verdict

Overall, Everything, Everything is a cute story about a girl growing up and falling in love. It’s creative and beautiful and it will make you laugh. When I think about it, the love interest doesn’t matter much in this book. In a way, gorgeous, hilarious Olly was the perfect manic pixie dream boy. He forced Maddy to change the way she’s been living, to act, to do things in the name of love. So yes, Everything, Everything is a love story. It could be so much more if only the author didn’t choose to twist the story the way it was, but, alas, it’s happened. Everything, Everything is still very enjoyable and surprisingly a light reading despite its heavyweight theme. As far as debut novels go, this one is heading in the right direction. I will definitely keep an eye out for Nicola Yoon’s next book.

Final Score

3st
3 stars out of 5 stars


Have you read Everything, Everything? What do you think about the book? Or perhaps it is on your TBR? Let me know what you think below and let’s discuss!

News Round-up #2

book news round-up
Hey guys! I’m back with another news round-up post.
I wasn’t actually planning to make this a weekly thing, but there are some book-related news that excites me and I just need to share it to the world.

A Gathering of Shadows News

I know, you’re probably tired of me freaking out every single time V.E. Schwab announced A Gathering of Shadows news, but… YOU GUYS THIS IS REAL:

Of course, being the person with no self-control that I am, I went straight to Net Galley and downloaded it (it was auto-approved). And, to avoid posting spoiler here, I will just tell you that it was not what I expected, but I’m very much on board with where the story is heading.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them First Look

I am still in awe that we’re about to get another movie from the Harry Potter world. And that Eddie Redmayne will be Newt Scamander. Anyway, EW has the first look of the film, and it looks beautiful and amazing and I just want to cry. You can see the pictures here. Speaking of pictures, Pottermore revealed the official logo for the movie here and it gives me shivers because it reminds me so much of the HP movies.

Goodreads Choice Awards

Last, but not least, voting for the Goodreads Choice Awards has begun. Make sure to go to the voting page to support your favorite books. Opening round is until November 8. Semifinal on Nov 10 – 15 and Final Round on Nov 17 – 23.


Right, that’s it for this week. I’ll keep you posted whether you want it or not. 😉
Tomorrow, I’ll (hopefully) be back with a review.

A Darker Shade of Magic Re-read: Part I

A Darker Shade of Magic Reread Header

Welcome to my re-read of A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. This is the first part of my weekly re-read posts. If you have read ADSOM, come re-read and discuss it with me. If you never read it, I highly recommend it especially if you like fantasy books, sarcastic protagonists, kick-ass heroine, and fabulous coat. Even though it’s a re-read, I will do my best to avoid spoiling future chapters in the post itself, which is quite easy because most of the time, I didn’t remember what happened. So even though this is the first time you read ADSOM, you could follow along. However, please note that although the post itself is spoiler-free from future chapters, the comments section are spoiler zone, where you can talk about anything including the plot twist and the book conclusion. Without further ado, let’s sail through A Darker Shade of Magic. All aboard!

This week I covered Part I The Traveler, which consists of three sub-parts (I refer to them as Chapters).

By the way, if you’re still on the fence whether you should buy A Darker Shade of Magic or not (well, you should), you can read the first two chapters for free here. Please do note that Part I has three chapters, instead of two.

Summary

The first part of ADSOM introduced us to Kell, a blood magician, or antari. As an antari, he is one of two people who can travel between worlds, the magic wealthy Red London, the magic hungry White London, and our Grey London. I imagined them as parallel universes. In the past, there was a fourth London, named Black London. Something terrible happened to Black London and now it’s no more than a fairy tale to scare your children. Kell himself is from Red London and acts as a messenger for the royal family in Red London.

In the first part, Kell paid a visit to our world, …well our world in 1819. First, he went to pay his courtesy to the current King of England, George III, then he went to see the Prince Regent, who will be known as George IV, and lastly he went to a tavern called The Stone Throw. In this tavern, we found out that besides being a messenger, Kell also has a more dangerous hobby, he smuggles things between worlds. He barters items to get tokens from the other worlds. At the end of Part I, he used his blood and a token to get home to his Red London.

My Rambling

I cannot remember when was the last time I fell in love with a book or a character this fast. It was basically love at the first sight. And now I’m falling in love all over again.

The book is written from third person POV. Schwab certainly knows how to pique people’s interest. She doesn’t do boring introduction, but jumps straight to magic (and coat!) She also did a very good job on introducing us to one of the main characters, Kell. Indeed, there are some scenes that are truly enjoyable such as when he made up the content of the letter supposedly written by his queen and flattered himself in the process. The knife, though, was a curious thing especially since it bore two letters, K L. What is K L? Is it his initial? What does the L stand for? AHH, so many questions already.

What really interests me about Chapter I was how Schwab smoothly blended fantasy with real history in the form of King George III. I’ve only known King George III for two things: a) he went mad (and blind apparently) b) he lost America. (Please don’t kill me. I’m neither British nor American and my main references were the musical Hamilton and Wikipedia).

I appreciate ADSOM for portraying him from another angle, as a king imprisoned in his own castle. In A Darker Shade of Magic, the king has gone mad and was in his final years (it was 1819 and he died-according to wikipedia-in January 1820). In the book, George III was described as magic-thirsty, but not in a murderous way. At the end of Chapter I, Kell left Windsor palace to meet the Prince Regent.

In Chapter II, Kell went to St. James to deliver a correspondence from his queen to the Prince Regent, whom I immediately dislike. Here, Schwab took her time to teach us history (if it’s history in a fantasy world, would it still be called history?) about Black London. We also get to understand a little more about Kell. Apparently, he has one blue eye and one black eye, which he usually cover with his hair. (and I was like, “THE HAIR SERVES A PURPOSE BESIDES MAKING PEOPLE SWOON”) The Prince Regent initially asked him to stay for dinner date, but finally let him and his black eye go after being subtly threatened by Kell.

So, this Kell, he likes to collect tokens from the worlds he visits. That’s basically like us buying souvenirs to take home during our trip, just slightly more dangerous because he basically commits treason by doing that.
Kell, darling, you could face prison! (I suppose he could just use his magic to get out from our jail, but hey)

In Chapter III, he barters a child’s game from his world with a music box with a Collector. (Okay, so he’s also a bit sentimental. And smells like flowers. Have I mentioned he smells like flowers?) He also met a guy named Ned that he identified as an Enthusiast. So, what did Kell do? Why, flexed his magic of course. The Enthusiast left empty-handed at the end of their conversation. However, why do I have a feeling that his encounter with the Enthusiast is going to bring trouble for him? Also, he is a blood magician, and apparently there are only two of them left. What happened to the antari? Who are Kell’s parents? Who is Kell and how did he inherit such a powerful magic? Why does he smell like flowers? Who is Rhy? What actually happened to Black London?

No matter. He’s off to Red London now, where hopefully we’ll get some answers.

Favorite Scene

He occupied himself by drumming his fingers on the edge of the gilded table. Each time he made it from pinky to forefinger, one of the room’s many candles went out. “Must be a draft,” he said absently

Favorite Quotes

“Check the park.”

“Prince Rhy, on the other hand, continues to impress and infuriate in equal measure, but has at least gone the month without breaking his neck or taking an unsuitable bride. Thanks be to Kell alone for keeping him from doing either, or both.”


That’s it for this week.
Next week, I’ll continue with the second part, Red Royal. Until next time!


INDEX

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV


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Review: The Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

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Book title: The Lair of Dreams (The Diviners #2)
Author: Libba Bray

Happy Halloween to everyone who celebrates it. It’s the perfect time to read some spooky books, don’t you think? In the spirit of Halloween, I’ve decided to edit and post a review that’s been on my draft for almost a month. I really enjoy The Lair of Dreams, but it is one of those books that’s difficult to review without spoiling the story. I try my best not to spoil anything of importance.
Note: this review contains spoiler from the 1st book, The Diviners.

Official summary

After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O’Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. With her uncanny ability to read people’s secrets, she’s become a media darling, earning the title “America’s Sweetheart Seer.” Everyone’s in love with the city’s newest It Girl…everyone except the other Diviners.

Piano-playing Henry DuBois and Chinatown resident Ling Chan are two Diviners struggling to keep their powers a secret—for they can walk in dreams. And while Evie is living the high life, victims of a mysterious sleeping sickness are turning up across New York City.

As Henry searches for a lost love and Ling strives to succeed in a world that shuns her, a malevolent force infects their dreams. And at the edges of it all lurks a man in a stovepipe hat who has plans that extend farther than anyone can guess…As the sickness spreads, can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld to save the city?

In this heart-stopping sequel to The Diviners, Printz Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Libba Bray takes readers deeper into the mystical underbelly of New York City.

Review

The Lair of Dreams is the second book in The Diviners series. I remembered enjoying the first book when I saw The Lair of Dreams in the google play books store so I decided to buy it.

I have to admit, I didn’t have high hopes for this book seeing that: a) it’s a sequel and I have been let down by sequels many times and b) although I enjoy the first one, it didn’t really stay with me. I have forgotten nearly all the characters when I started reading this one. I am glad to tell you that I was wrong for underestimating it. The Lair of Dreams is more than a worthy sequel, just as creepy as the first one but complemented by some new characters (well okay, just one, but still…) that bring new flavors to the series.

We have met Henry in The Diviners, but here his story took more central role. We get to know Henry the easy-charmer, Henry the dreamer, and I just wish he could be my best friend. Then, we met Ling Chan, a clever Chinatown girl who loves science. I cannot describe her enough, but she’s really wonderful. Evie is the third protagonist. She is still her old self, just more extravagant and fabulous.

The story centers about a sleeping sickness that hits the Chinatown then began spreading. People will fall asleep and cannot woke up. Meanwhile, diviners become the next big thing in New York. Evie is becoming a celebrity in her own right, all the while dodging a maybe-maybe-not-love triangle. There’s considerably less Jericho, but more Sam Lloyd in this book and his story is an intriguing one. So there are many many stories told in The Lair of Dreams, but it somehow works. The thing about Libba Bray’s writing is her ability to weave multiple complicated story lines into a single great plot without making it felt forced. She’s also very good with historical type of story, able to bring you back to 1920’s New York City.

Like I mention before, this book is creepy. There are some scenes that actually scared me so much I had to stop reading for a while. Yet, the most amazing thing about The Lair of Dreams is not about the ghosts, it’s how it’ll pierce your heart and rip it to shreds. It’s heartbreaking and well, I will admit that I sniffed in public. It’s also hilarious, courtesy of our beloved Evie and, surprisingly, Henry.

Verdict

This book is pos-i-tutely swell. It’s just the bee’s knees.

Final Score

4 stars (out of 5 stars)

November releases and TBR

Hello everyone. It’s again that time of the month when I started checking out fictfact for books that will be released next month.
I am also way behind on my Goodreads reading challenge so I decided to get a little organized and create my TBR for November.

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November Releases

I only have two books that I am especially excited about on my November list, and one of them is a short ebook.

  • 10 November
    Winter (#4 in Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer
    The fourth book in Lunar Chronicles will be out next month, and I am excited for it. On the downside, I actually have to read Scarlet and Cress before reading Winter. Ha. I will read those, I will conquer this series! As a matter of fact, I’m putting Scarlet on my TBR for November. Baby steps, right?
  • 17 November
    Angels Twice Descending (#10 in Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy) by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman
    The last story in the Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy is also coming this November. From what I understand, Simon will ascend, get his memory back, become parabatai with Clary, and go on hot dates (plurals) with Izzy. All in one short book. Okay, that might not be 100% accurate, but I take anything close to it. It’s a bit bittersweet for me because I might not get another story from Simon’s perspective after TFTSA, but it’s the perfect time to wrap it up. Plus, I’m super excited for Lady Midnight.

November TBR

I need to read at least 6 books next month. That might not sound like a lot, but I’m a very moody reader. I read when I’m in the mood, but there are times when I’m simply not. Hence, the list.

  • Everything, Everything (Nicola Yoon)
    Read and heard so many good things about this book. I’ve read a free sample from google play and I was hooked. So I’ll be reading this next month.
  • Chasing Forgiveness (Neal Shusterman)
    Because it’s Neal Shusterman’s book and he never disappoints me (so far).
  • The Summer I Turned Pretty (Jenny Han)
    Have been wanting to read Jenny Han for a while and I saw Trisha @ thebookgasmblog posting a lot about Jenny Han so I finally decided to dive in with this one.
  • Scarlet (Marissa Meyer)
    I really like Cinder, but somehow never thought to buy Scarlet. (I know, I’m awful. Also forgetful)
  • Angelfall (Susan Ee)
    Read some good reviews about this book and the whole series so I figure I’ll give it a try.
  • Angels Twice Descending (Cassandra Clare, Robin Wasserman)
    Duh.
  • Career of Evil (Robert Galbraith)
    IF I could find a bargain price for this book. This books is actually at the top of my TBR list, but it’s way too pricey at the moment. I totally enjoy the first two books and I cannot wait to read this one.

News round-up

book news round-up
Hello people! I hope you’re all well.
This week, I found out about some book news/updates that I’m excited about and I just have to post them here! I also got some news regarding my blog so stay tuned for that too.

Book News & Updates

First of all, The Stormlight Archive update. It’s not exactly news, but an excerpt has appeared in the wild. During his Shadows of Self tour, Brandon Sanderson has graciously read a part of an ongoing Dalinar chapter in Book #3 of The Stormlight Archive. It offered us a view of younger, more bolsterous Dalinar, hungered for the Thrill, and very very good at battle. Read it or hear Brandon read it to you here. Anyhow, Book #3-currently titled “Oathbringer”-should be released some time in 2016 even though I need to read it now.

Another thing I’ve learned about this week was “A Gathering of Shadows” Fanart Contest. You can send in fanart in form of painting, drawing, sculpture, or even cosplaying. What’s the prize you ask? Why, it’s only a SIGNED ARC of A Gathering of Shadows, among other wonderful things. Unfortunately for me, it’s only open to US and Canada residents (not like I’m going to win anyway). Learn more about the contest here. A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab will be out on February 23, 2016.

Speaking of wonderful things, the lovely Cassie Clare has announced that the first book in The Dark Artifices, Lady Midnight, will have special first edition. These first edition books will have stamped rune on the first page and an exclusive short story about the characters from TMI and TFTSA. Lady Midnight’s release date is currently set for March 8, 2016.


Blog Updates

Because of I am so excited for A Gathering of Shadows, I have decided to re-read A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. It is one of my favorite books in 2015 and since I never gave it proper review, I will instead do a weekly re-read post on my blog. I am thinking to do it by part and there are 14 parts in ADSOM which means I will have finished it on the first week of February (just in time for the second book!). I am going to post a short summary and a short (or long) commentary rambling about each part starting next week.

You are very welcome if you want to join me reading A Darker Shade of Magic. I promise not to post spoiler for future chapters so you can join in even if it’s your first time reading the book.

I will be posting my pick for November releases and TBR tomorrow. See you!

Review: Six of Crows

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Book Title: Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1)
Author: Leigh Bardugo

There are books that started slowly then build up halfway through. There are books that started slowly and never pick up. Six of Crows is neither. It hits the right note since the very beginning and keeps up the pace until the end.

Official Summary

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

Story

The book began with a prologue telling the story of Joost and a Grisha named Anya. If you ever read the Grisha trilogy books from Leigh, you might be familiar with the term. Basically, Grisha are people with special gifts. There are three orders in Grisha, the Corporalki that can control living matter, the Fabrikator that can manipulate materials, and the Etherealki that can control stuff like fire or tide. The whole purpose of the prologue is to introduce the readers to the power of substance called the jurda parem. You can think of it like amphetamine but much more addictive. When given this jurda parem, a Grisha becomes much more powerful and could do things he/she could not normally do. The downside of it, for the Grisha, is that they will become addicted to it.

This book is not about the Grisha per se, it’s about 6 teenagers trying to pull an impossible heist to ‘kidnap’ the inventor of jurda parem. They were promised tons of money to do the task if they manage to do it.

The Characters

The main character is Kaz Brekker, nicknamed Dirtyhands, who is the leader of the squad. Even though Kaz is the leader, I feel that other characters were given a fair amount of space to tell their story. They are Inej, Nina, Jesper, Matthias, and Wylan. Each of them has their own problem, and this brings unique perspective to the story. Throughout the book, you’ll find that each of them has a motive of their own to do this mission. I could not tell you much more than that because I’ll spoil the story, but they are not your usual protagonists. It’s interesting because they are not heroes trying to save the world, these kids are thieves trying to accomplish a mission for money, but they’re not the bad guys either. It’s more like, “Hey, we’re just doing our jobs and you don’t want to be standing on our way.”

The dynamics of the characters is what makes this book great. This is not by any means a romantic book, although you will catch glimpses of it and it will drive you crazy and wanting for more. I like how Leigh makes them work for it. I also like how they are ‘not friends’, but will do almost anything to save each other neck.

Final Comment

I bought this book on a whim and I’m glad that I did. It’s great on so many levels. The writing is terrific, the pace is good, the characters are flawed and believable. This is my first Leigh Bardugo’s book and I certainly hope it would not be the last.

Final Score

4.5 out of 5 stars

Infinity Dream Award

Thank you to the lovely Trisha Ann @ The Bookgasmblog for tagging me with the Infinity Dream Award.

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This is my first ever book tag so forgive me for getting a little too excited. 🙂
First of all, the rules. You need to share 11 facts about yourself and then answer 11 questions asked to you.

Okay, facts.


11 Facts About Me

  1. I am an avid Formula 1 fan. I never miss a race if I can help it. And I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to watch F1 race live twice.
  2. I like trying out public transportation in foreign countries.
  3. I LOVE COFFEE. That is a fact.
  4. I could sleep anywhere. On the couch, in the car, on the bus, sitting or even standing (dangerous! Don’t try it)
  5. I have unhealthy obsession with fonts. I am the type or person who spend more time picking up the right font and theme than creating the content when making a presentation.
  6. My dream is to one day travel the world and see all the f1 races. And yes, that includes Monaco.
  7. My other dream is to hang out with all my favorite authors and try to pick their brains (not creepy at all).
  8. I don’t really watch tv series. Except supernatural. Because I cannot give up the Winchester bros.
  9. I have terrible spatial reasoning. I get lost in shopping malls all the time
  10. If I could, I would do all my shoppings online. I’m lazy that way.
  11. Podcast is my life saver. I listen to podcast when I commute or work out. Feel free to recommend me any podcast you enjoy, the longer the better (I have to commute for 2.5 hours a day)

And now, for the answers.


Continue reading “Infinity Dream Award”