Lady Midnight – book review

Lady Midnight

Lady Midnight is the first thrilling instalment in Cassandra Clare’s new series, The Dark Artifices.

In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word. A parabatai is your partner in battle, your best friend – but they can never fall in love…

Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best of her generation. She lives for battle. Next to her parabatia, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries – the most powerful of supernatural creatures – teeter on the edge of open was with Shadowhunters.

When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge, and Julian’s chance to get his brother back, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All they have to do is solve the murders within two weeks… and before the murderer targets them.

Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents – and can she bear to know the truth?Read More »

Zeroes – book review

Zeroes book

Zeroes is the first instalment in a thrilling and addictive new series by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti.

Ethan aka Scam has a voice inside him that will say whatever people want to hear, whether it’s true or not. Sometimes it can be handy, but sometimes it’s not, like when the voice starts blabbing in the middle of a bank robbery. The only people who can help him are the other Zeroes, who aren’t exactly his best friends these days.

When Nate, aka Bellwether, gets Scam’s SOS, he pulls the scattered Zeroes back together. But when the rescue blows up in their faces, the Zeroes find themselves propelled into whirlwind of dangerous encounters. At the core of the chaos they find Kelsie, who can take a crowd in the palm of her hand and tame it or let it loose as she pleases. The only way these six teenagers are going to make it out unscathed is if they all learn to work together.Read More »

Dangerous Deception – book review

Dangerous Deception

Dangerous Deception is the thrilling sequel to Dangerous Creatures, written by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

Some loves are cursed. This one is dangerous. Especially when the love is between wannabe rocker and quarter Incubus Link and Dark Caster, Siren and bad girl, Ridley.

But now Ridley is missing and Link, being with her right up until she vanished, can’t even begin to comprehend where she might have gone. Determined to find her, Link reunites with some members from his band and the mysterious Lennox Gates, who wanted Ridley for himself. Together they travel south, find Casters locked in cages, and uncover evil that was never meant to be disturbed. This time, love might not be enough.

*

While I fell completely in love with Dangerous Creatures, I can’t help but feel just a tiny bit let down by Dangerous Deception. After a cliffhanger that left my mind spinning for weeks after closing Dangerous Creatures, I was so sure this book was going to be just as incredible. However, I did really enjoy reading Dangerous Deception, don’t get me wrong. I probably shouldn’t have set my expectations that high for this book, or any book, for that matter. The one thing that meant I felt a little disappointed by this book was the mere fact that I hardly got any time with both Ridley and Link together. In Dangerous Creatures, and the Beautiful Creatures series, some of my favourite parts were the ones when Link and Ridley were together. I had been telling myself that I’d get more of that in this book, and when that didn’t happen, that caused me to feel slightly let down, but that is in no way the book’s fault. Overall, this book was a thrilling, fast-paced read and I really enjoyed it.

When you have a cliffhanger as epic as the one in Dangerous Creatures, I can understand how it would be hard to continue on with suspense and as intrigue as the last page of the previous book had. In that respect, I felt as though it was slightly anti-climactic. I understood that the book needed to get moving and to continue on with the story, but at some points, I felt like the details of how the problem at the end of the previous book was resolved were glossed over a little too quickly and without enough substance. Again, this is to be expected because of the cliffhanger and it would be incredibly hard to get your characters out of what happened in the previous book.

Because it had been quite a few months since I had read Dangerous Creatures, I found that I had forgotten a lot of the minor characters that became more major in this book. The authors didn’t prompt me to remember who these people were and I was reading the book desperately trying to get hints at to where I knew these characters from. Some authors kind of retell the story at the beginning of a book in the series to make sure that the readers aren’t lost, even if it’s been a little while since they read the previous book, but I didn’t get any of that in this one. Maybe it would have been beneficial for me to have reread the previous book before picking up this one, but I desperately wanted to know what was going to happen and I was so excited to get my hands on this book, so I didn’t want to waste any time before opening up Dangerous Deception. If you’re going to pick up this book and it’s been a while since you’ve read Dangerous Creatures, I definitely recommend rereading before picking this one up.

Even though I didn’t remember a lot of the characters from the previous book and therefore didn’t feel as connected to them, I did enjoy spending time with all the usual favourites, like Link and Ridley and Liv and John. Ridley is definitely my favourite character of this series, and she was my favourite character of the Dangerous Creatures series too. I love her sometimes sweet, sometimes sinister personality and how you often don’t know what you’re going to get with her. She can be unpredictable, but at her core, I honestly believe she’s a fundamentally decent person. I loved watching her change throughout this book. It was both heart-wrenching and intriguing to see how she was affected by the things that occurred in this book.

Of course, this review couldn’t be complete without mentioning Link. Link has always been such a lovely character and one that it’s been great getting to know throughout the books in both series. It’s so cute how he will do anything to protect Ridley, including risking his life on multiple occasions. Him teaming up with Liv and John was also great to see. They all made such a good team and I loved the dynamics going on there, with Necro included. There were quite a few hilarious moments in this book and I loved the banter between characters.

While these was a few things I didn’t completely enjoy about this book, the ending definitely made it all worthwhile. This book left me on another cliffhanger and that means I’m going to pick up the next book as soon as it’s available. I’m really not sure what direction the story is going to take in the next book, if there even is going to be a next book, I’m not really sure if there is. If you know anything about if they’re writing another book for the series and when it’ll be out, I’d love to know! I’d give Dangerous Deception by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl a score of 8 out of 10. If you’re considering reading either the Dangerous Creatures or the Beautiful Creatures series, I definitely recommend it. If you’ve read this book, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

The Last Place – book review

The Last Place

The Last Place is the thrilling final instalment in The Last series, written by Michael Adams.

Danby is desperately fighting to save the last of humanity. But with Jack’s sinister influence more powerful than ever, Danby fears that all hope for freeing his minions – and her little brother – is lost. It seems that the only way to survive is to escape.

With her own sanity at risk, Danby is willing to do anything to stay alive and save those she loves. In order to do this, Danby must adopt a warrior code, but the price is high. In this final explosive instalment, Danby will forced to save who she is able to, even if it means abandoning hope for her last remaining family.

*

I was so excited to read The Last Place and I was even more exited to see that it surpassed my expectations. I fell in love with this series from the very first page of the first book, The Last Girl, and I was very pleased to see that I remained as enthralled and as eager to read it as that first book. I found this series very intriguing. As it’s set in Australia, that is something that sets this book apart from a lot of other YA books, let alone dystopias. I loved the setting, the characters were complex and enjoyable to spend time with and the plot was one that kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

Let me start off by saying that this book is told from past and present point of views. As I started reading that, I was initially confused as to what was going on. I didn’t understand what was happening and why the chapters seemed so jumpy. But as this progressed, I soon figured out what was going on and how this made a big impact on the story. It was pleasantly surprising to see that I quite enjoyed the past/present chapters. Although, this book would have benefited from having the chapters labeled accordingly to avoid confusion in the beginning. I would have liked to know whether I was reading from the past or from the present to avoid this confusion all together because at times I felt as though I spent more time wondering where I was reading from instead of concentrating on the plot and thinking about what might happen. However, I did really enjoy reading from the alternating chapters and felt that they really made this book unique and all the more interesting.

I’ve loved seeing Danby’s character development between The Last Girl and now. How much she had changed is astounding. At first, she was somewhat shy and seemed very gentle, but as the series progressed, she changed into a brave and even sometimes brutal character who is willing to do anything to make the world right again. In this book, she also experienced some times where she was severely affected by her past actions even to the point that it made her unable to think rationally. It was definitely very interesting to read these parts because it would be expected that any person who had done and seen the things that Danby had, that they would be scared in some way and wouldn’t be the same person after as they were before. Seeing her affected like this and seeing her break down made her really relatable because it’s unrealistic to expect that anyone can remain brave and selfless and resilient during such devastating and destructive times.

Travelling with Danby around the areas of Sydney and the Blue Mountains was again amazing to experience. Often I feel either slightly disconnected from the plot or kind of anxious when the main character is on their own for a while, but I really enjoyed it in this book. I liked exploring these areas with Danby because they were so well described and I really felt like I was there. These places also had meaning in the plot and nothing that happened seemed like just something to add pages. The pacing in this book was also really well done, as was the pacing in the two previous books. There was that perfect mix between action and quiet moments that made me feel like I didn’t want to put this book down, while also managing to keep me from feeling as though it was tiring to read this book.

This was one fast-paced thriller of a book. There were a lot of deaths and a lot of killing, so if you don’t think you could handle that, then I recommend just brushing over those parts because they do get a little graphic in parts. In saying that, the descriptions were amazing just because of how real it seemed. It was like I was experiencing everything Danby was experiencing, every sound, smell, taste and sight. To have this series come to an end after three spectacular books is disappointing, but I’m very happy with how everything turned out and I’m looking forward to seeing what the author writes next. I’d give The Last Place by Michael Adams a score of 9 out of 10. I definitely recommend getting into this series if you haven’t already!

Thank you to Allen & Unwin Australia for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Ultimate Book Tag!

Thanks so much to Shannon Buchanan for tagging me in The Ultimate Book Tag! I’ve never done a book tag before so here goes…

Do you get sick while reading in the car?

If I’m in the front, I can read for hours without getting sick. If I’m in the back, it’s a completely different story! It wouldn’t be pretty…

Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you and why?

I love how unique E. Lockhart’s writing style is. I’ve read We Were Liars and The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks and I think her writing is very different to other authors, especially in We Were Liars. 

Harry Potter Series or the Twilight Saga? Give three points to defend your answer.

Harry Potter. I love that series so much and it was such a big part of my childhood – the books, the movies, everything. I’m lucky to be a part of the generation that grew up with Harry and reading those books will always bring upon nostalgia. One of the things I love most about the Harry Potter series is the positive messages it contains – there is good and bad within all of us and what counts is what side we choose to act on, and how love gives you strength. Also, none of the characters in Harry Potter are in any way one-dimensional and they are all so complex and I loved getting to know them better with each book, whereas I didn’t feel as though a lot of the characters were overly complex in Twilight. Twilight was entertaining enough, but Harry Potter will always be the ‘classic’ for our generation and it will always have a special place in my heart.

Do you carry a book bag? If so, what is in it (besides books)?

I don’t really call my backpack a book bag, but I suppose that’s what it is because that’s what’s in it most of the time! As well as a book, I also will carry a notebook, pen, money, phone and earphones in my bag. Oh, and keys preferably, if I want to get back into my house where it’s warm and there is an abundance of books.

Do you smell your books?

Yes, of course! Who doesn’t? They smell so amazing. Old, new, it doesn’t matter, I love smelling them all. I do have a friend who licks books and I think that’s weird. Like, smelling I totally get. Licking? Nope. Do any of you lick books?

Books with or without little illustrations?

I’m not against books with little illustrations, I just don’t have any books with illustrations. Because of that, I’ll have to say books without, though I’m not against the idea of having cute little illustrations intermittently or something.

What book did you love while reading but discovered later that it wasn’t quality writing?

I feel like all the books I’ve read have been quality in their own ways, even books that are not commonly known to be well-written. Every author has their own style and I respect that. I’m not saying that every book that is published is amazing quality, but I respect the author and their writing.

Do you have any funny stores involving books from your childhood? Please share!

Okay, so if you read my Versatile Blogger Award post, you’ll know this story. This one happened recently, so it’s not exactly from my childhood, but I think it’s funny.

So I have a part time job in my favourite book shop and one time I was stamping the book shop logo onto brown paper bags when this man came up to me. He said, ‘Hello! Good morning, oh, afternoon!’ and I’m thinking, Why are you in such a good mood? Like, I love book shops too, but you’re so happy! Anyway, then the man said, ‘I’m here to sign some books.’ And I asked him, ‘What books?’ And he said like I should know, ‘The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect.’ Immediately, I got that kind of star-struck feeling I get when talking to famous people. At that moment, my colleges came to my rescue and handed him a massive pile of his books. I don’t think I would have been able to move because I was staring at the author of The Rosie Project! Okay, I haven’t even read those books and I was still affected by his author-presence. Anyway, he was signing books and I may have been staring at him. He looked up at me and said seriously, ‘You know, it’s really frustrating having to flick four pages into the book instead of one to sign it because I’ve got all this praise for my books.’ I said back, equally as serious, ‘Yeah, it must be really hard being a bestselling author.’ And then he left and I was back to stamping my paper bags, dreaming of the day I have my first book published…

And it just so happens that I made a whole video on this incident on my YouTube channel, Sarah Dreams. You can check out that video here!

What is the tinniest book on your shelf?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobosky. Great book. Small book too.

What is the thickest book on your shelf?

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare. That book is massive and I love every bit of it!

Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself as being an author?

I absolutely love writing and when I’m not reading, you would be able to find me writing. I mostly write fiction, and I love entering competitions. Over last summer I wrote the first draft of my first attempt at a novel and I would love to keep editing that throughout this year. It’s my dream to be an author and I hope one day people will enjoy reading what I write. You can check out some of my short stories here.

When did you get into reading?

I’ve loved reading for as long as I can remember so I don’t think I ever got into reading, I was just raised amongst books. I lived and breathed them from a young age and I know my love for books will always be with me.

What is your favourite classic book?

The Great Gatsby counts as a classic, right? I love that book so much and all of the characters are complex and interesting and I admire Gatsby’s determination to achieve his dream, however unrealistic it may seem.

In school what was your best subject? Language/Arts/English?

My best subject is English because I enjoy it. I find it so much easier to do things when you enjoy it. I really love analysing books and writing styles and that’s why I think English is my best subject.

If you were given a book as a present that you had read before and hated, what would you do?

I would thank the person and tell them unfortunately I have already read that book and I would ask them if it is possible to exchange it for another book, and I would give them a couple of ideas as to which book I would like instead. They didn’t need to know that I hated the book with a passion and would be reevaluating our friendship because of their poor choice 😉

What is a bad habit you always do (besides rambling) while blogging?

I often get really distracted on my laptop and the internet and I’ll start writing a review and then get sidetracked, remembering a few hours later what I got on my laptop to do in the first place. That happens quite a lot.

What is your favourite word?

INDUBITABLY – impossible to doubt, unquestionable. It’s just so fun to say!

Are you a nerd, dork, or dweeb? Or all of the above?

All of the above! I’m proud not to be ‘normal’ and I think that everyone who is called those things should take it as a compliment because it’s basically saying ‘I’m not boring and conventional!’ I pride myself on my individuality and I don’t believe in conformity. Live your life how you want to live it, and don’t let society dictate your actions. Check out my video Dare to Dream by clicking here to find out more on my views of individuality and how people shouldn’t be afraid to be who they really are, not matter what people think of them.

Vampires or fairies? Why?

Vampires because vampires are just awesome. And with the amount of time I spend inside either reading, writing or on my laptop, I may as well be a vampire. Also, I like the night a lot more than the day. Because I’m practically constantly sleep-deprived, the night is kinder on my eyes and my headaches from lack of sleep.

Shapeshifters or angels? Why?

Angels because it would be cool to be able to fly and helping people would be a nice thing to do.

Spirits or werewolves? Why?

Spirits because I wouldn’t like to be that hairy. Also, I’m more of a cat person than a dog person.

Zombies or vampires? Why?

Vampires again because of the same reasons as before.

Love triangles or forbidden love?

Forbidden love! I’m finding that love triangles are a little overused in YA literature now and it can often be risky because it might come across as cheesy. I love a well-written love triangle, but I think that it’s safer to both write and read a forbidden love for a lot of the time.

And finally: Full on romance books or action-packed with a few love scenes mixed in?

I think it’s always good to have a balance of both in books, so I’m not one of those people who goes for the full-on romances. I like reading a bit of romance in the books I read, but sometimes I feel as though it can be a little over-done. Besides, when there are only a few love scenes mixed in, that makes them all the more enjoyable and highly anticipated.

Tagging these lovely people:

The Bibliothèque

Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Mermaid Vision Books

Novel Novice

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