children · Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Young, New adult/College

The islands of Chaldea – Diana Wynne Jones

18107099| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Aileen was supposed to grow up magical – just like the other women in her family. Unfortunately, she’s just found out that the magic seems to have skipped a generation… but that’s not her biggest problem right now.

In her world, there are four Islands of Chaldea. The largest and most magical island has been cut off from the other three for decades – and is slowly draining the magic from them.

But now a prophecy has come to light. Someone from Aileen’s island will gather a man from each of the three islands, bring down the magical barrier, and unite them with the fourth island again. And according to the king, that someone is Aileen’s Aunt – who insists on dragging Aileen along. AND the boy Aileen is sure she’ll marry (one day); the local boy with more brawn then brain. Someone seems to want to stop them too… someone with an interest in keeping the Islands apart. But still, with magic on their side, nothing can go wrong. Right?

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My thoughts:

Okay, so I needed a book that was published posthumously so I could tick that prompt off in the 2019 PopSugar challenge. I had some trouble finding anything I wanted to read, but after some googling I eventually settled on this one. Written by Diana Wynne Jones and finished by her sister Ursula Jones after Diana’s death. Apparently Diana was and probably still is, a famous and loved author all over the world. She wrote children’s/YA books often with a Sci-fi and fantasy theme. I personally never heard about her before this, so I was going in completely blind with not much to expect.

Apparently, according to some of the reviews I have read, and I quote, “Ursula Jones did not do the justice of the potential of what this book could have been”. I kind of agree with Xylia, whose quote I have included. I don’t have anything to compare it with, but I agree that it doesn’t feel that completed.

It started out okay with an interesting story and plot line. But in the middle it kind of fell apart, lost my interest and in the end I actually struggled to finish it. Perhaps a great book for a younger audience, but I felt It was supposed to be something more. And it just wasn’t there. Kind of flat and two dimensional. Nothing I would recommend and unfortunately, nothing I liked very much.

 

 

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Shortstory

Norse mythology – Neil Gaiman

37903770._SX318_| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki—son of a giant—blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator.

Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and delves into the exploits of deities, dwarfs, and giants. Through Gaiman’s deft and witty prose, these gods emerge with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.

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My thoughts:

Norse Mythology is something I know quite a lot about. In Sweden we study the mythology and vikings from an early age. We even have a “Viking camp” we do in school, where we learn how the Vikings lived, hunted, cooked food and so on. I can’t say I learned anything new by reading (audiobook) this book per say, but I have to say I really like the way Gaiman has put the tales to life. It is truly descriptive and beautiful in a way, I believe, everyone can enjoy. Neil Gaiman is also an fantastic narrator and perfect for reading his own books. I really enjoyed listening on him. It is also perfect for those who doesn’t want anything heavy to read right now. It is a bunch of short stories, gathered together in one book. Light and easy. Perfect for those “in between” books.

I have to be hones and say that I first wasn’t supposed to read it. Since I know so much about the topic, It wasn’t anything that interested me to read more about. But a prompt in this years Pop Sugar Challenge was actually the reason to why I read it. The prompt was to read “A book inspired by mythology, legend or folklore” and when googling what book fits that prompt, Norse Mythology kept poping up. Now I’m happy that I read it. It is fun, light and familiar. Almost a little nostalgic and it woke something in me which have been buried since childhood and school was finished with teaching us kids about our heritage.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Humor/Funny

Mort – Terry Pratchett

828352| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Death comes to us all. When he came to Mort, he offered him a job.

After being assured that being dead was not compulsory, Mort accepted. However, he soon found that romantic longings did not mix easily with the responsibilities of being Death’s apprentice…

 

 

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My thoughts:

“The one thing I really like is the way Pratchett have brought up such an difficult topic as death in a way that was easy and not frightening.”

This is my first encounter with the Discworld universe and the numerous writings of Sir Terry Pratchett and to be honest, I’m quite confused and this was not an easy review to write. I have read some reviews due to my mixed feelings and several has mentioned that Mort may not be the best book to start with due to that Pratchett’s writing style still was in development and the Discworld was not yet fully realized. Other felt just as confused as me, but also said that this should not affect our opinion of Pratchett and to be open minded for reading more of his books in the future.

Mort, the book about a boy who became Deaths apprentice, is a highly praised book all over the world and by readers in all ages. And it breaks my heart that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted. I really, really wanted to like it but I just didn’t feel the magic other readers was talking about. It had a promising beginning with intriguing characters and a nice story. It was witty and clever, but did not affect me as much as I was expecting and it took me some time and effort to get into it.

The writing style is easy, and I can see why it fits readers in so many different ages and cultures. The one thing I really like is the way Pratchett have brought up such an difficult topic as death in a way that was easy and not frightening. However it was just not enough for me.

 

Classic/Historical · Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Romance

Spellbound – Margit Sandemo

51ZgfQcxO0L._SX325_BO1,204,203,200_| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Winter 1581: a deadly plague outbreak robs sixteen-year old peasant girl Silje of all her family. Homeless, starving and shepherding two abandoned children, she stumbles out of the corpse-strewn streets of Trondheim on Norway’s northern coast.

Heading desperately for the warmth of the mass funeral pyres blazing beyond the city gates, she encounters in the shadowy forest one of the infamous Ice People, a fearsome, strangely captivating ‘wolf man’. He offers help – and she feels irresistibly drawn to him. But what is the terrible fascination? And where will it lead?

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My thoughts:

“It is a great start on a series who will take place over several centuries.”

This is probably my third or fourth reared of the first book in the Legend of the Ice People series. A book series, written by a Norwegian author and published in 47 parts. Yes. It is 47 books in this series and myself have not read more than eleven. Now I’m fortunate enough to have found and bought the whole series in hardcover. They do not print them anymore, not in Swedish at least, so second-hand was the only option. So now my challenge is to read all the 47 books. It will probably take me a couple of years but one day I will make it.

It is an historical fantasy about The Ice People who have a curse riding through the generations. The first book is about Silje and her travels in the plague ridden part of the Norwegian mountains where she meets some of those people and one of the cursed ones. She is strong and a motivated character in a way that you can relate with her. We meet some of the ground laying characters and gets to know the history and story of the Ice People. It is a great start on a series who will take place over several centuries.

It is easy to read and it have been translated to English. How easy it is to get hold of the books, i do not know, but they must exist out there somewhere if you are interested.

 

Fantasy/Paranormal · Graphic Novels/Comics · Thriller/Horror

Death Note – Tsugumi Ohba, Takeshi Obata

9267091

| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects–and he’s bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. Will Light’s noble goal succeed, or will the Death Note turn him into the very thing he fights against?

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My thoughts:

“The death god is quite funny even though he looks like something taken from nightmares.”

I find myself split in my opinion about the first volume of Death Note. I actually don’t like the main character that much and usually you are supposed to do that so I’m quite confused. The main characters is supposed to be the hero you are rooting for and wish the best of luck to. But Light is no hero. He started something with good intentions but later turns just as bad as the bad guys he is targeting. In the end he is no better than those criminals he’s erasing from this world. The death god is quite funny even though he looks like something taken from nightmares.

And the story is good and exciting. I really like the way it is built, the artwork and the feel of the book. It ended when the suspense was at its peak and I just had to throw myself on my phone to order the next on in the series. Its that good. Now I just have to wait two weeks for the second one to arrive. hehe

I’m not an avid reader of graphic novels but I’m beginning to understand the appeal and I really recommending this one.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Young, New adult/College

Hollow city – Ransom Riggs

23164983| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: This second novel begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.

Complete with dozens of newly discovered (and thoroughly mesmerising) vintage photographs, this new adventure will delight readers of all ages.

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My thoughts:

“If it was not for the cliffhanger in the end, I would probably have enjoyed it even more.”

The second book in the Peregrine’s children series follows right at the end of the first one and also ends on a cliffhanger. Just want to make a note of that. It is a great, complicated story with a imaginative plot. Some of the reviews I have read have found the second book not nearly as good as the first one. I however actually like it more. It may or may not be because I saw the movie of the first book first, but I really enjoyed the second one. I like that it was more that happened since the children now is traveling instead of being in that one house.

In comparison I would have given the first book three stars (I will not change) instead of the four I gave, since I found the second one to better than the first. I even found it a little funny at some times and it surprised me. I’m loving that. And the pictures, oh it makes the whole book more fascinating and a feel of completion.

It is as well written as the first book and a lot more detailed. We meet more characters, receive more history and we get to know more about the friends and enemies of this world. It is a brilliant dynamic which Riggs has done a fantastic work describing in a way I cannot put my words on. If it was not for the cliffhanger in the end, I would probably have enjoyed it even more.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Romance

Lover revealed – J.R Ward

42898| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Butch O’Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard-living ex-homicide cop, he’s the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world—to engage in the turf war with the lessers. He’s got nothing to lose. His heart belongs to a female vampire, an aristocratic beauty who’s way out of his league. If he can’t have Marissa, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers…

Fate curses him with the very thing he wants. When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead, he’s found by a miracle, and the Brotherhood calls on Marissa to bring him back. But even her love may not be enough to save him…

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My thoughts:

“He is like the perfect character with a moral compass always pointing in the right directions but still this ruff , broken and hurting man with an hell of a history.”

This was quite a hard review to write. I feel kind of indifferent toward it. I really liked to read about Butch aka. Cop O’Neal and Marissa, but at the same time I do not feel much for the story itself. The dynamic of the characters around and in the Black Dagger Brotherhood is still as fantastic as usual. There is also some characters outside of the brotherhood who we are learning to know more and more. But the rest is starting to be somewhat repetitive and bored me out most of the times.

I love Butch. He is like the perfect character with a moral compass always pointing in the right directions but still this ruff , broken and hurting man with an hell of a history. It was even better to really get to know him and learn about his history and the plot twist made sense and fit perfectly. Marissa however I did not like as much in the beginning. But when she finally took a firm grip of her own life and “grew” a spine, she also grew on me.

My favorite part of the book is however the virginity thing.  This is probably the first time I have ever read a realistic telling about the first time and that it is not perfect for many women. That you get just a little pain but after a couple of strokes an explosive orgasm is braking through your body. No! Come on! Ward did a great job with an realistic telling about the emotions and confusion and I just feel it somewhat ironic that it is where the character is a vampire. They are supposed to be bad asses. But I’m not complaining. At least I now know that there is one book out there who have it somewhat realistic and not a fantasy.

Adult fiction/Erotica · Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction

The priory of the orange tree – Samantha Shannon

29774026| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

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My thoughts:

“This was certainly an epic journey and overall I really enjoyed it.”

Wow. It feels like someone have stolen my breath away and taken a piece of my body and soul. This was certainly an epic journey and overall I really enjoyed it. The world is so complex, extremely rich, colourful and truly a work of art. Then we have the characters. And they are many, who together weaves a story of love, hate, good and evil. Thanks Shannon for the character overview in the end of the book. Without it I would have had even bigger challenges with keeping track over who was who and who did what. Even with the help it was quite overwhelming at times and that is one of my two negative feelings toward the book. Thankfully there is mostly four point of views you are following which makes it easier.

The other negative thought I have about the book is that it is too damn long. I wouldn’t say it bored me per say, but it made me indifferent. At sometimes I read it mostly automatically because I knew if I stopped, I would have it hard to pick it up again. At other times I devoured it and could not put it down. It was somewhat inconsistent and that made me somewhat detached.

In the end I am happy. I would probably not reread it anytime soon, but I may read it again sometime in the distant future. And I do agree with the hype around the book. It is worth reading for everyone who wants or need an epic journey through the lands in this epic adult fantasy.

 

 

 

 

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Romance

A discovery of witches – Deborah Harkness

41952734| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

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My thoughts:

“The only thing I discovered was that no matter what “world” you try to place a romance story in, if you do not decide one thread to follow, it will not succeed.”

At first I thought this would be a solid five star book. But then I got a couple of hundred pages in and the author has completely abandon the original plot. That took away a star but thinking, hey it can still be good. Reading a couple of hundred more pages and now even the “love” story is so over dramatic that I started to wonder, wasn’t this supposed to be an adult romance and not a YA? Goodbye another star. I’m over 400 pages into it and it feels too late to stop now and I keep hoping for Harkness to take her common sense together and save it in the end. It can’t be possible that so many of my people on Goodreads love the book but me however not so much. I feel the need for this to be a success. However that never happens and it even gets worse.

I was hoping for an action filled, non-cheesy, paranormal romance with some substance. What I got was a highly dramatic, slow and puzzling love story, cloaked in the “discovery” of witches, vampires and daemons. Written like an YA book with every angst filled thought possible but with an analytic mind, a lot of history and details. The only thing I discovered was that no matter what “world” you try to place a romance story in, if you do not decide one thread to follow, it will not succeed. It was all over the place and Harkness should have stayed with the alchemical manuscript and the dynamic of the world with witches, vampires and daemons and left it at that.

Even though it ended quite interesting with some time traveling and other loose threads, it is not enough for me to feel the need to pick up the second book in the series. I will more likely watch the series instead, but don’t count on it.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Young, New adult/College

Nevernight – Jay Kristoff

34503674| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.

Destined to destroy empires, the child raised in shadows made a promise on the day she lost everything: to avenge herself on those that shattered her world.

But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, and Mia must become a weapon without equal. Before she seeks vengeance, she must seek training among the infamous assassins of the Red Church of Itreya.

Inside the Church’s halls, Mia must prove herself against the deadliest of opponents and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult.

The Church is no ordinary school, but Mia is no ordinary student.

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My thoughts: This book is marked as a young adult fantasy. Me personally, I would not categorize it as a YA. It is way darker, gorier and explicit than other YA books I have read. And that is probably why I liked it so. There were some rough language but nothing embarrassing or cringe which I often find YA to be. I would place this one in the late young/adult epic fantasy. Thought you should know if you expected something else. 😉

The book is fantastic. It is dark, funny and witty to a degree it is on the border to sarcasm and irony. There is an interesting narrator, funny with a dark sense of humor and all the footnotes (Which I hear so many hate) is such a strong complement to the story without the impression of an author droning away on details. Strong and deep characters with interesting history and personality. Complex and wonderful world building. Notice that it is a man who is the author. Not much lovey-dovey. More strait to the point in a detached kind of way but still capturing and at some points heartbreaking.

Refreshing. Can nothing other than recommend it to whoever wish to read some epic fantasy. If you are new to the genre I would recommend it as an starter before you go into something heavier like, for an example, Robin Hobb, which I also have read some books of.