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Review: This Savage Song

May 26, 2016 in Book Reviews, Dystopian Fantasy, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: This Savage SongThis Savage Song Series: Monsters Of Verity #1
Published by Titan on 7th June 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
five-stars

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

 

Kate Harker and August Flynn belong from opposite sides of the ‘seam’, a partition which separates North V-City from South V-City, Verity. It’s a metropolis full of fear and monsters, actual monsters. Monsters that are created as a direct result of evil acts. Acts of violence breed the CORSAI, creatures who live in darkness and claw their victims to death. Murder creates MALCHAI who drink the blood of the victims, while the worst atrocities create the rare SUNAI, who absorb the soul of their victims.

Kate’s father rules the North of the city. He provides protection to those that can afford it, by working with the monsters.

August’s father rules the South, with his FTF army who try to keep the monsters at bay.

For six years there has been a truce between the Harkers and Flynns, but the truce is on shaky ground and the enemies could once again face each other in war.

V.E. Schwab has done it once again – she has left me gobsmacked by her creativity, attention to detail and general awesomeness.

I mean, the creation of monsters as a result of barbaric, evil deeds – brilliant. The creation of three different types of monsters, depending upon the nature of those deeds – genius!

The Corsai and Malchai are dark and terrifying, but it’s the Sunai that really interest me. By playing music they can coax out the souls of sinners, condemning the sinner to death. Moreover, they must ‘eat’ the souls of sinners regularly to avoid going ‘dark’. I find this to be such a beautiful (if creepy) concept. I love that Schwab entwines the majesty of music with the darkness of death.

As for Kate and August, I really like them both. I loved Kate’s battle to be a Harker, her determination to be as ruthless as her father. August’s own battle was a fascinating once, I truly became invested in his character.

Honestly, I want to tell you ALL about this book but I can’t. I won’t. You’ll just need to read it and admire Schwab’s writing and creativity for yourself.

five-stars

Discussion? Goodreads “Read” Shelves

May 24, 2016 in Bookish Posts

GOodreads Read Shelves

Do you ever look back through your Goodreads “read” shelf and realise how far your reading has evolved over recent years?

I was looking at today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic from The Broke & The Bookish  Ten Books I Feel Differently About After Time Has Passed and decided to have a flick through my shelves. What surprised me was the number of books on there that I read, obviously enjoyed at the time and rated fairly highly that I wouldn’t even think to pick up these days.

I don’t mean that in a snobby (is that the right word?) way. I just mean that my tastes have evolved so much. I’ve started honing in on themes and genres that I really enjoy. I’ve also been branching out and finding something a bit different, something I might never have thought was “my thing” before.

So then I started to wonder about these books that I’ve read on my Goodreads profile. I really don’t feel that very many of the books I read 6+ years ago represent the reader that I am today. Certainly many of my highest ratings from back then aren’t books I’d consider picking up to reread these days.  So is my Goodreads profile an accurate representation of who I am as a reader? Or is part of the fun of it going back and seeing what you liked half a decade ago? 

Personally, I’ve come to the conclusion that my Goodreads “read” shelf has shaped me into the reader that I am. It’s something to look back at, to consider as time goes on. Who knows, in another 6 years I could be feeling the same way about the books I am reading and loving right now? It’s a journey I guess, and Goodreads has helped me to log it.

What are your thoughts on this?

Is your Goodreads “read” shelf an accurate representation of you as a reader today? 

Would you ever consider removing your old reads or reducing the ratings?

Has the way you rate books changed over the years?

Illumicrate #3: Unboxing

May 20, 2016 in Bookish Posts, Illumicrate

It’s Illumicrate time!

No idea what I’m talking about? Illumicrate is a quarterly bookish subscription box. 4 times a year you’ll get a box with a copy of a new release and lots of bookish goodies. You can see what arrived in the first two boxes here. Oh and they ship internationally too. For all the info, check out the Illumicrate website.

 

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I was so nearly spoiled for this box. I was casually scrolling through Instagram when I saw someone had posted their entire box contents – NOOOOOO! Luckily my brain worked faster than usual and shut the page before I could actually process what was in the box. I get that folk are excited but come on, there’s no way (that I know of) to post a *SPOILER ALERT* on Instagram so please do consider others before you post your contents. I live in the UK so I got mine fairly quickly, but there are international customers who have to wait a bit longer. We all love the anticipation and surprise when opening up our boxes so please don’t spoil it for others.

Rant over!

On the subject of spoilers, obviously this post will contain some. However, I’ve included the contents in the spoiler section below – do NOT click on it if you don’t want to know the contents of the box.

*phew*

Let’s get on with the unboxing then…

View Spoiler »

As far as I know, Illumicrate are now accepting sign ups for the next box. As always though, the number of boxes is limited so be quick so you don’t miss out.

Also, Illumicrate have launched their first official rep search today AND it’s open internationally! Be sure to check out their Instagram post to find out how you can throw your name in the ring.

Are you signed up to Illumicrate?  What did you think of Box 3?

Armchair BEA Day 4: Fictional Worlds + *Giveaway*

May 14, 2016 in Armchair BEA, Bookish Posts, Current Giveaways

Day four? How did that happen? Today we are talking all about fictional worlds.

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We all know that sometimes, the worlds we love in fiction can be dangerous. Which fictional worlds would you want to live in? Which worlds do you never want to dive into? Which worlds are you content to stay behind the glass, so to speak, rather than wishing to dive through the page? And once you get there, what would you do?

I love a good fictional world. A novel where the world-building is so good you can almost feel it, taste it. You become absorbed in the cultures of the fictional world, the way of life, the politics, the magic, the danger, the customs. Sometimes when I visit a new world I’m just completely in awe of the author.   So let’s take a wee rundown of some of my favourite fictional worlds.

The Way of Kings

Brandon Sanderson’s world, Roshar, in The Stormlight Archive series is absolutely breathtaking. He is one of those authors that leaves me in awe. The level of detail in this world is incredible, and yet not overwhelming. From weapons to the history, from flora and fauna to social rankings – Roshar has it all.

Would I want to live there? No, I’d never survive!

Hobbit

Obviously, I can’t talk about fictional worlds and not mention JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth. It’s just the most incredible world, with so much detail and variety. It’s stunning.

Would I want to live there?  I could totally live The Shire or Rivendell (during peacetime of course).

GoT

Another glaringly obviously addition to this list but Westeros and the surrounding territories is one of my favourite worlds to get lost in. I’ve read the series through twice and I *so* want to read it again but I’m determined to wait for a publication date for Winds of Winter (yes, I know, I’ll probably be old and grey by then!)

Would I want to live there? Erm… yes and no. Yes because, dragons (as long as they were on my side) and no, because, well, that place is lethal!

Shadow and Bone

Leigh Bardugo’s Ravka in which both The Grisha Trilogy and the Six of Crows duology are set. I believe that Bardugo drew inspiration from Russia for this world. As with the other worlds in this list, I can completely visualise it, smell it, taste it, feel it. Her world building is beautiful, her characters are amazing and I cannot say enough good things about these series.

Would I want to live there? No, I’d definitely die in The Fold.

ACOTAR

A world where human lands and Fae lands are separated by a magical wall. The Fae lands are split into courts – Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, Day, Night and Dawn, with each court being ruled by a High Lord. I love this world, the whole concept of it. A Spring court where it is perpetually Spring, just sounds so appealing to me. Sarah J. Maas never fails to immerse me fully in her worlds.

Would I want to live there? I’d love to live somewhere where it’s constantly Spring, but knowing the danger that lurks in this world, I think I’ll just stick to being an outsider looking in.

Ok, so I promised myself I wouldn’t exceed five. I honestly could go on all day. I did do a Top Ten Tuesday with my favourite worlds last year some time so if you want to check that out, click here.

There are times I become so absorbed in a world that when I put the book down and return to reality I can’t stop thinking about it. I find myself thinking in terms of that world. Does this make sense? Does anyone else do that too?

ABEA 16 Giveaway

To celebrate fictional worlds, and Armchair BEA in general, I’m hosting a wee giveaway.  You could win a fantasy book of your choice, up to the value of £10 (pre-orders included). This giveaway is OPEN INTERNATIONALLY as long as The Book Depository ships to your location.

To enter just use the rafflecopter entry form below. You can do as many as the entries as you so wish and some are available daily.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

I’m not sure if I’ll manage to join in tomorrow, so just in case, I wanted to say thank you to you all for stopping by this week! A huge thank you also to the Armchair BEA organisers who have, once again, done a fantastic job.

If you want to join in with Armchair BEA check out this post for all the details on today’s discussions, twitter party and Instagram challenge.

Armchair BEA Day 3: Beyond The Books

May 13, 2016 in Armchair BEA, Bookish Posts

It’s day three already! This year’s Armchair BEA is flying in. Today we are discussing other ways we enjoy novels, beyond the traditional.

ABEA16

 

Beyond the traditional form of the novel, what are your favorite alternative forms (graphic novels, audiobooks, webcomics, etc)? Do you have any favorite works within these alternate forms? How do you think the changing format affects the reading experience?

 

In all honesty, I don’t tend to venture beyond the “traditional form” of a novel very often. I really want to get more into graphic novels, but I’m kind of overwhelmed and have no idea where to even begin. As a teen I adored the Asterix books – I was obsessed, completely obsessed. When the new Asterix and the Missing Scroll came out last year I could not control my excitement!

Asterix and the Missing Scroll

 

But Asterix aside, I’ve not really ventured any further into graphic novels. I have Persepolis sitting on my bookshelves right now and I intend to get to that soon.

Do you have any graphic novel suggestions for a newbie?

I’ve recently taken to reading in a serial format too. I posted about Serial Reader a few months ago. It’s a free app that releases 20 minute chapters of classics to you daily. It kind of allows you to read many classics as they were originally released – in serial form. I think I explain it a bit better in the original post ;D

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I’m also currently enjoying my weekly installments of Belgravia by Julian Fellowes. The entire book will be released in July I believe, but you can sign up to receive weekly episodes of the book. It’s available as an app and you can choose to either read it or listen to it. Currently I’m listening to the episodes online. There is a charge for this though. I think it works out at £9.98 in total.

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Talking of listening to books, I do of course use Audible too. Our local library service doesn’t yet have the Overdrive service so I turn to Audible’s Daily Deals to get my hand on audiobooks. You don’t need to be a subscriber as such, you just need the free account and you can make the one-off purchase. I posted all about the Audible daily deals here. If you’re new to Audible though they do a free trial so be sure to check that out.

Do you have any recommendations for “alternate” forms of reading?

If you want to join in with Armchair BEA check out this post for all the details on today’s discussions, twitter party and Instagram challenge.