The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty.

Title – The City of Brass
Series – TheΒ Daevabad trilogy #1
Author –  S.A. Chakraborty
How I Got It – From the pubblishers
Pages – 544 pages
Publication Date – January 22nd 2018 by HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN – 9780008239404
My Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…/5

Eighteenth century Cairo. The cities outcasts make a living swindling the rich Ottoman nobles and foreign invaders.

Their old stories still linger – tales of spirits and djinn, of cities hidden somewhere in the desert full of riches and magic.

Some people wish their lives could be filled with wonder. But not Nahri, she’s aware the things she can do are just tricks and sleight of hand – there’s no such thing as magic. All Nahri wants is to leave Cairo and study medicine.Β DXO3EIuUMAAbZey

I received a copy of The City of Brass from HarperCollins New Zealand to review. I’d heard good things about this book before I started it but it took me longer to get through than I expected. Not only because it’s kind of a big book but because I found one of the character’s POV annoying.

I put off writing this review so I could give myself time to think. But now I’m not really sure why Ali’s chapters annoyed me so much. I mean, I can’t even figure out who was worse, the djinn or the daeva? There were a lot of different tribes that were treated horribly and all because they were haf-human? But Ali wanted better for these people – or shafit I think they were called? So why did I find him annoying for wanted the place he lived to be better? To treat everyone equally? I don’t even know.

Maybe it was all the stuff Dara said to Nahri at the beginning about the djinn? But he was predictable and very annoying looking back on it. So was Nahri. I get she was put in a position she wasn’t expecting or even wanted and she was just expected to be what her mother was. But all the complaining just drove me a little crazy and by the end of the book I didn’t really care what happened to her or Dara.

Speaking of the ending… That was I think the best part. There was a great twist. It was just a pity that it took over 500 pages to get there and it really felt like it just dragged. Like there was too much information and not enough action for me. A lot of things felt unnecessary and just fillers to make the book longer which meant the story just dragged on and on. I’m not sure that I’ll be picking up the sequel. I kind of want to know what happens with the twist but I’m just not invested in any of the characters.

I did love that it was set in a country I’ve never been to, well until they went toΒ Daevabad anyway. I think the only other books I’ve read that were also kind of set in Egypt are The Kane Chronicles. I do love reading about other countries and cultures.

I really wish I had liked this more but I guess it just wasn’t for me. I liked the magic and the fact there were djinn but again, I don’t think I’ll continue with the other two books.

*Thank you HarperCollins New Zealand for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

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Review: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert.

Title – The Hazel Wood
Author – Melissa Albert
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 359 pages
Publication Date – February 8th 2018 by Penguin
ISBN – 9780141388663
RRP – $23.00 NZD
My Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…/5

Alice has grown up on the road, trying to stay ahead of the strange bad luck that’s never too far behind. When Alice’s mother is taken the only clue is a message left for her – don’t go to the Hazel Wood.

But Alice is determined to get her mother back and that means finding the Hazel Wood and whatever it’s hiding….Β DWlosYgVQAAax1N

I received a copy of The Hazel Wood from Penguin Random House New Zealand to review.

I’m not sure why I was expecting this to be a fairy tale retelling. I must have heard it somewhere or gotten this mixed up with another book. I mean, it had fairy tales in it I guess but they were the fairy tales in the story, not ones I already knew of. So I was kind of disappointed that I’d got it wrong but that was totally on me. But I just found The Hazel Wood very weird.

Anyway, I was a little confused with Alice’s story at first. But that was probably because Alice had no idea what was going on and it’s all in her point of view. As Alice started to get answers some things started to make sense. It was still all very weird though.

I still don’t really know what to think of this book. Did I like it? No. Was it bad? No. It was just a very slow read for me and I don’t think that helped. I gave myself some time to write this review and try to get my thoughts together but I still have no clue what to say. How do you write a review what you’re not even sure how you feel about the book? This has to be one of the hardest reviews I’ve ever written.

And I don’t think all the hype around The Hazel Wood helped much. My expectations were kind of high from some of the things I’d been hearing and for me it just didn’t live up to them.

It’s not that the story was bad. It was kind of dark, twisted and weird. And the last time I read a book similar to this, that one wasn’t as dark, I didn’t like it either. I can’t say which book it was here because if you have already read that one it might give things away. Especially the plot twist. But unlike the other book, The Hazel Wood didn’t have any romance and I really liked it for that because it definitely wasn’t needed.

So, I’m not really sure what happened with me and The Hazel Wood. I guess this book just wasn’t for me. But I’m sure there are lots of people who will enjoy the mystery of Alice’s story.

*Thank you Penguin Random House New Zealand for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen.

Title – Reign the Earth
Series – The Elementae #1
Author – A.C. Gaughen
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 438 pages
Publication Date – January 2018 by Bloomsbury Children’s Books
ISBN – 9781681199368
My Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…/5

“She is a daughter of the desert, and she has magic in her blood.”

Shalia’s people are desperate for the war to end and their people to stop dying. So she’s willing to sacrifice her freedom to save them. Shalia agrees to an arranged marriage with the king id the adjoining kingdom, even though it’ll mean behind everything she’s ever known. In her strange new country magic is forbidden and the people who have the power to control the elements, the Elementae, are traitors.

Before the coronation, Shalia discovers she has the power to control Earth. Trapped between her husband’s hatred of the Elementae and a rebellion, Shalia has a difficult decision to make – save both her people and the Elementae or save herself.

I received a copy of Reign the Earth from Bloomsbury Australia to review. This is the first book in the Elementae series.Β DWHZTh0U8AUrTKK

Okay so I’m just going to get this out of the way first – there is emotional and physical abuse in this book. And not just between Shalia and her husband. I felt like her husband (what was his name again?) manipulated his sister too. Or that could just have been the way she was raised. I can’t really remember a lot. But I do remember her letting him get away with a lot when he needed his head pulled in. It was hard to read at times, the scenes with Shalia and her husband, because I wanted Shalia to stand up for herself and tell him where to go. But at the same time I knew what was at risk for her. Her husband was such an ass. He just came across to me as a spoiled, weak and scared child who’d been indulged and obeyed because of the title he held not because people respected him. He doesn’t come across to me as someone who’ll eventually see the error of his ways and maybe change or grow up. He likes being in control and having the people around him fear him. This dude just needs to die. I’m so done with him.

I especially hated what he did to innocent people, even children! And don’t get me started on the things he did to the Elementae and his messed up reasons why. Not only because of the spoilers but he just makes me so angry.

Moving on from him. I really liked the magic in Reign the Earth and the story of where it came from. Not the death part! But the parts about where it went and how it was freed. I loved Shalia’s family, especially her best friend/sister and her brother. And I loved Shalia too. She was a lot stronger and smarter than a certain character gave her credit for. I’m looking forward to finding out what she does next.

And the ending was so good! I mean there was one part I didn’t like. But the action just built up and oh my god that cliffhanger! I need the sequel like right now!

I definitely recommend this to anyone who likes strong female characters and some pretty awesome magic!

*Thank you Bloomsbury Australia for sending me a copy to review*

–Β  Aimee.

Review: Moonrise by Sarah Crossan.

Title – Moonrise
Author – Sarah Crossan
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 400 pages
Publication Date – September 7th 2017 by Bloomsbury Childrens
ISBN – 9781408867808
My Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…/5

“They think I hurt someone.
But I didn’t. You hear?
Cos people are gonna be telling you
All kinds of lies.
I need you to know the truth.”

Joe hasn’t seen his older brother, Ed, in ten years and its for the worst reason. Ed is sitting on death row and his execution date has been set. This might be the last summer Joe has with his brother.

I received a copy of Moonrise from Bloomsbury Australia to review. This is the second book I’ve read by Crossan. I read One a few years ago and loved it. When I received Moonrise in the mail to review I was excited to read it.Β DIWdvtbUQAAlVIo

I’m just going to get this out of the way now. Not a lot of books have made me cry but I’ll admit that I was actually crying at the end of this book. Actual tears! Which for me means it was a really good book and one of the reasons I gave it five stars. I just got so attached to Joe and Ed and I wanted them to have a happy ending.

In Moonrise, Ed is on death row for a crime he says he didn’t commit. I’m going to admit that I was a little skeptical at first. I know it’s supposed to be innocent until proven guilty but Ed was in prison. No one wants to think the justice system screws up and that innocent people are, right now, sitting in prison for something they didn’t do. And especially not on death row. But the justice system isn’t perfect and mistakes are made. Innocent people have been executed and are imprisoned. This isn’t related to the book but, for example, Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey. I believe they’re both innocent. If you haven’t seen Making a Murderer then I highly recommend it. Although it made me very angry. This book shows what happens when the justice system fails.

But it also shows what one family is willing to do for someone they love. Even if they’re aren’t sure what to believe. Ed’s family wants to be there for him at the end, when he needs them the most. Especially if it might be the last time they see each other.

Moonrise is told in verse. I’ve only read one other book told this way and it was also by Crossan and I loved that too. Even though it was sad. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to connect with the story or characters with the book being written this way but both Moonrise and One was amazing and so, so sad.

I think I might have to pick up more of Crossan’s books. This isn’t the kind of book I usually read but I could not put it down.

*Thank you Bloomsbury Australia for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

Review: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.

Title – Children of Blood and Bone
Series – Legacy of Orisha #1
Author – Tomi Adeyemi
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 531 pages
Publication Date – March 13th 2018 by Macmillan Children’s Books
ISBN – 9781509871353
My Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…/5

Zelie can remember when Orisha was alive with magic. So many different kinds of magic. Zelie’s mother was a Reaper who could summon spirits. But everything changed when magic disappeared. The king of Orisha ordered all maji over a certain age to be killed. Zelie was left without her mother and their people without hope.

Now, Zelie has one chance to bring magic back and get revenge. With the help of Amari, a rogue princess, Zelie needs to outrun and outwit the crown prince, who is determined to get rid of magic for good.

I received a copy of Children of Blood and Bone from Macmillan Publishers New Zealand to review.Β DXooSdXUQAA5aca

I’m going to just get this out of the way now, I freaking loved this book! It did take be a while to get through because its bigger than I was expecting and the text in the copy I got is kind of small. But it was totally worth it. I loved the characters, well most of them, and the magic!

I don’t understand why the maji’s powers needed to be taken away, why the king was so scared of magic and why he taught others to hate them. Even when his reasons were revealed I wasn’t sure I believed him. He’s such a disgusting and hateful person that I’m sure he could have made it all up. I do get how, if it is true, why he’d hate the people who did it. But that doesn’t mean he had to kill all the maji or excuse what he did. Or even give him a reason to do it.

Then there’s his son, Inan. I think he was the most frustrating character in the whole book for me. I mean, at least his father was honest about what he wanted. But Inan was all over the place. And the fact that he thought Zelie had cursed him but was willing to use that curse if it meant getting what he wanted? No. I just couldn’t with him. I mean, I can see what his father did to him growing up and his fear too.

I loved Zelie, Amari and Tzain! They were one of the best parts of Children of Blood and Bone for me. Them and the magic! The world in this book sounded mostly awful, especially for the diviners. There was even a slur for them. But there were some good things too – most of the people were good. People like Zelie, Amari and Tzain who were fighting to give their people hope again. And a fighting chance too. I hated the racism, racial slurs and prejudice. But I was drawn into Zelie and Amari’s race to save magic.

And the ending! Wow, I did not see that coming! I can’t wait to see what’s next for Zelie, Amari, Tzain and the people of Orisha.

I can’t recommend Children of Blood and Bone enough. It’s one of the best books I’ve read this year! And I definitely recommend reading the author’s note at the end of the book. I don’t normally read them so I’m not sure what made me read Tomi’s but it gave more insight into the story of Orisha.

*Thank you Macmillan Publishers New Zealand for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

Review: Obsidio by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff.

Title – Obsidio
Series – The Illuminae Files #3
Authors – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 615 pages
Publication Date – March 14th 2018 by Allen & Unwin
ISBN – 9781925266726
My Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…/5

“Asha Grant came to Karenza to escape her past. Too bad he just caught up with her.”

Asha is one of the survivors from BeiTech’s attack on Karenza and now she’s part of the resistance. The last thing Asha thought she’d have to worry about was her ex-boyfriend. But Rhys Lindstrom just landed on Karenza, and he’s looking better than ever. Even though he’s in a BeiTech uniform…

Asha isn’t the only one who’s got problems. Her cousin, Kady and the other survivors are heading towards Karenza – and they don’t have enough oxygen to get there alive. BeiTech are hurrying to fix their damaged jump gate, which will mean killing anyone alive on Karenza before they leave.

I received a copy of Obsidio from Allen and Unwin New Zealand to review. This is the final book in The Illuminae Files. You can click the links for my reviews of Illuminae and Gemina.Β DWbW7vcU0AUzyya

I loved the first two books in this trilogy. The story has been edge of your seat insane and I love how the story is told through surveillance videos, IM’s and illustrations. Obsidio was one of my most anticipated books this year and it deserved all the stars!

I was definitely expecting death in this one. I mean, why wouldn’t I after what AIDAN did in Illuminae and Gemina? And I didn’t want to get my hopes up that everyone that I liked would survive because I felt like I’d just be setting myself up for heartbreak. But that’s all I’m going to say about that.

I love Kady, Ezra, Hanna, Nik and Ella. It didn’t take me long to add Asha to that list but I wasn’t sure what to think of Rhys. Not just because he was in a BeiTech uniform but I was hoping he’d end up on the right side.

There were so many time while reading Obsidio that I thought people were dead. I can only remember one part where I knew some of the characters weren’t dead even though people thought they were. I’m not going to say who because I don’t want to spoil anything.

I loved the ending of Obsidio! The part where Kady, Ezra and Nik were talking about Leanne made me laugh out loud. And that final tribunal scene was hilarious! But I did enjoy the tribunal scenes in Illuminae and Gemina too.

Oh my god – the identity of the person doing the surveillance footage was revealed in this. How did I not see that coming? It’s so freaking obvious now! They were one of my favourite parts of all three books.

And then there’sΒ AIDAN… What can I say aboutΒ AIDAN? Well he didn’t disappoint. Even though he killed all those people I still missedΒ AIDAN. Is that weird?

If you haven’t read The Illuminae Files you’re totally missing out! There’s zombies, disgusting giant worm things that always make me cringe when I read about them and a psychotic AI who kills people. Seriously, what’s not to love? This trilogy has made me actually laugh out loud in every books. I love the story, the characters, the sarcasm and Marie Lu’s illustrations. I gave every book five stars. I can’t wait to see what Kaufman and Kristoff come up with next!

*Thank you Allen and Unwin New Zealand for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

March TBR.

monthlytbr-copy

I thought it was about time I shared my March TBR. I know I’m a bit late this month but oh well. Hopefully I’ll be more organised next moth.

DXJskAZUQAE1hRE

I’ve only read two books so far this month but they were both really long and one took me a while to get through because of a character I didn’t like. Actually they both had a character I didn’t like.

So I’ve read The City of Brass and Children of Blood and Bone. And I loved Children of Blood and Bone. I gave it five stars. I ended up giving The City of Brass four stars. I’ll post reviews of both soon.

I’m trying to decide what to read next. It’s between Deception and Scythe. I’m leaning more towards Deception because the first book in the Dark Matter trilogy, Contagion, was a fast read for me.

And then who knows? I’m a mood reader so these books aren’t in any type of order. I read The City of Brass first because it was on my February TBR and I didn’t get to it. I’ll guess I’ll see what mood I’m in when I finish my next read.

What’s on your March TBR?

Aimee.