Review: Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff.

Title – Godsgrave
Series – The Nevernight Chronicles #2
Author – Jay Kristoff
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 437 pages
Publication Date – September 7th 2017 by Harper Voyager UK
ISBN – 9780008180041
My Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…/5

Mia is now a Blade of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but not everyone in the Red Church thinks she earned it.

After a deadly confrontation with an enemy, Mia starts to wonder what the Red Church is really doing. So when an opportunity for revenge presents itself, Mia defies the Church and sells herself into slavery with the hope of fulfilling the promise she made the day she lost everything.

In the arena, Mia finds new allies, more rivals and even more questions about her connection to the shadows. As conspiracies unfold and secrets are revealed the body count starts to rise. And Mia will be forced to choose between loyalty and revenge.

I received a copy of Godsgrave from HarperCollins New Zealand to review. This is the second book in The Nevernight Chronicles. You can read my review of the first book, DNVuHM4VwAA5F-5Nevernight, here.

I really enjoyed Godsgrave. Mia is on a different pathΒ in this book but still has the same goal – vengeance for her family. There were so many things that came out this the book. Things about Mia’s family and the Red Church. Which has Mia going behind the Church’s back and trusting someone she isn’t sure she can actually trust.

Speaking of that person, I wasn’t really sure what to think of them helping Mia. Or if they were actually helping her and not just setting her up. I didn’t like what they did in Nevernight but at the same time they were helping Mia when they didn’t have to. Although I think they made some kind of deal at the start of the book but I’m not 100% sure…

I really liked the new characters in Godsgrave. Well, most of them anyway. There was one guy at this college place where Mia was who drove me nuts. But I liked all the other Β gladiatii, especially Bryn, Bladesinger and Sidonius. Then there was this weird dark thing that Mia encountered at the start of the book. I didn’t know what to think about that thing… But what happened at the end of the book? What the hell was that? How can you just leave it there!! Oh my god.

I can’t do a review of Godsgrave and not mention the narrator. I actually love whoever’s telling this story just because of their sarcasm. I don’t care who it is anymore. I just love how they’re telling the story. I know some people don’t like the footnotes but I enjoy them just as much as the story.

I cannot wait for the next book to come out! That twist at the end was so good! Well, there was more than one twist at the end… But they were all so bloody good! If you haven’t read Nevernight and Godsgrave then you’re really missing out.

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

– Aimee.

 

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Review: Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead.

Title – Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead
Series – Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #3
Author – Rick Riordan
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 456 pages
Publication Date – October 3rd 2017 by Puffin
ISBN – 9780141342597
My Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…/5

Loki is free of his chains and has put together a crew of giants and zombies to sail the Ship of the Dead into battle against the Norse gods. If he wins, RagnarΓΆk will end all the worlds.

With help fromΒ  his friends, Magnus will have to sail across the oceans to find Loki before Midsummer’s Day.

Even if Magnus survives the journey he’ll need more than just Jack, his talking sword, to defeat Loki. Magnus and his friends need to find a magical elixir that could give him the power to beat Loki and put him back in chains.

I received a copy of Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead from Penguin RandomDMydKunVQAEvpKO House New Zealand to review.

I love how diverse the Magnus Chase books are! Alex is gender fluid and Samirah is Muslim. In Ship of the Dead Sam is celebrating Ramadan (is celebrating the right word?) so I got to learn about that. I’m assuming that Riordan did his research or already knew about Ramadan and Sam’s religion. And I really love that a Muslim character was included in these books. Sam is my favourite character. I loved that she was true to who herself and what she believed in while also being a Valkyrie. I think she got the best of both worlds. Maybe not the best father though…

I also enjoyed the friendship between Alex and Magnus and that Magnus could tell just by looking at Alex which pronouns they were using. And the fact that their friendship/relationship – whatever they have – didn’t seem forced.

I didn’t know when I picked up Ship of the Dead that this is the last book in the trilogy? I was expecting a longer series. I guess the story wrapped up but I was expecting an end of the world type battle – like RagnarΓΆk I guess. But then if RagnarΓΆk actually happened then everyone would die and the plan was to stop it. Or prevent it. So I was kind of disappointed with how the story ended but it was still good. And with Magnus being Annabeth’s cousin I’m hoping he’ll be mention in other books? Who knows.. I am glad Annabeth and Percy were in this one, even if it wasn’t for long.

I love Riordan’s books and can’t wait to read the next one to come out. I think it’s part of the Trials of Apollo series. If you haven’t read any of Riordan’s books then I can’t recommend them enough.

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

– Aimee.

Review: The Wonderling by Mira Bartok.

Title – The Wonderling
Author – Mira Bartok
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 464 pages
Publication Date – September 28th 2017 by Walker Books
ISBN – 9781406370645
My Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…/5

“Welcome to the home ofΒ Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures, an institution run by evil Miss Carbunkle, a cunning villainess who believes her terrified young charges exist only to serve and suffer. Part animal and part human, the groundlings toil in classroom and factory, forbidden to enjoy anything regular children have, most particularly singing and music. For the Wonderling, an innocent-hearted, one-eared, fox-like eleven-year-old with only a number rather than a proper name – a 13 etched on a medallion around his neck – it is the only home he has ever known.

But unexpected courage leads him to acquire the loyalty of a young bird groundling named Trinket, who gives the Home’s loneliest inhabitant two incredible gifts: a real name – Arthur, like the good king in the old stories – and a best friend. Using Trinket’s ingenious invention, the pair escape over the wall and embark on an adventure that will take them out into the wider world and ultimately down the path of sweet Arthur’s true destiny.”Β 

I received a copy of The Wonderling from Walker Books Australia to review. This isn’t the kind of book I usually read but I wanted to give it a chance because I’d heard good things DMDXCNCUMAAUIxSabout it.

I’m just going to come out and say it, I think this may have been a little too young for me. I don’t know if it was the reading slump I was in when I read this but I felt like the story dragged on a bit. I did like some of the characters and I kept reading because I wanted to know what happened to them.

I also liked the illustrations. They were adorable and my favourite part of the book. I’m sure younger readers will enjoy them too. And I liked that this was a story of acceptance and belonging. I think this will be a great book for kids.

I really wish I’d gotten into The Wonderling. It sounded good when I read the synopsis. I just can’t tell if it was me, the reading slump or it just wasn’t my kind of book.

*Thank you Walker Books Australia for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

Review: Invictus by Ryan Graudin.

Title – Invictus
Author – Ryan Graudin
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 464 pages
Publication Date – September 21st 2017 by Orion Children’s Books
ISBN – 9781510102866
My Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…/5

Farway McCarthy is a time traveller. He doesn’t have anywhere he calls home and not a lot to anchor him to the present. Far captains a crew on missions into the past.

On his recent trip, Far runs into Eliot – a mysterious girl and ends up following her in a race against time. They need to protect their present lives from disappearing forever.

I received a copy of Invictus from Hachette New Zealand to review. This is the fourth DLUqWnLUMAAk4ipbook of Ryan’s that I’ve read. I think my favourites are still her Wolf by Wolf duology.

I was in a reading slump when I read this so I’m not really sure if it was that of the fact that I couldn’t really connect to Far – who was the main character – and his massive ego that drove me nuts and put me off him and the book. I mean, it could have been both? I don’t think the book dragged but it did feel like it took a long time for the story to get interesting to me. I think because it took so long for the reason behind Eliot joining the crew of the Invictus to come out as well that I just got bored waiting. But when it all came out the story did seem to pick up and finally caught my interest. I can’t remember how far into the book I was when that happened though.

As you can probably tell I didn’t really like Far all that much. I did respect the choice he made at the end but by then I think it was just too late for me to actually like him as a character. I did like Imogen, Gram and Pryia though. I think Eliot was a little too much like Far for me to like. Maybe less arrogant but I can’t really remember. I think my favourite character in Invictus was Imogen, she was funny and a pet red panda!

Anyway, even though it took me a while to get into the story, I did like it. I do love stories about time travel. And the twist to this story was so good! Oh and I did like the ending, even though it was a little cheesy.

I think Invictus was a stand alone but if there ever was a sequel, and I don’t see why there would be, I’m not sure I’d read it. I liked the ending of Invictus and feel like a sequel could ruin it. But at the same time I could be interesting to see if Far had changed… Probably not though.

If you enjoy time travel and some pretty good twists then I recommend picking up a copy of Invictus.

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

– Aimee.

Review: Genuine Fraud by E. Lockkhart.

Title –  Genuine Fraud
Author – E. Lockhart
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 262 pages
Publication Date – September 6th 2017 by Allen & Unwin
ISBN – 9781760295936
RRP – $22.99 NZD
My Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…/5

“Imogen is an heiress, a runaway and a cheat. Jule is a fighter, a chameleon and a liar.Β 

Imogen is done pretending to be perfect, and Jule refuses to go back to the person she once was. Somewhere between the mansions of Martha’s Vineyard and the shores of Cabo San Lucas, their intense friendship takes a dark turn.”

I received a copy of Genuine Fraud from Allen and Unwin New Zealand to review.Β DKrj__yUIAAh4f4

This is the second book I’ve read by Lockhart. The first one was We Were Liars. I did like Genuine Fraud more but it was still only three stars for me. I don’t think the reading slump I was in at the time helped but it was also the way the story was told that kind of put me off too. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book told this way, backwards, and from this one experience I don’t want to again. But I’m not going to say anything else because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it yet.

The main reason I didn’t put the book down was that I wanted to know what happened to Imogen and Jule. Not because I liked any of the characters because I didn’t but I just want to know what happened and how the book would end.

I will say that thereΒ  was a pretty good twist to the story and it came out right at the end of the book. I did click to it before it came out but only just. It wasn’t obvious from the start of the book. Well, for me anyway.

I don’t think Lockhart’s books are for me. Of the two I’ve read I didn’t like any of the characters. I did read We Were Liars a few years ago so I can’t really remember much other than I couldn’t stand Cadence. So I’m not sure I’ll be reading any more of her books. Unless the story really draws me in…

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

– Aimee.

Gift Ideas for Bookworms.

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I haven’t been posting for a while and I did look into doing Blogmas this year but I just can’t post on here everyday. So I decided to just do a post with some gift ideas for the bookworms in your life. I probably should have done this earlier – like last month maybe? But who doesn’t like last-minute Christmas shopping?

Anyway, I think I came up with five ideas. I wanted to do ten but my brain just wouldn’t work when I was writing all this down. So here’s what I came up with –

1. Your favourite book –Β 
I think this is a great way to get your bookworm to read your favourite book (if they haven’t already) and then you can talk about it after. You could even mark your favourite parts with post-it notes and make it more personal.

If you don’t read but someone in your life does then you could always see if a movie you love was based on a book and give them the book as a gift. Just check if they haven’t already read the book first. I try to read the book before I see the movie but it doesn’t always happen.Β 21980908_164475614133088_5213020618559062016_n

2. Bookish candles –Β 
There are some amazing stores on Etsy that have candles inspired by books. I’ve only bought candles from a few of them because shipping to New Zealand is crazy but I do love Faerie Tales Creations, Flickering Books and Wick and Fable. You can click the links to check them out.

This #CurrentlyReading candle is from Faerie Tales Candles and it smells amazing. There are also little wax melts on the top of the candles which are really cute. This one has little piles of books. They are located in New Zealand so shipping for me is really good. I’m not sure what it costs to other countries.Β 22280972_725992040929903_5233457172465057792_n

3. Bookmarks –Β 
Bookworms can never have enough bookmarks. Unless the fold down the corners of the pages… Which I never do.

There are some amazing stores out there that sell bookmarks but I think my favourite shop at the moment is Ink & Wonder. They sell more than just bookmarks too. You can click the link to have a look.

I only have one bookmark from them that came in an OwlCrate but I have my eye on a lot more. They’ll have to wait until after Christmas though. The bookmark in the photo is from Ink & Wonder and I love it! So much that I’ll probably never use it. And this candle Untitledis also from Faerie Tales Creation. It has a Targaryen house crest wax melt.

4. Book sleeves –Β 
I take a book everywhere with me and I don’t want them getting damaged in my bag. So I bought a book sleeve from Book Sac Boutique on Etsy and received one from Book Beau in an OwlCrate. I love my Alice and Wonderland book sac and use it all the time.

I recently bought one from Flickering Books. This one is a little different – instead of putting the book into the sleeve it goes around a hardback to protect the book while your reading. DPb7tBNV4AEJuKPI’m still in a reading slump so I haven’t used it yet but it does fit my copy of Tower of Dawn. I don’t think it fits bigger books like Queen of Shadows but I can’t remember if I’ve tried to put that in there yet.

5. Subscription box –Β 
I know these can get expensive depending on where you live with shipping costs and it’s probably too late to buy one now for Christmas anyway but there’s always next year I guess. I have bought a few OwlCrates but I doubt I’ll be getting any next year unless I really like the sound of the box. I’ve also bought one FairyLoot but that was crazy expensive and according to the tracking it hasn’t even left the country it came from so I won’t be getting another one.

If this option doesn’t work for you because of the cost then you can always create your own book box for your bookworm. This way it’s may work out cheaper depending on what you put in the box. And it will definitely be more personalised because you picked everything out yourself. Which I’m sure will mean more to the person you’re gifting it to because you’ll be putting more time and thought into it.

So there’s my five gift ideas for the bookworms in your life. There are also mugs, totes, phone cases etc on Society6. I have never bought anything from there so I didn’t think I should add it to the list. But I have seen some amazing mugs on there.

Happy reading,

– Aimee.

Review: Because You Love to Hate Me by Ameriie.

Title – Because You Love to Hate Me
Authors – Renee Ahdieh, Ameriie, Soman Chainani, Susan Dennard, Sarah Enni, Marissa Meyer, Cindy Pon, Victoria Schwab, Samantha Shannon, Adam Silvera, Andrew Smith, April Genevieve Tucholke & Nicola Yoon
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 353 pages
Publication Date – July 24th 2017 by Bloomsbury Childrens
ISBN – 9781408882764
My Rating – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…/5

“Leave it to the heroes to save the world. Villains just want to rule it.

In this unique YA anthology, thirteen acclaimed authors team up with thirteen influential Booktubers to create tales from the often misunderstood villains point of view.”

I received a copy of Because You Love to Hate Me from Bloomsbury Australia to review.Β DJ9ddklUEAACIKF

I don’t usually like these kinds of books because most of the time I only like a couple of the stories and the rest are just meh. Especially when there is more than one author. Doesn’t stop me reading them though. But I really enjoyed this book.

Yes, there were a few stories that I didn’t really like or connect with but there were more that I liked. Which is why I gave the book four stars. Some of the stories are retellings and others were original.

I’m not going to talk about all thirteen stories in Because You Love to Hate Me, that would just take too long. I liked ten of them which has never happened before. So I’m just going to mention three here. I won’t say what the stories are about because the way the book is set out the challenges from Booktubers are revealed at the end and I don’t want to spoil them for anyone.

The first story I’m going to mention is The Sea Witch by Marissa Meyer. You can probably guess what this one is about from the title. I had an idea when I first picked the book up. This one might actually my favourite because of the twist it had.

The second story is Indigo and Shade by April Genevieve Tucholke. I loved Tucholke’s retelling of this fairytale. I’ve never read anything by Tuchilke before this. Indigo and Shade did start off slow but once it picked up I really enjoyed it.

The last story I’m going to mention here is Shirley and Jim by Susan Dennard. This one was told in emails and I really liked the twist on two fictional characters. I wish I could talk about these more but I just don’t want to ruin them for anyone. I do try to do spoiler free reviews.

There were a few authors in this book that I’d never read anything from before I picked up Because You Love to Hate Me. Out of the thirteen authors in this book I’d read books by only six of them. Which is more than I thought but also not a lot. It has made me want to pick up some books by the other authors though.

I really enjoyed Because You Love to Hate Me and cannot recommend it enough. If you love fairytale retellings and villains then you definitely need to pick up a copy.

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

– Aimee.