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 – ★★★★★/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 GeminaDWbW7vcU0AUzyya

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’s AIDAN… What can I say about AIDAN? Well he didn’t disappoint. Even though he killed all those people I still missed 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.

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Review: Nexus by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan & Deborah Biancotti.

Title – Nexus
Series – Zeroes #3
Authors – Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan & Deborah Biancotti
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 432 pages
Publication Date – November 2017 by Allen & Unwin
ISBN – 9781925267259
My Rating – ★★★★/5

“The Zeroes are in disarray. One of them has vanished. One of them is in prison. The rest of them are on the most-wanted list. And something big is brewing.”

Bellweather is being held in a high-security prison, accused of murdering Swarm. He’s alone and unable to use his power. Flicker, Mob, Crash and Scam are on the run – wanted for domestic terrorism. And the FBI have a secret weapon of their own – a teenage girl with a power the Zeroes have never seen before.

After breaking Bellweather out of prison the Zeroes travel to New Orleans, where Mardi Gras crowds promise power to anyone who can channel it. It’s there that an army of Zeroes are gathering around a very powerful leader. And they don’t have anything good planned.

Time is running out. The Zeroes need to trust each other again and combine their powers for good to stop the coming threat. DVYpwdyV4AA4fan

I received a copy of Nexus from Allen and Unwin New Zealand to review. This is the final book in the Zeroes series. You can click the links for my review of the first two books, Zeroes and Swarm.

I enjoyed both Zeroes and Swarm more than I thought I would. So I was looking forward to finding out how the story would end. I didn’t want to go into Nexus with any expectations so there was no way I could be disappointed. However the story ended. I did have one thing that I wanted to happen though. I won’t say what here.

I think Nate has annoyed me in all three books now. I never liked that his power meant he had control over the Zeroes and the fact that he loved it. But his obsession in Nexus with the leader of the group in New Orleans was ridiculous. He didn’t even know what this person was up to  – good or bad. But I am glad Riley found her voice. I definitely preferred her as a leader over Nate.

Speaking of the leader in New Orleans… I have no idea what happened to make them come up with this insane plan but clearly it wasn’t worth it. I don’t know if I want to know their story but I think it might have been interesting. Or maybe not.

I am glad that there was kind of an epilogue to Nexus and there was a way to see what happened to most of the characters. But I did feel bad for Ethan. I definitely prefer when a series has an actual ending.

I can’t remember if there was ever an answer to where their powers came from though? It was a question I had when I was reading the first book. I think all the Zeroes were born in 2000? Or I could be completely wrong. But I did want to know where they came from. Especially because Riley got a power but her twin didn’t…

The Zeroes series was really good. I wasn’t sure if I’d like it at first. The superpowers thing drew me in with the first book because I love Marvel and DC movies. But there was just something about it that had me read the next two books.

If you like X-Men (kids developing random powers) then you should check out the Zeroes series.

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

– Aimee.

 

August Book Haul.

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I was planning on going on a book buying ban in August but that didn’t last long. I did only buy seven books but I still broke the ban. I seriously don’t even know why I bother.

Anyway, I’ll just get into the haul. Hopefully this won’t be as long.

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So the first two books I got in August were sent to me from HarperCollins New Zealand. I’ve actually already read and reviewed this. Which doesn’t happen very often in my hauls. If you want to read my review you can click the link here.

I’m not going to go into what The Cause of Death is about here because I have posted my review of this. But I will say that if you love true crime and can find a copy of this then I recommend reading it. Plus, it’s set in the area where I live. So I’ve actually been to some of the places in this book rather than just reading about them. Which was a nice change. And some of the cases were really interesting.

I read The Outliers last year and really enjoyed it. I’ve been waiting for the sequel ever 2since I finished the first book. I don’t remember everything that happened but I do remember how the book ended. I’m hoping to pick this up soon.

I think the first book was about some kind of power? I know someone was kidnapped or ran away and her friend and boyfriend went to look for her. Then things went all kinds of crazy and that’s where I’m missing things. But I can remember the ending which is weird. I might either look up the book or read my review so that I don’t have to re-read the book. I’ll see. Hopefully there’s some kind of recap at the start of The Scattering.

So the next book was a surprise. I don’t remember requesting it but that doesn’t mean I 3didn’t. I’m not good with remembering which books I’ve requested. Anyway, this book was sent to me from Allen and Unwin New Zealand.

I don’t know anything about this. It’s not a very long book so hopefully I’ll get to it soon-ish. I’m assuming it’s about someone who either wants to fit in with everyone else or is being told to be like all the other girls and doesn’t want to. But I can also be completely off. I guess I’ll find out when I pick it up. I’m not exactly sure when that will be with the reading slumps I’ve been in lately. I’m struggling to even start a new book right now….

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe was sent to me from Walker Books Australia. I read 4Laurens other books, The Next Together and The Last Beginning. I liked them both so I was excited to see Lauren had written a sci-fi because I love sci-fi books. Although I haven’t read that many…

I think this is about a girl that’s alone and falls in love with someone she’s never met. Or something like that anyway. I might put this on my August TBR. I haven’t even thought about that yet. This reading slump is annoying me and I don’t know what books will help get me out of it this time. Or maybe I should just stop scrolling through social media and actually pick up a book.

The next two books were sent to me from Bloomsbury Australia to review. I have read 5Moonrise but haven’t reviewed it yet. I have read one other book by Sarah Crossan and I loved that so I was excited to receive Moonrise to review.

This book follows Joe as he goes to visit the brother he hasn’t seen in ten years. Ed has been sitting on death row in Texas (I think) and his execution has been set. This might be the last summer Joe and Ed get to spend together.

I found Moonrise really gripping and so hard to put down. And it actually made me cry. Not a lot of book have made me cry but this one did. I’m hoping to post my review of this soon but I’d definitely recommend it.

Bloomsbury Australia also sent me a copy of Because You Love to Hate Me. I know I don’t 6have a very good history with short story books with different authors but there were a few that have written stories for this that I love and I just had to read it. I’m looking forward to reading the stories by Renee Ahdieh, Marissa Meyer, Victoria Schwab, Samantha Shannon and Nicola Yoon. I think some of the stories are retellings and I love retellings so I can’t wait to pick this up.

I think I might put this on my August TBR. I have been wanting to read this since I first heard about it. Maybe it’ll help me with my stupid reading slump. I bet you’re sick of me talking about that now.

The next books I got were the ones I broke my book buying ban for. I had wanted the 7hardbacks of this edition of the Harry Potter series since they came out but my mum bought be the paperback box set. But I got an email from Booktopia with a free shipping code and saw that they were that expensive on there. I’ve seen them listed for double what I paid so I just got them. But I did sell my paperbacks so I don’t have three editions.

I have slowly been re-reading the series. I’m up to Goblet of Fire so I’m thinking I might also put that on my August TBR. I love re-reading the Harry Potter books even though I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read them. It’s one of my favourite series.

The next two books were sent to me from Penguin Random House New Zealand to 8review. I was so excited to see Wonder Woman: Warbringer! It’s one of the books I was most excited to read this month so this is definitely going on my TBR for August.

All I can remember about this book is it follows Diana as she saves a mortal girl, Alia, who is a warbringer descended from Helen of Troy and something about if Alia is left to live and not helped by some spring then she will bring in an age of war.

I loved the Wonder Woman movie and cannot wait to pick this up. I think this might have to be my next read.

Penguin Random House New Zealand also sent me a copy of A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares to review. I can’t 9remember what this is about but I’ve heard good things about Krystal Sutherland so I wanted to give this book a chance.

I don’t know when I’ll get around to reading this. Hopefully sometime this month but who really knows at this point?

I know Krystal is an Australian author and I need to read more NZ and Aussie authors. I haven’t actually read that many. Although I don’t know of a lot of NZ YA authors so that’s also a problem I need to fix. Maybe one day. I think I need to read my books first.

So a few of weeks ago I was contacted on Instagram by a company asking if I’d like a 10review copy of The Crowns of Croswald. I looked the book up on Goodreads and thought it sounded interesting so i said yes. Then at the end of August this box of goodies showed up. It’s such an amazing box full of things that relate to the book and I can’t wait to read it.

I’ve seen a lot of people on Bookstagram have loved this so I think I might pick this up soon-ish.

This isn’t the best photo of everything that came in the box so I might have to take a better one when I start the book because so much went into it.

The last two books I received in August were sent to me from Allen and Unwin New 11Zealand. I can’t remember what drew me to S.T.A.G.S but when I requested it I thought it sounded like something I’d enjoy.

Maybe it was because it sounded kind of similar to The Hunger Games with the “deadly weekend” thing? I really don’t remember. But who doesn’t love reading about death?

Anyway, I have seen a couple of people picking this up on Bookstagram and saying it was better than they expected to I guess I’ll find out what they’re talking about when I get around to picking it up. Whenever that will be.

The last book I received in August was Genuine Fraud. I have only ever read We Were 12Liars by E. Lockhart and I wasn’t really a fan of the main character, she was really annoying, so I couldn’t get into the book. I did see the twist coming though.

But I did like the sound of Genuine Fraud so I thought I’d give this a chance. Although I can’t remember what it’s about now.

So that’s my book haul for August. What books did you get last month?

– Aimee.

 

 

Review: Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology by Danielle Binks.

Title – Begin, End, Begin: A LoveOzYA Anthology
Authors – Amie Kaufman, Melissa Keil, Will Kostakis, Ellie Marney, Jaclyn Moriarty, Michael Pryor, Alice Pung, Gabrielle Tozer, Lili Wilkinson & Danielle Binks
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 336 pages
Publication Date – April 24th 2017 by HarperCollins Australia
ISBN – 9781460752319
My Rating – ★★★/5

“The YA event of the year. Bestsellers. Award-winners. Superstars. This anthology has them all.

With brilliantly entertaining short stories from beloved young adult authors Amie Kaufman, Melissa Keil, Will Kostakis, Ellie Marney, Jaclyn Moriarty, Michael Pryor, Alice Pung, Gabrielle Tozer, Lili Wilkinson and Danielle Binks, this all-new collection will show the world exactly how much there is to love about Aussie YA.”

I received a copy of Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology from HarperCollins New Zealand to review. 3

There are a lot of authors who have written stories for this book that I’ve never read before I picked up this book. So I was excited to get a copy of this so that I could read more Australian authors. I had read books by Amie Kaufman, Lili Wilkinson and Melissa Keil.

I don’t review or read a lot of books with short stories because I don’t find them the easiest books to review. Especially when they have more than one author. There’s a reason I only gave this book three stars and I’ll get to that later in my review. I’m not going to talk about every short story but I will talk about the ones that stood out for me.

I loved Amie Kaufman’s One Small Step, which is the first shot story in the book. This is the first story I’ve read where Kaufman wasn’t co-authored by Meagan Spooner or Jay Kristoff. And I am so happy that I loved her writing when it’s just her. This was sci-fi story with some romance as well. I don’t want to say too much about the story but it had an interracial (I hope that’s the right word?) love interest and a lesbian main character. And it was my favourite story out of all of them. I wish it was longer actually.

I also liked First Casualty by Michael Pryor. This was another sci-fi story and it had aliens too who were rescued by the two characters in the story and then really mistreated because they were different and other. If I remember correctly. I’ll admit, it’s been a while since I read this.

I did like one or two more stories but those are the only two that still stand out and I can remember most of the storyline. Looking back at the table of contents now there are two more that I remember clearly and the rest have completely slipped my mid. But that always happens to me with short stories. I find I don’t have enough time to connect to the story or characters before it’s all over. Which is why I can’t give this more than three stars – I only liked two or three stories out of how many? Ten. Wow that’s bad.

I have seen a few reviews on Goodreads mentioning that they were excited to read some of the stories in this book because they knew the characters. That may be another reason I didn’t connect with those stories – they’d mostly been told in other books that I’ve never heard of. But there’s only one way to find out and that by looking up the books.

But I did like reading more Australian authors and I think this is a great way to sample their work without having to read a whole book. I do wish there was something like this for New Zealand YA authors too because I can only think of one off the top of my head.

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

– Aimee.

July Wrap Up.

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I’m going to be doing things a little differently with my wrap up this month. I normally add my TBR for the next month after I’ve given a list of what I read but as it’s still July I haven’t gotten much of a TBR yet, except for my ARC August TBR. So I’ll just mention that at the end for anyone who hasn’t read my ARC August TBR post.

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I read 10 books in July, two of them were re-reads. I had a bit of a reading slump and just couldn’t get out of it. Anyway, onto the ratings.

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead – ★★★/5
Begin, End, Begin – A #LoveOzYA Anthology by Danielle Binks – ★★★/5
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (re-read) – ★★★★★/5
Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (re-read) – ★★★★★/5
When Dimple met Rishi by Sandhya Menon – ★★★/5
The Huntress: Sea by Sarah Driver – ★★★/5
Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index by Julie Israel – ★★★★/5
The Moonlight Dreamers by Siobhan Curham – ★★★★/5
Countless by Karen Gregory – ★★★★/5
The Leaving by Tara Altebrando – ★★★/5

Obviously I love Illuminae and Gemina and they were still good the second time. I also really enjoyed Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index, The Moonlight Dreamers and Countless. The rest were just okay. I loved some of the stories in the LoveOzYA Anthology but most of them were just okay so I couldn’t give that more than three stars.

So, now for my ARC August TBR. I have made a post about this so if you’ve already read that then you can skip this part.

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These are the five books I plan on reading for ARC August. Well they were when I made the TBR post. But I found another ARC that I should have already read by now that I’m going to read as well. That’s The Student by Iain Ryan. It’s set in Australia.

If you want to read the full ARC August TBR post then click the link 🙂

I’ll be posting my full August TBR soon. When I’ve figured out what else I want to read.

What books did you read in July?

Aimee.

WWW Wednesday [July 12th 2017] –

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This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. All you have to do is answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the Comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

The questions are:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading –
12I started When Dimple met Rishi yesterday and so far it’s okay.. This is not the kind of book I normally read, all the relationship stuff is not my thing and I can already tell how this will end despite what Dimple said from the beginning of the book.

I wanted to read this because I’ve never read a book with Indian characters and the culture being a main part of the story and I am enjoying that part. I just don’t think this is my sort of book. But I’m still going to finish it.

Recently Finished –
DEQBQX-VYAAjLQPI took a break over the weekend from review books, which I haven’t done in a while, and re-read two books I’ve been meaning to pick up again for months. I did push them back because the last book in the trilogy was pushed back until March next year (boo!) but I just couldn’t wait any longer. I blame Amie’s story in the LoveOzYA Anthology book. It was set in space and I was just like, no. I need Illuminae and Gemina now.

I can read both Illuminae and Gemina in one day. Each. Not both in one day. Which is why I just read them over the weekend. They are just so addictive and I never want to put them down when I’m reading them. DEK7JnfUMAA1lU6

If you haven’t read these books then I cannot recommend them more. When I first read Illuminae I didn’t know if I’d like it at all. I don’t think I’d read a sci-fi book before this but it was just so, so good!!

I cannot wait for Obsidio to come out next year. Even though I don’t want this trilogy to end I still want to know how it will end and what’s next for Kady, Ezra, Hanna, Nik, Ella and even AIDEN. I also want to know who’s behind the security videos because they’re funny. Anyway, if you haven’t picked up Illuminae or Gemina then you really should!DEBAkx7UwAAfS33

I also read Begin, End, Begin – A LoveOzYA Anthology. I always find these kinds of books hard to review (I think I said this in my last WWW Wednesday post?) because I never like all the stories in the book.

I’m just going to review this as best I can. I will not be reviewing every story though because that will take forever and I just can’t be bothered to be honest. I might mention the ones I really liked though. If I can remember what ones I liked….

Reading Next – 5
I think it’s about time I read this. I can’t even remember when I requested it because the book was sent to the wrong address and my old neighbour gave it to me. He said he’d had it a couple of weeks so I think this is a bit overdue.. 

All I remember about this is pirates and someone going missing. So I guess I’ll find out more when I pick it up.

What have you read recently?

– Aimee.

Review: Ida by Alison Evans.

Title – Ida
Author – Alison Evans
How I Got It – From the publisher
Publication Date – January 1st 2017 by Bonnier Publishing
ISBN – 9781760404383
RRP – $19.99 NZD
My Rating – ★★★/5

Ida is struggling to figure out what she wants to do with her life. She has the power to shift between different universes, allowing her to follow alternate paths.

One day, Ida sees a shadowy doppelganger on the train and she starts wondering if she actually has control of her ability and whether there are consequences that she’s never considered.

How could she know if one universe is better than another? And what if all the shifting causes Ida to lose what’s most important to her just as she discovers what it is? What happens if Ida can’t find her way back?

I received a copy of Ida from Bonnier Publishing Australia to review. 9

I’ve read a few books with time travel and dimension travel so I was looking forward to reading Ida. But I wish there was more to the book, like a little longer maybe? Because I felt like so much was left out.

I wish there had been an explanation for why Ida can travel to alternate universes and it seems like the rest of her family can’t… Where did this ability/power come from? Then there were the people who just appeared, trying to fix the mess Ida had made and then they just disappeared just as suddenly… What? I would have liked to know more about them and the work they were doing. I just felt a little let down with all the things that were left out.

Ida (the book) was full of diverse characters though, which I loved. Ida is bisexual in a relationship with Daisy, who identifies as genderqueer and goes by they/them pronouns. I will admit it took me awhile to get used to reading the they/them pronouns because I think this is the first book where I think they’ve been used, where someone other than the main character uses they/them pronouns.

There was also Ida’s cousin, Frank. Who was, I think, transgender. It’s not actually said out loud but he does mention experimenting wearing binders and finding the right one. I don’t think I’ve read a fiction YA book with a character talking about binding before so that was really great to see.

I do wish there was more about Ida and Daisy. Their story was mostly told in past tense because of all the travelling Ida was doing. I know there was something going on at home for Daisy but it was just hinted at and glossed over. I got the impression that there was an alcoholic/abusive father but I’m not really sure.

And then there was the ending, which felt kind of rushed to me. This other character, Daramius, was meant to be helping Ida but like I said, she just kind of left the story and the mess to Ida. I guess it was her mess to fix anyway. I just felt like the book was so short I didn’t really get to connect with these characters as much as I liked them. Which is a shame because I’ve heard good things about this book.

Ida has a very diverse cast of characters and is an own voices book which is always a plus. It’s also by an Australian author. I just wish I had connected more with the characters and the story.

*Thank you Bonnier Publishing for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.