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 – ★★★/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.

October Wrap Up.

So I had a really bad reading month in October. I only managed to read three books. It was just one thing after another getting in the way of my reading. I had a reading slump, then my mother broke her ankle and wrist so she couldn’t really do a lot. And then at the end of the month out stray cat that turned up two months ago had three kittens. We didn’t even know she was pregnant. We had to figure out what to do, where to put her and then go and buy her kitten food. Things have settled down now so I hope I can get back into reading soon.

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Invictus by Ryan Graudin – ★★★/5
The Wonderling by Mira Bartok – ★★★/5
Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan – ★★★/5

Not a lot of books and I gave them all three stars… I don’t know if it was me or the reading slump or the book. Or all three. I’ll be reviewing them all soon-ish.

What did you read in October?

– Aimee.

WWW Wednesday – [October 18th 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 –   11 (4)
I’m reading The Wonderling at the moment. It’s not really getting me out of my reading slump like I hoped it would but that might be because the story feels too young for me. I mean, it’s cute but at the same time I feel like the story is dragging on. So hopefully I’ll be able to finish it soon and pass it onto someone who will enjoy it.

I’ll talk about this more when I review it but I don’t know when that will be right now. I have actually written a review that I’ll hopefully be posting tomorrow.

Recently Finished –  3
I haven’t picked up any other books between The Wonderling and Invictus so this will be another short post. Which is good for me because I have to re-arrange my room today. So another day with no much reading. *sigh*

I did enjoy Invictus. I love books about time travelling. But I think Ryan’s Wolf by Wolf duology is still my favourite out of the books I’ve read. I’ll hopefully be reviewing this soon and get back into blogging now that things have settled down again.

Reading Next – 13 (3)
I am planning on picking up Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead next. This series is not my favourite from Riordan but it’s better than The Kane Chronicles and I like reading about the Norse gods.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you’ve been reading.

– Aimee.

WWW Wednesday – [October 11th 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 –   3
This is going to be a really short post today. I’ve had some things going on in my life that kept me from reading as well as my crazy annoying reading slump. So I am still reading Invictus. I’m enjoying the story but I’m just getting distracted and have too many things to do so I haven’t had the chance to sit down and just read.

But whatever. I’ll finish it eventually. I have read three of Ryan’s books and I loved the Wolf by Wolf duology. I am looking forward to seeing how Invictus ends.

Recently Finished – DKrj__yUIAAh4f4
Not really recently finished but I did finish Genuine Fraud and it was good I guess. When I compare it to We Were Liars it was definitely a little better but I didn’t like any of the characters in this book and I don’t remember liking any in We Were Liars either. Maybe Lockhart’s books just aren’t for me. I’ll probably just stay away from them now. I thought this sounded really good but it just wasn’t for me.

But I’ll talk more about that when I review the book. Whenever that will be. I still haven’t written the review yet.

Reading Next – 11 (4)
I don’t know when I’ll finish Invictus yet but the next book I plan on reading is The Wonderling. I think this is a middle grade book but it looks so cute and is not the kind of book I usually read so I’m hoping it may help get me out of this slump. But I’m not holding my breath.

What have you been reading lately?

– Aimee.

WWW Wednesday – [September 27th 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 –  DKrj__yUIAAh4f4
I started Genuine Fraud yesterday and it’s a little weird and I keep losing track of what’s happened because the story is being told in a weird way. I honestly don’t think I’ve read a book that’s told this way before. But I’m not going to say anything here because I’ll be doing a full review eventually.

I’ll hopefully be reading more later today but out of this and the only other book I’ve read by E. Lockhart (We Were Liars) I definitely prefer this one.

Recently Finished – DKSPz9rVwAAEg1Q
I finished The Loneliest Girl in the Universe and I really enjoyed it. I was expecting a twist to the story and it was a really good one! I figured something was up early in the book but I didn’t expect how twisted it was. But I did like it. I mean, I love sci-fi books so I figured I’d like this.

This is the third book by Lauren that I’ve read and I have liked them all. I can’t wait to see what she releases next! If you haven’t read any of Lauren’s books and like time-travel and space then I recommend picking them up. I’ll hopefully be posting my review of The Loneliest Girl in the Universe soon. DJ9ddklUEAACIKF

I also finished Because You Love to Hate Me and I enjoyed that too. I think it’s one of my favourite short story books I’ve read. There were some really good stories. I can’t remember my favourites off the top of my head but I’m sure I’ll have it figured out by the time I post my review.

There are some re-tellings in Because You Love to Hate Me and some original stories. I liked this more than I thought I would.

Reading Next – 3
It’s taken me a while to figure out what I want to read next but I think I’ve finally figured it out. I am planning on reading Invictus next. I’ve read all of Ryan’s books and I’m really looking forward to this one. This has time travel.

What have you read recently?

– Aimee.

December Wrap Up & January TBR.

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I know I’m a little late posting this but I’ve been a little busy moving out of my old house into a temporary place until our new house is ready. It’s been a little crazy around here but hopefully I can get back into things soon.

Anyway, I’ll just jump into my December wrap up now.

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Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin – ★★★★/5
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin – ★★★★★/5
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon – ★★★★/5
Someone I Wanted to Be by Aurelia Wills – ★★★/5
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling – ★★★★★/5
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult – ★★★★★/5
The Jewel by Amy Ewing – ★★★★/5
Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets (Illustrated Edition) by J.K. Rowling & Jim Kay – ★★★★★/5
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh – ★★★★/5

I don’t think I did too badly in December considering I read A Game of Thrones which was over 800 pages. The Wrath and the Dawn isn’t pictured because it’s a library book and was returned before I took the photo.

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I don’t know how many of these I’ll actually get to read this month. My reading did slow down for a bit with all the moving but I’m hoping it’ll pick up again soon.

I have read a few in this photo and finished The Invasion of the Tearling which I started in December but didn’t finish.

What did you read in December? Anything exciting on you January TBR??

Aimee.

Review: Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin.

Title – Blood for Blood
Series – Wolf by Wolf #2
Author – Ryan Graudin
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 496 pages
Publication Date – October 6th 2016 by Orion Children’s Books
ISBN – 9781780622057
My Rating – ★★★★/5

There would be blood. Blood for blood. Blood to pay. An entire world of it.

For the resistance in 1950s Germany, the war may be over, but the fight has just begun.

Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: the world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated, and its consequences are deadly. Yael and her unlikely comrades dive into enemy territory to try to turn the tide against the New Order, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.

But dark secrets reveal dark truths, and one question hangs over them all: how far can you go for the ones you love?

This gripping, thought-provoking sequel to Wolf by Wolf will grab readers by the throat with its cinematic writing, fast-paced action, and relentless twists.

I received a copy of Blood for Blood from Hachette New Zealand to review. I read the first book, Wolf by Wolf, last year. You can read my review for that here.

I loved Wolf by Wolf when I read it last year so I was excited to read the sequel. Especially because the ending of Wolf by Wolf was so good and unexpected.

It was really interesting to see Ryan’s take on history, what she thinks might have happened if Hitler won the war. With a twist. The experiments in this duology (is that the right word?) were so disturbing. I know there were Nazi doctors doing experiments on real cyjo-suaaa1aufpeople during the war. But I have to say the results of the experiments in these books made the story very interesting. Knowing that there were people that actually experimented on human beings is disgusting and so sad.

I really liked Yael and Luca in the first book and I loved them in Blood for Blood. I didn’t think I could like Luca anymore than I did in Wolf for Wolf but I was wrong. And Yael, she’s so young but so strong. She’d lost so much in her life but was prepared to risk everything to do the right thing and stop the evil that was happening.

Felix really frustrated me in this book. I think he frustrated me in the first book but I can’t remember. I mean, I understand why he did the things he did but even when he had his doubts about what was really going on and that he was doing the right thing he made the wrong choice. Like I said, I do get why he did it but he just frustrated me so much.

Blood for Blood was so sad. It not only goes into Yael’s past and the experiments but there was also more Luca and Felix’s pasts too and what happened to make them the people they are and the choices they made.

Although I didn’t like some of the things that happened in this book and it made me cry, I really liked it and couldn’t put it down. I definitely recommend both Wolf by Wolf and Blood for Blood. They’re are amazing books.

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

If you’ve read either of these books let me know what you thought of them in the comments.

– Aimee.

New-To-Me Authors I Read For The First Time In 2016.

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I thought I’d catch up on last week’s Top Ten Tuesday, even if I’m not calling it a Top Ten Tuesday. I’m going to be listing all the author’s I’ve read for the first time in 2016 with the book and my rating starting in January til now.

1. Brigid Kemmerer – Thicker Than Water – ★★★★/5

2. Sarah Crossan – One – ★★★★/5

3. Emma Shevah – Dara Palmer’s Major Drama – ★★★/5

4. Maria Dahvana Headley – Magonia – ★★★/5

5. Alex Marwood – The Darkest Secret – ★★★★/5

6. Katie Alender – Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall – ★★★/5

7. Aaron Hartzler – What We Saw – ★★★★★/5

8. Jennifer A. Nielsen – A Night Divided – ★★★★★/5

9. Maria Lewis – Who’s Afraid – ★★★★/5

10. Alison Goodman – Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club – ★★★★/5

11. Justine Larbalestier – My Sister Rosa – ★★★★★/5

12. Ryan Graudin  – Wolf by Wolf – ★★★★/5

13. Jill Mansel – You and Me, Always – ★★★★/5

14. Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton – Tiny Pretty Things – ★★★★/5

15. Veronica Bennett – 101 Pieces of Me – ★★★/5

16. Jennifer Donnelly – Deep Blue – ★★★★/5

17. Amy Laura Schlitz – The Hired Girl – ★★★/5

18. Anne Cassidy – Moth Girls – ★★★★/5

19. Helena Coggan – The Catalyst – ★★★★/5

20. Harriet Evans – The Butterfly Summer – ★★★/5

21. Eric Lindstrom – Not if I See You First – ★★★★/5

22. Alwyn Hamilton – Rebel of the Sands – ★★★★★/5

23. Erica James – Song of the Skylark – ★★★★/5

24. Lee Battersby – Magrit – ★★★/5

25. Janet Ellis – The Butcher’s Hook – ★★★/5

26. Alexandra Bracken – Passenger – ★★★/5

27. L.S. Hilton – Maestra – ★★★/5

28. Nicci Cloke – Follow Me Back – ★★★★/5

29. Hideo Yokoyama – Six Four – ★★★★/5

30. David Metzenthen – Dreaming the Enemy – ★★★/5

31. Mary Weber – Storm Siren – ★★★★★/5

32. E.S. Thomson – Beloved Poison – ★★★★/5

33. Blythe Woolston – MARTians – ★★/5

34. Lindsay Eager – Hour of the Bees – ★★★★/5

35. Sarah Ayoub – The Yearbook Committee – ★★★★/5

36. Martyn Bedford – Twenty Questions for Gloria – ★★★/5

37. Nicky Pellegrino – Under Italian Skies – ★★★/5

38. Amy Zhang – This is Where the World Ends – ★★★/5

39. Monica Wood – The One-in-a-Million Boy – ★★★★/5

40. Stella Gemmell – The City – ★★★★/5

41. Lisa Williamson – The Art of Being Normal – ★★★★★/5

42. Brian Selznick – The Marvels – ★★★★/5

43. Marie Rutkoski – The Winner’s Curse – ★★★★/5

44. Ally Carter – All Fall Down – ★★★★/5

45. Renee Ahdieh – The Wrath & the Dawn – ★★★★/5

46. Jennifer E. Smith – Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between – ★★★★/5

47. R.C. Lewis – Spinning Starlight – ★★★★/5

48. Leah Flemming – The Last Pearl – ★★★★/5

49. Mary E. Pearson – Kiss of Deception – ★★★★/5

50. M.R. Carey – Fellside – ★★★★/5

51. Timothee de Fombelle – The Book of Pearl – ★★★/5

52. Rick Yancey – The 5th Wave – ★★★★/5

53. Emery Lord – When We Collided – ★★★/5

54. Kara Storti – Tripping Back Blue – ★★★/5

55. Emma Cline – The Girls – ★★★/5

56. G.R. Thomas – Awaken – ★★★★/5

57. Eleanor Wasserberg – Foxlowe – ★★★/5

58. Claire North – The Sudden Appearance of Hope – ★★★/5

59. Amy Tintera – Ruined – ★★★★/5

60. Kate DiCamillo – Raymie Nightingale ★★★/5

61. Kiersten White – And I Darken – ★★★★/5

62. Carrie Hope Fletcher – On the Other Side – ★★★/5

63. Kimberly McCreight – The Outliers – ★★★★/5

64. Georgia Clark – The Regulars – ★★★/5

65. Lara Avery – The Memory Book – ★★★★/5

66. Melka Stansah – The Raven Trilogy: The First Journey – ★★★/5

67. Sophie Hardcastle – Breathing Under Water – ★★★★/5

68. Amy Schumer – The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo – ★★★★/5

69. Meg Medina – Burn Baby Burn – ★★★/5

70. Kody Keplinger – Run – ★★★/5

71. V.E. Schwab – This Savage Song – ★★★★/5

72. Matt Phelan – Snow White: A Graphic Novel – ★★★/5

73. Kathleen Glasgow – Girl in Pieces – ★★★★/5

74. Mike Hooper – Devolve; The Wolf – ★★★★/5

75. Suzanne Young – Hotel for the Lost – ★★★/5

So out of the 134 books I’ve read so far this year 75 were by authors I’d never read before. Which is pretty good I think.

How many new authors (to you) did you read in 2016?

– Aimee.

WWW Wednesday [December 7th 2016] –

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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 –  7
I haven’t done a WWW Wednesday in a while so this may be kind of long… 

I started reading the 20th Anniversary Edition of A Game of Thrones two days ago. This edition is also illustrated and the illustrations are beautiful. Most of them are black and white but there are some that are in colour. I’ll be sharing some of my favourites in my review but not all of them. I don’t want to ruin the experience for anyone. 

I love the Song of Ice and Fire series and I am so grateful to HarperCollins New Zealand for letting me review a copy. I won’t be reviewing the story because this is the third time I’ve read A Game of Thrones so nothing is new to me and I don’t think I can review the story now. But I don’t know yet. 4

Recently Finished –
I finished Blood for Blood on Sunday and I loved it. I read Wolf by  Wolf last year and thought it was really good. This is the sequel and conclusion to Wolf by Wolf.

Blood for Blood picks up where Wolf by Wolf left off. Or a little bit before I think. You get to see the ending in the ballroom from Luca’s point of view and what happened to Felix. Then, the story picks up and it is just as good as Wolf by Wolf and just as sad.

I’ll be reviewing this soon. I still have to write my review but it should be up in the next few weeks. cyoivduuqaaxi5q

I’ve finally read Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor. I thought this was just as good as The Sword of Summer. I love learning about the Norse mythology because the only thing I’ve seen before reading these two books were the Thor movies and I don’t know how accurate those are… But then it’s the same with these books. Riordan always has a modern twist to the myths, like Thor using his hammer to watch Game of Thrones…

The ending of The Hammer of Thor was so good and I cannot wait to read the next book. I can’t believe I have to wait a whole year for it to be released. cx-pbfuvqaayhul

Hotel for the Lost wasn’t the best book I’ve read this year but not the worst. It was really predictable, had some insta-love and a little cheesy in places but I still wanted to finish it. I wanted to know how the story ended even though the tag line on the cover pretty much gives it away.

I’ll be reviewing this soon. Hopefully this week. I think I have one book to review before it but I’ve lost track of what reviews I need to do. I have fallen so far behind it isn’t even funny anymore. Hopefully I can catch up over the holidays but with what’s going on in my life right now I’m not so sure. cx0lrbrucaamaxy

Devolve; The Wolf is written by a New Zealand author and is a post-apocalyptic/dystopian story. The first in a series I think.

This isn’t a very long book but so much happens in it. I don’t want to say too much here because everything is already in my review. You can read that here if you want.

You can also check out the Devolve website here and if you’re interested you can find copies of his book there too. His next books, Devolve; The Bug, will be out next year and I cannot wait to read it. It looks really good.

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I’ve already reviewed Stealing Snow on my blog so I don’t want to go into this here either. If you want to check out my review of this you can read it here.

I will say that this wasn’t my favourite book of the year but it also wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read.

I do plan on reading the next book to see where the story is going because the ending was interesting and I still want to give it a chance. But I don’t know what I’ll do if Snow, the main character, annoys me as much as she did in this book. But she kind of stepped up at the end when her world fell to pieces around her. cxgemhdusaemcm_

This is the last book I’ll be talking about here. It has been two weeks since I last did a
WWW Wednesday post which is why there are so many books under the ‘Recently Finished’ part of this post.

I loved Girl in Pieces. I still have to review this so I won’t be going into it here but I really enjoyed it. The main character, Charlie, did kind of annoy me at times but I will get into why in my review. That will hopefully be up tomorrow and then I’ll be reviewing Hotel for the Lost on Friday. If I’m remembering correctly…. img_20151019_131922

Reading Next –
I received a copy of The Black Key, the last book in the Lone City trilogy, from Walker Books Australia in October and I need to read the first two books before I can start that. So next on my TBR is The Jewel, the first book in the trilogy.

I read and reviewed the first two books in the trilogy last year so I won’t be doing a review on this. I loved it the first time I read it and I’m sure I’ll love it this time too.

What have you been reading lately? Leave me a comment and let me know.

– Aimee.

November Wrap Up & December TBR.

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It’s that time of the month again where I do my monthly wrap up and TBR. I didn’t read that much in November but I’m just glad I read some books. Anyway, onto my November wrap up.

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This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab – ★★★★
Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven – ★★★★
Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks – ★★★
Snow White: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan -★★★
Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige – ★★★
Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow – ★★★★
Devolve; The Wolf by Mike Hooper – ★★★★
Hotel for the Lost by Suzanne Young – ★★★
Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan – ★★★★

Not a lot of books but still a pretty good reading month. Now onto my December TBR.

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I had Ten Thousand Skies Above You and The Jewel on my November TBR but I didn’t manage to read them so I decided to add them to my December TBR because I really need to read them. Although The Jewel is a re-read.

I’ve read Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin and am currently reading the illustrated edition of A Game of Thrones.

I have no idea how many of these I’ll actually read. A Game of Thrones is over 800 pages so that’s going to take me a while. I guess I’ll just see how the month goes.

What’s on your TBR for this month?

Aimee.