For Fun

Top 5 Quotes from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld… so far!

Hi everyone!

So today I promised you a slightly different blog post. I don’t write Top Five posts very often, even though they are good fun! I should probably make an effort to make them more regularly…

I actually found choosing my Top Five Terry Pratchett quotes harder than I expected! These quotes are based on the books I have read so far out of the Discworld series alone… but even though I have “only” read 16 so far (ONLY?!), I had plenty to choose from!!

So, without further ado, here are my Top Five quotes and why I love them!

 

TP 1 18.04.18

This is number five on my list, but whilst technically the last on the list, I still adore this quote.

It is an inspirational quote for me because identity is a very personal thing. Not to come across conceited, but I am proud of who I am. In my lifetime have come across far too many people who were quick to try and put me down. Once upon a time I wore my heart on my sleeve and they succeeded, but no more. In it’s own way, this has contributed to who becoming who I am, but being bullied and/or criticised (as I prefer to term the comments experienced in later years) isn’t the only thing that has shaped me to be who I am.

You can criticise my manner, my appearance or my hobbies, but those things don’t make me who I am. I can tell you what I am. I’m a hard worker. I always try to help people, even if that means putting myself out to do so. These are the things that matter.

 

TP 5 18.04.18

I love the wit and humour behind this quote and it’s completely true! There is a lot of ignorance throughout the world, but sticking your head in the sand doesn’t make a problem disappear. Instead, you are giving someone the opportunity to give you a free kick up the backside whilst you can’t defend yourself.

 

TP2 18.04.18

I relate to this quote so much! I have got to be one of the most unromantic souls on the planet.

I hate public displays of affection. I find the sight of new couples, dangling off of each other’s arm like they could disappear any moment, (I liken this in my head to limpets clinging on to a rock), cringey. Maybe this is because I am a very independent person? I don’t know. I’ve never been in a relationship or had someone like that to depend on, so I just don’t get it.

 

TP 4 18.04.18

This is less of an inspirational quote than the previous ones, but it takes its place on the list because both of these characters remind me of several women in my family, but particularly my mum.

Even going back further, the female role models in my life have been far from shy about dishing out their opinions, usually in some sharp, witty manner. Like mother, like daughter, as they say – I think it’ll take a few more years under my belt, but I can definitely see myself following in my mum’s footsteps. Granny Weatherwax and Gytha Ogg (and their whole dynamic) mirrors my family exactly; that is why I love these characters so much!

 

TP 3 18.04.18

This last one by comparison may perhaps seem a little morbid, but I love the idea that we all live on through the legacies we leave behind.

Linking back to the previous quote, one of the influences of my character is my nana on mums side. She was also just like mum and a true Yorkshire lass at heart. She was quick to love and had a warm heart, but if you deserved it you’d get a lash of the tongue too.

I am just old enough to remember her; she sadly passed away from illness when I was eight. Although she isn’t here anymore though, she lives on as a part of my family through memories and stories. And songs. She used to make up songs for anything and everything… and I’ve been treated to as many as my mum has been able to remember. There were one or two about the family dog, bless him. If only he knew.

 

So there you have it! What do you think of the quotes I picked out? Do you have any favourites, or do you have any alternative quotes you would have picked?

Rebecca mono

 

book reviews

Book Review – Ekata: Fall of Darkness – Dominique Law

*** I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All views expressed are completely my own***

Ekata

Goodreads – Ekata: Fall of Darkness

On Ekata, a utopian world where violence is unthinkable, Asher has been plagued with visions of death and darkness since childhood. On his eighteenth birthday he is confronted with a life-changing prophecy which tells of a threat not only to his world, but to Earth as well.

Alexis has always felt she doesn’t belong. When an extraordinary stranger appears on her doorstep, it raises more questions than answers. If everything she thought she knew about herself was a lie, who is the real Alexis? And how could she possibly be part of an ancient prophecy?

Through startling transformation and grief, the pair defy all expectations. But when everything changes, can Asher’s humanity survive? The fate of both worlds may depend upon it.

I don’t think there is any way I can particularly dress up this review. I am, after all, in the business of being honest so I’ll just come out with it.

Overall, I didn’t like this book at all. I’ll start with what redeeming qualities the book did have, which brought my rating of the book up from a 1 star to a 2 star review.

I liked the concept of the world of Ekata – a world without violence. The main point of conflict within the story is a man’s desire to prevent violence on Earth… but to do so he would remove the free-will of all people. I like how the morality of such an action is called into question and how this drives the resistance party.

The tale was also well written; even if I didn’t think all that much of the content of the story all the time, what was on the page was outlined clearly so that the story was easy to follow. This also proved useful because I found myself picking it up and putting it down quite regularly, but I wasn’t hindered by this at all. I also quite enjoyed the descriptions of nature and the world-building.

Inevitably, we were going to get to the parts I didn’t like… fairly quickly, unfortunately.

This book features so many unoriginal fantasy tropes that it is not even funny. I feel like I talk about this a lot, but is it too much to ask for a little originality? This book has the classic Good vs Evil, the inexperienced young one(s) exploring their Coming of Age to face-off against the veteran… and a quest to fulfil a prophecy in order to achieve all this, tied in a neat little package with a double bow. Oh, and there’s a host of magic and a unicorn to boot! Hooray!

To say I didn’t know that some of these elements were going to play a part would be a lie; I knew it was a prophesised ‘coming-of-age’ type tale. For me though, the straw that broke the camel’ back was the budding relationship between our two MC’s.

Now, I’m a girl and I’ve been a teenager, I know how all this raging-hormone stuff works. You break out in a ridiculous amount of spots (always on the worst day imaginable) and have more mood swings than hot dinners. I can hand on heart say that if a complete stranger arrived on my doorstep, turned my world on its head and was claiming that the fate of another world rested on my shoulders, I would slam the door, bolt it and call the police I would not even remotely consider how attractive he was. Call me frigid, soulless, or even a liar if you like, but I wouldn’t… given that this is pretty much the first thought that pops into our second MC’s head from the moment we meet her, I didn’t like or relate to Alexis at all.

Unfortunately, whilst a lot of the personality traits Alexis shows in the book are indeed present in young, angsty teenage girls, the only depth of character to this tempest of emotion is a love of horses… and there is just something about girls that love horses that just smacks of “spoilt brat”. There is a quote by Terry Pratchett that I aptly read only recently, which I think sums up the whole situation entirely:-

“There is a type of girl who, while incapable of cleaning her bedroom even at knife point, will fight for the privilege of being allowed to spend the day shovelling manure in a stable.”

-Terry Pratchett, Soul Music

Asher was more tolerable than Alexis, although nothing particularly grabbed me about his personality either. I wanted to read his chapter POV’s instead of Alexis’ because I didn’t hate his, not because I was looking forward to them.

My final bugbear about the book is, as chronology would suggest, the ending. Given the whole prophecy and the weight resting on Asher and Alexis’ shoulders, you would expect something to happen, right? It has so obviously been set up for a sequel, but it felt like I endured 400 pages for nothing of consequence to happen. I was left sorely disappointed.

So, ladies and gentlemen, to summarise – if you like reading about moody, insecure and overly-hormonal teenagers, spending every free moment not training to save the world fawning over each other, then this book is definitely for you! I have no problem with negative emotions in books, if it is written well and you are truly immersed with the character. If, however, you find yourself carrying their emotional baggage like an albatross around your neck, or find them just plain bad company like the last party guest that just won’t leave, it makes for very difficult reading.

This book was not my cup of tea at all, which is a shame.

Rebecca mono

sunday summary

Sunday Summary – 15th April 2018

Good morning everyone!!

My Sunday Summary is coming to you a wee bit earlier today, as I have forcefully dragged myself out of bed to do so. I had a really exciting week – and not of it is all about the books! My sister is visiting from Uni this weekend for a family occasion, so I have been off work for a few days (always a bonus!) So, I have gotten out of bed RIDICULOUSLY early is for two reasons;

  • to make sure you wonderful fellows get this lovely update post from me before I go back to visiting my family. As Sunday Summary posts are the most popular on my site, I’d be foolish not to make one;
  • I have had so many lie-ins over the past few days – if I had another one today, I would not sleep AT ALL tonight and I would be dead when I get back to work tomorrow (I probably will be anyway, sigh).

 

So aside from family… what has been going on this week?

Well, knowing that I was going to be preoccupied with family for the latter stages of the week, I prepared and posted an audiobook review of The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins on Wednesday. Also, in the spur of the moment last week I said I would publish a post about my favourite Terry Pratchett quotes from the book so far, but admittedly I haven’t done this yet. I actually found a post I wrote a while ago – Top 5 Inspirational Quotes by Terry Pratchett. If you feel you are missing out, you could always check this post out? Sorry guys… maybe I can get this post to you next week. My schedule has been thrown off somewhat, but I’ll be back to the daily grind next week!!! (yay…)

On a cheerier note, let’s take a look at what I have been reading this week!

 

Books Read

 

When I left you last week, I had read about 75% of Soul Music by Terry Pratchett; finishing this book was how I kicked off my week. I love Pratchett’s humour and easy writing style, so whilst this wasn’t my favourite book of the series, it still made for an enjoyable read.

Next I started reading The Seventh Scroll by Wilbur Smith, and this book picks up the story where Taita left off in River God – only thousands of years into the future (modern day, to us folks). Royan and Duraid are trying to decipher the enigma Taita has left for them (the location of the tomb of Mamose), when disaster strikes. I wasn’t sure I would take to this change of perspective very well, but actually it isn’t as difficult to adjust to as I thought. I’ve only made a fledgling start on the book really, with my progress at 13%, but we have to start somewhere, right?

A couple of days into reading The Seventh Scroll I became conscious that time is not on my side this month. I have some pretty big reads ahead so I wanted to up my game. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne is also a library loan and I didn’t want to incur any fees for running over term on this one. Being only a couple of hundred pages long, I thought this would be a perfect speed read and would make me feel I am making progress. I finished this late last night. When I committed to reading the book I fully expected it would make me cry… but I didn’t! I love that it is written in such a way that you know what is going on, based on prior knowledge, but not in a harsh way.

Lastly, also on the slightly morbid subject, I have made more progress on listening to The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. I am about half-way through this audiobook now, if memory serves, so I imagine this will be finished by the end of the month. Despite the content matter, I am really enjoying this book! Aren’t I such a cheery soul?

 

Books Discovered

This is a rare occasion indeed, for I have absolutely NOTHING to report this week! I’ve spent too much time playing Minecraft to look for new books this week…

Not that it’s a bad thing necessarily, I have more than enough to read. Yes, I’ve re-discovered my love of Minecraft lately… although I’m not particularly sure what’s brought it on. I’ve also been watching a lot of videos on YouTube…

Guys – I may have a problem, haha!

 

Coming Up…

So, normal scheduling resumes from next week.

On Wednesday, I will publish my review of my latest Netgalley read, Ekata: Fall of Darkness by Dominique Law.

I am going to write the post about my favourite Terry Pratchett quotes. Usually (I’ve noticed), if I don’t commit to a day that I’ll publish a post, it means I’m not sure I’ll get around to it. I shouldn’t do that really, so I’ll commit to a day. Let’s say Thursday.

Have you got anything exciting lined up for next week?

Rebecca mono

book reviews

Audiobook Review: The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins

The Girl on The Train

Goodreads – The Girl on the Train

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar. Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…

I listened to this audiobook back in February, after listening to The Stand by Stephen King. I decided that listening to this book was probably going to be better than reading it; after listening to a sample, I knew it was the right decision!

The narrators for Rachel and Megan did a fantastic job of the perspective they represented – Rachel was my favourite in particular. So as not to spoil anything, I will be vague and say that they each have a uniqueness about them… an experience or two that has coloured their view of the world, or changed them. The voices, tones and expressions used embodied these characters perfectly and brought them to life.

That probably sounds daft – “you can’t hear expressions!” I hear you say! Having dabbled a little in Performing Arts and created a radio drama as one of my projects, I actually think you can. It is impossible to express joy or sadness with a neutral expression on your face. You can still call me daft if you like – I’m sticking to my guns.

In fact, being entirely dependent on audio to convey these things, I think it is even more important to do this well. The narrator for Anna didn’t really do it for me at all. I found myself wishing her chapters passed quickly. Her narration felt clinical and disassociated with her character, which for me broke the flow.

I struggled to relate to Rachel, but so do a lot of characters in the book, so perhaps as a reader, we are not meant to. Her perception and her actions more often than not leave you shaking your head in disbelief, or cringing on her behalf. Plenty of the latter! Her life is the type that you can observe at a distance and determine what has gone wrong, but you find it hard to imagine yourself in the same shoes if you were to experience the very same thing. I would like to think I wouldn’t, at least…

Whilst the story itself had plenty of twists, turns and unexpected surprises, I think I would have gotten bored reading the book. Whilst I was listening to this I was completing a project, so I was always concentrating on something else at the same time. I think that kept me going. It had a great ending (loved the ending) but I think I would have struggled to get past the many embarrassments of Rachel to read this… especially since it takes really good while to get to the point where the plot starts to unravel.

I have mixed feelings about the book and if I am honest, I don’t really see why the book had as much fuss as it did. That being said, crime/psychological thriller isn’t my favourite genre, so maybe that’s why I don’t appreciate it hugely. I find myself on the fence about it really – I don’t think it is all that often I write a review from such a mediocre standpoint.

I am glad I have listened to it, but that is as far as it goes. It is time to move on to something else.

Rebecca mono

sunday summary

Sunday Summary – 8th April 2018

Happy Sunday!

How has everyone’s week been? Mine has been pretty good overall! It got off to the best start with a bank holiday too – what a shame!

Source: Giphy
Source: Giphy

Okay, a little optimistic perhaps! But not having to get up at 6:45am is a win – right?

I took the opportunity to publish my Reading List for April on Monday, which I have been looking forward to sharing with you. This month I am switching it up a little and instead of reading a mixture of ARC’s and traditionally published books… the intention was to give the ARC’s a wee break. Then I received an ARC I requested which changed the plan SLIGHTLY. Just a little bit, okay? I broke the ARC-only plan for March with Strange The Dreamer, so it’s all good!

Speaking of which, I published my review of this amazing book on Wednesday! I can’t wait until October for Muse of Nightmares! If you haven’t checked out my review yet, you can find a cheeky little link here.

 

Books Read

 

I finally finished reading Ekata: Fall of Darkness by Dominique Law at the beginning of this week. I mentioned in my previous Sunday Summary that I was struggling with this book. The situation of the relations between characters got a little better, enough to finish the book.

Next, I picked up Soul Music by Terry Pratchett. At the time of writing this post I am 74% through the book. I am enjoying the book, but I don’t think it is going to be one of my favourites of the series. That being said, there are some great quotes I have pulled out of this one. My favourite has to be this one:-

‘Glod Glodsson,’ said the dwarf. ‘You just play the harp?’

‘Anything with strings on it,’ said Imp. ‘But the harp is the queen of instruments, see.’

‘I can blow anything,’ said Glod.

‘Realllly?’ said Imp. He sought for some polite comment. ‘That must make you very popullar.’

Such is Pratchett’s humour. Sure, there are more sophisticated quotes about the nature of existence and suchlike, but when it comes down to it, it’s these quotes I find the funniest! All the quotes I come across on my Kindle are shared on Goodreads, so if you want to look at any others, you could read them there!

Lastly, I started my next audiobook this week. I am listening to The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. The story so far is both compelling and harrowing in equal measure. It is awful to think that people were actually forced to lived in concentration camps and were treated no better than cattle. Between this and The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas, a book I am reading later in the month, you can tell I enjoy historical fiction. It’s a morbid month in terms of subject matter!

 

Books Discovered

 

It’s a very Pratchett week! I received an e-mail from Bookbub to tell me that The Fifth Elephant (Book 24) of the series was on sale, so I bought it! I already know I’ll be reading it at some point, so it was a no-brainer!

The Foes Between Us by J M Robison is a pre-order. I was introduced to the author when I read The War Queen for her in exchange for a review! As I really enjoyed this book and I want to support her, I pre-ordered this next one!

 

Coming Up..

I listened to The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins back in February, so I will be sharing my thoughts on this audiobook with you on Wednesday! I am catching up with myself on the books/ebooks I am reading, so I am going to give myself some breathing room by reviewing this for this week!

Writing this post has inspired me to write another one, so later in the week I am going to share my Top 5 Terry Pratchett quotes from the books I have read so far!

Until next time!

Rebecca mono

 

book reviews

Book Review: Strange The Dreamer – Laini Taylor

This book is so many levels of adorable! I’m gutted I have to wait until November for the second part of this duology!

Strange the Dreamer

Goodreads – Strange The Dreamer

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.

I have so many things to say about this book!!

Lets start with the cover – it’s a good a place as any. Isn’t this edition gorgeous!!! I’ve just seen the paperback edition in one of our bookstores this weekend, but the hardback edition has my heart! I bought this last year, only a couple of months after its release and before I really got into social media with my blog, so any hype would have passed me by. I kept looking at it, again and again, vowing to read it soon but never making good on the promise until last month. When I shouldn’t have done. When I didn’t REALLY have time to.

Oh well, the heart wants what the heart wants.

I happened to get really lucky when I bought my copy of this book, because mine is SIGNED!! Don’t believe me?

img_0583

Here it is! That day I bought about five books (and was excited about them all, let’s be honest) – so much so I hadn’t even noticed this! It was only on one of the numerous occasions I picked the book up to flip through the first chapter that I saw it. It’s unusual and exciting in its own right, but given how much I love the book, now it means so much more!

Being perfectly honest, I am not normally a huge lover of YA books. For me, they have to be written well for it to work. The inevitable love interest that sparks has to avoid the typical teenage angst, moodiness and petulant behaviour (shown in another recent YA book I have read – and didn’t like as a result). Yes, there were complications to the relationship, longing between the two individuals and frustration at the circumstances… but that was justified. Neither character threw a tantrum. They both knew there was more going on in their lives than each other so the storyline wasn’t drowned; doomed to sink into the abyss of their anguish of not being able to be with each other.

I loved both of the characters. Lazlo Strange is an orphan of war, first raised by monks to become a scribe and then later on he spends his days working in a library. Aside from the overused trope that begins Lazlo’s story, (my only criticism), his life is an interesting one. If ever there was a man in my life like Lazlo Strange, (kind, bookish, inquisitive and intelligent) I would give my heart to him gladly. Lazlo is all-out adorable – and his broken nose as a result of a rogue book hitting him in the face as a youth is just the icing on the cake really.

Sarai is an interesting character shrouded in mystery – who is she? She has a great depth of character and we get to see conflicting sides of her. Her kind and honest nature comes out when she meets Lazlo, but knowing what she is capable of and the grief she is responsible for shows a revengeful side born from what has happened to her kind. She is also incredibly smart – in fact my favourite quote from the book is hers:-

“You think good people can’t hate?” she asked. “You think good people don’t kill?” Her breathing hitched, and she realised she’d crushed Lazlo’s flower in her hand. She dropped the petals into the water. “Good people do all of the things bad people do, Lazlo. It’s just when they do them, they call it justice.” She paused. Her voice grew heavy. “When they slaughter thirty babies in their cradles, they call it necessary.” 

-Sarai, Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor

I found it near impossible to put this book down. When I first picked it up, I intended to read the first chapter as a sampler. I ended up reading all of part one, amounting to about 80 pages! I demolished the remainder of the book in a week. I don’t think I can really put into words how original and captivating this story is! I am also conscious of how much I can say because I really don’t want to spoil it for anyone who is yet to read it. The narrative flowed effortlessly and the voice of each character was clear and consistent.

If neither I nor the many other reviews of this book out there have convinced you to read this book, then I don’t think you ever will. That’s your loss. Just talking about this book makes me want to read it again! *Sigh* I’ll have to re-read before October when Muse of Nightmares is released!

Read it. You know you want to.

No really, you do!

Rebecca mono

Reading Lists

Reading List: April 2018

Appropriately, April showers is really living up to its name as I write this post today. Winter still has it’s clutches on us though, unsurprisingly! It’s sleeting, as well as raining.

Nice. A day to stay in and read, methinks! What a better day to write about my reading list for April?

I dedicated last month’s reading list to ARC’s (with the exception of my slip up reading Strange The Dreamer). That was because this month I wanted to mix it up again this time. In amongst the requests I have, I have a list longer than my arm of traditionally published books I want to read as well. This month is dedicated to those!

As I had a slip in March, I am allowing myself one exception, as I’ll explain below. So let’s jump right in!

 

Soul Music

Soul Music

Goodreads – Soul Music

Other children get given xylophones. Susan just had to ask her grandfather to take his vest off.
Yes. There’s a Death in the family.

It’s hard to grow up normally when Grandfather rides a white horse and wields a scythe – especially when you have to take over the family business, and everyone mistakes you for the Tooth Fairy.

And especially when you have to face the new and addictive music that has entered Discworld.

It’s lawless. It changes people.

It’s called Music With Rocks In.

It’s got a beat and you can dance to it, but…

It’s alive.

And it won’t fade away.

It feels like ages since I read any of Terry Pratchett’s books. I love the satire of them and how they all are loosely based within the same universe. This particular book is in the Death series of books, which is my second favourite storyline after the Witches.

It’s been seven months since I read the last Pratchett book. This one is long overdue!!

 

Seventh Scroll

The Seventh Scroll

Goodreads – The Seventh Scroll

For 4,000 years, the lavish crypt of the Pharaoh Mamose has never been found…until the Seventh Scroll, a cryptic message written by he slave Taita, gives beautiful Egyptologist Royan Al Simma a tantalizing clue to its location.

But this is a treasure cache others would kill to possess. Only one step ahead of assassins, Royan runs for her life and into the arms of the only man she can trust, Sir Nicholas Quenton-Harper–a daring man who will stake his fortune and his life to join her hunt for the king’s tomb. Together, they will embark on a breathtaking journey to the most exotic locale on earth, where the greatest mystery of ancient Egypt, a chilling danger and an explosive passion are waiting.

Steeped in ancient mystery, drama and action, The Seventh Scroll is a masterpiece from Wilbur Smith, a storyteller at the height of his powers.

It has also been a while since I started this series! I started it on the recommendation of a colleague, and whilst the main character and narrator from the first book REALLY got on my nerves, I enjoyed the book overall. I am assured this is the best book of the series and it is set thousands of years later.

I can’t wait!

 

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

Goodreads – The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas

Berlin 1942

When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move from their home to a new house far far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence running alongside stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people he can see in the distance.

But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different to his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

I am a complete wuss, so I think I am going to cry reading this.

It is a book I have really wanted to read for AGES, but never really had the courage to try. I know what I am like. I think I am going to struggle with it, but ultimately love it at the same time. I’m going to try and borrow this one from my library (it’ll be my first borrowed book in years!) but I suspect I’ll be buying my own copy for my bookshelves later.

 

Empire of Silence

Empire of Silence

Goodreads – Empire of Silence

Hadrian Marlowe, a man revered as a hero and despised as a murderer, chronicles his tale in the galaxy-spanning debut of the Sun Eater series, merging the best of space opera and epic fantasy.

It was not his war.

On the wrong planet, at the right time, for the best reasons, Hadrian Marlowe started down a path that could only end in fire. The galaxy remembers him as a hero: the man who burned every last alien Cielcin from the sky. They remember him as a monster: the devil who destroyed a sun, casually annihilating four billion human lives–even the Emperor himself–against Imperial orders.

But Hadrian was not a hero. He was not a monster. He was not even a soldier.

Fleeing his father and a future as a torturer, Hadrian finds himself stranded on a strange, backwater world. Forced to fight as a gladiator and into the intrigues of a foreign planetary court, he will find himself fight a war he did not start, for an Empire he does not love, against an enemy he will never understand.

Remember my exception to the rule? This technically is an ARC, but instead of reading ARC’s I have been requested to review, this is an ARC I requested from the publisher! I’m still shocked my request was accepted!

 

Children of Blood & Bone

Children of Blood & Bone

Goodreads – Children of Blood & Bone

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.

By the time I have caught up with current reads, popular books tend to have come and gone. I have seen this book again and again on social media and I love the synopsis! So, I am reading it now. Not in a years time, or two, when all the buzz has died down. Now. Because I can!

 

So those are my April reads!! Have you read any of these? What did you think? What are you reading this month?

Rebecca mono

For Fun

Blogger Recognition Award

Hi everyone!

I have been looking forward to sharing this post for a little while – after all, it’s great to celebrate each other’s blogs!!

I was nominated for this award on the 6th of March by the lovely Larissa over at Book Bosomed Blonde; I have followed her blog for some time! She writes fantastic reviews and hosts other lovely book-related content. My favourite thing about her blog is that she is fair and isn’t afraid to express her opinion! If you don’t follow her already of haven’t checked out her blog yet, please do!


Rules

1.Generate a post about the award.
2.Thank the blogger who nominated you, and provide a link to their blog.
3.Write a brief story about how your blog began.
4.Provide two pieces of advice to newbie bloggers.
5.Select 10 blogs to nominate.
6.Comment on each nominee’s blog and provide a link to the post that you created for the award.


 

How it all began…

Before I get on to how I came about setting up my blog, I think I should explain how I got into the reading habit required, so that is where my story will start.

Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Then let us begin.

I’ll begin as clichéd as it comes; I was an avid reader from a very young age. Encouraged by mum and dad, I grew up with books. Reading was my chance to escape the confines of  everyday life – the only limit is your imagination!

During secondary school I chose to spend my free time in the library. I would help out in any way I could. It was a place I felt at peace. The older I got, the more I read. How glorious it was to live and experience life through book characters, all the while I sat in my sheltered life, between rows of books otherwise collecting dust.

After I left school, my reading slumped. I still read, but it was intermittent.

The circumstances in which I took up reading again in earnest came at one of the most difficult times for my family. A close family member fell seriously ill – with little warning. I had to go to work as normal and visit afterwards. I would be out at 7:15am and not get home until past 9pm every weeknight. I would rise early at weekends to catch up on jobs I wasn’t doing in the week before visiting began at 12pm. This routine continued for three weeks, until thankfully my relative had recovered enough to come home.

It was a busy and difficult time – I had very little free time at all. There were days I couldn’t commit to an hour to watch TV – I was too tired. It was January, so I came back to a cold flat more often than not. My compromise was to sit in bed, warm and comfortable, and read. I could read as much or little as I wanted and it was an effective way of winding down. In the second and third week I would wake myself in the small hours, stiff-necked, still sat in bed with the light on and a book open in front of me.

After my relative recovered, I stayed in the habit of reading, and by the end of April last year, I reached my reading goal of 20 books. It is at this point, ladies and gentlemen, that I began my blog. I wanted to share my love of books. I wanted to keep reading and stay in the habit. It was also a motivator to read other blogs, discover new books and broaden my horizons. There have been many projects in my life that I have let fall to the wayside, but I am proud of myself that this is not one of them.


So that, folks, is my story – and in the time I have spent on this blogging journey, I have learned many things.

I have had a long, hard think about some advice to give to newbie bloggers. I don’t think it is particularly original, but I would say it is important:-

Be yourself

It is your blog after all! The best selling point of a blog is the voice and personality behind it. We could all like the same things – or write the same way, but then your blog just wouldn’t stand out at all from the rest. Don’t be afraid to say how you really feel. On the other side of this computer screen, I have had my blogging hobby laughed at. Sure, it hurt at first, but I don’t do it for the acceptance of others. I blog because it is what I enjoy. It doesn’t matter what those people think. I don’t really care for their opinion if that is what it is.

 

Be honest! (with others and yourself)

Again, not an original piece of advice. Sure, it’s exciting having a blog and I am sure you would love to post all day, every day and have everyone love you for it. Frankly, that isn’t possible for an individual blogger who works 35 hours a week, like I doBlogging is a hobby so it has always had to work around my free time. I have really active weeks and others less so, but that’s okay. Think ahead, know what you can commit to and stick to it (unlike I did when I said I was going to post this earlier this week. Do as I say and not as I do folks!)

If you are starting a blog that involves reviewing books, or expressing your opinion, then honesty is important in other ways. I really believe integrity and trust is acquired from your followers as a result of expressing honest opinions. To lie (or be perceived as lying) breaks down trust and isn’t going to do you any favours. Don’t do it.


 

So, there we are! That’s me in a nutshell!

I’ve come to the decision that I am not going to tag anyone in this – I don’t want to single out blogs. All bloggers and their stories are valid, interesting and should be recognised, so if you want to take part in it, please do!!!

I would love to hear your story, so please tag me!

Rebecca mono

sunday summary

Sunday Summary – 1st April 2018

Happy Easter everybody!!

I hope everybody is having a good day today – religious or no. Me? I’m just looking forward to scoffing my Easter Eggs. I only expected to get one from my Mum and Dad, so I treated myself to one too. I was then unexpectedly gifted four more… haha!

I won’t be eating them in one go – that’s for sure!

I didn’t post as much as I thought I was going to this week. I had anticipated to share a Blogger Recognition Award (which is still sat in Drafts as we speak) as well as my Review of Beowulf. I am determined to finish the Recognition post tonight – it is nearly there!

March is now officially over and I didn’t finish read as many books as I had hoped to. The last book on March’s TBR, The Mansions of Murder, remains unread, so I’ll have to pick that up another day.

 

Books Read

 

I have really struggled with Ekata: Fall of Darkness by Dominique Law this week. I would say this book is definitely targeted at a Young Adult audience, which I don’t have a problem with overly. For my taste though, the plot isn’t really all that sophisticated. If you follow me on Twitter then you may have seen a poll I posted about what people think of “unnecessary” love interests in books. I think in this book it really is that.

Asher and Alexis have quite clearly fallen for each other and I am just really uncomfortable with it. If I were to find out my life to date had all been a lie and I was whisked off to save a planet I didn’t even know existed – I WOULD NOT BE THINKING ABOUT HOW ATTRACTIVE THE GUY IS!!!

Ahem.

I nearly DNF’s this book this week. It just got progressively worse and worse until blessedly, the two end up separated for a little while. That made the book more bearable. I’m at 83% now, so I think I’ll read it through to the end. It won’t be topping my list for great books though, it has taken me way too long to struggle through.

On a positive note, I finished An Almond for A Parrot this week! It had a happier ending than I thought it would as well, which is also a bonus! I’ll have to review it here sometime; it was a fantastic audiobook!

 

Books Discovered

I saw Everless available at a discount on Bookbub this week and I loved the synopsis. I didn’t have to think about it too hard!

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson – oh my gosh I almost had a fit when I saw this was reduced for a limited time too! Steelheart has already been on my TBR for a while so I bought this one without hesitation too.

My most exciting acquisition of the week is Empire of Silence by Christopher Ruocchio. I contacted Gollancz to find out if they had any review copies available and would consider sending one to me in exchange for a review. I picked the book up from the Post Office yesterday and I am so excited to read it! I was completely surprised when Gollancz said yes to my request. It is the first I have made and I fully expected a “thanks for your interest, but…” kind of email. I didn’t dare believe it until the book was in my possession and now it is!

Thank you Gollancz!

 

Coming Up…

Tonight I am going to share that Recognition Award post – and that is a promise! Sorry I have kept hold of that one for so long and promised to post it!

Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing my Reading List for April. This month I did something a little different in dedicating the month to ARC’s. In April, I am doing the opposite! I want to catch up on some of the traditionally published books I love and have been looking forward to for some time. Check out my post tomorrow to find out what I am going to be reading this month!

On Wednesday, I am reviewing Strange the Dreamer, and I seriously can’t wait!! Just thinking about how amazing the book was makes me want to read it all over again!

 

What are you reading in April?

Rebecca mono

 

book reviews

Book Review: Beowulf

It has been an incredibly long time since I have read poetry.

When I requested this book from Netgalley, the logic was that I would be reading something a little different.

Beowulf

Goodreads – Beowulf

Beowulf tells the story of a Scandinavian hero who defeats three evil creatures—a huge, cannibalistic ogre named Grendel, Grendel’s monstrous mother, and a dragon—and then dies, mortally wounded during his last encounter. If the definition of a superhero is “someone who uses his special powers to fight evil,” then Beowulf is our first English superhero story, and arguably our best. It is also a deeply pious poem, so bold in its reverence for a virtuous pagan past that it teeters on the edge of heresy. From beginning to end, we feel we are in the hands of a master storyteller.
 
Stephen Mitchell’s marvelously clear and vivid rendering re-creates the robust masculine music of the original. It both hews closely to the meaning of the Old English and captures its wild energy and vitality, not just as a deep “work of literature” but also as a rousing entertainment that can still stir our feelings and rivet our attention today, after more than a thousand years. This new translation—spare, sinuous, vigorous in its narration, and translucent in its poetry—makes a masterpiece accessible to everyone.

Beowulf is an incredibly old text; the original manuscripts are thought to date back somewhere between the 10th and 11th century, a period in which there is a lot of Scandinavian influence in Britain as a result of the Vikings, uh… permanent, self imposed visitation rights. Invasion – yes, that’s a good word too!

I have a Danish work colleague, and I think it is funny to compare ideas on these things. From the British perspective, the Vikings invaded, pillaged, murdered… eventually settling with us. From the Danish view, men and women were seeking a better life for their families. Farming was near impossible in the Scandinavian climate and life was harsh. British soil offered security.

Anyway, that’s a bit of background for you. Back to Beowulf!

I imagine (and am assured by other reviews) that any physical editions are presented so that the original text is on one page, with Stephen Mitchell’s translation on the other page. Sadly, as I was reading an ebook version, this did not translate (pardon the pun) at all. The readable, English paragraphs were broken up with Olde English, so the text lost it’s flow.

I wanted to read this epic poem for two reasons – one, because I am hugely interested in the historical period it is believed to have stemmed from; two, poetry is not an everyday read for me. Reading Beowulf reminded me of just why that is. Turns out, my competency of poetry extends about as far as mastering Green Eggs and Ham – but that’s all. Other reviews gush over how Mitchell maintains some alliteration, which structures the poem, but I’ll admit it passed me by.

Cat in the hat.gif

So whilst I enjoyed the historical context and the story in it’s own right, I couldn’t fully appreciate the poem and it’s construction for what it is. I just don’t get it. I rated the book three stars, because I still enjoyed reading it. Anyone with a better eye or ear for poetics will probably have a better time of appreciating this than me – but all the same, Beowulf’s acts of strength and heroism were an intriguing read.

Rebecca mono