Today I wanted to share my review of the above book, as I think there are a lot of things that can be learned from it. Being of the age and category of both young and financially independent, I think this was the perfect time to read the book and take on the important messages throughout. That being said, I think everyone can benefit from reading this at any age.
***I was very kindly provided with a free copy of this book by the author, via The Book Club, in exchange for an honest review. All the opinions stated below are my own ***
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The most important thing to highlight is that the author is recounting his experience and therefore it is not a guide to follow religiously. It will not necessarily solve your problems. What it will tell you, however, is that very often following a serious kick up the backside, an attitude change is required. With a lot of hard work, you CAN dig yourself out of the bottom of the trench.
Naturally, the book begins with our author in his childhood. I think it true that as children, we are taught very little about money. He argues a distinct lack of support in the education system in teaching finances or planning for the future, and I totally agree! There is no education about completing your tax form, for example, and one) it isn’t always straightforward; two) there can be serious consequences for doing this incorrectly. I genuinely think this is one of the fundamental areas in which “life skills” are not taught in school. I’m glad the author highlighted this.
Moving away from childhood, the author gets his first salary and spends it all. Having money is exciting, no? I’ll hold my hands up and admit I did this too. It was fun. Mum and Dad still got paid rent, but this is not something that can be done viably every month, as the author does. Instead, he continues to live beyond his means, perhaps succumbing to social pressures including marriage and ends up with several loans and stacks of debt.
I am fortunate that I was taught how to manage money, as my parents, in their own circumstances, scrimped through much as the author did. I think they could have had help, but they didn’t want it. They wanted to go their way whatever the cost. As they have travelled the long road, they would not hesitate to tell me if they thought I was being irresponsible. They wouldn’t let me fall into that trap.
Sometimes though, things happen beyond our control. I moved away from home and left my first job (after a few years experience) about six months into living alone, to earn more than a junior’s limited wage packet. Things were tight. Less than a year later, the Company my Company were subcontracted to provide admin for decided to sell our part of the business, so the admin was no longer required. Suddenly, the threat of redundancy was on my head and being responsible financially for my home, I was worried sick. My parents had the facility to help me if I needed it (though thankfully I didn’t), but not everyone has this available to them.
Neeraj correctly points out that it is for these unexpected circumstances we should prepare ourselves. It would take me a long time to get to the stage of being debt free and having two years wages in cash savings, but I put by at least a little bit every month. That’s both a start and one of the most important things, I feel. Other than having set up a pension, I have thus far made very few plans for the future. I am only in my twenties after all, and I don’t have the means to do this yet. Neeraj discusses investment choices he made when it came to forward planning, which is fine, but I am nowhere near a position to even consider yet.
A lot of the points made in the book are identifiable with, such as the reliance on credit, even if you are yet to experience them. It is written in a very conversational tone and as I said above, it is “advice” that should be taken with a pinch of salt. We all have our own differing circumstances, but there is plenty here to consider.
It must be difficult to recount some of the most stressful times in your life. Thank you to the author for doing so, in order that we may learn from his mistakes and not have to learn the hard way too. His aim of the book is not to profit from it, but to educate people. That is reflected in his book being copyright free.
This week has been a pleasant one, for the reason that I got to take a step back from the reading challenge and the blog for a few days. I absolutely love running it – but it was great not to have to think about writing the next post for a little while. I went on a mini holiday to visit some Christmas markets with some friends – the first time I have ever been to any! We all enjoyed it so much I hope it is a tradition we keep up!
So as I mentioned above, this has been a reasonably light week on reading. There were some days I didn’t even pick up a book or my kindle, which is most unlike me! I was busy though… we hardly stopped! I did manage to make a little progress on The Black Prism by Brent Weeks, but I am far from finishing it yet.
Although I was away for some of this week, I did manage to buy a book for my kindle. Of course I did. This one happens to come with a funny story.
So whilst we were away some of my friends really had to stop somewhere to visit the ladies room and we were close to a large Waterstones. As they have cafe’s we decided they usually have those facilities. So whilst I was waiting for my friends I was having a look around, as you do, and found a book I was interested in – The Templars by Dan Jones. Since we had flown to the area we were visiting and had limited space for shopping, I opted not to buy the book there and instead get it once I was home.
Fast forward to several hours later, approximately midnight. I was lying in bed awake and was catching up with emails, notifications etc from having intermittent connection all day. I get daily emails from Bookbub with discount deals – guess which book was featured as a deal.
Yes – the one I was looking at in Waterstones earlier that day!! I was amazed at such a coincidence, so I purchased it straight away! So not only did I manage to get it whilst I was away, I saved £9.00 on it too! The Crusades is a period I first discovered through Assassins Creed, of all things, so I want to learn more about the history of the period.
I also noticed now that the author has also written books about the period of the Wars of the Roses, so if his writing is any good, I might just have to check those out too…
For the first time in a little while, I will have a review for you on Tuesday, for Zero Debt by Neeraj Deginal. This is the last book I read last week and I was kindly provided with a free copy by the author via The Book Club.
Dare I say it… on Friday it’s the 1st December!!! Panic stations!! Christmas will officially begin in my house and I still have loads of presents to buy. I am far less organised this year than usual. More importantly for you guys, I will be sharing with you the last few books on the TBR for this year! I’m pleased to say I am on target to complete my reading challenge so I am super excited for that!
I’ll wrap up the week on Sunday as usual and hopefully I will have managed to finally read the Black Prism by then – it’s only a month overdue…
I am excited to be bringing a review of this book to you today, purely because I get to have a rant about how AMAZEBALLS it is!
I was gutted that I didn’t get to finish this book within my deadline of the end of October, but then, I should have been smarter and checked the page count before I committed to reading it straight after IT by Stephen King.
I’m an idiot. That won’t be news to some people… I just hope I’m a loveable idiot…? No? Okay then, I’ll just get on with it.
According to mythology mankind used to live in The Tranquiline Halls. Heaven. But then the Voidbringers assaulted and captured heaven, casting out God and men. Men took root on Roshar, the world of storms. And the Voidbringers followed . . . They came against man ten thousand times. To help them cope, the Almighty gave men powerful suits of armor and mystical weapons, known as Shardblades. Led by ten angelic Heralds and ten orders of knights known as Radiants, mankind finally won. Or so the legends say. Today, the only remnants of those supposed battles are the Shardblades, the possession of which makes a man nearly invincible on the battlefield. The entire world is at war with itself – and has been for centuries since the Radiants turned against mankind. Kings strive to win more Shardblades, each secretly wishing to be the one who will finally unite all of mankind under a single throne. On a world scoured down to the rock by terrifying hurricanes that blow through every few day a young spearman forced into the army of a Shardbearer, led to war against an enemy he doesn’t understand and doesn’t really want to fight. What happened deep in mankind’s past? Why did the Radiants turn against mankind, and what happened to the magic they used to wield?
What an amazing start to a series. Just wow. I love the covers of these books too!
I think the best part of the book is the characters, in particular, Kaladin, Dalinar and Shallan. Whereas Shallan’s background and motives are outlined almost at the beginning of the book, we learn very little of Kaladin at the start and gradually his backstory is filled in as you progress through the book. I think any avid reader can both relate to and be envious of Shallan as she spends the majority of the book tutoring under one of the most prestigious and intellectual women of Roshar. In that position, she has access to what sounds to be the BIGGEST library ever. I am the green-eyed monster. That being said, I also relate to Kaladin as he is so grounded and humble as a person; he is a doer. Get up and get on with it type, and wants to do the best he can for everyone. I like that in him.
Dalinar, brother of the assassinated King Gavilar is a Lord of one of the main Alethi houses, fighting on the front line in the war against the Parshendi. He has become plagued with visions when each of the Highstorms hit and gradually those around him begin to suspect he is mad. Unite them. Those are the haunting words of his visions, but what do they mean?
Whilst most chapters are written from the perspectives of Dalinar, Kaladin or Shallan, we are given periodic interludes that give us a wider perspective on what is going on in Roshar as a whole. It is through these sections that we can see how a wider plot is developing and I am sure will continue on into future books.
The storyline will definitely make this series, upon completion, epic. The ideas are introduced gradually so as not to overwhelm you, which to my mind is essential when introducing books of a different “world”, with different rules and ideas to our own. The opening chapter shows us catastrophic events, throwing us six years into the past and into the action which defines events happening in the “present” – the assassination of King Gavilar himself.
I also love the system of magic developed in the book. Much like the Mistborn series, magic is drawn from a “real” and finite element; in the Mistborn series it is metal and in this one, it is gemstones infused with Stormlight. I find the idea of magic not being limitless gives the concept more realism, somehow.
There is much plotting and scheming going on as many vie for power – but who will succeed? I have a long wait to find out. Historically Sanderson has been releasing one of these books every three years, and since book three has just been released now… yeah. A LOOOOOOOOONG wait.
I am excited, nonetheless! It’s taking everything I have not to just jump into Words of Radiance, being book two.
Have you read any books of The Stormlight Archive, or tried any other books by Brandon Sanderson? I would love to know what you make of them so far!
Today I am absolutely thrilled to be taking part in a blog tour, arranged by Fiery Seas Publishing. As a part of the tour, I am glad to provide you with an excerpt from Fiskur by Donna Migliaccio, which has just been published this month!
Fiskur by Donna Migliaccio November 7th, 2017 Fantasy The Gemeta Stone Book 2 Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC
With his family’s talisman in his possession, Kristan Gemeta is ready to face the Wichelord Daazna – but he has no inkling of the scope of Daazna’s power, nor the depths of his hatred.
With the recovery of his family’s protective talisman, Kristan Gemeta has found hope, courage – and perhaps even the first stirrings of love. With the aid of Heather Demitt, her band of rebels, a shipload of Northern brigands and the legendary Kentavron, he readies himself to face the Wichelord Daazna. But neither he nor his comrades realize the strength of Daazna’s power and hatred. The Wichelord’s first blow comes from a direction Kristan least expects, with horrific, lasting consequences.
FISKUR EXCERPT #4
From Chapter 17
Kristan swung. It was an efficient sideways blow that severed the boy’s head and sent it flying. For a breath or two the boy’s body stayed upright, twitching and spurting blood, then fell back. Kristan stood over him. His knees buckled for an instant, but then he recovered. He stooped and carefully wiped his sword on the boy’s blanket, then straightened up and looked at his friends. “That’s all,” he said, and sheathed his sword.
Melissa’s hands went to her mouth. Nigel made a sound of revulsion and averted his eyes. “Astéria mou –” Torrin started to say.
Kristan’s face twisted into a snarl. “Do you object? Should I have let him go, so he could tell Daazna where to find us?”
“He was just a boy –” Melissa whimpered.
“You chose to come with me. All of you. No one forced you. No one ordered you.”
Olaf put out one hand, as if to pat him on the shoulder. “Now, Fiskur –”
Kristan threw up his own hand to ward of Olaf’s touch. “Don’t touch me. I’m sick of being mollycoddled; sick of being challenged. I will do what I must. If any of you don’t like it, then you can go your own way, do you hear me?”
He wheeled and strode off. Silenced by his outburst, they followed him back to their horses, tethered some distance away. They mounted up and continued north through the night, wordless and miserable.
As the sun rose, the woods around them grew unpleasantly still. Heather was sticky with sweat but left her hood on and her sleeves rolled down against the biting flies that swarmed around them. Near noon they paused to eat and rest, but no one had much appetite, and the flies and heat made sleeping impossible.
“How much further?” Torrin asked as they broke camp again.
“A day and a half…maybe two,” Kristan murmured thickly. He dragged himself into Malvo’s saddle. “We lost time when we doubled back.” Sun and shadow…shadow and sun…
As they journeyed on, Heather closed her eyes against the flickering light. The muffled clop of hooves, the creak of saddles and the jingling of tack blended into a monotonous drone; half asleep, she thought of O Tópos, its vineyards and sun-warmed clusters of grapes, orchards full of meaty, succulent cherries and crisp sweet melons on the vine. She thought of walking barefoot on the cool green grass of the promenade; she remembered Kristan’s hand stroking her hair. How long ago it seems, she thought, a lifetime ago. We were children, we were pure. Daazna took that from all of us. We’ll never be that innocent again.
Tears stung behind her closed lids. One squeezed free and rolled down her left cheek, and as it did, she felt a breath of cool air along its track. She opened her eyes. Daylight was fading. A gust of wind rattled the leaves overhead. Beyond them the sky was thick with scudding greenish clouds.
“Storm,” Olaf said. “You can smell it coming in from the west.”
“How soon?” Torrin asked over his shoulder.
A spat of rain landed on Heather’s hand, another on her face.
“Right now,” Olaf said.
I hope you all enjoyed that little snippet of the book! If you would like further details of the book, the links are provided below! Buy Links: Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Kobo ~ iBooks About the Author:
Donna Migliaccio is a professional stage actress with credits that include Broadway, National Tours and prominent regional theatres. She is based in the Washington, DC Metro area, where she co-founded Tony award-winning Signature Theatre and is in demand as an entertainer, teacher and public speaker. Her award-winning short story, “Yaa & The Coffins,” was featured in Thinkerbeat’s 2015 anthology The Art of Losing. Social Media: WebsiteFacebookTwitterPinterest
I thought with today’s post I would take the opportunity to share my Top Ten eagerly anticipated books that I will be reading next year!
Words of Radiance – Brandon Sanderson
You know when you start a series, and you finish the first book and immediately just want to binge read the rest? Yup. This is one of those for me. Given that Sanderson is only so far as having released the third book (out of ten) of this series, I am going to have to pace myself.
The Alloy of Law – Brandon Sanderson
Here is another Sanderson book, and it is the start of the second “trilogy” of the Mistborn series. I’ve been meaning to start these for some time, but you know, there are so many books out there and so little time… *sigh*
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
I was drawn to this book as it is both a classic and famously written from the perspective of an autistic child. Since it is so different from usual, I have to give it a read.
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
I am absolutely sure reading this will make me cry, but it’s another classic that I have really wanted to read for some time. I’ll get some tissues to hand.
Sword Song – Bernard Cornwell
Sword Song is the fourth book in a series I started this year. As I haven’t read any of the books in this series since June, I think we are overdue the next instalment.
The Shining – Stephen King
I never thought I would enjoy Stephen King’s writing… and how wrong I was! I’m so ashamed I haven’t picked up any of his books until this year, I feel the need to make up for lost time.
The Seventh Scroll – Wilbur Smith
As much as I really dislike the MC at times, River God was such an enjoyable first instalment that I have to read this soon.
Soul Music – Terry Pratchett
I only finished Men At Arms, the book prior to this one in the Discworld series in September but somehow it always feels like an age has passed between me reading Pratchett’s books. They’re almost a guilty pleasure.
11.22.63 – Stephen King
I love books that have an element of history in them, so combine this with Stephen King’s amazing writing and you get a very excited me. I also managed to pick up a copy of this in a charity shop in good nick for 50p, so win-win!!
Good Omens – Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
I think this has the potential to be absolutely hilarious, so this was a definite addition to the list!!
So that’s the list!!
I’ve tried to keep it brief because if given the opportunity, I really could go on for hours and hours!
What are you looking forward to reading next?
Good morning everybody!!
The Sunday Summary is a post I like to put together every week to let you guys know what I have been doing behind the scenes. It’s also surprisingly effective at keeping myself organised when it comes to books I have added to the TBR in making sure they have been added to all the right lists etc.
So without further adieu, here is how my week has gone:-
This week really feels like it has been a productive one when it comes to the books read. I finished reading “The Way of Kings” by Brandon Sanderson finally and OH MY GOD!! It’s a series I could very easily binge read but I am going to restrain myself… otherwise, this will be yet another series I am caught up with and waiting for the next release. Patience is a virtue, so they say?
The next book I picked up this week was The Weight of Shadows by Karl Holton. I managed to struggle on to about a third of the way through the book before I put it down again. It wasn’t for me. The book is about 300 pages long so why the author thinks it needs 50 chapters, I’ll never know. It quite literally does change perspective every five minutes and rather than integrating important information, it is just periodically dumped on you.
To my mind, there are some epic crime stories in books and TV at the moment so if it isn’t done exceptionally, I don’t think it compares to everything else out there. This wasn’t cutting it for me, so I decided I wasn’t going to force myself through it.
Lastly, I read Zero Debt by Neeraj Deginal. This is a short account of how one man fought his way back from the brink of financial collapse and how he now plans for the future. I figured this would be an interesting read as I am of the age where I am just setting myself up in life. Everyone makes mistakes, but if we can learn from others, that’s better.
This is the only book I have added this week as it follows on from The Way of Kings and so far it is AMAZING!!! Ahem. I really need to calm down, haha!
I have some fun posts lined up for you this week!! I have another Top Ten Tuesday (no prizes for guessing when that will be posted) and I am also taking part in my first Blog Tour!! Look out for that on Wednesday!
On Friday, I’m going to rant at you just how much I loved the first book of the Stormlight Archives series and why I am glad I persevered even though I didn’t finish it when I intended to!
On Sunday, well, I think you know the drill by now…
Yesterday I shared with you all my review of Aaru, written by David Meredith. Today, I am pleased to be bringing you an interview with the author about the book:-
First and foremost, please tell us a little about yourself
I’m a writer and educator originally from Knoxville, Tennessee. I received both my Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from East Tennessee State University, in Johnson City, Tennessee. I also recently received my Doctorate in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee. On and off, I spent nearly a decade, from 1999-2010 teaching English in Northern Japan, but I currently live with my wife and three children in the Nashville Area where I continue to write and teach English.
What inspired you to create Aaru?
A lot of my own personal questions about faith, life, and death actually. Aaru is first and foremost an entertaining and emotional YA/NA SyFy/Fantasy novel. It is at its core a story about the love of two sisters, and how they struggle to cope as the paradigms of what they’ve always been taught is true and good is challenged and shifted in a monumental way. However, Aaru also explores a number of what I think are fundamentally human questions: What happens when religion and faith conflict with technology and science? Is there a way to reconcile the two? What constitutes a human being or human soul? What would happen to religion and faith if the fear of death was removed from society? How would that change the way individuals choose to live their lives? In a world where people in power can essentially choose who is and is not saved, how should that determination be made? Who should be saved? Is the act of choosing winners and losers, judging who is righteous and worthy vs. who is not in and of itself even moral at all? I suspected that the answers would be a lot messier and more complicated than the utopian realization of John Lennon’s Imagine lyrics and lead to a great deal of conflict as people try to hash it all out. In the end, Aaru doesn’t really answer any of these questions, nor is it intended to, but it does speculate on what the answers of different people from different circumstances and indeed society at large might be. What I want people to get out of Aaru is an intensely emotional experience that stimulates some productive introspection even as they enjoy it as a compelling story about the fierce love of two sisters that transcends even death.
Given the issues brought up in the book, do you think a system like Aaru would be a benefit or a hindrance to society?
That is the question, isn’t it? And I don’t think it really gets answered – At least not in the first book. This is to a certain extent intentional. By not tacking out a particular attitude about whether Aaru is the savior of mankind or its destroyer, I try to invite the reader to think a little more deeply about the idea and make their own determination.
What has been the most difficult part of publishing the book?
The fact that there are only 24 hours in a day mostly. But seriously, promotion takes A LOT of time. I would much rather be working on volume two than hunting book review blogs and sending out hundreds of book review requests, but it has to be done if you ever want anyone to read your work. The trick I think, is striking a balance among creating new material, promotion, and the hundreds of other things that also have to get done for work and family.
What other books have you written? Can you tell us a bit about them?
I have one other book currently available on Amazon: The Reflections of Queen Snow White
What happens when “happily ever after” has come and gone?
On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven’s wedding, an aging Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven’s fiancé, is a fine man from a neighboring kingdom and Snow White’s own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better, in fact, except for one thing:
The king is dead.
The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old.
It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what “happily ever after” really means?
Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.
On the happiest day of the year, Taro’s world ends. His people and his family are slaughtered. His lands are brutally laid to waste by merciless, imperial forces. Taro is certain that neither he nor the ghosts of his lost loved ones can rest until he has visited the same devastation tenfold upon the heads of the vile collaborators. Consumed with grief for the fallen and guilt at his own survival, he gathers his scattered people and solemnly vows bloody revenge on the allies of the Tenshuu in the neighboring barony.
At the same time, young Naomi, cherished daughter of the doting Lord of Numanodai, is blissfully unaware of the chaotic world spinning out of control all around her. She fervently studies the arts of dance, music, and poetry as she dreams of being accepted into the distant imperial court. However, when disaster visits her very doorstep and she loses everything that she holds dear, Naomi must learn what it truly means to be a woman and a ruler. She must come to grips with her own gnawing grief and paralyzing doubt if she is to have any chance of saving her beaten and bedraggled people from Taro’s unreasoning fury.
In the process, both she and her pursuer discover a magical world of vengeful akuma demons, fierce kitsune fox-people, droll tanuki badger-folk, and the mysterious, arcane power of the ikioi. Taro and Naomi must decide whether to use this power for healing or destruction, revenge or redemption. They must choose whether to react to their pain and loss with wrath or with love. In the end, both must come to understand that the only thing that really makes them different is the choices they make and what they are willing to sacrifice in attaining that which they desire.
Finally, of course, I’m about 95,000 words into the Aaru sequal – Aaru: Halls of Hel. I hope to release it some time in 2018.
Thank you to David for his time! If you haven’t checked out my review of the book and would like to do so, you can find it here!
Rose is dying. Her body is wasted and skeletal. She is too sick and weak to move. Every day is an agony and her only hope is that death will find her swiftly before the pain grows too great to bear.
She is sixteen years old.
Rose has made peace with her fate, but her younger sister, Koren, certainly has not. Though all hope appears lost Koren convinces Rose to make one final attempt at saving her life after a mysterious man in a white lab coat approaches their family about an unorthodox and experimental procedure. A copy of Rose’s radiant mind is uploaded to a massive super computer called Aaru – a virtual paradise where the great and the righteous might live forever in an arcadian world free from pain, illness, and death. Elysian Industries is set to begin offering the service to those who can afford it and hires Koren to be their spokes-model.
Within a matter of weeks, the sisters’ faces are nationally ubiquitous, but they soon discover that neither celebrity nor immortality is as utopian as they think. Not everyone is pleased with the idea of life everlasting for sale.
What unfolds is a whirlwind of controversy, sabotage, obsession, and danger. Rose and Koren must struggle to find meaning in their chaotic new lives and at the same time hold true to each other as Aaru challenges all they ever knew about life, love, and death and everything they thought they really believed.
Death is a powerful and sensitive subject, and it is one that ought to be treated with dignity and respect.
When David approached me about his book, I was excited to read something that challenged our current beliefs about death. With our ever-advancing technology, is a system like Aaru possible in the future?
Quite so, I think, but I am not sure it could ever come to fruition as a result of the moral and religious arguments. I say this as a person, having grown up as part of a society still fighting for reform of anti-abortion laws. Yes, it is still illegal to terminate a pregnancy here. That isn’t for discussion here, albeit topical discussion locally at the moment.
Naturally, we are all going to have our own opinions about these subjects and I am glad the book touched on them all. Told mostly from the perspective of Rose and Koren, the narrative explores how the lives of the two teenage girls are affected. Rose, having suffered for years with Leukaemia, is offered a second chance at life through Aaru once her body succumbs to the disease. As an early resident, she becomes a part of both highlighting and ironing out the flaws in the system whilst her sister Koren becomes an overnight celebrity, marketing it to the world.
Not only does the book bring about the discussion of the social attitudes towards such a “solution” to death, it also highlights a number of practical problems that could arise, including security and data manipulation. Who should decide who gets to “live” after death? Think of the number of people that live seemingly good lives, yet after they are gone, we begin to hear more sinister things about their past. Would these people be let into Aaru? The concept of the system is that initially, it would be a chargeable service, becoming free and widely available later on. In my opinion, are not the people that have the wealth to afford such a service usually in a position or power and influence? Nobody is truly virtuous so some complaint would be made to their admission into eternal life.
For altogether different reasons, the book does take a sinister turn, and the element of danger greatly added to the plot. I love the concept of the book, even though I don’t feel it is a feasible option in reality.
I struggled to relate to Koren a bit, I will admit here. A thirteen-year-old girl at the time of Rose’s death, she really struggled to come to terms with the loss of her sister. She is then thrown mercilessly into the limelight by advertising this new service available, experiencing a maelstrom of emotions. Perhaps being the rebellious teenager she is, she intentionally pushes people away (including the reader, a tad). I was glad to see Koren’s parents step up to the mark as well. I felt they were a little absent from the beginning, before and just after Rose’s death, which doesn’t have a ring of realism to me. Every family is different though, I suppose.
The book is well written and I love how bold a subject it covers. Be aware though, it has mature themes so is probably not for the faint-hearted! Otherwise, it is a definite recommend to read.
Today I am working further towards clearing out my Goodreads of unwanted books (so obviously, I can just fill it up again!) Here is a refresher on what this tag entails:-
This meme was started by Lia @ Lost in a Story to clear out my reading list of unwanted books. Here is how it works:
Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
Order on ascending date added.
Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
Read the synopses of the books
Decide: keep it or should it go?
Once again, I am looking at the next ten books on the TBR:-
When his father dies suddenly, George Poole stumbles onto a family secret: He has a twin sister he never knew existed, who was raised by an enigmatic cult called the Order.
The Order is a hive – a human hive with a dominant queen–that has prospered below the streets of Rome for almost two millennia.
After Poole enters the Order’s vast underground city and meets the disturbing inhabitants, he uncovers evidence that they have embarked on a divergent evolutionary path.
These genetically superior humans are equipped with the tools necessary to render modern Homo sapiens as extinct as the Neanderthals. And now they are preparing to leave their underground realm.
I have actually started this book. It is the only book remotely anywhere near my bedside table. I haven’t picked it up in months though if I’m entirely honest. Given that my dad loaned me the series (when they were moving, so they had less stuff to bring up), I should probably get a wriggle on. They moved a year ago…
With The Alloy of Law and Shadows of Self, Brandon Sanderson surprised readers with a New York Times bestselling spinoff of his Mistborn books, set after the action of the trilogy, in a period corresponding to late 19th-century America.
Now, with The Bands of Mourning, Sanderson continues the story. The Bands of Mourning are the mythical metalminds owned by the Lord Ruler, said to grant anyone who wears them the powers that the Lord Ruler had at his command. Hardly anyone thinks they really exist. A kandra researcher has returned to Elendel with images that seem to depict the Bands, as well as writings in a language that no one can read. Waxillium Ladrian is recruited to travel south to the city of New Seran to investigate. Along the way he discovers hints that point to the true goals of his uncle Edwarn and the shadowy organization known as The Set.
This is certainly a keeper! I need to get on and read the earlier books of this second trilogy.
Age of Myth inaugurates an original five-book series.
Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped the gods they call Fhrey, truly a race apart: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immortal. But when a god falls to a human blade, the balance of power between humans and those they thought were gods changes forever.
Now only a few stand between humankind and annihilation: Raithe, reluctant to embrace his destiny as the God Killer; Suri, a young seer burdened by signs of impending doom; and Persephone, who must overcome personal tragedy to lead her people. The Age of Myth is over. The time of rebellion has begun.
I knew when I looked at this the name was familiar. I recently opted to remove another of Mishael’s books from the TBR… being Theft of Swords. Though I opted not to read this other book, Age of Myth looks to be classic fantasy so it’s right up my street!
With echoes of The Night Circus, a spellbinding story about two gifted orphans in love with each other since they can remember whose childhood talents allow them to rewrite their future. The Lonely Hearts Hotel is a love story with the power of legend. An unparalleled tale of charismatic pianos, invisible dance partners, radicalized chorus girls, drug-addicted musicians, brooding clowns, and an underworld whose economy hinges on the price of a kiss. In a landscape like this, it takes great creative gifts to thwart one’s origins. It might also take true love.
Two babies are abandoned in a Montreal orphanage in the winter of 1910. Before long, their talents emerge: Pierrot is a piano prodigy; Rose lights up even the dreariest room with her dancing and comedy. As they travel around the city performing clown routines, the children fall in love with each other and dream up a plan for the most extraordinary and seductive circus show the world has ever seen.
Separated as teenagers, sent off to work as servants during the Great Depression, both descend into the city’s underworld, dabbling in sex, drugs and theft in order to survive. But when Rose and Pierrot finally reunite beneath the snowflakes after years of searching and desperate poverty the possibilities of their childhood dreams are renewed, and they’ll go to extreme lengths to make them come true. Soon, Rose, Pierrot and their troupe of clowns and chorus girls have hit New York, commanding the stage as well as the alleys, and neither the theater nor the underworld will ever look the same.
With her musical language and extravagantly realized world, Heather O’Neill enchants us with a novel so magical there is no escaping its spell.
I’m going to be absolutely honest and admit that I’ve changed my mind on this one. Whilst I am sure its historical nature would appeal to me, I am not sure about the rest.
In modern-day Britain, magic users control everything: wealth, politics, power—and you. If you’re not one of the ultimate one-percenters—the magical elite—you owe them ten years of service. Do those years when you’re old, and you’ll never get through them. Do them young, and you’ll never get over them.
This is the darkly decadent world of Gilded Cage. In its glittering milieu move the all-powerful Jardines and the everyday Hadleys. The families have only one thing in common: Each has three children. But their destinies entwine when one family enters the service of the other. They will all discover whether any magic is more powerful than the human spirit.
Have a quick ten years. . . .
I think I added this as I understand there is a lot of politics involved, which I enjoy.
One thing I know I don’t like is a book is set in a parallel reality in the same time period that we are currently in. This has put me off reading this if I’m honest.
Melange, or ‘spice’, is the most valuable – and rarest – element in the universe; a drug that does everything from increasing a person’s life-span to making intersteller travel possible. And it can only be found on a single planet: the inhospitable desert world Arrakis.
Whoever controls Arrakis controls the spice. And whoever controls the spice controls the universe.
When the Emperor transfers stewardship of Arrakis from the noble House Harkonnen to House Atreides, the Harkonnens fight back, murdering Duke Leto Atreides. Paul, his son, and Lady Jessica, his concubine, flee into the desert. On the point of death, they are rescued by a band for Fremen, the native people of Arrakis, who control Arrakis’ second great resource: the giant worms that burrow beneath the burning desert sands.
In order to avenge his father and retake Arrakis from the Harkonnens, Paul must earn the trust of the Fremen and lead a tiny army against the innumerable forces aligned against them.
And his journey will change the universe.
I received a copy of this book from my work colleagues for my birthday so I will definitely be reading this!
Dev is a smuggler with the perfect cover. He’s in high demand as a guide for the caravans that carry legitimate goods from the city of Ninavel into the country of Alathia. The route through the Whitefire Mountains is treacherous, and Dev is one of the few climbers who knows how to cross them safely. With his skill and connections, it’s easy enough to slip contraband charms from Ninavel – where any magic is fair game, no matter how dark – into Alathia, where most magic is outlawed.
But smuggling a few charms is one thing; smuggling a person through the warded Alathian border is near suicidal. Having made a promise to a dying friend, Dev is forced to take on a singularly dangerous cargo: Kiran. A young apprentice on the run from one of the most powerful mages in Ninavel, Kiran is desperate enough to pay a fortune to sneak into a country where discovery means certain execution – and he’ll do whatever it takes to prevent Dev from finding out the terrible truth behind his getaway.
Yet Kiran isn’t the only one harboring a deadly secret. Caught up in a web of subterfuge and dark magic, Dev and Kiran must find a way to trust each other – or face not only their own destruction, but that of the entire city of Ninavel.
I like the idea of this but I am not sure it is something I want to read just now. Given that I am trying to clear out the list, I am going to take this off the list. Maybe I’ll re-add it at a later date?
On a bitter winter night in 1923, Fergus McKenzie loses his beloved wife in childbirth. Overcome by grief, he shuns the doctor, convinced he could have done more to save her. He also refuses to take notice of his daughter, Shona, until years later, when she falls in love with the doctor’s son.
I added this book as a starting point as my mum loves these books. Having taken a look though, I really don’t think they are my cup of tea. Don’t hate me, Mum!!
Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.
Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.
Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.
After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.
Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.
Having said I don’t really like parallel universes, I wouldn’t normally have added this book to the TBR. It is only because of the amount of hype around this author in the blogosphere that I am going to give it a try. Hopefully, with the presence of magic, this doesn’t feel like the setting is too realistic.
The bestselling feminist novel that awakened both women and men, The Women’s Room follows the transformation of Mira Ward and her circle as the women’s movement begins to have an impact on their lives. A biting social commentary on an emotional world gone silently haywire, The Women’s Room is a modern classic that offers piercing insight into the social norms accepted so blindly and revered so completely. Marilyn French questions those accepted norms and poignantly portrays the hopeful believers looking for new truths.
I added this book having read “Fear of Flying” by Erica Jong at the beginning of this year. To be upfront… yes, this is described as a feminist book. Do I classify myself as a feminist? No. That doesn’t mean I cannot educate myself on the subject though. I think feminism is massively misunderstood in terms of whether it represents the empowerment of women or fighting for equality.
Have you reviewed your TBR pile lately? I’d love to hear from you!
Today is Remembrance Sunday here; a day to remember those that have lost their lives defending our country and protecting our interests. I just wanted to take a moment here to reflect on this, because those people have far more courage then I could ever have.
Following my last Sunday Summary, I finished My Life as Steve Keller by Zach Baynes. If you want to check out my review, you can find it here. There is also an open giveaway on a copy of that book which ends 11:59pm local time tonight, so get yourself into the draw. If you aren’t on Twitter and want a chance to enter, drop a comment below!
I also started and finished my next ARC for this month, being Aaru by David Meredith. It’s a book that challenges the concept of death by, in essence, scanning a person’s brain and then uploading it to a server so they live “virtually” instead. I was interested in the concept and it didn’t disappoint. One thing I was shocked about was how dark it gets towards the end! I wasn’t expecting anything like that! No spoilers though… Review to follow!
I can tell I am making a conscious effort to save money for my upcoming trip, as I haven’t purchased any books this week! My sister is attempting to get a copy of I Don’t Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson for me, as it is the O2 Priority deal this week, but I don’t know if she has been able to yet.
A Suitable Lie is a book I have seen a couple of reviews for and added to the TBR, as not only do I think I will really enjoy the book, it about a topic that really needs more exposure. All too often we hear about domestic violence in which men are the perpetrators and women the victims, but the statistics show that for every two female victims, there is one male victim. I think this is massively ignored so I would like to educate myself on the subject!
On Tuesday I have decided to bring you another Down the TBR Hole post, in an effort to clear out my reading list of unwanted books! I want to try and make a real push on this so basically, I can add more books. Sounds productive, right?
On Friday I will be posting my review of Aaru by David Meredith, and there is also an anticipated interview I will be doing with David about his inspirations for the book. The date is still TBC, but please look out for that!
Finally, the week will close with a wrap-up, as ever!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my Sunday Summary!! If you want to enter the competition mentioned above, you can enter via Twitter or drop a comment here!! So tell me, what have you been reading this week?