Tag: audiobook

Sunday Summary – 15th November 2020

Hey guys! I’m back with another Sunday Summary post! How are you all doing? I hope you have had a good week regardless, and that you are all keeping safe.

My first blog post of the week ended up being posted a little later than I expected. I had planned to publish my review of Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson on Tuesday or Wednesday this week, but it actually went live on Thursday. I’m glad I took the extra time to get it right – a fantastic book deserves a good, well-written review!

On Friday I shared a Shelf Control post. It has been a little while since my last one, so it was nice to look back at my TBR, check out the next book on the list and get to tell you a little of why I’m looking forward to reading it!

 

Books Read

This week I picked up Glimmer of Hope by J A Andrews again. As of last week I was 20% of the way through the book. I finished this over a couple of evenings this week. It was a really easy read, and not too long either. It’s more risqué than a lot of stuff I’ve read before… and the ending wasn’t what I expected at all! It was a good read!

I’ve also just started reading the first few pages of The Dark Chorus by Ashley Meggitt. I’ll be starting this in earnest once this Sunday Summary post goes live.

 

Books Discovered

Once again, I haven’t added any books to the list this week. It’s funny how I can be so polar opposite and add 3-4 books some weeks, and then not at all for weeks on end!

 

Coming Up…

I’m only planning on sharing one blog post next week, which is my Sunday Summary post next weekend.

In the course of a normal year, I step away from the screen for probably a couple of weeks. Naturally in the current climate, I haven’t been going on holiday and taking a break. I didn’t even step back from blogging around the time I moved, or the times I’ve been off work and working on the house. I’m starting to feel it now. I actually toyed with the idea of taking a week off a couple of months ago, but I didn’t in the end.

I was actually planning on taking this break in a couple of weeks so it coincided with a week off work, but now I have a couple of blog tours so that plan is out the window. I’m reading the material for that now, so I might be able to prep the posts in advance and still have my week off. We’ll see.

So, anyway, I’ll be back again this time next week!

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 8th November 2020

Hello everyone and welcome back to another Sunday Summary post from me! I hope you are all doing and keeping well?

This week’s first post was a blog tour review for Sherlock Holmes & The Ripper of Whitechapel. If you are a fan of historical fiction, mystery novels, or like me, stories about Jack the Ripper then this is definitely recommended to you!

Later in the week, I shared my reading list for this month. I still can’t believe we are in November already… but there we are! If you haven’t checked out my post yet and found out which books I plan to pick up this month, take a look!

 

Books Read

Before I was able to share my blog tour post on Tuesday, I had to finish Sherlock Holmes & The Ripper of Whitechapel by M K Wiseman. As of writing my Sunday Summary post last Sunday evening, I was around 25% of the way through the book. Timing was a little tight as I had just read and completed another book for a blog tour a couple of days previously. I did manage to complete the book on Monday night and so draft my post ready for Tuesday.

After that, I picked up Glimmer of Hope by J A Andrews, which is my first read of November. I’m currently around 20% of the way through the book, and it’s proving a nice, easy read so far! I expect I’ll have this read in the next few days, nice and early for the tour next month.

 

Books Discovered

There aren’t any new additions this week again, I’m pleased to say!

 

Coming Up…

My first post of next week is going to be another review. I recently reviewed The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson, and this week I intend to review the next book in the series, Shadows of Self. As with every single Brandon Sanderson novel I’ve read, expect a glowing review for this instalment to the Mistborn series!

Later in the week I’ll be returning to my regular Friday features and sharing a Shelf Control post. It has been a good few weeks since I posted one of these and I’m looking forward to going back to my TBR and revisiting my old additions to the list and telling you why I want to read them! I hope you can check-in for that post later in the coming week.

 

In the meantime, that’s all from me folks! Keep safe wherever you are, and I look forward to seeing you next time!

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 1st November 2020

Hi everyone and welcome to today’s weekly Sunday Summary post! This week’s post is a little later than usual since I shared a blog tour post this Sunday just gone. Since the rule of thumb with these things is to not post again on the same day, my update is coming to you a couple of hours later.

If you haven’t taken a look at yesterday’s post, which is a publication day push review of Unbroken Truth by Lukas Lundh, please do! I also shared a Hop Tu Naa (that’s Halloween to you) post on Tuesday, listing my Top Ten reads for the spooky season. If you are still in the mood for a sinister read you can still go and check out that post too. If you like horror, psychological thriller or even a humorous take on the holiday… there’s something for everyone on the list. Enjoy!

 

Books Read

My main priority of the week has been reading Unbroken Truth by Lukas Lundh, as I needed to have the book read in advance for yesterday’s blog tour. As of last week’s Sunday Summary post I had only just started the first few chapters, so I have read pretty much the whole book this week. At just over a couple hundred pages, it wasn’t a long read and so worked well with my schedule this week.

In addition to Unbroken Truth, I have also read about 25% of Sherlock Holmes and the Ripper of Whitechapel this week. This particular book will be featuring on my blog in the next few days. This also is a similarly short read and it feels like I have barely put any effort in to get to 25% through. I’ll be reading a lot more of this in anticipation of my upcoming review – find out below when this is going live.

I’ve spent this week off work and investing some more time into decorating. I’m pleased to say I am VERY NEARLY done now and I’m happy with all my hard work. It’s given me the opportunity to make more progress with audiobooks, which I’ve enjoyed. My first listen of the week involved finishing Jack the Ripper: Case Closed by Gyles Brandreth. I only had a couple of hours or so left, so I wrapped this up on Monday.

I’ve been in a Game of Thrones-y mood these past few weeks. I’ve listened to the soundtracks a lot and toyed with (and dismissed) the idea of reading the books again – I’ve only just finished them!  I have, however, decided to listen to the audiobook! I think that’s a fair compromise. I’m enjoying it well enough so far, although some of the narrator’s pronunciation of names etc gets on my nerves as I don’t agree with it! It’s still enjoyable though and I’ll continue to listen to it.

 

Books Discovered

I’ve been good again this week and not added any books to the TBR. Who knows, at this rate, I might stand a chance of dropping some off instead of my usual breaking even (or adding books!)

 

 

Coming Up…

The first post I will be publishing next week is my review of Sherlock Holmes and the Ripper of Whitechapel. This will be going live on Tuesday morning, so I hope you can join me for that. Based on what I have read so far, I expect the review will be a glowing one!

Since it is now November (seriously, where is this year going?!), I’m going to share my next reading list on Thursday. At the moment I only have a couple of books in mind to read, so I’m going to have a think between now and then and by Thursday I should have made my mind up about what I’m going to read.

Last, but not least, I’ll be publishing my Sunday Summary update at the end of the week, as expected.

 

That’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary post! What have you been reading?

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 25th October 2020

Hi everyone and welcome to today’s weekly update post! I hope you have had a good week, whatever you got up to!

Mine has been a little unusual as I curbed the reading and blogging for a few days in order to finish studying for an exam, which I sat on Wednesday. All went well and I passed the exam, so it was worth the effort! Consequently, though, I only shared one post this week. I decided my one post would be a review since I wanted it to be a more in-depth post. With that in mind, I shared my first audiobook review in three months, which featured Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff.

 

Books Read

I’ve only made a brief start on a read I am reviewing for another blog tour next week. Unbroken Truth has a definite sci-fi vibe from the first few chapters I’ve read. I like how the introduction has set the scene for the novel and I’m looking forward to reading this over the next week.

I haven’t read so much this week, but I have been listening to audiobooks. I’ve made a bit more progress with Jack the Ripper: Case Closed by Gyles Brandreth. I’ve only got a little way to go to the finish, and I expect to do this in the next day or two.

I have also had the urge to read and enjoy the A Game of Thrones series again this week, and so I have started listening to the audiobook of the first book in the series. I’ve read the kindle and physical copies of the books to date, but not listened to any of the audiobooks.

 

Books Discovered

I’ve added a book to my TBR for the first time in MONTHS! I watched Des on ITV player earlier this week and loved it – I hadn’t realised there was a book about Des Nilson and the murders. Since I really enjoyed the series I have added the book written about him, Killing for Company, to my TBR.

 

Coming Up…

Since I have a couple of blog posts scheduled towards the end of the week, I want to take part in another Top Ten Tuesday post. This week’s scheduled post is a Halloween ’freebie’, and so I think I’ll be sharing my Top Ten Chilling Hop Tu Naa reads (Hop Tu Naa is the Manx equivalent of Halloween).

On Sunday I will be taking part in the blog tour for Unbroken Truth and sharing my review of the book. As a result, my usual weekly update post will be published first thing on Monday morning.

That’s all from me in today’s post! I hope you have a good week and I’ll see you in the next one!

 

 

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Audiobook Review: Darkdawn – Jay Kristoff

Hi everyone and welcome to today’s review of Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff. Apologies I haven’t posted for a few days. You may remember in my Sunday Summary post last weekend I mentioned that I was sitting an exam yesterday and that I wouldn’t be posting for a few days whilst I focussed on my exam revision for a couple of days. Well, the good news is I passed and so the hard work paid off. So sorry, not sorry for the brief wait for today’s post.

Given that circumstantially my posting schedule is light this week I wanted to fit in another review I have on my list to write. The next on my list is Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff. Also, coincidentally, it has been nearly three months to the day since I shared a review of an audiobook! I’m being really careful in this review to be very general and therefore not spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read the book yet.

If you haven’t checked out my previous reviews, now might be the time to go and check those out before today’s review.

Anyway, enough preamble… shall I get into it?

 

Darkdawn – Jay Kristoff

Goodreads – Darkdawn

The epic conclusion to the internationally bestselling Nevernight Chronicle from New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff.

The greatest games in Godsgrave’s history have ended with the most audacious murders in the history of the Itreyan Republic.

Mia Corvere, gladiatii, escaped slave and infamous assassin, is on the run. Pursued by Blades of the Red Church and soldiers of the Luminatii legion, she may never escape the City of Bridges and Bones alive. Her mentor Mercurio is now in the clutches of her enemies. Her own family wishes her dead. And her nemesis, Consul Julius Scaeva, stands but a breath from total dominance over the Republic.

But beneath the city, a dark secret awaits. Together with her lover Ashlinn, brother Jonnen and a mysterious benefactor returned from beyond the veil of death, she must undertake a perilous journey across the Republic, seeking the final answer to the riddle of her life. Truedark approaches. Night is falling on the Republic for perhaps the final time.

Can Mia survive in a world where even daylight must die?

New York Times and internationally bestselling author Jay Kristoff’s writing has been praised by critics and readers alike and has won many awards, including four Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, and David Gemmell Morningstar and Legend awards.

 

My Thoughts…

I had no idea how Jay Kristoff was going to round off what had already become an epic series, but Darkdawn didn’t disappoint! I’m not generally in the habit of pre-ordering titles before they are released, but I happened to see the book available to pre-order on Audible with only a couple of months to wait until its release. So, needless to say, I spent that credit without a second thought!

I am a huge fan of the series – the narrative, the characters… the whole package! It is unlike anything else I have read or listened to and I absolutely want to read it again. Since I listened to the audiobooks and love the series so much, I would like to get a paperback copy of the series to read for myself next time. Maybe that’s a Christmas present idea!

It’s a small thing to enjoy, but I like how the narrative has footnotes to clarify some points. As I listened to the audiobook, reading these little notes is mandatory, but I suppose if reading the book for yourself you could not read them if you weren’t interested. I don’t see why you wouldn’t be though – a lot of the author’s humour and own narrative voice shines through in these sections, as well as provides the necessary background information to events in and around the narrative. Regular readers will know that I love fictional worlds with a lot of history and detail, so this is a big plus for me as a reader!

As can be expected in this epic conclusion, all our favourite characters are back and more determined than ever to upend the Republic as we know it. Mia is her usual dark, hell-bent, sarcastic self and I loved every second of it. She is a unique character, if nothing else because she defies the trope of being the “Chosen One”. She isn’t looking out for anyone’s interest but her own. She is everything a hero isn’t and it’s refreshing to read something so unlike a lot of modern fantasy.

This audiobook was everything I was hoping and expecting it to be. As the conclusion drew closer I found myself listening to it every second I could, whilst simultaneously hoping it would never end. Of course, all good things come to an end and once I finished this, I had no idea what I could read next. The book hangover was real. Nothing could live up to what I had just listened to then, and even now I think I will struggle to find anything just as good!

If you haven’t read this series yet, please, please do! I don’t think you will regret it for one second.

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 27th September 2020

I can’t believe I’m sat here writing another Sunday Summary post already. This week has been busy and seems to have flown by!

I shared a couple of posts with you earlier this week. My first post was a review of a book I read and adored earlier this year. The fact that I went on to read the rest of the series published to date in around a couple of months speaks volumes! If you haven’t checked out my review of The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson, please take a look.

Friday saw the return of my regular feature post, Shelf Control. It has been over a month since I last shared one of these posts. It was good fun to have another look at my TBR and feature the next book on the list and share why I want to read it.

 

Books Read

I’ve spent a fair amount of time reading this week, but not as much as usual. Work has been quite busy and on top of that I’m stepping up with studying for my exam next month. I don’t count that towards my blogging (I’m sure a textbook on how securities are settled across the global financial market would bore you all half to death), but probably half of my reading time was spent on this over the course of the week.

When I wasn’t studying, I picked up Rags of Time by Michael Ward and picked up where I left off last week. I had only really just started this as of last week’s Sunday Summary update, so I’ve probably read around 40% of the book this week. Not the best, but not worst either. Honestly, I’ve been feeling a little burned out over the last week and I haven’t read as much as normal, purely because I didn’t want to. I can’t force myself to and I won’t. I read for fun – if it becomes a chore then it’s time to stop.

During one particular day when I was feeling burned out, but also slightly guilty for it, I turned to the faithful audiobook by way of compromise. I said I wanted to keep going with Jack the Ripper: Case Closed and I have. I sat and listened to more of this whilst working on a knitting project I’ve started. Even though I was doing two things at once, I felt like I could switch off a bit more. It helped me wind down a bit, but also feel more motivated to get back into reading again. Around 15% of my progress reading of Rags of Time was done this morning after that night – put it that way!

 

Books Discovered

Again, I haven’t added a single book to my TBR this week. In fairness, I have been doing other things (blogging, studying, knitting etc)so I haven’t really been looking at books…

 

Coming Up…

Since I am stepping up the studying and trying to catch up on my TBR, I’m only going to share next month’s reading list mid next week. I also have a blog tour early in October that I will need to do the reading for (pretty sharpish) so I’m not going to overburden myself with too many posts.

I’ll round off the week with a Sunday Summary as usual.

 

That’s all from me until next week! Have a good one and I’ll see you around!

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 20th September 2020

Hi everyone and welcome to today’s catch up in this Sunday Summary post! I hope you have all had a good week, whatever you have gotten up to.

Mine has been a busy week! Aside from reading and blogging, I’ve spent a good deal of time on home improvements. I’ve spent a good few evenings this week re-painting my downstairs loo. I have friends coming over next week for afternoon tea, so I wanted to get the most garish room in the house dealt with before then. I’m not joking when I say it was Kawasaki green…

It’s not anymore!

Around that, I’ve been writing blog posts about my Top Ten Fantasy Novel Covers in Tuesday’s ‘Top Ten Tuesday’ post and on Thursday, I shared my review of The Rue Stone by Janet Stock for the book birthday blitz blog tour. Try and say ‘book birthday blitz blog tour’ quickly five times, I dare you!

 

Books Read

Although I have been doing a lot of work on the house, I’ve still managed to get a fair amount of reading done. My top priority at the start of the week was to read The Rue Stone since I was taking part in the blog tour on Thursday. The Rue Stone is an 80-page or so novella, so I actually read this in one sitting one evening. It was nice to read something short for a change and I enjoyed the storyline!

I’ve also started reading Rags of Time this week. I haven’t made huge progress as I’ve been decorating and general house bits, but I’ll dive into this properly tonight once this post goes live.

Since I haven’t really been in a position to sit and read a book, I’ve made a lot more progress with listening to Jack the Ripper: Case Closed. I’ve now listened to around 4-and-a-half hours this week, so I’m nearly halfway through the audiobook. I’m finished with decorating again for a little while, but I’ll definitely have to keep up with listening to this and finish it soon.

 

Books Discovered

I haven’t added a book to my TBR since the 5th August. For once, it’s actually starting to go down. I’m starting to think there’s something wrong with me…

I’m actually quite glad about it, to be honest – the length of it is entirely ridiculous and I need to get on top of it. It’s nice to see the number dropping!

 

Coming Up…

I want to share another book review with you this week. I have a few on my list that I need to catch up with. Next week I’ll be starting with a follow-on series to a trilogy I read years ago. The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson is set in the Mistborn universe but in a completely new timeline far into the future of the previous books. I’ve gone on to read all of the published books in this second follow-on series since,  but I’ll just be reviewing the first book in the coming days. I hope you can join me and check out what will be my glowing review!

Nearly a month after I planned to share this post (I got my blog tour days/dates mixed up so I realised last minute I had to postpone), I’ll be sharing a Shelf Control post on Friday! Yes, blog tour commitments and such have meant that I haven’t shared any regular Friday features for a month now. But, Shelf Control is back this Friday and featuring a humorous non-fiction book that’s all about the psychology of the mind.

As always I’ll round off the week with another Sunday Summary post.

 

However, that’s all from me in this week’s Sunday Summary update! What have you been reading? I’ll catch up with you in the next one.

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 13th September 2020

Hello everyone and welcome to another Sunday Summary weekly update from me! I really appreciate you guys taking time out of your day to have a read my posts, so thank you very much! So what have I been up to this week?

On Wednesday I shared my first discussion post in a while. The particular topic is one I have debated for a while now – Book Subscription Boxes – Yay or Nay? If you haven’t already checked out my post, please have a read and let me know your thoughts! Then, on Friday, I shared a review of Freedom of the Creed by Nicholas Coleridge has part of the recent blog tour. If you are a fan of Western novels, this is definitely one for you to take a look at!

 

Books Read

I started the week by reading a bit more of Lord of the Flies by William Goldberg. I had to set this aside in favour of reading Freedom of the Creed for my blog tour post on Friday. Since then, I haven’t picked it up again though. It was okay to read, but not exciting enough to draw me back to it again. I have a lot of other books to read that I’ll probably enjoy more, so I decided to DNF this one.

As mentioned above, the next book on my list was Freedom of the Creed and I read this almost in its entirety this week. I had just started Freedom of the Creed last week, but with the upcoming tour this was my focus for the majority of the week, finishing it on Thursday.

For the first time since July, I listened to part of an audiobook this week! I haven’t picked up any in a while. Honestly, I think I almost listened to them too much when redecorating and I wanted a break. Now I’ve had that break, and rather ironically I might add, I started listening to Jack the Ripper: Case Closed yesterday when I started doing some more decorating! I have listened to the first few chapters now, so made a solid start. I’ll be chipping away at more redecorating this week so I expect I’ll listen to more of this as I’m going.

 

Books Discovered

Nothing to add again this week! This has to be a record by now, surely?!

 

Coming Up…

I’m going to share a Top Ten Tuesday post this week, with a superficial subject. This week, I’ve decided to share my top ten fantasy novel book covers. This won’t just be limited to books I’ve read either, so I could be featuring a lot of different books in this post!

On Thursday I’m taking part in yet another blog tour for The Rue Stone by Janet Stock. It’s a short fantasy novella, around 80 pages. Naturally, this will be my reading focus over the next few days.

As always, I’ll be rounding off the week with another Sunday Summary post to update you all on my week and all things bookish!

 

That’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary post, however. I hope you have had a great week, enjoy the next one, and I’ll see you again for another catch up in a week’s time!

 

 

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Audiobook Review: Cilka’s Journey – Heather Morris

Today’s audiobook review is for my second historical fiction novel by Heather Morris. I loved listening to The Tattooist of Auschwitz despite its subject matter, so I knew I had to listen to Cilka’s Journey as well!

As if the events of Auschwitz aren’t harrowing enough, Cilka’s Journey centres around a young woman who is imprisoned in a labour camp after being liberated from the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau site. She is imprisoned for helping the Nazis – her crime: prostituting herself to them… like she had a choice!

 

Cilka’s Journey – Heather Morris

Goodreads – Cilka’s Journey

In this follow-up to The Tattooist of Auschwitz, the author tells the story, based on a true one, of a woman who survives Auschwitz, only to find herself locked away again.

Cilka Klein is 18 years old when Auschwitz-Birkenau is liberated by Soviet soldiers. But Cilka is one of the many women who is sentenced to a labor camp on charges of having helped the Nazis–with no consideration of the circumstances Cilka and women like her found themselves in as they struggled to survive. Once at the Vorkuta gulag in Sibera, where she is to serve her 15-year sentence, Cilka uses her wits, charm, and beauty to survive.

 

My Thoughts…

The first thing I loved about this story is that it taught me something new. I didn’t actually know about the labour camps and the trials men and women such as Cilka went through. So much is known about the conditions and the treatment of prisoners in Auschwitz-Birkenau and I think it’s overshadowed other events following the Second World War. I have read a few books around the subject now, but nothing like this.

As with The Tattooist of Auschwitz, the tale is based on a real person’s account of what happened to them. Reading about it in a fictional sense is upsetting enough, but knowing that many people lived through such a terrible experience is even more harrowing. There is a lot of detail to the narrative, which I really enjoy; it validates the authenticity of the events and conditions people were forced to live in. It also makes it very easy for us as listeners/readers to put ourselves in Cilka’s shoes, feel her pain, sorrow, and a few moments of joy.

The bleak descriptions of the bitterly cold Siberian labour camp are haunting. Living in such cruel conditions made the lives of these women very difficult, especially for those left weak from their time in the concentration camp. It’s frighteningly easy to feel the isolation these women have from the rest of the world. Not all is bleak, however, as many strong friendships are forged between them in their common suffering. They have few personal possessions of their own, but readily give up what they can to help others. They find solace in each other and help one another through their darkest days.

This is an audiobook review, so it’s only fair to comment on how well the audiobook is narrated. The narrator Louise Brealey’s narration style is fantastic. Cilka’s Journey is an emotional account of horrific events and her ability to encapsulate the emotion makes it even easier for the reader (listener) to immerse themselves with the story.

As I hope you can tell from the review, this was a five-star read (listen) for me. I absolutely loved it and I’m sure it’s a book I will go back and read again!

Have you read Cilka’s Journey or The Tattooist of Auschwitz? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor

Hey guys and welcome back to another review post! I’ve already reviewed one book (audiobook) this week and I’m back again in an effort to catch up with the number of reviews I need to write! Today’s review is going to be a joy to write because I absolutely loved this book! In fact, I loved the whole series! I wouldn’t describe myself as a binge reader particularly, but I read this series really quickly by my standards. I read this on holiday in October last year and I read the remaining two books in November and December respectively. I can tell you now that it’s one I will be picking up time and again.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor

Goodreads – Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Goodreads

Purchase Links:  Amazon UK    Amazon US     Waterstones

 

My Thoughts…

If I haven’t already made it clear from the intro, let me say this one thing first. Ahem. I LOVED THIS BOOK! I was already a huge fan of Laini Taylor’s based on her Strange the Dreamer duology. She really has a way with words, beautiful descriptions and great characters/storylines. If you are a huge fantasy fan, please, please read at least one of her books. Whilst they are marketed at a young adult audience, I didn’t overly perceive them that way. I don’t typically read YA but I’m glad I did on this occasion!

In Daughter of Smoke and Bone Laini Taylor reinvents the classic angels vs demons conflict. Where typical stories have clear cut good and evil sides, Daughter of Smoke and Bone is riddled with moral ambiguity and grey areas on both sides. It makes the conflict element of the storyline really interesting. What makes it even better is that our main character Karou is largely ignorant of what is going on within this conflict for most of the book. To us readers, she begins as a mostly normal young woman studying art in Prague. However, as Karou accidently learns that there is more to her existence than she first realises, we readers are thrown into a whole new world where enemies appear as friends, and friends as enemies. Who is Karou really, and who can she trust?

I really enjoy how well Laini Taylor gives her female characters plenty of sass! If you want an example, I shared a great opening quote from one of the later books in a First Lines Friday post. It’s just one of many brilliantly funny moments that had me laughing out loud. I’m pretty sure I had a few quizzical looks whilst reading this, not least from my sister!

As someone that isn’t a huge advocate of romances in novels, I wasn’t sure what I was going to make of the Karou/Akiva relationship alluded to in the synopsis. I was pleasantly surprised though. It is quite a significant part of the narrative, but it isn’t awkward, forced or uncomfortable to read. I’ll hold my hands up and say that I just get awkward reading romances when they’re overly sexualised. It just makes me cringe. Karou and Akiva’s spark isn’t like that at all – it’s born of longing, a half-remembered past. A re-kindling. That’s all I can say without spoiling anything, but the one thing it is not is sexual. Works for me!

I’m glad I bought Daughter of Smoke and Bone and the rest of the series later, in paperback. I will definitely be revisiting this series again – that’s how much I loved it. Now that I know what happens, I also want to read it again to see what I missed the first time.  

Have you read Daughter of Smoke and Bone or any other books by Laini Taylor? Let me know in the comments!

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