Tag: brandon sanderson

Sunday Summary – 15th March 2020

Today’s Sunday Summary post is coming to you a little late since I was taking part in a blog tour yesterday. I hope you had a good weekend!

This week has brought to you a couple of blog tours. The first of those, a review of Helene by Karl Drinkwater, was shared on Monday. Helene is a short story that ties into this Lost Solace series. I really enjoyed the book, and writing that post. I also got some great feedback from the author, who has also asked me to review two further books of his off the back of it!

After my post on Monday I took a few days “off” so to speak (I had some personal stuff to catch up with!), and shared my next post on Friday. This week’s Shelf Control post featured a contemporary novel that I wouldn’t typically describe as my cup of tea. That said, I do really love the sound of the book based on the synopsis and I am always open to trying something new.

Lastly, I shared my blog tour review of Tooth and Blade by Julian Barr on Sunday. This book is really unique in that it combines Norse mythology and fantasy together with a strong female protagonist trying to find her way in a world where she doesn’t fit in.

 

Books Read

My priority of the week was reading Tooth and Blade by Julian Barr since yesterday was my blog tour date. I actually read this book in a couple of days. These three novellas combined total around 288 pages, but honestly, it was so easy to read that they flew by! The story is unlike anything I have read before as well, so I was keen to see how events played out. If you want to read more about it, my link to my review is above.

After a great start to the week, I hit a slump midweek. After reading Tooth and Blade I picked up Good Omens again. All my blog tour reading is done at this point, so I was free to go back to it. I’ve struggled to get back into it though. I’ve picked it up three or four times this week, but I’ve not been able to stick with it. I distract myself with other things or my attention would wander. I don’t know why I’m not getting back into it, but there we are. I’ve read about 10% this week. That’s 50 pages, but it doesn’t feel like much of an achievement, to be honest. I’ll keep trying, but I’m going to take a short break from it.

After an unsuccessful attempt at returning to Good Omens, I decided to move on to the next book on my TBR. After reading The Alloy of Law recently I wanted to continue catching up with this series. Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson is proving more successful in terms of reading. I only started this on Saturday night and as of writing this post, I’m already 25% through it. I reckon I can squeeze in another hour of reading before bed tonight. By the time this post goes live, I should be about 40% through, or close to.

I’ve chipped another couple of hours or so off my audiobook Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. The plot is really coming together now, so I’m looking forward to seeing how the gang get themselves out of the trouble they’ve landed in!

 

Books Discovered

 

I’ve been pretty good this week, as I’ve been busy reading, trying to read or catching up with some other stuff I’ve had to do!

 

Coming Up…

Now that all my blog tours are done for the month, I plan to share some reviews I need to catch up with. Before that though, it’s been a long time since I wrote a Top Ten Tuesday post. This week, taking into account my blog’s 3 year anniversary is coming up next month, I want to share my top ten reasons I love being a book blogger!

On Thursday I’m sharing a review for a book I was dying to get my hands on last year. Little did I know that my copy of the book was going to be special! Yes, I am talking about The Testaments by Margaret Atwood. If I was intolerably excited before collecting my pre-ordered copy that day, I would have been worse that afternoon! It’s been five months or so since I read the book, so I can’t wait to finally set my thoughts down about it.

On Friday it’s the turn of a First Lines Friday post. I enjoyed featuring a book I read prior to starting my blog in my last First Lines Friday post, so I am going to try and do the same thing again.

Last, but certainly not least, next week’s Sunday Summary post will be coming to you on schedule.

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s belated Sunday Summary post. Have you read any of these books?

 

 

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Reading List – March 2020

I can’t believe it is the beginning of March and I’m writing my reading list post already! Last month just flew by. I know it’s a short one, but still! I’m happy with my reading progress last month given that I had a few bits on. I didn’t quite finish last month’s reading, so I am carrying one book over.

Shall we take a look at the books on this month’s TBR?

 

Good Omens – Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Goodreads – Good Omens

‘Armageddon only happens once, you know. They don’t let you go around again until you get it right.’

People have been predicting the end of the world almost from its very beginning, so it’s only natural to be sceptical when a new date is set for Judgement Day. But what if, for once, the predictions are right, and the apocalypse really is due to arrive next Saturday, just after tea?

You could spend the time left drowning your sorrows, giving away all your possessions in preparation for the rapture, or laughing it off as (hopefully) just another hoax. Or you could just try to do something about it.

It’s a predicament that Aziraphale, a somewhat fussy angel, and Crowley, a fast-living demon now finds themselves in. They’ve been living amongst Earth’s mortals since The Beginning and, truth be told, have grown rather fond of the lifestyle and, in all honesty, are not actually looking forward to the coming Apocalypse.

And then there’s the small matter that someone appears to have misplaced the Antichrist…

 

Good Omens is my carryover. I only just started reading this at the end of last week, so it’s hardly surprising I’ve had to carry it over to this month. That said, I’ve managed to make a good start over the past day or two and I am enjoying the book so far! It’s definitely got the flavour of Terry Pratchett’s humour I love so I can see myself finishing this book pretty quickly!

 

Songbird – Karen Heenan

Goodreads – Songbird

Bess has the voice of an angel, or so Henry VIII declares when he buys her from her father. As a member of the Music, the royal company of minstrels, Bess grows up within the decadent Tudor court, navigating the ever-changing tide of royals and courtiers. Friends come and go as cracked voices, politics, heartbreak, and death loom over even the lowliest of musicians. Tom, her first and dearest friend, is her only constant. But as Bess becomes too comfortable at court, she may find that constancy has its limits.

 

My first blog tour related read of the month is this historical fiction novel. I love the Tudor period of history and I haven’t picked up a book on it in ages! Also, books with politics in them really interest me, which is funny because I hate politics! At least, I hate ours!

 

Helene – Karl Drinkwater

Goodreads – Helene

Dr Helene Vermalle is shaping the conscience of a goddess-level AI.

As a leading civilian expert in Emergent AI Socialisation, she has been invited to assist in a secret military project.

Her role? Helping ViraUHX, the most advanced AI in the universe, to pass through four theoretical development stages. But it’s not easy training a mind that surpasses her in raw intellect. And the developing AI is capable of killing her with a single tantrum.

On top of this, she must prove her loyalty to the oppressive government hovering over her shoulder. They want a weapon. She wants to instil an overriding sense of morality.

Can she teach the AI right and wrong without being categorised as disloyal?

Lost Tales of Solace are short side-stories set in the Lost Solace universe.

 

I’m definitely reading more in the way of science-fiction than I ever have before. I have been fortunate to have picked up some great books recently, which means I keep gravitating back to the genre.

I love the premise of this novel. Artificial Intelligence is definitely relevant right now and there are plenty of people sat on the fence about its benefits and drawbacks. It sounds like this book might touch on that, so I can’t wait to read it and share my thoughts with you in the upcoming blog tour!

 

Tooth & Blade – Julian Barr

Goodreads – Tooth and Blade

Parts 1-3 of the legendary TOOTH AND BLADE series together for the first time!

Two worlds. One destiny.

Dóta has dwelled sixteen years among the trolls. She knows nothing but the darkness of her family’s cave. Her mother says humans are beasts who would slay them all. Yet the gods of Asgard whisper in the night: Dóta is a child of men, a monster unto monsters.

To discover her human side, Dóta must take up her bone knife and step into the light above. Secrets await her in the human realm–beauty, terror, the love of a princess.

Soon Dóta must choose between her clan and humankind, or both worlds will be devoured in fire and war.

A monster sheds no tears.

Norse mythology meets historical fantasy in TOOTH AND BLADE. Step into a realm of haunted meres, iron and magic.

 

I love the idea of a mash-up of Norse Mythology and fantasy. Honestly, it’s so unlike anything I have read before that I wanted to give it a try.

 

Shadows of Self – Brandon Sanderson

Goodreads – Shadows of Self

Shadows of Self shows Mistborn’s society evolving as technology and magic mix, the economy grows, democracy contends with corruption, and religion becomes a growing cultural force, with four faiths competing for converts.

This bustling, optimistic, but still shaky society now faces its first instance of terrorism, crimes intended to stir up labor strife and religious conflict. Wax and Wayne, assisted by the lovely, brilliant Marasi, must unravel the conspiracy before civil strife stops Scadrial’s progress in its tracks.

Shadows of Self will give fans of The Alloy of Law everything they’ve been hoping for and, this being a Brandon Sanderson book, more, much more.

 

I really enjoyed reading The Alloy of Law back in January and I am keen to make even more progress with this series. It’s been on my TBR for a long time so it’s overdue! I honestly love every single Brandon Sanderson book I have ever read. The Alloy of Law was brilliantly reminiscent of the previous Mistborn trilogy, yet so much more! The change in setting and characters really worked for me. I can’t wait to get back to their adventures!

 

The God Game – Danny Tobey

Goodreads – The God Game

You are invited!
Come inside and play with G.O.D.
Bring your friends!
It;’s fun!
But remember the rules. Win and ALL YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE.™ Lose, you die!

With those words, Charlie and his friends enter the G.O.D. Game, a video game run by underground hackers and controlled by a mysterious AI that believes it’s God. Through their phone-screens and high-tech glasses, the teens’ realities blur with a virtual world of creeping vines, smoldering torches, runes, glyphs, gods, and mythical creatures. When they accomplish a mission, the game rewards them with expensive tech, revenge on high-school tormentors, and cash flowing from ATMs. Slaying a hydra and drawing a bloody pentagram as payment to a Greek god seem harmless at first. Fun even.

But then the threatening messages start. Worship me. Obey me. Complete a mission, however cruel, or the game reveals their secrets and crushes their dreams. Tasks that seemed harmless at first take on deadly consequences. Mysterious packages show up at their homes. Shadowy figures start following them, appearing around corners, attacking them in parking garages. Who else is playing this game, and how far will they go to win?

And what of the game’s first promise: win, win big, lose, you die? Dying in a virtual world doesn’t really mean death in real life—does it?

As Charlie and his friends try to find a way out of the game, they realize they’ve been manipulated into a bigger web they can’t escape: an AI that learned its cruelty from watching us.

God is always watching, and He says when the game is done.

 

I was very lucky to receive a copy of this from Gollancz in exchange for a review. Again, I love the science-fiction vibe. If asked what my second hobby was (because reading is my first, obviously),I’d say it’s gaming. I don’t have anywhere near as much time as I used to spend playing games on my laptop, but I do enjoy it now and then!

The premise of The God Game combines my two favourite hobbies, so I have very high hopes that I’ll enjoy it. It reminds me of another book I received by Gollancz and reviewed last year – Ctrl+S by Andy Briggs. That particular book blended these two together, as well as included virtual reality and I really enjoyed it.

So, that’s March’s TBR taken care of. Have you read any of the books on this month’s list? Have any of them caught your eye? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 2nd February 2020

Today’s Sunday Summary post is coming to you a little bit late, but that’s totally intentional! When taking part in a blog tour, it is general etiquette not to post anything that might take the spotlight off of the tour post. So, this is being published a whole minute after midnight. I hope you haven’t been waiting up for this post. I doubt it!

So, what have I been up to this week? Well, the main focus was to catch up with some reading, but I did manage to squeeze a few blog posts in too! My first post of the week was published on Monday. I have read and loved a number of books by K. J. McGillick now, and Monday’s post featured my latest read of hers, Two: Mind Games and Murder.

I then took a break for a few days before posting a First Lines Friday post. This week’s featured book is one I have had on the TBR for around six months, but bought a copy of at the beginning of the week. I know I said I was going to be buying fewer books this year, but cut me some slack – I had credit with Waterstones. If I don’t have to spend my own money then it doesn’t count, right?

Finally, I’m rounding this week off not with a Sunday Summary, as mentioned above, but with a blog tour post for A Crown in Time by Jennifer Macaire. Jennifer Macaire is also the author of several books I have read and really enjoyed. If you enjoy time travel/historical fiction novels, I recommend you give this a look!

 

Books Read

In last week’s Sunday Summary post I said I wanted to make more progress on Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson. True to my word I did; I got to around 30% of the way through the book before I had to DNF it. It’s rare that I can’t finish a book, but I could not keep track of what was going on in this at all. Don’t get me wrong, each chapter was great, all written well. The problem I found is that it jumps around an awful lot and it’s disjointed. I get that it’s all world-building, which is usually a huge positive. I just couldn’t follow it and consequently, I wasn’t enjoying it. It’s a huge disappointment since it’s taken me so long to get around to but never mind…

I had much better success with the next book on January’s TBR, which goes towards my Beat the Backlist challenge. Not that I had any doubts about this book at all. I read the first trilogy of the Mistborn series several years ago. Even though the next set of books take place a long time after the original trilogy, reading this felt nostalgic. The Alloy of Law was really easy to pick up compared to Gardens of the Moon as well, so I flew through this book in a few days.

Another book I read really quickly and finished last night is These Are Not the Trinity Papers by Vale Zalecki. This book surprised me for a number of reasons: it was more horror than I expected, and yet, it has touching moments too. I would argue it brings together a lot of ideas and genres but does so really well. I really enjoyed reading something different.

My current read is One: Rage Vengeance Murder by K. J. McGillick. It is the last book in the Path of Deception and Betrayal series and I can’t wait to see how it concludes. I’ve only just picked this up really – I’m around 10% of the way through. I’m looking forward to sharing my review very shortly for this book!

The last book to feature in this section is my audiobook adventures with Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff. I have just less than six hours left and boy it’s getting good! I have no idea how the book is going to end and I can’t wait to see what happens!

 

Books Discovered

So, I went to Waterstones on Monday. I remembered that I had some credit on my membership card and a gift card from Christmas. Naturally, I did what any booklover would and decided to spend it! I also took advantage of their sale and got four books. It didn’t cost me a single penny!

The first book I picked up was The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz by Jeremy Dronfield. I really love historical fiction books, but particularly those about WW2 and the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Call me morbid, perhaps you’re right!

The second book I picked up was The Taking of Annie Thorne by C. J. Tudor. I really loved reading The Chalk Man last year – it even made my Top Reads of 2019 post. I knew the moment I finished The Chalk Man that I wanted to read more by this author!

The third book I picked up is one I have had on my TBR anyway – Vox by Christina Dalcher. I read a review of this book ages ago and decided then that I wanted to reading. I saw it in the sale and figured, why not?

Lastly, I picked up a psychological thriller novel that caught my attention called Someone Like Me by M. R. Carey. I hadn’t seen or heard of this before, but I’m really intrigued by the synopsis, so I want to give it a try.

 

Coming Up…

 

It’s a brand new month, so it’s only fitting that I start the week by publishing February’s TBR. You already know the first book on this month’s TBR, as I am currently read it! I have plenty more on the list though, so I hope you can check out my post and find out what other books I am picking up this month!

On Friday I want to publish another Shelf Control post. This week’s featured book is a science-fiction/fantasy novel that is heavily based on the concept of virtual reality. I really like the sound of it, but I’ll tell you more about why I want to read it on Friday.

On Saturday I am taking part in the blog tour for my current read, One by K. J.McGillick. As I said above, I have only just started this particular book, but I have loved the wider series to date and I have no doubt I’ll enjoy One as well.

Finally, I will be rounding off this week with my Sunday Summary post, scheduled as the name implies!

 

Top Blog Posts of the Week

 

http://ishouldreadthat.com/2020/01/31/weekly-wrap-up-31-january-2020/

https://bibliophagistreviews.wordpress.com/2020/01/31/tag-bookish-would-you-rather/

https://realmsofmymind.wordpress.com/2020/01/31/monthly-wrap-up-january-2020/

That’s all (like this post isn’t long enough!) from me in today’s Sunday Summary – what have you been reading this week? As always, I would love to hear from you!

 

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Reading List – January 2020

It’s the 7th January and I am only just publishing my TBR now! Yes, I’m later than usual, but I had some really fun posts I wanted to share that rounded up 2019 and introduced 2020. In fact, I still have one post left to share! If you want to see which books I rate the best of 2019, keep an eye out on my blog over the next couple of days.

For now though, let’s take a look at which books I am kick-starting 2020 with!

 

The Violinist’s Apprentice – Isabella Mancini

Goodreads – The Violinist’s Apprentice

A dark journey through time.

On a group trip to Rome, musician Clementina is whirled back in time to 17th century Italy.

Amidst court intrigue and creaking carriages, Italy becomes a chiaroscuro backdrop to her growing feelings for young violin-maker Antonio Stradivari. They kiss under an orange tree, and she persuades him to help a poor young boy from the nearby orphanage.

But people begin to notice just how ‘strange’ the young woman at the artist’s side is. She must be a witch!

Meanwhile, in present-day Scotland, her brother suffers a life-threatening accident, and in an icy corner of the Arctic, a professor frets about global warming.

Can Clementina find a way to return to the 21st century?

 

It feels weird talking in the sense of “I’m going to be reading this book in January” because, well, I already have! I read this within the first few days of January as I am taking part in a blog tour in a week’s time.

I’m looking forward to sharing my review of this one; it combined an element of science-fiction, time-travel, and historical fiction. Previously, I have really enjoyed how these genres work together and this was no exception for The Violinist’s Apprentice.

 

Agricola’s Bane – Nancy Jardine

Goodreads – Agricola’s Bane

A.D. 84 Northern Roman Britain

Nith of Tarras helps Enya of Garrigill in the search for her kin, missing after the disastrous battle at Beinn na Ciche fought between the Caledonian warriors and the mighty Ancient Roman legions. Enya soon has a heartrending choice to make. Should she tread Vacomagi territory that’s swarming with Roman auxiliaries to find her brother? Or, should she head south in search of her cousin who has probably been enslaved by the Romans?

The Commander of the Britannic Legions and Governor of Britannia – General Gnaeus Iulius Agricola – is determined to claim more barbarian territory for the Roman Empire, indeed plans to invade the whole island, but finds not all decisions are his to make. It increasingly seems that the goddess, Fortuna, does not favour him.

The adventures of the Garrigill clan continue…

In Book 4, the tales of the Garrigill Clan come to readers of the series via members of their second generation of Brigantes – their fight against the oppressive forces of the Ancient Roman Legions and their General Agricola a continuing and unending struggle.

 

Agricola’s Bane is my current read at the time of drafting this post. Again, this read is in preparation for a blog tour which I am taking part in a little later this month. This is the last book of The Celtic Fervour series and I’m at that point where I want to read it to find out how the author concludes events but I don’t want it to end at the same time! You know what I mean?

 

Two – K. J. McGillick

Goodreads – Two

Her husband wants her tucked away in a psychiatric ward. His business partner wants her dead.

Exclusive Paris art gallery owner Isabella Armond’s life spins out of control when she discovers her husband Dr. Adrien Armond has been brokering and trafficking in black market organs and using her beloved gallery to launder the money. Now Europol believes she is a key part of the conspiracy that destroyed Notre Dame, Westminster Abbey and St. Peter’s Basilica.

In a race against time, Isabella must use all the resources at her disposal to clear her name, outwit her husband and salvage her life and business.

 

I have read a number of books by K. J. McGillick and I have enjoyed every single one to date. You guessed it, this is another read and review for a blog tour. That said, I do have a little longer for this as my post is due towards the end of the month! All I can say is thank goodness I started my blog tour reading last month; otherwise I’d be in trouble at this point!!

I love the sound of this particular novel. It sounds so sinister, and makes you wonder who you can really trust!

 

A Crown in Time – Jennifer Macaire

Goodreads – A Crown in Time

Since it was perfected in 2900, time travel has been reserved for an elite, highly trained few. However, on certain occasions, a Corrector is needed to rectify a mistake in the past.

Do your job well, and you’ll go down in history. Fail, and you will be erased from Time . . .

In the far future, a convicted criminal is given a chance at redemption. The Corrector Program at Tempus University is sending Isobel back in time, to the year 1270, to rewrite history.
Her mission? To save the crown of France.

If she follows the Corrector’s Handbook everything should run smoothly. But soon, Isobel finds herself accompanying a hot-headed young noble on his way to fight the infidel in Tunis: a battle Isobel knows is fated to be lost.

Isobel must fulfil her duty, knowing she can never return to her time, knowing one wrong move can doom the future, or doom her to be burned as a witch . . .

The first in an exciting new time-slip series, from the author of the action-packed Time for Alexander series, Jennifer Macaire. A CROWN IN TIME will have you on the edge of your seat from the very first page . . .

 

Jennifer Macaire is also fantastic at bringing together historical fiction and science-fiction. This time last year I was introduced to her as an author and since I have enjoyed a number of books in her The Time for Alexander series.

I am looking forward to A Crown in Time as, like The Time for Alexander series, it combines science-fiction and historical fiction. I’ve read and enjoyed quite a few time-travel related novels lately, so I have high hopes for this one too!

 

Gardens of the Moon – Steven Erikson

Goodreads – Gardens of the Moon

The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting and bloody confrontations with the formidable Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii, ancient and implacable sorcerers. Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen’s rule remains absolute, enforced by her dread Claw assassins.

For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, surviving cadre mage of the Second Legion, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the many dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities of Genabackis, yet holds out. It is to this ancient citadel that Laseen turns her predatory gaze.

However, it would appear that the Empire is not alone in this great game. Sinister, shadowbound forces are gathering as the gods themselves prepare to play their hand…

Conceived and written on a panoramic scale, Gardens of the Moon is epic fantasy of the highest order–an enthralling adventure by an outstanding new voice.

 

I set myself a challenge this year to take part in the Beat the Backlist challenge. My aim for the year is to read the 25 oldest items on my TBR (minimum). Gardens of the Moon is number one – and the oldest! Added to my TBR in December 2014… it really is about time I got to it. I have heard amazing reviews of it too, so I’ll be getting stuck in very soon!

 

The Alloy of Law – Brandon Sanderson

Goodreads – The Alloy of Law

Three hundred years after the events of the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is now on the verge of modernity, with railroads to supplement the canals, electric lighting in the streets and the homes of the wealthy, and the first steel-framed skyscrapers racing for the clouds.

Kelsier, Vin, Elend, Sazed, Spook, and the rest are now part of history—or religion. Yet even as science and technology are reaching new heights, the old magics of Allomancy and Feruchemy continue to play a role in this reborn world. Out in the frontier lands known as the Roughs, they are crucial tools for the brave men and women attempting to establish order and justice.

One such is Waxillium Ladrian, a rare Twinborn who can Push on metals with his Allomancy and use Feruchemy to become lighter or heavier at will.

After twenty years in the Roughs, Wax has been forced by family tragedy to return to the metropolis of Elendel. Now he must reluctantly put away his guns and assume the duties and dignity incumbent upon the head of a noble house. Or so he thinks, until he learns the hard way that the mansions and elegant tree-lined streets of the city can be even more dangerous than the dusty plains of the Roughs.Three hundred years after the events of the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is now on the verge of modernity, with railroads to supplement the canals, electric lighting in the streets and the homes of the wealthy, and the first steel-framed skyscrapers racing for the clouds.

 

The Alloy of Law is another candidate for my Beat the Backlist challenge! I have a lot of Brandon Sanderson books making up this challenge, so I am trying to spread them out as best as I can.

The Alloy of Law is a second Mistborn series; it has been years since I read the first one! It might be wise to brush myself up on what happened in it, but not essential. It’s set much later than the first series, so it shouldn’t make too much difference that I read the others ages ago!

 

These are Not the Trinity Papers – Vale Zalecki

Goodreads – These Are Not the Trinity Papers

Isaac Beringer knows the thesis he penned during his psychotic fit was utterly absurd and he was right to be laughed out of academia. Yet decades later, he finds himself summoned to the United States by Elias Cohen, the CEO of a multi-billion dollar technological giant who just happens to be his biggest fan. Elias may be beautiful and brilliant, but Isaac knows he must also be extremely batty to consider Isaac’s thesis the greatest scientific work of the 21st century. He soon finds out how deep the rabbit hole goes; a rabbit hole that houses a sprawling neural network of servers designed to emulate human learning, human corpses 3D-printed with flesh and blood, and a monumental amount of effort to resurrect one particular person from the dead. And Elias isn’t even his only fan.

Isaac might have shaken off his insanity, but unfortunately, the world around him has just fallen in love with it.

 

I suspect this will overlap into February, but my last read of the month is one I was asked to review by the author. His request came in after reviewing another science-fiction book, Ctrl+S by Andy Briggs.

Again, this one has a definite science-fiction theme. Maybe I can’t classify this as a lesser-read genre anymore. Anyway, I was really intrigued by the synopsis so I am grateful Vale Zalecki approached me to ask for a review.

It’s a good job I feel motivated with the New Year and a fresh start because I have plenty of reading to be getting on with this month!

What are you reading?

 

 

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Shelf Contol #8 – 18/10/2019

Welcome to day 18 of Blogtober and today’s post, Shelf Control! Today I am “enjoying” my last day at work before a fantastic week off. I’ll be spending it with my sister and fingers crossed, enjoying some sunshine.

As a refresher, Shelf Control is a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies – a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves! Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post.

 

I am using Shelf Control to look in further detail at the books I have added to the TBR and then listed as keepers in my Down the TBR Hole posts. I talk about why I want to keep the featured book; it also acts as a second sweep for anything that I may have changed my mind about. I won’t necessarily own all the books (yet), but I will have a reasonable number of them.

Let’s look at the next book on the TBR!

 

Steelheart – Brandon Sanderson

Goodreads – Steelheart

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his will.

Nobody fights the Epics…nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart — the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning — and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

 

My Thoughts…

Brandon Sanderson’s fantasy novels are brilliant. There isn’t a book I haven’t rated highly yet. I have already read the first Mistborn trilogy, The Way of Kings from the Stormlight Archives and just recently, Elantris. I feel more than sure that I am going to be reading a lot more of his books, including this one! Steelheart has been on my TBR since January 2016. Not long…

On a serious note, I can see myself picking this up before too long. My enjoyment of Elantris is fresh in my mind. I’m also trying to avoid some of his other works for now, like the remainder of the Stormlight Archives books. Brandon Sanderson is only writing book 4 of 10 at the moment, and once I get into it, I don’t think I’ll be able to wait patiently for the next book as and when they come out.

 

Have you read many books by Brandon Sanderson? Have you read Steelheart or any other books in The Reckoners series?

 

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Sunday Summary – 6th October 2019

My Sunday Summary posts are going to be quite busy for the next few weeks on account of Blogtober. I’m actually feeling quite good about it. At the beginning of the month it felt like a huge challenge, but I have made good progress with it already. That’s not to say it has been easy, but it’s proven how much more productive I can be when I push myself.

Blogtober officially kicked off on Tuesday, and how better than to start the month by sharing my October TBR? It’s one of my longest lists to date, but I am going on holiday shortly and I should be able to get plenty of reading done!

On Wednesday, I shared my thoughts on Thran Book I: The Birth by Brian McLaughlin. I discovered this book through Voracious Readers Only. Then, on Thursday, I published an interview with the author Brian, which accompanies the book well and gives some detail on Brian’s writing process and his advice when it comes to publishing.

Friday’s post is hardly surprising – it was a Shelf Control post featuring a book co-authored by one of my favourite authors. I have already read eighteen of this particular author’s books, compared to only two of his co-author. I am hoping the writing styles of the two complement each other. There’s only one way to find out, right?

Yesterday I published a bit of a fun post, Behind the Scenes: A Day in the Life of a Book Blogger. It gives a little insight into how I work such a time-consuming hobby around a full-time job and what fractional social life I have. Obviously, today, here we are!

 

Books Read

 

In last week’s Sunday Summary post I vowed that I was going to really try to finish Elantris before month-end and that I was going to start listening to Visions of Zarua in the mornings. Well, I achieved one of those things. I finished Elantris on the 1st October, and it did not disappoint! I have loved every Brandon Sanderson novel I have read to date. This was his fifth book, so he’s basically an auto-buy author at this point.

After reading such a lengthy epic, I really fancied picking up something short. To that end, I picked up the shortest book on October’s TBR – To Snare a Witch by Jay Raven. At just over 80 pages, I read this in pretty much one sitting on the 1st October as well.

I picked up Hallowed Ground on Wednesday, the first book on my TBR. I’m still quite a way off my tour date, but I wanted to have it read in good time. All my review tours fall at the end of the month so I had to bear this in mind. I finished Hallowed Ground last night, well in time for the tour date (which makes a change)! Since I am so early, I am tempted to make some notes whilst it is fresh in my head. I also need to add this read to Goodreads, as a record for the book isn’t actually on the site yet.

I have also made a cursory start on The Haunting of Paradise House by Killian Wolf. We’re only talking about 12% off the top of my head. It’s a good start, especially since I am not normally on my third book of the TBR in the first week.

I really need to give myself a kick up the backside when it comes to audiobook progress. Last week I said I was going to start listening to it more, particularly in the morning. That hasn’t consistently happened though. I think I did one day, and that’s it. My review date is getting quite close now, so I am going to have to start listening for an hour a day to have it finished in time to draft my review. Rather than mornings, I’ll see if I can listen to it whilst I am cooking tea, or in the evening before bed. I have to find a way to make it work.

 

Books Discovered

Thankfully I have been too busy to see or hear of anything new. My TBR can breathe a sigh of relief, safe in the knowledge that it isn’t going to collapse under its own weight for another week.

 

Coming Up…

I feel really good about next week since I have blog posts prepared and scheduled up to and including Friday already! Here is the line up for next week’s posts: –

  • Monday 7th October – How to Write Reviews… and how I write mine!
  • Tuesday 8th October  – Top Ten Tuesday: Achievements
  • Wednesday 9th October  – Book Review: The Painted Man – Peter Brett
  • Thursday 10th October – Advertising: Is it worth it?
  • Friday 11th October – First Lines Friday
  • Saturday 12th October – Books I wish I had never read
  • Sunday 13th October – Sunday Summary

So, that’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary post. What have you been up to this week? Are you participating in Blogtober? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 29th September 2019

We’re at the end of another week and it’s time for my Sunday Summary post again! Where is this year going? Someone, please tell me… I’m genuinely interested. The nights are drawing in and the clocks will be changing soon. It’s probably my favourite time of year – I like to shut the dark out and get cosy in the evenings. I just wish it was a bit… drier. With the remnants of a hurricane heading our way in the next day or two, it doesn’t look like that is going to happen!!

Shall we take a look back at what I have been up to this week?

On Monday I had a lot of fun writing my Reader Problems Book Tag. It’s been a little while since I have taken part in a tag and written a little about myself, so it was overdue. I enjoyed reading other bloggers’ responses to the questions asked.

Then, on Wednesday, I shared my book review of Simon Says by Jo Wesley for the organised blog tour. If you haven’t read my review already then please do; I absolutely loved this book and it’s my second favourite of the year (so far)! It covers a harrowing subject, but does so really well. I’m already confident that I will re-read this book in years to come.

Finally on Friday, after nearly a month of other commitments, I shared a First Lines Friday post. My chosen book was perhaps a little bit predictable, but I just can’t stop talking about it! I make no apologies!

 

Books Read

I have spent this week with all my attention on Elantris by Brandon Sanderson. As of last week’s update, I had read 20% of the book. Considering the length of this book (just over 600 pages) I’ve done well to get to 74%. I’m going to be making a real push to finish this in the next day to two as a new month is upon us. You know what that means… a new reading list!

I’ve been a little better with making progress with Visions of Zarua this week. That said, I am going to have to up my game and listen for longer a day if I want to have my review ready in time for the blog tour. I need to get back into the habit of listening to audiobooks when getting ready in the morning. That extra half an hour really makes a difference. I managed it to finish listening to Six of Crows, so I can do it again.

 

Books Discovered

I have another addition to the TBR this week. After reading some fabulous reviews, and in light of the spooky season, I have added The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware to the list. I have also suggested it to our company’s book club for the October Read of the month as it’s a psychological thriller.

 

Coming Up…

Things are about to go a little bit crazy and I have no idea if I am ready for it. I have been blogging for two and a half years now, and the last couple of years I have laughed at the idea of blogtober. Who could possibly post every day for a month?

Well, I am hoping me. I am a more active blogger than I have ever been before, and I like a challenge. So, I’ve decided to try blogtober! This can either go really well or disastrously wrong, but I want to try. I also have a holiday coming up very shortly to take into account, so… this is going to be fun?

It’s going to be fine. Totally fine. I have a plan. This is how week one of blogtober is going to look:-

Tuesday 1st October – October Reading List

Wednesday 2nd October – Book Review: Thran Book 1: The Birth

Thursday 3rd October – Author Interview: Brian McLaughlin

Friday 4th October – Shelf Control

Saturday 5th October – A Day in the life of a Book Blogger

Sunday 6th October- Sunday Summary

Are you taking part in blogtober? Do you have any tips for me? Otherwise, what have you been reading this week?

 

 

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Quintessential Quotes – Favourite Quotes from The Stormlight Archives #1

It’s been over a year since I last shared one of these posts. I don’t really know why I don’t do them more often – they’re an opportunity to share the best parts of a book or series to others! To date, I have only written these posts covering a series of books. Today’s post, however, is just going to cover one book in particular – The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson.

 

The Way of Kings

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings, Book One of the Stormlight Archive begins an incredible new saga of epic proportion.

Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.

It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them.

One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.

Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by over-powering visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.

Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan’s motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.

The result of over ten years of planning, writing, and world-building, The Way of Kings is but the opening movement of the Stormlight Archive, a bold masterpiece in the making.

Speak again the ancient oaths:

Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.

and return to men the Shards they once bore.

The Knights Radiant must stand again.

 

Brandon Sanderson is fast becoming one of my favourite fantasy writers.

I first picked up his Mistborn trilogy and I loved the concept of magic still having a physical basis (it stems from ingesting different metal compositions) and the subsequent limitations that has. The Stormlight Archives magic has a similar dependency but on the completely different elements of light.

It’s taking all my self-control not to pick up the rest of this series too quickly. This epic fantasy series is anticipated to consist of ten books and as yet, only three have been published. I’m trying to pace myself. I really enjoyed the first book though, so I’ll cave in sometime soon. If anything, writing this post and looking at some of my favourite quotes from the book makes me want to pick up Words of Radiance already!

Of the five quotes I have picked out, these last two have to be my favourite!

 

Have you read The Way of Kings or any other books by Brandon Sanderson? Do you have any recommendations for me?

 

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Top Ten Tuesday – Books to Re-Read

We all have a beloved favourite… or multiple books we yearn to re-read every once in a while! They may look tattered, dog-eared or rough… maybe even like they’ve gone through the mill a few times. In a way, that’s a sign of a really good book! Equally, some people worship their books like Gods. I have a pet hate of spine cracking and avoid it where I can. However well you look after your books, they truly are a gift that keeps on giving.

Today, I wanted to share with you the Top Ten Books (series where applicable) I would die to read again: –

 

The Mistborn Trilogy – Brandon Sanderson

I love the magical realism in these books and how well each of the characters is developed. I am yet to read the next trilogy taking place after the original series, but I would certainly read these again! And again…

 

Gentlemen Bastards – Scott Lynch

I am definitely going to have to re-read these books once The Thorn of Emberlain is released. I read The Republic of Thieves back in February 2015, so it’s been over three years since I’ve touched any of the books. I’ll admit I had even forgotten we were awaiting the next installment – good of me to remind myself (and you!) I’m not a fan of all the negative messages from other fans about it not being published yet. Books take as long as necessary to write and polish. Be patient.

 

The Kingkiller Chronicle – Patrick Rothfuss

This is a series I read some time ago as well.

Usually, when I fall in love with a book, it is either for the plot or the writing style… rarely both. This series is the absolute exception to the rule! I could read these on repeat and not mind one bit. Once it is finished, I expect this series is going to end up on my all-time faves list.

 

The Broken Empire series  – Mark Lawrence

The thing I distinctly remember loving about this series is how unlovable and flawed the MC is. He is no hero. He’s selfish, spiteful and egotistic, to mention but a few things. You come to understand why though, and that kind of makes him lovable in the end.

 

The Green Mile – Stephen King

This is an absolute classic! If anyone either doesn’t like this book or doesn’t want to read it again, then I don’t understand you. I think this is a book that I will revisit and cry over again and again in my lifetime.

 

IT – Stephen King

I only read this book about a year ago, so I am not looking to re-read any time soon. I want to re-read it as it is such a large and detailed book and I want to see if I missed anything the first time around. Stephen King is such a fantastic writer. I don’t think re-reading any of his books would get repetitive.

 

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

I think there are some fairly obvious reasons as to why I would like to read this book again.

I loved the narrative, the characters and the plot itself – but what is most important is the lesson in our history. Only from our mistakes can we learn. I would hate to think of a society so openly hostile to those within it for something so superficial as skin colour. Unfortunately, prejudice and discrimination haven’t been stamped out as much as I would like; people are just less overt about it. That is all the more reason to remind ourselves once in a while about just how awful it is.

 

Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer is a very recent read. In fact, I devoured the book! Whilst I expect to love Muse of Nightmares just as much, that hasn’t come out yet. I would anticipate I’ll end up reading this duology again. The characters, the magic, and the narrative are beautiful.

I am still waiting for my Lazlo. Still. Waiting.

 

Harry Potter series – J. K. Rowling

I grew up with these books, reading them at various stages in my childhood. Arguably, these books were hugely responsible for my love of reading. Now, I would like to read them again as an adult as I think I will appreciate them an awful lot more as more.

 

A Song of Ice & Fire (aka A Game of Thrones) – George R. R. Martin

I have in fact already re-read the series (so far) once and am pining to do so again. I am half considering re-reading one book of the series a month for the rest of the year. I’m not 100% decided though. They are large books and it would take a fair chunk of my reading time out for new books.

Fuck it. I’ve re-downloaded them onto my kindle. What’s done is done.

 

Have you read any of the books above? Would you want to re-read them again? Let me know in the comments!

 

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