Tag: fantasy

First Lines Friday – 15/04/2022

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s First Lines Friday post! First Lines Friday is a regular series on my blog. It’s a fun way to share books I love, those I am interested in and/or are on my TBR… or even just to experiment with something new!

For today’s post I decided once again to keep my options open and choose a book at random. I do enjoy setting myself a challenge from time to time, but unless I have inspiration, these aren’t always the easiest. When I was drafting my Sunday Summary post last week, I had absolutely no idea as to what I might want to do; that’s why I left it open.

I have since decided to feature a book that is sat on my bookshelf and waiting to be read. I enjoy going to visit these books because it gives me a reason to get excited about picking them up in future. I have been known to prioritise a book based on featuring it, so who knows, I might be reading this one soon!

Shall we check out today’s intro?

 

Just under the surface of the waves where the ocean met the land, a hand without a body reached for someone to grab it. The hand was wrapped in plastic, so time and water hadn’t eaten it, and its fingers, unmoving, were poised and ready to be held. Nell Crane picked it up out of the foam. She placed it quietly into her satchel.

Right where the black river split into the big wild blue, Nell and Ruby Underwood were collecting bits of treasure from the foam. They were farther out than they were supposed to be, out on the city’s jagged edge, the pair of them charged with rebellion.

Besides, this was where all the best stuff washed up. Right before the hungry sea gobbled the old pieces of the city into oblivion, the estuary caught them and spread them all out on the beach. Treasure among the pebbles.

Nell wouldn’t take her boots off and stood at the kissing lip of the water, keenly eyeing the drift. A lightbulb, a coil of wire: she snatched them and tucked them away. Only useful things. Maybe they’d be the very things that would spark off a great idea – she needed one, and fast. Summer would be over soon. Days like today were a distraction from the forms Nell had not yet filled out, the letters that she hadn’t answered, the end of apprenticeship project she had not yet begun. Here by the waterside she could forget, at least for a little while.

 

 

Spare and Found Parts – Sarah Maria Griffin

Goodreads – Spare and Found Parts

Nell Crane has always been an outsider. In a city devastated by an epidemic, where survivors are all missing parts—an arm, a leg, an eye—her father is the famed scientist who created the biomechanical limbs everyone now uses. But Nell is the only one whose mechanical piece is on the inside: her heart. Since the childhood operation, she has ticked. Like a clock, like a bomb. As her community rebuilds, everyone is expected to contribute to the society’s good . . . but how can Nell live up to her father’s revolutionary idea when she has none of her own?

Then she finds a mannequin hand while salvaging on the beach—the first boy’s hand she’s ever held—and inspiration strikes. Can Nell build her own companion in a world that fears advanced technology? The deeper she sinks into this plan, the more she learns about her city—and her father, who is hiding secret experiments of his own.

 

My Thoughts…

I found this book in my local Waterstones, and it was this very same introduction that led me to buying the book! I really liked the sound of it, and it’s quite unlike anything I have ever read before. I was looking to treat myself and picked this up on a whim, and I think it’s fair to say from what we know of the book already, that I did!

In terms of timing, a book featuring an epidemic may not be for everyone. However, I think this has a really interesting premise and it has the dystopian feel that I love. I think this is aimed at a young adult genre, as opposed to being more of an adult fantasy, but I’m still excited to read it and see what it has to offer even if I’m not strictly the target audience! I’m also really excited as the book is categorised as steampunk on Goodreads. I recently read and loved another book with a similar theme, and so I think I’ll really get on with this. 

I can’t lie, I am also a really big fan of the red sprayed edges on my paperback copy. It might seem like a small thing, but I love it!

Have you read Spare and Found Parts? If so, please let me know what you thought! Equally, if you like the sound of this book and want to add it to your reading list, I’d love to hear as well!

 

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Top Ten Tuesday – Authors I Haven’t Read, But Want To

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday post topic is an interesting one, because it gives me the opportunity to feature some new books and new to me authors that I can’t wait to read! I have plenty of these on my TBR, and some of these are coming up very soon (cough cough The Thursday Murder Club).

As today’s list is a very simple one, I’m going to list below the books that I wish to feature. The reasoning behind all of these is pretty much the same – either the premise has really gripped me, I have read or heard rave reviews about the book in question or because I’m willing to push my boundaries and give something new a go. Perhaps it could be a combination of any of these three.

Anyway, I’m not going to bore you with a bit of blurb for each book, otherwise I’ll end up repeating myself quite a lot! So, without further ado, here is my list of top ten authors I haven’t read, but want to!

 

Richard Osman – The Thursday Murder Club

 

Julia Quinn – The Duke & I

 

Jeffrey Deaver – The Bone Collector

 

M. L. Rio – If We Were Villains 

 

Donna Tartt – The Secret History

The Secret History

 

Ransom Riggs – Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

 

Antonio Iturbe – The Librarian of Auschwitz

 

Steve Cavanagh – The Defence

 

John Marrs – The Good Samaritan

 

Robin Hobb – Assassin’s Apprentice

 

So, those are my top ten authors I haven’t read, but want to! Have you read any of these books? Or have you now added any to your TBR? Let me know in the comments!

 

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Sunday Summary – 10th April 2022

Good evening everyone and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary update post. As always, I trust you’ve had a good week?

It’s been a busy one here on Reviewsfeed, because my blogging schedule has included an extra post. I started off the week by sharing my Monthly Wrap-Up post for March 2022. Somehow, this year is absolutely flying by and given that we’re in the beginning of April, it’s a perfect time to talk about my reading progress over the last month. Whilst I didn’t get through all of my TBR, I am still happy with the books I managed to pick up and read in March. You can find out the full details in that post!

A bit later on this week I shared my Reading List for April 2022, another natural post to share at the beginning of a new month. A lot of the books featured are ones I didn’t get round to from my March 2022 TBR. There are a couple of new additions, however, so the post is still worth checking out! I have picked some mood reads for April based on some TV shows I’ve been watching, and one of those is an unlikely pick for me.

On Friday I post a regular feature, and this week it was the turn of a Shelf Control post. I enjoyed featuring this next book on my TBR in Friday’s post. It’s an exciting thriller novel with an interesting premise – what if the person on the end of a Samaritan phoneline wasn’t looking out for your best interests? What if they thrived off other people suffering worse than them? I really like the sound of this book, and although it deals with topics including mental health and such, I can’t wait to pick this up and read it for myself!

 

Books Read

I am pleased to say that I have made a significant amount of progress with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows this week. As of my last Sunday Summary post I was just 250 pages into this final instalment to the series.

That was progress I had made over the last two weeks, and as of today’s post I have nearly read that much again! I’m just about 450 pages in now, and there is only 150ish left to go! With the end in sight, I can definitely see myself finishing this book in the next few days. I’ve enjoyed getting into this book more, with less distractions in terms of television time. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed watching some TV series for a change too. But, it’s also nice to get back into my reading!

I’ve also started something new this week. I found I had lost a little bit of motivation with audiobooks and listening to A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin, so I’ve started listening to another. Admittedly, I only started this yesterday and at present I’m five chapters in.

I purchased myself a copy of The Plague Charmer by Karen Maitland a good while ago now, and desirous for a change, I decided to give this a try! I’m enjoying the story at the moment, having gotten into it with very little knowledge of the story before starting it. The synopsis is relatively vague, but there’s just enough there to pique interest. I’m hoping that the change of scenery (so to speak) will help me get into the habit of listening to audiobooks a little bit more again.

 

Books Discovered

I have added one book to my TBR this week, and I appreciate it’s not going to be everybody’s cup of tea in terms of taste because it kind of relates to my work.

I have shared before that I work in an investment related role, and the particular book I have added to my list details the unveiling of one of the most high profile financial frauds in history. If you are in the investment industry or were unfortunate enough to have made certain bad investments, you’ll know the name Bernie Madoff. In essence, he defrauded billions of pounds out of people by purporting to invest their money in his funds in a way that yielded a very high value return. In reality, the money was going into his bank account. The fraud was discovered by Harry Markopolos, who proved that it was impossible for the funds to achieve the advertised returns and eventually prompted the investigation into his affairs that pulled the whole deception apart. 

I did say it wasn’t going to be everybody’s cup of tea, but as it relates to history that has impacted my day-to-day role (and I have some familiarity with what has happened before), I’d like to dive into this a bit deeper. Naturally, this had repercussions in terms of regulations for investments and it will be interesting to know what and how this prompted these changes.

 

Coming Up…

This week I am back to my usual blogging schedule.

I’ve decided this week to take part in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme, which is featuring authors that I want to read, but I haven’t read yet. Not only will this be a great way to share some upcoming reads I have with you, but also it’s an opportunity for me to get excited about them!

This upcoming Friday will be the turn of my First Lines Friday feature post. I quite enjoyed having free reign of subject in my last post, and so I’ve decided I’m not setting myself any particular challenges with regards to this week’s post.

And last, but not least, I’ll be back at the same time next week to share another Sunday Summary post for another update.

Until then, have a great one and I’ll see you in my next post!

 

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Monthly TBR – April 2022

Hello everyone and welcome to my monthly TBR for April. I’m really excited to be sharing the books I plan to pick up within the next few weeks! 

I didn’t get through all of my reading list for March. I did set myself an ambitious list and so I’m neither surprised nor disappointed by this fact. I knew when I prepared the list it was very likely I was going to carry some forward through to April – so most of the books on this month’s list have already been shared on last month’s TBR! 

Let’s see what I’m going to be reading very soon!

 

Fixed Reads

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows

I will be opening the month with my current read carried over from March, being Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling. I’m currently around halfway through this book and I’m excited to complete my reread of the series! I last read this book around nine years ago now, so I am keen to read this book again and experience it from a more mature perspective!

 

The Thursday Murder Club

I have been loaned a copy of The Thursday Murder Club by my sister’s boyfriend, Chris, to read. I didn’t quite get round to this one last month, but I still cannot wait to pick this up! I’ve heard great things about this book, in particular the characters and the humour!

 

Ravencry & Crowfall

I added Ravencry and Crowfall to my ‘mood read list’ last month, but since I didn’t get round to them I’ve decided I’m adding them to my fixed list for April! I have a couple of other ‘mood reads’ in mind that I’d like to pick up, and so the progression onto my fixed reading list felt natural!

Having recently re-read Blackwing, the first book in the series, I got really excited for the series again. So naturally, I wanted to read it all again as opposed to just the first book! I re-read Blackwing in just a matter of days, and I fully expect Ravencry and Crowfall to be much the same in terms of experience!

 

Mood Reads

The Duke & I

This addition to my TBR is experimental. I’m not sure if it’s a book I’m going to enjoy, however having recently enjoyed watching the second season of the Netflix TV show, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t.

If I do enjoy The Duke and I then I will continue with the book series. However, don’t expect me to suddenly start reading romance all the time; my enjoyment of these books, if indeed I do enjoy them, will be the exception instead of the rule.

What I can say, is having featured this book in a very recent First Lines Friday post, the introduction made a good impression on me! Let’s see how the rest of the book pans out, shall we?

 

The Bone Collector

I’ve also been watching the TV series, Lincoln Rhyme, on Now TV recently. I have a copy of The Bone Collector sat upstairs on my bookshelf, and now feels like the right time to pick this up for myself. I believe my sister has read at least some of this book and enjoyed it. I can’t wait to see how it compares!

 

As in previous months, my indicated mood reads are provisional and I might choose to pick up something else at the time! Last month I didn’t even get round to my mood reads, which is perfectly okay too. I feel like this reading list is a little bit less ambitious, though still plentiful enough to give myself a challenge!

Have you read any of the books on my TBR? What are you reading this month? Let me know in the comments or on social media!

 

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Monthly Wrap-Up – March 2022

Hi everyone and welcome to today’s monthly wrap-up post for March 2022. I set myself an ambitious reading list in March, and whilst I didn’t get round to all of it I’m happy with my reading progress overall! I’ve read quite a few different books over the month, from varying genres as well! Let’s jump into what I’ve been reading: –

 

Books Read

Blackwing

Blackwing

At the beginning of the month I carried over Blackwing by Ed McDonald. This was a last minute swap out from another mood read I listed in February’s TBR. I had every intention of picking up One Flew Over the Cuckoo‘s Nest, but with the breakout of war in Ukraine this wasn’t really going to hit the spot for me. Instead, I wanted to fall back on a book that I knew I was going to love, and I’m glad I made the switch! It was exactly what I needed, and it didn’t take me long to finish this book.

 

One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest

I then decided to read One Flew Over the Cuckoo‘s Nest by Ken Kesey, and it ended up being my first DNF of 2022. I’ve got about 40% of the way through the book before I decided that enough was enough. I just couldn’t get into it in the way I hoped I would. I made the decision to stop reading this because I wasn’t enjoying it and I didn’t want it to sap my reading energy and drive me into a slump.

 

Keep You Safe

I promptly moved on and read Keep You Safe by Rona Halsall. I added this book to my TBR years ago, having found out that Rona is a local author. I really liked the sound of this book and I’m glad I finally picked it up! In fact, I wish I picked it up sooner! It came at just the moment I needed. I’ll admit that it was very strange to read a book set so close to home. I could picture the events of the book so vividly, because they took place in places I’ve lived and worked etc. It was so familiar and at the same time, a completely new experience for me! The plot line was fantastic! I really enjoyed picking this book up and I’ll definitely be reading more from Rona in future.

 

Lean In

The next book I picked up varied a lot from those I’d already picked up in March. My sister had recommended Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg to me, after having a copy recommended and given to her by a more senior female colleague. If you are not familiar, Sheryl Sandberg is the COO of Facebook and through this book, she talks about her experiences as a woman throughout her career, in particular with regards to her advancement into leadership.

I’m one of those people that Sheryl describes, in that before reading this book I wouldn’t have necessarily described myself as a feminist. However, people get tied down with the negative connotations of being called a feminist and are often frightened to use the word. I’m not just about championing women, as is so often erroneously ascribed to the word, but a champion of equality for both sexes. That is what being a feminist truly means. As Sheryl points out in her book, that means women being given opportunities to step up in the workplace… and men being given the opportunity to step up at home.

It was very different to the sort of book I would have picked up myself, but I’m glad I did. I have definitely taken away snippets of advice and it has given me food for thought both widely and also in terms of how I see myself in the workplace.

 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

My last read of the month, and the book I’m carrying forward into April 2022 is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling. As of the end of the month, I was around a couple of hundred pages through this last instalment of the Harry Potter series. I’ve already made a good amount of progress in the first few days of April, and as of writing this post I’m around halfway through! I can’t wait to continue this re-read this month and to complete my re-read of the series at last!

 

There were a few books I didn’t get round to picking up in March, but I’m still happy with the reading progress I’ve made. Those books that I didn’t get round to reading will be carried forward into April. If you want to check out my full list of books on my April TBR, stay tuned and I will be sharing that post very soon…

What have you been reading this month? Have you got any good book recommendations? As always, I’d love to hear from you!

 

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Sunday Summary – 3rd April 2022

Good evening and welcome to my Sunday Summary update this week! I hope it’s been a good one for you?

At the beginning of the week I had a little bit of fun sharing my Goodreads Book Tag post. I like these types of posts as they give me the opportunity to share a little bit about myself. In this case, I got to talk about the books I’ve been reading recently, my participation in a Goodreads book challenge this year and also how I rate books once I’ve read them. There is so much more included than this, and if you haven’t taken a look at that post already you can find a link above to do so.

Later in the week I shared a First Lines Friday post. I left the topic completely open this week, and I’ve ended up featuring a book that I am considering reading soon. Now I appreciate that doesn’t sound remarkable in the slightest; the interesting thing about this particular book is that it’s not generally my cup of tea. I don’t really read books from this genre at all. Of all the books I’ve read over the last five years, I think I could count on one hand the number of books that have a significant ‘romance’ element to be included in this genre!

 

Books Read

This week’s update is going to echo my last. In last week’s Sunday Summary post, I shared that I hoped to read a lot more of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. My confession is that didn’t really come to pass. I have been reading the book though, and I am now about 250 pages through.

I don’t really watch much TV in general, however, having gotten into the habit with watching Lincoln Rhyme, I’ve moved on to start watching the second season of Bridgerton this week. And you’re probably going to say, hang on a minute Rebecca, that’s not your thing at all. Normally it isn’t! Don’t judge me, but something about the first season appealed to me when it was on originally and I wanted to keep up to date. My friends also watch it and I didn’t want spoilers!

So, reading progress has been a touch on the light side again this week. However, my plan is to read more of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows this evening after this post goes live and now that I’ve caught up with Bridgerton, I should have more time for reading again!

 

Books Discovered

It’s a quiet one for this section this week.

I am deliberately holding off looking or buying anything new at the moment – I already have plenty enough reading to be getting on with with what I’ve got!

 

Coming Up…

I’m looking forward to my blogging schedule next week, as I will be sharing both a monthly wrap-up post for March, as well as my planned reading list for April. There will be a good few books on April‘s list that are carryovers from March. I set myself an ambitious list and I didn’t get round to it all! However, I am looking forward to carrying those over, as well as speculating on some mood reads I might be looking at very soon, provided I get through April’s set list!

And as always, I’ll be back at the same time next week to share another Sunday Summary post and catch you up on all the goings-on.

Until then, have a great one and I’ll see you in my next post!

 

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Sunday Summary – 27th March 2022

Good evening and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary update! I hope it’s been a good one?

I am pleased that I managed to pull my finger out and share my review of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone this week. You may remember that I intended to share this post last week, however I struggled with drafting the post. If I’m honest I think I felt over-faced with reviewing such a large and popular book, but I put the effort in and I’m happy with the final result. I’m still not sure I’ve done it full justice, but I’ve done my best, and that’s all I can ask for!

Later in the week I shared a Shelf Control post. I didn’t massacre my reading list this week, unlike last time, and I really like the sound of this weeks featured book. I’m also pretty excited because it caught my mum‘s attention – this could be a series we both read and love!

 

Books Read

This week my reading progress has been okay, but also could be better. I’ve been reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I say progress has been okay as I haven’t read as much as previous weeks. In just a couple of nights I have read around 120 pages. It shouldn’t be sniffed at really, it’s still a reasonable amount of reading. 

I confess that a lot of my evening time this week has been spent binge-watching Lincoln Rhyme, The TV series (based on The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver) on Sky Witness. I watched the first episode of this ages ago, but I started watching it again this week and now I only have two episodes left. I’m probably going to watch those tonight too…

I’m going to be back on the reading next week and I’m sure I’m going to make a lot more progress with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

 

Books Discovered

It has now been several weeks since I added any books to my reading list. I’m still glad to see it’s back under 200 and I plan to keep it that way.

 

Coming Up…

At the beginning of this week I’m planning to share a fun post. It’s been a little while since I’ve shared a book tag post, and this week I am going to do the Goodreads Book Tag. This is one I haven’t completed before, and it looks like a fun post to share!

Friday is the turn of my regular First Lines Friday post. Last time I set myself a challenge to feature a book on this month’s TBR. I enjoyed the challenge last time, but I’ve decided for this week I’m going to keep it free of restrictions and choose a book at random.

And finally, this time next week I’ll be sharing another Sunday Summary update with you.

Until then, I hope you have a good week and I’ll see you in the next post!

 

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Book Review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J. K. Rowling

In today’s blog post I’m sharing my thoughts on Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s’ Stone, the first book of the series I’m just about to finish reading for the second time! I read this series originally as a teenager and I loved them then as much as I do now! It’s a series for just about anybody and if my reread has proven anything, is that it doesn’t matter how old you are when you pick these up. This first book of the series didn’t seem immature or childish even now. Yes, it’s a lot simpler than the later books in the series, but it’s still just as readable.

If you’re like me then you’re probably also asking yourself, how do you go about reviewing such an iconic book series? Your guess is as good as mine – I’m just going to muddle through as best I can. I know I won’t do it justice, but I can only do my best!

 

Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone – J. K. Rowling

Goodreads – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Harry Potter’s life is miserable. His parents are dead and he’s stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he’s a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.

Though Harry’s first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it’s his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined.

Full of sympathetic characters, wildly imaginative situations, and countless exciting details, the first installment in the series assembles an unforgettable magical world and sets the stage for many high-stakes adventures to come.

 

My Thoughts…

The thing is I love the most about these books is that it doesn’t matter how old you are when you start reading them. I grew up with these books, and I probably read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone either as a preteen or an early teenager. I read this book again for the first time since then last year. At around twice the age I was when I first read the book, I loved it just as much!

Whilst I would say the intended genre is probably young adult, at the same time it doesn’t feel pigeonholed there. There is so much to this series that there’s something in it for everybody! This very first book is comparatively lighthearted to the rest of the series. It’s a wonderful introduction to a vast and detailed magical world, providing fantasy readers with escapism and a life they would have loved to have lived as a child; to be quantified as special and sent off to a magical school of witchcraft and wizardry.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher‘s Stone is only a few hundred pages long. It’s an easy book to pick up and read because of the length, but also the way in which it’s written. The narrative style is very easily digestible. Personally, I think you could easily pick up and put down the book as you wish. It’s really easy to follow what’s going on and it’s honestly a pleasure to read. I read this book within a matter of days just by doing some bedtime reading. You don’t have to be an avid reader to get through this book very quickly!

I like the pacing of Harry Potter and the Philosopher‘s Stone. Being the first book in the series, there is a lot to take in. We have a lot of the setting of the scene, character and world building thrown into the mix. I find it just right so that even a younger audience could follow what is going on, but equally it’s not slow for more mature readers either. As well as all this, there’s a lot of magical excitement to keep our attention. From a plethora of spells to learn to the wonder of the everyday… such as chocolate frogs (which really do behave like frogs!); there is always something going on and keeping the action flowing in a fun way!

In my opinion, this book is the perfect introduction to the now famous series. It’s fun and exciting whilst also setting the scene for a much wider story. The story unfolds in ways that I didn’t take initially expect when I first started the books. But, I really enjoy that! If you haven’t read these yet then I honestly recommend you do. They are absolutely fantastic and they really are for absolutely anyone!

 

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Sunday Summary – 20th March 2022

Hello and welcome to my Sunday Summary update for this week! I hope it’s been a great one for you?

I originally intended to share a book with you at the beginning of this week for Harry Potter and the Philosopher‘s Stone by J. K. Rowling. And I started this post. However, I think I felt a little bit intimidated by the task. This is a fantastic book and series and I got stuck with how to begin. How do you even go about reviewing such a massive series? That’s something I’m going to have to figure out very quickly, because I still plan to share my review with you soon. Apologies it didn’t come when I said it was going to.

I did manage to draft and publish my First Lines Friday post this week. For that post, I set myself the challenge of featuring a book on this month’s TBR and I’m really happy with my choice. I picked up most of the books left on my TBR to gauge the opening lines and see which I thought was best/most interesting. For me, it was a clear winner! If you haven’t checked out that post yet you can do so with the link above, and let me know what you think of the introduction!

 

Books Read

I’m really happy with my reading progress since my last Sunday Summary update post. I had just over 130 pages remaining of Keep You Safe by Rona Halsall, and I said in my post that I was going to make a push this week to read it. The reality is, I started reading this book last Sunday after publishing my post and I finished reading the book at 12:15am that night! I could not put it down – the ending was brilliant and so engaging that going to bed before finishing this book was not an option! It’s an absolutely fantastic psychological thriller and I can’t wait to share my thoughts on the book with you – I cannot recommend it enough!

My next read of this week was a complete 180º – I picked up Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. This is a non-fiction novel written by Facebook‘s chief operating officer. It looks at women in the workplace and discusses female leadership in the corporate world, what limitations women have in advancing their careers (both internal and external factors) and offers advice on what women can do in order to empower themselves.

This was a recommendation by my sister, who in turn had the book recommended to her by one of her more senior work colleagues. Now, I wouldn’t describe myself as a particularly career driven person, but I am the kind of person who will take on responsibility and accountability in my job. I want to do the best I can, and likewise if I can make things better for other people I also want to do this. Work isn’t my whole life, but I want to do a good job and make a difference as well. Do you see what I mean?

Lean In was an interesting read because it’s not only focuses on limitations that women experience from other people (both men and women, you may be surprised to hear), but also the limitations they set themselves. It is all too easy to focus on the external factors, and very difficult to be introspective and acknowledge that women sometimes hold themselves back. For not shying away from this truth, I feel like Sheryl took a well-rounded approach to the subject and there are some pieces of advice in the book that I’d like to bear in mind going forward for myself.

Whilst I haven’t physically picked it up yet as of writing this post, I plan to start reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows immediately after this blog post goes live. And I’ll be making progress with this one over the next week. Whilst it’s a bit of a chunky book, I find these so easy to read so I don’t expect it will take me too long!

As in last week’s Sunday Summary update post, I am pleased to say that I’ve listened to another couple of chapters of A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin. This is going to take a very long time to get through at this pace, so I’m going to try and make more of a habit of listening to audiobooks again. I confess I’ve fallen off the wagon a little bit here!

 

Books Discovered

There’s some happy dancing going on here this week, because once again there are no new books on my TBR. And, having read and taken a couple off the list this week, the list is going in the right direction!

For now anyway!

 

Coming Up…

I will share my review of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone this week. I WILL share my review of Harry Potter and the Philosopher‘s Stone next week.

How many times do you think I have to say the sentence in order to commit? I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to get this ready for you as planned this week, so I’m determined to publish this post in the next few days to make up for it.

Friday is my scheduled spot for a Shelf Control post. Last time I did this fortnightly feature I cut five books off my TBR. Whilst I am certainly not planning a ‘massacre’ of that scale again, I do like that this feature gives me the opportunity to review and do this if I feel necessary. It’s also great because I love featuring books that are coming up on my list and I can get excited about them at the same time!

And finally, this time next week I’ll be sharing another Sunday summary post.

Until then, I hope you have a good week, wish you happy reading and I’ll see you in the next post!

 

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First Lines Friday – 18/03/2022

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s First Lines Friday post! First Lines Friday is a regular series on my blog. It’s a fun way to share books I love, those I am interested in and/or on my TBR or even just to experiment with something new!

For today’s post I set myself the challenge to feature a book I’ve added to my TBR this month. I made the decision last week in an attempt to get my reading motivation back after a small slump and a DNF at the beginning of this month.

I’m really excited for today’s featured book. Having looked at almost all the books left on my TBR to date, the book I was going to feature it was a clear winner. I think it has the best introduction and has the best chance of grabbing your attention.

Shall we jump into it?

 

Levan Ost’s note insisted I come alone.

The clocks were poised to strike four as I approached the meeting point. The night carried a purpleish cast, Rioque and Clada both waxing, unobscured by clouds. I stepped briskly through the winter cold. Hooded. Armed. Alert. The last time I’d met Levan Ost, he tried to shank me with a broken bottle. But that had been a long time ago and, truth be told, I’d probably deserved it.

The smell of the canal met me three streets before it came into view. The waterway was blacker than oil, the streets around it mostly deserted. Nobody wanted to live near that stench. Valengrad’s canals had never been fit for swimming in, but after the Siege, we’d tossed all the dead drudge into the canals to rot. Bad magic isn’t so easily washed away though, and the pollutants had stained even the water. Four years later, it still bore the memory.

 

Ravencry – Ed McDonald

Ravencry

Goodreads – Ravencry

Four years have passed since Nall’s Engine drove the Deep Kings back across the Misery, but as they hurl fire from the sky, darker forces plots against the republic.

A new power is rising: a ghost in the light known only as the Bright Lady manifests in visions across the city, and the cult that worship her grasp for power even as the city burns around them.

When Crowfoot’s arcane vault is breached, an object of terrible power is stolen, and Galharrow and his Blackwings must once find out which of Valengrad’s enemies is responsible before they have a chance to use it.

To save Valengrad, Galharrow, Nenn and Tnota must venture to a darker, more twisted and more dangerous place than any they’ve walked before: the very heart of the Misery.

RAVENCRY is the second book in the Raven’s Mark series, continuing the story that began with the award winning epic fantasy BLACKWING.

 

My Thoughts…

I loved reading Blackwing last month and I cannot wait to continue with the rest of the trilogy. Ravencry throws us back into yet more action, four years after the events of the first book.

The thing I love the most about these books is that no character is a hero, or even tries to be. Everybody is out for themselves and is by no means an altruist, but that makes it feel all the more real. That is definitely encapsulated in today’s introduction and if you really liked it, then these books will be great for you because it’s consistent throughout!

I love the magic and the setting of these books. There is a lot of thought that has got into the world building and the lore and there’s so much to love! Even though it is a fantasy world it is very easy to imagine and immerse yourself in. When I read Blackwing last month, it was the escapism I needed. I found it very easy to sit and read and read and read a bit more – it was effortless!

If you need any further testament to how great this series is, I gifted a copy of this trilogy to my sister’s boyfriend for Christmas. He’d read the lot by about the third week in January!

Have you read Ravencry or any other books in the trilogy? Does today’s First Lines Friday feature make you want to pick it up for yourself? 

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