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Book Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J. K. Rowling

Hello everybody, and welcome to today’s book review of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling.

I re-read the Harry Potter series in 2021/2022. It had been a long time since I read the series – in the case of the earlier books, I started those as a young teenager and read the series over the course of around six years. I wanted to revisit the books to see if my experience and perception of them changed by reading them as an adult.

If you have not read any of my previous reviews of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, or Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, you can find links to those reviews here.

Now, let’s jump into today’s review of the next book in the series!

 

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J. K. Rowling

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 636

Audience: Young Adult

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Publication Date: 08 Jul 2000

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

 

Goodreads – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

The summer holidays are dragging on and Harry Potter can’t wait for the start of the school year. It is his fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and there are spells to be learnt and (unluckily) Potions and Divination lessons to be attended. But Harry can’t know that the atmosphere is darkening around him, and his worst enemy is preparing a fate that it seems will be inescapable …With characteristic wit, fast-paced humour and marvellous emotional depth, J.K. Rowling has proved herself yet again to be a master story-teller.

 

My Thoughts

Plot

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire has an interesting plot line. That’s not to say I don’t think it has its flaws, however. Installing a magical cup in the school and inviting those who think they are adept enough to take part in a dangerous tournament is one thing. Doing so around a community full of minors, well, can only go wrong somewhere. Especially when entering your name is a legally binding contract. It’s all a bit too convenient that Harry finds his name put forward.  

Despite this, it still makes for an interesting read. In particular, the tournament itself adds a lot of drama and action to the narrative. Its dramatic conclusion also adds to the book and the series as a whole. I’m not going to spoil it for you-you’ll have to read it yourself.

What I like about Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is that we, break away from a narrative almost purely set in the usual school year cycle. We see wider plot development. We still have that familiarity of the school year, which comes to a conclusion with the Triwizard tournament. However, there is a lot more to this book, and plenty of it is quite sinister.

In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, we are introduced to characters that come into this world and plot line later on. I would argue that in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, we start to see this take shape.

 

Narrative Style

Despite being significantly larger than its predecessors, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire still retains the easy narrative style readers can come to expect.

You know me, I’m not one to shy away from a chunky book. I really hope that the length of this book doesn’t put potential readers off. It is not complicated. Even if you are less enthused by big narratives with wider story arcs, and lots of elements that will inevitably come together at the end, there isn’t so much going on that it will confuse you. Equally, there are little bits and pieces you can pick up in hindsight that hint to what happens later on.

Personally, I think the latter part of the series is quite well balanced in that it offers a little bit more than the first few books in the series (which are for the most part, comparatively superficial). This works perfectly well for people like me who grew up reading these books. At age 11, I wouldn’t have the reading capability to be able to take on these later tomes. Even so, going back and reading these later on has made me appreciate the later books in the series even more. They are more similar to my reading taste a an adult.

 

Characters

As with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, we see a full new complement of characters introduced in this fourth book of the series. Some of these have a direct impact on the story, whereas others set the scene (for later books) and help develop the wizarding world in which these books are set.

I am a huge fan of world-building and the depth of detail that can be explored in these kind of books that fill out the whole story. Knowing everything from relatives of the main characters, down to the sports personalities, all comes together to make an immersive reading experience.

There are also a few introductions which will help us later in the series (particularly for the next book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix). I think this is pulled off very well so as to not overwhelm, but it does make a difference when you read the next book. Understanding who everybody is and what their role is ahead of time is a big help! Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix is the chunkiest book in the series by far. If we’d had to go through all those introductions in that book as well, then it would be significantly larger!

 

Summary

Despite the slightly convenient plot line, I rated Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire five stars. If you enjoy fantasy series with darker elements to the story, or broad, overarching story lines that run throughout a series, stick with this one until you’ve read this fourth book. It’s at this point we really start to see this woven into the storyline.

Have you read any books from the Harry Potter series? Have you re-read it? Let me know in the comments.

 

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First Lines Friday – 30/12/2022

Hello all welcome to today’s First Lines Friday post!

For today’s post, I have been thinking about one of my reading goals for next year. I am conscious of the fact that I have a lot of ongoing book series at the moment. I want to reduce the number I’m reading at any one time. With that in mind, today’s featured book is a sequel to a series I started several years ago now.

Since reading that first book, I haven’t read or heard much of what the sequel is like. However, I really enjoyed the first book and so I want to give it a go anyway. If I enjoy as much as the first book, then there are more books to the series I can continue with. If not, then this is a series I can write off as one I’m not going to complete.

Would you like to read today’s featured introduction?

 

I try not to think of him.

But when I do, I hear the tides.

Baba was with me the first time I heard them.

The first time I felt them.

They called out to me like a lullaby, leading us away from the forest path and toward the sea. The ocean breeze ruffled the loose coils in my hair. Rays of sun spilled through the thinning leaves.

I didn’t know what we would find. What strange wonder that lullaby would hold. I just knew I had to get to it. It was like the tides held a missing piece of my soul.

 

 

Children of Virtue and Vengeance – Tomi Adeyemi

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 404

Audience: Young Adult

Publisher: Henry Holt & Co

Publication Date: 03 Dec 2019

 

 

Goodreads – Children of Virtue and Vengeance

After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could’ve imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too.

Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari’s right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy’s wrath.

With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.

 

My Thoughts…

I read the first book of the series, Children of Blood and Bone, back in April 2018. That is obviously a long time ago now, so the finer points of the plot our way back down in the depths of my brain. I am sure that when I pick up Children of Virtue and Vengeance, the pivotable aspects of the plot will come back to me. I am in a position where I have also reviewed the Children of Blood and Bone, I can always go back to that to get the gist of my thoughts.

I remember really enjoying this fantasy story, even though it is aimed at a younger audience than I. Based on the synopsis of today’s feature, Children of Virtue and Vengeance, there are aspects of conflict and politics that should come together to create the conflict in this book. Where this may surpass the first book is that I’m looking forward to seeing how the role of magic affects the events and dynamic of the book. These are aspects I really enjoy in my fantasy, so I’m optimistic that this book will also be a hit for me.

I’m really excited to dive into this series once again. Have you read Children of Blood and Bone or any other books by Tomi Adeyemi? If so, I’d love to know what you think!

 

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Book Review: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J. K. Rowling

Earlier this year I completed my re-read of the Harry Potter series. Now that I’ve made it through the books again, I’m making the effort to pin down my thoughts. Wher I can, I’ll consider my experience of the books compared to my initial read as a teenager. Before going into today’s review, if you would like to catch up with my reviews of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, here are the links to do so. 

Today I am reviewing Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. If you are unfamiliar, this is the third book in the seven-part series. This is the book in which the plot really starts to hint at the metamorphosis the series will undergo later on, whilst still short and digestible for younger readers.

The plot has a darker element to the narrative, and some of the more sinister characters start to introduce themselves properly. The early books are quite lighthearted in introducing you to the wizarding world. By the time you’re done with the series, you have explored its darkest avenues.

I grew up with these books (literally). I started the early ones in my late childhood/early teenage years and read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as an adult. This is something I have really come to enjoy in the series.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J. K. Rowling

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 317

Audience: Young Adult

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Publication Date: 08 Jul 1999

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

 

Goodreads – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter, along with his best friends, Ron and Hermione, is about to start his third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry can’t wait to get back to school after the summer holidays. (Who wouldn’t if they lived with the horrible Dursleys?) But when Harry gets to Hogwarts, the atmosphere is tense. There’s an escaped mass murderer on the loose, and the sinister prison guards of Azkaban have been called in to guard the school…

 

My Thoughts

Plot

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban takes on a different tone compared with the first two books of the series. With a whole school year to pack into 300+ pages, you will not be bored making your way through this one. Whilst we are familiar with the school year and structure at this point, there are new and different things happening that keep the narrative fresh.

As I mentioned above, the more sinister aspects of the narrative really worked for me. Reviewing this in hindsight from the position of having read the whole series, this is one of the pivotal books in my opinion. Whilst short and sweet, it introduces characters such as the dementors, who go on to have a more significant role later on in the series.

 

Narrative Style

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a quick read. As this book is one of the last shorter ones of the series, it is still very approachable for the everyday reader. I managed to re-read this book in just over a week. And that is a very casual pace for me! Whether you are reading this book for the very first time or like me, going back into the series again, I don’t think it will disappoint. Even though the theme of the book is a shade darker than the previous two books of the series, it doesn’t detract from its readability whatsoever.

 

Characters

In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, we experience the narrative through the perspective of Harry Potter himself. Along the way our friends old and new. It is in this book that we are introduced to characters who are pivotal to the story later on in the book series.

The mix of familiarity combined with a touch of new makes the pace and introductions to new characters easy to follow. If there’s one thing I like about these books is that there aren’t so many characters that you can’t keep track. As somebody who read a lot of epic fantasy, this is something I find happens a lot. That is not the case in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

I really enjoyed my re-read of this book and the whole series!

Have you picked up Harry Potter for yourself? Is this something you want to read?

 

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Book Review: Red Rising – Pierce Brown

In today’s post, I am really looking forward to sharing my review of Red Rising by Pierce Brown with you. Having added the book to my reading list in July 2017, I finally got around to reading this first installment in the Red Rising series back in October last year.

I’m glad I took the plunge to start this series, as this first book was absolutely fantastic. I am a huge fan of dystopia and the fantasy/science-fiction genres, so this book was a natural fit. What I didn’t expect, was how bloodydamn good it was!

 

Red Rising – Pierce Brown

Genre: Dystopia / Science-fiction

Pages: 382

Audience: Young Adult

Publisher: Del Ray

Publication Date: 28 Jan 2014

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

Goodreads – Red Rising

“I live for the dream that my children will be born free,” she says. “That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.”

“I live for you,” I say sadly.

Eo kisses my cheek. “Then you must live for more.”

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

 

My Thoughts…

I love dystopian fiction, so it’s no surprise that Red Rising was a massive hit for me. Darrow and his people have been lied to their whole lives. They work, believing they are sacrificing themselves for a future society. However, soon in the narrative, it comes to light that civilisation began on Mars long ago, and yet the labour of the Reds has continued with them kept in the dark, and for little reward.

Eo, a young woman living in Red society, dreams for more. She sacrifices herself and in doing so, begins a revolution. Darrow is, under normal circumstances, quite a placid young man. However, when the society he slaves for kills his wife for daring to speak up against them, it inspires a hatred that lives up to his caste – deep and red and raging.

Reading the synopsis of this book is one thing, but I didn’t expect the narrative of this book to pan out the way it did. I really enjoyed it and it is refreshing to have a synopsis hinting as to what is going to happen, but is vague enough that it’s not obvious at the time.

I really enjoyed Darrow’s character development arc in this book. At the beginning, he is just a man who slaves away to eke out a small existence. But his life quickly turns to tragedy, and rather than lying down in the dirt, he digs deep within himself to have the courage to try and drive change. Darrow finds himself in a world he didn’t even know existed.

I also really enjoyed the combination of dystopia and science-fiction. These two genres work very well together, and for good reason. The technological advances that benefit the gold society are far beyond those we see in the modern world today. In comparison, the Reds live far worse than we do. The contrast between these two societies is stark – perhaps even exaggerated to an extent.

If you enjoy a lot of action in your novels, then red rising has plenty of that on offer. The passing of the book makes it a quick read, as there is plenty going on at any given moment.

Even so, the action doesn’t detract from the world-building and character development that also takes place in this book.

There is a great balance of both, making for a good, or rounded, introduction to a dystopian science-fiction series that I want to read more of. At the point of writing this review, I have already read the second book, Golden Son. It didn’t quite live up to the same expectations after this introduction. However, I’m going to continue with it for at least one more book to see if it picks up again.

Have you read Red Rising or any other books in the series? Let me know in the comments.

 

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Book Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, together with the rest of the series, holds a very special place in my heart. Firstly, I grew up with these books. I read them starting as a teenager through until becoming a newly minted adult and I loved these books! I enjoy how the story and complexity scales throughout the series. That worked really well with how I read them initially, and also how I ‘aged’ with them.

I wanted to re-read these books as an adult. Mainly, I wanted to see if my experience of the books differed now that I was reading them from a more mature perspective. For the most part, I can’t say that they did; I enjoyed them just as much as I did back then!

 

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 251

Audience: Young Adult

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Publication Date: 02 Jul 1998

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

Goodreads – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Ever since Harry Potter had come home for the summer, the Dursleys had been so mean and hideous that all Harry wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he’s packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange impish creature who says that if Harry returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And strike it does. For in Harry’s second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor and a spirit who haunts the girls’ bathroom. But then the real trouble begins – someone is turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects… Harry Potter himself!

 

My Thoughts…

After the magic and drama of his first year at Hogwarts, you would think that going home for the summer would be a break for Harry. However, his aunt and uncle, and their son, treat him so awfully that he cannot wait to go back. Thankfully for us, it doesn’t take too long in the narrative and we get to dive into the magic and nostalgia of going to school very quickly.

This year is a little bit different, as they are no longer the newbies. However, the events that take place at the school or even stranger than the last. Students (and Mr Filch’s cat, Mrs Norris) are found petrified in school corridors. Tension rises and speculation begins on what is happening to them. Harry himself falls under suspicion. But, as we can only expect from these books, Harry ends up getting to the bottom of the matter. Not only that, but he finds himself in danger once again.

As with the first book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a very quick read. I enjoyed the pacing of the book. It is full of action to keep the narrative moving along, but at the same time, we still get to see world-building and character development. I prefer the books towards the end of the series because I enjoy depth and complexity in my fantasy books. However, the fact that this book doesn’t necessarily fit into this category didn’t matter at all. The fact is, I knew going into it that these early books set a lot of foundation for the later books.

Whilst we don’t necessarily realise that at the time, significant events in this book or the introduction to a wider storyline come into play later on. When I think about where these events begin, it is Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets that immediately comes to mind. 

Whilst there is a lot of controversy around J. K. Rowling, I would recommend these books to anyone wanting to start out with reading fantasy, or anyone wanting to read a series without too much mental commitment. These books are really easy to digest. They are the kind of books that you could always get more out of with the next re-read. Equally, you can take them as you read them first time. They have a lot to give, and it is a series that I will go back and read again and again throughout my lifetime, I am sure! I know one of my friends re-reads these books regularly!

Have you read the Harry Potter series? Have you not read them? Let me know what you think in the comments.

 

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Sunday Summary – 3rd July 2022

Good evening everyone – it is the end of yet another week and so it’s time for my Sunday Summary update! This week’s blogging schedule didn’t quite go to plan, for reasons I’ll explain below. However, all-in-all, it has been a very good week and I have some good personal news to share!

I sat an exam for a professional qualification on Wednesday this week, which I’m pleased to say I passed! Naturally, this meant that last-minute revision was my focus for the first couple of days of the week. Consequently, that means I haven’t gotten as much reading done as I normally do, but also, it threw off my blogging schedule a little.

I originally planned to share a book review at the beginning of the week, and a mid-year review later on in the week. In the end, my book review for Dune by Frank Herbert went out on Thursday, later than scheduled. This is purely because I ended up putting in some more revision time last minute, and then after I had sat the exam I wanted to give myself a bit of a well-earned break. As a result, my mid-year review has not been shared, but you can expect this very, very soon.

 

Books Read

For reasons explained above, I haven’t read as much as I would in a typical week. I am pleased to report though that I finished reading Skyward by Brandon Sanderson last night.

I really liked this book as it is very different from the other books I have read by this author. A lot of his other works have a lot of magic/fantastical elements interwoven into them. But where Skyward differs is that it leans very hard into the science-fiction genre rather than fantasy. That made it a completely different experience for me. You could also tell through the writing style that it is targeting a young adult audience, rather than an adult one. However, I really enjoyed this. I feel like a lot of young teenagers could really get on Spensa’s angsty teenager wavelength and relate to her as our protagonist.

Yet another five-star rating for a Brandon Sanderson novel!

I’ve also made some further progress with listening to Northern Lights by Philip Pullman. Most of my progress in this audiobook was made on Thursday and Friday this week. I have been doing some other bits and pieces after my exam and listening to this audiobook fit in nicely with that. I am now approximately halfway through this audiobook. It’s not a long one, so progress is going to be quite quick. I may not get it all listened to in the next week, but perhaps the following one.

The feelings I shared about this audiobook have not changed since last week. The casting of characters for this one just doesn’t see it with me, and Lyra’s voice actor is very frustrating to listen to. I’ve also seen a review of this audiobook in which somebody else says the exact same thing, so I’m not the only one!

 

Books Discovered

I’ve added one book to my reading list this week, having heard about it from Kaytee on the Currently Reading podcast. She has read this book recently, and her set-up of what the book was about really appealed to me! The book is set in Thailand and aimed at a middle-grade audience, but it has elements of magical realism (which appeals to my fantasy-loving self) and is loosely based on the story of Les Miserables. I thought that was a really unique combination, and the plot itself has drawn me in. I can’t wait to pick this one up for myself, as it’s very different from some of the other books I would usually read!

 

Coming Up…

Early this week I will be sharing my mid-year review post as originally planned last week. However, due to timing constraints, I’ve decided to combine this with my typical month-end wrap-up as well! The format will be much like my end-of-April review, in which I did my usual wrap-up and then inserted a commentary about my progress with my Goodreads challenge etc.

With it being the beginning of a new month I also have a Reading List to share with you. Now that my exam is over I am keen to dive into more books; I have quite a varied list to share with you this month, and I can’t wait for you to see it!

Next Sunday I will be back with my usual Sunday Summary wrap-up, talking about the books I’ve been reading/listening to and all my bookish updates.

For now, though, that’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary. Have you been reading anything interesting lately?

 

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Sunday Summary – 26th June 2022

Hello and welcome to this week’s Sunday Summary post. I’m looking forward to sharing all my bookish updates with you from this week! I hope you have had a good one as well?

My first blog post of the week was a Top Ten Tuesday post. In that post, I talked about my top ten bookish wishes, or books that I have my eye on acquiring next. I really enjoyed writing about the books I have in mind, and also to set down how I want to acquire a copy of each book as well. It stops me buying them willy-nilly and in the wrong format.

Later in the week I shared a First Lines Friday post. I didn’t set myself a challenge for this week’s feature, but I enjoyed that. I had free rein to choose whatever I liked, and this week’s feature is one that also happened to feature in my top ten bookish wishes post. I’m also very particular on getting a physical copy of this book, as it’s not written in prose. It’s a compilation of various different types of documents, so there’s a lot more visuality to it. Can you guess the book from the opening lines?

 

Books Read

As of last week’s Sunday Summary update I had just started Skyward by Brandon Sanderson. I was a humble 36 pages in and already hooked by protagonist Spensa‘s history and upcoming struggles.

My reading progress has slowed down a little bit this week, but I expected that. I have an exam coming up next week and I’ve been prioritising my revision for that. Even so, I’ve still managed to read a respectable 280 pages. That’s over half of the book, so I’m really happy with my progress. I’m hoping that I’ll still manage to get this finished before the end of the month, meaning that I will finish my first monthly TBR this year. We’ll see if that pans out though – I won’t be mad if I don’t quite get there. 

I have also made very good progress with audiobooks this week. I’ve talked about my hit and miss relationship with audiobooks, but I’m definitely in a phase of listening to them. This week I have been listening to a book that I wouldn’t have picked up if it had not been recommended to me. A colleague at work recommended Jeffrey Archer’s prison diaries to me. They were free to download from Audible at the time.

This week I’ve listened to the first book, Hell, in its entirety. Listening to this book really worked out for me. I am conscious of the fact I don’t read much non-fiction, and I’m trying to change that. Even then, I read or listen to any kind of biography even less often. I couldn’t tell you the last time I picked up a biography or autobiography. So, this gave me a great opportunity to break that habit. I’ll admit I didn’t have much prior knowledge of the events that happened in this book and so it was an eye-opener for me. It’s also a reasonably short listen (7 hours or so), which is why I managed to get through it in just one week.

I’ve also started a second audiobook this week, albeit a very different subject. Falling back into semi-familiar territory, I have started listening to Philip Pullman‘s Northern Lights, the first book of the ‘His Dark Materials’ series. I’m approximately 20% through this one as of this update post. I’m liking the story so far, although I have a couple of small gripes.

The book is predominantly narrated by Philip Pullman himself, but any character’s speech is narrated by somebody else (each character is separately cast). I would personally prefer for the audiobook not to have a full cast and to be narrated by just one person. Some people like audiobooks with a full cast as it helps distinguish between characters. However, it’s not working for me here. Not only that, but the person who is a voice actor for Lyra has a voice that really grates on me! I won’t let it deter me from the rest of the book though!

 

Books Discovered

I’m cursing myself once again for not making a note of where I’ve discovered this week’s addition to my TBR. I was convinced I had seen it on an email, but I’ve not been able to find my source again. Regardless, I added Against All Gods by Miles Cameron as I really like the sound of it! The synopsis of the book reminds me of Terry Pratchett, and I’ll explain why.

In the Discworld series, there is a bit of a parody with gods moving human beings like pieces on a chess board. If you read the synopsis of against all gods, then you’ll see why it reminded me of this: –

The gods play their games, looking down on the mortal realm and moving men as pawns. Sacrificing lives, towns, even civilisations as they make moves against each other, oblivious to and uncaring of the suffering it causes.

They are above it all: worshipped, emulated and admired.

Yet there is one among them who exists to sow chaos, to challenge the way of things, and to stir up trouble. One who sees the gods growing indolent and contented and selfish . . . and who is ready to meddle in the world of men. Not as part of the immortal game, but because they believe it’s possible for men to challenge . . . and even topple . . . the gods themselves.

An epic which draws on the Greek mythology of gods and heroes, this new trilogy is a must read for fans of Dan Simmons and Madeline Miller alike.

So, I am sure you can see why this appeals.

It’s an epic fantasy book that has just been released, and I also like that the gods draw on Greek mythology. I have read some other books based on Greek mythology before, so I do have a foundation of who the characters are. I’m looking forward to see how all these different elements mash together!

 

Coming Up…

I’d like to start off this week by sharing a book review with you; I have plenty of books that I am still yet to review. However, to make my life easier (because of the upcoming exam), I’m going to be reviewing something I’ve read this year. That way, my thoughts are fresh in my mind, but also I’ve been writing down my thoughts shortly after reading books. Therefore, I’ve got most of review already written and ready to go.

This week, I am going to be sharing my thoughts on Dune by Frank Herbert. My choice of reviewing this book is also because I have since gone on to read additional books in the series. I don’t want to get so far behind as I have with other series that I’m having to go back too far.

Friday is the 1st of July, and we will be over halfway through 2022! With that in mind, later this week I’d like to take a look at my reading progress throughout the year so far, review my reading goals and have a chat about my upcoming plans for the second half of the year.

And as always, I will be back this time next week with another Sunday Summary update post.

I hope you have enjoyed today’s update! What have you been reading?

 

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First Lines Friday – 24/06/2022

Welcome to today’s First Lines Friday post! First Lines Friday is a regular (typically fortnightly) 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 this week‘s First Lines Friday post, I decided to keep my subject open. Whilst it is fun to set myself a challenge sometimes, I didn’t have any inspiration or idea as to what I wanted to do. So, I kept it open and I’ve had a good long think; I’m really happy with the book I’ve chose to feature today.

Can you guess what it is?

 

 


Memorandum for: Executive Director Frobisher

From: Ghost ID (#6755–4181–2584–1597–9 87–610–377-ERROR-ERROR…)

Incept: 01/29/76

Subject: Alexander dossier

___________________________________________________

So here’s the file that almost killed me, Director.

I won’t bore you with the tally of databases plundered, light-years jumped, or cute, sniffling orphans created in its compilation – our fee already reflects Level Of Difficulty. But this dirt is out there, if you know where to look. It seems your cleanup crews weren’t quite as thorough as you’d like, and your little corporate war isn’t quite a secret as you’d hoped.

 

 

 

Illuminae – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Goodreads – Illuminae

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival mega-corporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than a speck at the edge of the universe. Now with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra — who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to evacuate with a hostile warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A plague has broken out and is mutating with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a web of data to find the truth, it’s clear the only person who can help her is the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents — including emails, maps, files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more — Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

 

My Thoughts…

I’ve had my eye on this book for some time. The story is told through a compilation of correspondence and documentation as opposed to traditional prose, which interests me. This is something I’ve read and enjoyed recently (The Appeal by Janice Hallett). Given that I liked this one as much as I did, I can’t wait to try another book in this format. I’ve already decided, given the format, that I want a physical copy of this book/series. I talked about this in my top ten bookish wishes post earlier this week

I’m also a fan of Jay Kristoff. I first listened to his Nevernight Chronicles trilogy, and from there fell in love. I’ve gone on to purchase physical copies of these books to read again, and more recently, purchased and read Empire of the Vampire. This is my favourite read of 2022 so far, so I’m really excited to pick up something new by him.

Collaborations with other authors can be a bit hit and miss, but as I haven’t read anything by Amie Kaufman yet, I don’t feel like I can judge. I will just have to see how this goes! If I go on to enjoy these books then I have another series I can pick up that is co-authored by this duo. It’s a young adult science-fiction novel, which I feel like will be up my street! Especially considering I am reading a young adult science-fiction book by Brandon Sanderson at the moment, and really enjoying it. 

 

I hope you have enjoyed today’s First Lines Friday post! Have you read Illuminae, the rest of the series or any of the other books also written by these authors? I’d love to know in the comments!

 

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Sunday Summary – 19th June 2022

Good evening and welcome to my Sunday Summary update post! I hope all you amazing Dads out there have had a lovely Father’s Day and been spoilt!

I started off this week with sharing a discussion post, the topic being about getting out of your comfort zone when reading. It has been a little while since I drafted a post of this type and I enjoyed doing so. It ended up being quite a long post, in which I discussed ways you could push your boundaries, shared why that’s benefited me and how I plan to continue getting out of my comfort zone.

Later in the week, I returned to my usual Friday feature posts. This week, I shared a Shelf Control post and featured a book that has been on my TBR since 2018. It is a ‘new to me’ author, even though they are prominent in the genre. If you want to find out more, you can do so with the link above.

 

Books Read

As of my last Sunday Summary update I had just started The Appeal by Janice Hallett. I was approximately 25 pages in and really looking forward to diving into this book.

I read the book in its entirety in four days! The format of the story was fantastic! I love how it was told through correspondence between characters. As a reader, it makes you read between the lines and try to decipher the subtext. After all, we only see the online interactions and not what happens in person.

I also really enjoyed the complexity of the characters and the storyline. As far as the murder mystery goes, this kind of book shows you that it can be very obscure. Every character had a motive or a reason to be involved or not trusted. The story was very complex, but at the same time easy to follow and very intriguing! The way it has been written was very cleverly done and I personally enjoyed the change of pace!

I had a little break from reading for a few days, however I started my next and last ‘official’ book on my TBR today. For half an hour or so before going to visit my parents, I read the 36 pages of Skyward by Brandon Sanderson. It’s a solid introduction to this book so far and I can’t wait to see how the story progresses.

In the prologue and first three chapters, the history of the main character Spensa has been established, and from there I expect a wonderful story of what is apparently a very stubborn girl determined to fight against the prejudice she experiences. I can’t wait to dive into this one more and I’ll have more to tell you in next week’s update.

Lastly, I finished Knight’s Shadow by Sebastien de Castell this week. I have gone from listening to practically nothing to a complete switch around and managed to finish an audiobook! I really enjoyed this second instalment to the series. I had no idea how some of the complications the characters were having were going to resolve themselves, But I really enjoyed how this was done!

 

Books Discovered

I have added a couple of books to my TBR this week. Both are very different from each other, which only goes to show how different my reading taste is.

The first book is written by Margaret Atwood, called Alias Grace. I’ll admit that I hadn’t heard of this book before until I discovered it in a video by @schulerbooks on TikTok. Yes, I have joined TikTok for the bookish community there! I really like the description of the book and the video I found prompted me to find out more. Consequently, I added this to my reading list as I think I’ll really enjoy this one. I like the unreliable narrator trope, which is a prominent feature in this book.

After some consideration I have added The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake to my reading list. I’ve seen quite a few people talking about this book, but most prominently from one booktuber I follow who really enjoys the dark academia theme/genre. This book falls into that category and as she loves it so much, I’m willing to give it a go!

 

Coming Up…

I like the idea of this week’s Top Ten Tuesday post, which is top ten bookish wishes. The idea is to share the top ten books you would like to own and if you set up a Wishlist on Amazon, provide a link to it so people can get a copy to you if they want to purchase it for you. I’m not going to do this; if I want a book I’ll buy it myself, or ask for a copy from family as a gift for an occasion. So, I won’t be adding the wish list, but I will be talking about the top ten books on my TBR that I want to own next!

On Friday I will be sharing a First Lines Friday post. The last few times I have done this type of post I have set myself a challenge. I don’t have anything in particular in mind and so this week I’m going to keep it open and decide which book to feature later in the week.

And last, but certainly not least, I’ll be back with a Sunday Summary post this time next week with all my fresh updates for you!

That’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary. What are you currently reading?

 

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Monthly TBR – June 2022

Hello and welcome to my June Monthly TBR post!

I had a fantastic month of reading in May and I’m keen for the run to continue. Last month I put one less book on my list, purely because one of the reads I planned to pick up was over 700 pages long in its own right. I’m glad I picked this up and read it though because it has become my favourite read of 2022 so far! It’s going to be a tough one to beat, but I’m not averse to finding something even greater.

I can’t lie, I’ve had a bit of a challenge setting myself a TBR. I had one all planned out that I was excited for, but I’ve changed it several times since. Clearly I’m in a very changeable mood at the moment. I don’t want to stifle myself by committing to a list of books that I then lose enthusiasm for as I pick them up, so I’ve made a decision to have a very flexible TBR this month. So, most of my reads are going to be mood reads. As you know, I normally only set a couple of those a month, but I feel like it’s the right thing to do with my mindset at the moment.

This may also work in my favour. I have an exam to sit at the end of the month that naturally I am revising for more than ever, so having less commitments can only be better for me in that sense.

 

Fixed Reads

Wolf of Mercia

I’m only setting one fixed read this month because I’m taking part in a blog tour for this book on the 10th of June. That’s only really just around the corner, and so I picked this up in the last couple of days already to really try and make progress with it.

So far I’ve been successful and as of writing this post I am just over 70% of the way through this book. I’m really enjoying how it’s going and the character progression that has taken place since Son of Mercia, the first book in the series, that I reviewed earlier this year. I can’t wait to bring my full thoughts on the book to you in my blog tour post on the 10th.

 

Mood Reads

Norse Mythology

I have a bit of a rocky relationship with Neil Gaiman, however I’m going to give him one last try with his retelling of Norse myths. I feel like this is fairly safe territory, but we will have to see. If I don’t get on with this book then I’m pretty much going to swear off Neil Gaiman completely. He is quite a big name in the fantasy genre but the highest rating I’ve ever given him is a three star. I didn’t like another book of his even though I finished it and I’ve DNF’d others. I actually bought this copy of North Mythology several years ago before I went on to read some of the books of his that I didn’t like, so that’s how I ended up having a copy. We’ll see how this goes!

 

Assassin’s Apprentice

Not long ago I shared the First Lines Friday post in which I gave you insight into a book I was going to read later this year. Robin Hobb has been on my radar for such a long time and having sampled Assassin’s Apprentice on more than one occasion, I’ve decided now is the time to read it. I’ve seen a couple of booktubers (book bloggers who review their reads on YouTube, in case you aren’t familiar with the term) talking about later books in the series/universe and that has prompted me to decide to pick this one up now. I always knew I was going to pick it up later this year, but I think it’s going to be sooner rather than later.

As this is a mood read this is subject to change, but I’m hoping not! I’m quite excited for this one! 

 

Skyward

I’m a huge fan of Brandon Sanderson and having copies of both Skyward and Starsight on my bookshelves has prompted me to think about picking up the series.

I’ve also heard a little bit about it recently as well, and I’m ready to give this new one a try. What I really like about Brandon Sanderson so far is that I have enjoyed every one of his wide catalogue of books. They are all different, unique and have their own magic systems and plotlines, but it doesn’t matter. He has a way of writing them in such a way that every single one is enjoyable for their uniqueness and I can’t fault him.

 

The Appeal

The last book I’m going to put on my mood read list is The Appeal by Janice Hallett. I received a copy of this book for Christmas from my sister’s boyfriend Chris and what interests me about this book is that the story is told in different mediums. Rather than the typical prose we are used to, the story is told through the likes of emails, text messages and letters between characters. It’s a unique way to tell a story and I think it will be good for me to have a little bit of change and pick up something different.

 

If I get through all these books this month, then great! I’ll continue with the reading and keep you up-to-date with my Sunday Summary posts as to what I pick up next. I may not though… and that’s fine. I do have the likes of preparing for my exam to think about (and that comes first)! Once that’s done I’ll have plenty of time and opportunity to carry on reading.

I honestly can’t predict how progress with my June TBR is going to go. So far things are looking really great as I’ve nearly read my first book of the month already. That may change depending on what I pick up or what demands I have personally that I need to deal with first. I’ll just have to go with the flow this month. I definitely think that going with a more fluid monthly TBR this time is the way to go… And at the end of the month I can reflect on that and we can see whether this is something I want to adopt a little bit more permanently or not.

For now, that’s all for me in today’s June TBR post. What are you reading this month? Have you read any of the books on this list and if so, did you enjoy them? I’d love to know what you think!

 

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