Monthly Wrap Up

Reading Wrap Up ||| January 2017

How is January already over and done with? How are we in 2017? Why does time pass so quickly?! This month I managed to read 9 books. Impressive. Hopefully this’ll show how the rest of the year is going to go reading wise. Well here are the books I read this month.

Three Dark Crowns, by Kendare Blake 

This follows a set of triplets, all Princesses of their realm, who have different magical properties. One of them is a poisoner, who can consume and create any poison; one is an elemental, who can control all four elements around her; and the other is a naturalist, who has an animal familiar. Each of them should be as powerful as the other and then one day they will fight to the death to be Queen. 

I thought that I was going to have a favourite among these three princesses. That there would be one who I needed to win. I didn’t. I loved them all dearly, and it kind of hurt my soul to think that something would happen to two of them.

The storyline was brilliant. It didn’t have any annoying sequences when I wouldn’t be able to tell who was speaking because it was told between all three of their perspectives. But I didn’t. Each voice was slightly different and it made me fall in love with all three of them.

And that ending …. oh that ending. Let me tell you this, I jokingly predicted that ending like a third of the way into the book and I sort of dismissed it. But then the last chapters happened and I sat there like “wait?” and then that last sentence! I won’t say anything because spoilers but I will be putting a review soon in which I will talk all about my thoughts and feelings on this amazing book.

Trust me when I say that you need to pick it up. I didn’t think it was going to be as good as it was. I thought it might be a bit cliche but it wasn’t. Please, go and read this book that truly deserved my five stars.

Blood of Wonderland, by Colleen Oakes

This is the second book in the Queen of Hearts saga. And this follows Dinah, the future Queen of Hearts. I won’t say a lot because this is the second book but she’s on the run with her father hunting her. 

Dinah was so more mature than she was in the previous book, understandably, and though  I enjoyed that book it was nice to get away from the child and into a real adventure. This series has been released under a new name and so I received a copy of this from Netgalley to read and review (my review should be up in the next few days so keep an eye out for it). Overall I did enjoy this and I couldn’t wait to get to the big battle … which ended up not happening. But there were moments when I could tell that it was rushed and that there was a real lack of planning. If you’ve read the book then you’ll know the sections that I’m about. Hence why I gave this three stars. 

The Shadow Queen, by C.J. Redwine

Lorelai is the crown princess of Ravenspire but she’s also a fugitive. The people think that she, and her brother, died in a tragic accident on the same night as their father. But they didn’t. They survived for years, training and surviving until the day that they can take down their evil stepmother and return to home they love. 

There are two reasons I bought this book. The cover and the fact that it was on sale on Black Friday and I needed to spend that much to get free shipping. I think I’ve heard a couple of people talk about this book but I couldn’t remember. And initially I was slightly sceptical because the prologue was written like a children’s book. It is a fairy retelling. You can tell that from the get go. If you can’t tell from my slightly vague description it’s a Snow White retelling and you can tell that. And it is a relatively good retelling. But I just wish that the writing had been a little more mature from the get go.  It eventually became more mature and gripping but I was slightly hesitant because of the opening. Nevertheless, I did end up enjoying this book and gave it three stars. 

Attack on Titan: Volume One, by Hajime Isayama and Attack on Titan: Volume Two, by Hajime Isayama

Set one thousand years in the future, Attack on Titan is set in a world where humanity live behind giant walls to protect them from Titans; giant man eating creatures that have the ability to regenerate. For the past century, what’s left of humanity have lived the walls in peace and have thought nothing about what is going on outside expect for the Scout Regiment who try time and time again to reclaim land from the Titans. And then, the unimaginable happens. The Titans get in. 

Sorry I lumped these together but there would have major spoilers if I hadn’t. Anyway, I’ve watched the anime, which I love, so I know what’s going to happen up to the end of the first season. And then from there, anything could happen. But needless to say, I adored this. I haven’t read a manga in the longest time and it was so refreshing. The gore, the graphics; it was perfection and I hope that this year I get to read as many volumes of this as possible. And I gave both volume one and volume two five stars. 

The Diabolic, by S.J. Kincaid

Nemesis is a Diabolic. A humanoid creature that was created for one purpose, to protect one human. She might look like the average human girl, but with more muscle, but she’s a killer. Her stealth is unlike anything you’ve ever seen and if anyone threatens the life of her human, Sidonia, well there’s no one she wouldn’t kill. And then Sidonia is summoned by the power mad Emperor of the Galaxy to serve as a hostage. So Nemesis does the only thing she can think of, she becomes Sidonia. 

Honestly I didn’t know what I was going to think about this book. It sounded cool but I just wasn’t that sure. And then I started reading it. The opening was slow. In fact, I think the novel as whole was a slow burner but for some reason that just made me even more eager to read. Which is never the case. I usually get bored with slow burners but this was played off so well.

Not only did it have a brilliant premise, but some of the morals were just insane. It was set in a universe where science has been banned but they still use space ships and everything, but they don’t have the technology to repair them. I haven’t seen a world like this before and it was really interesting to look at this type of universe. There were so many different characters who weren’t outlandish. They were the sort of people that you could meet every day and I think we’ve met these types of people in our lives. The only difference being that they were all perfect which I didn’t necessarily realise until we met The Excess (humans who still live on planets rather space stations). Nemesis described as being mutated in different ways but subtly because of how different gravity. And since it’s set umpteen years in the future we can understand that they most likely mutated as well for some reason. But the most interesting mechanic for me was having Nemesis, who’d been told all of her life that she’d never be anything other than a Diabolic, suddenly begin to develop human emotions because she was truly being treated like a human. That really blew my mind. I suppose it’s probably related to how slaves were treated back in the day. From what i’ve read, though this could be wrong, they weren’t treated like white people. They were treated like animals and like C.S. Lewis said in Prince Caspain “If you’re treated like an animal, some day you’ll become one”. Now I’m not saying that slaves were animals, obviously, but they weren’t treated with the same rights as others so for someone back then to be treated with the same rights it would have strange. And to me, that’s kind of like what Nemesis was going through. By the way, I didn’t mean the above to offend anyone. Slavery has never been okay but I thought that technically speaking that might make sense to people. Feel free to correct me if you think I’m wrong and I just state again that I didn’t want to offend anyone out there.

If this hadn’t had such a slow opening it would have been close to perfect. But four stars is still pretty good.

The Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling

Mowgli is a man cub. A human baby was rescued from the jaws of death by a wolf pack and raised among them. With the help of Bagheera the Panther, Baloo the Bear and Kaa the snake, he learns the law of the Jungle and is able to use his skills to survive being hunted by the Tiger Shere Kahn. 

Surprisingly I never read this book growing up. I had dad’s old copy but I just didn’t read it. But I was watching the new live action version of the classic Disney film and I turned to my dad and said “I want to read it”.

There were some parts that I loved. I really enjoyed Mowgli’s story but it was different from what i’ve known for so long. Shere Kahn wasn’t as terrifying as I thought he’d be and Baloo isn’t as lazy. And question, how did I not know that King Louie was created by Disney? He was my favourite character growing up. I’m ginger and my dad used to say that I looked like an Orangutang so I’ve always had this strange connection with them. And I love King Louie so I was kind of shocked. Oh and Kaa, he’s good. What?

But for me there were sections of this book that I really didn’t like. Since I grew up with the film version it just wasn’t as beautiful as I thought it’d be. Of course, Disney would change things, they usually do, but I dunno I expected something more. And the other tales that were in there were both a mix of interesting and dull. I know if I’d have grown up with this then I wouldn’t be thinking this but I am. I did enjoy it, just not as much as I thought I would. So I gave it three stars. 

Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck

Lennie and George are two men living life as Ranch workers during the Great Depression. And though life isn’t easy for them, they both have to dream that helps them get through every day life. But nothing good can come from a world where Lennie, a man struggling against extreme cruelty, becomes a victim of his own strength. 

I studied this book a couple of years ago for English and I loved it. I’ve talked about this before. But I felt like rereading it and honestly it didn’t take that long to reread. It was just as brilliant and soul destroying as it was the first time. Five stars.

Heartless, by Marissa Meyer 

Catherine will one day become the Queen of Hearts; the Villain who scared us all as children. But she wasn’t always like that. In fact, she didn’t want to be Queen in the first place. All she wanted to do was run a bakery. But the King loved her and everything spiralled out of control; especially when a boy she saw in her dreams became her reality.

I can’t believe how long it took me to get my hands on this book. In fact, I don’t think this is even officially out yet in the UK. I saw the beautiful American edition on sale on Book Depository so I was like, why not! I loved it. Of course I loved it. It’s a Marissa Meyer book and she is simply one of the best authors out there; in my opinion. I’m going to upload a review in a few days so I won’t say anything else expect this truly deserves five stars. 

Read anything good this month? Or have we read the same thing? Let me know nevertheless.

-IAMAGEEKINGGINGER!

Book Total of 2017 – 9

XXX

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