#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S – Six books people associate with you

Six for Sunday

It’s that time of the week, Six for Sunday is upon us and this week is a prompt that I’ve been looking forward to! Books people associate with you so I put out a tweet and asked some people I know IRL via Facebook and these were the answers they all came up with.

Shadowhunters By Cassandra Clare
It’s strange thinking a couple of years ago I was a huge Shadowhunters nerd and now I’m not even up to date with all the books. (Although saying that I have just put the Mortal Instruments film on to half-watch while I blog). A good few of my videos when I started out on YouTube were Shadow Hunter related, one of my most popular being the about the reading order but I filmed it while I was ill and it’s terrible!

Laini Taylor books 
I think this may stem from when I read Strange the Dreamer and didn’t shut up about it for over two years because it blew my mind. I recommended it left, right and centre and I regret nothing but I love it.

Nevernight 
I only actually got into Nevernight midway through last year with the imminent release of Darkdawn. I’d been trying to get around to reading it for ages but was worried it wouldn’t live up to my expectations. I’m pleased to report I loved the heck out of it and it’s two sequels and proud this is one of the books people associate with me.

The Illuminae Files 
These are my favourite books so I’m very happy that they are ones that others associate with me. Although I can’t say I’m surprised as tend to talk about them all the time. (If you haven’t read these I highly recommend doing so, just saying!).

The Hobbit  
I used to read this every year so this one doesn’t shock me too much either. I was also obsessed with the films when they came out.

Star Wars Rogue One: Cataclysm
My fav

All of the books

 

spoiler free, Tags

RIP it or Ship it Book Tag

tag Thursday

So I was looking around for an interesting book tag for this week. I think I’ve done plenty of New Year and reflecting on 2019 stuff now and wanted to try something different. I found the RIP It or Ship It tag and decided it was perfect. The original tag was created by Emma’s Books and you should definitely check her videos out here.

The rules of the game are simple, to put a lot of fictional characters’ names into a cup and draw them out two at a time. I’m going to change it up a little. I’ve picked twenty characters and I’m going to roll two twenty-sided dice (D20) at a time and pair them up! Once I have a pairing, I’ll tell you if I RIP it or if I ship it.

Emma Carstairs (from Shadowhunters) & Janek (from Finding Home)
I think Emma would probably be a bit too intense for Janek and I feel like Emma would probably prefer some who would be better with a sword. RIP it.

Ezra Mason (from Illuminae) & Finnian (from Aurora Rising)
SHIP IT. This would be hilarious! Finn is super cocky and full of banter and I think him and Ezra would get along really well. I’m not sure Ezra would be too interested as it’s obvious how he feels about Kady but I’d like to think maybe before they got together maybe Ez and Finn could have had a thing.

Lira (from To Kill a Kingdom) & Paige Turner (from The Bookshop Girl)
Ship it. I feel like Paige would end up being utterly smitten with Lira because, HELLOOO SIREN?! And I can imagine Lira thinking Paige is adorable and bring Lira a TON of different books to read.

Issac Sullivan (from the Devouring Gray) & Sookie Stackhouse (From the Sookie Stackhouse books/True Blood)
This feels weird because of the age difference mainly. I thought that I would be okay with Sookie ending up with anyone else in the series from the

Lyra Daniels (from Navigating the Stars) & Izzy O’Neil (from The Exact Opposite of Okay)
Ship it. This is another one I think would be really lovely. I’m not sure who would be the worst influence on who though to be honest. They would absolutely get into trouble but I have no doubt they would have each others backs and it would be hilarious.

Remy Silvers (From The Loneliest Girl in the Universe) & Spensa (from Skyward)
Oooo I feel like can’t not ship the two space girls? Although I feel like they’re very different people so I’m not sure how they would get on in a relationship. Come to think of it I feel like they would argue a lot over silly things. RIP it.

Unless.

Remy is utterly unimpressed by Spensa because she takes so many risks and doesn’t always think about the risks she’s taking but Spensa keeps doing more and more stupid things to try and impress her. I changed my mind. I ship it.

Dorian (from a Throne of Glass) & Luna Lovegood (from Harry Potter)
Nope. This one feels weird. I adore Luna and Dorian can be sweet but he has FAR too much baggage and I don’t want to imagine him hurting my sweet girl. RIP it.

Janco (from Poison Study) & Gwen (from Once and Future)
Even if I could tweak the ages for this to be less weird I don’t think it would work and I wouldn’t want to see Janco get hurt by Gwen’s aspirations. Plus I think he might drive her nuts. RIP it.

Lucien Vanserra (from A Court of Thorns and Roses) & Jude Duarte (from The Cruel Prince)
YES. I SHIP IT. I mean I hadn’t really thought about it before but this would be amazing. I feel like this would have all the spirit of the Jude/Cardan ship but with added Lucien soft boy at times Vanserra. Perfect.

Mia Corverre (from Nevernight) & Kaz Brekker (from Six of Crows)
This feels like an interesting one. I haven’t finished Six of Crows yet but this was a suggestion given when I asked for characters and I feel like they definitely have their similarities but I’m not sure if they would go together well. If you’ve read SoC and the Nevernight books let me know what you think? For now, I’m going to say RIP it.

Well, that was certainly interesting! I pretty much ship anyone and everyone most of the time but there were definitely some that fit there better than others. I think my favourite here would maybe be Lucien and Jude or Lira and Paige! See any here you love? What two fictional characters from different books would you ship?

book reviews, spoiler free

The God Game

Book Review

50275977._SY475_The God Game by Danny Tobey

Rating: XXXX

Published January 9th 2019 by Gollancz

“So said God, or at least the first artifical intelligence bot claiming to inhabit the persona of God.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Towards the end of last year, the Stevie from Gollancz offered two ARCS out to people chosen at random and then each of those got to choose another person each to receive the same arc. I missed out on the first try but then the lovely Rebecca from ReviewsFeed chose me to receive a copy of The God Game with her! I finally managed to get around to reading it this month and I have been absolutely hooked the past few days. It sounded like it was a mix between Ready Player One and the more recently released Ctrl +S both of which I enjoyed immensely so I was fairly confident I would enjoy this and let me tell you if you enjoyed either of the books I’ve mentioned you will love this. I will say though that The God Game has a lot more sinister of a plotline than Ready Player One and there isn’t that 80’s nostalgia high to add to it (unless you count the War Games feel to parts of it) but it shines in its own completely different way and I’m so very here for it.

I’d also like to add there are definitely some content/trigger warnings some should be aware of, such as suicide and suicidal thoughts, bullying and minor drug use (I think I’ve covered them all but if I’ve missed any let me know and I’ll make sure to add them to my review.). 

To begin with, I sighed at the seemingly stereotypical set up in The God Game, the group of “nerdy” boys with the “token” girl that one of them is probably in love with and that stereotype is definitely here to a degree but in a way that is done really well. It’s not over the top or in your face and is barely mentioned but when it is it is done so to an organic way that’s hard to explain without spoilers so I won’t say any more but just wanted to give a heads up to those who might pick it up, read the first page or two and put it down because of that very overdone trope in these kind of books. This book is more than what it seems to begin with I promise. It’s fast-paced, well interconnected, full of tension and it keeps you guessing at every turn.

So we start with these stereotypical characters and over the course of the story we inevitably get to know them better, they each have hopes and dreams, even if some of their aspirations aren’t obvious even to them, o begin with. The character progression is interesting in this because we are naturally treated to more information about each of them as the story progresses and this is done very well, facts and histories are organically placed in the story and the progression to a degree is very much just seeing what was there in the first place but hidden, sometimes on purpose and sometimes not even known to the character. I found the whole process fascinating and the mortality and choices characters are faced with in this book feels very close to home in that they are easily decisions that feel visceral and real. The story itself is obviously interesting and I’ll get to that next but for me, it’s absolutely the characters, their choices and actions that make the God Game.

The plot for The God Game is not a new one but it is a good one. The idea of an A.I with a warped sense of perceived morality is something we’ve seen before in tv shows, films, books and video games and is an interesting concept because of the different takes on it and as with a fair amount of science fiction thrillers, the ease with which it can be imagined. It makes sense and true A.I’s feels like a step that the human race will eventually make or at least be able to and that brings so much more into the discussion although there’s not much of that in this book as our main characters are more worried about the consequences a bit closer to home than whether it should have been created or not although we get a little bit of background on “G.O.D” that is both interesting and vague enough to perhaps be a kind of urban myth itself. 

I could honestly go on about this book for ages, it was really thought-provoking in a lot of ways that I’m still thinking about almost a week after finishing it and that I think will stay with me for some time to come.

 

#SixforSunday, Roundup / Recap, spoiler free

S4S – 2019 Favourites

Six for Sunday

Happy Six for Sunday! This prompt for this week from the lovely Steph at A Little But A lot is 2019 favourites. I did a top ten favourite books for 2019 already SO I decided that I would tweak what I think the intended meaning was a little bit and give you a list of six of my favourite book-related things from last year!

London Darkdawn Launch
I didn’t go to a huge amount of events last year but the ones I went to I really enjoyed, especially the London event for the Darkdawn launch. I got to hang out with my friends, bring my husband to his first bookish event, visit Goldsboro books, eat ice cream, listen to Jay’s talk chaired by Samantha Shannon and then meet the guy himself and get my books signed, it was amazing and serial and honestly some of the most fun I’ve ever had at an event.

Being asked to recommend Star Wars books 
This one is going to sound a little silly but I’m always insanely flattered whenever anyone asks me for book recommendations and when I posted about Star Wars (which was a LOT last month) a number of people actually asked me about the Star Wars books and where to start, which ones I’d recommend etc and as someone who is a bit of a Star Wars fangirl and still trying to pluck up the courage to email Century about reviewing for them this really touched me and made my week with every message.

Doing a Q&A with Lauren James 
I was so amazed and excited to have been added to the blogger list for Walker this year, mainly as they publish books by Lauren James who is one of my all-time favourite authors so I pretty much lost my mind when not only did I manage to get an early copy of The Quiet at the End of the World but also had the opportunity to host aQ&Aon my blog with Lauren herself! I have never worked so hard on a set of questions in my entire life let me tell you. I’m so happy with how it turned out and it’s hands down I think my favourite blog post I’ve ever done.

Receiving early copies of some of my favourite books  
I guess this one might sound a little simple but I am honestly SO grateful for being able to work with so many great publishers who have given me fantastic opportunities to review books from their authors. Last year I got to receive and review early copies for some of my absolute favourite books including (but not limited to) Chasing the Shadows by Maria V. Snyder (who has been a favourite author of mine for over ten years now), The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James, The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman, Once and Future by Cori McCarthy and Amy Rose Capetta and Sanctuary by V.V/Vic James! (Thank you Maria, Walker Books, Titan Books, Rock the Boat/Oneworld and Gollancz).

Memento 
The Illuminae Files books by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff are my favourite books. If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time it’s quite likely you already know this as I don’t really shut up about them so when the Memento novella was announced I was devastated it wasn’t something that we would be likely to get in the UK until Goodchoice books in the US announced they were shopping their copies of Aurora Rising with them and I was over the moon to get my hands on one! Reading it was like coming home, I missed the world and format of these books so damn much and DAMN it was good.

Blogger Brunch at MCM 
I was invited to the Blogger Brunch at MCM London last May and although I’ve been invited to other events before this one just felt so relaxed and chill I had the best time. Meeting all of the authors was fun and chatting with them felt organic and it was the least nervous I have ever been in that kind of setting. Not to mention I met some other lovely bloggers, got a bag of goodies and some books signed! A brilliant event and I hope to get invited to another if they have one! Fingers crossed!

There we have it! Six of my bookish favourites from 2019, I’m excited to see what 2020 brings with it! Maybe I’ll finally e-mail Century?

 

 

spoiler free, Tags

New Year Resolutions Book Tag

tag Thursday
So the New Year is now well underway, I have a new hair colour, my bookshelves are rearranged (I have space on them now!) my TBR is decided and Nate is back to school SO I think it’s probably time for a New Year Book Tag! I found this particular one on Jenn’s blog at Jenniley.com and it ties in with my latest Six for Sunday post perfectly as it’s called the New Year Resolutions Book Tag!

1. An Author You’d Like To Read That You’ve Never Read

I definitely want to get around to reading something by Samantha Shannon this year. I’ve seen her chair a good few events now and met her at YALC twice and I love how into her world-building and naming system in particular, she gets. It just feels like such attention to detail I can’t read to read one of her books, probably Priory of the Orange Tree but I do have the first Bone Season book as well so we’ll see?

2. A Book You’d Like To Read

Ahh there are loads of books I’ve like to read! I think perhaps Gilded Cage from Vic James is a book I absolutely need to read this year! I adored Sanctuary and I’ve heard amazing things about this book, plus Vic is lovely!

3. A Classic You’d Like To Read

I don’t tend to read any classic books at all really but I’ve found myself tempted by Pride and Prejudice or perhaps Jayne Eyre? What classics can you recommend?

4. A Book You’d Like To Re-Read

Honestly maybe the Illuminae Files books via audiobook. I can never get enough of that trilogy. I’m tempted to try the audiobook for Aurora Rising ready for the sequel later this year too.

5. A Book You’ve Had For Ages and Want To Read

Again, SO many books that come under this. I’m going to say Six of Crows, which you’ll know about if you read my Six for Sunday post that I started reading last year (at last) but I kept NOT finishing due to having different deadlines etc but this year it’s time to finally finish it.

6. A Big Book You’d Like To Read

I don’t really like big books as I find them so uncomfortable to read. I (as previously mentioned) do however want to read Priory of the Orange Tree this year and that is A BEAST.

7. An Author You’ve Previously Read and Would Like To Read More Of

Holly Black I think? I really enjoyed the Folk of Air trilogy and I need some more of that twisted fae fix, to be honest.

8. A Book You Got For Christmas and Would Like To Read

All of them? Haha. I think maybe Sorcery of Thorns is the one I’d like to read the most though, or maybe the Martian?

9. A Series You Want To Read From Start to Finish

I would say the Cinder books but I think there are quite a few of them so maybe the Renegades trilogy by Marissa Meyer? I’ve had the first book for a good while!

10. A Series You Want To Finish That You’ve Already Started

Most of the series that I want to finish I only haven’t finished because the next books aren’t out yet but one exception and probably my choice for this question is I can’t wait to read Lady Smoke! I really enjoyed Ash Princess and I’m interested to see where the story goes next.

11. Do You Set Reading Goals? If So, How Many Books Do You Want To Read in 2020?

I’ve been doing the Goodreads challenge since 2012 so yes. This year I decided on fifty books after only just making it to sixty this year. I figure I can always make it higher later in the year if I’m doing really well.

12. Any Other Reading Goals?

Sort of? Like unofficial ones I guess? You can check out my six bookish resolutions for the year in my latest Six for Sunday post right here.

Are there any books you MUST read this year?

#SixforSunday, spoiler free, Uncategorized

S4S – Six Bookish Resolutions

Six for Sunday

The first Six for Sunday post of 2020 is here! I just wanted to say a massive thank you to Steph from A Little But A lot for coming up with all of these prompts over the past year or so (I’ve been doing it for about a year now I think). I love taking part each week (even when the prompts are super hard haha). Honestly, folks, Steph is super lovely and works her butt off, make sure to check her out.

This weeks prompt is Six Bookish Resolutions, I try not to make any solid resolutions of any kind usually but this year I did find myself making a small list of personal things I’d like to achieve like making sure to be active every day, taking a creative writing course of some kind and keeping on top of my blog as well as things like meeting the critical role cast this year and getting a tattoo but this what bookish resolutions could I make?

Finish Six of Crows! 
Okay, so I know this one is a little specific but it’s driving me nuts! Every time I go to carry on reading it I end up having to put it down to read something I’m on a deadline for and I never learn. So this year I’m going to clear a space for Six of Crows and I’m going to damn well finish it! Then I might even read Crooked Kingdom as well!!

Think more about the books I buy
I ended up on a bit of a little book buying spree at the end of December but I’m back to really trying to decide how much I need a book RIGHT NOW as opposed to just buying immediately on a whim.

Read the books I have already
This kind of goes hand in hand with the previous one. I have so many books to read and I did make a bit of dent in my physical TBR last year but I’d like to continue to do so. Not to mention the more books I read, the more books I can buy at a later date? (I’m weak okay?!)

Read more indie or smaller publisher books 
I quite often pass over indie or books from smaller publishers as I find they don’t tend to grab my attention as much, maybe it’s some strange bias I have or I worry that I need to read “popular” books. I’m not sure, whatever it is, it can get in the bin this year because I would like to read more of them! (Feel free to recommend your favourite books from indie and small publishers!)

Get back into Audiobooks. 
Since my office closed down and I’ve been a stay at home mum I haven’t found a lot of time for Audiobooks and I really miss them. One thing I thought I would like to do would be to listen to an audiobook for a little each day, maybe while doing housework or going for a walk while Nate is at school. I think my first one this year might be the second Discovery of Witches book.

Make review notes and review promptly
This is kind of part reading, part blogging related really. I have a habit of finishing a book and rushing in the next one and then a week or two later when I have to write the review I can’t even tell you what the name of the main character is. For the love of books future me, please write some notes, you’re phone is always an arms reach away, use it, or post-it notes, just SOMETHING.

There we have it! Six bookish resolutions for the year! I wonder how many I’ll actually keep? Do you have any book-related new years resolutions?

 

book reviews, spoiler free

Starsight by Brandon Sanderson

Book Review
42769202
Starsight 
by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: XXXXX

Published November 26th by Gollancz

“A hero does not choose her trials. She steps into the darkness, then she faces what comes next.”

All her life, Spensa has dreamed of becoming a pilot. Of proving she’s a hero like her father. She made it to the sky, but the truths she learned about her father were crushing.

Spensa is sure there’s more to the story. And she’s sure that whatever happened to her father in his starship could happen to her. When she made it outside the protective shell of her planet, she heard the stars–and it was terrifying. Everything Spensa has been taught about her world is a lie.

But Spensa also discovered a few other things about herself–and she’ll travel to the end of the galaxy to save humankind if she needs to. 

I was lucky enough to have been picked to take part in the blog tour for the first book in this series, Skyward, last year (spoiler-free review here) and it was one of my favourite reads of the year and I’ve been dying to get back to see what Spensa and M-Bot have been up to now so I jumped at the chance last month to receive a copy from Gollancz in celebration of its release (thank you Stevie and co!)

This definitely took a very different turn from what I spent the whole year expecting and I’m so here for it, I enjoyed the first book but this absolutely ramped it up another notch. I immensely enjoyed the character progression from both Spensa and M-Bot that we get to see in this book. I love that Spensa who has always been hot-headed and relatively aggressive by some standards, in this book is forced to reign it in or be discovered/fail her mission so we really see another side to her where she tends to think things through a little more and although I think that it’s all part of what makes her personality she definitely improves from it as it opens more options to her and allows her to learn more and take more in. M-Bot is going through some self-discovery and although at first, I wish he had maybe featured more I think the way his story progresses actually works very well and is beneficial for both him and Spensa.

We get a lot of little reveals and information throughout this book, about the Krell and the society they come from in particular which was spun in a way I really enjoyed. It was nice to understand more about the other alien races and to see some of their unique perspectives as well as learning how humanity’s presence in the galaxy has affected them, for better for worse as well as discovering more about the history of humans themselves. There is a nice dose of political intrigue involved which I found added another interesting spin (see what I did there – I’m not sorry) to the whole story as well and I loved never really knowing what anyone’s true motives where. Starsight definitely evolved from the action/adventure story into something so much richer and more complex.

Starsight also features some important themes and messages throughout which I think are really valuable and also played important parts in the story simultaneously such as the idea of individuality, a collective society as well as prejudice and bias, messages that I think will always be relevant and we see Spensa (and others) realising that in order to really understand others it’s important to listen.

Although I do think I enjoyed Starsight more than Skyward I do find it very difficult to compare the two as they are, in my opinion, fairly different books and although I loved what Sanderson did with Skyward and the whole Flight school kind of thing (most people know I love the whole “boarding school” kind of setting) this is another level and featured even more of the things I love. Like the Kitsen. The Kitsen are amazing.

The ending was immense and I am in desperate need of book three already although I have a bad feeling that we might have to wait an extra year for the third book as Sanderson is releasing a large book from a different series next year but this is all speculation so we shall see. Fingers crossed it’s not too long of a wait! I hope you all have a happy new year and I’ll see you in 2020!