book reviews, Comics, Uncategorized

Journey to Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker: Allegiance

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45485630Journey to Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker: Allegiance 
by Ethan Sacks (writer), Luke Ross (artist)

Rating: XXX

Published November 19th by Marvel Comics

“I wasn’t going to allow my friends to suffer while I can do something about it either”

BEFORE THE EXCITING EVENTS OF STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER! Hounded by the FIRST ORDER across the galaxy, the RESISTANCE is in dire need of ships, weapons and recruits to make a final stand against KYLO REN’S forces. Desperation drives a delegation led by GENERAL LEIA ORGANA and REY to entreat the Rebel veteran’s one-time allies, THE MON CALAMARI, to join the fight – but decades after Imperial occupation enslaved their planet, there are those willing to stop at nothing to prevent another war from bloodying the waters of Mon Cala. A system away, POE DAMERON and FINN have their own mission: to hunt down a weapons cache on the remote moon of Avedot, unaware that they are being hunted by the most notorious criminal gang in the galaxy!

Rey-Star-Wars-Allegiance

So although the Journey to The Rise of Skywalker content is meant to be read before the film is released, I had only read Resistance Reborn before going into the cinema and instead found that I tried to read through some of the Journey content afterwards instead to fill the hole where the film novelisation should be. The Allegiance comics are one such distraction and I haven’t read a Star Wars comic in a good long while with the exception of the first Poe Dameron comic last year (or maybe even the year before…it’s been a while) so I wasn’t sure what to expect, not to mention obviously things will change with different writers and artists. This review covers issues one to four of the Allegiance comic series designed to link the events of The Last Jedi to The Rise of Skywalker.

At the start of the comic, we get one of the iconic Star Wars scrolls and honestly this was a brilliant start and feels better than the one we got at the beginning of TROS (The Rise of Skywalker). Not everyone reads every single bit of content or plays Fortnite (yes I’m still salty we got the emperors “returning speech” in a Fornite event okay…) so I was immediately pretty done with the TROS crawl but this one feels relevant and I feel actually does a good job, off to a very good start!

If you’ve read Resistance Reborn then this whole scenario probably sounds quite familiar, Leia appealing to others for aid, Finn and Poe off an a side quest for the rebellion somewhere and it’s very much the same here which has the unfortunate effect of making Allegiance seem like a heavily watered-down version of the novel with the novel having better emotional stakes and pay off. These comics were released first but I think in the timeline the novel comes first as it’s pretty much directly after the end of The Last Jedi but who knows, as it always is with Star Wars, the timeline is a little hazy.

On its own, however, Allegiance is not a bad read, there are no especially huge moments but I think they’ve done pretty well to get through two stories with some interesting character interactions and such within the space of four issues. Saying that, the story is relatively paper-thin but honestly a little fun and they really reminded me of the old weekly Star Wars comics  I used to read when I was a kid. The characters have missions to complete, they attempt to, trouble happens, they get out of trouble simple and easy, a bit like the equivalent of the “monster of the week” style you find with some TV shows and the first few seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Honestly, it works though and it was only really on reflection for this review that I realised how little story there really was. It was by no means mind-blowing but it was enjoyable and as a result, I ended up ordering some more Star Wars comics and I do think I’m ready to see TROS again at some point in the future so I guess it did its job? Not to mention it explains a couple of things like the inclusion on the Mon Calamari forces in TROS and the presence of Admiral Ackbar’s son who has a few lines in the film.

With not a huge amount of story there were a few other things we managed to get out of the Allegiance comics, one of which was more Rose Tico and not only more Rose content in general but alongside Rey! She doesn’t play a massive part but is integral and has some brilliant characterisation that was sorely lacking in the film. Her personality really shines through and it seems like she and Rey have become good friends which was lovely and honestly, I’d read a whole comic about them two hanging out and going on missions etc.

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Essentially being one of the main characters of the sequel franchise Rey obviously gets a lot of page space and we get to see her doing a little force training as well as a fair bit of fighting (again like the older comics, we get a large amount of action), during which we see her beginning to use the force a lot more which I enjoyed. One thing I really noticed about her character was just how angry she was which felt very at odds with how Rey is portrayed in the films, sure she gets angry but she spends so much of these comics making threats and barring her teeth in 80% of her scenes that just seemed a little out of character although it does harken back to a lot of Anakin’s reactions in Revenge of the Sith so maybe this was the idea? To spread a little seed of doubt as to Rey’s “place” in the force in addition to the “Dark Rey” we see in the trailer.

Rey was also one of the only characters I had any problems with art wise too as she just seems like someone decided to see how many action figure poses they could put her in instead of just standing normally like an actual person and not a power ranger (see above image).

rose-rey

I haven’t really mentioned the Finn, Poe and BB8 side of things for which I would be remiss but there’s unfortunately not a lot to say about it. It’s good, it’s fun and we are treated to the usual Finn and Poe b/romance banter but it does sadly feel largely unimportant and unneeded which is a shame as they’re really fun characters.

Overall this was an enjoyable read and it certainly scratched an itch but just wasn’t satisfying enough for me. Definitely not required reading for TROS in any capacity other than understanding the presence of the Mon Calamari.

 

#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?

 

Film Review, Uncategorized

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and why it doesn’t matter if it’s not “good”

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DISCLAIMER: I had planned to write a review for The Rise of Skywalker and I tried doing so while I was pretty damn ill last week and as a result, I just wrote eight paragraphs about Star Wars while deep in a cold medicine haze. I’ve read it back again and my points are clear or well-articulated but it still kind of makes sense to me and I think it might be one of the most passionate pieces I’ve ever written so I’ve decided I’m still going to post it. Just thought you might like a warning before you dive in. Speaking of warnings there are actually two paragraphs about TROS (I promise) and although I wouldn’t say they contained actual spoilers I just wanted to warn you I do vaguely mention some things but nothing I would say is film ruining.

First off, apologies for the lack of a book review today. I had been planning to review Starsight or one of the Star Wars Comics but I fell behind reading while I was ill and my comics only arrived today so I’ve not had time to read, let alone digest them enough to review them for you folks. I do want to talk (shock horror) about Star Wars though and although I do want to talk primarily about The Rise of Skywalker which seems to have become a highly debatable and wide-ranging topic of emotions right now I also want to talk a little about Star Wars films as a whole. This review will be free of huge spoilers and will only mention things vaguely so should be safe if you are yet to see the film.

First a little background. I’m not a big popular Star Wars blogger but I have loved Star Wars for a very long time and I occasionally blog about it. I remember watching the original films with my parents when I was little and falling in love with the entirety of the universe, I wanted to be a pilot, I wanted to be a Jedi, I wanted to be a princess. I adored Leia’s sass and the way she could handle herself but could also kiss the guys without being reduced to just a love interest. I loved playing in pretend space battles with my friends, usually, I would be Leia and I would use a blaster and a lightsaber because of course, Leia was a Jedi. The films were full of fun and hijinks and I was beyond myself with excitement when the prequel films came out and I could watch them in the cinema! I became obsessed, I had an X-Wing and a Millenium falcon and I was stupidly proud of my complete Star Wars Tazo collection and my high score on the pod racing arcade machine in that one arcade on holiday where we stayed for a week. I had a huge crush on Obi-Wan and then later, Anakin (I was young okay?!) and posters and drawings all over my walls. I was devastated when the prequels ended and although I clung to it, eventually my Star Wars obsession gave way to video games, going out to gigs every weekend and books with vampires in them. When the sequel trilogy came out everything came rushing back and the moment I could get a baby sitter I spent the only spare money I had to go see The Force Awakens as soon as possible to avoid any spoilers and I was ten years old again. Nostalgia is a powerful thing, but we’ll get back to that. I’ve continued to devour Star Wars content over the years but every so often I do pull myself back a little and I still haven’t finished Clone Wars, I haven’t read the Thrawn books yet but I consider myself a fan. Even if my Tazo collection has been lost to time somewhere.

So The Rise of Skywalker came out last week. I went with a friend to see a triple bill of the sequel trilogy culminating with TROS at midnight and I loved every minute. Watching Star Wars in the cinema, for me at least, is such a fantastic experience and I’m so happy and grateful that I have been able to do so. Despite rewatching all of the previous films numerous times this month already I watched TFA and TLJ with rapt attention, savouring every moment despite being pretty under the weather. I had brought popcorn for during TROS but it remained untouched because I found it impossible to look away from the screen. It’s such a very fast-paced film that if you even blink too long you’ll miss something. I enjoyed it immensely though, I was glad that although it is very all over the place it was vaguely heading in the same direction unlike the whole Canto-Bight fiasco in TLJ. I was so pleased we got some great scenes between not only Finn and Poe but the trio in general, Rey included who in a lot of moments acted like a dysfunctional but adorable poly trio.

We got some brilliant sprawling locations and backdrops, some great imagery, I cannot wait to get my hands on the art book next year to see all that concept art goodness. The score too was, as usual, a work of art from the amazing John Williams, although I did feel some of the placing throughout the film was strange but I’ll admit something I wasn’t hugely focusing on and probably won’t very much until next years home release. We got a lot of old throwbacks that could be seen as purely “fanservice” but honestly, I am 100% fine with that, they’re there for fans to enjoy after all, shouldn’t that be the idea of the film in general? I walked out of the cinema after that first showing and felt…satisfied. Where there things I wish had happened differently? Absolutely. Was it a perfect film? Definitely not. There was a butt load of things wrong with it but THAT IS STAR WARS. Which brings me onto my next/perhaps main point.

Star Wars has never been perfect. It’s always been a little camp or a little silly and I love that it is able to be both a source of fun as well as inspiration. Although Leia had a profound effect on me and the person I am today that’s not something I think about every time I watch a New Hope. I think about how hilarious and whinny Luke is, I facepalm myself a million times, I don’t (often) think about the convenient button to destroy the entire Deathstar (I do a little bit more now because I think about how if people didn’t question this would we have missed out on Rogue One and I think about nerdy, adorable and in love Galen Urso in Catalyst). Empire is often heralded as the “best” Star Wars film and yeah it’s awesome but it also has Luke crawling into the guts of his dead mount, kissing his sister and damn Yoda was weird hey? The power of that movie I think is tied into the reveal, you can really tell the people who watched Empire not knowing about the relationship between Vader and Luke (myself included) because it was a HUGE moment for most of them (again, myself included).

The Prequel films get a lot of hate and they are incredibly ridiculous but I will consume any form of content about or featuring Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan, although it’s cringe-worthy now I thought Anakin and Padme’s love story was this big tragic epic and I had so many angsty feelings about it when I was younger. When I think of the prequels I don’t think about the crappy CGI, the glaring plot holes and I (try) not to think about just how creepy Anakin actually is, especially for the first half of AotC. The films were objectively “terrible” but I loved them and for a lot of people it was their first introduction to Star Wars, for some they still are. We make jokes about how bad these films were but I’m sure it’s not just me who still watches the crap out of them anyway.

The sequel trilogy has been subject to even more criticism for many different reasons. we are a LOT more critical about films now, “everyone’s a critic” as the saying goes and that’s fine. I mean, I’m literally a blogger who writes reviews but when I write I don’t tell you “this book is bad, this book is good.” I try to stick with how I feel about a book or a show or whatever, I try to explain what I liked or didn’t like about it, I’m in no position to tell you what a book or a film is to anyone I can only tell you what it is to me and a lot of people engaging in discussions about Star Wars lately seem to have no regard for that so I’ve been trying to avoid them where possible apart from sobbing at gifs on Tumblr. I’m someone who came out of The Last Jedi, confused but mainly annoyed but two more showings later and I was in love with it and despite its perceived shortcomings I love that film to death. The problems with this sequel trilogy are a lot more prevalent because we scrutinize films a lot more now and a lot older “bad films” don’t face the same treatment because “it was a different time” or because they are protected by the wonderful bubble of nostalgia that we humans cannot get enough of nowadays, again myself included.

Does this absolve films from being “bad?” No, not really but I just think there are more important things than tearing apart people who loved or hated it, as I like to say “Let people have nice things”. YES we should have seen some better queer rep in TROS, YES, Rose Tico was done dirty and I have plenty of other spoiler opinions I’m happy to chat about but I think it’s so important it’s done in a healthy and safe way/environment. A lot of people are upset, angry and/or hurting right now and honestly, no-one cares about your “hot take”.

….This is where I trailed off for some reason, I think maybe the cold medicine might have knocked me out?  Either way, I hope you’ve enjoyed or at least got a laugh out of…whatever that was. I promise next week everything will/should be back to normal!

 

Uncategorized

End of Year Book Tag

tag Thursday

I am dead from Star Wars this morning and with that end still painfully fresh in my mind I figured this was definitely a good time for the End of Year Book Tag. That and it’s you know…almost the end of the year and all that. This one is from the lovely Ariel Bissett! You can check out the original video here.

Questions

1. Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?
Yes. Good Omens, Revenger and Six of Crows are just some of them. Also How to Train your Dragon but I’m reading that in bits with Nate so I figure that probably doesn’t count. I’m really looking forward to carrying on with six of Crows especially though.

2. Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?
Not particularly. I think Sherlock Holmes & The Christmas Demon would have been a good one to go out on as it’s so wintery and a tad festive (in a weird way).

3. Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?
Not this year now and I haven’t really had much time to think about next year very much yet although I do have a couple of arcs that seem very promising and of course, Aurora Burning,

4. What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?
There’s not really much time left now but would love to at least finish Starsight and Somebody give this heart a pen and ideally start The God Game or The Sky Weaver depending how I feel towards the last week or so.

5. Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favourite book of the year?
At this point probably not. I’m enjoying Starsight but I don’t think it’ll top some of the other books I’ve loved this year.

6.Have you already started making reading plans for 2020? 
Only for the ARCs that I have that I need to read ASAP, there are a couple of books I know I want to finally get to like the Cinder and the rest of the series, obviously Six of Crows and The Crooked Kingdom etc but not much further ahead than that really.

If you need me I’m going to be hibernating under a blanket while playing Battlefront and drinking Hot Chocolate when I should be reading or planning one of the two Dungeons and Dragons sessions I’m running this weekend.

book reviews, Uncategorized

Sherlock Holmes & The Christmas Demon

Book Review
44667139._SY475_Sherlock Holmes & The Christmas Demon
by James Lovegrove

Rating: XXXXX

Published: October 22nd by Titan Books

“Father Christmas! Halt right there!” The words were delivered by Sherlock Holmes in the most stentorian and authoritative tone of voice.”

It is 1890, and in the days before Christmas Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson are visited at Baker Street by a new client. Eve Allerthorpe – eldest daughter of a grand but somewhat eccentric Yorkshire-based dynasty – is greatly distressed, as she believes she is being haunted by a demonic Christmas spirit.

Her late mother told her terrifying tales of the sinister Black Thurrick, and Eve is sure that she has seen the creature from her bedroom window. What is more, she has begun to receive mysterious parcels of birch twigs, the Black Thurrick’s calling card…

Eve stands to inherit a fortune if she is sound in mind, but it seems that something – or someone – is threatening her sanity. Holmes and Watson travel to the Allerthorpe family seat at Fellscar Keep to investigate, but soon discover that there is more to the case than at first appeared. There is another spirit haunting the family, and when a member of the household is found dead, the companions realise that no one is beyond suspicion.

I’ve spent years being intrigued by Sherlock Holmes and his various tales although found myself to have not actually read very many (A study in Scarlett and The Hound of the Baskervilles being the only ones). I’ve enjoyed a few adaptations and films here and there but, as I think might have been the case for more than a few people I really became infatuated interested after watching the BBC’s modern take on Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Before the show, I had always thought Sherlock to be rather old and stuffy but the show definitely helped to breathe some new life into it and shortly after was when I decided to finally read some of the stories surrounding the famous sleuth. My attention waned after a time and I hadn’t gone back to any more Sherlock stories until the lovely Sarah from Titan books offered me a review copy of a new book by James Lovegrove called Sherlock & The Christmas Demon. My acceptance was three-fold here. First, the cover is absolutely stunning and I think it’s one of the most aesthetically pleasing books I own that and my curiosity about a “new” Sherlock Holmes book pretty much already sold me but as soon as I recognised the authors name it became a definite yes from me after reading the Firefly story that James had also penned (Big Damn hero – My spoiler-free review can be found here and Q&A here) earlier in the year which I adored.

Set in late 1980, Sherlock Holmes & The Christmas Demon this is still fairly early in the timeline of tales for Sherlock and Watson and although they have gained some notoriety with Watson having published two books they are still relatively unknown to some which added a nice dynamic in that I didn’t feel hugely behind or left out having not read a lot of other material and made it hit or miss if other characters had even heard of the pair. Although the story begins in London it takes Sherlock and Watson to a large foreboding castle turned family estate in York. The cold, uninviting castle surrounded by snow and ice is the perfect setting for the story of the Christmas Demon, known as the Black Thurrick. Despite being rather bare the castle really does seem to be a character in its own right and I’m considering putting the heating on in my flat just thinking about it. Brr. Castle Allethorpe, the lake beside it, the forest nearby, the town and tavern five miles away, it’s all described so well without being overlong or boring and in such a way that it’s exceedingly easy to conjure in the mind’s eye and adds to the atmosphere in a noticeable way.

The characters, much like their surroundings can vary from cold and unfriendly, to moderately warm and forthcoming and are equally as easy to imagine vividly, if not with a physical representation then certainly their personalities and traits which shine through and everyone just fits so well. Sherlock and Watson especially are what I would call picture perfect, they feel absolutely on point, their essence has been perfectly captured and you can tell James really loves them.

The story itself is elegant, a little spooky and so well put together from the prologue of sorts to the initial mystery, twists throughout and eventual reveal and deduction break down from Holmes, not to mention the ending on a whole was wonderful, perfectly festive and beautifully Holmes-esque. I like cliffhanger endings but there’s just something so wholesome about a well wrapped up tale. Everything fits together so well and it was a truly enjoyable read and one that means I will definitely be reading more of James’s Sherlock work!

book reviews, Uncategorized

Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

Book Review

26032912._SY475_Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

Rating: XXXX

Published November 19th by Hot Key Books

“You will be nothing. You are nothing…You come from nothing and it is to nothing you will return,” he whispers against my neck.

He will be the destruction of the crown and the ruination of the throne.

Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold onto. Jude learned this lesson when she released her control over the wicked king, Cardan, in exchange for immeasurable power.

Now as the exiled mortal Queen of Faerie, Jude is powerless and left reeling from Cardan’s betrayal. She bides her time determined to reclaim everything he took from her. Opportunity arrives in the form of her deceptive twin sister, Taryn, whose mortal life is in peril.

Jude must risk venturing back into the treacherous Faerie Court, and confront her lingering feelings for Cardan, if she wishes to save her sister. But Elfhame is not as she left it. War is brewing. As Jude slips deep within enemy lines she becomes ensnared in the conflict’s bloody politics.

And, when a dormant yet powerful curse is unleashed, panic spreads throughout the land, forcing her to choose between her ambition and her humanity…

Queen of Nothing has been one of my most anticipated books to be released this year. I hadn’t been sure I enjoyed some aspects of The Cruel Prince but fell head over heels, irrevocably in love with The Wicked King and have been eager to get my hands on the conclusion to the trilogy since I read the last page of the second book. So much so in fact that I pre-ordered stupidly early and was lucky enough to receive my Waterstones edition (you get letters from Cardan to Jude included as an extra and if you ship those idiots then you will NOT want to miss out on this edition trust me) almost a week before the official release date but I had agreed to wait until my friend received hers to read it so I patiently waite (By patiently I mean that I got my taller than me, husband to hide my copy on top of the board games which are, in turn, on top of my bookshelves so I couldn’t reach it). When the time came to start it I may have then read it over the course of about two days. I know a lot of people have read it much quicker, some in one sitting but I had NaNoWriMo to contend with and a four-year-old who isn’t at school much so I’m pretty proud of what I did manage.

So now to discuss the book itself…I definitely enjoyed it, maybe on par with The Cruel Prince or a little lower. If I had to rank them in order I would say that Queen of Nothing was probably my least favourite but it was just in good, just in different ways. The Cruel Prince was, I think, the forming of Jude, in The Wicked King we see her coming into her own and then in Queen of Nothing she is out of her comfort zone and we see yet another side to Jude that is something between the two versions I think that we’ve seen so far. Jude has become one of my favourite fictional characters over the course of these books for many different reasons, I love that she’s smart but not to the point of absolute cockiness, she makes mistakes and she admits them, she’s conniving and she plays people and tricks them like the best (and worst) of the fey and I love that she just feels so unapologetic. “What could I become if I stopped worrying about death, about pain, about anything? If I stopped trying to belong? Instead of being afraid, I could become something to fear.” or in this book “I feel like a constellation of wounds, held together with string and stubbornness.” Jude is strong on so many different levels and I love her.

I loved seeing other sides to a lot of the other characters as well, especially a bit more of an insight into Maddoc and Tayrn and my boy Cardan really made me proud in this book too. A new character that was introduced quite early on in this book who had been mentioned at least in passing previously was a great addition too and one that became a firm favourite of mine too, particularly how she was brought into the story. A lot of the relationships, not just romantic ones got a lot of attention in this book as well which was a welcome addition and one much needed, I think, in a third book as we already know the characters fairly well but how they interact with each other and their reasons for doing so adds another needed level to them. I’m glad the members of the Court of Shadows their own part in the story too and no one was really forgotten, the good and the bad.

There wasn’t a whole lot of world-building in Queen of Nothing but as the third book in a trilogy set in the same places as the first two books it didn’t really need it, I particularly loved the fey presence in the human world and would honestly love a book or group of short stories around the folk there as I found the concept a really interesting one. Some of the insights we did get however was a little more information regarding the political side of the Fey Courts and some great new lore.

As for the plot and story itself, it was enjoyable but probably the least strong out of the three books. There are the odd few little twists and one that was a little shocking but I don’t think it really had the effect on me that it was meant to for some reason or another, whether that’s because I had come to expect big twisty moments from these books and over-hyped it for myself or because it seemed like something I expected or at the very least expected to be solved I’m not sure. I liked that it wasn’t completely out of left field though and made a lot of sense. The story is well-paced for the most part although I did find the last third felt a bit off balance especially the part that I imagine would be the last climax of the story. Again, it wasn’t bad and it could genuinely be my expectations and the final book curse, I often don’t really like final books and have found very few that fully meet my expectations or hopes and feel flat. Queen of Nothing isn’t the worst final book I’ve read but doesn’t quite make it into some of the best, this is all personal opinion though and I know a lot of people really did enjoy the ending. I enjoyed the ending but just felt that bit before needed some more whammy to it.

Overall the book really is a great read that I enjoyed reading I just wish it wasn’t the end although I don’t think there’s really much else to do with the story now in a vein that I would enjoy or perhaps do it justice. Either way, this is a series I’ve loved and I think will stick with me for a good long while, especially some of the beautiful quotes Holly has given us throughout the three books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff

Book Review

39281503._SY475_Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff

Rating: XXXX

Published September 5th 2019 by Harper Voyager UK

“But to live in the hearts of those we leave behind is to never die. And to burn in the memories of our friends is to never say goodbye.”

Spoilers for Nevernight and Godsgrave.

The greatest games in Godsgrave’’s history have ended with the most audacious murders in the history of the Itreyan Republic.

Mia Corvere, gladiatii, escaped slave and infamous assassin, is on the run. Pursued by Blades of the Red Church and soldiers of the Luminatii legion, she may never escape the City of Bridges and Bones alive. Her mentor Mercurio is now in the clutches of her enemies. Her own family wishes her dead. And her nemesis, Consul Julius Scaeva, stands but a breath from total dominance over the Republic.

But beneath the city, a dark secret awaits. Together with her lover Ashlinn, brother Jonnen and a mysterious benefactor returned from beyond the veil of death, she must undertake a perilous journey across the Republic, seeking the final answer to the riddle of her life. Truedark approaches. Night is falling on the Republic for perhaps the final time.

Can Mia survive in a world where even daylight must die?

Well…It took me far too long but I finally did it, I finished Darkdawn and with it, the Nevernight Chronicles has ended. How do I feel about that I hear some of you ask? Honestly meh. I think I have a very real problem with books that are the last in their series and it’s very very rare that one ever lives up to my expectations, thankfully most of the book is pretty damn good.

There are a lot of great moments throughout Darkdawn, not just for Mia but most of the characters which I enjoyed, we get to see things from the POV of others which was really enjoyable and helped to make the story feel bigger than just Mia and it was great to see all these different connections she’s made throughout the books come together. I feel like in Darkdawn we really get to see Mia’s true self and as much as we all love her she’s obviously not perfect and in some ways could be considered no better than those who she has set out to kill (or killed already) and the third book defintley doesn’t ignore that which was refreshing for a story with a trained assassin as the main character.

The footnotes are back and honestly, maybe better than ever. Don’t forget that if they bug you, they’re just extra world-building bits so you can skip them if you want but they’re pretty fun and thin out towards the end of the book so you’re not stopping every five seconds to read one (thanks Nevernight). I lost count of how many amazing quotes this book has too, some amazing writing has gone into this, not to mention the twists along the way and I absolutely had a good cry now and again with one really big ugly cry but I’ll leave the details of those for the spoiler-filled video and/or reading Vlog to come because I have A LOT of thoughts.

Unfournatetly, for me this book felt like it suffered from last book syndrome. Although there weren’t too many moments that really bothered me, one moment in particular really has me up in arms and I found some parts to be a little much I guess? It’s hard to articulate but I didn’t come away from Darkdawn with the kind of feeling I thought I would, which is not to say it’s inherently bad in any way because overall it was bloody good, but perhaps I had the conclusion hyped up a different way in my mind, I’m not sure. I’m still glad to have read it, even with the negatives it was an enjoyable and at times heartbreaking read and in Jay’s own words, “However it ends, at least you had a story to tell.”