WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday June 19th

It feels like it’s been ages since I did my last WWW Wednesday post, it’s been a long fortnight let me tell you but now it’s time for me to give you this fortnight’s bookish report with our usual three questions!

If you want to join in with WWW don’t forget to send over a big thank you to Sam at Taking on a World of Words for keeping WWW alive and kicking.

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

The Paper and Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie.

I decided to get a book read for myself between a few books from publishers lately and I decided The Paper and Hearts Society would be a good choice as I’ve heard so many people say great things about and honestly it’s already SO good. I’ve decided Ed is my soulmate even though I totally don’t deserve him. I’m already so invested in everyone and I’m so terrified of the moment you just know is coming when things start to go wrong, I’m not sure I’m going to be able to cope with it.

I’m also still reading Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. I’ve only read another chapter or so since my last WWW Wednesday so there’s not much else to report on regarding it other than the fact that I caved and watched episodes two and three of the show and MY HEART.

What did you recently finish reading?

The Girl in Red by Christina Henry.

This book scared the heck out of me repeatedly, it was so creepy in places! I love Red to pieces and think she’s now one of my all absolute favourite main characters. You can check my review out that went up yesterday by clicking here if you’d like to know more!

What do you think you’ll read next?

Wastelands: The New Apocolypse edited by John Joseph Adams

This one is an anthology including never before seen stories and reprints by critically acclaimed authors including Veronica Roth who has contributed some new Divergent content that I can’t wait to get my teeth into. These are short stories and I’ve really wanted to try some more short-form recently but I do feel I might have to try and read something else between this and The Paper Hearst society or it might be a little jarring! With the new announcement about a Hunger Games prequel, I think I might just binge the audiobooks and/or films and see if that helps? or I guess I could actually reread some of the Divergent books, I did hate the end of the trilogy however so perhaps I’ll get round to reading the short stories from Four’s point of view? Yup. Adding it.

Four by Veronica Roth.

As mentioned above this is a collection of short stories from the point of view of Four from the Divergent books, I had meant to read the after finishing the trilogy but I hated the ending of the last book I couldn’t bring myself to read them. I think it’s finally time!

Thank you for checking out this fortnight’s WWW Wednesday, let me know what you’re reading, what you’ve enjoyed reading lately and what you’re planning to read next!

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book reviews

The Girl in Red

43550676.jpgThe Girl in Red by Christina Henry

Rating: XXXXX

Published June 18th by Titan Books

“She was just a woman trying not to get killed in a world that didn’t look anything like the one she’d grown up in, the one that had been perfectly sane and normal and boring until three months ago.”

It’s not safe for anyone alone in the woods. There are predators that come out at night: critters and coyotes, snakes and wolves. But the woman in the red jacket has no choice. Not since the Crisis came, decimated the population, and sent those who survived fleeing into quarantine camps that serve as breeding grounds for death, destruction, and disease. She is just a woman trying not to get killed in a world that doesn’t look anything like the one she grew up in, the one that was perfectly sane and normal and boring until three months ago.

There are worse threats in the woods than the things that stalk their prey at night. Sometimes, there are men. Men with dark desires, weak wills, and evil intents. Men in uniform with classified information, deadly secrets, and unforgiving orders. And sometimes, just sometimes, there’s something worse than all of the horrible people and vicious beasts combined. 

Red doesn’t like to think of herself as a killer, but she isn’t about to let herself get eaten up just because she is a woman alone in the woods…

You know that author you keep putting off reading? Not in an unkind way, but in an “I WILL get around to reading one of their books” muttered every time you see them because you just know they’re going to be great and you then something comes up and you for whatever reason the thought slips your mind again and again and again. This is Christina Henry for me so when the lovely Julia from Titan Books asked if I wanted to review The Girl in Red by Henry and take part in the Instagram book tour in I jumped at the chance! I love retellings at the best of times but this sounded like a really interesting inspiring take on the Red Riding Hood Story.

I found The Girl in Red to be slightly terrifying, absolutely creepy as heck and wholly addictive. It reminds me a lot of the human element to the earlier episodes of the Walking Dead when you begin to realise it’s not the zombies, or in this case, the cough that are the things you have to watch your back for it’s the survivors, most of who have become desperate or cruel (if they weren’t already) since the crisis. It’s not a unique tale by any means and is a little repetitive and predictable in some places but forgivably so because the real star of this book for me (other than main character Red herself) was the amazing way Henry builds tension. I found I was holding my breath, clenching my teeth and I had trouble reading it in my house alone, at one point my phone rang (a rare occurrence) while I was reading and it was during such a tense moment in the book that I screamed so loudly I woke up my four year old. On the slightly negative side, I did personally find the ending very rushed and a little unsatisfying but the book, even on reflection was no less enjoyable for it.

Red has possibly become one of my favourite fictional characters. She is a fantastic mix of badassery and compassion, she will kill and make tough choices to survive but she doesn’t let herself become dehumanised for it which I found a really refreshing balance, when she has to fatally defend herself she doesn’t relish it, when she has to take supplies she takes what she needs and likes to make sure that there is enough left if someone else needs them etc. Red often overthinks things, often to a fault and often thinks herself round in circles to inaction which is a habit I am also extraordinarily guilty of, so seeing it portrayed in this fantastic character who acknowledged that her obsessive and sometimes paranoid thinking could be debilitating like that felt incredibly eye-opening and has really helped to keep my own obsessive thinking in check by being able to identify it.

Main character Red is also an amputee and obviously, I can’t speak to the accuracy of her experience or identify with it but I found it really enlightening and I hope it helped people who find themselves with prosthetics feel seen and represented as well as hopefully helping to educate others. There is a line that is said in relation to someone question how much Red is capable of due to her amputation and Red replies with “Stop treating me like half a person…I am missing my leg below the knee. My brain is still functioning. I know what I can do and what I can’t.” and this feels SO important and relatable for anyone who is judged, babied and looked down on because they’re differently abled.

The Girl in Red is out in stores and online today!

 

#SixforSunday

#S4S -Baddies who deserve their own books

Happy Sunday and DAMN it’s been a hectic one!! This weeks Six for Sunday prompt is “Baddies who deserve their own books” and I am all here for this one, I love a good “villain” but which ones deserve their own books?! This was super hard because a lot of the books I read don’t necessarily have a villain exactly so this took me a lot longer than I thought it would.

The Darkling from the Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

This might be a bit of a cliche one but I would honestly really like to read a book about him essentially becoming the Darkling, I feel like there could be some really interesting material there and that final inevitability of his fate in the Grisha books would just give it a brilliant tone. Plus everyone loves him anyway so I’m sure it would do well, even just a novella.

Grindelwald from JK Rowlings Wizarding World.

This feels like a weird one for me because I enjoy Harry Potter but found my love for it has been kind of waxing and waning over the past few years but I think it would be interesting to finally get the story of Grindelwald and Dumbledore meeting, whatever happens with Ariana and then what happens from there. In fact, there’s probably fanfic of it out there somewhere I could probably check out thinking about it.

Valentine Morgenstern from the Shadowhunter books

I’m sensing a trend here but again, I would love to see where everything started. Young Valentine training as a shadowhunter, meeting and falling in love with Jocelyn, forming the circle and everything that follows. I’ve loved the little glimpses we’ve had from other circle members in some of the short story collections but I would more.

Ben Solo/ Kylo Ren from Star Wars

I know I mentioned him last week so I won’t go into huge detail but as I’ve said before (and with all of the others so far) I would love to see an origin story. I also wouldn’t mind a book set between The Last Jedi and the Rise of Skywalker seeing as some time is meant to have passed between these two. Honestly, I’ll probably just keep reading fanfiction for now but something canon would be great.

AIDAN from The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Another one I’ve already mentioned over the past couple of weeks but I can’t not mention them because they’re easier one of my all-time favourite baddies. The AIDAN sections in the Illuminae Files books are easily my favourites and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get enough of them to be honest, especially after reading Memento. Give me moar.

The Volturi from the Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer

Not everyone’s favourite books I’m well aware but I adored the Short Second Life of Bree Tanner novella and I wonder if a short story or collection of short stories about the members of the Volturi from the later Twilight books would have the potential to be good as well, it would definitely be something I’d be interested in reading.

Who are your favourite baddies? Do you think any of them deserve their own book?

 

Tags

Why I am Weird Tag

So my original Thursday post I had planned for today is taking a HECK of a lot longer than I thought it would, I was just wondering what I would post instead when one of my favourite bloggers/Twitter friends tagged me in this awesome top ten Thursday tag. You can chceck out Delly’s post here.

“Why I am Weird” Tag rules

  • List ten weird things about yourself, your life or silly habits that you wouldn’t normally share.
  • Tag up to ten people so you can get to know them better.
  • Link back to the person who tagged you & the creator
  • Comment on the posts of people you tagged!

Why I am Weird

  • I LOVE to sing and if I don’t do so on a regular occasion I get super grumpy. I especially love Disney songs, being able to name a huge amount of them within a couple of bars is my special skill.
  • I taught myself to swim like a mermaid when I was little and my nan paid for me to go to swimming lessons to learn to swim properly. I adore swimming and I also don’t have to put in any effort at all to tread water, I just float.
  • There are certain lines from films, tv shows and video games that can reduce me to tears almost instantly. These include (but are not limited to) “Goodnight Raggedy Man” from Doctor Who, “Had to be me, someone else might have gotten it wrong” from Mass Effect 3 and “You were my new dream” from Tangled.
  • I don’t drink tea or coffee and I very very rarely drink hot chocolate, I also really dislike any kind of fizzy drinks. I mostly just drink squash and the occasional glass of milk.
  • I play Dungeons and Dragons. Like…A LOT of Dungeons and Dragons. I love all of my characters with their extensive backstories and have playlists for almost of all of them.
  • I can get a little obsessive with some fictional characters – not in a way I think would be considered creepy or anything but I will quite often fall into the never-ending hole of YouTube edits. My go-to videos at the moment are usually Reylo, Mon El from Supergirl, Garrus from Mass Effect, Merlin (and Arthur if I really want to hurt) almost any Shadowhunters ones and the occasional Killjoys ones. I used to listen to music and imagine what videos I’d make to the songs and I finally got around to making my own one this year which I’m super proud of (It’s a Killjoys one if you wanted to check it out here)
  • I have to have at least a rough plan of what I’m doing for the day or I get stressed out/unmotivated. I love lists and I hate cancelled plans even if I maybe didn’t want to go.

  • I have to do things a certain way or I get stressed out and anxious. For example, I have to turn the lights off in the flat a certain way or I worry they’ll explode and I always brush my teeth the exact same way for the same amount of time. I also got so upset about our airer being wonky that I cried.
  • I used to be absolutely terrified of cows.
  • I have broken every single of one of my toes and fingers at least once as well as both of my arms (almost exactly a year apart).

So there you have it, ten weird facts about me. Feel like sharing ten weird facts about yourself? Then consider yourself tagged! Link back to me and don’t foget to credit Delly for creating the tag if you do so! I can’t wait to learn more about you!

 

 

book reviews, book talk, spoiler free

X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga

42423832X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga by Stuart Moore

Rating: XXXX

Published May 14th by Titan Books

“Within her, the power surged. Fiery, unstoppable; ancient and new all at the same time, all barely contained by her desperate will. Fueled by rage, bound for vengence, burning with the primal energies of the universe.”

Piloting a shuttle through a deadly solar flare, Jean Grey saves the X-Men, but is possessed by one of the universe’s most powerful forces–the Phoenix. As she adapts to her new powers, the mutant team launches an assault against the clandestine organization known as the Hellfire Club. Once inside, however, Jean is tricked by the villain Mastermind into betraying her teammates. She becomes first the Hellfire Club’s Black Queen and then Dark Phoenix, as the power to destroy worlds bursts forth uncontrolled. Shooting into deep space, Jean destroys an entire star system, then encounters a cruiser piloted by the spacefaring race the Shi’ar. When the cruiser is obliterated, the Shi’ar queen decrees that the Phoenix must die. But only the X-Men can hope to stop Dark Phoenix, and save Jean Grey.

Growing up one of my favourite things to do was the watch the ever-loving heck out of the animated X-Men show. This was my first real introduction into superheroes, this and the animated Spiderman show, mainly because they both had EPIC openings and are tunes that are basically wired into my DNA at this point. ANYWAY, not only did the animated X-Men show have people with superpowers, it had women and girls with superpowers, (and I was a girl so obviously this meant I could also have superpowers), it had some sweet beautiful angst, amazing romances, hilarious one-liners and some of the most 90’s costumes I have ever seen in my life (and I grew up in the ’90s). This show stole my heart and rocked my world, even more so when The Phoenix and Dark Phoenix story arcs started. I loved that Jean became so incredibly powerful and when she became the Dark Phoenix I have to say it made me feel incredibly empowered and the Dark Phoenix became my first villain/anti-hero obsession and I think very possibly where my love for seriously angsty stories came from.

Years later I had devoured the Phoenix story again in comic form when I was finally old enough to buy and source them myself (my mum didn’t approve back then) and then we got X-Men: The Last Stand and everyone hated it but I ADORED it and although it obviously has some problems I still love the version of the Dark Phoenix we got. Skip ahead and now not only do we have the Dark Phoenix film that just came out (that’s a WHOLE other post trust me) we have also been treated to another Marvel prose story, this one by highly decorated author Stuart Moore and it’s all about Jean and the Phoenix force. To say I was excited is an understatement and thanks to the lovely folks at Titan Books I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Not only was this my favourite X-Men story, Stuart Moore’s X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga is an updated retelling as well. I find comic stories can be very subjective, especially the older ones and absolutely the origin stories, they change so much over the years and I think this was a tale that was definitely due an upgrade and when comparing it to the comic version and honestly, it was brought forward perfectly. I had another look through the comics after finishing this book (it’s been a while since my last readthrough) and it’s such a faithful adaption in that we still get all the key moments and beats, even some of the iconic lines are the same they’re just enhanced by being able to look beyond each frame and into the minds of these characters and really get a read on their thoughts and feelings which is fast becoming my favourite thing about these Marvel novelisations.

With a more in-depth look into each character, we also got to see a lot more character development as the story progressed from Scott finally beginning to understand Jean, Jean accepting herself, Xavier owning his mistakes (a rare find) and Logan actually being pretty damn amazing. For me, other than Jean, Logan was one of my favourite characters, he’s somehow rough and animalistic while also being a sweetheart who just respectfully loves this woman so much and he doesn’t make a fuss that she’s with someone else, he just loves her in his own, unobtrusive way and gets on with things while also understanding the hard truths and being able to deal with them and know his own limitations. I’m really glad we got to see this side of the Wolverine in this novel.

Another character I hadn’t expected to have enjoyed so much was also Emma Frost, she always seems to get the eye candy treatment so it was nice to see what her game plan is, how she feels about Shaw and the others as well as the way it seems she feels towards Scott and one of the big differences I noticed was Emma aiding the X-Men briefly for her own reasons but I won’t go into details for fear of spoilers, I just wanted to mention it because I felt it really helped to build a real personality for Emma.

There were some characters who did appear in the Dark Phoenix Saga novelisation that I hadn’t expected to see and that were brief cameos by Peter Parker and Doctor Strange as well as a small chapter featuring a group fo the Avengers. Although they seemed a little out of place and didn’t have any impact on the story at all I did enjoy them turning up, however briefly. In the original comics, we have one frame each for the Fantastic Four and the Silver Surfer as well as Spiderman, Doctor Strange and X-Man turned Avenger Hank Mccoy (Beast). In the true spirit of this being an updated retelling the Avengers we see in the book are the ones we have come to know via the popular films set in the MCU at present and I’m curious if including them was a prerequisite by Marvel themselves to tie it into the success of the MCU at the moment or some personal wish fulfilment by the author in seeing these heroes all truly occupying the same space like we should have seen in the films if it hadn’t been for the rights to the characters being all over the place. Either way, I loved the inclusion, I wanted to be miffed they had no bearing on the story but I honestly couldn’t bring myself to be more than slightly annoyed by it and even that didn’t last long.

I didn’t find much that surprised me but in a faithful retelling that’s to be expected and sometimes welcomed, one thing I did have trouble with was keeping track of some of the action, there would be times when I think I’m following okay and then someone is on the opposite side of the room to where I thought they were or fighting someone completely different, it made sense enough when I stopped and reread the text again but I think some of it was just lost on me.

Overall I enjoyed the book and I feel it’s a fantastic and faithful revival of my favourite story arc. I enjoyed the personal look we got into the characters and I am excited to read more novelisations like this as there are quite a few Marvel storylines, even bigger ones I didn’t get into due to my late-coming to the medium as well as being perplexed by all the different titles, X-Men especially. Another X-Men title, X-Men: Days of Future Past penned by Alex Irvine (he’s written for Blizzard I’m VERY excited) which is out June 25th and you can bet I’ll be reviewing it so keep an eye out.

Is there a comic, tv show or other media you’d like to see get a faithful novelisation or retelling?

#SixforSunday

S4S – Characters who deserve another/their own book

Happy Six for Sunday day! This weeks prompt, thanks to the ever lovely Steph from A little But A Lot, is “Characters who deserve another/their own book” There are a good few characters I would love to see more about but I made sure the six I picked made sense, some of the choices I had in mind either had a really satisfying end to their story or character arc to the point that I couldn’t see them in another story, no matter how much I liked them or there are sequels imminent i.e Asha from the Last Namsara, most of Squad 312 from Aurora Rising, Issac Sullivan from The Devouring Gray etc.

Remy Silvers from The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

I know The Loneliest Girl in the Universe is a stand-alone book and it works but I would just really love to have a had maybe even a novella about her time after (no spoilers). Until this happens I think I’m just going to read that damn fantastic book over and over again because I can’t get enough of it.

Lucien Vanserra  from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

I know I mentioned Lucien last week (and I’m not sorry) but I couldn’t not mention him for this prompt because this is a story I desperately want. I like to think I’m quite disillusioned with Sarah J Maas all these years later but honestly, I would throw myself at her feet and buy all these damned random special editions of Throne of glass etc if it meant she gave Lucien his own book.

Ben Solo from Star Wars (as written by Claudia Gray)

Completely disregarding the fact that I’ve been known on occasion to ship Reylo, I find Ben Solo/Kylo Ren an immensely interesting character at times and I would love to see where he came from, what events brought him to the Dark Side and how he feels about all of it. He’s a very conflicted character and I’m not saying there’s no chance he’s just a spoilt over privileged kid with some issues but I like to think there’s more to it, I don’t need justification for his crappy behaviour and I’m not (entirely) seeking out a redemption arc but I do want to understand the character better and after reading Bloodline by Claudia Gray I absolutely think she would be the one to do so. I would have suggested Christie Golden too but I honestly think she’ll just make me cry the whole time.

The Illuminae Group from The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Again, I know mentioned this in last weeks post but it’s too important to ignore, especially now that I’ve read Memento. You could honestly write about any of the characters in the Illuminae Files and I would read the hell out of it.

Ari and Janco from the Chronicles of Ixia/Poison Study series by Maria V. Snyder

I loved this duo more and more throughout the Study books and I would love to see them both in their own adventure!

Clove and Ella from The Last Begining by Lauren James

Although I hadn’t initially been too keen on Ella I really enjoyed the short story Another Begining which really warmed me to her and made me want to read more about them together. I know technically Another Beginning IS their story but I feel it’s also very much about unwinding Kate and Matt’s story and I’d love to see more of Clove and Ella’s adventures throughout time.

What do you think? Would you be interested in any of these? What characters would you like to see get their own books?

book talk, spoiler free

Harley in the Sky Cover Reveal

It’s been SO difficult to keep this secret the past couple of weeks but as a member of the Harley in the Sky Street Team I was lucky enough to see the cover for Akemi’s newest novel a little earlier and I’ve been in love with it ever since! Harley in the Sky is the next book out by author Akemi Dawn Bowman, award-winning author of Starfish and Summer Bird Blue follows a multiracial teenage girl who dreams of quitting school to become a trapeze artist in her parents’ Las Vegas circus, against their wishes, prompting her to join a rival circus. There, she grows close to a handsome musician and performer—while untangling her family’s complicated past and present.

Would you like to see the cover?

 

 

Are you sure?

 

 

61404185_10156636841672607_243521020730802176_n.jpg

I love the mix of yellow and bronze, the silhouetted figure, that absolutely gorgeous font and the beautiful stylised pattern in the background that just SCREAMS circus tent to me. You can add Harley in the Sky to your want to read on Goodreads RIGHT NOW.