spoiler free, Tags

The 100 Truths Tag

So I’ve been a little out of touch with my blogging lately, little man starting school has really thrown me out of the loop with a lot of things and my blogging and reading is something that’s taken a bit of a hit. I’ve gone from having scheduled posts or at least ideas/rough ideas for posts weeks in advance to sneaking in a bit of blogging and reading in the small moments I can get and I’m sure it’ll balance out eventually, it just might take some time. Today I decided to do a tag that’s been sitting in my drafts since about last year but I hadn’t got around to doing which is the 100 truths tag about myself. I saved it initially because it reminded me of those silly long questionnaires we used to do on MySpace back in the day so I hope you enjoy finding out a little more about me.

The 100 Truths Tag:

1. What is Your Name?

Jemma

2. Any Nicknames or Aliases?

Not hugely unless you count Mum from my little man, when I played a lot of WoW people knew me only by my character name which was Evvee. I still get called Jem sometimes which is cool too, I’m not hugely fussed.

3. Your Gender

Female – she/her pronouns.

4. Your Star Sign?

Capricorn and yes I’m as grumpy and controlling as the best of them.

5. How Old Are You?

29 – I honestly feel like I’ve been thirty forever now.

6. Your Relationship Status?

Married for six years as of a couple of weeks ago.

7. Any Children?

Just my little man, the fact he’s at school now is crazy.

8. Any Pets?

Jiji, my void familiar. (Black cat).

9. Any Tattoos/Piercings?

Four ear piercings (have also had nose pierced twice), five tattos but would love a couple more.

10. What Do You Like About Yourself?

 

11. What Do You Dislike About Yourself?

I’m hella clumsy despite being hyper-aware of my surroundings, I’m really bad at most kinds of social interaction, and often say stupid things or talk too much. I’m fickle and am quick to anger or upset.

12. Right or Left?

Right handed.

LASTS:

13. The Last Thing You Drank:

Apple and Blackcurrant squash.

14. The Last Thing You Ate?

Curry for dinner last night.

15. Your Last Phone Call:

According to my phone, it was my father in law!

16. Your Last Text Message:

From the husband apologising for forgetting to pick up a lasagne from work for the fourth day running.

17. Your Last E-Mail:

From Feline Trickster via Pateron with some awesome progress of two new prints she’s working on!

18. The Last Song You Listened To:

Well, I’m currently listening to “Hold me Tight, or don’t” by Fall Out Boy. Playing D&D tonight so got my Lucien playlist on.

19. The Last Book You Read:

It feels like it’s been so long, I actually had to check! I’m behind on my reading challenge and everything! The last book I read was apparently The Tea Dragon Festival which released this week! You can find my spoiler-free review here.

20. The Last Time You Cried:

Probably a few days ago…

21. The Last Blog You Read:

Cora’s (Tea Party Princess) NEWTS Wrap Up which you can check out here.

22. The Last Person You Spoke To:

My mum. She’s staying the night after playing Dungeons and Dragons with us and chatting while I type.

23. The Last Place You Visited?

Not including the school run twice a day and assuming you don’t mean somewhere mundane like the supermarket then I went to the O2 last Sunday to see Muse in concert.

24. Your Last Holiday Abroad:

A long, long, long time ago I went to Tenerife with my family, I was still in school so it was a fair while ago, I also had my arm in plaster after I badly fractured it which sucked.

HAVE YOU EVER:

25. Got Back With an Ex?

If you count Chris.

26. Been Cheated On?

Yes

27. Cheated On Someone?

Yes

28. Lost Someone Special To You?

Yes

29. Been So Drunk You Threw Up?

No

30. Fallen Out Of Love With Someone?

Yes

31. Met Someone Who Changed You?

Yes

32. Been In A Situation Where You Found Out Who Your Real Friends Are?

Yes.

33. Kissed Someone You Shouldn’t Have?

Yes

34. Found Out People Were Talking About You Behind Your Back?

Yes

35. Broken Someone’s Heart?

Unlikely.

36. Kissed A Stranger?

Yes.

37. Had Your Own Heart Broken?

Yes

38. Had Sex On A First Date?

Yes.

39. Been Arrested?

Yes.

40. Been Attracted To Someone That Isn’t The Gender You Usually Find Attractive?

I’m Pansexual so no, I’m attracted regardless of gender.

41. Done Something You Regret?

Yes

42. Had A Threesome?

Yes.

43. Embarrassed Yourself In Public

Yes

44. Misjudged Someone?

Yes

YOUR BELIEFS AND OPINIONS:

45. Do You Believe In God?

Sometimes something like it, haven’t figured it out yet.

46. Do You Believe In Yourself?

Occasionally.

47. Do You Believe In Santa Claus?

No

48. Do You Believe In Ghosts?

No

49. Do You Believe in Aliens?

I believe there are probably other lifeforms out there yes, believing we’re the only ones in the entire universe seems strange and big-headed.

50. Do You Believe In Miracles?

No

51. Do You Believe In The Power of Positive Thinking?

I believe it can help dependant on the situation.

52. Do You Believe In Love At First Sight?

No.

53. Can Money Make You Happy?

Absoloutley. I find a lot of people disagree with me on this and don’t get me wrong you can have money and be miserable as well as not have money and be relatively happy but having enough money to not have to worry about bills or food etc would make me a hell of a lot happier.

54. Would You Describe Yourself As A Feminist?

Yes, I am a person who supports feminism, i.e the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.

55. Are You Pro-Life or Pro-Choice?

Pro-Choice

56. Do You Have Strong Political Beliefs?

I never thought I did and I’m not smart or eloquent so I try not to talk about them often as I can’t articulate well but it turns out I do.

57. Do You Have Strong Religious Beliefs?

Not all all.

58. What Do You Think The Most Important Thing You Can Give A Child Is?

Love and safety – Keeping Ash’s answer here as it’s perfect.

RIGHT NOW:

59. Are You Eating Anything:

No

60. Are You Drinking Anything:

No.

61. What Are You Listening To:

Season one, episode one of Killjoys

62. What Are You Thinking:

It’s getting late and I should head to bed.

63. What Are You Waiting For:

Good question.

64. What Are You Most Excited For?

Christmas!

65. What’s Your Pet Peeve:

Just one? haha. Being late??

66. What’s Your Favourite Thing:

My family, my kitty, my books and my imagination. – Refusing to pick just one

67. If You Weren’t Answering These Questions What Would You Be Doing?

At this point? Probably housework.

FIRSTS:

68. Best Friend:

Not sure that I have one.

69. Kiss:

When I was 12 I think, some boy I met on holiday in Devon.

70. Celebrity Crush:

I think David Boreanaz from Buffy, swiftly replaced by James Masters as Spike obviously.

71. Holiday:

The first one I remember was our first family holiday to Dawlish in Devon, we stayed in a four story townhouse and I felt like a princess because I got to sleep in the room on the top floor (I was the only one who didn’t mind doing all those stairs every day).

72. Pet:

We had so many cats and rabbits and guinea pigs etc when I was younger but I guess my first pet would technically be Jack the Jack Russel who was born the same day as me or maybe our tabby cat Loki who was the first pet I owned myself.

73. Regret:

First regret? Who knows! Probably dropping that log on my foot on my first day of school and breaking two of toes?

74. Job:

I worked in a Morrisons cafe and it was fairly crappy but honestly a job I wouldn’t mind so much now.

75. Childhood Memory:

I don’t know how young I was, older than two though as my brother was a little baby and I’m two years older than him. I remember our car breaking down on a hill and everything getting out to push and I was sad I wasn’t allowed to help.

WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE:

76. Love or Money?

Love

77. Twitter or Facebook?

Facebook – purely because I use it to talk to my friends more.  I do love Twitter though.

78. Hook-Up or Relationship?

Relationship

79. Dogs or Cats?

Cats

80. Coffee or Tea?

Hot Chocolate.

81. Beer or Wine?

Coconut rum.

82. Sweet or Savoury?

Sweet

83. Introvert or Extrovert?

Introvert

84. Vampires or Werewolves?

Vampires

85. Seaside or Countryside?

Seaside

86. Summer or Winter?

Winter

87. Books or Movies?

Books

88. Horror or Comedy?

Comedy.

RANDOM:

89. Do You Wish You Could Change The Past?

Yes

90. Dream Job:

Book seller.

91. Guilty Pleasure:

The Vampire Diaries. I am absolute trash.

92. What Are You Afraid Of?

Falling and failing.

93. What Was The First Thing You Wanted To Be When You Grew Up?

A journalist, Xena or a mermaid.

94. If You Could Have Any Superpower, What Would It Be?

To be able to control time.

95. If You Could Change Anything About Your Life What Would It Be?

Having more money.

96. Would You Want Immortality?

No.

97. If You Could Interview Anyone Alive or Dead, Who Would You Choose?

Would saying Jay Kristoff be predictable?

98. Would You Say You Are Happy?

On a day to day basis, yes for the most part.

99. What Piece of Advice Would You Give Yourself at Age 18?

Save up, learn to drive, eat better, work out more, find a better job.

100. Where Would You Like To Be In Five Years Time?

Happy and healthy, I’d like to have lost some weight and have a job again.

So now you’ve found out about me tell me one fact about yourself! I won’t tag anyone in particular but if you’d like to do it, as always, consider yourself tagged!

spoiler free, WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday July 3rd

img_6935It’s somehow been a fortnight already?! Time for WWW Wednesday!

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?

Heartstream by Tom Pollock
I took a break from the dystopian anthology I’ve been reading (Wastelands: The New Apocolypse edited by John Joseph Adams) to jump headfirst into this new YA thriller by Tom Pollock. I hadn’t previously read anything by Tom but the premise sounded intriguing and I’ve been thirsting for a good thriller again already after cutting my teeth on A Good Girls Guide to Murder and then The Girl in Red a bit more recently (I’m also noticing a certain colour aesthetic it seems.) I’m already just under 200 pages through despite starting it just last night and I can’t wait to see just where it goes.

What did you recently finish reading?

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare
I ended up really enjoying this despite the amount of time it took me to actually get through (6 months) it was worth it though and the audiobook being narrated by James Masters was a bonus. You can check out my spoiler-free review here.

The Paper and Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie
This was such a lovely sweet book, I found it a little predictable but enjoyed it no less for it. Heartwarming and lovely. Review coming soon.

What do you think you’ll read next?

X-Men: Days of Future Past by Alex Irvine
I’m really feeling in the superheroes with powers mood at the moment and I particularly love the X-Men, I put this one off for a little longer than I planned but excited to finally get to it now.

My full TBR for July will be up tomorrow and it’s huge for me and I think probably a bit too ambitious but we’ll see. What have you been reading lately?

Monthly Wrap up, spoiler free

June Wrap Up

Okay so I haven’t done a wrap-up since my first one in March for some reason, June though, seems like a good month to finally give it another go perhaps? As I keep saying, things have been a little hectic lately and will hopefully start to calm down for a bit over the next few weeks but we’ll see. Despite the crazy though I have managed to get some books read, some more TV shows watched and even a film! I also decided to start including books I’ve brought or received in my wrap-ups too as I thought it would be interesting. So long June, enjoy your last days.

Currently reading

Wastelands: The New Apocolypse by various authors
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Books that I’ve read

Nexus by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings (Reviewed) XXXX
X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga by Stuart Moore (Reviewed) XXXX
Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare (Reviewed) XXXX
The Girl in Red by Christina Henry (Reviewed) XXXXX
The Paper and Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie (Review to come soon!) XXXX

7569b0b6-16d9-4cee-8f1e-8bab08d82222

Books that I brought or received

Zenith and Nexus by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings
The Chosen and The Novice by Taran Matharu
The Paper and Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie
Wastelands: New Apocolypse by various authors – Review Copy
X-Men: Days of Future Past by Alex Irvine – Review Copy
Heartstream by Tom Pollock – Review Copy
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Men in Black International: The Official Movie Novelization by R.S Belcher – Review Copy

Into the Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo
I was lucky enough to win my copy of the Into the Crooked Place arc at the Out of this Galaxy YA event (blog recap coming soon) and I’m SO excited to read it!

Films

X-Men: Dark Phoenix – XX
I did not enjoy this film. I had been so incredibly excited about it but it just didn’t meet any of my expectations. I know you should hold remakes or retellings at different standards to their original forms but damn there was just so much wrong with this film, not to mention the fact that they screw with and mess up their own timeline? On the bright side, it did make me go back and enjoy X-Men: The Last Stand a lot more because although that didn’t fit as well either it did, for me, do a better job. Full review to come of this soon possibly.

TV Shows

Good Omens XXXXX
Damn this show. I have so much stuff to watch but I’ve just been watching this over and over. Odds are if I’m not watching it I’m probably thinking about it. I’m sad to say I hadn’t read the book before, I did start reading it beforehand with the idea that I wouldn’t watch past the first episode until I’d finished the book but I just couldn’t help myself. I have so many feelings about this show and it’s bittersweet but perfect six episodes single season and most of them are just joy or joy adjacent to be quite frank. I think I actually swooned and clutched my chest in episode three. If you haven’t checked out this show I highly recommend it, it’s addictive, beautiful, funny, quirky and honestly inspiring.

Shadowhunters Season 4 Ep 9-14 XXXX
After finishing Queen of Air and Darkness (at last), I decided to revisit the Shadowhunters TV show as it’s finished now I can see how it ends! I’d heard some people compare parts of the ending to parts of the ending for QoAaD so wanted to wait until I’d finished it to check it out although I have had two bits spoilt for me already (my fault for not keeping up and/or muting the hashtags etc). I’m enjoying it, these past few episodes have been really good, I’m especially loving what they’ve done with Johnathan although it’s really making me miss Sebastian, especially as Johnathan mentions when he met him *crying face*

American Gods S1, Ep 1 XXX
Chris wanted more after Good Omens as he’s not a big rewatcher so I suggested trying American Gods as it was by Neil Gaiman and had a similar, if not certainly more adult, quirky feel and I think he enjoyed it? I did although it’s probably not a show I’m rushing to watch as it didn’t grab me hugely but that’s probably the aesthetic and my personal taste more than anything else. I’ve also been listening to the Audiobook and have become super attached to the voice actors in that, the Mr Wednesday though is pretty amazing and I’ll certainly get around to watching more at some point.

It’s been a pretty good month, Good Omens has kind of blown everything out of the water for me at the moment, to be honest. I have really enjoyed the books I’ve read and I’m loving the different stories in Wastelands: The New apocalypse, I never realised just how broad the dystopian genre could be.  I’m hoping to keep the wrap-ups a bit more regular now with any luck as I’m really enjoying putting them together!

What book, show or film has really stood out for you this month?

 

spoiler free, Tags

Aurora Rising – Squad 312 Book Tag

So last year when the cover was revealed for Aurora Rising I wrote a post discussing the artwork and synopsis we were given as well as creating a book tag for the occasion. Now that I’ve had the chance to read the book itself and as it’s been officially out for a few days now I figured I would update it and give create a single post for it to make it easier to read and take part in. If you read the previous edition you’ll notice that I’ve changed a few of the questions to fit more in line with the characters and some of my answers will have changed as it’s been about six months since I initially posted the first one.

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.

Let’s meet the Squad. Awesome artwork by @kiranight_art

Tyler-742x1024


Tyler Jones – The Alpha. Your favourite main character.

I find I’m usually a bigger fan of supporting characters but I pretty much kind of adore Lazlo Strange from the Strange the Dreamer books. He’s a massive book nerd, gets lost in his imagination and creates beautiful dreams. I love that he believes and loves with his whole being. Not to mention that he sounds pretty gorgeous and thanks to Steve West he sounds like a slightly huskier Orlando Bloom circa the Legolas Years.

Scarlet-742x1024
Scarlet Jones – The Face. Which character could talk themselves out of anything?

Not only can Loki from Joanne Harris’s Loki books talk himself into a corner he has an uncanny knack of managing to talk his way out as well. I love that he always has a 50/50 chance of making things worse even if he eventually makes it out in the end.

 

Zila-742x1024
Zila Marden – The Brain. A super smart character who would probably kill you.

Most of them to be honest. I love that we’re beginning to lose that stereotypical ‘nerd’ outlook and more often than not the smartest are the most kick-ass and could almost certainly kill or maim you in multiple ways. I hate to say it but my favourite is A.I.D.A.N from The Illuminae Files, it’s crazy but damn I love that insane murderous A.I.

 

Fin-742x1024
Finian de Karren de Seel – The Gearhead. Favourite piece of fictional technology.

I mean I didn’t realise artificial gravity from almost any sci-fi book set in space ever, wasn’t already a thing that existed yet so that would be my boring answer. My better answer would probably be M-Bot from Skyward. The smart, sassy, fungi loving Artifical Intelligence inside a ship is fantastic and was my favourite part of Sanderson’s newest series out last year.

Kaliis-742x1024


Kallis “Kal” Gilwraeth – The Tank. A book that made you angry. 

The Island by M.A Bennett, I had to stop reading a few times because I was just so damn mad at some of the things Link did and/or got away with. Just thinking about it now is making me mad.

 

 

Cat-742x1024


Catherine “Cat” Brannock – The Ace. Fictional Crush you’re still not over. 

Okay so there’s a few but I think the oldest one would probably be Damon from The Vampire Diaries books (and later the show) but other front runners would be Jace from the Mortal Instruments, Lucien from the ACOTAR books, Jude AND Cardan from The Folk of the Air books by Holly Black.

 

Aurora-742x1024
Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley – Girl out of Time. If you had to pick just one book or series to read for the rest of your life what would it be? 

I feel like I should pick a really long series to keep it interesting but honestly, it would probably be The Illuminae Files. I am forever re-reading these books. Sometimes I’ll just pick one up on a whim and suddenly I’ve read half the damned thing or quite often I listen to the Gemina Audio Book if I can’t sleep at night.
27424908._SX540_

I hope you enjoyed the slightly updated Aurora Rising: Squad 312 book tag! I’ll tag a few people via twitter but if you want to take part, tagged by me or not feel free to have a go! I’d really love it if you could link back to this post if you do so and let me know in the comments so I can check out your answers.

book reviews, spoiler free

Once and Future

36233085Once and Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy

Rating: XXXXX

Published: March 26th by Rock the Boat

“So tell me, forty second King Arthur, do you believe your fate is to unite humankind?”

“My fate…” Ari gasped, “…is mine.”

When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she is revealed to be the newest reincarnation of King Arthur. Then she meets Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager, and together they must break the curse that keeps Arthur coming back. Their quest? Defeat the cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind.

No pressure.

So this is the part where I usually quite calmly talk about how I discovered this book (I was stalking the Rock the Boat Twitter feed for news about Aurora Rising arcs) what interested me about and made me want to read it (all of the things) and occasionally how and where I received it from (drooling over it via Twitter, thank you so much to the lovely people at Rock the Boat for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review) but honestly I just want to yell SWORDS, JOUSTING, SPACESHIPS, STRONG QUEER WOMEN, TEENAGE MERLIN, GORGEOUS FLUIDS AND NON BINARIES, MAGIC, ANGST, SEXUAL TENSION AND DID I MENTION THIS IS MOSTLY SET IN SPACE BECAUSE YES.

I’m genuinely not sure where to start with this review because as I suspected this is a book I really want to scream and shout about. The characters are all so unique and different with different strengths and beautifully tragic flaws. On the back of my arc copy one of the things this book is likened to is Mass Effect (my favourite game series) and I can totally get behind that because Ari and her ‘knights’ feel like an amazing, dysfunctional family in much the same way as the crew of the Normandy in that they all have their own goals and most of the time those goals line up but not always and that can make things messy, especially when you know each other but you’re not really sure you know them enough to trust them as much as you should. The differing interactions between the characters here feel just the right kinds of tense and it really gives weight to those moments.

I hate to say it so bluntly but this book is hot. Honestly, there are some fantastic moments that pretty much took my breath away but without being crude or even bordering on erotica. I love that pretty much everyone is a little “thirsty” because honestly they’re all beautiful and fairly confident with their sexualities and there isn’t much of any pussyfooting around these moments apart from one AMAZING almost kiss that blew me away. I’m obviously not saying that everyone needs to be like this in their day to day lives but there is certainly something very liberating and refreshing about how comfortable these kind of moments we see in this book are.

While on the topic of sexuality one of my favourite things about this book is how diverse it is, the main character is pansexual and as someone who is pan themselves I cannot explain how pleased I am and how much it means to me to see this kind of rep as we’re often just lumped into gay/straight/bisexual and it’s exhausting, we’ve been totally spoiled with Ari, she’s such an interesting, complex bad-ass and I’m honestly pretty much in love with her myself. Not only do we have a wide range of sexualities it’s also not made a huge deal out of and it isn’t used as any kind of plot point, they just are because that’s how real life works. This book is chock full of amazing characters that are gay, pan, straight, disabled, fluid, cis, non-binary, black, aromantic, mixed heritage, lanky, muscley and curvy and it really makes me yearn for something like this kind of acceptance for all – just without the evil mega-corporation, please.

I immensely enjoyed that Once and Future is not only a kind of parallel of sorts to the King Arthur tale but it also manages to completely turn it on its head and look at from different perspectives. I know the story of Arthur, Merlin, Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table is something that has been done and done and done again but honestly, you will never find another story like this, it feels so fresh and unique, not just because of the gender twist but the heart of the story just feels so very new.

The plot is an absolute ride, although I do think there are certainly some pacing issues and moments where I found myself thinking, “huh…what…how did we get here? How did this happen? Did I miss something?” as well as feeling like there were a few plot holes here and there but having spoken to Amy and Cori, I’m told there were A LOT of copy edits due to the ARCs needing to be done and sent out so early so I’m really looking forward to having another read through when my finished copy arrives today (if it hasn’t already because I’m writing to you from the not so distant past) because even WITH the small issues I had I loved this book to the stars and back so I can only imagine how I’ll feel about the complete finished product.

img_0247

Once and Future absolutely blew my mind, it riled me up, it crushed my heart then it brought me back, shoved a sword in my hand and it told me to go save the world.

Once and Future is out RIGHT NOW and just in case you hadn’t already preordered it or ordered it today then may I just say again…SWORDS, JOUSTING, SPACESHIPS, STRONG QUEER WOMEN, TEENAGE MERLIN, GORGEOUS FLUIDS AND NON BINARIES, MAGIC, ANGST, SEXUAL TENSION AND DID I MENTION THIS IS MOSTLY SET IN SPACE BECAUSE YES.

 

 

 

spoiler free, Tags

The Netflix Book Tag

Happy Thursday! My reading has been a bit lacking the past month due to being super busy with lots of D&D but also spending a lot of my free times in the evening watching Killjoys. I started watching it on Netflix so I figured the Netflix book tag today would be appropriate after I saw it on Jackie’s blog, the Bookish Coffee Blog I knew it was the one for me.

Recently watched: The Last Book you finished reading.

I just finished The Quiet at the End of the World and honestly, I’m trying to restrain myself and not read it again immediately because WOW. (Review coming next week!)

Top Picks: Book/Books that have been recommended to you based on what you’ve previously read.

I don’t really tend to pay attention to books I get recommended by websites very often because often I already know about them but I do remember being recommended Illuminae by everyone and everything before I finally picked it up. I’m not proud of it and I wish I had listened earlier.

53145716_557418298091783_6930786109920116736_n

Recently Added: The Last book that you brought.

With work being a little sparse on the ground at the moment I’ve been buying a lot fewer books but there are some that I had already preordered or that I considered must-buys, one such book was The Wicked King by Holly Black and it was totally and utterly worth it. Also while writing this my husband has just informed he has brought Slayer for us both to read ❤

Popular on Netflix: Books that everyone knows about (2 you’ve read and 2 you have no interest in reading).

For the first popular book I’ve read I’ve chosen A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness as now the TV show has aired a lot more people know about it. I’ve only read the first book and I do plan to get around to the second when my schedule isn’t quite so busy!

Secondly, I’ve chosen A Court of Thorns and Roses as this book reignited my journey back into reading YA and I’m not sure I would be writing this blog right now if I hadn’t read it. It’s not my favourite book or series by far but it feels especially pivotal to me for many reasons.

52905778_2329435603757044_8726295276752470016_n

As for the books I have no interest in reading I often don’t remember the names because I have no interest in them, to be honest so I found this one difficult but picked 13 reasons why (thank you to Jackie for inspiring me here), I don’t think it’s my kind of book at all and Bloodwitch because despite how much I wanted to like Truthwitch and Windwitch I just couldn’t get on with them.

As for a second book I decided to check out “what’s popular on Goodreads” to see what is supposedly popular as I just go off my twitter feed otherwise and they are total book buying enablers >.< The first one I saw that I have no interest in reading was Children of Blood and Bone. I had a passing interest in it when I first heard about it and now it’s been so long that I’m not especially bothered about reading it now when I have so much else I need to read.

Comedies: A funny book

I don’t really read many books that would be considered especially funny but Nimona did make me laugh out loud a lot so that one takes the win for me.

Dramas: A character that is a drama Queen/King

Mal. Mal from the Grisha trilogy, he did my head in and I couldn’t stand his whining and pinning.

Animated: A book with cartoons on the cover

I thought I would pick a non-comic one for this as that would be too easy and this is technically a novel and not a comic…it’s just based around a comic book character…kind of so that doesn’t entirely count right? I adored the artwork for the cover of Captain Marvel: Liberation Run and this was the one that immediately sprung to mind, the back cover especially I really liked.

52653281_2218274675108624_1748377256582971392_n52574014_296906997660522_601337241536561152_n


Watch it again:
A book/book series you want to reread

I know I’ve already mentioned it and it gets mentioned in almost every single book tag that I do but I’m desperate to reread the Illuminae Files series again, I’ve been occasionally listening to the Audio Books when I’m avoiding finishing Queen of Air and Darkness at the moment.

Documentaries: A non-fiction book you’d reccomend to everyone

Do art books count? Because I love art books, especially about my favourite video games. I don’t really read many other non-fiction books. Maybe the Princess Diaries by Carrie Fisher? I really loved that.

Action and Adventure: An action packed book

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson, I don’t always follow action especially well in books, especially when it’s fast-paced but the aerial fight scenes in Skyward really stood out to me, they made sense and were described in a way that it was nice and easy to imagine it in the minds eye while reading, I found the language varied well and didn’t repeat too much either which can happen sometimes I feel, when the same activity is repeated more than a couple of times in books (see The Belles – if I ever hear about bei power again I swear…). Anyway although it’s not all action, all the time I did feel there was a healthy amount of it and certainly enough for me to class it as being action packed while still maintaining a good story.

45442006_348495975914945_2209817788267102208_n

New Releases: A book that just came out or will be coming out soon that you can’t wait to read

Aurora Rising…becasue obviously. Like this one needs explaining?

book reviews, book talk, dungeons and dragons, spoiler free

Dungeons and Dragons: Endless Quest Books

This week I’m excited to review something that brings some of my favourite things together, books, Dungeons and Dragons and Choose your own adventure. These style of interactive gamebooks rose to popularity in the ’70s and ’80s, such as Lone Wolf, Fighting Fantasy and Find your Fate as well as the most well known, Choose Your Own Adventure books. The idea was that not everyone had the friend or means to be able to play Dungeons and Dragons and other RPG’s like it but still longed for that style of personal, decision-based storytelling that has become so addictive and these books were a great way to capture some of that magic.

52586375_2034758916818194_3010821037123174400_n

In 1982, the original publishers of Dungeons and Dragons saw these books as an opportunity to bring in new players and so they too released their own series of books, titled Endless Quest, which were more about the story than combat like the Lone Wolf books for example. Now with the rising popularity of Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop roleplaying games) thanks, in part, to the success of shows like Critical Role and High Rollers as well as the more open “geek culture” we enjoy today the Endless Quest books have returned! Penned by American writer and game designer, Matt Forbeck, new books were released in September last year as hardbacks aimed mainly at a middle-grade audience, although easily accessible and enjoyable by anyone with an interest in Dungeons and Dragons. The four books feature unique storylines in a multitude of popular D&D settings such as the dangerous, winding Underdark and the murky streets of Waterdeep while each one also focuses on a particular class, these four in particular star a fighter, a cleric, a wizard and a rogue.

Two of our friends gifted us the set as a Christmas present and I’ve loved reading through them multiple times! They feature brilliant art like that you find throughout the source books for D&D and although they seem small each adventure is packed with choices giving the reader multiple outcomes, not all of which are good.

38398948To Catch a Thief – Rogue
When you tried to pick the pocket of a civilar in the night-shrouded streets of Waterdeep, you never thought she’d catch you — and you never dreamed she’d force you into her service. Now you must find the baby griffon stolen by the beholder Xanathar, leader of the city’s powerful Thieves’ Guild. And if you should fail . . . you can count on spending the rest of your life behind bars, rogue. 

To Catch a Thief was the first of the four I read as I play/have played a good few Rogues in my time and it seemed a good place to start. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of art inside these books and reading about some of the popular characters from the Waterdeep campaign was a lot of fun. In my first read, I made it about three quarters through before I met my untimely demise but made it through the second time fairly easily. The story didn’t feel especially limited to a Rogue to me but enjoyable nether the less.

38398950Big Trouble – Wizard
When evil giants attack your home in Ardeep Forest, your parents think you’re dead and they go hunting for your missing little brother. You wake up and set out after them, helped by a giant wizard who lives in a flying tower. You don’t know where they’ve gone, but you know that if you don’t find them, you’re all in big trouble. Wield your magic wisely against the giants, wizard.

I died pretty early on in Big trouble to my absolute shock. I don’t play a lot of spell caster classes in the game and I often tend to forget just how squishy some of them can be. I found this one to be the hardest by far and died about four or five times, I did manage to survive twice but with unsatisfactory endings and a pretty good one. Despite having now read through Big Trouble at least eight times I’m fairly certain there’s still more to discover and plan to give it a few more tries still! This one felt a lot more suited to the chosen class of Wizard, although I definitely think it would fit an arcane trickster rogue too and as my favourite rogue archetype, this made me pretty happy.

38398947Escape the Underdark – Fighter
You awaken in an underground cell, stripped of your armor and your sword. Your fellow prisoners inform you that you’re trapped in the Underdark, soon to be taken to the great drowcity of Menzoberranzan and sold off as a slave. But word is that demons are stirring in the underworld’s depth. Perhaps you can use that to break free, fighter.

I love all things Underdark and as expected this is one of my favourites, unlike with the first two I read I found I actually got attached to the two characters who accompanied me which I hadn’t expected and after making two choices that led to my death it was third time lucky and got the best ending of any of the four books I’ve experienced. Although this is the Fighter book though I really didn’t think there was much that was hugely fighter specific to it but it was hugely entertaining even still.

38398952Into the Jungle – Cleric
The Harpers have lost one of their own, a legendary adventurer named Artus Cimber, keeper of the artifact known as the Ring of Winter. They’ve hired you to travel to the jungle-clad land of Chult to find him. If only you can manage to find Cimber before the frost giants do — or the zombies that infest the land get you first. You’re in the jungle now, cleric.

I’m not really a fan of dwarves and I’ve never been too sure of clerics but Into the Jungle totally won me over and is my favourite of the bunch. In one of the games of D&D, I play with friends we’ve had our fair share of run-ins with undead creatures and necromancy which I think added another level to this story for me. I only had to go back on one choice to accomplish the task my character had set out to complete but the journey there was heartbreaking and done so very well,. Into the Jungle definitely fit my style of storytelling more and not only had a brilliant and evocative storyline (in my playthrough at least) but also felt the most right and fitting for it’s chosen class.

In conclusion, I found the new series of Endless Quest books to be well worth the read and are a great way to dip your toe into the world of Dungeons and Dragons or to get you by until your next game session. Published by Studio Press Books, all four of these are available now and I’m hoping we’ll get some more classes in the near future. I would especially love to see Ranger, Warlock and Bard ones in particular!