book reviews

Chasing the Shadow by Maria V. Snyder

Book Review
48345515Chasing the Shadows 
by Maria V. Snyder

Rating: XXXXX

Published November 18th 2019 by Maria V. Snyder

QUOTE

SPOILER ALERT: Although this review will be spoiler-free for this book, this review and even the following synopsis are full of HUGE spoilers for the first book so if you’ve yet to read the first book and intend to do so without being spoiled for big plot points turn back here, I’ll see you back here when you’re ready to start the second. 

Year 2522. Lyra Daniels is dead.

Okay, so I only died for sixty-six seconds. But when I came back to life, I got a brand new name and a snazzy new uniform. Go me! Seriously, though, it’s very important that Lyra Daniels stays dead, at least as far as the murdering looters, know.

While dying is the scariest thing that’s happened to me, it morphed my worming skills. I can manipulate the Q-net like never before. But the looters have blocked us from communicating with the rest of the galaxy and now they believe we’ve gone silent, like Planet Xinji (where silent really means dead).

A Protector Class spaceship is coming to our rescue, but we still have to survive almost two years until they arrive – if they arrive at all. Until then, we have to figure out how to stop an unstoppable alien threat. And it’s only a matter of time before the looters learn I’m not dead and returns to finish what they started.

There’s no way I’m going to let the looters win. Instead, I’ll do whatever it takes to save the people I love. But even I’m running out of ideas…

After rereading/listening to the first book of the Sentinels of the Galaxy books by Maria V. Snyder in preparation for the release of its sequel, Chasing the Shadows Maria reached out to some bloggers to receive early copies of said sequel in exchange for an honest review in the two weeks surrounding its release. Not only was I lucky enough to receive an ecopy early but my paperback copy arrived early too and I absolutely devoured the whole thing in about a week which is a quick read for me nowadays.

I enjoyed Navigating the Stars (you can check out my spoiler-free review here) but Chasing the Shadows is a whole other ball game, I adored this book. It took all the best parts of the first and just improved on them and gave us more. I think a mix of Lyra having to mature after the events of the last book and perhaps getting used to her inner voice meant that the side of her that could be a little annoying at times was much less present this time around. She made a lot of rash choices don’t get me wrong but I could always see where she was coming from and why she made those decisions. I actually found I was really proud of her in this book, she’s come a long way and she’s learned so much physically and emotionally. Watching her actively take other peoples advice and at least consider her own safety at the behest of those who care for her was really refreshing and a great way of showing how much she’s grown.

#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S – Books I wanna snuggle with

Six for Sunday
This prompt is absolutely perfect. As I sit writing this I am currently in my comfiest PJ’s wearing my snuggliest pair of bed-socks and I’ve just managed to spend an entire hour snuggled up with a blanket and a book in my reading corner and let me tell it was pure bliss. I’ve found recently that I was snatching time to read books wherever and whenever I could, reading a few pages at a time etc but a couple of days ago I decided no matter how busy I get, no matter just how much I have to do, I am going to get comfortable and I’m going to spend at least half an hour on my sofa in the evening, in my reading room with a book, just reading and chilling out. Let me tell you, it’s only been a few days but I just feel so much more relaxed and calmer for it. I cannot recommend it enough. So now that I’ve enlightened you let’s crack on with books I wanna snuggle with.

Queen of Nothing by Holly Black
My copy of the last book (I think?) in the folk of the air series came early and it’s taking all of my willpower right now not to just immediately devour the entire damn thing. I’m currently reading a book for a blog tour in early December so I need to finish that and I’d promised to buddy read it with a friend who hasn’t received their copy yet and is away for the weekend. As a result, I’ve asked my husband to hide the book somewhere I can’t find or get to it because I have no willpower. This morning I found it on top of our board games which live on my bookshelves, it’s the highest point in our flat and I can’t reach it. Smart guy! So what I’m trying to say is that I would really love to snuggle up and read this damn book right now.

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
This is a prime snuggling up book, there are so many lovely sweet moments and it’s such an easy book to just fall into it’s absolutely perfect.

Star Wars: Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse
Much like with Queen of Nothing this is a book I desperately want to read as soon as I can. I’ve been looking forward to this book ever since it was announced and I can think of nothing better than snuggling up with a long-awaited book,

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
This is one of my favourite reads of the past few years and a book I would happily read again, this definitely feels like it would be a good book to snuggle up with on a cold night just thinking about it is making me want to reread it!

Finding Home by Hari Conner
Another brilliant graphic novel and quite possibly my favourite I’ve ever read. The slow burn is SO on point that I cannot explain and the art is absolutely exquisite. I could read this anywhere but I feel like snuggled up in bed is probably the best to enjoy it.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Another book that I tend to enjoy rereading which is weird because I actually hated it the first time I read it. I think this one might be interchangeable with A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury as well as these are all books that hold a lot of nostalgia for me I think nostalgia and nice, warm comfy blankets are a good combination,

I feel like I need to crawl back into bed with a good book now! What books do you love to snuggle up with?

#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S – Books with Blue Covers

Six for Sunday

Happy Six for Sunday! Today’s prompt from the lovely Steph at A Little But A lot is “Books with Blue Covers.” Most of my book covers tend to be on the darker side but I feel like blue is pretty achievable so let’s take a look!

The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine
This was one of my favourites and most memorable reads as a young child, I liked the differences between the two princesses and even though I absolutely identified with the strong-willed, dark-haired princess who  enjoyed sword fighting this was an important lesson for me where I realised you didn’t have to be strong or physically tough to be brave. I still love sword fighting more than embroidery though not gonna lie.

The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James
One of my current favourite reads and peak Lauren James. This book is super interesting with important themes and a slightly different but fun format that really allowed the story to unfold by layers that worked really well. Not to mention, as always, THAT TWIST. Cannot explain how much I love this gorgeous book.

Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman
Another departure from my usual reading habits, again I picked this contemporary up due to liking the authors’ previous work which was in-fact another contemporary! Summer Bird Blue is a beautiful, interesting and enjoyable read that had me in tears multiple times!

Blue Salt Road by Joanne Harris
Another beautiful poetic fairy tale by Mrs Harris, like A Pocketful of Crows this tale is inspired by the Child Ballads and feels just as iconic, this time though we follow the path of a selkie. I was always fascinated with selkies as a child so this was a fantastic read for me.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Speaking of beautiful poetic prose, Strange the Dreamer reads like a five hundred and thirty-six page poem and has a gorgeous blue and gold cover to boot. This was also the very first book that I had ever since and/or brought with sprayed edges and it changed my whole world.

The Extinction Trials by S.M Wilson
Described as The Hunger Games with dinosaurs and I gotta say I usually hate those stickers that say things like that plastered all over books but honestly it’s pretty damn accurate and a trilogy I absolutely love.

So all done and dusted for another week! Apologies for being a little slow getting back to comments at the moment as I’m either doing the being a parent thing (and it’s been a busy week for meetings – yay) writing frantically or reading just as frantically because oh my GOSH there are so many great books coming out right now and honestly I just want to read them all. Are there any books coming out right now that you’re super excited to get to reading?

spoiler free, tbr thursday

TBR Thursday – November 2019

tbr Thursday
Okay so it seems forever since Octobers TBR post for some reason although I did only get around to reading one of the books on that massive list I made, I was definitely far too ambitious and underestimated how busy a month it would be. As a result, this months TBR is much smaller, especially because on top of everything I’m also taking part in NaNoWriMo which is taking up almost all of my free time to be honest (I feel like I haven’t seen my FFXV boys in YEARS and none of my animal crossing villagers like me anymore). Still, these are the books I still hope to be able to read this month.

Chasing the Shadows by Maria V. Snyder
If you caught my WWW Wednesday post yesterday you’ll know that this is my current read. I’m lucky enough to have been granted an early e-book copy ready for the release which is fast approaching now! It’s been a great read so far and I’m finding it very hard to put it down, even more so than Navigating the Stars.

CTRL S by Andy Briggs
I believe I mentioned this in my last two WWW Wednesday posts but the book took a little longer to arrive than I thought it would BUT it’s here now and will definitely be my next read! CTRL S is apparently perfect for fans of Ready Player One and follows Theo Wilson as he searches the dark side on an online universe for his kidnapped mother in a world where people are harvested for their emotions.

The Sky Weaver by Kristen Cicarelli
A second sequel/companion story to The Last Namsara which I LOVED to pieces! I can’t wait for the next instalment and was so happy to find this on NetGalley by accident a little while ago! I of course also have my copy pre-ordered and have already received my beautiful pre-order goodies, these gorgeous art cards featuring characters from the books!

Dewdrop by Katie O’Neil
This is another early copy I received via Netgalley and is a children’s story about an Axolotl I can’t wait to read and hoping my little one will share with me!

I also have some comics and graphic novels I’m hoping to get around to reading too but we’ll see how things go although all bets are off if the newest copy of NPC Tea arrives because I am in DIRE NEED folks. Have a great weekend and I’ll hopefully see you back here Sunday if I don’t drown under my word count goal!

 

spoiler free, WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday November 6th 2019

www wednesday
It’s been a fortnight already which is crazy, I felt like my last one of these posts was only a few days ago! It must be NaNoWriMo brain (check out my latest NaNo post here to see how I’m getting on). Still, I’m here and I’ve at least done SOME reading in between frantically writing so here’s my fortnightly check-in! Its scarily very similar to last fortnights check-in  but shhh.

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?

I’m working my way through Chasing the Shadows by Maria V. Snyder again at the moment! Still so grateful to have been given the chance to read this early and I’m really enjoying it so far!! It’s been really hard to put down. I know I was reading this for my last post a fortnight ago but I had some problems with my phone (where I’ve been reading it) charging really slowly so opted to read a paperback until I could get it fixed. Good news is the problem is sorted and I’m flying through this now!

What did you recently finish reading?

Unexpectedly, I ended up reading A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas which hadn’t been planned at all but after watching the latest teaser trailer from the lovely folks at The Starfall Court (check it out here) I was desperate to delve into that world again and this short novella of sorts was absolutely perfect and just what I needed. You can check out my review that went live on Tuesday here.

What do you think you’ll read next?

With any luck this time I’ll actually read CTRL S by Andy Briggs next. It arrived a little later than I thought it would so I wasn’t able to start it but it’s absolutely next on my list although my review might not be up for a little while yet as I’m taking part in a blog tour a little later on so keep your eyes peeled!

If you’re interested in what else I plan to read this month then never fear as tomorrow is the first Thursday of the month and therefore time for my monthly TBR Thursday post which is looking a little thin for a change but hopefully all the more manageable for it!

 

book reviews

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas

Book Review

31076583._SY475_.jpgA Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas

Rating: XXXXX

Published May 1st 2018

“And in the end though, we’d saved each other. All of us had.”

Hope warms the coldest night.

Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve.

Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated–scars that will have a far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.

So I put off reading this for a long time. I preordered this and got it on release but after A Court of Wings and Ruin, I wasn’t really feeling the ACOTAR series very much. I’m not sure if I was burnt out from all the hype or if it just wasn’t a great book but the third book just felt so lacking for me in places (don’t get me wrong, some bits were great, I cried. Multiple times). Anyway, it meant that when this came out I wasn’t really in the mood to read it and it just got left at the bottom of my TBR pile. But then the Starfall Court cosplay group happened.

The Starfall Court is a group of cosplayers from around Europe who cosplay as characters from the ACOTAR books, I stumbled across them when checking out Woodsmoke and Words on Instagram after seeing them cosplaying Molly (from Critical Role) and fell in love with their rendition of Lucien Vanserra. Most of you probably already know that Lucien is my favourite ACOTAR character and that my D&D character is kind of my own AU version of him and honestly folks, Tilda’s Lucien is amazing. I then went on to find out that they were a part of a group called The Starfall Court and that they were filming a fan trailer for ACOTAR and ACOMAF. Those two books really brought me back into reading a few years back so I checked out the group and the teasers for the trailers etc and OHMYGOSH. I was transported back to reading those first two books and reminded about all the stuff that I did love about them. I’ve watched it a good few times since and thanks to those lovely folks I finally felt ready to read this novella so I wanted to give them a little shout out and show you what they’ve been up to so far.

Now on with the review, I promise! Just as warning though although there won’t be any big spoilers for this particular book in this review I don’t reccomend reading this if you haven’t read the first two books and intend to.

I’m so glad I finally picked up this book although I now want to reread the whole damn trilogy (well, the first two at least) damnit. It’s definitely a big nostalgia hit for someone who has been away from the series for a while like myself and I think that might have attributed to my enjoyment of it but I think that’s maybe the point? It takes the fun parts of the trilogy and really amplifies them but not to the point that it’s just fan service for the sake of it. It’s set during the solstice festival so the slight silly-ness I feel is warranted but it also focuses on the scars those of the night court and some beyond, are now trying to come to terms with (in most cases) and it the balance just feels right.

The novella feels shorter than it looks but I think this is mainly because although the plot does move at a good pace this novella is heavily character-focused. I was initially sad that we didn’t get more Lucien but I think the amount he was involved made sense to the story and honestly how he’s feeling at the moment. There are some really lovely scenes and I forgot how much I actually do really love the relationship between Rhysand and Feyre, there are so many beautiful moments where things that may seem little actually feel kind of big emotionally. They really respect and understand each other and it was nice to get a glimpse into the “happily ever after” side of things. Especially because as one story is ending more is beginning and we get seeds of that spread throughout this book which have made me really excited for the next book in the series which, judging from the sneak peek at the end of this, seem to be centred around Nesta who I’m morbidly curious about.

Overall I really really enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. There was the usual ‘universe-shattering’ sex scene but thankfully only the one, which honestly it wouldn’t have felt right without and it was mostly bearable. I did enjoy the mention of Fae ‘cycles’ which made me laugh a little but I appreciated the lack of tiptoeing around. A Court of Frost and Starlight, for its small faults really dragged me in and was enjoyable to read, it definitely felt like a good example of how well Sarah J Maas can write and is a nice place to end the first trilogy instead of the hot mess I felt that A Court of Wings and Ruin was. If you’ve read the rest of the series, even if you felt disappointed with the last book I would still recommend giving this a go. If anything it’s interesting seeing things from the point of view of other members of the Night Court too.

Have you read the A Court of Thorns and Roses books? If so what did you think of them? I know its a bit of a marmite series for some with people often either loving or hating it. If you’ve read the Throne of Glass books too did you enjoy ACOTAR more or perhaps you haven’t got around to the series yet?

 

#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S – Books with Snow/Ice in the title

Six for Sunday

Happy Six for Sunday folks! I hope you’re enjoying November so far and that you had a great Halloween if you celebrate it. For the first Six for Sunday prompt of the month by Steph at A Little But A Lot, we have “Books with snow/ice” in the title.

Warriors: Fire and Ice by Erin Hunter
This was the first one that came to mind! Mainly because where it’s displayed on our bookshelves it’s really easy to see the tide of Warrior cats books.

Caressed by Ice by Nalini Singh
The third (I think) in the psy-changeling book series by Nalini, these are one of my ‘guilty pleasure’ reads that I’ve always loved the story surrounding, especially the Psy side of things.

Ice Study by Maria V. Snyder
This is one of the short stories Maria wrote in-between the first and second half of the study series. They may be short novellas of a sort but some important stuff happens in them AND they’re pretty awesome so well worth a read.

Snow like Ashes by Sara Rasch
I haven’t read this one but I DO own it after the cover intrigued me and it was part of a 3 for 2 sale when I was already planning to buy two books. It sounds interesting it’s just not too high on my TBR list at the moment.

Girls made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust
Another book I own yet haven’t read. A friend told me about this one and I brought it immediately, desperate to read it. Then, of course, I do what I always do and get distracted by another book and then pretty much forget about it. I will get to it eventually though because it sounds fantastic.

Snow White and the Seven Samurai by Tom Holt
Oh look, yet again a book I own but have not read! This was another casualty of a 3 for 2 sale. It sounded like a fun read and I’m sure it is but it just doesn’t grab me enough to be especially high on my TBR.

Does anyone else have a physical TBR that could easily crush them at any given moment? This just reminded me how many books are on my shelves that I’ve actually not read yet and it is scary. At least I’ll likely never run out of things to read though right?