Events, spoiler free

London Darkdawn Launch

event report

So, if you’ve been reading my blog for the past couple of years or so you might notice that I’m a bit of a Jay Kristoff fan. I fell in love The Illuminae Files and more recently, finally read The Nevernight Chronicles (although I’m yet to finish Darkdawn) and fell head over heels for everyone’s favourite knife wife, Mia Corverre, her friends, her companions and her enemies. So when tickets for the London Darkdawn launch with the man himself went live I frantically ordered myself and my husband (who adored The Illuminae Files too) one each right away.

We travelled up with friendlings and had lunch beforehand before heading to Goldsboro books to pick up our special editions of Darkdawn. I’d never been before and the store was small but lovely. I think the Goldsboro edition of Darkdawn may be one of the best-looking books I have ever seen and certainly my favourite. When we purchased our books the salesperson wrapped each one with a protective plastic covering which to me, was a beautiful personal touch and I certainly plan to order from there again in the future.

From Goldsboro we headed straight to the venue (give or take some coffee and ice cream), St James’s Church, just past the huge Waterstones Picadilly store. Having been to an event there before with Leigh Bardugo and then again with Cassie Clare and Holly Black we knew that arriving early was essential to getting a good seat and to be in with a chance of getting our books signed fairly quickly so we didn’t get back too late. We arrived at around 3pm and there were only two other people in front of us which was a bonus. I had brought my Waterstones copy of Darkdawn with me to read in the queue and my 3DS but in the end we actually all ended up chatting to each other and friends as they arrived. About 3:30/4 Jay actually popped out to see us which was awesome, he seemed genuinely shocked that we were waiting there for his event that didn’t start for another four hours. I maaay have embarrassed myself when I saw him, greeting him with a “Hey Loser” because I have no idea how to actually be cool and it seemed funny at the time? I’m not sure my friends or husband will ever let me live it down…

We were let into the venue (I think) a little earlier than seven which was nice and it was starting to get chilly and looked like it may rain. We managed to get one of the front seats which was brilliant, especially as I’m pretty damned short! It was nice chatting to everyone and in what felt like no time at all the event was underway, starting with a talk chaired by Samantha Shannon who I’ve seen chair a few times now and she’s absolutely fantastic at it. The talk lasted an hour with some questions at the end and it was probably one of the best talks I’ve been to, it was hilarious, heartwarming and informative. Some highlights were:

  • Finding out Nevernight came about after an argument between two friends one New Years Eve about the “dreaded” C-Word and whether it was an insult or not (If you’ve read Nevernight this will make a lot more sense).
  • World Building – Jay likes to address the broad first, i.e the key differences between our world and the fictional world.
  • The three things Jay can talk about at the drop of a hat are marvel comics, Lord of the Rings and Ancient Rome.
  • A lot of Jay’s inspiration for his writing comes from history, saying “The weirdest thing you can probably imagine has actually happened and it was probably weirder than you can imagine.”
  • “Jesus is okay with F*ck” (in response to not using the C-Word in church but dropping all of the F-Bombs.
  • Blowing Samantha Shannon’s mind when she discovered you could sleep with characters in some RPG video games, this example was The Witcher (Jay’s a Yen man y’all) and the unicorn scene. This moment was hilarious and as a gamer, it felt like chilling out chatting with a bunch of friends.
  • His number one piece of writing advice is to get to the fun (he used a brilliant Simpsons analogy “When are they going to get to the fireworks factory?!” Nevernight originally featured a ten-year-old Mia exploring Godsgrave.
  • Jay’s shadow companion would be a Jack Russell.
  • We got some more information about Jay’s next adult fantasy book “Empire of the Vampire” which I’m crazy excited for and may have whopped and cheered when he announced it.
  • The book that changed everything for Jay was The Hobbit, saying “I found my people in that book” and I actually got misty-eyed here because this was a big important book for me too for many of the same reasons.
  • I got to ask a question about his use of slang in most of his books (my favourite, “Son of a biscuit” it turns out was an Amie Kauffman invention) and he showed me how to correctly give someone the knuckles (I was SO close).

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After this came the signing and it was a little bit of a mess to be honest, some people were pretty peeved that those who had arrived after them were being let up to sign before them etc but we were still in the first row that were able to do so which was pretty awesome with me and we didn’t have to wait long at all. I was however incredibly nervous! After a joke about throwing his books, I had got a shirt personalised for myself (which I was wearing) and one for him saying “I only throw Jay Kristoff books” and felt like maybe it was a bit weird but it turns out he actually loved it (see vlog at the end of this post for reaction). He doodled a Mr Kindly in my copy of Nevernight, signed my copy of Godsgrave and a Nevernight poster I’d brought with me as long as our copies of the Illumine Files and chatted with Chris about getting back into reading etc which was lovely. We did have our picture taken with him too but honestly me and Chris look like nervous wrecks in it so have a nice picture of one of my signed books instead.

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I had a fantastic time and despite the organisational issues with the signing (which were a lot worse as time went on, we were very very lucky as a friend in the fourth row waited for over two hours). I really really hope Jay decides to come back to the UK in the future, maybe him AND Amie for one of the Aurora Rising releases or maybe Empire of the Vampire who knows!

Did you make it to one of the events? If so what was one of your highlights? If you couldn’t make it but would have liked to what would one question would you have asked Jay?

 

 

 

spoiler free, WWW Wednesday

3 Quotes, 3 Days – Part Two

Welcome back to Part Two of the 2 Quotes, 3 Days tag! I was tagged for the 3 Quotes, 3 Days post by Sarah from The Book Hooked Nook (Thank you, Sarah).

The Rules

• Thank the person who nominated you

• Post a quote for 3 consecutive days (1 quote for each day)

• Nominate 3 new bloggers each day

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“Every story needs its hero. And its villain. And its monster.”  Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff – Obsidio

I tag:

Gaynor (Paperbacks and Pinot)

Layla (Readable Life)

Surbhi (Books Untold)

Don’t miss the last quote tomorrow!

book reviews, spoiler free

Obsido Review

As with the review for Gemina I will do my best to keep this review as spoiler free as possible but there will more than likely be things like the mentioning of characters names etc that would be classed as spoilers for the first two books in this trilogy, Illuminae and Gemina. You have been warned, read at your own peril.

24909347Obsidio by  Amie Kaufman and  Jay Kristoff

Rating: XXXXX

Published: March 13th 2018 by Rock the Boat 

“But imagine what life would be like if it only gave us what we asked for? Wouldn’t that be grand?”

Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they’ll find seven months after the invasion?

Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza’s ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha’s past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict.

With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.

I needed a day or two break after finishing Gemina but dove right back into the Illuminae files trilogy with the last installment Obsidio. This being the final installment I had some concerns about how it would end and where it would leave my beloved characters. I was also worried about it not making an impact at all. The first two books had kept me on the edge of my seat with a very similar structure to each of the, both have quite big ‘fake outs’ as I would describe them and it worked well but I was one hundred percent I didn’t want that for this book. One of the biggest draws emotionally for me and final installments is that all bets are off, characters can die, things can go horribly wrong and so much more. It took me a lot longer to read this mostly because of that worry, a case of Schodingers Cat but with the ending of a book. If I don’t read the end then there are all these possibilities of things that could still happen but once I’ve actually read it then that’s the way the story ends no matter what. I was really worried I wouldn’t like it. Relatively good news though, Obsido may be my least favorite of the three if I was forced to choose but there are so many great moments and characters here.

Just like with Gemina I wasn’t overly keen on the new characters. Kady’s cousin Asha and her ex boyfriend Rhys. I warmed to them a little but nowhere near to the level of adoration I have for Kady, Ezra, Hana and Nik (also Ella and yes…even AIDAN) but this isn’t because they’re bad characters or badly written but more because they have to share narrative time with a lot of other stuff in this book. Kady and Ez were lucky and got pretty much a whole book to themselves, Nik and Hana got a good chunk of Gemina to themselves too but Asha and Rhys had to share so much more and as a result I don’t feel as much for them as the others. I often found myself wishing we were back on the Mao because that’s where everything felt more interesting.

Although I didn’t bond as well with the new characters, my love for some of the ‘older’ characters was solidified. The chemistry between the main four couples, Ella and even Issac grant are one of the best things about this book. I would happily read books and books of these guys, they make me laugh, they make me cry and they make me want to be better. We got a lot more insight into these characters and more, there are some absolutely great scenes that I’m so very glad we got and are some of my favorite in the series as well as some of my favorite lines. I cried a good couple of times and at one point I laughed so hard I choked on the biscuits I was nervously demolishing. I have so many feels about this book.

One important thing that I was glad was addressed in this book was a reminder of the fact that these characters are still just young themselves, Ella for example with all she’s been through is still only fifteen but they do no let their age dictate what they can and cannot do and this is the first time when there have been adults who really see them as nothing more than children and won’t even let them have a chance to prove them wrong. It makes my blood boil as I’ve been over looked so much in the past because I was young, because I was a girl/woman, because I didn’t have nice clothes or a fancy job so this resonates with me so much and really brought an extra dimension to it for me. My favorite part about this under lying theme though? When shit hits the fan they all day what they have always done and just got on with things. The adults in this series fall at the hurdles but these clever young people maneuver around them and help each other over them, no questions asked, no thanks given and without complaining. The way the world is today I’m starting to see more and more these kind of young people in our lives and how important it is that they are given voices and not over looked and I’m so pleased that was something that was touched on in this book.

This is a hard book to review while avoiding spoilers so I will most certainly be filming a spoiler filled book talk about all of these books in the super near future but I did want to say that I enjoyed the ending more than I though I would. It irked me a little in places as I closed the book but after a couple of days of reflection (which is why this review took a little longer to get out then the previous two) I realised that I did like the ending and that it felt right to end how it did which is the best I can say about a series I never wanted to end.

The acknowledgments were as grisly and awesome as always but it also announced that Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman would be working on another series together! The Andromeda Cycle coming out next year and according to Jay includes “hot space elves” and I am already so ready for this! Not to mention Lifel1k3 coming out in July also by Mr Kristoff. To finish off I gave this book an obvious five star rating, I toyed with a 4/5 but decided in the end it was more than deserving of the full five. If you haven’t check this trilogy out yet I highly recommend you do so, I’ve downloaded the audio books and know that I’ll be giving them a listen soon as I’m sure as hell not ready to fully let go of the Illuminae group just yet.