#SixforSunday

S4S – Books set in Schools

Six for Sunday

Continuing with the back to school theme (don’t even talk to me about actual school right now) this weeks theme from Steph at A Little but A Lot is “Books set in schools” I think I’ve discovered a trend I like in books…Harry Potter by J.K Rowling
An obivous one I know but I love the whole boarding school setting and I’m not sure if I discovered this because I read Harry Potter or because it reminds me of Harry Potter. Either way, I like it and I think good ole Hogwarts had a part to play in that so I had to include it. 

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
This probably feels as predictable as Harry Potter for me at this point as I’ve not been able to stop raving about this book and the rest of the Nevernight Chronicles for the past few weeks but I really loved Mia’s time in the Red Church and is in part a reason why this book has become one of my all-time favourites. For those who have yet to read Nevernight, the Red Church is basically Murder Hogwarts for wood-be assassins. 

The Starlight Watchmaker by Lauren James
The prestigious academy which Hugo lives on the grounds of in The Starlight Watchmaker is fascinating and full of so many different species of aliens who are all learning the skills they will need to lead and shape their worlds in the future, I loved reading about it. 

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson
Another boarding school setting, this time it’s a flight school where the pupils are trained to shoot defend their homes from an alien threat that has plagued them for years, not to mention that completing the programme and becoming a pilot of prestigious in itself!

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare and other authors
So this book collects all of the Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy short stories into one and although the content within a lot of these stories stretches further than the academy itself, the main storyline itself that the smaller ones are embedded into all take place within the academy. I loved this collection a lot more than I thought I would. 

Vampire Knight by Matsuri Hino
A manga instead of a novel but still counts, Vampire Knight mainly takes place at Cross Academy where human students attend the school during the day and vampires at night. This one is totally a boarding school again too, apparently, this is a thing.

Also, honourable mention to Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori is one of my favourite mangas and takes place almost solely in a school for rich kids (actually not a boarding school though, shock horror) where a “poor” honours student accidentally breaks a vase worth 3 million yen and works with the school host club to earn back the money. I would have put this on the list but I thought of Vampire Knight first.

Do you have a favourite fictional school? If so which one? When I was younger I always wanted to go to Cackles Academy from The Worst Witch (another honourable mention as I somehow forgot it when making this list).

 

#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S – Fictional places you’d love to go on holiday

Six for Sunday.png

Its Six for Sunday time and this week the prompt from Steph at A Little but A Lot is “Fictional places you’d love to go on holiday” I really miss going on holiday so I feel like this one might be fairly easy for a change although I would probably end up dead or in trouble in one or more of these places for sure.

The Prestigious Academy from the Starlight Watchmaker by Lauren James
I thought about adding so many different schools and/or academies I would love to visit like Hogwarts or the Aurora Academy etc but I opted for The Academy featured in The Starlight Watchmaker by Lauren James because I love how wonderfully diverse and inclusive it is and I would love spending a whole summer there just learning about the students who study there.

The LA Institute from The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare
I’m just such a sucker for that damn beach.

Velaris from A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
I’ve always loved Velaris, it sounds absolutely beautiful and was one of my favourite things about A Court of Mist and Fury.

Whitestone from Vox Machina Origins by Matthew Mercer etc
Although I’ve still not finished Campaign one of Critical Role which features the Vox Machina story I’ve become so curious about it and have really enjoyed what I’ve seen so far, especially the city of Whitestone. (I want to go visit the sun tree!)

Sitia (Ideally somewhere near the citadel) from The Chronicles of Ixia books by Maria V. Snyder
Magical, beautiful Sitia! Obviously, some bad stuff happens here (where doesn’t it) but I used to dream about shopping in the market by the citadel when I was younger and meeting Fisk and some of the Grand Masters as well as Yelena and Valek (but in disguise of course!).

The Shire from The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien
How could I not choose this one? For a brief moment, I pondered Rivendell, which I’ sure is very beautiful but I’m absolutely a Hobbit at heart and honestly, I think it’s quite likely that if I went on holiday to the Shire I would defintley end up trying to live there.

What fictional place would you love to holiday in? Do any of my answers appeal to you?

#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S – Summer TBR

So I have already posted a TBR for the month which is also sort of doubled up as my YALC TBR as well so I’m going to take the opportunity this week to use the Summer TBR prompt for this weeks Six for Sunday as a broader TBR of books I want to read over the next few months. There are a lot of books that have been out for a good while that I’ve been meaning to get to. I may have cheated a little bit and lumped some series of books together but I won’t tell if you don’t. You can find lots of awesome stuff, including some of the 2019 prompts for Six for Sunday if you want to join in over at Steph’s blog A Little but a Lot. 

Nevernight, Godsgrave and Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff
I am determined to finally finish Nevernight and get through Godsgrave in time for the Darkdawn release in September! I’ve loved what I’ve read of it so far but I made the mistake of sandwiching my reading of Nevernight between two blog tour books and ran out of time to finish it. Once I’ve worked my way through this months review books I’m dedicating August to getting caught up ready for the final book and Jay’s impending September visit to the UK as well!

Six of Crows and The Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
I made the same mistake with Six of Crows as with Nevernight and had to abandon it over halfway through which was painful because it’s SO up my alley, I LOVE groups of misfits, heists and morally grey characters and Six of Crows has all of these things. Then obviously I can move onto the Crooked Kingdom which will mean I’ll be caught up enough to finally read King of Scars although that’s not a summer priority for me.

Gilded Cage by Vic James
Since reading Sanctuary I’ve been desperate to read Vic’s earlier work, I’ve been hearing great things about this trilogy and I would really like to at least get the first one read before YALC (I’m debating trying to go Saturday too so I can meet her!)

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
I have been meaning to read this book and its sequels FOREVER. I think I just get worried they won’t live up to the hype I’ve heard sometimes but this is one of the reasons it took me so long to read the Illuminae files which have become my favourite books so I know I need to take the leap and I think this summer it might finally be time.

Ghosts of the Shadowmarket By Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan
The most recent book on this list, I’d really like to get this bindup of short stories read to start The Red Scrolls of Magic in the Autumn, I kept putting it on my monthly TBR but I think this is one that will have to wait until later in the summer as it is one of the only ones I have yet to buy.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
I’ve been debating reading this for a little while now. The sheer size of it has put me off time and again but earlier this year both the kindle and audible versions were on sale super cheap so I brought them both and now have absolutely no excuse not to finally listen to/read this book!

I’m so excited to finally read these damn books. I get distracted so easily so feel free to bug me and bug me about reading them!

What books are you looking forward to reading this summer and are any of them books you’ve been wanting to read for a while?

 

 

 

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

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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?

 

book reviews

Queen of Air and Darkness

40696414Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

Rating: XXXX

Published December 4th 2018 Simon & Schuster Ltd

“Every choice has a long afterlife of consequences. No one can know the eventual outcome of any decision. All you can do is make the best choice you can make in the moment.” 

What if damnation is the price of true love?

Innocent blood has been spilled on the steps of the Council Hall, the sacred stronghold of the Shadowhunters. In the wake of the tragic death of Livia Blackthorn, the Clave teeters on the brink of civil war. One fragment of the Blackthorn family flees to Los Angeles, seeking to discover the source of the disease that is destroying the race of warlocks. Meanwhile, Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and undertake a perilous mission to Faerie to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. What they find in the Courts is a secret that may tear the Shadow World asunder and open a dark path into a future they could never have imagined. Caught in a race against time, Emma and Julian must save the world of Shadowhunters before the deadly power of the parabatai curse destroys them and everyone they love.

So let me get started by saying I love the Shadowhunters books, it took me longer to come around to reading them than I would have liked but once I did I was hooked, Jace is my ultimate book boyfriend and I love so many of the characters with a fierce passion. I fell in love with The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices broke my heart and now I’ve finally finished the concluding book in the third series of shadowhunter books, The Dark Artifices and…I don’t really know how that makes me feel.

I have to say, actually, that, among other things, I do feel a little relieved, I started reading Queen of Air and Darkness on the day it released in December and I only finished it maybe a week ago. Six months. This book took me six months to read. Don’t get me wrong it’s an absolute tome so I didn’t expect it to be a quick read but this third book in the series just really didn’t grab me like any of the others across the whole of the range of shadowhunter books have, it was easy to put down and forget about. Because of its size, I also found it incredibly uncomfortable to read so decided to purchase the audiobook petty early on which I did for Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows as well. James Masters is a brilliant narrator for it and definitely made it a lot easier to get through, I’m sure it would have taken much longer without.

Despite it taking me six months to read I’ve still given Queen of Air and Darkness an XXXX rating because although it certainly had problems, especially with pacing etc there were just so many parts I liked about it as well I think there was just too much crammed in for one book and that maybe some cuts should have been made or the book split into two, I feel like this could have been done fairly easy as it did feel like two halves of a story put together and I do wonder if maybe the Dark Artifices was meant to be another longer shadow hunter series like The Mortal Instruments but trilogies are popular and it was decided everything needed to be shoved into this last book?

There are a lot of moments in QoAaD that feel a little like fan service but I suppose when you have so many characters all existing in one world and close timelines it makes sense that they interact with each other but it did make this instalment feel like another book in the Mortal Instruments series as much as it’s own trilogy. I can’t deny that some of these moments, however, were some of my favourite parts, partially for the nostalgia and in part because some of the older characters feel almost like dear friends after eleven or so books.

A large part of QoAaD is the romance, mainly the relationship and swirl of emotions between Jules and Emma but honestly I still couldn’t summon up much of any kind of emotion past mild irritation for their relationship which felt like a shame as I love Emma but Julian has just really gotten on my nerves for all three books. I did like the other relationships throughout this book and this trilogy in general, especially the polyamorous relationship between Kieran, Mark and Christina which was a huge highlight for me, it felt like it was done exceptionally well and it was lovely to see a lovely, healthy polyam relationship in YA. We, of course, had Alec and Magnus too and I honestly fell back in love with the two of them in this book which is perfectly timed for me as The Red Scrolls of Magic is likely to be my next Shadowhunter read.

Even with the horrid pacing, I do have to say that balancing SO many characters is no mean feat especially with so many of them having pretty good arcs, I actually liked Alec’s entire arc in the Dark Artifices more than I did throughout most of TMI. We have at least eight main characters and over thirty other characters that I would say are still relatively important and I feel like we get some pretty good content for all of them. Overall I loved the story we got but as I’ve said I would have much preferred it had perhaps been spread over two smaller and better-paced books.

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I want to talk a lot more about this book but there are just many spoilers that I would need to go into so I’m considering making a spoiler-filled book talk video like I’ve done in the past for Lord of Shadows.

Have you read any of the Shadowhunter books? If so do you have a favourite? I’m not sure I could pick one!!

#SixforSunday

S4S – Couples who need a sequel

Another week has gone by, another Sunday has arrived and it’s been somehow both a long week and a short one. It’s flown by but it’s been a hard one and I’m glad to see the back of it! I’m hoping things will calm down with any luck although amongst other things I’m off to Lego Land with my little family next week so we shall see. For now, at least it’s Six for Sunday time and this week the prompt is “Couples that deserve a sequel” which considering the past couple of weeks have been similar it was starting to get very difficult to pick some new and fresh ones but here we are and  I hope you enjoy them!

BRIEFING NOTE: Couple related spoilers are present throughout for Heartstopper, To Kill a Kingdom, The Mortal Instruments etc, Gemina/The Illuminae Files, Strange the Dreamer and Ouran High School Host club.

Nick and Charlie from Heartstopper by Alice Oseman.

I know they are getting a sequel and Alice updates Tapas with chapters regularly but these two will always need more because I love them so much.

Lira and Prince Elain from To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

I would love for there to be a sequel with the gang all getting back together, crew and all!

Jace and Clary from City of Bones etc by Cassandra Clare

Okay so I know that they technically already have like, six books BUT I would love even just a short story about them running the institute or something. I hate to say it but I kind of miss them.

Nik and Hana from Gemina by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff

I would love a story (short form or otherwise) of the two of them off on holiday or something after everything that happens. Hana just wants things to be normal so they try to go on a simple trip for a weekend, something like an exotic beach on another planet etc but then maybe there’s a hostage situation or something and things get all Die Hard? Oh my gosh. Die Hard meets Gemina yes, please.

Thyon Nero and Lazlo from Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

So I know these two aren’t really a couple but I loved the chemistry between the two of them right at the beginning of Strange the Dreamer and I think I would love a soft little story with these two just being kind, it doesn’t have to be romantic, although I think Thyron has always had a bit of a thing for Lazlo, to be honest.

Tamaki Suoh and Haruhi Fujioka from Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori

So this couple is actually from a manga series I read years and years ago that ran for eighteen volumes (80-ish chapters) it was a sweet, silly series about a girl who pretends to be a boy in a male host club at a school for insanely rich kids so that she can pay back a huge debt she incurs when she breaks an incredibly expensive vase. Both Tamaki and Haruhi have trouble understanding and later confronting their feelings for each other but everything turns out okay in the end as Tamaki moves to the USA with Haruhi and unbeknownst to them until the last moment, the rest of the Host Club are their neighbours! I loved the series and it did have a really great end but I would still very much like to see another volume or maybe even a small mini-series about what the gang get up in the USA.

Let me know what your choices would be in the comments or send me a link to your Six for Sunday post for this week!

 

#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?