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Nevernight and Godsgrave – Jay Kristoff – Review

(I am going to review both books since I finished them while I was on my hiatus and the way I think about them is as one entity. It is just easier to review them at the same time instead of trying to piece out what happened in which book).

“The books we love, they love us back. And jut as we mark our places in the pages, those pages leave their marks on us. I can see it in you as I see it in me. You’re a daughter of words. A girl with a story to tell.”

Nevernight, pg. 243

Mia is our for revenge. Her father was killed. Her mother and brother imprisoned. She was supposed to die but escaped. Now she has a list of people that need to die. The only way she knows how to get her true revenge is by joining an elite group of assassins. But the test to get in is brutal. Even after she makes it the world is not as simple as she would like to think. Is revenge necessary and needed and who are her real enemies?

“Never flinch.” A cold whisper in her ear. “Never fear. And never, ever forget.”

Nevernight, pg. 16

This is again one of those book series that I have seen around but never pariticualy felt drawn to. I liked the premise but it didn’t stand out as anything too unique. Plus I thought it was more YA assassin and I thought it might be a little watered down.

Boy was I wrong on all accounts. First of all this is NOT YA. The author frequently says this and I have no idea how anyone who has read it can mistake it for YA. I know the protagonist is a teenager but damn this is beyond what you find in YA novels. I mean it opens with Mia literally losing her virginity and killing someone. This is how this series starts and the tone is set from that page onwards. (The way the same language is used to describe both scenes is poetry in action and I was blown away by that bit of storytelling).

Mia is my new favorite person. I adore her because she is one of those characters that is so dark and deep that you realize you will never truly understand her. You watch her struggle with her plans, her past and her present. She is constantly wondering if she is making the right choice while also taking lives in the process. While she questions the world around her, she is also not one to lay down at someone’s feet and let them control her.

Mia has complete control of her life and I admire that. Even with everything against her she finds a way to hold onto herself. She doesn’t forget who she is truly on the inside. She could become this full on killer or this wrecked soul instead she finds a way to be both.

Another thing I loved about this series is that it is unapologetically dark. People die, a lot. People are killed in brutal ways. People betray others and don’t care. People look out for themselves and themselves only. There is no sugar coating the darkness. There is no sidestepping around the issues trying to find the moral way of looking at things. Sometimes the world is dark and sometimes it is brutally dark. I like that Kristoff doesn’t sanitize it. You worry about the character because you know that they might not die but they will not come out of this series whole.

I also liked the way all the characters develop throughout the story. This story doesn’t have any shallow characters. There is no one who is just there to talk or be part of a backstory. Everyone has depth. Everyone has meaning. I feel like they are all alive and I worry about all of them. I want my favorites to make it but I know that won’t happen. In the end I want them to have a full and true story and I feel like that that is what we will get from this series.

“If you can’t hurt the ones who hurt you, sometimes hurting anyone will do.”

Nevernight, pg. 210

This is purely because of my personal preference and has nothing to do with the actual writing or story itself. I got a little bored in the middle of Godsgave because of the amount of battle sequences and fighting sequences.

The whole premise of that book is that Mia is part of this fighting ring in order to get close to one of those she wants to kill. To get to the end point she has to go through a number of fights and training. I am not someone who enjoys reading about battles, fighting or training to fight. I find the descriptions boring. I find it hard to focus on those moments.

The scenes were all well written and conveyed the story well. I just didn’t connect with those moments as much. Though I will say that the connection between the characters throughout this time was great. I found new favorites and feared for them during the fights.

“But there is beauty in knowing all things end, Mia. The brightest flames burn out the fastest. But in them, there is warmth that can last a lifetime.”

Godsgrave, pg. 134

There was nothing that stood out and threw me out of the book. I was able to predict many of the coming deaths. There is a lot of the – here is a character we are growing attached to, and now they are dead. Or the look, they got what they want or will get it and now they are dead. But that is not unsurprising in a book like this. You have to do that many times in order drive home what is at stake for everyone in the story.

I gave Nevernight five stars and Godsgrave four stars. As I stated above for Godsgrave I knocked off a star just because of my issue with the huge focus on fights. But as a whole I would defiantly give this series five stars so far. I can’t wait for DarkDawn in September. (I even preordered it and I never do that!)

“Thats the power of words: twenty-six letters can paint a whole universe.”

Godsgrave, pg. 265

Down the TBR Hole #14

I need to go through this list and determine what I really want to read. I have quite a few on my physical shelf that I am making my way. I like doing these because it reminds me of older books that I’d really like to read.

Rules:

It works like this:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 or 15 or 20, if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?
  • Keep track of where you left off so you can pick up there next time

Current TBR Shelf – 269

Collide – Melissa J. Crispin – I like the idea of a fighting to save earth and an afterlife but the characterization of the main woman being “selfish” makes me back away. I can’t stand whiny characters who think they know everything.
Decision: Remove

The Great ForgettingJames Renner – While I love the question at the end of the summary, is it better to forget or face your mistakes? The summary seems too much like running around trying to survive and I am just not quite in the mood for that story at this moment in time.
Decision: Remove

The Man of Primrose LaneJames Renner – I think I added some of these book because their setting is in my state. This one is just a murder mystery and not one that really interests me.
Decision: Remove

The Trouble with Being GodWilliam f. Aicher – Again there was a time I would have enjoyed this story. Another murder mystery but nothing that pulls me in.
Decision: Remove.

The Rules of Ever After Killian B .Brewer – I love the idea of messing with fairytales and traditional ever-after tropes. This sounds like fun.
Decision: Keep

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World – Vicki Myron, Bret Witter – It’s about a library cat! I mean how can you not want to read this! I adore animals, especially dogs and cats. (My own cat is currently curled up on my lap as I type this). I have to read this and just bask in the happiness of it.
Decision: Keep

Pivot Point – Kasie West – I like the idea of having to chose between two realities. While this seems to surround a love story primarily it still holds interest for me. I will have to give it a shot one day.
Decision: Keep

Enchanted – Alethea Kontis – I can’t figure out why I would add this one. It sounds super generic. Kissing a frog, becomes a prince and now she has to fall in love with him. Nothing screams original or new.
Decision: Remove

The Lie Tree- Frances Hardinge – The Lie Tree idea is what is appealing to me. I am not sure I’ll get to this one anytime soon but I think I might give it shot sooner or later
Decision: Keep

Are Prisons Obsolete? – Angela Y Davis – While this sounds interesting. I think it is more something I would watch a documentary about then read.
Decision: Remove

Keep: 4
Remove: 6

This is probably one of the more accomplished versions that I have done of these posts. The trick will be to see how many I add before the next one.

Mid Year Freak Out Tag

While I haven’t been blogging I have been reading. I’m never not reading. I thought this tag would be a good way to give a snap shot of my reading for this year so far.

Best book you’ve read so far this year

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

I have been putting this book off for ages and I finally read the first two in the series. I fell in love with this series so fast. I adore Mia and her fight to get what she wants. I adore the way this story looks at revenge and doesn’t treat the story with kid gloves. People die, people are murdered and harsh decisions are made. I cannot wait for the last book this September!

Best sequel you’ve read so far this year

In an Absent Dream- Seanan McGuire

I know this is more just part of the series then a sequel but I do love these books. I love the whole series and this one was no exception. I just wish these were longer because I get through them in about a day.

New release you’ve haven’t read yet but want to

There are two that come to mind. First after reading Nevernight I realized that I like Jay Kristoff’s writing as well as Amie Kaufman. I have Aurora Rising and am excited to dive into it soon.

I also really want to read I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver. I love the idea of a book about a non binary main character. I have heard great things about the one and am eager to read it.

Most Anticipated Release of the Second Half of the Year

Right now I would have to say DarkDawn. I cannot wait for this book. The way Godsgrave ended left me desperate to know what happens next.

Biggest Disappointment this Year

I would have say Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman. While I enjoyed it, it wasn’t as exciting as I wanted it to be. It felt very formulaic and didn’t really offer anything new in terms of the way of telling the end of the world type of story.

Favorite New Author

I would have to say Jay Kristoff. I just adore Nevernight so much that I am eager to read the rest of his books. I love the dark atmosphere of his books. I like the idea that his stories aren’t going to be all smiles and perfect. The darker themes are hard to write about sometimes but I feel like he did it well in Nevernight and I am interested to see how he does it in other stories.

Book that made you cry

This is hard because I don’t cry at books. Some might make me emotional but I just am not someone who cries. None of the books I have read so far this year are even that emotional. I think some were supposed to be, but they didn’t hit me that way.

Book that made you happy

The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu.

I love Magnus and Alec and can’t wait for the rest of this series. I love reading this because I get to see how they evolved better throughout the series. I also enjoy them because I know how they end up and it just makes me happy how their story ends.

Favorite book to film adaptation

It wasn’t film but a tv series, Good Omens. I loved this book and this series on Amazon Prime told the story perfectly. It followed the book in just the right way. It brought all the characters to life and I raced through it. I know it took a long time for this series to get to this point but it was time well spent.

Favorite post on your blog so far this year

Since I took a break I don’t have many to choose from. I honestly wasn’t thrilled with my posts from this year because I knew I was just posting to post. I hope that at the end of this year I can come back to this and have something to add.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far

I just love the cover for A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray. It is on my list to read soon.

Name a book you need to read by the end of this year.

I am just going to post a picture of the books that are sitting on my TBR shelf that I am desperate to get to soon!

Foundation Series – Issac Asimov – Mini-Review

I was at my uncles and he was getting rid of some book and two of them were the prequel and sequel to the main Foundation series. I liked the summaries of those, so he recommended I read the original series instead. I wasn’t sure how long it would take me to read the three main books in the Foundation series, it was a large book. In the end I got through all three books in about 2-3 weeks.

The Foundation series follow a civilization trying to keep themselves from complete destruction. Hari Seldon spent his life creating the Seldon plan. He knows that their universe is going to end up breaking down and falling a part. His math shows him that it will take 30,000 years to reinstate an empire. His plan will close that window into 1,000 years instead.

He creates two Foundation societies. These are placed on the opposite ends of the universe. They are in charge of following his plan and making sure that everything works to his plan. The three books go through some of the high points of following the plan.

One of the most interesting parts of this series is that it doesn’t follow a single character. We get to jump into characters during small portions of the time frame. The whole series takes place over hundreds of years. Instead of centering the story on these characters, it is the plot.

The creation of a new empire is the real character in this story. I was wrapped up in how they were going to make this work. They hit snags and it was fascinating to watch as different aspects of civilization popped up and faded away.

There was commentary on religion as a controlling mechanism that was interesting. I felt like I was reading about our own world’s history in fast forward. Trade came and went. Dictators came and went. The reader saw how this all could happen and why it was done to keep towards this path of a new strong empire.

I was surprised how much I enjoyed this series since there wasn’t any characters to latch on. I am a character reader. I look for someone I can relate too. Instead I found myself wrapped up in the way this whole thing took place. I wanted the empire to survive and I was okay with however that was done.

My uncle is adamant the prequel and one sequel are not that good. They were written years and years later. I do have them and might one day read them but right now I think I will stick with just the original series.

February Wrap Up

This month felt like a slower month for me. It was a slower month in terms of blogging actually. Reading wasn’t as bad, though apparently according to my Goodreads challenge I am 2 books behind. I am not going to get too upset about that yet.

This month was busier than I planned on it being. I didn’t have as much time during the weekends to read or write as I am used to. Hence why I had much fewer posts than I have in the past. I plan on trying to make that better in March but we will see if I am able to that or if things pop up again.

Books read:
I was able to read 3 books this month. It was a decent reading month. I enjoyed this months books.

Crucible – James Rollins – I love this series. This was a good addition to the Sigma Force series. It didn’t focus on who I thought it should focus on though. I did enjoy that it made me more afraid for the main characters than the any other ones have ever done.

Black Wings Beating – Alex London – I was expecting more from this book. It was interesting but didn’t spark enough for me to anticipate the next one.

Fear the Fantastic – K.A. Applegate – I didn’t remember this one from my first readings. It was interesting but it felt kind of boring compared to the other ones.

Blog Posts:
The Crucible – James Rollins – Review
Black Wings Beating – Alex London – Review
Fear the Fantastic – Everworld #6- K.A. Applegate – Mini-Review
Down the TBR Hole #13

(Not only do I plan on making sure to post more I also will get back to reading and commenting more.)

Books I Bought:
Past and Other Things that Should Stay Buried – Sean David Hutchinson
Here and Now and Then – Mike Chen
The Masked City – The Invisible Library #2 – Genevieve Cogman
In an Absent Dream – (Wayward Children #4) – Seanan McGuire
Nevernight – Jay Kristoff

Writing:
My writing group is going well. I have found it is helping me stay on track with writing. I may be writing random things and not necessarily my novel but the drive is there. At this point that is what I needed.


ABC Challenge (D)

Time to dive into the next letter of the alphabet and check out what stands out. This got a little delayed because my books were in boxes for a while but they are out and now on their shelves!

Earlier Lists: (A) (B)(C)

Memorable Titles with Starting with D:

Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown – I loved this book. The twists and turn were amazing and compelling. It was also fun because my mom read it right before we went to France and Italy and we were able to see a lot of the art mentioned in the story.

Dread Nation – Justina Ireland – This was a fresh look at zombies. I loved the way it dealt with history and past issues while also creating stunning story. I can’t wait for more from this world.

Dance of Dragons – George RR Martin – I enjoyed reading the Game of Thrones series. This one set up so much and I really wish the next book would come out. But I guess I have the show to give me answers at least.

Decipher – Stel Pavlou – Another fun thriller adventure that ties in history.

Doomsday Key and Devil’s Colony – James Rollins – I have said before that I adore the Sigma Force series. These are two great parts of that series. Doomsday Key was the first one I read and I was hooked.

Darkest….– Gena Showalter – The whole Lord of the Underworld series has Darkest as the first word in the series. This skiers is a guilty pleasure for sure. It is almost done which is goo because these last few books haven’t been my favorites

Dream Thieves – Maggie Stiefvater – This was Ronan’s book and solidified my love for him as a character. I cannot wait until we get his full series.

Books Starting with D on my TBR List:

End of the Year Book Tag 2018

Life has been super busy for the last month. I bought and moved into a new house (which is still filled with boxes), then there was Christmas. All of this made it difficult for me to do much blogging. I do have two books I want to review (as soon as I unbox one of them) and to do a another Down the TBR Hole tag, an ABC Challenge post and a Christmas book haul post. I will get to those soon but may be a bit after the New Year.

I wanted to get this one out before the end of the year. I though it would be a great way to wrap up the year and head off to the New Year! I am not sure where this tag started but I have seen it just about everywhere at this point.

Are There Any Books this year that you started and need to finish?
I am currently reading “The Archived” by V.E. Schwab. I would really like to finish that one before the end of the year but not sure I will have the time. If I don’t finish it before the 1st I will have it done in that first week of the year.

Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?
No, not really. I am not really a seasonal reader, more a mood reader.

Is there a new release you are still waiting for?
I am eager to read “Queen of Air and Darkness” by Cassandra Clare. It was the most recent one I that came out in mid December. I am also eager for James Rollins news Sigma Force novel, “Crucible.” It isn’t coming out this year but it will be out in early January so that is close enough.

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?
Since the end of the year is literally a handful of days away I am not going to get three books read. I will like to read as much of “The Archived” as I can. I also liked to get through a few stories in a collection I got for Christmas called Dystopians and Utopians.

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favorite this year?
I doubt it. I am liking “The Archived” but I doubt it will become my favorite of the year.

Have you already started making reading plans for 2019?
Sort of. I would really like to read more diverse books as well as books about psychology. I love the way the human mind works and would like to read more about that. I also would like to read a bit more about major events in history.

I tag anyone who is in the mood to end do an end of the year tag. Since I won’t be back until after the New Year, hope everyone had a great holiday and has a safe and Happy New Year!

The ABC Challenge (B)

I saw this challenge over on A Book. A Thought. I liked the idea of going through my shelves and thinking about some of the books that stick out in my mind. I have fun going through my shelves and picking out books. I found some that I want to reread soon.

Memorable Titles that Start with “B”

Beneath the Sugar SkySeanan McGuire – This was probably my favorite of this series so far. It was a fun, twisting story that I felt connected me best to the characters.

Blind Faith – Ben Eaton – I bought this when I was in London years ago. I remember it being about following a government without thinking for yourself. I need to read it again now and see how it relates to our time.

Because You Love to Hate MeVarious Authors- This was an interesting short story collection. It told stories from villain’s POV. Victoria Schwab has one about death that is just fantastic.

The Book ThiefMarkus Zusak – This is a classic and it is as good as the reviews have said. It heart-breaking but in the best way possible.

Books Starting with “B” on my TBR

What are your opinions on some of these books? Any that you love?

Vengeful – V.E. Schwab – Review

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Being an EO sounds great in theory. You get awesome powers and can do anything that you want. But you have to die in the process. You have to experience you breath stopping, your heart beat going silent. You wake up and then have to live with those memories. What if your death is caused by someone else? How do you live day to day with that memory in your head? What if revenge is all that you want and need? Can you be stopped? Should you be stopped?

(This is a review for a second book in a series. There will may be spoilers from the first book.)

 

 

What I Loved_-4

I have been waiting for this book since it was announced. I love V.E. Schwab, she is one of my favorite authors. I liked the first one because of how it concentrates on anti-heroes. Victor and Eli are not good people, they destroy what is around them and enjoy watching the world burn. Yet you are drawn to them, you understand them. I was curious how their story could and would continue.

This book picks up five years after Vicious. We see the results of Sydney bringing Victor back from the dead. We learn that bringing people back from the dead doesn’t always goes as planned. I enjoyed Victor’s journey throughout this book. He is desperate to find a way to save himself. As he dies over and over again he looks for anyone who can save him.

It was interesting because Victor is still his selfish self. His first concern is about how to save himself. He wants to live and he wants to survive. Though there is this small piece of him that really cares about Sydney. This is his saving grace. We see him trying to find a way to save himself without harming her.

I like how Schwab is able to make us care about these characters even though they are not good people. All of them kill at one point or another. They destroy lives yet I wanted them all to win. She does a great job and giving us a sympathetic side to them, giving us something to latch onto and relate to. Victor wants to keep Sydney safe. He wants her to not turn into him.

The new characters Marcella and June are two people who have been broken down and are now standing on their own two feet. Marcella was treated like a side piece. She was nothing but a figure to admire and use. After she rises again she takes her power back. She is no longer weak but a strong woman you can’t fight or deny. She is easy to relate to.

Once we see how she was treated, especially at a certain party scene you want her to win. You want her to kill and destroy those who hurt her. You want her to show that she can be just as strong as any of the men. I didn’t despise her. She was a woman wronged and she found a way to make things right for herself.

I loved June, she is my new favorite character. June is mysterious and I want to know everything there is to know about her. She has a past were don’t quite know. She was killed, but we don’t know how. She is a shape shifter who refuses to use her real face. I want to know why? I want to know what destroy her self image. I need to know why she is hiding.

Even though she is hiding though she still is strong. She is able to stand on her own two feet and she doesn’t let anyone tell her who she is. She can be anyone and she can take on any form. She is hiding but she is also showing the world who she can be. I want a whole book about her.

What I was just okay with
I had this same issue with Vicious, the end was quite quick. I felt like the book was setting up this huge fight. There were so many players and we saw them setting up so many elements. But the end fight was done quite quickly. I pictured a sort of cinematic fight, with all the people going after one another. In the end we got a quick fight with a definite end. I just wanted a bit more.

What I Wished was Different_
There was nothing that threw me out of the book. I loved the characters. I was impressed how much I felt connected to these despicable people. I thought the plot kept things moving.

I have this book five stars because I adored the characters so much. The end fight left me wanting more but the end it self left room for more and I hope to see these characters again.
Five Star

Copy of What I was just okay with
“Eyes were fickle. Minds were weak.” – pg. 57

“But there was, it turned out, a crucial difference between destroying things and destroying people.” (pg. 132)

“‘What does normal look like?'” (pg. 165)

“Men ahead of their time were always, by definition, outside of it.” (pg. 215)

“How many men would she have to turn to dust before one took her seriously?” (pg. 266)

“People can see an awful lot, and believe none of it.” (pg. 275)

“Every end may be a new beginning, but every beginning had to end.” (pg. 460)

Down the TBR Hole #10

I am close to a month since the last one of these. I am almost done with my current book but not sure when I will have time to get the review out. So I figured I would do another addition of this one in the meantime.

This was originally created by Lost in a Story .
It works like this:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 or 15 or 20, if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?
  • Keep track of where you left off so you can pick up there next time!

Dress Codes for Small Town – Courtney C. Stevens – A book exploring sexual fluidity while also questioning how to understand what you want despite the labels laid on you? Yes, please.
Decision: Keep

The Bookseller  – Cynthia Swanson – I love the idea of not knowing what reality is real.
Decision: Keep

Love is the Higher Law – David Levithan – I do love David Levithan’s books. This one seems super emotional so it will be one I have to be in the mood for, but I do want to get to it eventually.
Decision: Keep

Of Breakable Things – A. Lynden Rolland – I like the idea of choosing to stay in the spirit world instead of coming back to life.
Decision: Keep

The Lantern’s Ember – Colleen Houck – Love the idea of a deal with the devil and a defiant woman who won’t listen.
Decision: Keep


The Book of Lost Things – John Connolly – Whispering books. I am in.
Decision: Keep

If You Could Be Mine – Sara Farizan – Wow, this seems intense. Two women in love in a country that could end in their death if found out. A decision to change sexes to be together? I am extremely interested.
Decision:Keep

Nothing is Strange – Mike Russell – It seems alright but nothing really pulls me in.
Decision: Remove 

The Culling – Steven dos Santos – Sounds a lot like the Hunger Games
Decision: Remove 

The Last Equation of Isaac Severy – Nova Jacobs– A mystery that is kind of vague and generic sounding but there is also something pulling me in. I’ll leave it on for now.
Decision: Keep 

Keep – 8
Remove – 2

Didn’t do the best job clearing anything out this time but I was reminded of some books that I want to move up my list!

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