ARCs · Reviews

The Tiger’s Watch by Julia Ember

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Sixteen-year-old Tashi has spent their life training as a inhabitor, a soldier who spies and kills using a bonded animal. When the capital falls after a brutal siege, Tashi flees to a remote monastery to hide. But the invading army turns the monastery into a hospital, and Tashi catches the eye of Xian, the regiment’s fearless young commander.

Tashi spies on Xian’s every move. In front of his men, Xian seems dangerous, even sadistic, but Tashi discovers a more vulnerable side of the enemy commander—a side that draws them to Xian.

When their spying unveils that everything they’ve been taught is a lie, Tashi faces an impossible choice: save their country or the boy they’re growing to love. Though Tashi grapples with their decision, their volatile bonded tiger doesn’t question her allegiances. Katala slaughters Xian’s soldiers, leading the enemy to hunt her. But an inhabitor’s bond to their animal is for life—if Katala dies, so will Tashi.

I’ve wanted to read Julia Ember’s books for a while now.( I still haven’t found the time for The Seafarer’s Kiss ) and then I got accepted for The Tiger’s Watch on NetGalley. I guess it was fate. The book had the perfect length for my flight home from Gran Canaria and I wouldn’t have been able to stop anyway.

The Tiger’s Watch has everything you could want in a book: Great characters, wonderfully described settings, magic.
I’m normally a bit wary when reading about animal bonds, since I read some weird ones before, but the idea of inhabitors was so intriguingly implemented that I accepted it easily. We learn bits and pieces on the lore and how these bonds between humans and animals are formed without it being an overload of info dumped onto the reader. The characters are fully fledged and well-rounded. There is no one I truly disliked, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the dynamics and relationships are going to develop later on.

So many different sexualities and gender identities are portrayed in this book. I’m very glad that they are all being accepted without the need of any explanation whatsoever. It’s my first time reading a book with a genderfluid protagonist and while it is a huge part of Tashi, it is never used as a plot device. We get glimpses of how they are feeling and whenever they are being misgendered, someone points it out and the people are quick to correct themselves and use the correct pronouns.

I can wholeheartedly recommend The Tiger’s Watch and I can’t wait for book two to come out next year. As soon as I get my hands on my physical copy, I’ll probably reread it again. The Tiger’s Watch comes out on August 22nd, so you’d better grab yourself a copy!

My rating: ★★★★★
Release date: August 22nd, 2017
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Format: eBook
AmazonGoodreads

Reviews

Blogger Recognition Award

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Good evening, everybody!

I haven’t been tagged in quite some time and now I have even been tagged twice for this one! Thanks so much to Phanny over at Phannie the Ginger Bookworm and Rebecca at Rebecca Reads. Go and check out their amazing blogs!
I actually planned to post this last week, but thanks to wordpress and a wobbly internet connection the post got lost somewhere in the deep dark net. I have no idea how I found this one again so let’s just say it was fate.

The Rules

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Write a post to show of your award.
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  6. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them & provide the link to the post you created.

The Story of how my blog started

I always loved the idea of book blogging, but never started because I felt like I wasn’t any good at writing reviews. When I was writing my Bachelor thesis last July, I really wanted to start a blog, but knew that I couldn’t just leap into it. Otherwise, I would have definitely used it as means to procrastinate (and I already did that way too much without the distraction of blogging). So instead I decided to start as soon as I was finished with it and I managed to publish my first post in October I think? It was even easier to launch into this project since my dear friend Bekka joined as well and we keep motivating each other to write.

My Advice to new bloggers

Don’t feel pressured to write. It’s supposed to be fun and you’re doing it because you want to. Everyone has off days, a writer’s block, or just not enough time. I know it looks nicer if you post quite regularly, but it’s not always possible, so don’t beat yourself up too much about it. For me, organising my posts and binge writing a whole evening helps me staying (more or less) on track. This way I have some stuff stored away for later. Plus, I can use all my cute stationery for it.

Social Media is a great way to get your blog out there and also to get to know a lot of very nice people!

My tagged bloggers

I hope I didn’t tag anyone who already did this 🤓

  1. literaryleaves
  2. sincerelykarenjo
  3. bookishdiana
  4. ashleighbekkah
  5. onceuponabookshelf
  6. rattlethestars

 

ARCs · Reviews

Review: The Snow Angel by Lauren St. John

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Lauren St John’s stunning Christmas classic is about forgotten children, the power of nature to heal us and a girl who will climb mountains in search for a place to call home.

Growing up in vibrant, crowded Nairobi, Makena has only one dream: to climb Mount Kenya like her hero, her mountain guide father. But when her beautiful world is shattered, she finds that in the city’s dark places there are a thousand ways to fall, each more deadly than any crevasse. In a world of strangers, does she dare trust Snow, whose ballet dreams are haunted by a past she’s still running from? And is the sparkling fox friend or foe?

After a fresh start in the Scottish Highlands turns bad, Makena flees to the mountains. But will they betray her or be the making of her?

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book was not at all what I expected from the summary. Especially the fact that this is advertised as a Christmas book and since I’m one of those people that can only start listening to Christmas songs on December 1st, so reading that topic in summer felt kind of weird. Fortunately, Christmas only played a bigger part towards the end of the book, where it made more or less sense to add it. This book, in my opinion, is much more than a Christmas tale.

The first couple of chapters were kind of slow but then I found my way into Makena’s story and was so enraptured by it that I couldn’t put down the book. St. John manages to beautifully depict the landscapes, cities and people in Kenya, as well as Scotland. Reading them I could imagine scaling up those mountains myself.

While the first chapters felt too slow, the later chapters were too fast paced for my taste. This, I think, is quite the shame, because I would have loved to learn so much more about the circumstances and life in Kenya. Instead it was like rushing through those important plot points, which all seemed to end in some kind of new drama. To sum it up, there was too much happening for only two hundred pages and it showed.

Another thing that irked me were the characters. We learned a lot about Makena, but I got the impression that every other character was just there so she could get more character development. They were introduced and were important, as well as actually interesting for a while, just to be mentioned in passing later on.

I liked this book, don’t get me wrong. I just think it could have been so much better.

My rating: ★★★
Release date: October 5th, 2017
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Format: eBook
Amazon; Goodreads

Reviews

Review: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

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You go through life thinking there’s so much you need…

Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.

Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

Happy Saturday, lovelies!

I’m finally back with a little mini review of Nina LaCours “We Are Okay”. Phew, I’m not, by the way, , maybe semi-okay. In a good way though!
My friends have been talking about it for months and I’ve finally got around to read it. Before we start, let’s appreciate the cover a bit more. I’m so in love with the design, I don’t actually want to give back the copy I borrowed. So I’m going to keep it for a bit longer and admire the view, and probably reread it again.*

Continue reading “Review: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour”

Reviews · Reviews

Review: Always and Forever Lara Jean by Jenny Han

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Hello lovelies!

Anyone who follows me on my other social media might know that I already got this gem earlier last week. I was right about to use my lunch break to pick up the book from the store, before my sister took it upon herself. So why did it take me this long to write the review you ask? Well I got sick and spent most of the time sleeping and I still can’t seem to write any reviews while sleeping. Sad.

If you haven’t read the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series, you should do so now and come back later. It’s about 16-year-old Lara Jean, who wrote love letters to all the boy’s she loved before (hence the title) that get suddenly sent to said boys. It all spirals into confrontations, confessions, fake relationships. To top it off there’s lots of baking and the portrayal of cute relationships between sisters. Also we’ve got Asian-American main characters!

I’m putting a read more here for good measures, since I’m not sure what y’all would consider spoilery and most of it are just my feelings towards the book anyway. Continue reading “Review: Always and Forever Lara Jean by Jenny Han”

Reviews

Review: The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

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I look at my hands. One of them says FLORA Be brave.

Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. Her mind resets itself several times a day, and has since the age of ten, when the tumor that was removed from Flora’s brain took with it her ability to make new memories. That is, until she kisses Drake, her best friend’s boyfriend, the night before he leaves town. Miraculously, this one memory breaks through Flora’s fractured mind, and sticks. Flora is convinced that Drake is responsible for restoring her memory and making her whole again. So when an encouraging email from Drake suggests she meet him on the other side of the world, Flora knows with certainty that this is the first step toward reclaiming her life.

Continue reading “Review: The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr”

Unboxing

Unboxing: Fairyloot #2

Happy Sunday everyone!

I can’t believe this is already my fourth Fairyloot box and only the second one I’m posting about. Shame on me. Especially because they are all so pretty. But I’m not going to withhold this gem from you any longer!

The theme is Myths and Monsters and the March box is actually the first anniversary box. Therefore, it came in purple. A very nice shade of purple to be more specific. A shade that fits right into my room with it’s purple walls. Against all odds, purple is not my favorite colour, otherwise this blog would have been called purple pages. The more I write that word, the more it looks wrong, so let’s just continue with the important part: The Unboxing.

As soon as we got a few tips on which book is going to be inside, I had to check the new releases. I’m usually not a fan of spoiling myself but I had my suspicion and I had to see if I was right or wrong. For once I was indeed right and I couldn’t be happier about getting Laini Taylor’s Strange The Dreamer. It’s so pretty and even has a sketch by the author. If it’s anywhere near as good as her Daughter of Smoke and Bones series, I can die happily. It also came with one out of three possible postcard designs.

Look how pretty it is!

They added a scarf for the first time. While I appreciate the dragonscale design by GivArt, I’m just not a huge scarf wearer apart from hiding in them during Winter, so I’m probably giving it to a friend as present.

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Since I started subscribing to Fairyloot, my stack of bookmarks exponentially increased (as did the amount of book bags I’m hording and using whenever I’m lending books to other people). This month, there are these cute ones by Bonitismo I can add to the collection; and they’re even magnetic!

Another thing that I — and probably nobody — can get enough of are candles. Good thing, the amazing people at Fairyloot added one to box. This Shadowhunter inspired candle from GeekyClean is just what I need in my candle batch. It smells quite strongly like black cherry and lime and I can’t wait to actually light it instead of just sniffing it.

This unicorn and rainbow fairy lights arrived just in time. I’m not so sure about the design yet, since I’m not really that into unicorns (or horses in general to be honest), but as far as I have tested it, you don’t see the shapes that clearly when it’s switched on anyway. Well, I wanted to get myself fairy lights for a while now so I’m not complaining.

Last but not least, I want to tell you about my favorite item in this box: The mermaid pocket mirror. I’ve always been fascinated by mermaids and Book Otter’s design is simply magnificent. The mirror is handy and fits right into all my bags so I can finally stop using my phone whenever I have to check myself in a mirror.

I got so used to having a nice book box delivered to my doorstep every month and I’m sad to take a pause from it, but unfortunately the next two theme’s aren’t really my cup of tea. So I might just try another subscription box for now since I’m basically saving money this month and the next; And then I’m surely back in June with another Fairyloot Unboxing so you guys can look forward to that!

Reviews

Review: King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

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“Not a god’s chosen, but a god’s cursed. That’s what we all are.”

Welcome to another review! First things first: I would consider this full of spoilers. With using the conditional here I do mean to say that this is literally a huge spoiler bubble. Especially because I like to share my thoughts on certain important plot points that happen towards the end of the book. So be warned. I’ll be adding a read more for good measures. You’ll be on your own from here on; okay, no I’m kidding. I won’t leave your side.

Continue reading “Review: King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard”

Reviews

Review: A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

29939230Witness the fate of beloved heroes – and enemies.

THE BALANCE OF POWER HAS FINALLY TIPPED…
The precarious equilibrium among four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving a space for another London to rise.

WHO WILL CRUMBLE?
Kell – once assumed to be the last surviving Antari – begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. And in the wake of tragedy, can Arnes survive?

WHO WILL RISE?
Lila Bard, once a commonplace – but never common – thief, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry. Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery of the Night Spire collects his crew, attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible.

WHO WILL TAKE CONTROL?
And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay.

Happy Saturday! 🙂

Spring is finally upon us and this weekend was nice enough that I just spent the last hours sitting outside with coffee and cake, and most importantly, my kindle (this would have been a really nice k-alliteration in German. Guess, I can’t have everything). And I finally, finally, finished A Conjuring of Light. I apologize in advance for how unorganized this review is, but I just had to write something the moment I’m done when most of my thoughts are still wrapped around the book.

That one was a wild ride. It feels like I read it for months and not just a little bit over a week. Oh boy. I can’t count the number of times I had to put down the book just to take a deep breath. Hint: It was almost all the time. As you might remember from this post here, I originally planned to binge it all. Didn’t really work that well due to the usual work related reasons and other books I squeezed in. I’m not sure if it would have been healthy anyway after that ending and the now looming reading slump.

But back to the book. This one is by far my favorite one out of the whole series. The moment I started the first chapter I was hooked again and it never stopped. I’m not sure if the Essen Tasch happened in this book or if it was part of the one before (or maybe part of both? Distinguishing between the both is kinda blurry at the moment) but I loved it. It was interesting to see another aspect of how magic is handled in Red London and I was just mesmerized by the tournament. Especially since everything was still okay.
Why couldn’t it just stay happy and simple. Instead it got so intense with people dying all the freaking time. Like, I really would have appreciated a break from time to time, so I didn’t have to take them myself.

Nevertheless, Victoria Schwab managed to create such a wonderful world with even more amazing diverse characters and I’m in love with all of them. Literally all of them. I can’t even decide who I love the most. If any of you are thinking of reading the Shades of Magic series, I can just repeat the list I tell my friends (while subtly forcing them to read it asap of course):

  • Badass Cross-Dressing Pirate Lady (and even more pirate ladies)
  • POC main characters
  • actual bisexual characters
  • Magic!!
  • The only thing better than London: four Londons

Honestly, at this point I’m still not ready to say goodbye to the story, and it’s been a few days already. Any tips on how to get over a reading slump? So far, I’m trying to reread old ones because I have no open mind for my tbr.

 

Reviews

Review: Heartless by Marissa Meyer

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Hello people! I promised you reviews and I’m not going to disappoint today. Coincidentally the first review of this year is also the first book I’ve read in 2017.  Heartless by Marissa Meyer is an Alice in Wonderland inspired novel focusing on the queen of hearts. I’ve always been quite fond of fairy-tale retellings and Alice in Wonderland has been quite a constant thing in my life as far as I can remember.

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

Before you read the book- maybe even before you continue reading this review- get yourself something sweet. Chocolate. Muffins. Cake. Whatever works best for you. Because I can tell you that you’ll be aching for sugary treats as soon as you start reading. Catherine, the protagonist, is a passionate baker and all the descriptions of lemon tarts, pumpkin pie, and scones make your mouth water so much I contemplated pausing and making myself some scones as well. Luckily, I could convince my mom to get me some Baklava, so I could continue reading while I was waiting. Yes, I just wanted to tell you all how great my mom is. Five stars. End of review. (Okay, I just noticed that I won’t talk about any more desserts, but please indulge yourself on my account ! 🙂 )

But for real, I devoured this book. “Fine literature does work up an appetite”. I think we can all agree with this quote. And this isn’t the only quote I have for you guys today. I basically lived for all of Meyer’s references to the original work. It wouldn’t have been Wonderland without its quirks and Jabberwockies. The Hatter’s, or should I say Hatta as he is called here, portrayal was on point and now I have at least three different answers to why a raven is like a writing desk. While we get our beloved and often quoted ones, I don’t want to withhold this gem for you:

“I heard the most delightful talk at the party today […] about a little girl who discovered an upward-falling rabbit hole just off the Crossroads, and when she started to climb her body fell up and up and— “

There’s literally nothing you can do wrong with subtle references and I did enjoy that brief glimpse into their experience with dear Alice.
Another thing I liked about Meyer’s writing style that you could pinpoint the beginning of Cath’s downward spiral into despair and madness, and into everything we later know to be characteristically of the Queen of Hearts. That point starts the first time the iconic line “Off with the head” falls. Throughout the book, I was waiting for this moment that would explain to us why that nice-ish girl would change so drastically. All I can say is that the author lived up to my expectations and created quite the heartless character. Hah, I stop with the puns now, promise!

In my opinion, the relationship between Cath and Jest progressed way too fast. I liked both characters just fine on their own, but to really ship them I would have needed either more pages or another book. For me, it felt like just another -more or less valid- excuse to throw in as a reason to why she couldn’t marry the king. Especially since they knew each other for a really short time. Thankfully, she did not forget her dream of opening a bakery for a boy, so there’s that.

I personally would have loved to have more insight on the White Kingdom, but I have to admit that that would have probably broken the mould for a stand-alone novel. Maybe, one day, we get all that content in a new book. That’d be quite nice.