Book Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2)

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Read between: 11th- 14th August
Format: ebook
Published: November 16th, 2012
Publisher: Little Brown
Synopsis: Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.

Art student and monster’s apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she’ll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

Rating: 003d1-threestar

Review: So…..funny story, my kindle has the books ordered wrong so I started reading the third one, and was pretty much done before I realised what I was reading didn’t make any sense….

So, now I have a better understanding of what happened after the first book, here’s my review!

After the events of Prague, Karou finds out what Akiva really did and the two go their separate ways, she goes to the chimaera to help them prepare for the inevitable war against the seraphs. Akiva goes to the seraph’s to find his father….and kill him. Each of them have their own missions in the war between their species.

There are lots of emotional moments in this book- deaths on both sides and a pretty horrible near-rape scene that was very hard to read. It’s that scene that lowered my rating just because I had to put the book down. However, the death that hurt the most was that of the Kirin, Ziri, because I felt Karou’s pain at losing one of her own.

An element I liked is that with Karou’s friend, Zuzana and her boyfriend Mik in the mix, there were plenty of light-hearted and funny moments too! It was also nice to get more of Akiva’s backstory, even if, as a Misbegotten, he isn’t overly liked by the other angels- especially the emperor (who is also his father.)

It is clear that that this book is setting up the scene for the third one which is probably why I didn’t connect with it as much as I did with the first one! The constant flicking between Karou’s situation and Akiva’s got confusing sometimes but it also worked well to progress their stories until they were reunited.

Zuzana and Mik are so cute though.

I enjoyed this book- I enjoyed the different sections and different locations- it added to the story.

The first book is still my favourite, this one was problematic in some places. Let’s hope the new Thiago is a little nicer though….I actually hate him.

Still, a good story, and I can’t wait to finish the series!
Thanks for reading!
~Katie

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Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

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Read between: 27th July- 1st August
Format: ebook
Published: September 27th, 2011
Publisher: Little Brown
Synopsis: Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?


Rating: Image result for five stars

Review:

I was so excited to start this series and I’m glad I did! Laini Taylor has a way with words, from worlds to characters- it’s all very beautiful! I was hooked from the first page.

Firstly, the book is set in Prague, a city I’ve never visited, but it sounds perfect for the world Laini created. I could totally see it being full of doors leading to a world full of demonic beings. Secondly, the main character, Karou, was so interesting! For starters, she doesn’t really have a back story- she has no idea where she came from, just that a chimaera called Brimstone raised her.

And ever since she was old enough to do so, he calls her away from Prague to his shop to run errands for him….which is mainly collecting teeth.

With her bright blue hair it was easy to become drawn to Karou. I had a hunch about who she really was and it was actually a shock to discover I was right! However, it did feel good to have the clarification.

I also loved her best friend, Zuzana. When the truth comes out she just accepts everything! We all need a best friend like that! One that is so accepting, and doesn’t stop being Karou’s friend even if the truth sound crazy!

Karou’s ex was a bit of a dick though….

It was such a good book! I can’t wait to continue with the rest of the series! I hope they get even better. I’d definitely recommend it!

Thanks for reading!
~Katie

 

July Wrap Up!

Okay, first things first- where did July go? It’s AUGUST tomorrow. I can’t actually get my head around that….

Anyway, I’ve been working a lot more so my reading hasn’t exactly been great, but I did manage to finish five books this month! Pretty pleased with that although I am two books behind schedule on my reading challenge….woops.

However, apart from the first one, they have all been picked out of my TBR jar and I’m going to continue to do this as it gives me a wide range of reading!

The first book I finished was Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling– the 20th Anniversary Hufflepuff edition. Of course I gave this book 5/5 stars! I love Harry Potter so much ❤

The second book I read was A Good Man Gone (Mercy Watts Mysteries #1) by A.W Hartoin. It was a good murder mystery novel but I had all sorts of problems with some of the plot devices. For this reason I gave it 3/5 stars. (Review here: Book Review: A Good Man Gone (Mercy Watts Mysteries #1) )

The third book I read this month was London Boulevard by Ken Bruen. Again, another crime novel. Well…ish. I enjoyed this book, but I didn’t love it. Not that it’s a bad book! I rated it 3/5 stars. You can read more of my thoughts here: Book Review and Movie Comparison: London Boulevard by Ken Bruen

The fourth book I read this month was The Crown by Kiera Cass. It was nice to finally finish the series even though I couldn’t keep up with Eadlyn’s choices! I also rated this 3/5 stars and you can check my review out here: Book Review: The Crown by Kiera Cass

The final book I read this month was also the shortest and that was Salvage Trouble by J.S. Morin. It was a great sci-fi read and there could have been much more to it! 3/5 stars but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Review here: Book Review: Salvage Trouble by J.S. Morin 

Thanks for reading!
What did you read in July?

~ Katie
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Book Review: Salvage Trouble by J.S. Morin

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Read between: 20th-27th July
Format: ebook
Published: October 26th, 2014
Publisher: Magical Scrivener Press
Synopsis: Science to build a starship. Wizardry to take it past light speed. A crew to give it a soul.

In the year 2254 gravity was officially declared to be magic; the scientists gave up trying to figure it out and handed it over to the wizards. Without the inherent respect for the laws of physics, the wizards poked and prodded at gravity, poring over all that science knew about the attraction of one object to the next, and dismissing it as poppycock. They discovered ways around the tired old limits, and gave birth to the first true starships. Some enlightened journalist, covering the maiden voyage of the Impossible, noted that the ship was shaped like a hand giving the middle finger to science.

The dreams of children came alive, and humanity expanded into the cosmos, unlocking the secrets of the galaxy.

Who could have foreseen that three hundred years later, a down-on-his-luck captain would be answering distress calls, hoping to arrive in time to get first pick of the salvage …

Mission 1: Salvage Trouble

A routine salvage job turns into a rescue mission, and a good deed never goes unpunished. With two refugees aboard, Captain Carl Ramsey finds that his ship, the Mobius, has a target painted on its hull. Someone is after the new passengers, and willing to stop at nothing to get them back.

With his ex-wife as pilot, a drunken mechanic, a predatory bodyguard, and an outcast wizard from the Convocation, what’s a captain to do? Just get paid for the job, and try to keep everyone alive. That’s all you can ever ask, really.

Rating: 003d1-threestar

Review: A small team of humans an aliens crew the ship Morbius, a salvage ship- then they pick up an escape pod with a nun and a ten year old boy inside. Are they both what they seem?

For a short sci-fi novel, it was packed with space travel, futuristic settings and lots of surprises! I actually enjoyed this novel, well novella really, being under 200 pages. I also liked that each of the characters are different, and have different personalities, from the captain, Carl and his ex wife and co-pilot Tanny, to the old wizard Mort.

Each one was unique.

There are also alien crew members too, a girl who is some kind of humanoid big cat, and a four armed humanoid, who also happens to be the mechanic. This added to the story and it feel completely futuristic, and helped me to become fully immersed in the world.

The author is very clever to create such a diverse range of characters without any of them clashing (apart from when they needed to of course….) and there wasn’t a character I disliked!

Okay, sometimes the writing was a little bit simple but there wasn’t much to judge and as I got into it I found it became really easy to read as well as flowing really well between the sections- It’s all one chapter, with hashes to separate scenes.

As an opener to a series, it was just enough to get to know the characters enough so that I’d be well informed if I chose to continue with the series….I’m still debating if I will or not, my TBR is a little heavy right now so I’d rather clear it first….

A good, quick, sci-fi read!
I’d definitely recommend it if you want something short and quick, and different too!
Thanks for reading!
~Katie

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Book Review: The Crown by Kiera Cass

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Previously read by the same author: The Selection Series (The Selection, The Elite, The One) & The Heir

Read between: 16th-20th July
Format: ebook
Published: May 3rd, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Synopsis: When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illéa to hold her own Selection, she didn’t think she would fall in love with any of her thirty-five suitors. She spent the first few weeks of the competition counting down the days until she could send them all home. But as events at the palace force Eadlyn even further into the spotlight, she realizes that she might not be content remaining alone.

Eadlyn still isn’t sure she’ll find the fairytale ending her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and soon Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more impossible—and more important—than she ever imagined.

Rating: 003d1-threestar

Review: I read ‘The Heir’ last year, and when I started The Crown it took me a while to get my head around what happened previously, but then I started to remember and the story began to flow and it all came back in no time- The Crown continues exactly where The Heir left off. So it wasn’t hard to get back into the story.

The Crown is the second half of Princess Eadlyn’s story, and follows the second half of her Selection. Something that isn’t at the front of her mind at the moment, however, considering her mother is bed-ridden after her heart attack.

Her father is by her mothers bedside, and she has to make decisions about a possible husband on her own. She feels on her own, despite having her ladies, maids, and the six remaining boys by her side to help her on this journey.

Eadlyn makes a lot of decisions for herself- to help herself, and I think that’s why I found her character to be slightly problematic, in a similar way that America was in the first three books. I mean, America didn’t really have a choice, but Eadlyn does- so that’s why I was so surprised by the way she ended her Selection.

I was surprised by her choice more so. The whole novel seemed to be leading up to her union with Kile Woodwork, she even voiced this out loud to her ladies and advisors, she had a plan set in motion….and then she completely goes against that plan and changes her mind, and then goes against that choice to be with someone who wasn’t actually part of the Selection at all!

I mean, I understand she was in love, and you can tell by the way it was written, but honestly, she needed to make up her mind and stick to it- even if she did become Queen halfway through. However, despite my animosity over Eadlyn’s character, I did enjoy this book.

I had forgotten the world and it was nice to return to the Kingdom of Illea. Although, not all the subjects seem to be as nice as before, especially Marid Illea, who turned out to be a horrible person! Eadlyn learnt that the hard way- she trusted him, she was nice to him, and it backfires!

Still, it was a good story and it was nice to finalise the Selection series through Maxon and America’s daughter.

A good read!

Thanks for reading!
~Katie

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Book Review and Movie Comparison: London Boulevard by Ken Bruen

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Read between: 8th-11th July
Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 288
Published: (this edition) November 25th, 2010 (originally published, 2002)
Publisher: Transworld Ireland
Synopsis: When Mitchell is released from prison after serving three years for a vicious attack he doesn’t remember, he reluctantly finds himself caught up with Robert Gant, a ruthless lowlife with violent plans.

Attempting to stay out of Gant’s way, Mitchell finds work as a handyman at the mansion of a faded movie actress. When she eagerly plies him with cash, cars and sex, Mitch starts to wonder if even this job comes with a catch.

But it isn’t long before Mitchell’s violent past catches up with him. When people close to him start getting hurt, Mitchell is forced to act, and take brutal on revenge on those who’ve stolen his life..

Rating: 003d1-threestar

Review: Mitchell is fresh out of prison- an ex con, who wants to put his past behind him. Of course, it’s not that simple or that easy, when his old friends wrangle their way back into his life- especially Billy Norton, a man who beats innocent people for rent money.

It’s Norton’s fault that Mitchell finds himself caught up with the violent Robert Gant (Tommy Logan in the original publication) which really doesn’t help his new life plan. Add his sister Briony into the mix, a woman with her own problems, and he has a lot of pressure on his shoulders to stay on the right path.

His only way out is to hide behind his work as a handy man for faded actress, Lillian Palmer…which is more than he bargained for! Is everything with Lillian as it seems? Can Mitchell hide from his past forever?

This book has an awful lot in it, despite being only 288 pages!

There was never a dull moment- I mean, the only gory bit that really got me was the gory death of Briony’s poor dog. I hate it when animals die in fiction. Always makes me have to stop.

However, the writing, although written in first person, was simple and repetitive in places, for example:
“Aisling was wearing a killer black dress. I said ‘Killer dress’ ”

It’s weird how he thinks something, and then we have to be told that he is voicing those thoughts, rather than just dialogue, but it wasn’t always a bad thing because at least it gave us an insight into Mitchell’s mind.

I was definitely hooked on the story, and it’s a good book. However, it is pretty violent in both content and language so it’s not for the younger or the faint hearted of readers. If you want something light-hearted, this isn’t it!

3/5 stars!
It kept me on my toes!


London Boulevard ( 2010) – Starring Colin Farrell, Keira Knightley and Ray Winstone

Director: William Monahan

Trailer:

Comparison:

William Monahan changed a LOT of the book when turning it into a movie, a few of the gory scenes are removed, and differences have been made. The main difference is that of the actress. In the Ken Bruen novel, she is in her sixties. In the movie, Monahan has changed her name to Charlotte, and cast 25 year old Keira Knightley in the role. (Not that I’m complaining- I love Keira)

However, the storyline is pretty much the same, apart from the ending.

I do believe the writer and directors tried to stay true to the book, but a lot of the content was probably far too sickening to pull in the money the movie needed to do well. Despite that, I can definitely see the inspiration!

Watch the trailer above and see what you think! Having read the book now, I would say the movie isn’t the most accurate adaptation but for a gangster/crime/thriller movie it’s pretty good- and I usually tend to avoid that genre.


Thanks for reading!
~Katie

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Book Review: A Good Man Gone (Mercy Watts Mysteries #1)

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Read between: 2nd- 8th July
Format: ebook
Published: May 26, 2013
Synopsis: It’s summer in St. Louis and Mercy Watts is on vacation from her parents. The great detective and his nosy wife are on a cruise and Mercy thinks she’s off the hook for doing any investigating for them. But when a family friend has a fatal heart attack, Dad has one of his famous feelings and orders Mercy to look into it. Mercy tries not to get sucked in. She really does, but she’s her father’s daughter. Soon Gavin’s death leads to a more grisly one, the death of a bride on her wedding day. Can the two be connected? Was Gavin murdered? Now Mercy can’t stop. You do for family. That’s all there is to it.

Rating: Image result for 2.5 stars

Review: Despite my low rating- the mystery that surrounds this book is pretty good! A mysterious death- come double murder, with some surprises thrown in to keep the reader interested!

However, I kept getting distracted by the main character due to how annoying she was and how ‘annoyed’ she was at different aspects of her life. Every chapter seemed to mention the fact she looked like the late Marilyn Monroe or the size of her boobs!

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*sigh*

She’s a nurse, a good one, and then she becomes a private detective after her Dad asks her to check some things whilst he’s on a cruise, but her career change only really strengthens the crime and doesn’t really do much for the main story.

It’s replaced by a secondary storyline that involves Mercy getting stalked by paparazzi and receiving crude phone calls because when she went to follow up a lead, some pervy old guy ended up taking her photo and putting it on the internet for all to see…

It just made her seem like nothing accept her appearance which I didn’t like because Mercy was actually really smart! (Totally NOT a dumb blonde). She made some really clever leads when solving elements of the case.

You can tell she wants to make her dad and Gavin proud.

She also ends up getting beaten up once she solves the case, very Mary Sue, by the person who committed the crime, but despite that, I did actually enjoy the story- I just had a problem with some of the characters.

It started off slow, but it was great to follow Mercy as she tried to solve the case- which she did in the end, but at the point her cousin and the police took over as she was laid on the floor, injured, and semi-conscious.

I probably won’t read the rest of the series but for a free book it was a pretty good read! (Once I got over some of things that annoyed me!)

2.5 stars.

Thanks for reading!
~Katie

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