Wednesday 27 November 2019

Fantastic Beasts: The Original Screenplay Series by J. K. Rowling - A Review

Today we are talking about two very well known books set in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter but many years before his existence. Of course I am talking about Fantastic Beasts and Where to find them : The Original Screenplay and Fantastic Beasts - The Crimes of Grindelwald : The Original Screenplay both by J. K. Rowling.

These series expand on earlier events that helped to shape the Wizarding World, with some surprising nods to the Harry Potter stories that we all love.

Both of them have become movies by Warner Bros Studios and there is a third one on the making and due to be released in November 2021, if I am not mistaken.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them : The Original Screenplay
(Fantastic Beasts : The Original Screenplay #1)

In this book we follow Magizoologist Newt Scamander when he  arrives in New York. He intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when his magical case is misplaced and some of Newt's fantastic beasts escape, it spells trouble for everyone. 

I liked the story and how fast-paced it was. It contained a cast of remarkable characters and it was an adventure-packed storytelling. Because it is a screenplay, it read much more quickly than a regular book which is not a bad thing in my opinion. This allowed you to create the scene in your head even if you haven't seen the movie. 

I gave it 4 stars.

Fantastic Beasts - The Crimes of Grindelwald : The Original Screenplay
(Fantastic Beasts : The Original Screenplay #2)

At the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald was captured in New York with the help of Newt Scamander. But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald escapes custody and sets about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings.
In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore enlists Newt, his former Hogwarts student, who agrees to help once again, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world.

I liked this one more than the first one. Maybe it was the plot or the characters, I don't know for sure, but I liked that it had more action and mystery in it. With this one I had seen the movie before reading the book and probably this added to my overall experience of the book. It was nice to see my favorite characters to come back and also to discover new ones. 

I gave it 4 stars also. 

What about you? Have you read these books? Have you seen the movies? What do you think? (I know! A lot of questions...)

See you in the next post and don't forget to keep reading!!!


You can buy these books from Book Depository using this link (affiliate link)

Wednesday 20 November 2019

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black - A Review

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, the first book in The Folk of Air series is full of hype but let me tell you that the hype is real in this case. 
Magic, fairies and politics all in one book. What else do you need?

In this book we follow Jude in the fae world. Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.
In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

We have beautiful writing as always by Holly Black and a very good story with an excellent world building. 
The politics in this book are huge. It's like Game of Thrones but in the fae world. The book is full of intrigue, plotting, scheming and of course plot twists until the very end. 
There is a strong female main character (Jude), who manages to come through everything. There is also Prince Cardan who is  just beautifully cruel. 

The second book is The Wicked King and the third is The Queen of Nothing and came out yesterday (19/11). I am glad I already have book two and I will soon have the third one.

If you like stories with fae, politics and intrigues then this series is for you.

See you in the next post and don't forget to keep reading!!!


You can buy this book from Book Depository using this link (affiliate link)

Wednesday 13 November 2019

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin - A Review

I would not have read this book if it wasn't for the read-along with #booktalkwithwifey that Aleksandra (@drawingandreading) and Chiara (@_ckarys) organize every month. 

As you would have seen from the title, I am talking about the book Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin. It is a young adult fantasy debut novel and it is the first book in Serpent & Dove series. The next book is called Blood & Honey and it will be published on August 2020.

In the book we follow the story of Lou and Reid. Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.
Reid Diggory who is sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou's, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.
The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou's most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

Serpent & Dove is a book that I wasn't expecting to like based on its synopsis, but I loved it and became one of my favorites. 
The story, which has a great hate to love trope, is very good and the writing of it is beautiful and vivid. This is a not plot driven book but more of a character driven one. There is of course action but not so much, just what it is required. 
I loved Lou with her sassy and strong character and how her relationship with Reid evolved  throughout the book. Slowly but beautifully, as you would expect. 
The book has also an excellent world building and magic system.

August cannot come soon enough to read the next one. 

I highly recommend Serpent & Dove to everyone!!

See you in the next post and don't forget to keep reading!!!


You can buy this book from Book Depository using this link (affiliate link)

Wednesday 6 November 2019

The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Series Review)

The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff is a series I keep hearing about everywhere. I managed to read it at the beginning of this year and I can say that it is worth the hype. 
It consists of three books, Illuminae, Gemina and Obsidio. If you haven't guessed it is a scifi series and I think you should read them without knowing too much about them.

Let's see them one by one.


As I said before this book was in my tbr for a long time and the hype about it was big, and it still is. We watch the events that take place after an attack at Kerenza IV and  the efforts of Kady, Ezra and the rest of the survivors and rescuers to understand what is going on and to reach a safe place. 
During the book a lot happen. Some of them are good and some not so much. An important part in the story plays AIDAN the AI of the spaceship that wants to protect the fleet, but with any cost... 
There are a lot of twists  and turns in the plot that you do not expect and the fact that the book is written in a mix-media form makes it even better. 
I also really liked the characters, especially Kady. She is smart, brave and funny and I liked the way her relationship with Ezra developed through the whole series. 
One negative for me was the fact that it was a little slow at the beginning but that didn't last much. 

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the worst thing she'd ever been through. That was before her planet was invaded. Now, with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra are forced to fight their way onto one of the evacuating craft, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But the warship could be the least of their problems. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their biggest threat; and nobody in charge will say what's really going on. As Kady plunges into a web of data hacking to get to the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: Ezra.
Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents--including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more--Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.


This is the second book in the series and in this one we follow the events that happened at Jump Station Heimdal through the adventures of two new characters, Hanna and Nik.
There were many twists here too, that sometimes they left you open-mouthed. 
I liked it a little bit more than the first one and made me to anticipate the last one even more.

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.
The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.
Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.
When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.
But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.


This is the last book  that concludes the trilogy. I liked this one as much as I liked the previous two but I found it a little bit slow at the beginning. When we got into action though...
Here we see the conclusion of the story through the POVs of our characters as they try to get back to Kerenza IV. We have also new characters to add to the mix that are a good addition to the story.
About the ending of the book I will say only one thing. It was a very satisfying ending.

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they'll find seven months after the invasion?
Meanwhile, Kady's cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza's ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha's past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict.
With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.

As a whole I really liked the Illuminae Files trilogy and I gave it 4 stars. The way it was written, through mix media, gave an extra positive thing for me.

Have you read this trilogy?

See you in the next post and don't forget to keep reading!!!