Wednesday, 27 May 2020

The Last Wish (The Witcher #05) by Andrjez Sapkowski - A Review



Today's review is about The Last Wish by Andrjez Sapkowski which belongs to The Witcher series.

I knew that The Witcher books existed but it was the Netflix TV show that pushed me to start reading them and of course I loved the first one I read.

The writing and the world building are amazing and I cannot wait to read the rest of the books. 
This one is a collection of short stories and it's kind of a prequel to the main series. We are introduced to Geralt and Dandelion (Jaskier int the show) and the rest of the world. The stories are re-imaginings of classic fairy tales like Snow White and The Beauty and the Beast. It is also fast-paced and action packed which is something I really appreciate in fantasy books (and in books in general).

I also liked that the stories are connected between them and they act like flashbacks in Geralt's story. They work like they are a full novel and not a collection of stories. 

Synopsis from Goodreads
Introducing Geralt the Witcher - revered and hated - who holds the line against the monsters plaguing humanity in the bestselling series that inspired the Witcher video games and a major Netflix show.
Geralt of Rivia is a Witcher, a man whose magic powers and lifelong training have made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless assassin.
Yet he is no ordinary killer: he hunts the vile fiends that ravage the land and attack the innocent.
But not everything monstrous-looking is evil; not everything fair is good . . . and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth.

I loved reading The Last Wish and I can highly recommend it!

Rating: 5 Stars

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

Athina


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

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir - A Review


Today we are going to talk about a book I have heard so many good things about. I am talking about An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. Thankfully the rumors were true and now I cannot stop thinking about it.

I loved this book and I can't wait to read the next one. Fortunately it is already on my selves.

When Laia’s grandparents are brutally murdered and her brother arrested for treason by the empire, the only people she has left to turn to are the rebels.
But in exchange for their help in saving her brother, they demand that Laia spy on the ruthless Commandant of Blackcliff, the Empire’s greatest military academy. Should she fail it’s more than her brother’s freedom at risk . . . Laia’s very life is at stake.
There, she meets Elias, the academy’s finest soldier. But Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined – and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

I loved the way Sabaa Tahir wrote the story and the characters. It's like you were there with them. It is fast-paced, action packed from the beginning and with many twists. 
Elias is my favourite. He is a warrior but at the same time thoughtful and caring. Laia is also a favourite of mine. She starts as weak and vulnerable but her goal to save her brother makes her fierce and determined. For me all the characters throughout the book are very well developed. 

There are a lot more things (secrets, betrayals etc.) to be revealed in the future for all the characters and I cannot wait.

Highly recommend it!

Rating: 5 Stars

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

Athina


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

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin - A Review


Today's review is about a science fiction book that belongs to the classics. It is The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin. 

It's been awhile in my tbr and now I finally read it. This is the first Ursula K Le Guin book I read and I really enjoyed it. 

It's a SF book that tells the story of Genly AI, an emissary to Winter, an alien world where there is no gender for its inhabitants. Every month they choose and change between male and female. Genly's mission is to persuade Winter to join a growing intergalactic civilization, the Ekumen. 

This book is a political  thriller that turns to an adventure as Genly and Estraven cross the frozen landscape. This trip through the frozen land was amazingly well written and even if it was only two chapters, you could feel and sympathize with the characters. 
In the story we had the building up of tension (sexual, romantic, human) between Genly and Estraven especially through their journey together, the escape across the ice (the cold, the danger, the  truth and the love). 

It's also one major feminist SF. There is no gender in Gethen, it's an am-bisexual society and this is difficult for Genly to comprehend.

The book has a very dynamic plot but at the same time a very good character development. Excellent world building and descriptions. It's an exploration of fluid gender, sexuality and race (Genly is black & the rest of the Gethenians have various skin colours). It's a thought provoking book and highly relevant today as it was back in the 60s.

Rating: 4 Stars

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

Athina



Wednesday, 6 May 2020

April 2020 Wrap up

You probably know what time it is...
It's time for my monthly reading wrap up. This month I wanted to finish as many as possible of the ARCs that I have as well as the books that I was in the middle of.

I managed to finish  just 2 books, but I made a lot of progress on my ARCs.
So let's see them together!

Shall we begin?





Assassin's Creed : The Essential Guide - Titan Books

If you like me love the Assassin's Creed franchise, you need this books. It is full with all the information and beautiful photos from the games.
I have only read the books and I loved this one.

Read my full review here





Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper #1) - Kerri Maniscalco

This one was in my TBR for a long time and I finally managed to read it. It's a YA historical fiction based on the story of Jack the Ripper and I really liked it.

There will be a fuller review pretty soon.






I also made a lot of progress on my ARCs but I didn't manage to finish something yet. I am currently reading:

  • Cult Writers by Ian Haydn Smith
  • Daughter of the Forest  by Juliet Marillier
  • The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
  • The History Behind Game of Thrones by David C Weinczok


  • So, that's it for April. I hope May will be better reading wise as I am participating in Medieval - a- athon this month.


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

    Athina

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



    Tuesday, 5 May 2020

    New Releases: May 2020

    It's time for another post featuring books that are been released in May.
    As I said before these are books that interest me and that's why the list is not complete. There are of course many more that are been published in May.



    Let's see them together in order of publication.
    (The tittles likn to Goodreads)

    May 5th



    Genre: YA contemporary
    Publisher: Entangled Crush









    Genre: Science Fiction / YA
    Sequel to: Aurora Risisng
    Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers







    Genre: YA / Romance
    Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books









    Genre: Fantasy / YA
    Sequel to: Dark Shores
    Publisher: Tor Teen








    Genre: Fantasy / YA
    Publisher: Candlewick Press








    May 12th



    Genre: Fantasy / YA
    Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers









    Genre: Historical Fiction
    Sequel to:  Katherine of Arag√≥n: The True Queen
                      Anne Boleyn: A King's Obsession
                      Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen
                      Anna of Kleve: The Princess in the Portrait
    Publisher: Ballantine Books



    May 19th



    Genre: Non Fiction / History / Science
    Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers








    Genre: Dystopian / YA
    Prequel to: The Hunger Games Trilogy
    Publisher: Scholastic Press







    May 26th




    Genre: Fantasy / YA
    Publisher: Flux










    Genre: Historical Fiction
    Publisher: St. Martin's Press









    Genre: Historical Fiction
    Sequel to: The Burning Chambers
    Publisher: Minotaur Books








    These are some of the new releases of May 2020.
    Are you excited about them?
    Do you have other ones on your radar that I should know of?


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

    Athina

    Monday, 4 May 2020

    How to quit your crush by Amy Fellner Dominy - A Review


    How to Quit Your Crush by Amy Fellner Dominy is a sweet summer story about Mai and Anthony and their efforts to stop being attracted to each other.

    Obviously things do not go as planned (not a spoiler!) and that's when the fun begins.

    I liked the dynamics of the book and how different but at the same time similar our characters are. They both had difficulties in the past that made them who they are now. I also really liked the writing style of the author and I'll probably try to read more of her work.

    Rating : 4 Stars

    Synopsis from Goodreads:
    Mai Senn knows Anthony Adams is no good for her - no matter how hard she might crush on him. She’s valedictorian; he’s a surf bum. She’s got plans, he’s got his art. Complete opposites in every way. Vinegar and baking soda, they once joked. A chemical reaction that bubbled.
    Yeah, they bubbled. Maybe still do.
    Good thing Anthony’s got the perfect plan: two weeks to prove just how not good they are together. Whoever can come up with the worst date—something the other will seriously hate, proving how incompatible they truly are—wins.
    Like taking a snake-phobe to the Reptile House at the zoo (his idea).
    Or a cooking class where they don’t even get to eat the food (her idea).
    It’s all about the competition, and it’s meant to help them finally crush their crushes. But it wasn’t supposed to be so hot. Or so fun. And when Mai’s future becomes at stake, will she be able to do the right thing and quit Anthony forever?

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


    I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


    Saturday, 2 May 2020

    The History Behind Game of Thrones: The North Remembers by David C Weinczok - A Review



    Today we are talking about The History Behind Game of Thrones: The North Remembers by David C Weinczok which is published by Pen & Sword Books.

    I enjoyed reading this non-fiction book about the history behind Game of Thrones. The author tried to connect the events, people, and places of Game of Thrones with real ones from the history of Scotland and he did a very good job. I didn't know much about thw Scottish history and this book was a good introduction for me. 
    The book is very weel researched and written and it was easy to get through. The truth is that I learned a lot.

    However, I would prefer it if the illustrations were throughout the book and not at the end. It would be easier to follow (especially if you read an ebook as I did).

    Despite that, if you are a fan of Game of Thrones or/and history you should pick this book up.

    Synopsis from Goodreads
    A wall in the distant north cuts the world in two. Ruthless seaborne warriors raid the coasts from their war galleys, yearning to regain lost glories. A young nobleman and his kin are slaughtered under a banner of truce within a mighty castle. A warrior king becomes a legend when he smites his foe with one swing of his axe during a nation-forging battle. Yet this isn't Westeros - it's Scotland.
    Game of Thrones is history re-imagined as fantasy; The History Behind Game of Thrones: The North Remembers turns the tables, using George R. R. Martin's extraordinary fictional universe as a way to understand the driving forces and defining moments from Scotland's story. Why were castles so important? Was there a limit to the powers a medieval king could use - or abuse? What was the reality of being under siege? Was there really anything that can compare to the destructive force of dragons? By joining forces, Westeros and Scotland hold the answers.
    Writer and presenter David C. Weinczok draws on a vast array of characters, events, places, and themes from Scottish history that echo Game of Thrones at every dramatic turn. Visit the castle where the real Red Wedding transpired, encounter the fearsome historical tribes beyond Rome's great wall, learn how a blood-red heart became the most feared sigil in Scotland, and much more.
    By journey's end, the cogs in the wheels of Martin's world and Scottish history will be laid bare, as well as the stories of those who tried to shape - and sometimes even break - them.

    I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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

    Athina

    Friday, 1 May 2020

    Medieval - A - Thon May 2020 TBR

    It's been awhile since I participated in a monthlong readathon, so it was time to rectify that. 
    This May Holly Hearts Books organizes for the second time Medieval - A - Thon, a readathon where you don't have to read books with a medieval theme but all the promts are medieval themed and the more you read the higher ranking you will get.


     You can learn more about the readathon by watching Holly's video here, but the basics are the following.

    Depending on how many books you read during the readathon, you can have the rankings below. You start as a prisoner and you aim to be an emperor/empress.


    Then the promts are in three categories: wordrobe, weapons and pet companion.

    Now let's go to my very ambitious tbr. I tried to find books for all the promts but to be honest I will probably read a lot less than that.


     A book that has yellowed over time
    An Assassin's Creed Series : The Last Descendants - Tomb of the Khan by Matthew J. Kirby

    A pristine book
    The house in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune (ebook)

    A shiny book
    Of Silver and shadow by Jennifer Gruenke (eARC)

    A book with your favourite colour on the spine
    Holly Banks full of angst by Julie Valerie

    Under 300 pages
    The order of the pure moon reflected in the water by Zen Cho (eARC)

    Green on the dust jacket
    Daughter of the forest by Juliet Marillier (ebook)

    Dragon on the cover
    A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin



     Something pointy on the cover
    The Wicked King by Holly Black

    Start or finish a duology
    This Sbvage song by V. E. Schwab

    A romance
    How to quit your crush by Amy Fellner Dominy (eARC)

    A heavy book
    American Gods by Neil Gaiman

    A book you have high expectations for
    The Raven and teh DOve by Kaitlyn Davis (ebook)


    A scary book
    I don't have a book for this one and I don't want to 

    A book high on your bookself
    The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

    Buddy read with a friend
    The May book of #booktalkwithwifey readalong

    A book title that begins with a "C"
    Circle of shadows by Evelyn Skye

    A tall hardcover
    Or what you will by Jo Walton (eARC)

    Orange on the dust jacket
    A torch against the night by Sabaa Tahir


    That's it for my Medieval-A-thon tbr. Let's the reading begin and we will see how it went inmy monthly wrap up.


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

    Athina