Favourites Friday #18 :The Magician’s Nephew by C. S Lewis

Today is the 50th anniversary of the death of C.S Lewis so what better day to do a Narnia FF post. I’ve loved the Narnia books ever since I saw the BBC’s adaptation of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (yes I saw it before I read the books cut me some slack, I was like 8!) and immediately begged for the books.

As much as I love The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, it’s always between The Magician’s Nephew and The Horse and His Boy for my ultimate favourite.

For the purpose of this post, I’m going to go for The Magician’s Nephew simply because you get to see the creation of Narnia itself.

The Magician’s Nephew was actually the 6th book in the series that Lewis wrote but was a prequel to the rest. In modern editions, the books are sequenced according to Narnian History and so The Magician’s Nephew is usually listed as book one.

narnia I’ll always remember the first time I read this; I was amazed by the Wood Between Worlds. It’s quite a bit darker than some of the other books (Uncle Andrew is proper sinister), and the idea of being able to visit different worlds – some nicer than others – by going through the different puddles is pretty awesome. Also, watch out for “Queen” Jadis. You aint no Queen of Narnia!

Synopsis:
When Digory and Polly are tricked by Digory’s peculiar Uncle Andrew into becoming part of an experiment, they set off on the adventure of a lifetime. What happens to the children when they touch Uncle Andrew’s magic rings is far beyond anything even the old magician could have imagined.
Hurtled into the Wood between the Worlds, the children soon find that they can enter many worlds through the mysterious pools there. In one world they encounter the evil Queen Jadis, who wreaks havoc in the streets of London when she is accidentally brought back with them. When they finally manage to pull her out of London, unintentionally taking along Uncle Andrew and a coachman with his horse, they find themselves in what will come to be known as the land of Narnia.

Mini Review: City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments #3) by Cassandra Clare

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To save her mother’s life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters – never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family’s past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he’s willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City – whatever the cost?

Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the third installment of the New York Times bestselling series The Mortal Instruments.

The further I get into this series, the more it seems to be taking over my life! I’m all like…what’s Jace up to? What’s Isabelle wearing?… I hope they don’t die. Ahem.

Suffice to say that I’m glad I decided to give TMI another go. The 3rd book is pretty epic, we’re building up to an all out war between the Nephilim and Downworlders with the evil Valentine at the helm. Secrets are (finally) revealed, some hot kissing happens and Isabelle finally kicks ass with her whip. And when I say kicks ass, I mean severs body parts. Oooosh.

The main thing I enjoyed about this book though was that it was the first time I really appreciated the whole world that Clare has created. It’s pretty vast and impressive.

I still want more Alec/Magnus action though, and I hope Jace and Clary don’t get all boring…we shall see.

4/5 Unicorns

WWW Wednesday! (20/11/2013)

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

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Currently Reading: Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas. Insert fangirling excitement here. Also if I can tear myself away I’ll also start Game, Set and Murder by Elizabeth Flynn.

Recently Finished: I finished Orbital Kin by James E. Parsons which was one of those books that is great one minute and then awful the next. Read my review here. I also just finished City of Glass. The 3rd Mortal Instruments book by Cassandra Clare. Review to follow.

Up Next: Either The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. Or A Breath of Frost by Alyxandra Harvey. Or The Mortal Instruments #4.

Plus, It’s almost time for some Festive Reads! Yesssssssssss!

Leave a link to your WWW post and I’ll come and visit later. 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d recommend to reluctant readers.

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (Click the image to visit them). This week the topic is Books you would recommend to X.

I have gone for books that I would recommend to reluctant readers and split them into boys and girls and narrowed it down to the 8 – 14 age bracket. Not that I think these books are limited to those demographics.. of course!

Boys:

Why don’t more boys read? Especially teenagers….is it just not cool? There are some great books aimed at boys though, of all ages.

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Girls:

When I was younger I was encouraged to read books like Little Women and Pride & Prejudice, and I’m not dissing them (I am a bit) but they’re not the most exciting are they. If I’d discovered books like these earlier, I think I would have been a prolific reader from an earlier age.

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Feel free leave a link to your TTT post and I’ll check them out!

Orbital Kin by James E. Parsons

18206543After an unusual disease breaks out and begins to threaten the country, a group of postgraduate students at a British university focus their research upon it, aiming to find out the cause and the cure.
The experimentations move out to space stations soon enough, in hope of a cure being produced while more mysterious events take place. The two graduate students find success, breakthroughs and the sudden spreading illness takes them in directions they never expected.
Can university graduates Steven and Alan save the country from the spread of the disease? Only time will tell…

Orbital Kin was such a Rollercoaster of a read for me. One minute I loved it and the next I wanted it to end!

We start with Univeristy students Steven and Alan partying, finishing up their degrees and continuing their scientific research. When people suddenly begin falling ill with an unprecedented, deadly disease which results in violent attacks, Steven and Alan’s research is taken in a new direction.

There was good action from the start, but I found the first third of Orbital Kin a bit clunky and awkward, making it hard to get into. The dialogue started off pretty bad too (so many mate’s and man’s– whether it was supposed to be regional dialect I don’t know, but it didn’t work for me) but as I read on I realised that it was just a case of teething pains and after a couple of chapters it settled into a rhythm and really began to improve.

There were a lot of things in this story that intrigued and excited me, mainly centered around protagonist Steven. His strange visions of The Red Man, his father’s involvement in some pretty messed up scientific experiments who also uses his daughter Lucy as human guinea pig, and the secrets lurking between his whole family.

Lucy, Steven’s little sister, was really the only character I had any feelings about. The main disappointment for me was that I didn’t like any of the characters in this story so I found it hard to care about was happening until Lucy came along. She kind of reminded me of Abra in Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep, in that she has some strange abilities. The difference here though was that it’s clear these abilities have been the result of some kind of experiment by her father.

When things move on to the space station I got a bit lost again. I felt that there were too many unnecessary sequences and even whole chapters that didn’t need to be there. Too much walking between zones with not a lot happening.

But then, (I told you it was a rollercoaster!) people begin to get sick, they discover one of the team can breathe on Mars and paranoia grows, insanity and alien visions spread and it’s all pretty good again.

There is no doubt in my mind that Orbital Kin needs another thorough edit, but there are some great moments. It is Science Fiction in the true, original sense of the term and I’d recommend it to any fans of the genre.

Disclosure: I received a copy from the Publisher/ Author for an HONEST review. Many Thanks!
Details: Paperback, 387 pages. Published July 31st 2013 by Austin Macauley
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Unicorns
If you liked this try: The Passage by Justin Cronin

Coming Up: Winter Vs Summer

I have two very different books coming up. Watch this space.

18633458Title: A Breath of Frost (The Lovegrove Legacy #1)
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Details: E-book, Hardback, Paperback, 496 pages
Expected Publication: January 2nd 2014 by Bloomsbury Childrens

Emma Day and her two cousins, Gretchen and Penelope, are uninterested in their debutante lives. All the boring balls, tiresome curtsying and polite conversation leave much to be desired. Then a girl is found dead, frost clinging to her lifeless body, and the murder is traced to Emma. As their world is turned upside down, Emma discovers more about herself and her cousins, from her connection to the murders to the secrets of her family legacy. Now the girls must embrace their true Lovegrove inheritance in order to stop the chaos, even if that means risking their lives. Dangerously handsome Cormac Fairfax wants to help Emma – but, with secrets of his own to hide, can she trust him?

The first book in a deliciously dark new trilogy. Perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare and Ruth Warburton.

cover32711-medium Title: Game, Set and Murder
Author: Elizabeth Flynn
Details: Paperback, 272 pages
Expected Publication: October 18th 2013 by Lion Fiction

It’s the first day of the tennis tournament at Wimbledon. And a dead body is lying on court nineteen. Newly-promoted detective inspector Angela Costello recognizes the dead man as the Croatian champion-turned-coach, Petar Belic. Double grand-slam winner, Petar was one of the best-known and best loved players of the modern era. Petar had a complicated life: an ex-wife who wanted him back; a girlfriend who didn’t want to let him go; a business partner with secrets. Then there was leading Brit Stewart Bickerstaff, not universally popular with his fellow players, whom Petar had been coaching. Little by little DI Costello, despite awkward and prickly colleagues, discerns a trail through the mass of information. Unfortunately she has no way of proving her suspicions. But a prime suspect has overlooked a vital detail …

I’m excited about both of these, even if Game, Set and Murder sounds like more of a summer read, murder at Wimbledon…I couldn’t resist!

Favourites Friday #17: The Book Of Lost Things by John Connolly

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This one of my favourite books to read in the winter. It is a dark reimagining and fusion of various fairy tales and the whole thing is just a bit sinister yet magical! Plus how epic is that cover!?

There’s Wolf-men, trolls, slutty Red-riding Hood and evil Snow White, a girl in a jar, a great villian in The Crooked Man and a whole lot more.

Goodreads Synopsis:
High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness. Angry and alone, he takes refuge in his imagination and soon finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is violently propelled into a world that is a strange reflection of his own — populated by heroes and monsters and ruled by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book, The Book of Lost Things.
Taking readers on a vivid journey through the loss of innocence into adulthood and beyond, New York Times bestselling author John Connolly tells a dark and compelling tale that reminds us of the enduring power of stories in our lives.

What People Are Saying About The Book of Lost Things:

This was one of the best books i’ve read in a long while. every single page was amazing…the characters rich and full of life.

Beth Anne (Goodreads)

“The Book Of Lost Things” can at times be extremely violent as Connolly seems to enjoy twisting and taking apart various fairy tales.

Brandon (Goodreads)

John Connolly, a Dubliner, is best known – celebrated, indeed – in America, where he sets his supernatural crime fiction. Evidently The Book of Lost Things represents a major departure for him, and Heaven forbid we should discourage ambition. His publisher claims it’s “a novel to transcend genre”: positive spin for what a less partial commentator might call uncertainty of address. Who is this book for? Generic boy hero, schematic adventure plot, heavy-handed explicatory narrative tone: all would try the patience of any reader no longer juvenile. Yet the material is as grim as Connolly’s customary horrific fare. The torture chambers, martial dismemberments and surgical miscegenations, the continual nervous drift towards themes of sexual corruption: all firmly indicate adults only.

Colin Greenland (The Guardian)