BEST POST DAY! (New Arrivals)

It FINALLY arrived! I’ve been waiting for a delivery all week and I was getting anxious because I bought one book in particular that I’m really eager to read (Poison), and Amazon told me it had arrived on Wednesday…when it didn’t. 😦

Turns out it actually did, but it wouldn’t fit through the letterbox and the STOOPID postman put my flatmate’s name on the ‘Sorry you were out form’ instead of mine! Grrr.

So poor Dora went to pick up what she thought was her package today…to find out it was mine. HURRAH! (Sorry Dora, thanks Dora!)

So yeah, eventually…BEST POST DAY!

Yesss!
Yesss!

I thought all of these would be great summer reads and Poison looks especially amazing! I totally forgot it was hardback too. I’m in love with it already. I hope it doesn’t disappoint.

Shiny!
Shiny!

Sneak Peak:
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I featured Poison in my WWW Wednesdays post here, but here’s a bit more about the other two.

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
I’ve only ever read one other Kate Morton book which was The House at Riverton. It’s not usually the kind of thing I like but I was surprised by how much I loved it. This one looks more of the same.

The new novel from the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Distant Hours is a spellbinding mix of mystery, thievery, murder, and enduring love.

During a party at the family farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house and is dreaming of the future. She spies a stranger coming up the road and sees her mother speak to him. Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a shocking crime that challenges everything she knows about her family and especially her mother, Dorothy.

Now, fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress, living in London. She returns to the family farm for Dorothy’s ninetieth birthday and finds herself overwhelmed by questions she has not thought about for decades. From pre-WWII England through the Blitz, to the fifties and beyond, discover the secret history of three strangers from vastly different worlds—Dorothy, Vivien, and Jimmy—who meet by chance in wartime London and whose lives are forever entwined.

The Secret Keeper explores longings and dreams, the lengths people go to fulfill them, and the consequences they can have. It is a story of lovers, friends, dreamers, and schemers told—in Morton’s signature style—against a backdrop of events that changed the world. Synopsis from Goodreads.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

I’ve seen this around everywhere and couldn’t resist. Sounds pretty epic. I’m hoping it’ll fill the void of there being no more Graceling Realm books.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted? Synopsis from Goodreads.

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I also got good post in the week when my Gollancz goodies arrived for getting my review posted. Fun! You can never have too many geeky t-shirts and badges right?

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The Verdict: The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

Click to view on GoodReads.
Click to view on GoodReads.

An orphan’s life is harsh — and often short — in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. Born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora dodges both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains, neither blind nor a priest. A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected family of orphans “Gentlemen Bastards.”

I don’t really know what to think of this book. I did enjoy it, but I also nearly gave up on like 3 different occasions. It was quite hard-going yet compelling at the same time. Don’t ask me how that works, but it just does. And at over 700 pages it’s not the quickest of reads.

I’ve read a few reviews that liken TLOLL to Ocean’s Eleven and The Godfather – two films I have never seen so I don’t know about that but I did make some of my own comparisons. It reminded me more of a cross between Oliver, Robin Hood and Spartacus(Blood and Sand) for all of the obvious orphans, thievery and Capas/crime bosses references.

The world Lynch has created is truly unique and really it is a unique experience to read too with all of the crazy tangents and flashbacks. I loved the whole Venice Renaissance feel it had and the place names and descriptions were perfect in creating an off-kilter reality. It is in the realm of fantasy but there is nothing too outlandish making it still normal enough to feel real.

The Gentleman Bastards themselves are witty and intriguing but I didn’t really warm to them all that much which made it hard for me to root for them. When Locke gets thrown into the sea in a cask of horse piss I thought it was hilarious, but I didn’t really care if he survived or not.

TLOLL is a witty, action-and-violence-packed swashbuckling adventure for adults that is written with remarkable detail and imagination, I just wish that I could have found it an easier read. It’s definitely worth a try though, especially if you enjoy crudeness, violence and inventive swearing!

3 unicorns out of 5 unicorns! 🙂

This copy is published by Gollancz, 2011.

Like Sci-fi & Fanstasy?

If you like Sci-fi & Fantasy you should totally check out the Gollancz website and blog. They publish some of best SF & Fantasy going! You can also become an Official Gollancz Geek and apply to review new releases for them.

My review of Kristin Cashore’s Bitterblue was posted yesterday here.

GollanczGeek

Woah, it is HOT outside. I’m off to read under a tree somewhere!

WWW Wednesday!

It’s Hump Day again…it might not be Friday yet but at least it’s not Monday either. I’m especially longing for the weekend this week because I’m going home to see my family. There’s a folk festival on in a little village near my hometown on Saturday and we’re having a *do not jinx the weather* BBQ for father’s day on Sunday. IS IT FRIDAY YET?

Nope, guess I’ll have to waste some time with a WWW Wednesday then.

www_wednesdays4

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?

Currently Reading:
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

Click to view on GoodReads.
Click to view on GoodReads.
Early days with this one yet so I’ll reserve judgement for now. So far I’ve enjoyed two things – The idea of Cinnamon Lemons (yum) and this description. ‘Calo had dark liquor-coloured skin and hair like an inky slice of night.’

Just Finished:
Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan. See my review here.

Up Next:
Either the Ruby Redfort book, ‘Take Your Last breath’ or this:

Click to view on Goodreads
Click to view on Goodreads
I love the Skulduggery Pleasant series so I’m eager to read this Spin-off.

Leave a link to your post!

The Verdict: Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Click to view on GoodReads.
Click to view on GoodReads.

There are just many things to be said about Bitterblue but let’s start with the basics. It’s the third book in the Graceling Realm Trilogy by Kristin Cashore and it looks beautiful.

In Graceling, we entered a world of seven kingdoms where some people are born graced with any number of unique skills or abilities and where we first meet Katsa, seemingly graced with the skill of killing and under the command of King Randa. Katsa becomes increasingly frustrated and depressed about being used in such a cruel way and when Prince Po comes along their journey together slowly reveals just how corrupt the seven kingdoms really are. In Fire, we’re transported to The Dells, a kingdom of ‘rainbow coloured monsters and underground labyrinths’ where Fire, the last human monster is both hated and obsessed over, constantly assaulted for being so irresistible and who refuses to use her mind control to steal people’s memories and secrets.

By the time we come to Bitterblue, it is several years after King Leck’s tyrannous and torturous reign in Graceling and we follow the young Queen Bitterblue as she attempts to rebuild her kingdom; a kingdom that is still deeply affected by her father’s spell over them. But how can you rebuild something that is based on lies and secrets and despicable acts? Especially when the people who were most under Leck’s spell are the ones closest to Bitterblue?

There are so many things I love about this book. I enjoyed Fire, but as soon I opened this it felt like I was coming back home. I was eager to meet up with Katsa and Po again and it didn’t disappoint despite the fact that they weave in and out of the narritive. I think Cashore could easy have ridden the wave of their romance and made that the main strand of this book but I think this portrays a much more realistic and exciting relationship. It’s certainly refreshing to see these characters living their own lives, putting the important things first and not just glaring at each other with puppy-dog eyes. They are definitely not the puppy-dog eyes types!

I love how this story slowly builds momentum. We find the clues as Bitterblue finds them -one by one- linking what really happened during Leck’s time to just how many secrets and lies are being maintained within the city walls. I found myself even more confused than Bitterblue as to who to trust and who to investigate. However, I did feel like there was a lull in the middle where the pace could have been picked up and I just wanted to grab Bitterblue and shake her yelling ‘haven’t you learnt by now you can’t trust anyone, get on with it!’

I enjoyed the mix of the old and new here too. Whenever I think of Kings, Queens and castles, whether it’s in this universe or a fictional one I think of times gone by, but Cashore’s world is full of modern themes making no fuss over boys and girls fighting each other, same-sex relationships, sex before marriage, birth control, or a Queen who wears trousers and slips out of the castle at night to smooch with a thief. And is it just me or is it completely devoid of religion? Hallelujah!

Cashore has created an in-depth world of strong, kick-ass girls, epic sword-fights, passion, and intriguing mystery. Essentially, Bitterblue and those before it are about the abuse of control and power, facing up to horrible truths and having the strength to overcome the impossible.

Bitterblue is published by Gollancz and I received a copy in exchange for a review as part of their Gollancz Geeks Blog.

It’s WWW Wednesday!

www_wednesdays4

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?

Currently Reading:

Click to view on GoodReads
Click to view on GoodReads

“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares.– Goodreads.

Just Finished:

Click to view on GoodReads.
Click to view on GoodReads.

It took me a whole week to finish this and I keep telling myself it’s because it was so good that I didn’t want it to end, but it was probably because I’ve just been watching a lot of tennis and drinking in a lot of beer gardens (oh, hello, Sun). That said, the former statement was true too. I loved this one as much, if not more than Graceling and it brought all the three stories and the kingdoms together beautifully. I want more. If you liked the Graceling books as much as I did, I highly recommend Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina too, and its cover is just as pretty. Win all round. I’ll be reviewing this for The Gollancz Geeks Blog ASAP.

Up Next:

I’m torn between the next Ruby Redfort book which I totally forgot I’d pre-ordered and a book I was recommended ages ago and really need to read and give back – The Lies of Locke Lamora.

Click to view on GoodReads.
Click to view on GoodReads.
This does sound good…’Gentleman Bastard #1’…haha interesting…and no, it’s obviously not YA but I do like to branch out now and again.

As for Ruby Redfort, I probably never would have picked up the first book, Look Into My Eyes if it hadn’t been released by Harper Collins with its spangly hypnotic silver cover. The previous cover looked a bit too young for me, and the same goes for Take Your Last Breath, the second in the series. Ruby is sassy and witty and fearless and makes a pretty amusing 13 year old secret agent, none of which I get from this cover:

Image from Amazon
Image from Amazon
But this one, on the other hand is much more appealing to my inner teenage spy.
Image from Amazon
Image from Amazon

Leave a comment with your WWW Wednesday books or the link to your post!