Blog Update and Announcement

Hey, What’s up Book Lovers.

Today I have some things that I would like to talk to you about. I am sorry to say that I will be taking a break from this blog for a while. I have some things that I need to do and at the moment this blog is taking up most of my time on here and trying to post frequently.

I will be taking some time off, so that I can focus on getting up to date with my reading, so when I come back there will be more book reviews and other bookish posts that will hopefully be more frequent, maybe even daily.

I am also planning on giving this blog a little bit of a makeover, nothing to big. There may be better headers, but at this moment in time I’m not sure what but I will hopefully think of some things while I’m away.

Don’t worry I will be coming back, but I’m not sure when. I would like to thank you guys for viewing my blog, it has meant so much and a special thanks  to my 5 followers, you guys are amazing. Again, another big thank you to all, I love you guys and I’ll see you when I get back.

BeFunky Design

Advertisements

Skulduggery Pleasant: Resurrection by Derek Landy // Review

Skulduggery_Pleasant_Resurrection.jpgResurrection
(Skulduggery Pleasant #10)
By Derek Landy

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Fiction, Paranormal
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publish Date: June 1st 2017
Pages: 432

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

My Rating: ★★★★★

That’s right, Minions, Skulduggery and Valkyrie are back in a brand new adventure that takes the story to truly global proportions… while answering questions that go right back to the beginning.

A lot has changed. Roarhaven is now a magical city, where sorcerers can live openly. Valkyrie Cain has been out of action for years, recovering from the war against her alter-ego Darquesse, which nearly destroyed her and everyone else.

Some things never change though: bad people still want to do bad things, and Skulduggery Pleasant is still there to stop them.

When Skulduggery learns of a plot to resurrect a terrifying evil, he persuades Valkyrie to join him for just 24 hours. But they need someone else on their team, someone inconspicuous, someone who can go undercover.

Enter Omen Darkly. Student at the new Corrival Academy. Overlooked. Unremarkable in every way.

24 hours to save the world. One sharply-dressed skeleton. One grief-stricken young woman. One teenage boy who can’t remember which class he’s supposed to be in.

This cannot end well…

Skulduggery Pleasant was one of the staples of my teen years, and I immediately fell in love. Derek Landy’s writing style is so smooth an intoxicating and his characters are so well written that the Skulduggery Pleasant series is by far my favourite book series ever- yes, it even beats Harry Potter. Landy’s style is packed full of humour and little quirks and he easily creates characters that are raw and feel so real that you forget that they are literally words on a page. Resurrection is no exception.

 

First off, the humour, as always was on point! It’s actually really hard to add humour into books, I have tried, but it’s so difficult for it not to seem forced. I am honestly in awe at the ease of which Derek Landy writes humour, it never seems forced, it’s always natural and is so much a part of the style of these books, so it was nice to see that continue in this book and helped a lot to balance some of the darker moments.

Skulduggery is still as amazing as ever and we even got another glimpse of Evil Skulduggery in this book, which I liked as we don’t really get to see his dark side particularly often. I would say though that the book focuses much more on Valkyrie and Skulduggery definitely takes more of a back seat. That was one of the things that I missed in this book, there wasn’t so much of them working together, which is obviously the main highlight of the books, so that was a shame.

I actually liked Valkyrie a lot more in these books? This new, mature, broken, reluctant hero Valkyrie was a lot easier for me to get on board with than the arrogant, I am the best hero Valkyrie of the previous books. Naturally everything that Darquesse did in Dying of The Light was going to have an effect on her and I was glad to see this explored throughout the book, especially because PTSD is not something you see very often. I didn’t love that Derek’s still trying to make her out to be the specialist special to special in the magical community, like okay she has this white lightning, that was pretty cool, but she has to be a Sensitive too?

The world has changed so much in the time that Val’s been away, and whilst I get that it’s showing Val’s sense of isolation, it does seem a little implausible that so much changed in the five years she was away as compared to the time she was part of the magical community. Still I did like all this extra world building, I liked getting to see how Roarhaven had expanded and changed, I liked the addition of the magic school, Corrival Academy, that felt like a natural thing to have, I liked getting to see some new magical disciplines. It was an awful lot to take in though, all at once!

The plot was for the most part quite slow paced and it did get a little confusing at times. I don’t know, the new villains just didn’t feel quite scary enough for me, there were chapters that didn’t seem to really contribute anything to the overall plot (like all the chapters with Sebastian and Bennet, what the hell were they about?) and I’m still not entirely sure of what exactly a Neoteric is! Still there were some decent fight scenes and once I actually got into the book, I did find myself enjoying it, I was just confused at times! There were a lot of things added that I felt like we should have heard about before, like if Abysinnia (the new Big Bad) is so evil, why haven’t we heard about her before? And the whole Neoteric thing, shouldn’t we have heard about that before? I get that this is the start of a new series, but the whole set up seemed a bit clunky.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to like Omen at first, after all, he’s not one of our old friends who we’ve grown to know and love, but I really enjoyed his arc. He’s not the chosen one, he’s not special, he’s the Chosen One’s brother and doesn’t really know his place in the world and it was great to see him explore this throughout Resurrection and come to see that he doesn’t need to be The Chosen One to be special, to make a contribution, he can do that as Omen Darkly.

I was so glad that the chapter numbering in this book was consistent, Derek Landy always used to do this really annoying thing in the original Skulduggery series where some of the chapters were named and some were numbered, and I was so happy that in this book it was consistent numbers! The chapter lengths were all pretty decent, although I suppose I will just have to accept that the one page, one paragraph, one line chapters are here to stay! I also loved the title, so accurate for this book, not only with it being the start of a new era of Skulduggery, but with the story itself as well.

I would have liked to have seen more of the old characters from the original series back in this book, it was great to see Val and Skulduggery again, but aside from China, everyone else seemed to be new. I missed the Dead Men, I missed Scapegrace and Thrasher, I missed Tanith, so I hope more of them will be back in future books, if Landy does in fact continue this as a series.

The representation in this book was definitely better than in the original Skulduggery Pleasant series, you have Never who is gender fluid, you have two new gay characters, and Val’s suffering from PTSD, I hope this trend continues into the next books.

There were a few digs at Donald Trump, in the form of Landy’s parody character Martin Flanery and whilst this was humourous, I didn’t quite see the point? Like this character added literally nothing to the plot.

I loved that Valkyrie has a dog, Xena seemed so cute and more books should have dogs!

It was nice to meet a good necromancer with Militsa, she was sweet and I hope to see her and Valkyrie’s friendship grow in the next books.

I wasn’t so keen about the whole remnant of Darquesse thing? I get that it’s meant to represent Valkyrie’s guilt and everything but there were a lot of hints throughout the book that Landy might be bringing her back and I hope that’s not true because her arc was pretty neatly tied up at the end of the original series.

It felt like the climax was somewhat rushed, but that could have been because of the slow pace of the start of the book. The last 10 or so chapters were definitely my favourites of the whole book, Val and Skulduggery get some great moments, some weird spoilery stuff goes down (I literally can’t say more than that, all I can say is that it’s some of the weirdest stuff Landy has ever written) and the action is thick and fast. There was a massive twist at the end which I did not see coming at all. Still everything resolved in a really satisfying way and the last chapter really felt like the start of a new era.

Overall, this was a decent start to a new era of Skulduggery, whilst the plot wasn’t the easiest to follow, I loved Valkyrie’s character arc, Skulduggery will never not be amazing and I enjoyed the new characters for the most part. I’m hoping that the plot will be more streamlined, in future books and we get to see more of our old favourites, assuming that there are more books, which it seems like there will be as the whole book feels like set up for more. I did feel like this book left me wanting more though? I seriously hope there is more to this new phase of Skulduggery because there are way too many loose ends not to be!

BeFunky Design

Goodreads Book Tag

I originally saw this tag on Catriona of Little Book Owl‘s Youtube, and it looked like a lot of fun. I use Goodreads every single day, so I love that there is a tag about it.

small leaves devider

1. What is the last book you marked as read:

Stolen by Kelly Armstrong

2. What are you currently reading? 

Afterlight by Gena Showalter

Ashoka by E.K. Johnston

3. What is the last book you marked as to be read?

Foretold by Sophia Sharp

4. What book do you plan to read next?

Skulduggery Pleasant: Resurrection by Derek Landy

5. Do you use the star rating system?

I do. Like most people, I wish there were half star ratings.

6. Are you doing a 2016 reading challenge?

No

7. Do you have a wish list?

I have several wish lists on Amazon, and they all help me organize and prioritize what I want to read and purchase next.

8. What book do you plan to buy next?

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

9. Do you have any favorite quotes to share?

If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals. – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn’t already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race-that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant. – The Book Thief

10. Who are your favorite authors?

Derek Landy
Cassandra Clare
Kelley Armstrong
Rick Riordan
Victoria Schwab

11. Have you joined any groups?

Quite a few! I’m not very active in most of them.

12. Are there any questions you would want to add? 

Some things I wish would change on Goodreads:

  • Addition of 1/2 star ratings
  • Ability to easily record re-reads (without switching to a different edition)
  • Consistently show the edition/cover of a book that I’ve put on my shelf, rather than the default, during searches
  • More customization options for choosing what appears in the Updates feed

BeFunky Design

Skulduggery Pleasant One-Liners

I’m placing you under arrest for murder, conspiracy to commit murder and, I don’t know, possibly littering.

– Skulduggery Pleasant

Skulduggery: What would killing the Elders result in?
Valkyrie: Panic? Fear? Three empty parking spaces in the Sanctuary?

– Skulduggery Pleasant

I woke up, a bag of bones. Literally. They had gathered up my bones and put them in a bag and thrown the bag into a river.

– Skulduggery Pleasant

If you hear any screaming, that’ll be me.

– Skulduggery Pleasant

Serpine: You have caused me so much trouble over the years detective. It’s almost a shame to end it
Skulduggery: You’re surrendering?

– Skulduggery Pleasant

 

Valkyrie: Was it a test? I mean, I know I’m still new to this. I’m still the rookie. Did you hang back to test me, to see if I’d be able to handle it alone?
Skulduggery: Well, kind of. Actually, no, nothing like that. My shoelace was untied. That’s why I was late. That’s why you were alone.
Valkyrie: I could have been killed because you were tying your SHOELACE?
Skulduggery: An untied shoelace an be dangerous, I could have tripped.

She stared at him. A moment dragged by.

Skulduggery: I’m joking.
Valkyrie: Really?
Skulduggery: Absolutely. I would never have tripped. I’m far too graceful

– Playing with Fire

Valkyrie: Have you killed anyone?
Scrapgrace: What? Did you miss what I said, about turning murder into
an art form?
Valkyrie: But you haven’t actually killed anyone yet, have you? I read
your file.
Scrapgrace: Technically, yeah, all right, maybe I haven’t

– Playing with Fire

 

Honesty is, honestly, the best policy. But when honesty doesn’t work, lie, and lie convincingly.

– Saracen Rue, The Dying of the Light

 

“Of course I want to kill you. I want to kill most people. But then where would I be? In a field of dead people with no one to talk to.”

– Skulduggery Pleasant, Kingdom of the Wicked

 

Stephanie: What was wrong with the door? You could have just come down the stairs and walked out the door. Why did you have to jump out of the window?
Skulduggery: You know why
Axle: Why did he do that? Why?
Stephanie: Because doors are for people with no imagination.

– The Dying of the Light

 

“It would be fun. I like kicking Wreath in the face. I haven’t had a chance to do it nearly as much as I’d like.”

– Skulduggery Pleasant, Mortal Coil

 

Nye: Clarabelle…Clarabelle… You worked as Kenspeckle Grouse’s assistant, did you not?’
Clarabelle: One of the. He fired all the others.
Nye: But not you?
Clarabelle: He fired me on the second day, but I kept coming in. I had nowhere else to go.
Nye: And then you killed him.
Clarabelle: Yes.
Nye: A Remnant squirmed inside you, and you killed Kenspeckle Grouse.
Clarabelle: Yes.
Nye: You’re hired. But I have warn you, if you try to kill me, I will dissect you and sing along to your screams.
Clarabelle: Can I have Mondays off?
Nye: You may.

– Death Bringer

 

Tanith: Serpine is used to the Elders taking forever to make their calm, thought-out decisions. So he won’t be expecting anything as amazingly rash and reckless as this.
Ghastly: That’ll teach him to underestimate stupid people.

– Skulduggery Pleasant

 

Serpine: No, my old enemy, I think for the moment anyway, we’re all alone. And you have something I want.
Skulduggery: A winning sense of style?

– Skulduggery Pleasant

 

Skulduggery: It would be a tad redudant to encourage you to hurry up, wouldn’t it? Whatever you do, do not fall over. Falling over, I think, would be the wrong move to make at this moment
Valkyrie: Hate…
Skulduggery: Yes?
Valkyrie: Hate… You…
Skulduggery: Breathe some more air, the lack of oxygen is making you delirious.

– Playing with Fire

BeFunky Design

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare // Review

30312891Lord of Shadows
(The Dark Artifices #2)
By Cassandra Clare

Genre: YA, Fantasy
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publish Date: May 23rd 2017
Pages: 699

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

My Rating: ★★★★★

Emma Carstairs has finally avenged her parents. She thought she’d be at peace. But she is anything but calm. Torn between her desire for her parabatai Julian and her desire to protect him from the brutal consequences of parabatai relationships, she has begun dating his brother, Mark. But Mark has spent the past five years trapped in Faerie; can he ever truly be a Shadowhunter again?

And the faerie courts are not silent. The Unseelie King is tired of the Cold Peace, and will no longer concede to the Shadowhunters’ demands. Caught between the demands of faerie and the laws of the Clave, Emma, Julian, and Mark must find a way to come together to defend everything they hold dear—before it’s too late.

Ok so I have been a massive Cassandra Clare fan from the beginning! I have read every book Cassie has written and Lord of Shadows does not disappoint!  I got the book when it came out last Tuesday and immediately started reading.  I always enjoy reading her books because they make me laugh, and cry and everything in between.

There were so many great one liners in this book it was the perfect balance of how serious the plot was.  We got to delve a lot deeper into the characters, we got to get to know Kit some more and I think he was my favorite POV to read from.  We get more info on the workings of the Unseelie and Seelie courts.  And we finally get some secrets that people have been hiding revealed!

Cassandra Clare really is the queen of love triangles and forbidden romance, though (which hasn’t always worked for me in the past). And even if the angst did get a bit excessive at times, I still rolled my eyes affectionately instead of in any sort of annoyance… because I actually CARE about everyone. Ughhh that ending wrecked me.

I don’t want to get into any of the plot or spoil anything, so I’ll just say it was really fun to see Faerie, London, familiar old faces, and get to know the current characters better. One of them turns out to be transgender and I thought it was handled really well (but will defer to others who can say whether that’s the case). I just love how much wonderful rep these stories have!

I really do love every single character, but Ty is seriously one of my all-time favorites from any book. I’m still so thrilled to see such a caring, badass, complex kid who happens to be autistic. It’s not his whole personality, nor is it something the story tries to shy away from or handle any differently. It’s approached so matter-of-factly that I just want to hug the book. And Kit’s relationship with Ty is amazing… I ship them as friends or a couple or whatever. I don’t care. I just love them together so much.

And I know I’m not spending time here gushing over Emma & Julian or Mark & Cristina & Kieran but the feels are still there.

I also really admired how the plot managed to weave in obvious parallels for current social issues in a way that felt authentic instead of like some message beating you over the head.

There’s a fascist Cohort faction of the council that supports the Downworlder registry, believes they speak for a silent majority, and

 “seek to return the Clave to a lost golden age. A time that never was, when Downworlders knew their place and Nephilim ruled in harmony. In truth, the past was a violent time, when Downworlders suffered and those Nephilim who possessed compassion and empathy were tormented and punished along with them.”

“When a decision like [the Cold Peace] is made by a government, it emboldens those who are already prejudiced to speak their deepest thoughts of hate. They assume they are simply brave enough to say what everyone really thinks.”

So that was one of the stronger parts of the plot. And I also love how much mythology and clever references are woven into these stories. Even the totally unintentional ones… like the Mirror of Galadriel scene. Ha. But for real, this book was amazing and I honestly don’t know how I am supposed to wait 2 whole years until the next book comes out but it’s fine at least we have Chain of Gold to look forward to in a year!

Let me know your thoughts and your predictions for what’s going to happen in the third and final book!

BeFunky Design

Book Recommendations

  • Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick – High school sophomore Nora has always been very cautious in her relationships, but when Patch, who has a dark side she can sense, enrolls at her school, she is mysteriously and strongly drawn to him, despite warnings from her best friend, the school counselor, and her own instincts.
  • The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare – All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him. So he tries his best to do his worst – and fails at failing. Now the Magisterium awaits him. It’s a place that’s both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future. The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come . .
  • Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson – After the mutant Erasers abduct the youngest member of their group, the “birdkids,” who are the result of genetic experimentation, take off in pursuit and find themselves struggling to understand their own origins and purpose.
  • Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr – Seventeen-year-old Aislinn, who has the rare ability to see faeries, is drawn against her will into a centuries-old battle between the Summer King and the Winter Queen, and the survival of her life, her love, and summer all hang in the balance.

BeFunky Design