Skulduggery Pleasant: Resurrection by Derek Landy // Review

(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!

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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!

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Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare // Review


Lady Midnight
(The Dark Artifices #1)
by Cassandra Clare

Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publish Date: March 8th 2016
Pages: 720

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

My Rating: ★★★★★

The Shadowhunters of Los Angeles star in the first novel in Cassandra Clare’s newest series, The Dark Artifices, a sequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series. Lady Midnight is a Shadowhunters novel.

It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…

Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

As the story unravels with its intricate storyline, character development, and major plot twists; you’ll be begging for book two.

As a follower of the Shadowhunter Chronicles, Lady Midnight was a very long awaited book, especially after learning that we would be getting a deeper look into the world of Faeries, which have always been a very important species within the Downworlders.

This book met my high expectations and went beyond. Getting a jumpstart on a new Shadowhunter’s story, and discovering new characters was very exciting. Yet, it was scary at the same time; since I already have so much love for the original characters in both The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series.

There was a shippy romance, and in Clare fashion, our characters were not fated to be together. Clare tends to pull her lovers apart and give them significant reasons why they can’t be together and this novel is no different. There’s also another side romance that was really well done and plays on diversity which was nice to read.

I won’t say too much because I don’t want to spoil anything, but I just want to give a huge shout-out to the girl power in this book. Emma definitely takes center stage and she is incredible! In every way. All the girls are seriously fantastic. They’re strong, smart, loyal, and totally fierce. We are also introduced to other new and intriguing characters, too…teen Shadowhunter Cristina Rosales, L.A. high warlock Malcom Fade, the Blackthorn’s tutor Diana Wrayburn, and several others.

And I can’t write this review without mentioning the amazing family dynamics of the Blackthorns. I adored all of them, and reading their interactions with each other. Julian has had to go through so much to keep his family together and cared for, and Cassie made me fall in love with each of them.

We also catch glimpses of old favorites like Magnus, Jem, Tessa, Jace, and Clary. The intertwining of all the Shadowhunters series is one of my favorite parts of Clare’s books, not to mention the seemingly impossible situations the characters get themselves into and the twists and turns in the plot. Some of my favorite moments in the book, however, were the lighter ones.

Cassie herself described The Dark Artifices as “a noir inspired romantic mystery” and I completely agree with it. Reading Lady Midnight was very close to reading a detective story, which is not surprising since the book is about a new series of murders as well as Emma’s ongoing investigation in her parents’ murder back in 2007. I thoroughly enjoyed how the Blackthorns, even little Tavvy, and Emma put all the clues together to solve the recent murders. The way everything fell together was very natural and when the characters found out who was responsible, it was a big ‘Oh shoot’ moment.

Every time I thought something was going good in this book, Cassandra throws a huge plot twist right in my face. To be honest this whole book was a major plot twist. A plot twist that kept me wanting more so I can’t say the pain wasn’t worth it.

Lady Midnight is action packed, emotional drama that left me gasping for breath and grasping for more even after it left me hanging.  It was just such a fantastic book.

But beware!

Those of you, who have already experienced a Cassandra Clare book, know that she is the queen of plot twists. She will tear your heart into a million pieces, fill you with anxiety, expectation and dread. You don’t know how things will turn out— and that’s part of the charm.

The fast pace, beautifully executed romantic scenes, and dynamic characters all made Lady Midnight a pleasure to read. I can guarantee that if you are a fan of any of Clare’s prior books you’ll adore this one as well.

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The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan // Review

30145666.jpgThe Dark Prophecy
(The Trials of Apollo #2)
By Rick Riordan

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Adventure
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publish Date: May 2nd 2017
Pages: 432

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Rating: ★★★★

Zeus has punished his son Apollo—god of the sun, music, archery, poetry, and more—by casting him down to earth in the form of a gawky, acne-covered sixteen-year-old mortal named Lester. The only way Apollo can reclaim his rightful place on Mount Olympus is by restoring several Oracles that have gone dark. What is affecting the Oracles, and how can Apollo do anything about them without his powers?

After experiencing a series of dangerous—and frankly, humiliating—trials at Camp Half-Blood, Apollo must now leave the relative safety of the demigod training ground and embark on a hair-raising journey across North America. Fortunately, what he lacks in godly graces he’s gaining in new friendships—with heroes who will be very familiar to fans of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus series. Come along for what promises to be a harrowing, hilarious, and haiku-filled ride. . . .

Rick Riordan has hit another home run with his latest book. The man who made Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology fun to read has released his second book in The Trials of Apollo series, The Dark Prophecy, where we watch as the Greek god Apollo tries to regain his godly form while occupying the body of a teenager named Lester.

Riordan has written multiple books using ancient mythology to tell new exciting stories for kids, and rather than coasting on his first popular character, Percy Jackson, Riordan has used that popularity to expand his own growing mythology. The Trials of Apollo focuses on how Apollo, the Greek god survives the trials and tribulations of being stuck on Earth, while facing off against three evil immortal ancient Roman emperors bent on world domination.

In The Dark Prophecy, Apollo and company which includes Leo Valdez, a main character from Riordan’s past series The Heroes of Olympus, as well as a freed Calypso, land in Indianapolis in search of a lost oracle. One wouldn’t expect a story involving ancient Greek and Roman characters wouldn’t take places in Indiana, but Riordan plants the story from page one in the city and never leaves.

In Riordan’s ever expanding world, ancient Greek and Roman gods, monsters, and characters of all types can appear anywhere. Riordan establishes the story and creates such lovable characters, you never question why Emperor Commodus would want to rename Indianapolis after himself, or how ancient monsters like Cyclopes and Griffins appears. You are too hooked by the story that you just route for the good guys.

I have been a long time reader of Riordan’s and each time I pick up one of his new books, I never expect it to be as good as his first The Lightning Thief. Each time I have opened up his new book and turned to the first page, I wonder when his ability to charm me and bring into this magical world will fail. I have yet to experience this. With The Dark Prophecy, Riordan has once again written a highly enjoyable adventure story that any kid and adult will enjoy.

I think Riordan’s success comes from the personality that he injects his characters with. The Trials of Apollo series is narrated by the god Apollo himself, and one may think Riordan would duplicate his narrative from past books, but he doesn’t. Each page has not only the focus of the book but we also see and laugh at the off track side notes that Apollo makes about his thousands of years of experience, and the many pop culture references that Apollo alludes too would make an adult reader smile, and any kid curious to find out what Apollo is talking about.

As fun as it is to watch Apollo struggle in his human form, it’s the character of Meg McCaffrey that helps the story along, acting as the conscience to Apollo as well as traveling companion. To the passionate Riordan reader you see notable characters of past books, like Leo Valdez and Thalia Grace, but they are not the main characters, the focus is all about Apollo and Meg.

Apollo is bound to Meg based on their meeting in the first book in the series The Hidden Oracle. Their relationship is complicated and hilarious to watch. Meg can literally command Apollo to hit himself in the face, and he would have to obey.

The villain of the story is perfect. Emperor Commodus, the vain young Caesar of Rome, whom Apollo was friends with thousands of years before, is trying to destroy the Cave of Trophonius an oracle in Indiana. Apollo and Meg must receive a prophecy from the Cave of Trophonius and avoid being killed by Commodus and his legions.

Nobody stages modern day warfare with thousand-year-old weapons and technology like Rick Riordan. Whether it is crawling through a cave or fighting it out in downtown Indianapolis, swords, arrows, and even the occasional elephant is used with great skill as Riordan weaves his ever-growing tale.

Riordan is very good at making a three hundred page book involving Greek and Roman gods a fun enjoyable rest from the daily grind of life. His commitment to challenging his readers, which are mostly kids by using complicated characters from the past and making them come alive is a credit to his talent.

The one problem about finishing a Rick Riordan book is that you need to wait several months for the next one. Thank the Greek and Roman gods that he started publishing two a year. October is only five months away. That seems like too long to wait to explore Riordan’s literary world.

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Windwitch by Susan Dennard // Review

(The Witchlands #2)
by Susan Dennard

Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publish Date: January 10th 2017
Pages: 384

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

My Rating: ★★★★

After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak—which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.

When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her—yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?

After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.

For a very long time, Truthwitch was one of my favorite books of 2016. I absolutely loved the world Susan created, the characters who inhabited it, and the slow but thrilling plot. Therefore I have been super excited for it’s sequel to find out what happens next in this series. And Windwitch did not disappoint.

I think the thing that I love most about this series, and this book in general, is the characters. I have always loved the way the author is able to create a whole cast of interesting and diverse characters and make you like every last one of them (well, almost everyone). And she proved yet again that she is a master of characterization in Windwitch. This is a book with changing perspectives as all of our main characters are separated and off on their own adventures. But I am so invested in each character that I didn’t mind at all when it switched. Arguable the lead character here is Merik, I mean the book is named after him. I really liked his character development in this one. As we learned more about him and he learned more about the world he grew a lot and I appreciated that. But if you ask me, the real stars of this book are Aeduan and Isuelt. Those two are fantastically complex and mysterious. We got some fantastic information and revelations about them and I still want to know more. In general though I just want more from these characters because I love them and find them so interesting.

I also want more from this world. It’s definitely a fascinating world. Like a lot of high fantasy it is based on real like and Medival Europe but is also has this really creative feel to it. It’s a world at war and we get to see that first hand with each book. But honestly we know very little about the larger world and the politics of it. I want to know more and I’m really hopeful that the next book will show us at least some of that. But the main thing that seems lacking is information about the history and magic of the world. I’m generally a big fan of the magical system here. It’s elemental magic reminiscent of Avatar the Last Airbender but more evolved. It’s super interesting with rules and guidelines which I like. But we know so little about it. There are references to origins but we never hear about it. And don’t even get me started on how little we know about the mythical chosen ones the Cahr Awen even though they keep talking about them. The world of this book is keeping things very close to the vest and I wish they wouldn’t. It’s such an interesting world but it’s bordering on frustrating at times.

But for me, what it lacks in world building it makes up for in plot development. This is a slower paced plot, it is not the kind of book where you can dive in and power through but it is super thrilling. It slowly builds to a thrilling conclusion with a ton of action along the way. One thing that I do think made the plot challenging and slightly confusing was the fact that there were kind of three different plots for each of the main characters perspectives. There was some overlap but for the most part they are independent of each other with their own endings and climaxes. It made each of them really interesting but it made the overall story of the book a little muddled. But on the whole I love the direction of this series. The stakes are high and there are tons of action scenes and thrilling escapes. It’s also full of surprises and mystery. I was incredibly shocked by more than one big reveal and a few of them are making me real excited for the next book.

Despite the fact that I didn’t love some aspects about it this was a fantastic book that I really loved. It’s got fantastic characters with great development, an exciting plot full of action and surprises, and a world with a cool magical system.

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Truthwitch by Susan Dennard // Review

(The Witchlands #1)
by Susan Dennard

Genres: YA, Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publish Date: January, 5 2016
Pages: 416

Links: Goodreads AmazonBook Depository

My Rating: ★★★

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

Reviewing Truthwitch is so incredibly hard; one half of me really loved it, and the other half was constantly in a state of confusion about some of the world-building aspects. Warring thoughts aside, Truthwitch is fantastic in the way that it revolves around two best friends and their connection to one another.

First, I must say that I absolutely love Susan Dennard and her approach to writing. Some of her articles on writing have been SO helpful, and it’s clear just how passionate she is about the world of Truthwitch and its characters (seriously, look up the Pinterest board for Truthwitch. It’s marvellous). To say I was more than excited to dive into this one is an understatement. While it is my first Susan Dennard read, it won’t be the last.

Safi and Iseult were fantastic lead characters; the narrative swapping between them and two other POV characters throughout the course of the book. Safi was headstrong and impulsive while Iseult was the thinker. They made a great duo and the friendship between them was the high point of the book, as Susan Dennard intended. While both girls had their love interests (or soon-to-be love interests) it never got in the way of their friendship.

Our other two POV characters were the ‘love interests’, Merik and Aeduan. What I really liked about these two was that they existed to be more than just Safi and Iseult’s romance partners. I particularly enjoyed Aeduan – his story is quite intriguing and his morals questionable. He’s a formidable fighter, too, with dangerous powers. I can’t wait to see how his relationship with Iseult develops. While Safi and Merik were all sexual tension, Iseult and Aeduan were a ‘slow burn’.

There was really something for everyone within Truthwitch; great characters (also yay – Evrane the monk!), interesting mythology, a sweeping world, awesome fight scenes and swoon-worthy romance. I just had trouble trying to get a good grasp on a few of the details.

I never understood the many tiers of ‘Government’ within the world. There were things like guild masters, emperors, doges, domnas, princes… I had no idea where this placed our characters in social situations, nor who the real big players of power were. There were tonnes of ‘world-words’ thrown around, too, and most of the time I had no idea what they meant.

For the first few chapters, I was totally lost in terms of what was happening and who was what. Again, ‘world-words’ were thrown around and they were terms that were obviously integral to the world, but were yet to be explained. It had me very disorientated and a little disheartened to keep reading. I felt as if I needed a reference sheet to keep up.

There’s also a phenomenon called ‘cleaving’ that happens from time to time, and I’m still scratching my head. Do people cleave just because they’ve used too much power? Does someone cause them to cleave?

The same can be said for the ‘Cahr Arwen’. By the time the book was finished, I had a pretty good idea of what they were – or were meant to be – but I wasn’t 100% sure. I couldn’t recall if Susan Dennard had explained it earlier in the book. Also, Iseult was always thinking things like ‘iniate, statis, complete’ and I couldn’t work out if this had anything to do with her magic, or if it was more of a grounding ritual to keep herself calm.

It wasn’t until the second half of the book that I found that the many empires were starting to colour themselves as individual entities. For the longest time I was getting confused between the Dalmottis and the Cartorrans, the Nomatsi and the Nubrevans. It was due to all these factors that I had to, unfortunately, give the book a middle of the road rating. Yes, I enjoyed it and found the characters to be fantastic, but I was severely confused more than once throughout my reading.

I will probably continue with the next instalment (which I believe is called Windwitch?) because I am really eager to see how things will play out (particularly between Iseult and Aeduan!) but I will need some brushing up on the terms before I go barrelling in!

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The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan // Review

26252859.jpgThe Hidden Oracle
(The Trials of Apollo #1)
by Rick Riordan

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Adventure
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publish Date: May 3rd 2016
Pages: 376

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

My Rating: ★★★★

How do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus’s favour.

But Apollo has many enemies—gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go… an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.



The book starts off six months after the ending of The Blood of Olympus, the last book in the Heroes of Olympus series. It follows the god Apollo, who was cast out of Olympus because he angered his father Zeus, and now he has to complete some trials as a mortal teenager to win back his position as a god. (Reading the Percy Jackson and the Heroes of Olympus books before this one is not necessary but highly recommended.)


The book had Rick’s signature humour, although it took me a while to really appreciate it. The beginning was a bit weak, and the story only really started to take off once Apollo and Meg got to Camp Half-Blood and we met all the new and old campers. I loved the new characters we were introduced to, especially Apollo’s kids – I wasn’t a big fan of Meg though. She annoyed me and I felt like she didn’t really stand out as a memorable character. Apollo on the other hand was great – I really liked him from the start. Every review I read kept saying how much of a jerk he was, but honestly I thought he was surprisingly nice. He was very self-centered, but he was also kind and actually pretty adorable.

Like all of Rick’s books, this one had some very sad moments as well. He’s incredible at writing sadness into a fun story without seeming cheesy or over the top. There are always a few moments in his books that make me tear up.

The book was also action-packed and fast-paced, just like his other novels, which I always enjoy. There are books that benefit from being slower, but Rick’s books work really well with lots of action and stuff going on at all times.

But now onto my favourite thing about this book: SOLANGELO. I’m not gonna explain what Solangelo is in case you haven’t read the Heroes of Olympus series, but HOLY SHIT IT MADE ME SO HAPPY. When I finished The Blood of Olympus and Rick announced The Hidden Oracle I hoped, alongside lots of other fans, that Solangelo would be a part of this series, and YES IT IS. THANK YOU SO MUCH RICK I’M SO HAPPY. I was so overwhelmed by the cuteness I couldn’t even breathe at times. I WANT MORE.

Another small thing I really loved about this book was the instance of emotional manipulation and victim-blaming. I think Rick handled that incredibly well. I’m not gonna go into any details (because spoilers), but reading that scene made me very happy because of how Apollo reacted to it.

Now a few things I didn’t like so much. Firstly, I thought that Apollo’s internal love-is-love monologue was a bit strange. It felt to me like Rick was trying too hard to say that it’s okay to be gay. It’s one of those moments when I think show don’t tell went wrong – more show, less tell, please. But I quickly got over that awkward attempt at showing acceptance; I was scared that Rick was just going to write that monologue down and then ignore it for the rest of the novel, but he actually handled the fact that Apollo is bisexual incredibly well. His sexuality was mentioned here and there (Apollo finds a lot of people very attractive), but it wasn’t overdone. So in the end it felt just right. Good job, Rick. (ALSO SOLANGELO.)

Another thing I didn’t like is the fact that the book was way too short. Seriously, it was over super quickly, and in the end it felt like not much had actually happened. I know that probably sounds a bit harsh, but I just wish the book had been longer. (Technically this is a good thing, because it means I want more – right?)

In conclusion, apart from a few minor things, this was a fantastic book, and I can’t wait for the next one in the series. I think it’s really interesting that this book takes place at the same time as the first Magnus Chase one, and the two series will continue side-by-side. I’m very curious to see how that plays out.

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