Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder Book Review

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Fire Study is the third book in the Chronicles of Ixia series. I reviewed the first book here and the second book here.
Fire Study follows Yelena facing a larger scale threat, with new friends and old. She relied more on her magic in this book and faced self-doubt. The plot twists were even more shocking and the story was less predictable, something that I feel that Snyder has improved upon throughout her novels. 

However, I feel as though I had more issues with this book, particularly in the beginning than I had with the previous two. The tenses seemed to switch between past and present in places, making the writing feel disjointed and confusing. Furthermore, there were times where previous events seemed to have been forgotten. Additionally, this book was inundated with explanations of characters and events in the previous books. I understand that some reference is needed for readers who have not read the series for a while but there were literally paragraphs summarising what had happened and I just wanted to read on in this story, rather than being told things that I already knew.
I enjoyed seeing the blossoming relationships with different characters and there were pieces of advice that I feel were well written. I was happy to see characters that I love return and there humorous interactions.
It was interesting to see some different locations. However, I feel that some were visited for too long and it didn’t seem like it took Yelena long enough to travel across the country. There were parts of the story that I felt went on for too long and others were just brushed over, for example, there was one point where it said that they made a plan but it didn’t go into their discussing of different plans. It would have been nice to see how they develop their plans and how they might not go to plan when enacted.
I feel that this book improved significantly as it progressed. The first half was full of travelling and battles, whereas the second half featured returning characters, Yelena’s difficulties and the unravelling of plans. I wish that the other characters had been featured earlier or that Yelena had voiced her problems earlier. I kept wanting her to talk to someone about how she was feeling. It would have been nice to get a peek at the thoughts of some of the other characters, for example, Valek. I feel that there are parts of the novel that are not as cohesive as they could have been.
However, overall, the story was excellent. It brought me to tears and made me gasp. The characters were again complex and it was good to see different group dynamics. Yelena and the other characters have grown throughout this original trilogy and I can’t wait to see more of them in the next set of books (this trilogy is followed by a trilogy following another character and then it is another trilogy following Yelena).
Rating: 4/5 stars.

You can purchase this book here: http://amzn.to/2F1wO9q

Have you read this series? If you have, what did you think of it? If you haven't, are you thinking of reading it now?

Monday, 26 February 2018

Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder Book Review

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This is the second book in The Chronicles of Ixia series, I reviewed the first book, Poison Study here.

Trigger warnings: rape, abuse, torture, murder, suicide, abduction

Magic Study follows directly on from where Poison Study ended. Before reading Magic Study, I read the extra content on Maria V. Snyder’s website that fits between these two books: chapter 1 of Poison Study from Valek’s point of view and Assassin Study, a short story featuring Valek.
This book followed Yelena entering Sitia: her country of birth, trying to find her family, going to a magic school and navigating her magical powers. There were politics, tactics, fights, magic, historical lessons, mysteries, different cultures and varying relationships. 
I loved Magic Study. The structure was very similar to Poison Study with different threads of the story and the stakes being raised. I was glad to see that Valek was mentioned and that he was in this book too. There were new characters introduced and I really liked seeing Yelena getting to know her family, culture and learning magic. Similarly to the first book, all of the characters were interesting and multi-layered. This book was slightly less predictable than the first which was nice to see.
The only negative comment that I have about this book is that there were quite a few grammatical errors in the Kindle edition that I was reading, so much so that it became an obvious annoyance. However, it did not interrupt my enjoyment of the story too much.
I can’t wait to read the next book, Fire Study. I love all of the characters and the plot always increases in tension and makes me want to keep reading. Again, I felt a range of emotions reading this book and I just want to read more about these characters and this world. 
Rating: 4.75/5 (only rated down slightly due to some grammatical errors).

The Liebster Award

Thank you to Chloe at bookdragons247.wordpress.com for nominating me!
The rules:
Answer the 11 questions that you have been asked.
Nominate 11 other bloggers.
Ask your nominees 11 questions.
Let them know you nominated them.

1.       If you could get any two characters from any two books and put them in a relationship/friendship who would they be?
I would love to put Sydney from Vicious by V. E. Schwab and Yelena from The Chronicles of Ixia series together as I feel like they have a lot in common and would be good friends.

2.       Favourite song at the moment?
I don’t think I have one favourite song at the moment but I have been listening to some songs from past decades lately!
3.       What’s your spirit animal?
I did the same quiz that Chloe did and also received a deer. It was an interesting result!

4.       Any advice for people thinking of starting a book blog?
Do it! Just start and see how you feel.

5.       If you had to be the sun or the moon which would you rather be?
The moon because it has an affinity with the sea and I love going to the beach.

6.       A place you want to go to and visit/live for a while?
I would love to go to Japan!

7.       Paperbacks or hardbacks?
I usually go with the cheapest option, I don’t really have a preference between them but I do really like ebooks.

8.       Three things you want people to know about where you live?
It rains a lot, it is usually cold and it sometimes seems dreary but it is home.

9.       Other than books, blogging and book related things. What other hobbies/interests do you
have?
Does writing count? If not, I also play video games, draw and craft.

10.   Do you have any advice for people trying to use social media to get more traffic to their blog?
Post regularly and interact with others. Commit to at least one platform to build.

11.   Favourite season and why?
Spring because it is bright but not too hot.

I nominate:
Eleanor @ eleaanormay
Jenni @ oddsocksandlollipops
Jen @ bookwormjenblog
Kate @ thetustingirl
Emily @ emilywilliamsauthor
Matilda @ thematildaslibraryblog
Evelina @ avalinahsbooks
Madison @ madisonloethen
Stephanie @ stephanievivienne
Charlotte @ writtenbycharlotte
Jenna @ parchmentandquillchronicle

My questions:
1.       What is your favourite book genre?
2.       What are some of your favourite books?
3.       What is your favourite type of blog post to write?
4.       How do you blog around other commitments?
5.       What advice would you give to new bloggers?
6.       What is your favourite film?
7.       What is your favourite TV series?
8.       Which social media platforms do you use?
9.       Why did you start blogging?
10.   What are your goals for 2018?
11.   What are your goals for the future?


Sunshine Blogger Award/ Q&A

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So, I have already been nominated for this award: see post here. However, another lovely blogger nominated me again! I decided that I would like to answer her questions anyway so here is a mini Q&A.
1.       What is your dream job?
My dream job is to be a full time blogger and author.

2.       What do you think your life will be like in a year? And in ten years?
This is a difficult question because you never know what is going to happen! In a year, I hope to be earning something from my blog, to still be reading a lot and to be working on a creative writing project that I love and will finish. In ten years, I hope to have my dream house and be a published author.

3.       What is your proudest achievement?
The first thing that comes to mind is my degree. I worked so hard to do well and despite feeling bad mentally and physically, I got to the end and received a 2.1.

4.       What is your favourite blog post you’ve ever written?
I think my favourite would be How Anxiety and Depression Can Affect Reading and Writing because I expressed some raw things that I have struggled with and people who related to that felt like they could reach out and talk about it too. One of my main aims in life is to help people and I hope that in a small way this blog does that.

5.       Apart from blogging, what are your hobbies?
Reading, writing, playing video games and art.

6.       How would you describe your fashion style?
I literally have no idea. Because of my IBS, I tend to go for more comfortable clothes. Sometimes I’ll wear something more towards Japanese Kawaii style, sometimes a geeky style, I’m not really sure!

7.       What’s the best place you’ve ever been to?
Wales, it was beautiful.

8.       If you had £1000 (or equivalent in your currency), what would you spend it on? Or would you save it?
I would probably treat my loved ones to a holiday because they deserve it and just put money towards things that need doing around the house.

9.       What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done? What would you do if you were a little braver?
This is a difficult question to answer. I have anxiety and so for me, things that might seem small to other people, feel like a big achievement. I would like to go to more big events and I am hoping to try this in the future.


10.   What is/ was your favourite class at school, college or university?
I would say law, I loved learning about statutes and precedents and being able to apply them.

11.   What is one thing you want to learn or change in 2018?
I want to keep blogging and reading a lot. Reading more was a goal of mine for 2018 and I’m really proud of my progress so far.



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Sunday, 25 February 2018

99p Kindle Books- 25th February 2018

It can be difficult to find Kindle books at 99p that you want to read, so I have compiled a list of some of the books on Kindle that I would like to read that are ALL 99p!

Children's


A Girl Called Owl by Amy Wilson- http://amzn.to/2CjxAg0


Fantasy


Thief's Magic by Trudi Canavan- http://amzn.to/2HM3vFs


Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder- http://amzn.to/2sTPWQH


Shattered Glass by Maria V. Snyder (second to last book in The Chronicles of Ixia series)- http://amzn.to/2F1LUdX


Frostblood by Elly Blake- http://amzn.to/2CkGtWT


Alice by Christina Henry- http://amzn.to/2ER65YR

After Alice by Gregory Maguire- http://amzn.to/2EPob1o


The Mysteries by Lisa Tuttle- http://amzn.to/2sON7kc


This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab- http://amzn.to/2CiXtMR


Our Dark Duet by V. E. Schwab- http://amzn.to/2HL366j


The Rose & The Dagger (sequel to The Wrath and the Dawn) by Renee Ahdieh-http://amzn.to/2FwRin6


The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid- http://amzn.to/2F6Ci1S


Carry On by Rainbow Rowell- http://amzn.to/2ChNVBN


Replica by Lauren Oliver- http://amzn.to/2F4sAwA


The Black Witch by Laurie Forest- http://amzn.to/2Ci4hKR


Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones- http://amzn.to/2CinzzK


Contemporary



99 Days by Katie Cotugno- http://amzn.to/2HM9Hxh


Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed- http://amzn.to/2CiPAHg


Radio Silence by Alice Oseman- http://amzn.to/2F5JhrJ


Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley- http://amzn.to/2CknrQb


History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera- http://amzn.to/2F1w2rV


The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli- http://amzn.to/2EPoaKR


The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout- http://amzn.to/2FwdG0e


Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett- http://amzn.to/2F6WIb3


Night Owls by Jenn Bennett- http://amzn.to/2FvAm0x


The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee- http://amzn.to/2Ftlr6Q


Mystery


The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin- http://amzn.to/2FuDkSJ


The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin- http://amzn.to/2ETW6Cb


The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin- http://amzn.to/2sVz5gF


Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris- http://amzn.to/2sSdxBx


I See You by Clare Macintosh- http://amzn.to/2FvjrLy