Windwitch (Extract) by Susan Dennard.

 

 

Disclaimers: We received two advanced digital copies of this book courtesy of the UK and US publishers (Tor and Tor Teen which are imprints of Pan Macmillan and Macmillan-Tor/Forge respectively). This review may contain some things you consider to be spoilers. You have been warned.

Why we chose it: Read our review of Truthwitch right here.

Review: So, we might have accidentally requested both UK and US extracts of Windwitch on NetGalley at the exact same time and been approved for both, but you won’t judge us…right? We adored Truthwitch and our extreme requesting skills for its sequel should be applauded.

Applaud us while you read this review and then applaud yourselves because you’re great.

We’re not ones to usually talk about the language used in books, but for this novel we feel it’s very important to touch on the words used and the feeling they create as we read them. Susan Dennard likes to use the word ‘for’ a lot and we’d forgotten that when we opened up Windwtich on our phone, so while we fell right back into the world she had created – we also experienced some annoyance.

But don’t worry dear friends. That annoyance faded quickly as we became used to the writing style and because of that we can focus on another aspect of the language used.

The curse words.

We enjoyed them so much because cursing is fun and cursing in a fantasy novel is just accurate. It gives the characters a realness as they speak. There emotions come across so very clearly when an author doesn’t feel the need to make everything PG.

In the one hundred and something pages that we read there was a lot covered. Merik became an even more prominent character and we expected that. The title is Windwitch and Merik is the only such witch we know of. Merik’s temper isn’t under the control it once was and we really liked that because his chapters had an edgier feel. A darker tone.

Vivia has garnered her own individual page time now that Merik has become a focus point and even after only a short time experiencing her mind we can happily say that she’s a character we’re going to enjoy. She has similarities to her brother, but there are some subtle and not so subtle differences to her world perspective that we think will endear her more to us when we get the chance to read the full novel.

Everyone who’s read Truthwitch is fully aware that Safi and Iseult, the threadsisters who are brilliance and clever and deceptive and kind. Who are wicked and wonderful together in the way they play off of one another are separated. There are many things that we can say about their new adventure, their different, but ultimately the same adventure –  so many things that we could say and yet we have absolutely no intention of sharing anything with any of you.

We’re cruel like that. We like to pull at your heart strings because we have none and we like to leave you needing more which is something that this extract did to us. We knew the cut-off point was coming. We had mentally prepared ourselves for it and yet when we were unable to continue we felt shocked.

This can’t be where they leave us we thought. There has to be more we promised ourselves. There has to be, there has to be. There wasn’t.

We wanted so much more to devour. We should have more to devour and knowing that Susan has written it makes us feel slightly better, but not completely. We have to wait for the rest and we have no patience. It’s a problem of ours that we do not intend to rectify.

This extract of Windwitch that we were lucky to read had many revelations and so many new developments that honestly…we can’t help, but flail excitedly.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING THIS REVIEW! We’ll have another one on Windwitch when we get the chance to read the full thing and it will be more in-depth than this one because there will have been more to process and examine and it’s entirely likely that we’ll be left with a bunch of new theories and questions for the third book.

Have you read Truthwitch? Did you love it? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to follow us on:

And we’d love to be friend with you on Goodreads so send us a friend request. That way we’ll be able to see what you’re reading.

Arkon, Annie and a creator.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

homegoing

Effia and Esi are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.

Goodreads

Disclaimers: We received an digital copy of this book via NetGalley courtesy of the publisher (Viking) which is an imprint of Penguin. This review may contain some things you consider to spoilers. You have been warned.

Continue reading

Shadow Rites by Faith Hunter

25759452

Jane is keeping the peace between visiting groups of witches and vamps in the city, but then trouble comes knocking on her doorstep. When her house is magically attacked, the wild chase to find her assailants unearths a mystery that has literally been buried deep.

A missing master vampire, presumed long deceased, is found chained in a pit…undead, raving mad, and in the company of two human bodies. Now it’s up to Jane to find out who kept the vampire hidden for so long and why, because the incident could tip already high supernatural tensions to an all-out arcane war.

Goodreads

Disclaimers: This review may contain spoilers for both the book it focuses on and the previous nine books in the series. You have been warned.

Why we chose it: Jane Yellowrock is a winner.

Continue reading

A Collection of Unfinished Books.

a-collection-of-unfinished-books

Overall disclaimer: These reviews are shorter than what we usually write.

It’s true. There have been more than a few books that we haven’t finished lately and we were hesitant to review them because we don’t really like leaving a book unfinished and then writing up our thoughts on them without all the information. It feels like cheating, bur we’ve come up with a solution!

We’re going to put all the books we did not finish into one post and have a collection of mini reviews because that way we feel less guilty and our post doesn’t look embarrassingly short.

Our genius never fails to amaze us.

Let’s get on with it, shall we?

haven

Princess Haven was never meant to be Queen.

Her immortality has saved her time and time again, but when the last of her royal family dies at her feet, she is next in line to rule a nation on the brink of war. With no formal training on how to be Queen, Haven must rise to the occasion with the help of her best friends, and personal guard, or risk losing everyone she has ever loved.

With war to the West, and no escape to the East, the evil tyrant Kadia sets her sights on the six kingdoms. Haven’s neighbors are quick to fall under the swords of Kadia’s shadow soldiers, leaving a sea of bodies and a clear path to Haven’s only home.

As Kadia’s obsession with Haven mounts, little time remains, and Haven must make a choice; join together with her fellow Royals, and test her immortality in a final stand against the evil Queen, or flee across the sea to a foreign republic in hopes of salvation. Both choices have a cost. Both plans could go awry. Haven must decide quickly, or she might be the only one left.

Goodreads

Disclaimers: We received a digital copy of this book via NetGalley courtesy of the publisher (Friesen Press). This review may contain some things you consider to be spoilers. You have been warned.

Why we chose it: It sounded fun.

Review: The writing was really a problem for us in Haven. It was such a problem that we stopped well before fifty percent. In fact, we only managed a few chapters before we gave up and it still gets to us how wrong everything felt. We thought we might teeter of the edge of a cliff if it were to get any worse. Characters felt as if they’d simply been thrown together without any regard for the chemistry, whether platonic or romantic that should be between them. We couldn’t stand it.

Our main character, Haven, is immortal in the sense that neither injury or disease can take her life. Chop off her head and it would probably grow back. Shoot an arrow right through her chest and she’d be fine in moments. We thought, because it was written that way that Haven’s immortality was common knowledge. It felt like everyone knew about it, but then it seemed at an early point in the book as if it wasn’t?

The arrow we mentioned was shot at Haven in an assassination attempt and the reactions people had to it were over exaggerated. Protect the Queen. Protect the Queen. No one batted an eyelid when she healed up. Hello, Queen’s Guard. You’ll all die before she does. Our eyes figuratively rolled out of our head.

It all made no sense and you all know how very much we hate things not making sense.

We completely understand now why some people abstain from period novels no matter what the genre is. Up until the book dialogue written in novel not set in a modern time didn’t bother us. It never felt stilted or stupid or forced…the dialogue in Haven felt forced. Things were said and then basically said again. It was frustrating.

We feel like there’s a slight possibility that the execution of the plot could have redeemed this novel if the writing hadn’t been so annoying, but saying that is grasping at straws. This book is very similar to the many fantasy books that already exist out in the world. Better fantasy books. It’s unfortunate because we really wanted to enjoy Haven.

To conclude, Haven was just not something we could get behind and though we feel bad about writing a negative review, it is honesty that is required of us and it is honesty that we give. This book might very well be the next best thing for some people, but for us it is something we simply couldn’t get behind.

burning-bright

In 1812, Elinor Pembroke wakes to find her bedchamber in flames—and extinguishes them with a thought. At 21, she is old to manifest magical talent, but the evidence is unmistakable: she not only has the ability to start fires, but the far more powerful ability to control and extinguish them. She is an Extraordinary, and the only one in England capable of wielding fire in over one hundred years.

As an Extraordinary, she is respected and feared, but to her father, she represents power and prestige for himself. Mr. Pembroke, having spent his life studying magic, is determined to control Elinor and her talent by forcing her to marry where he chooses, a marriage that will produce even more powerful offspring. Trapped between the choices of a loveless marriage or living penniless and dependent on her parents, Elinor takes a third path: she defies tradition and society to join the Royal Navy.

Assigned to serve under Captain Miles Ramsay aboard the frigate Athena, she turns her fiery talent on England’s enemies, French privateers and vicious pirates preying on English ships in the Caribbean. At first feared by her shipmates, a growing number of victories make her truly part of Athena’s crew and bring her joy in her fire. But as her power grows and changes in unexpected ways, Elinor’s ability to control it is challenged. She may have the power to destroy her enemies utterly—but could it be at the cost of her own life?

Goodreads

Disclaimers: We received a copy of this book via NetGalley courtesy of the publisher (Curiosity Quills Press). This review may contain some things you consider to be spoilers. You have been warned.

Why we chose it: This cover is so pleasing in a way.

Review: There’s nothing truly awful about Burning Bright, but there are a few problems and there’s one main reason why we stopped reading before the end. We grew bored with this book because we felt like we’d read it before. Young girl defies predominantly male society. Young girl has magic (granted magic is a common enough thing in the world of Burning Bright). Young girl is the only one with the power to save the world. Young girl has trouble controlling it, but really gains control far too quickly.

HELLO SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE!

The young girl is Elinor and she bored us. Her character really wasn’t very interesting and things that were exciting or anxiety inducing to her had zero affect on us. Elinor’s defiance of her father and decision to join the navy came across as…dull and we have a problem with that.

Elinor is an Extraordinary and she is the only one who has the ability to wield fire in England for over a century. We thought that the discovery of her powers would have more repercussions than it actually did. There was no real big ripple to the unveiling of her fire power and that leads us to another problem.

The magic system in this book felt hastily explained. We were introduced the elemental magics and non-elemental magics and everything, including Elinor’s own magic was subsequently glossed over. It made for not so good world-building.

One thing we hate in books is when the main character makes epic declarations about their faith and destiny when they’ve done absolutely nothing to support their pretty words. There is no backing in character development, story arcs, or anything that makes us feel what the character says is actually viable. We don’t understand why it’s done and we couldn’t understand why the author had Elinor do it.

In conclusion it seems we had more issues with Burning Bright that we previously believed and feel that while we may not have discussed them in an in depth manner, we have done enough to portray our feelings towards the book.

WELL THIS WAS INTERESTING. This post is probably the longest one we’ve written to date and it feels nice getting these two reviews out of the way because we think if we were to stew on them, we’d end up wondering how the books ever got published.

Thank you for reading! Did you like how we wrote this post? Have you read any of the books we’ve mentioned? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to follow us on:

And we’d love to be friend with you on Goodreads so send us a friend request. That way we’ll be able to see what you’re reading.

Arkon, Annie and a creator.

 

 

 

Archangel’s Heart by Nalini Singh

arc-heart

One of the most vicious archangels in the world has disappeared. No one knows if Lijuan is dead or has chosen to Sleep the long sleep of an immortal. But with her lands falling into chaos under a rising tide of vampiric bloodlust, a mysterious and ancient order of angels known as the Luminata calls the entire Cadre together to discuss the fate of her territory.

Accompanying her archangelic lover Raphael to the Luminata compound, guild hunter-turned-angel Elena senses that all is not as it seems. Secrets echo from within the stone walls of the compound, and the deeper Elena goes, the uglier the darkness. But neither Raphael nor Elena is ready for the brutal truths hidden within—truths that will change everything Elena thinks she knows about who she is…

Nothing will ever be the same again.

Goodreads

Disclaimers: We received a digital copy of this book via NetGalley courtesy of the publisher (Gollancz, a division of the Orion Publishing Group). This review may contain some things you consider to be spoilers for both the book in question and the books that came before it. You have been warned.

Why we chose it: We like us some Elena and Raphael. These books are a guilty pleasure of sorts.

Review: Opening up Archangel’s Heart was a different experience to any of the previous books in the series and there are eight of them so we have to commend Nalini Singh for making something familiar seem fresh and new.

We were greeted with a prologue that felt mysterious and wonderful and it was evident that this prologue wasn’t going to be some seemingly throwaway piece of information that wouldn’t become important until much later in the novel. Instead it was the cornerstone of the entire plot and we really loved it.

Secrets and angel wings are totally our thing.

Discovering more of Elena’s past, the past of her family was an interesting thing to explore. Pairing that up with angelic politics and the personal growth of multiple characters was great. It really made more good storytelling and while we predicted some of the twists and turns, there were some things that we expected to happen that just didn’t. We definitely appreciated that.

Let’s talk about Aodhan. Let’s talk about how much we love Aodhan and how far he’s come in the time since we were first introduced to his character. No longer is he a fragile beauty who glitters in the sky, but finally he is once again and highly capable and dangerous member of the Seven. We never saw him as a warrior or as someone other than Illium’s best friend who’d had some really awful things happen to him. And that’s because he wasn’t. He was quiet. He was reserved. He avoided most physical contact. In Archangel’s Heart he is still quiet and reserved and against most physical contact, but through Elena we got to see the humour and intelligence and kindness beneath it all.

(That was such a clever way to link back to our main character, wasn’t it?)

Another thing that was different about Archangel’s Heart was how very Elena and Raphael focused it was. In recent Guild Hunter books the story has branched out into the lives of Dmitri and Honor, Ashwini and Janvier and a whole host of others that have proved for an intriguing narrative. Occasionally chapters focused on Elena and her Archangel lover, but otherwise they became a sort of background feature.

In this story, it’s all about the original couple and they’re just excellent.

It’s important to note and this point that sex scenes really took a backseat to the mystery for our characters here and we’re okay with that because we think if there had been many, they would have forced. We like how Nalini Singh focused on the stabby, stabby and whodunit instead.

Being introduced to the Luminata raised a so many red flags in our mind that we’re surprised alarm bells didn’t suddenly go off. Having read so many books where there are secretive and powerful organisations we just knew that they weren’t going to be good.

Elena spent a great deal of the book uncovering secrets and learning what was really happening in the Luminata compound and how it and the town beside it tied into her family history. We don’t want to spoil, so we’ll just say that everything she discovered and everything we discovered through her helped to further bring all the information we have on her into a clearer light.

We constantly enjoy how secure Elena is in her relationship with Raphael, how she doesn’t complain about having a plain face or how she simply can’t believe she could be the one for him. It’s a rarity in romances featured in New Adult books and that’s a shame. Elena knows who she is and what she is and she’s comfortable with it. Plus, she’s pretty handy with a crossbow.

To conclude, Archangel’s Heart was a really great instalment in the series. It had elements of mystery and action and we were so pleased to get back inside Elena’s mind because it works in such a wonderful way. Violence is always a viable option for her and we like it so very much. Guild Hunter novels always leave us wanting for more and this one was no different in that respect. Nalini Singh should get a medal because we love her urban fantasy books and we don’t think that’s ever going to stop.

THANK YOU FOR READING OUR REVIEW! Who do you want to see more of in the next book? Would you like to visit the lands of Michaela like we do or do you want a story focused on wicked, yet neglected Venom? An Ilium and Aodhan romance?Or Illium and Aodhan finding other partners? Please let us know what you think in the comments and don’t forget to follow us on:

And we’d love to be friend with you on Goodreads so send us a friend request. That way we’ll be able to see what you’re reading.

Arkon, Annie and a creator.

Breaking Down Bookstagram #3

breaking-down-3

Disclaimer: All pictures from here on in do not belong to us, but the person we have interviewed.

So, we’ve decided that Breaking Down Bookstagram will either be a monthly thing or something that is bi-monthly, but either way we absolutely love highlighting some of our favourite bookstagram accounts.

This time we’re pleased to welcome Brooke aka @brookebibliophile. We had a great time chatting to her and we applaud her answers!

Let’s go.

Continue reading

Words of the Month | October 2016

 

 

october-2

Disclaimer: All photos within this post belong to us and us alone.

Hello, hello. It’s November which means we’re one month closer to Christmas and we also have to review the entire month of October which isn’t hard at all…

Ready? Let’s go.

Continue reading