Here you leave today a
nd enter the world
Of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy.
“No mourners. No funerals.”
If I could apologise to a book I would, ever since it was released and every time I saw it flooding my Instagram feed I dismissed it. Now and again I would go back to it and re read the synopsis, but again I would say it wasn't for me. I enjoyed Bardugos first Grisha trilogy and was so excited when I discovered she was bringing out more books based in the same world. But this duology is completely different, this features six thieves and the heist of a lifetime.
Somehow I've gotten to this point where I read this book and fell in love with it, honestly I think I enjoyed more than her first series. I listened to it on Audible and the cast was absolutely superb. Although we have six main characters only five of them have a voice, although I have been reassured that in sequel that changes.
So the plot, Kaz Brekker, a notorious young criminal, is offered the score of all scores. The motherload, one that could change is life forever and make possible the revenge he so desperately seeks. Kaz brings together a crew to break into an impossible fortress and steal a scientist who is responsible for creating a drug that enhances a Grisha powers.
Via the various POVs we learn who our thieves are, their pasts, how they're connected and their feeling for each other. They're not all connected to each other and several of them have really tragic pasts and don't really do the whole sharing thing. Somehow this crew has to find a way to trust each other, not so easy when most of them want to kill the other, to pull off the heist.
Throughout the book I was forever second guessing people and their motives, was someone about to double cross someone else, is someone else really working with another rival gang hoping to beat them to it?? I loved this book and I loved the characters, Wylan is the only one who didn't get a voice so I look forward to knowing more about him and his background, especially with his father after they came face to face towards the end.
If you're looking for the similar fantasy adventures that were in Shadow and Bone you won't find it here, although we're still in the same world we're just no longer in Rava; the home of the Grisha. The story takes place in Ketterdam and Grisha are bought and sold. I was a fool for waiting so long to read this book and think it wouldn't be for me, it's exactly the type of thing I would watch.
HELLO AUGUST TBR
This month I plan to listen and read the Subtle Knife, I loved listening to the first book. The full cast and Pullman narrating it really made it for me. Smoke in the Sun is the sequel to Flame in the Mist and I'm really intrigued to see how the duology continues and finishes. And finally The Earthsea Quartet, this is still my current read from July and honestly it's been a struggle, but I'm determined not to let it beat me.
Q: What's on your TBR this month??
“You see?' said Prometheus. 'It is your fate to be Heracles the hero, burdened with labours, yet it is also your choice. You choose to submit to it. Such is the paradox of living. We willingly accept that we have no will.”
Heroes by Stephen Fry is a gift, his Great Mythology series in general is a gift. I have loved the Greeks since I was kid, but in school it was barely touched upon. There is a lot of history and stories to wade through and I will happily let Fry do all the work for me, he's chosen cleverly to split the stories to make it easier for the reader. Book one focused on the birth and general histories of the Gods leaving room for further books to focus on other parts, and I'm glad he did. A lot of these hero stories are familiar to me, but I might not have known the whole thing, or known where the went after completing the task they're most famous for.
I also listened to this as an audiobook and I loved it, it might not be to everyone's taste though. Fry has written this with his distinct British quirky sense of humour, which translates whilst reading, but really comes into its own when he's narrating. Does he give his characters accents they would never of had, yes. Does it matter?? To me, no. It adds to the humour, adds to the silliness. I'd rather that then he butcher a Greek accent.
I can't wait for the next instalment Troy, which I've actually pre-ordered. Something I never do, but you know...when in lockdown. I was hoping it would be a book focused on the monsters and the baddies, but since watching the BBC adaptation and learning there was a lot more behind the story I'm really looking forward to it.
“I am a man" he told her, "and men do not consume pink beverages. Get thee gone woman, and bring me something brown.”
The struggle has been real when it comes to this series, I've made no qualms about sharing my feelings in regards to the first two books. I was left feeling pretty underwhelmed and frustrated to the point of screaming at the characters. But something happened, maybe Clare took a writing class, maybe she went to the crossroads and sold her soul to the devil. Whatever she did, it worked.
This feels so grown up, so wildly different I can't put into my words the joy I felt reading this. I did spent most of it waiting for something to go wrong, but it didn't. This was a solid read, but to me this book is what the first two should have been. If I could throw all logic out the window, this would be a 5 out of 5, but this is the third book and by now I should have been all kinds of invested.
This book and it's characters feels so different, I finally stopped hating Jace...well mostly. I still have problems with his attitude, yes I understand he's putting on a front but behind closed doors he shows little in the way of remorse for his actions and his stubbornness, so it's hard to emphasise with him. Simon finally gets the respect he deserves and gets chapters from his POV, which I'm hoping will lead to Isabelle and Alec getting a chance to steal the spotlight in the final three books.
Of course it's not all sunshine and rainbow pooping unicorns. Clary is still a huge problem, she's rash, acts before thinking and is forever making dumb decisions after another. I understand her goal is to save her mum and help stop Valentine but she never looks at the bigger picture, there are so many consequences to her actions. She's a teenager acting like a kid and it's not for me, fingers crossed she'll stop charging off leaving others to pick up the pieces and fix her mess.
All in all, I'm glad I've stuck with it. City of Glass finally brought it, and it's given me hope for finishing this series. I am however going to take a break from The Mortal instruments and read her prequel series The Infernal Devices next as I need a break from these characters.
Q: What book are you still really looking forward to reading??
I've been waiting for The Smoke Thieves sequel to come out then completely forgot about it when it did!! Can't wait to finally get roubd to reading it.
“Once upon a time, in the final days before Salt and Marsh Witch War, four Boneless Mercies turned their backs on the death trade, and went west, seeking immortality.”
The Mercy trade is a life of death, and it is a trade only for woman. This book follows four Mercies who travel town to town performing mercy killings, never revenge or vengeance. It's a hard and sad life, one that makes them outcasts from everyone they come across, they have themselves and no one else. But one day they decide to change their path, to seek a life that could change it all. A chance at a warriors glory like something from the old Vorse tales.
This book is very atmospheric and the author does a wonderful job at building this world and painting the forest they travel through. The story follows the single POV of Frey, which is a shame as I would have liked to read from the other girls as they're all so different and come to the trade for different reasons. Frey's blood sings for glory and wants more than the sad work of Mercy killing.
As they travel closer to their destiny you see such a change in her fellow Mercies, which is why it would have been nice to have different POVs, the people they meet and they stories they share and tell has an impact on them. They are a family and they decide their fates together.
Truly I loved how this was written, every moment felt right and written with depth and care, but it was defiantly lacking something. There didn't feel like a sense of urgency, or any real wow moments, when I think back to any fights they did have on the road or going into the Marsh to face the Cut Queen it wasn't quite punchy enough. But on the flip side I loved the entire section with the Cut Queen, it felt weird and creepy and unpredictable but it lacked that something, that drama.
There's a lot to love about this book and there's a lot that needs some va va voom, there is a standalone companion book set in the same world I will be giving a read.
“I wanted to change my fate, to force it down another road. I wanted to stand in the river of time and make it flow a different direction, if just for a little while.”
Whilst this doesn't add much in the way of story Renee Ahdieh writes like a dream and it was nice having a chapter from Okami now we truly know who he is. It isn't necessary to read this as it's so short and takes place straight after the first book. I was hoping we'd find out more on his backstory, but unfortunately not to be.
“Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.”
This is my second dive into the world of Terry Pratchett, and unfortuantly I didn't enjoy this book as much as Mort. I found it hard to find my rhythm with this one, it all felt too random and I couldn't figure out the plot, plus I couldn't get attached to any of the characters a part from Death. Even though this is part of the Death Collection I feel like it took a while before he was properly in it.
I really like Prachett's way of writing, the humour and how just plain bonkers it all is, however I found the structrure of this book to be differnent from Mort and more confusing. Due to the events of the previous books and Death not really acting quite himself it's been decided he's to be replaced...times up. And instead of working till the sand runs out of his hourglass Death decides to use his remaining time.
Enter Windle Poons, a wizard about to die, but that's fine, wizards understand this sort of thing. When his big moment arrives Windle finds no one waiting to escort him off, so he climbs back into his body. From this point we follow him trying to figure out what to do, as he did die and is still dead, whilst his fellow colleagues and wizards trying all manner of supernatural ways to re-kill Windle and whilst Death begins working on a farm.
It didn't feel like this book had any drive or knew where it was going, but maybe that was my own confusion; the mysterious snow globes didn't help either. Or perhaps it was because I couldn't really connect with any of the characters. But regardless, this won't put me off, by the end Death is easily an absolute favourite of mine.
“Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.”
“So Lyra and her daemon turned away from the world they were born in, and looked toward the sun, and walked into the sky.”
Reading this for the first time as an adult this book is wonderful, the lead character Lyra may be a child but the writing is not dumbed down for children. And I love when authors do this, you get enjoyment as a child and when you come back to it years later it doesn't feel like you're reading a childrens book.
Considering this has been around for so long, I actually had zero knowledge what it was about. The story follows parentless Lyra and her daemon who has grown up in an Oxford College, when she's not being tutored she's and playing and fighting in the streets with the local children. Each human has a daemon, which is essentially you're soul and once you become an adult it settles into one form of animal that becomes a representation of of you.
Lyra craves something more than the stuffy male professors she's been brought up around, and one day, the glamourous and mysterious Mrs Coulter appears offering her all she's dreamed off. Lyra jumps at the chance. However, children are disappearing. Tales of the Gobblers have travelled up and down the country. Soon Lyra finds herself embarking on a huge adventure to save the kidnapped children, and as she travels further North she discovers there is far more too the disappearances.
This book was completely unpredictable, this story was so unexpected and anytime I thought I knew where the story was going it went in the other direction. This book is a fantasy classic, and I wish I has read this when I was younger, a daemon companion, traveling to the North with the gyptians and befriending an armoured polar bear. I would also recommend listening to this as an audiobook, the narrator and author Philp Pullman has a wonderful deep voice, and towards the end he and the cast pull off a wonderful job at building the urgency and tensions between the characters.
“What I mean is, all the terrible things that happen in fairy tales seem real. Or not real, but genuine. Life is unfair, and the bad guys keep winning and good people die. But I like how that's not always the end of it...Evil is real, but so is good. They always say fairy tales are simplistic, black and white, but I don't think so. I think they're complicated. That's what I love about them.”
The Grimm Legacy is about a young girl, Elizabeth, who works in a Repository. A Repository is like a library for items, some of these items are normal and some of these items are magical. Like the items in the Grimm section, these items were collected by the famous brothers and inspired their stories. When Elizabeth proves she's trustworthy enough to work for them she slowly starts to discover the wonders that the Repository holds. However items are going missing and there's a giant bird stalking the workers. Elizabeth must figure out who she can trust and who is dangerous.
This has been on my TBR for a long time, depending on where you look it says YA lit and other places says childrens. Either way I picked this up with not much in the way of expectations, I wanted something easy and simple and that it's exactly what I got. One thing I did like is that Shulman has based this series on authors, she could have easily wrote a seires with each book focusing on magical objects connected to famous fairy tales to attract children. The second books is based H.G Wells and the third, Edgar Allen Poe, not authors you associate with children or childrens lit and I'm intrigued to read the next one as each of these are standalones but set in the same Repository.