Monday, 13 February 2017

GIVEAWAY! The Bone Season By Samantha Shannon

I'm giving away a two copies of the new edition of The Bone Season By Samantha Shannon on my Twitter! (@Assassingrisha)

All you have to do is Follow me and Retweet the giveaway tweet! Easy!

Now is the perfect time to start reading The Bone Season series as the third book (The Song Rising) comes out in March.

I cannot sing the praises of this series enough. It's truly, truly spectacular.

If you've already read the series, the competition is a chance for you to get your hands on one of the new covers ( which are gorgeous- see the gif below). Also, the book contains a prequel novella, The Pale Dreamer!! How amazing?!

Best of luck!!
The competition is open from 13/02 to 22/02 for UK readers!!

Sunday, 29 January 2017

My January Reads!

I got quite a bit of reading done this month, in between writing and university work, which is awesome.

This month consisted of reading books i'd gotten for Christmas, so most didn't actually come out this month. Also, for some reason they're mostly adult novels. But anyway, here they are:

Image result for all the light we cannot see

First of all, I read All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. This WWII novel is Pulitzer Prize winner, as well as many other awards so I was excited to see what made it so award-worthy.

What I found so amazing about reading this is that one of the main characters, Marie-Laure, is blind and Doerr managed to describe the way she interacts and sees the world so perfectly. It might sound silly, but as I was reading from her point of view I could really imagine how being blind would be. It was a strange sensation to jolt out from when the chapter changed.

I totally think this book should be classed as a Young Adult novel. The book follows the two main characters from childhood into their teen years!

Image result for wayfarer brackenNext, I read Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken.

I think I need to reread Passenger and Wayfarer because I adore Bracken's other series (The Darkest Minds) but this one has never really grabbed me in the same way. Maybe I was in a funny mood when reading it. I did enjoy the books and I love her writing but for me it didn't stand out.

(That cover is still stunning though, right?)

Image result for essex serpentThen I read The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry.

This was the Waterstones Book of the Year 2016, so I had to check it out!

The Essex Serpent is a really uniquely told story, Perry's writing is phenomenal.
The book is a book about friendship. Building them, breaking them, how hard you have to work to keep them, how easy some can seem...

It really deserves its award and I would recommend this to anyone who loves a good Victorian read.

Image result for little life hanya coverThe second to last book I I read was the longest and hardest to read. I don't mean hard in the sense that it was boring or dense. I mean emotionally hard to read. That book was A Little Life by Hanya Yanigihara.

This book.
This book will stay with me forever. For the first time ever reading a book, I thought 'I love this book so much but I will never read it again'. That was when I was in the middle of a tough part. Usually I want to reread books I love.

A Little Life is a hugely emotionally draining book. I have read many, many books. I have cried at many, many books. But none have made me feel so completely sad. You might ask why the hell I kept on reading and this review from the San Francisco Chronicle explains is perfectly:
'How often is a novel so deeply disturbing that you might find yourself weeping, and yet so revelatory about human kindness that you might also feel touched by grace?'
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The last book I read I wasn't expecting to finish this month but I flew through it in about an hour.

Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer (Art by Doug Holgate) is a graphic novel set in the Lunar Chronicles universe. It felt so great to have more new things from the characters, I really hope Meyer keeps giving us little extras so we never have to say a final farewell to those awesome characters.

 Even though the way the characters are drawn isn't how I imagined them, I still loved the art style!
This is totally a must-read for any Lunar Chronicles fan!

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

January Releases I CANNOT wait for!

IT'S 2017!!!!! *blows little party trumpet*

I still have no idea where 2016 went, I swear its only been two minutes since we were saying bye to 2015.

But I am glad it is January because some awesomeeeee books are being released this month, and I can't wait for to see them in all their finished glory!

Those books are:
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Caraval by Stephanie Garber

This book man. This book. If you like:
1) Delicious descriptions.
2) Mysterious hosts
3) Great female leads.
4) Sister relationships.
5) The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.
6) Losing your mind because you cannot figure out the mystery. You think you have it and then OH! No you don't!
7) Food
8) Gorgeous covers. (because you're a sucker for a pretty cover like me)

Basically, you need this book in your life. You do.

Released: January 27th

Image result for dark days pactThe Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman

This is the second book in the series, the first being The Dark Days Club.

I don't have enough good words to say about this series. It is superb. It's everything you want in a series, a brilliantly researched regency setting, a gripping storyline, a great cast of secondary characters, a wonderful heroine, a handsome hero and a slow burn romance between them.

They changed the covers for the series to have a model on them, which I should be angry about, but I love to series too much to complain!

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Windwitch by Susan Dennard

The second book in the Witchlands series is out now!
After the head spinning events of Truthwitch (the first book!) we're back with Safi, Iseult, Merik and Aeduan. You slip right back into this world and are immediately whisked away on one of Merik's winds.

Also: loooook, another pretty coverrrr.

Image result for wayfarer brackenWayfarer by Alexandra Bracken


That's all that really needs to be said. Has that convinced you to read it?

Again, this is a second book, but therefore last book in a duology.

This books are especially exciting because they don't just visit one time period in their adventures. No, they transport you all over time, WWII London, the Russian Revolution, even into an alternate timeline...

Wayfarer is out now!
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Dawn Study by Maria V Snyder

Dawn Study is the last book in Snyder's trilogy, which completes a trilogy of trilogies set in this world. Does that make sense? It's complicated.

If you've never heard of Maria V Snyder since she's a lesser known author, I highly recommend you look her up. Start with Poison Study or Touch of Power.

If you like fantasy, super-duper awesome female leads and series that have a spin off series featuring characters from the original series that soothe the ache of missing them, then you'll love the study series!

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Heartless By Marissa Meyer

Heartless is the tale of how the Queen of Hearts came to be the way she is in Alice and Wonderland.
The Goodreads description is: 
Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.
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At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.
Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

If you've read the Lunar Chronicles, you'll know that Marissa is the QUEEN of fairytale retellings. Heartless shows she's not just the queen of fairytale retellings but all retellings. 
You 100% need to read Heartless. 

I've never been a big fan of Alice in Wonderland - the reason I picked up Heartless because I've loved Marissa's previous novels and I'm so SOO glad I did. Even if you hate Alice and Wonderland, you can still fall in love with Heartless. You don't need a huge amount of knowledge about Lewis Carroll's works to understand and enjoy the novel.

Starting Heartless, the same thing that happened when I started Cinder happened again. When I started Cinder, I was a little wary because the world was so different and I didn't know whether Marissa would be able to make it all work and pull me in. Both times I ended up asking myself 'WHY ON EARTH DID YOU EVER THINK THAT?! THIS IS AMAZING.' 

We've all heard of the Queen of Hearts, so a novel about her teenage years is probably not going to end well. BUT WE CAN ALL DREAM. 

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Marissa is so brilliant at taking an already established story or a world and making it her own. She gives it her own touches, her own twists and it becomes hers. We've all seen loads of interpretations of the Mad Hatter and Hatter in Heartless is by far my favourite.

The main character, Catherine will have you cheering her on and wanting to be best friends with her (even if its just so she can make you delicious treats).
Jest will make you swoon and fall in love with someone who wear one of those strange jester hats. Never thought I'd have such strong feelings for a jester.

Heartless is full of wonder and delight but it's also dark  and creepy in places. It makes it a wholly unique experience to read.

I will reread this one forever.

4.5 stars!!

I was lucky enough to receive an arc of Heartless from Macmillan for review, so thank you Macmillan!

Monday, 14 November 2016

October Reads!

Here's (a late) what I read in October and what I hope to read this month!

Goldenhand by Garth Nix
Image result for goldenhandGoldenhand is a new installment to Nix's Old Kingdom series, a very lonnnggg awaited new installment. I didn't read the series when it first came out because I was only 6 when Abhorsen came out, but even I feel like I've been waiting forever to rejoin Lirael, Sabriel, Touchstone, Nick, Sam.... I've missed these guys!
Goldenhand is another great addition, it just oozes Nix's unique storytelling. Even after so long away, it was so easy to slip back in with these characters and this world.
The only thing that bothered me about Goldenhand was I thought part of ending was a little convenient. A bit of an anticlimax.
4 stars!

Image result for a shadow bright and burningA Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

This one was a bit of a surprise to me. I wasn't expecting to like it so much. I have no idea why. I think from my first impressions I thought the story would be cliched, that I would be able to guess what would happen. But I was pleasantly surprised! The Victorian setting was great and the ideas for the monsters were so unique!
I'm actually really looking forward to the next book! 3.5 stars!
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The Midnight Star by Marie Lu 
I think I need a full reread of this series. The story was well told and different to any others I've read. Adelina is probably my favourite main character who is technically the antagonist of the series. The Midnight Star was a good and solid ending to the series but I just didn't feel much reading it. I didn't care as much as I wanted to about the characters. It felt like a light fantasy, maybe good for people just starting out in fantasy whereas I enjoy dense and detailed fantasy. I found myself wanting more from the writing. 3.5 stars!

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Image result for geminaI flew through this book. I've never read a story told in the way the Illuminae Files are. The mix of chats, security footage recordings etc make it so interesting, although honestly I think i'd enjoy it more if it was written as a normal novel as I feel disconnected through this storytelling. However, if they had written it any other way than the way it was, it wouldn't be as unique as it is.
 I don't read much sci-fi, but I'm glad I read this series. Amie and Jay are so brutal with my heart! They make it soar and then they crush it and I love it!
4 stars!

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Interview with Sarah J Maas - Glasgow October 2016

You can now watch my interview with Queen Sarah J Maas, filmed when she visited Glasgow on her UK tour.
I can even tell you have amazing it was to see her you guys. Oh. My. God.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas

Image result for empire of stormsSome rambly thoughts I had on Empire of Storms: 


EoS is SO different to the other books in the series. I feel like it steps up into a war book. We’ve finally reached the point where the fighting and planning is starting. It’s terrifying and SO EXCITING.

ELIDE AND LORCAN ARE MY NEW FAVOURITE THING EVER. I’m waiting for the fanart of them to be drawn. They’re the unlikeliest couple and that makes it even better. I never thought about them interacting, never mind being a couple. It being so unexpected made it even better. I adored seeing this other side to Lorcan. He’s so protective of Elide. I love seeing this huge warrior male cowed by this small girl. Elide is totally my new favourite character, I loved her in QoS and I love her even more now. Her strength and her kindness is amazing. She might have a disability but that doesn’t stop her from doing anything or helping in any way she can.
I’m not even mad Lorcan and Elide are in a bad place at the end of the book, I’m just looking forward to their interaction in the next book and him trying to win her back. I strangely like the conflict :p

O.M.G the naval battles. They were so cinematic! I was cheering on Lysandra so much! I’ve never read anything like the Sea Wyvern/Dragon fight. Holy crap that bit was amazing. I completely take back every bad thing I ever thought about Lysandra while reading the Assassins Blade. That girl is amazing. But man, they must have taken some planning; I completely read them while imagining how it’d look as a movie. EPICCC.  

The Wyverns attack on Rifthold totally reminded me of the Nazgul destroying Minas Tirith, picking people up and dropping them, big winged shadows over buildings etc.

I’m so glad Manon stood up to her grandmother. I was so happy she saved Asterin (I was truly scared for a moment there)  and when Abraxos went missing whenever someone wondered where he’d gone I would be like ‘please say he’s gone to find the rest of the thirteen’. I still want my own Wyvern…and to be part of the thirteen.

Even though Chaol was always my love and he wasn’t in EoS, it wasn’t that I didn’t miss him but rather it felt like he wasn’t actually missing. The couple of mentions about him kept him in mind I’m excited that he’s getting his own novella. I also think the cast of characters was SO big in EoS, his absence helped not to overwhelm you with them all. I felt like this was the book with the least amount of Aelin PoV because of the many different things going on across the map but it worked well in terms of Aelin secretly planning with Ansel, Ilias (THEYRE BACK :O ) and Galan. It broke my heart that she didn’t get to see all her hard work come to fruition.

I feel bad that I never really thought about how Dorian would be in this book. He’s never had time to grieve and move on and it made me want to cry for him. Its so cool how Aelin is like her power in that she’s fiery and now Dorian feels like he’s becoming like his own. He’s a lot colder than the Dorian we were introduced to. His character development is insane. So good. But so sad. Bless him, he’s so haunted by Sorcha and being controlled. I loved ManonXDorian, they have this strange chemistry, but I hope they can be together not because she’d not easily broken but because they love each other.

I’ve totally decided Aelin CANNOT die at the end of the series now. NO. WAY. I don’t think I could handle it, that girl deserves the happiest of endings! I was trying to prepare myself as I got near the end of the book as I knew something would happen. But I don’t think anyone can be prepared for that. NO ONE. I never expected Maeve to do something like this, was waiting for Erawan to be doing the horrifying deeds. I was trying to think of a way of describing how the ending feels so I compared it to Nehemia death and the end of Heir of Fire, to me they were like a sharp punch to the heart, they hit me full force and made me immediately cry. EoS is like someone is squeezing my heart…permanently. Over the year I’m gonna be doing work or something and ill just think ‘Aelin is being tortured by Maeve right now. Alone. Not knowing her husband is coming for her.’ and ill just curl into a ball.

Image result for empire of stormsAELIN AND ROWAN GOT MARRIED! MARRRIEDDDD. Oh man those two make my heart soar and break it too. Rowan first saying ‘where is my wife?’ is like the perfect example, I was so happy for them but so devastated too.

The most insane moment I think has to go to finding out Aelin’s plan in case something like this happened. It makes me feel so deeply sad that they even have to consider the plan. Lysandra forever living as Aelin, Rowan living without Aelin but pretending that he still is and that their children are his and Aedion being in love with Lysandra but cant be with her, but have kids with her that he cant acknowledge. It was this that hit my right in the heart because these characters could survive the war, save the world but then go on living like this…without their happy ending.  I want to pick them all up and drop them on a safe little island somewhere where they’ll have no problems and somehow not be bothered by Erawan/Maeve.
Aedion declaring he would marry Lysandra brought tears to my eyes. Their slow burning but deep love for each other is just so sweet.

The links between each of the main characters and each of the gods was so interesting, as if they were each picked for a purpose and have all come together to complete the plan. I love that hints about this have been dropped since ToG.

Getting to read about Elena and Gavin in their own time was brilliant and to finally gets some truths on them. I love that their was a brave heroine who tried her best but ultimately failed because she wasn’t perfect.

One thing I always love in books is when two people from a group of friends who never really talk are forced to interact with each other, so I loved to see what kind of dynamic Rowan and Dorian had.

 5 Stars obviously, when do I ever not give Sarah 5 stars?

Thoughts on Chaol's story in the WHSmith edition of Empire of Storms. Which you can read here:

I think everyone, the Chaol lovers and the Chaol haters, needs to read this little novella because it explains everything we've wanted to know and questioned about Chaol. 

I'm a Chaolaena fan, they'll always have a special place in my heart, but they could never be endgame and any questions about this are answered in the story. 

Chaol says himself he would've never left Dorian, so he could never have gone with Aelin to live in Terrasen. So, Chaolaena would've ended...without the introduction of Rowan. Even a Chaolaena lover like me can see that this is true. Now I just want them to be friends. 

Chaol also talks about how he only saw a 'fraction' of Aelin and he imagined himself with that fraction and couldn't get his head around seeing her as a whole after loving her as just Celaena. Rowan saw the whole of Aelin, and fell in love with that. For me, its a perfect explanation of Chaol's inner turmoil over the last couple of books. All i want now is for Aelin, Dorian and Chaol to be besties for life.