Friday, 17 June 2016

The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself. (Goodreads)

Before this book came out, there was a fair amount of hype surrounding it. This, combined with the summary, review from Sarah J Maas and cover art, I got really excited for it. But.....this ended up being a DNF for me. 

I'm not sure if I will finish this book, I kind of want to, so see what happens in the end and because I know its getting a spin off book. However i'm not in any rush. 
I actually really liked the beginning, I thought it was strong and really grabbed my attention. The plot felt new and interesting.  But as soon as soon as Akaran was introduced, my interest disappeared and I had to force myself to keep reading. The inst-love feelings put me right off.  I felt as though there wasn't any character development, from any of the characters, they didn't feel very fleshed out and our main character Maya made such stupid decisions. 

I did think the writing was good, it's lyrical and descriptive and Chokshi has good potential, so I think I might buy a book of hers in the future and see what that one is like. 

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

I Got to Meet Garth Nix

So, yesterday (Tuesday 14th June 2016) I got opportunity to meet Garth Nix at Seven Stories in Newcastle. Seven Stories is an amazing place to visit and hosts some truly awesome events.You can visit the website here:

I ended up being 10 minutes late to the event (Sorry Garth!) because of traffic getting into the city. We actually left super early and still managed to be late.

Garth talked about his books, listing them all out in order of publication (I don't think I realised just how many he's written until they were all laid out.) and we got to hear him read out an small piece of his upcoming new book Goldenhand, his fifth novel in the Old Kingdom series. The bit he read featured Sabriel and Lirael who were both standing talking in the river of death and there was a mention of our favourite baddy Chlorr of the Mask.

Garth then answered some questions from the audience before signing everyone's books. The line he had was huge! His event was definitely the busiest I've attended at Seven Stories. But despite being jet lagged he soldiered on and was absolutely lovely to chat to. I even managed to bag a picture with him:

Thursday, 2 June 2016

A Court of Mist and Fury By Sarah J Maas

This is what I wrote straight after finishing ACOMAF:
I am a puddle on the floor right now. Drowning in emotions. I have NO regrets about staying up until 3:45 to finish.
I have no idea how Sarah manages to write two books a year that are the size of bricks, like does she sleep? Or does drinking reader tears mean you never have to sleep? (I’m just jealous really)

My thoughts are flying around my head right now, in no particular order so these are all my scrambled emotions and thoughts about the book:

As soon as Lucien went to interact with Elain, I was like OHOHOH!  I’m thinking this will be the thing that pushes Lucien over the line of not-defying-Tamlin? Throughout this I wanted to shake him and be like you can clearly see whats going on, don’t just sit back but also hug him and tell him it was okay to challenge his best friend/High Lord. 
I'm so excited to see what Elain and Nesta are like as Fae and how they handle it. Cassian can give Nesta a hand getting used to it ;)

The Weaver was such a creepy fairytale addition.  And the Bone Carver! That part was chilling! I think these two were the things that made the world feel so old and rich with history.
The world just became so much bigger and more intricate (which kinda links into the fact that all Feyre really saw in ACOTAR was a small part of the Spring Court, she was limited and now she’s free to decide who she wants to be). The descriptions of all the places were so vivid. I was actually having to blink hard to pull myself out when I was stopping reading. Can I pleaseeeeee just move to the Velaris right now? ( It reminds me of Tolkiens Gondolin!)  
I feel like Amren at the minute is the Tom Bombadil of Prythian. She’s a powerful mystery.
The expansion of different cultures of Fae, like the Illyrians was so interesting.
The dynamic between Cassian, Azriel and Morrigan was just brilliant. You can really feel the years and years of their bond and how woven their lives were together. Even I had trouble trying to pin just what was going on between them because they’re just so complex. I could cry over the whole family-friendship between the whole group, I just want to join them! Feyre’s friendships that she made with each of them was lovely, they each accepted and welcomed her. Their protectiveness over their little group was so great. Her friendships with each of them were all different. I thought Lucien was a great secondary character and BOOM you gave us those three (and Amren).
I think Morrigan is my new favourite just because of how friendly and positive a person she is despite all that’s happened to her as well as being so strong and badass.  
Varian and Amren seem like a strange pairing and I LOVE it. Even though they’re both immortal, she feels a lot older and wiser than him. I can’t wait to see what happens with them, I need more of them. Their dancing and feigned nonchalance around each other makes me laugh.

I did want to scream at Tamlin to let her go and find someone who he can fall in love with and be a mate with. Someone that would be able to understand help him deal with his own struggles that he's clearly dealing with, like Rhys did for Feyre.
I can’t help but keep thinking about what if the roles were reversed? If Feyre was in Tamlin’s position, Feyre and us readers wouldn’t believe it and want to save him. We’d cheer Feyre on to save him from being mind controlled, or what we thought was mind control. So on one hand I’m like TAMLIN NO! and on the other I understand some of his actions (I understand him trying to 'save her' but the way he's going about it is SO SO wrong.) because he truly doesn’t believe its her own choice. (And yet he himself wouldn’t let her make her own choices- i'm so Team Feyre to be awesomely independent and stand up for herself.)

The events of ACOTAR bled so well into ACOMAF in that at the end of ACOTAR, for me you could already see the strain on Feyre and Tamlin’s relationship after what they’d been through. I feel like it cant really be called a love triangle, because Feyre doesn’t thinks she’s in love with both of them and has to choose, she falls out of love with Tamlin and then into love with Rhys. From the beginning the strain is there and when Tamlin sort of ignores its there and doesn’t see what’s happening to Feyre, you just know he has to turn it around fast otherwise he’ll lose her. It’s up to both of them to try to help and ‘fix’ each other. But when he locked her up, you could see he wasn’t going to try to change for her, which isn’t healthy for either of them. I don’t think then readers will immediately go ‘oh its clearly Rhys she’ll pick’ it more feels like she’s just free to chose and to go and find herself. The slow build between Rhys and her was beautiful. It was flirty and sexy and yet instead of being HOTHOTHOT straight away just simmered nicely and allowed them both to build this amazing friendship and really get to know each other and see that their natures are really well suited to each other before deciding anything else. She could discover whether she did want to spend the rest of her life with him.  This meant that when they do get together their love just feels so deep and genuine. I think it’s when you read about the love building between Rhys and Feyre that when you look back at ACOTAR and question things. Feyre and Tamlin were just about forced together because of the curse and they didn’t have a chance to discover whether they truly, truly loved each other that complete and utter unending love that mates have.
And also, although the end was devastating because they’re separated, they’re not truly separated and they have such a deep faith in each other that Im just cheering them on like ‘YOU CAN DO THIS’.
Also: the notes they send to each other made me GRIN so much.
The sex was so so well written. I loved the way at the beginning, it may have been hot between Feyre and Tamlin but as if became the only thing they really shared it was empty; they didn’t have the feelings there. Compare it to Rhys and Feyre which had so much emotion and love, it was so different. I was smiling so much at parts like when she was sitting on his lap in the Hewn City and thinking ‘I hope nobody looks over my shoulder to see why im smiling’.
I’m so in love with Rhys whose character development, like Feyre’s was insane. Im looking forward to his POV in the next book, which I assume we’ll get?  He deserves all the love. You could see why they are mates he just perfectly understood Feyre, what she needed and when she needed it. I really want a spin-off of just the two of them living happily and having babies together.
Best of all, the romance side didn’t totally overshadow the main plotline- it strengthened it!

ACOMAF deserves every single star in the universe.