Reviews of the Top 5 Books of 2017/18

Deer Reeder,

Yesterday was my blog’s 1st birthday!!!! It feels so weird to think that this time last year I decided to take the plunge and begin a blog. It’s funny, in some ways I haven’t changed my writing style at all, but in other ways I have changed. For example, for those who haven’t realised, I’ve been putting more pictures in my blogs, as I now know, that blogs with visuals are more likely to be viewed than those without, as people find them more engaging (ever wondered why Instagram’s such a popular social media platform).

Now being a casual thing in my life, it doesn’t really surprise me that my reader engagement isn’t exactly….. on point, but I’m still shocked at any engagement that I actually get. Like, how did you find me, why did you even bother to click on my blog in the first place? Every time I see that I’ve had a visitor, I get a little swell of pride that yeah, out of all the places to go on the internet, they have ended up here on my page, and you know what? I’m not even that fussed if your one of those people who are like, “Oh bu@@ger, I’ve clicked on the wrong site, this wasn’t what I was after at all!” So, enough of my blabbering and onto the more interesting (for you) stuff.

The Top 5 Books/series’ of my Year

Now I could have done ‘the Top 5 of my Whole Life’, but my memory isn’t that great and sadly I don’t have the luxury of a book shelf where I can gaze upon my past endeavours. Therefore, I know that I’d end up missing one and be mildly miffed with myself! So, without further ado, here is my list from the books I have previously reviewed on this blog. Oh, I almost forgot to say that this is measured purely on how entertaining/engaging I found them and not merely the quality of the narrative per say (hope you get my drift and that makes sense).  Continue reading “Reviews of the Top 5 Books of 2017/18”

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A Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

Deer Reeder,

brave new world
I have never really understood the book cover design. Is it just trying to be all futuristic or is there something else to it?

After this one I’ve only got one more book to review and then I’m up to speed! I say this now but we all know what the reality will be, I’ll end up drowned in coursework and therefore will do more reading then reviewing in my spare time (if a laptop keyboard had the eye roll emoji it would go right here).

So, what book am I on about today? Well, I thought I would have a dabble in the more vintage classic section and stumbled upon ‘A Brave New World’ by Aldous Huxley, and you know what. I kinda liked it.

In summary, the book is about a ‘utopian’ world where everyone is now ‘civilised’ and happy due to a mix of subliminal brainwashing, genetic engineering and recreational sex and drugs (and by drugs they just mean Soma which is a strong hallucinogenic but without any of the negative side effects, or so they think). However, within this world not everyone seems to be as content as they should be and holes in their happiness start to appear. Continue reading “A Brave New World – Aldous Huxley”

The Core – Peter V. Brett

Deer Reeder,

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Hard back edition, front cover on left and inside cover on right

God, it has been a long time since I have written one of these. Too long in fact. I knew this would happen once I started uni again, I’ve just had no time to read! *sighs and looks away from the mountain of assignment briefs nearby…*

Anyway, enough of the woes and on with the book reviewing.

So, The Core by Peter V. Brett. What can I say apart from at last and about time! I’ve waited for the finale to the Demon Cycle series for around two years now, but it was worth this wait. The book starts slowly, re-enveloping you into this fantasy world and ends like Usain Bolt running the 100 metres. I know its not always best to review the last book in a series, but I read the first one many moons ago, so I promise to avoid spoilers where I can.

For those not in the know, the series are set in what seems to be our future but without any of that high-tech business. Instead, it’s as if you’ve stepped back in time to bows and arrows, horses and carts, due to demons destroying the world as we know it. Its clever because you don’t initially realise this until Continue reading “The Core – Peter V. Brett”

Wyrmeweald: Returner’s Wealth – Stewart & Riddel

Deer Reeder,

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Click here for photo source:

Wyrmeweald: Returner’s Wealth is the first book in a trilogy that I never got around to finishing, due to waiting for, then forgetting about, the last book. Therefore, I thought it was about time, 4 years later, to read the trilogy again and actually finish it this time. Reading a book twice can be arduous, as you already know the gist of what happens and therefore can lose enthusiasm to read it again. Luckily, I’m still reading strong with the trilogy, mainly because I love the imaginative story telling of Stewart & Riddell.

This book has illustrations! God, it has been a while since I’ve read a book that has pictures and isn’t an autobiography. To be honest though, I wish more books did have illustrations, especially within the fantasy genre. The creatures that Stewart & Riddell create are ten times stranger then I could ever imagine from merely their descriptions. I’ve read other books with their writing collaboration and have always loved the bizarre but deadly world that they create; it’s all very survival of the fittest themed. Continue reading “Wyrmeweald: Returner’s Wealth – Stewart & Riddel”

Assassin’s Fate – Robin Hobb

Deer Reeder,

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Click here for photo source  Always loved the design of this chronicle.

Finished this book at the same time as finishing my first year of uni, almost perfect timing apart from I now have plenty of guilt free time to read but no book! Oh well. Anyway, on with the book. This is the last in a trilogy which is (as far as I currently know) the last in a chronicle which are in the same timeline in the Elderling realm. Confused? Just know that there are a lot of books to read by Robin Hobb before this one basically starting with the Assassins Apprentice.

Obviously, I have much love for this book and had a high expectation, to which it luckily didn’t disappoint. What is nice about reading books that are set in the same world, is that you will eventually get to the book where all the story lines interlink. Where main characters from each stand-alone trilogy finally meet each other. This is what this book is really, the tying of loose ends, so don’t even think about reading this before reading the others, it just won’t be the same.

Compared to other books in this chronicle that feature Fitz (the main protagonist, and my favourite mainly due to his many flaws), this book had a split narrative between him and his daughter rather than just his side of the story recounting. Continue reading “Assassin’s Fate – Robin Hobb”

Wyrd Sisters – Terry Pratchett

Deer Reeder,

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Click here for photo source   Part of the Disc World Series. The book covers are always weird.

Welcome to the magical land of Terry Pratchett’s Disc World. A world like no other that fundamentally defies all of physics. In fact, its inhabitants are probably disgusted that physics is even mentioned in its presence. This book, like so many others found in the Disc World series, has the wonderful balance of wit, humour, fantasy and real life parallels that is commonly found within Pratchett’s writing.  Now where to begin?

At the beginning, of course. One of the specific reasons why I liked this book in particular was that there was a running theme throughout. Constantly Pratchett hid little Easter Eggs (you know like Disney and Pixar always seem to be doing) that tied this story to that of Shakespeare’s Macbeth (thou who should not be named on stage for fear of bad luck, despite it being the name of a whole play, they didn’t think that one through….). He does this humorously, a good example being, changing “When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning or in rain.” which is the 3 witches most famous saying, to actually writing:

Continue reading “Wyrd Sisters – Terry Pratchett”

Good Omens – Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman

Good Omens
Source: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Good-Omens-Neil-Gaiman/dp/0552171891

Deer Reeder,

This is my first ever blog! I feel like a kid who has just got their stabilisers taken off their bike before they were a 100% sure what they’re doing. Wobbling side to side down the lane while the parents stand at the ready with the first aid kit. Though I must say, I’ve never really properly fallen off a bike (touch wood) so hopefully my blog will be the same.

So, Good Omens, where to begin. The book is a collaboration between… wait for it…. the both highly celebrated authors Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman! As soon as I saw who wrote this book my fingers were itching to start devouring it. And boy did it not disappoint.

The beauty of this book can be found in the fact that you can see both the authors’ influences in the narrative. Firstly, the story happily defies physics, which is a commonality expressed in both Pratchett and Gaiman’s other books. I don’t know how they do it, but they make all their weird and wonderful ideas seem perfectly logical at the time of reading it, like why would a still functioning, hovering and burning car travelling at 100mph not be a totally legit plot point? Continue reading “Good Omens – Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman”