The Court of Broken Knives by Anna Smith Spark

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“Why we march and why we die, and what life means… it’s all a lie. Death! Death! Death!”

— Anna Smith Spark, The Court of Broken Knives

    It’s always refreshing to dive into a pool of murky grimdark water after a long thriller swim. With fantasy books, the world alone transports you to unimaginable places filled with impossible people and creatures. Set in environments that take a life of its own, you’re bound to find yourself chained to the details of the land and to lurk in the shadows of its people. Anna Smith Spark brings us a new and gripping debut story that swears to have everything you’d want, from blood and betrayal to magic and dragons. The Court of Broken Knives, book one in the Empires of Dust series, offers us four different and unusually fascinating point of views to tell a story filled with back-stabbing decisions and rightful ownership. Although each character (mercenary captain, mercenary recruit, politician and high priestess) all have their own goals and slowly discover the harsh reality of the decisions they are to make, Marith, the latest recruit to the company of soldiers, remains the center of attention as his uncommon background resurfaces and takes a hold of his life.

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Book Lover’s Day ft 4321, Spill Zone and The Heart We Sold reviews

How fitting it is that today is Women’s Day, Book Lover’s Day and my best friend’s birthday, WOO 😀 ! She’s an incredible woman and bookworm ❤ Shoutout to NHII  😀

I have decided to put together some reviews of the books I’ve read these past months but didn’t makea full review for it 😉

4321 by Paul Auster 

★ 

I’ve been a fan of Paul Auster since his New York Trilogy, and oh my god he didn’t disappoint with this one.  Okay be aware, it’s a 900 pages novel with small fonts. Whenever I bring the book people thought I was bringing a dictionary around LOL. However, the long narrative justifies the beauty of Auster’s writing. He proved once again he can change from the detailed thought process of prose in New York Trilogy to a historical and storytelling style in this one. I loved the fact that he took that risk and produced a wonderful plot with a complex structure.

 “The torment of being alive in a single body was that at any given moment you had to be on one road only, even though you could have been on another, travelling toward an altogether different place”- Paul Auster

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Lost Boy by Christina Henry – The True Story of Captain Hook

MY RATING: ★/5 

Lost Boy was my first novel from Christina Henry  and to be honest, I was not disappointed. I think Peter Pan has been one of my favourite classic tales. When I read it for the first time last year, I felt like a kid still enjoying the magical world of fairy dust, flying and never growing up. Christina Henry took all the essentials elements that made it magical for us and turn it to ashes, in a good dark and villain way.

Instagram @bookidote

 

The main character here is Jamie (later known as Captain Hook) and we follow his story of how he met Peter Pan, how he ended up on the island and before he was Peter Pan’s enemy, how he became his best friend. His development was astonishing from beginning to start. What is even more interesting was, for the first time, we have a concrete measure of a character development : his growth. You know how all the children living in Neverland never grow up? Except this one. He’s growing up throughout the stories and all the turning points of his transformations are also the indications of his character development. Masterful move!

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Strange Practice (Dr Greta Helsing #1) by Vivian Shaw

My rating: ★★.5 /5 

If you ever think that YA tackles one of the most stereotypical vision about vampires, you are going in for a complete opposite direction in this Van Helsing retelling. All the facts about vampires we know are demystified.

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We are introduced to the main character, Greta Helsing, who’s human but is descendant from one of the most prestigious family of doctors. They are known to practice medicine and help the supernatural creatures.

plotandsettingI love the setting, in late 1800s, where a murderer who mirrors Jack the Ripper still roams the streets of London. At the same time, one of Greta’s closest friend encounters a mysterious vampyre  who’s been stabbed in a suspicious way by a group of people wearing monk hoodies. After the attack, his skin is burning and the wound looks nothing like Greta ever sees before.  Here begins a search for the purpose behind that act and if the group will ever target another supernatural creature.  Continue reading

The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

You know when you really like a book and you want to discuss with everyone but at the same time, you don’t want to spoil too much? YEAH. This is the one. I will try and make it a very not spoiler-y review but omg please read it people (just so I can talk about it with someone LOL).

5 reasons why this book is a 5 stars

Time Traveling. I’m obsessed with this concept and for the firs time, the author really challenges this ability. It sets in New York and even though it can be pretty hard to retrace the events at first, it will come naturally. You’ll get the big picture after the puzzle is complete.

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Vault of Dreams by Luke Taylor

MY RATING: ★/ 5  

Emerald hills and ice blue lochs, bordered by Nørds raiders and the haughty monarchs of South Angle, each dynasty eager to seize lands weakened by a civil war in which a usurper has risen to seize the cloven throne.

why4starsCapture d_écran 2017-07-15 à 18.35.50Meet Six Of Crows and Lord of The Rings, my friends 😀  It was so mesmerizing to being able to read once again, a novel from one of my favourite author (that I’m happy to call friend !) I’ve praised Luke Taylor prose before in his novel The Quiet Kill , a psychological thriller. He came back this time with a total different genre. A prose that was elegantly displaying in a psychological but when turns into fantasy, I find a little too much.  That’s the reason why I removed a star from my rating. Some people will find this extremely beautiful to read and enjoy, but personally when there’s an excessive descriptions I just find it confusing as it takes away from the main story. Continue reading

Top Fcked Up Books

I was going to put up a review today but I feel like sharing my fcked up books instead haha 😉 The fcked up genre for me group the taboos, psychological thriller and weird plots that make you go omg…WHAT AM I READING.

The Whole Collection of Chuck Palahniuk Books

chuckpalahniuk-15 My favourite book from him is Invisible Monsters but all the other books are pretty fucked up to be honest. Haunted has some of the most disturbed short stories while Choke provide us with a solid story about sex addiction and the lies we tell ourselves and Rant is still about the extravagant and crazy imagination of Chuck while toying with the timeline.

 

 

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Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

MY RATING: ★/ 5 

“It’s easy to lose yourself in the idea of a person and be blinded to their reality.”
Jay Kristoff, Stormdancer

I was very excited to read this novel giving the fact that I’ve loved AIDAN in The Illuminae Files and I knew that Jay Kristoff was the one behind it. Unfortunately, this wasn’t for me.

At first, I found it weird  that I couldn’t like it because the concept and ideas are VERY GOOD. We have a bad-ass heroin set in Japan, telepathic samurai, a search for a griffin, super skills in martial arts, may mystical creatures and a worldbuilding out of this world.  Continue reading

Skullsworn by Brian Staveley

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“Give to the god the one who made your mind and body sing with love.”

— Brian Staveley, Skullsworn

    Skullsworn is a stand-alone story set in the same universe as The Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne written by Brian Staveley. Although having failed to get around to read the original trilogy that laid the foundation to Staveley’s popularity, I can still confidently confirm that Skullsworn remains a beautiful introduction to a great talent in the fantasy world and can easily be read without worrying about the potential references it could have to The Emperor’s Blades, The Providence of Fire or The Last Mortal Bond. This new tale features Pyrre as the main protagonist and recounts her Trial to officially arise as a priestess of Ananshael, God of Death. Presented with a song that unveils the very requirements to become a priestess, Pyrre embarks on an adventure in her hometown of Dombâng in hopes of completing the challenge under the eyes of two Witnesses, long time priestess and priest of Ananshael: Ela and Kossal. While the song instructs Pyrre to bestow death upon seven specific individuals, Skullsworn exposes us to the ramifications of love, and the deadly edge to it.
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Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

MY RATING: ★  

“Because,” said Thor, “when something goes wrong, the first thing I always think is, it is Loki’s fault. It saves a lot of time.”

This novel was very hard for me to rate because I’ve never rated a mythology translation/retelling before. Therefore, you can’t really rate a book based on the plot or the story since the author didn’t decide it by himself. It was a tradition passed on from oral stories to poems. Then I tell myself, how would rate or review a book like Norse Mythology?

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CARAVAL // SPECIAL GIVEAWAY

Hello everyone ! 😀

I know all about the buzz surrounding Caraval and I partnered up with Flatiron Books to giveaway not 1 but 6 sets of Caraval goodies- 3 winners with 2 sets each ! I’ll be putting my review up soon enough (also read-along with OrangUtanLibrarian and believe me you’ll want to see this LOL)   but here are my  other fellow bloggers reviews 😉 If you reviewed Caraval too, do not hesitate to link yours so others can read it 😀

Well, where to begin? Caraval is on many, and I mean many, people’s most anticipated lists for 2017, and it was… well, it was good (in fact pretty damn great at some parts) but it was not as good as I wanted, and those two are very, very different things […]

As as setting, Caraval was simply whimsical. Nothing is quite as it seems in this world, and since the magic has no real rules, anything and everything can happen. Garber’s writing was immersive, vivid and lush with details, a delight to all senses. It wasn’t quite ‘un-put-down-able’, but it was compelling enough for me to want to read on, and I really enjoyed visiting this world of hers. – Reg @ She Latitude

Honestly, I could go on and on about how amazing the plot was and how completely engrossed I was by this novel. I mean, I did read it in 24 hours. But all I’m going to say is that this book completely pulls you in and doesn’t let you go until the very last page. The hype is real, y’all. However, I did have a few issues with this book even though I enjoyed it so much that they did not affect my overall rating of it. – WonderfilleReads

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Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor

“And that’s how you go on. You lay laughter over the dark parts. The more dark parts, the more you have to laugh. With defiance, with abandon, with hysteria, any way you can.” 

Lazlo Strange is an orphan who got the most beautiful and interesting mind, he was attracted to stories, fairytales, the books were telling him all their secrets and he just kept coming back. Everybody was calling him Strange The Dreamer because his head was always in the clouds, in the books about a city that no one was interested : The Weep City.

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I fell in love with this book in the first pages, Laini Taylor’s writing was on point. She wanted tell us the story with a fairytale point of view, from a far away observation. She crafts a strong beginning like most tales start with Once Upon A Time, Laini Taylor made sure that her novel started with a bang. A strong beginning also includes an amazing intense atmosphere, where the reader can imagine himself being in the story, observing it like  watching a movie in his head. The details of her world-building and the character’s introduction are her strongest points. It’s an experience I’d invite anyone to witness. Lazlo Strange is a character you want to to get attached to, because he has such an unique perspective of his life, of his place in the city. We have enough information on his childhood, when he grew up, the pace was believable and not weird transactions like some YA novels. As a reader, I’m very satisfied with all the the beginnings and half of the book, which is the introduction to this new world. IMG_6054 Continue reading

The Summer Dragon by Todd Lockwood

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“A dragon handler with her head in the clouds is cursed. Those were my mother’s last words to me.”

— Todd Lockwood, The Summer Dragon

    Illustrator Todd Lockwood has decided to jump into the story-telling business with this debut novel featuring the one thing he’ll never fail to draw magnificently: dragons. Known for his artistic talent and his artwork in The Memoirs of Lady Trent series, The Summer Dragon is his first venture in the fantasy world. This novel is marketed as a a high fantasy novel with dragons and deadly politics but I’d rectify that and say it felt a lot more like a young adult fantasy novel with dragons and a discourse on the foundation of religion. There’s nothing wrong with that, as even adults can find this debut novel engrossing, but a warning beforehand would definitely have been highly welcome! Todd Lockwood delivers a very fluid, straight-forward and easy-to-picture story that puts Maia, a young women who will do anything for what she believes is right for her aerie, in the center stage. The plot develops very smoothly and never falters, diving here and then in questions of belief and faith with a unique dragon lore/mythology to envelop Todd Lockwood’s world.
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Unpopular Book Opinions – WTF Was That

I’ve seen a tag going on about this topic recently, so I was thinking about talking about the books that I found not so my liking as opposite to all the hypes. I’m usually what you call a nice reviewer, the books I read always end up having 4-5 stars. But not today. Maybe some of you will be like, oh my god I’m not the only one!? Or this might shock you or enrage you but my opinions are very subjective so are yours 😉 Let’s keep it that way!

*Disclaimer : I will rage a lot ahah so don’t take it personally.2015-05-16-1431809026-4581001-thewrathandthedawn

THE WRATH AND THE DAWN BY RENEE AHDIEH 

I even titled my review as Why I didn’t like it  LOL

I think it was a joke to the original story, from the characters to the plot , nothing was to my liking.

An excerpt of my review: The way she tells the stories at night is supposed to be mesmerizing and enchanting. But I didn’t feel any connection. In fact, it was so dry and fast, I was surprised that  kind of story would keep a prince awake until dawn. Like I’ve read it in 10 mins.. I’m pretty sure she can do better than that. AND THOSE CLIFFHANGERS SHE LEAVES AT THE END ?? If I were the prince I would be like Avada Kedavra!! Continue reading

Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer (ARC)

MY RATING: ★ /5

Blurb from Goodreads: Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.
And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood–and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.
As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen.

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Fairytale retellings are one of my favourite genre these past years and the concept of the book is original and authentic. It’s built on two sisters, each of them is struggling with a lack of sensory feelings. Aurora can’t feel anything she touches nor can she speak and  her sister, Isbe, is blind.

The worldbuilding is very intriguing, as you read, you are dying to know more about the characters and their surroundings. I love how the romance is not the typical a princess falls for the prince type of clichés. Nowadays, fairytale retellings would focus more about women empowerment and other forms of love than romantic ones. The fact that the author has made her characters with disabilities amplify the struggles that they are having but also fortify their loves for each other.  Continue reading

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence

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“It is important, when killing a nun, to ensure that you bring an army of sufficient size.”

— Mark Lawrence, Red Sister

    Dear Mr. Lawrence—can I call you Mark? I’ve heard a lot about you and the books you’ve written. The Broken Empire trilogy as well as the Red Queen’s War trilogy have known nothing but praise. It’s hard for someone to look away from something that shine’s like a diamond on a sunny day, even if it’s miles away. While I’m itching to dive right into them, I also managed to get my hands on your latest masterpiece. Yes, I must say it is a masterpiece. I’m not one to boost the ego of people just because I can, but Red Sister is the beginning of something extraordinary. I might not have read everything you’ve written yet, but boy can you write. Your book has the power to steal a reader’s soul and compel it to follow a path filled with peace, patience and serenity. It brings readers to transcend time and space in order to live a whole new life through the eyes of a child. This isn’t just a story that offers you the choice to go somewhere far and beyond our imagination. This is a story that imposes you to welcome its world and all of its elegance. Walking into the worlds you write makes us glow with bliss and forget about our own stresses, problems and responsibilities. This is a story that makes you feel warm, invited and belonging to a convent. Mark, you’ve given us an epic fantasy story that will enthrall its readers to characters, settings and a lore that have never been done so meticulously, and with so much perfection. Red Sister is the next book that anyone and everyone should read.
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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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“The finest of pleasures are always the unexpected ones.”

— Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

    Hold on to your hats, my friends, The Night Circus is coming to town and it has brought its magic along with it. I started this book without the slightest clue of what I was dipping my toe into. It didn’t take me long to realize that my whole mind was submerged in a star-filled mystical world where anything is possible if you hold your arms wide open and let the enchantment embrace your mind and body. Erin Morgenstern’s novel is a visual experience that will haunt your imagination like none other books have done so yet. Its intricate attention to details stimulates your senses into believing you’re a rêveur who’s been up all night until the arrival of Le Cirque des Rêves. It holds onto your gaze like a star-filled night and bestows upon you the desire to smile, to discover, to vow your life to a circus that took form through written words. The Night Circus is the story of Celia and Marco. These two individuals who have been bound to a challenge forced upon them by their masters since a very young age, will soon go face to face as the circus serve as their venue, their battlefield. It is their ignorance of how the victor is decided that the tale shifts from a competition to a collaboration, one that will lead them into an unexpected love story set in a magical ambience.
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King’s Cage : How This Book Saves the Red Queen Series

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Before starting, know that I’ll be reviewing Glass Sword first which is the second book to the Red Queen series, you can read my review of the first book here.

MY RATING : 

This book was a mistake let’s skip to the 3rd one.

No, I’m just kidding! I still have to review it 😉 This sequel follows Mare after she ran away from Prince Maven to find others like her: people who were born as peasant, had red blood ,but ended up having the abilities that Silver people have.

All right Trang, where did this book go wrong? I mean, you still gave it a solid 3, right? To start off, I expected a lot from this sequel since Red Queen was amazing for meit was a 5 stars well-deserved fantasy action novel. And I’m sorry, but I will always compare novels within their series. But 3 stars go mostly to the introduction of new characters and discovering new abilities ! That being said, let’s go around the ONE THING I found annoying : Continue reading