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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Yesterday by Felicia Yap

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“How do you solve a murder when you can only remember yesterday?”

— Felicia Yap, Yesterday

    The memories we have can play some sneaky tricks on us. Two individuals can remember completely different things about the same event. Based on their experience, their angle, their perspective and their intentions, everything can be seen differently. It can get quite complicated when you realize that some things last longer than others. The mind can go ahead and retain information that you never thought you’d remember and then decide to forget the things that you so desperately need to know. Felicia Yap however has something much more simpler, yet so much more devastating to offer us with Yesterday. In this parallel universe or alternate reality, the world is classified into two categories: Monos and Duos. The difference, you wonder? Monos can only remember up to 24 hours, while Duos have the blessing to remember up to 48 hours. In this world, Monos are seen as an inferior, although numerous, class compared to the elite Duos. It is thanks to their unique little iDiary that everyone is able to remember their past. Or at least what they want to remember.

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Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber

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“The only thing more dangerous than a lie… is the truth.”

— Kathleen Barber, Are You Sleeping

    Imagine leaving behind a huge chunk of your past in order to start fresh, to unburden yourself and to look forward rather than behind. This is the dream that every person chases after when they realize their lives have hit rock-bottom. But the past has other plans for them. Never does it truly disappear or leave you alone. It rather lurks around in the shadow until a golden opportunity arises. Are You Sleeping is Kathleen Barber’s debut thriller and already receives praise as being a harmonious mix between hit podcast Serial and best-selling author Ruth Ware’s In a Dark, Dark Wood. As inaccurate as these comparisons often end up being, this is one that definitely highlights this books strengths. Are You Sleeping is the story of Josie as one of her family’s tragedy is dragged out of the darkest corners of her life by investigative journalist Poppy Parrell through her new sensational podcast Reconsidered. The question that now haunts both Josie and the readers is: What will be brought to light after so many years of silence?

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The Lost Ones by Sheena Kamal

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“His desperation is so fresh and raw I can almost taste it.”

— Sheena Kamal, The Lost Ones

    The lies we tell each other will always be followed by the truth. If there’s one thing that seems to be inevitable, it’s the past that forged us into the person we are today. Sheena Kamal’s debut thriller demonstrates her ability to develop a greatly flawed protagonist in Nora Watts as she is thrown into a dark road to the truth. In The Lost Ones, Nora Watts receives an unexpected call from desperate parents who claim their daughter has gone missing—a daughter that is also Nora Watts’. Drawn by a compelling urge to seek out a child that she had given away years ago in order to sever ties with a past that no mortal would want to hold onto, Nora Watts finds herself drifting down lanes that never make any sense until the pieces finally fit together and unveil the danger that remained in the shadow for far too long. Told in first-person, Sheena Kamal has succeeded in creating one of the most fascinating protagonist that easily reminds us of Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

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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.

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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 Lying Game by Ruth Ware

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“I need you.”

— Ruth Ware, The Lying Game

    After In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10, Ruth Ware brings us a character-oriented thriller with The Lying GameUnlike her previous stand-alone stories, this one focuses a lot more of the bond that lies tie together between friends and family. All grown-up, Isa Wilde is now a mother to her little girl Freya and a wife to Owen. She contemplates a typical life of adulthood, balancing both her new responsibilities as a mother but also as a lawyer. However, The Lying Game wouldn’t be much of a thriller if it didn’t suddenly shift gears and raced head first into danger. In fact, that is exactly what happens as Isa Wilde receives an unexpected text from a friend she hasn’t heard of for over 17 years: “I need you.” Left clueless to what kind of history compels an individual to rush back to a dark place from the past, readers are kept at the edge of their seats as Ruth Ware slowly but surely unravels the lies that have kept a couple of friends connected together, whether they liked it or not.

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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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The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 ¼ Years Old by Hendrik Groen

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“Another year, and I still don’t like old people. Their walker shuffle, their unreasonable impatience, their endless complaints, their tea and cookies, their bellyaching. Me? I am eighty-three years old.”

— Hendrik Groen, The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 ¼ Years Old

    There’s nothing like jolting down your daily activities and thoughts on a piece paper and be able to look back on these logs to reflect on life. Journalistic entries can also serve as a great method to create structure and routine into ones life. Through them, as personal as they can be, you can learn a lot about a person’s way of life, about the people around them and about the time period they’re in. After all, values, beliefs and practices change over time. But what’s truly beautiful is that once you get used to writing a diary, it sort of becomes an instinct that’s hard to detach yourself from as the pros overshadow the cons. And so, Hendrik Groen explores the world of diaries by writing one of his own as an octogenarian. This book is his uncensored exposé in which he offers us « a year in the life of the inmates of a care home in North Amsterdam ». Embodying cynicism, Hendrik Groen gives us a humour-filled look at his surroundings, the people he meets and his precious rebellious thoughts as a man who sees it all.

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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

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

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“If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: in love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are.”

— Kristin Hannah, The Nightingale

    By now, it’s pretty hard to go around talking about historical fiction without mentioning The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. This story quickly gained a solid fan base and became an instant classic for most people who got the opportunity to flip through it. Set during the dreadful World War II period, this is a story that focuses on the Nazi occupation in France. As rare as that angle is, The Nightingale also strives to tell a powerful and emotional story of two French sisters who’ll discover the meaning of love and war in all their shapes and forms. Vianne, the eldest of the two, is a married mother to Sophie and wife to Antoine. Her struggles begin with the departure of her husband as he’s called to war. Stern by nature and always looking to remain safe rather than be sorry, Vianne’s adventures throws her into a tornado that will harden her personality and open her eyes to the choiceless choices that will shape her life forever. Isabelle is however a fiery and reckless young adult who has strong beliefs and will give you a fight to the death in order to do what’s right for the greater good, no matter the cost. It’s when the war begins that both of these two sisters find themselves pinned against a terrifying world and will inevitably have their bond put to the test.
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Defy The Stars by Claudia Gray

MY RATING: ★/ 5 

defythestars_coverThis was a very refreshing read for me! I got into a pretty bad reading slump while traveling and I couldn’t enjoy my books as much. But now that I’m back to Montreal and I finally finished this novel, I wonder if I’d appreciate this book more while traveling :O

It is set in a distant future where humans are living on different planets, Earth seems to be depicted as a big villain here while they are in conflict with Genesis, another planet.

Our main character, Noemi, a soldier from Genesis is sent off on a mission intergalactic and she meets her new nemesis Abel while trying to take control of a deserted ship.

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The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

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“It’s only when the dream is over that you see how odd it all was, how it actually didn’t make sense at all.”

— Shari Lapena, The Couple Next Door

    The Couple Next Door is one of the most wildest story that occurs within just a couple of days. This debut thriller by Shari Lapena offers fans a captivating yet highly insane whodunit featuring a couple and their infant. On the night where both Anne and Marco go over to their neighbours for a little dinner party, the two of them decide to leave their child in its crib while bringing with them a baby monitor to keep an eye out for trouble. It’s by keeping in mind that the neighbours really wanted a baby-free night, that our married couple leave themselves open for a nice little disaster that will cunningly sneak its way into the dark and into their house. Past midnight, our highly confident couple decides to return home only to realize that their worst nightmare has come to life: their baby is gone. As this marks the end of chapter 1, The Couple Next Door will promise you with a paradise of twists and turns to satisfy the most gluttonous of thriller fans in this undeniable page-turner.
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The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov

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“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.”

— Isaac Asimov, Foundation

    Mind games at their finest! In The Foundation Trilogy, comprised of Foundation (Book 1), Foundation and Empire (Book 2), and Second Foundation (Book 3), you’ll quickly find yourself in front of an author whose grasp on science-fiction is beyond belief. Far more idea-driven than character-driven, Isaac Asimov crafts the rise and fall of civilization in an intricate and astonishing prose. Tackling subjects ranging from religion to politics, this story will challenge your comprehension of individuals, but especially of collectives. Spanning over centuries, the Foundation series is nothing like you’ve ever seen before. Foundation propels us in a time period where the Galactic Empire has thrived for over 12000 years. Psychohistorian Hari Seldon however shocks the world by announcing an impending Dark Age where the Empire will fall and dwell in barbarism for almost thirty millennia unless the Empire’s Commission of Public Safety permits him to establish a back-up plan that will guarantee a much more shorter age of barbarism and the promise of rebirth. It is on this premise that resides the adventures to come and thus leaves us with the torturous question: Will Hari Seldon’s plan bear fruit?

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The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy

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“How to tell a shattered story? By slowly becoming everybody. No. By slowly becoming everything.”

— Arundhati Roy, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

    20 years after the release of the classic Booker Prize winner The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy releases her second work of fiction, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. Although I have yet to read the former—I do plan on doing so in the near future—my first experience of Roy’s writing wasn’t exactly a very compelling one. Tackling the social climate and various taboo subjects in India and its proximity, Arundhati Roy brings readers the story of multiple different characters who will all have their lives connect together at an unlikely juncture. Focusing greatly on these characters and the unbelievable misery that clouds their lives, Arundhati Roy does the impossible and presents us with the relativity of happiness and the rarity of normality. She does so by embracing the Indian culture in all its forms and shows us in different forms the problems that people are submerged in for countless years.
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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

Our Little Secret by Roz Nay [+GIVEAWAY]

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“Do you really want to know what happened?”

— Roz Nay, Our Little Secret

    This is one of those rare thrillers that actually succeeds in telling a fast-paced, completely immersive and strongly manipulative story in the most concise and addictive way possible. I’d mention that I’m slightly exaggerating, but I’m really not. In under 230 pages, Roz Nay will initially make you feel things towards certain characters and later compel you to embrace polar opposite emotions as the story unfolds. Her writing is brilliant and draws you into the story like none other. Expect time to fly and emotions to be played around with. But what is Our Little Secret about? This psychological thriller focuses on the disappearance of a woman and a love triangle that is in the midst of it all. The whole tale is our protagonist, also the narrator, who’s being interviewed by a detective who’s trying to figure out what happened to this missing woman. What comes next is our lead character telling us the story of her teenage days as she builds the intrigue in an completely addictive and manipulative fashion. For a thriller this short, this one delivers its story brilliantly!
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The Long Drop by Denise Mina

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“He knows too much to be an honest man but says he wants to help.”

— Denise Mina, The Long Drop

    Denise Mina delivers a true crime story infused with fiction as she tells the story behind Scotland’s very first serial killer. Deemed to be the trial of the century in 1950’s Glasglow, The Long Drop recounts the fight for innocence for the accused father, William Watt, and the denial of guilt by the known liar and murderer, Peter Manuel. While the outcome of this story is well-known, Denise Mina offers readers the opportunity to read about a trial—thanks to her access to transcriptions—interspersed with her own reimagining of the mysterious night that both William Watt and Peter Manuel spent together trying to bargain for freedom in their own particular ways. While William Watt only wishes to find the gun that was used to kill three members of his family, Peter Manuel attempts to play with an innocent man’s emotions and thoughts and secure his way to a win-win situation. In The Long Drop, the author proposes an exploration of the capital punishment, as well as the darkness within everyone, innocent or guilty.
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