Friday, October 13

[Review] An enchantment of ravens - Margaret Rogerson

Author: Margaret Rogerson
Original title: An enchantment of ravens
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release date: September 26th, 2017
Finished date: September 29th, 2017
Pages: 300
Read in: English

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized among them. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes – a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love, violating the fair folks’ ruthless Good Law. There's only one way to save both their lives, Isobel must drink from the Green Well, whose water will transform her into a fair one—at the cost of her Craft, for immortality is as stagnant as it is timeless.

Isobel has a choice: she can sacrifice her art for a future, or arm herself with paint and canvas against the ancient power of the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

Source: GoodReads


I picked this up on a whim. I had heard it being compared to A court of thornes and roses, which I didn't particularly enjoy, but was a quick fantasy read, and since I was in a mood for that I decided to try it. It immediately surprised me. I wasn't expecting the writing to be this compelling and intricate, since this is Ms. Rogerson debut novel, but I quickly found myself immersed in the story.
Is is similar to A court of thornes and roses, at least in the beginning. The main character Isobel is a painter who is largely responsible for her family, and is kidnapped by her love interest, a centuries old brooding fae. Sounds familiar?

I thought so too. But while they sound very similar, the books are actually very different. Up until about 25% of the book, I was loving it. I was getting everything I wanted when I read A court of thornes and roses and didn't get. Unfortunately, I had some problems with the rest of the book. I didn't really like Rook, and while I actually really liked Isobel, one of her actions during the book completely ruined her character for me.

I feel like I should warn you this is a travelling book. Most of the book is spent with the two characters going from one place to the next, and then the next.

I found it very original in terms of the magic system, the worldbuilding was incredible and the writing, especially the descriptions were beautiful. There were some problems with it, some things didn't really make sense and the ending was kind of anti-climactic. Still, I am very curious to read more from this author; I see lots of potential here. Overall a good fantasy standalone read.

The following extended review contains spoilers
If you have not yet read the book and/or do not wish to be spoiled, please do not read any further.

Monday, October 9

[Review] The melody of you and me - M. Hollis

Author: M. Hollis
Original title: The melody of you and me
Publisher: -
Release date: February 19th, 2017
Finished date: October 2nd, 2017
Pages: 144
Read in: English

After dropping out of university and breaking up with her girlfriend of three years, Chris Morrison’s life is now a mind-numbing mess. She doubts that working at the small neighborhood bookstore is going to change that. The rest of her time is spent mostly playing guitar and ignoring the many messages her mother keeps sending her about going back to college.
But one day, an adorable and charming new bookseller waltzes her way into Chris’s life. Josie Navarro is sweet, flirty, and she always has a new book in her hands. The two girls start a fast friendship that, for Chris, holds the promise of something more. But is she reading too much into this or is it possible that Josie feels the same way?

Source: GoodReads

I was instantly sold on this novella when I heard it followed a pansexual main character. The books with these kinds of representation and diversity are so rare that I jumped at the chance to read it. Unfortunately, I am sorry to say that I didn't really like it. I really appreciated the discussion and themes represented in this book and I hope that the fact that books like this are being published is bringing awareness to these issues. I loved that most of the characters were queer, the portrayal of sexuality as a positive thing, the openness to subjects that still remain taboo in our society like female masturbation, female-female sex and the fact that most people don't know what they want to do with their lives in their early twenties.
However, I really did not enjoy the writing. I found out later that English is not this author's first language, but I wouldn't be fair if I said it didn't bother me. It was even kind of hard to read at times. I also didn't really enjoy the story itself. It was overly simple, insta-love-y and flat. There wasn't much happening besides Chris thinking about Josie, on her way to see Josie or being with Josie.
I guess I was just expecting there to be a little more substance to this.

Friday, October 6

[Review] Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Jack Thorne, John Tiffany & J. K. Rowling

Author: Jack Thorne, John Tiffany & J. K. Rowling
Original Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Publisher: Little, Brown
Release Date: July 31st, 2016
Finished Date: January 5th, 2017
Pages: 343
Read in: English

The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn't much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

Source: GoodReads


The reading experience of this book did not go as I expected it to. In fact, with the sole exception of one of the characters, I pretty much hated it.
I am an incredibly hardcore Harry Potter fan, and as I’m sure many fans have, I have been eagerly waiting for a continuation of some kind. As such, when this play was announced I was immediately excited to read it (although not as excited as I would have been with some Marauders content).
Anyway, I knew I had no hope of actually going to London to see the play, so I would have to make do with reading the script. And I have to say that although a lot of people complained about the format, it really didn’t make that much of a difference to me - we knew the world already, and we’d spent seven books following most of the characters so that we would automatically understand what would not be written. Or we would have, if the world’s rules hadn’t been overlooked for the sake of this (lack of) plot and the characters hadn’t been completely unrecognisable.
I truly believe that J. K. Rowling did not write this in order to squeeze the cash-cow, as she literally has no financial need for it. In fact, I do not, or better yet, I choose not to believe J. K. Rowling wrote this at all.
There are so many plotholes in this story that it is hard for me to believe this was even allowed by her to proceed to publishing and performing. And most worrying, everyone is out of character. I simply can’t imagine that J. K. Rowling would ever let her characters talk and behave as they did.

I have spent many hours of my life reading Harry Potter fanfiction, and I can with all certainty say that some of those fanfictions are much more believable than this script is. And trust me, this is hard for me to say. You have no idea how much I wanted to love this book. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Maybe I’m being too critical, or I’m looking at it through a magnifying lens and nitpicking, but that is my nature. You might actually find it entertaining. I just couldn’t overlook these flaws enough to actually appreciate the story’s entertainment value.

The following extended review contains spoilers
If you have not yet read the book and/or do not wish to be spoiled, please do not read any further.

Monday, October 2

[Review] A Court of Mist and Fury - Sarah J. Maas

Author: Sarah J. Maas
Original Title: A Court of Mist and Fury
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: May 3rd, 2016
Finished Date: June 5th, 2016
Pages: 624
Read in: English

“Tell me what you see.”

“A world divided in two.”

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

Source: GoodReads


I did not particularly enjoy the first book in this series, A Court of Thorns and Roses (Is it a series? Is it a trilogy? I've no idea). I didn't even write a review for it, because I didn't feel like I had anything interesting to say about it. The characters seemed bland to me (with one peculiar exception, the mysterious Rhysand), the magic system was ambiguous and unexplained, and the plot felt too dramatic.

I had no intention of picking this one up, at all, especially since the ending of the first one was suggesting a love triangle. I mean, it seemed a bit contradictory to have the first book end like it did only to present a new love interest. It was as if the first book was completely invalidated.
But, after hearing much talk about it, I finally decided to pick it up and read a few pages to see if it grabbed my attention.
I must say, I'm very surprised with this book. First, because this was the first Sarah J. Maas book I really enjoyed. Second, because the characters that seemed bland to me on the first book, now were unique and compelling enough for me to not only keep reading, but to actually start caring. And lastly, because I really liked the way depression and abuse and PTSD was handled.
The magic system continues not to impress me. Everything seems unexplained and circumstantial, and we are never really told the extent of it or people's powers, which makes for poor tension in climaxes since the characters just use a new power that was never mentioned before to solve that particular problem. I understand some people might enjoy this kind of thing, but to me it just seems like lazy writing.
This book is not perfect, there are actually some really cringeworthy situations, especially the sex scenes. Still, I gave it four stars purely for my enjoyment while reading. It was a page-turner, and it didn't really feel like a 600+ page book.
I will say though that this is not YA. There are some sexy and steamy scenes in this book, and if you don't feel comfortable reading that kind of things, I would avoid this.

«Demons are made of shadow. Don't look at the shadows too long or a demon might look back