Orbiting Jupiter, is one of Zoella’s Book Club pick for 2017, and I would like to discuss it with you guys. This will be completely SPOILER FREE, so fear not, but heads up, it wasn’t may favourite.
The plot is not a bad plot. It’s the story of a fourteen year old boy, Joseph, who moves in with a new foster family, from a juvenile detention centre, or at the very least some sort of school for unruly teens. He’s already got a girl pregnant, and now has a daughter, Jupiter, who he’s not allowed to see. And that’s just the background info, for this book. Schmidt has done a brilliant job fitting so much plot into such a little book, and it’s an interesting, unusual look at teenage life.
Mistakes mean progress. We make good things. Great things.
Title: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1)
Author: Becky Chambers
Release: March 16th 2016
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
A Little Summary: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is about the a tunnelling crew aboard the Wayfarer as they travel to their next big job. I feel like that is all you need to know before going in.
“There is no such thing as bad people. We’re all just people who sometimes do bad things.”
Title: It Ends With Us
Author: Colleen Hoover
Release date: August 2nd 2016
GoodReads Rating: 4.5
My Rating: 5 stars
The Plot: A heart wrenching, novel about love, loss and the price that comes with it, It Ends With Us is a New Adult novel from the queen of NA. We begin with Lily and her new boyfriend, hot, arrogant, neurosurgeon, Ryle, but all is not peachy with the two of them. She begins thinking back to her first love, Atlas, through diary entries made by her 15 year old self.
Alive is always better than dead because any sort of life has to be better than a cold, lonely grave. If you’re alive, it doesn’t matter what horrors have been inflicted on you, there’s a chance you can be fixed.
Title: Broken Dolls (Jefferson Winter #1)
Author: James Carol
Release date: January 16th 2014
GoodReads Rating: 4.08 stars
My Rating: 4 stars
The Plot: Jefferson Winter has left the FBI and is now a freelance criminal profiler, he is also haunted by his father, one of the most notorious serial killer in America. In this first book he is invited to London to profile a criminal who is torturing and lobotomising young women. In short if you are a fan of shows like Criminal Minds, then this will be right up your alley.
“[He] knew that before he had light instead of darkness, he had to deserve light instead of darkness. The time for him had obviously not come. He still had to earn his stars.”
Title:The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman #1)
Author: Paullina Simons
Release Date: April 2001
GoodReads Rating: 4.35
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
My Review: This historical fiction novel was one of the most horrible (in a good way) and vivd that I have read. Taking place at the outbreak of the German-Russian war, during world War II, in 1941, The Bronze Horseman charts the siege of Leningrad and beyond. I’ve always been super interested in Russian history, but I’d never read from a Russian point of view before and it gave such a unique perspective on the events of World War II.
Well, either you’ve been fighting the forces of evil or you’ve come from a much wilder party than we have.
Title: Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Release Date: 8th of March 2016
GoodReads Rating: 4.49 stars
My Rating: 5 stars
One of the newest boos to be set in the shadowhunter universe, Lady Midnight, takes place in the LA institute, where these is mystery afoot. Seven years after Emma’s parents were murdered in the prologue to City of Heavenly Fire, she is convinced that Sebastian did not kill them, and obsessed with finding the real culprit. As more bodies are found, with striking similarities to those of Emma’s parents, she begins to realise that the killer might just be one in the same.
Ah, Prince of Fools, what can I say about this? Whatever I do, say will be SPOLIER FREE so enjoy!
I guess we’ll kick things off with a synopsis. So, Prince of Fools is a first person, past tense, epic fantasy novel following Prince Jalan, who’s maybe tenth in line to the throne. Jal, is busy enjoying his charmed life, full of wine and women, until he gets caught up in a magical quest with a Viking warrior, Snorri.
I am in no way an expert in the epic fantasy genre, but I have to say this is one of my least favourite of the ones that I have read, and there are a lot of reasons. The first, and definitely the biggest reason why I had to drag myself though this book is a gentleman called Snorri. As on most quests, at least the ones I have read, there is two people travelling together, and in this case it was Prince Jal and Snorri, which means that there was a whole lot of Snorri in this story. I’m not completely sure why, but I never really clicked with him, and as a main character this turned into a huge problem. He was sort of the straight man, to Jal’s funny man act, but he was just super boring. I think Mark Lawrence even tried to remedy this with the revel, bit by bit, of his back story and how he ended up in Vermillion, but not only did this come off as info-dumping, but still didn’t get me to care.
The second problem I had was with the setting in general because for me, it just was not vivid enough. This definitely could just be a me problem, I’m a city girl and I prefer cities to the countryside. There were points, like the beginning in Vermillion, and then the other castle they visited, that were really good and those were, without a doubt, my favourite parts. However, most of the narrative takes place on the road, so to speak, which just did not do anything for me at all.
Then, and this sort of ties in with the problem I had with the setting, and that was the confusion of mythologies. Usually, if something is pure fantasy they have their own belief system, but not here. I should say that Jal, from Vermillion, did have an original belief system, though not him personally, from what I remember. However, Snorri, from the North, is a frequently described as a Viking, and even follows the old Norse, religion. Everything I know about Norse mythology comes from Marvel’s Thor film, which I’m sure is not the most reliable source, but my point here is that I did recognise a huge amount of information because of this. I’m sure some people would like this interweaving of fantasy and, what felt almost historical to me, but I did not like it. I found it to be confusing and messily done.
I’d imagine so far, you’re wondering why I actually finished this book, considering how negative I’ve been so far, but that reason can be summed up in one word; Jal. I have a weakness for characters that are, for the lack of a better phrase, playboy princes, that don’t care about consequences. He never tried to claim that he was a hero, unless he was trying to get a woman into his bed, and his actions never suggested anything to the contrary. I would of happily just read about his antics around the castle, and the disasters he leave sin his wake, it was just a shame that Snorri and the quest appeared. I did have one tiny little qualm with his narration but it didn’t crop up until the final chapter, where there is a sudden change, half-way through the chapter, from past tense to present tense. Why? Who knows! I can only assume that the author thought it will be a good way to set up for the next book, which I won’t be reading.
All in all, there was a stark lack of any character development, despite the physical journey that out two characters go on. I still have a little soft spot for Jal, just because he was so charismatic an unapologetic but not a big enough soft spot that I have to see him again in the next book. Ultimately this book only gained 🌟🌟[two stars] from me.
Have you read Prince of Fools? Am I being too harsh? What’s your least favourite fantasy novel?
A Torch Against the Night is the not entirely unexpected sequel to the enormously popular An Ember in the Ashes where we first met Laia, the slave, and Elias, the soldier. SPOILERS for An Ember in the Ashes ahead but NO SPOIERS FOR A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT.. In this follow up we pick up right where we left off with Laia and Elias on the run from the rest of the Empire on a quest to free Darin from Kauf. Thank you to Harper Voyager who were kind enough to send me the ARC, and a surprise ARC for Francesca Haig’s Map of Bones.
Continuing in the same vein as the first book in the series, A Torch Against the Night is full of vivid description of the fantasy world that almost straddles the border of fantasy and historical (there are surely some comparisons to be drawn between the Martials and the Roman Empire). This book is full of action from the very first page, definitely more so than its predecessor, which was more of a slow burning ember, if you’ll excuse the pun. The plot, on the whole, is very quick paced with a remarkable amount of development in the plot when this is essentially a cat and mouse story, with Elias and Laia on the run. However, I did find that Helene’s chapters dragged just a little more than Laia and Elias. This might just be me, personally I’m far more invested in the love story than I am in the political plot, and since Helene’s chapters were politics heavy that may have been why. There are three main plot lines, with a fourth brought to the forefront in the final chapters. The first is Laia attempting to free her brother from the most secure prison in the empire. I really enjoyed this aspect, though it’s definitely not as heist-y as it could have been, which is a shame after so much build up. The second is the love triangle between Laia, Keenan and Elias, which isn’t really important enough to class as a love triangle. This was a really interesting no depiction, which was sort of hinted at in the first book but fully resolved during this one. Then there was the political aspect, mostly concerned with Marcus’ new found emperor ship, of which his claim is tenuous to say the least. And, finally, it was touched upon in the first book, hinted at in the second before being brought to the forefront and that was the supernatural aspect. The Nightbringer was finally revealed and I’m assuming that will be where the next book is going. I re-read the first book before reading this one, and I have to admit the way Sabaa Tahir has manages to juggle all of these plot lines so far has been masterful. Towards the end of the third part there is an enormous plot twist, I mean I did not see that coming at all and then suddenly I was hit in the face with this revelation. I almost dropped my book. It’s been a while since I’ve truly been shocked at a reveal and I love it when an author manages to pull something like that off. I never would have guessed it, but once it was revealed everything made sense. Also, in the last few chapters something happened to my favourite character and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it. I don’t know if I’d go so far as to call that a plot twist too, since although I didn’t anticipate it I also wasn’t completely shocked. Again, it was masterfully woven throughout the plot, so subtle that you didn’t see it until it was staring you in the face. The second I finished I wanted to read it again (and then like the bright spark that I am I went and left it at home when I returned to uni).
As I mentioned before, the POV’s are split up between Laia, Elias and Helene, a new addition since the first book. Elias’ were my favourite, as was the case in the first book, and I though Tahir did a fantastic job of keeping every chapter interesting even when at times there was a bit of overlap because of the changing situations. All three of these were really well defined and easily differential from each other, which is want you look for when there are multiple POVs. There was also a lot of character development from side characters like Izzi, and to some extent Cook, and the newer characters like Harper (a new favourite) and Keenan (definitely from Keenan).
Going forward I would love even more POV’s in the next book including Harper, who reminds me so much of my baby Zane from The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson. I think the fantasy elements are going to get even more intense, something which is being built up slowly, like easing into a hot bath, in these last two books. I’d really love a Nightbringer POV but I’m not sure how exactly that would work without a hell of a lot of exposition. Also was it just me who imagined The Nightbringer to look like the Night King from Game of Thrones?
So, to recap. Sabaa Tahir has snuck her way onto by auto-buy author list with her masterful handling of the plot. This book gave everything I didn’t even realise that I wanted, and got a full five stars for it’s execution 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟. I mean the first book was good, but now I am definitely on this bandwagon. Things are heating up for the next book in this quartet and I can’t wait! I’ll definitely be pre-ordering that gem. Thanks again to Harper Voyager for this ARC!
“One must always be careful of books […] and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us” — Clockwork Angel
As I tend to read theses one after another, like a bag of sweets you can’t help but finished, I decided to review the series as a whole, spoiler free, of course. Enjoy!
The Infernal Devices is a trilogy of historical fantasy novels by Cassandra CLARE set in the world of the Shadowhunters, this time in 19th century London. In case your unfamiliar with the Shadow-world, the basic concept is that there are a are of warriors, very attractive warriors for the most part, who kill demons in order to protect mundanesmuggles humans. Here our main protagonist is a young American called Tessa Grey, who discovers that she has some unusual powers and falls in with the Shadowhunters. Let me break it down for you.
Book 1: Clockwork Angel [4 stars]
Book 2: Clockwork Prince [4 stars]
Book 3: Clockwork Princess [4 stars] (someone pass me the tissues)