Sunday, September 24, 2017

Review: Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle #2) by Jay Kristoff

Firstly, thanks to Harper Voyager Australia for this review copy <3



Date Read: September 2 - 10 2017
Date Released: September 7th 2017
Publisher: Harper Voyager Australia
Source: Review copy via publisher
Genre: Fantasy
My Rating:

Synopsis:
"Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church hierarchy think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending the men who destroyed her familia; in fact, she’s told directly that Consul Scaeva is off limits. But after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia suspicions about the Red Church’s true motives begin to grow.

When it’s announced that Scaeva will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end him. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between love and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world."

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There’s something about a really good… No… Really amazing book that leaves me speechless. A book that makes me angry is easy to review because all I want to do is rant my heart out. Something like Godsgrave though? All I want to do is yell at you READ THIS BOOK. Thus I’m here yelling at you through the screen, notice my caps: READ THIS BOOK. READ THE NEVERNIGHT CHRONICLE. START NEVERNIGHT IF YOU HAVEN’T YET.

I’m going to attempt stringing some words together for some semblance of a review but be warned, it’s probably just going to be heaps of cussing and yelling at you to READ THIS DAMN BOOK through caps lock.

Shit guys (oops strike one) Kristoff has really done a number on me with book 2. I thought Mia was ruthless in Nevernight but she is nek level goals and ambition here. I freaking loved her for it. “Eyes on the prize Corvere” is a common mantra and damn (strike two) is it accurate. Mia lets nothing stand in her away, nobody she won’t kill to get what she ultimately wants. Girl is all daggers, knives, poisons, punches, everything in her arsenal. Girl is the type to kick a man while he’s down to make sure he stays down! Yet at the heart of it all Mia is not a bad person. She is a girl with morals – albeit questionable ones – so there are numerous moments that had me going “FUCK NO. YOU DID NOT. OMG YOU DID.” But then my girl comes through and I’m like yeah truuuuuust you did good. I just love Mia Corvere so much and she is lethal, hilarious AND OMG I WISH SHE WOULD QUIT SMOKING THOUGH?

Kristoff introduces new characters but brings back familiar faces from Nevernight and y’all should really just read Nevernight to know what I’m talking about. We can love and hate the characters together! No spoilers but there is one person who re-appears that when I first saw them again I wanted to KILLLLLL THEM. STABBY STABBY KILL DIE I HATE THEM SO MUCH. Buuuuut Kristoff really does a number on me so that I eventually warm to this person. I’m still not sure if I completely trust them but not gonna lie I really like them now. Then there’s this group of FRANS that Mia meets (Mia won’t admit they’re her friends but I swear they buddy buddy) and I couldn’t help but grow attached to them. They’re all different and loveable and memorable.

There is romance and omg sexy times are sexy but I’m not sure I’m totally onboard with the person given their actions previously. Also I’m sorry but I’m attached to a particular someone from Nevernight haaah. Buuuuut Kristoff writes such seductive sexy times and I was shipping Mia and this person so hard I was so invested in these scenes LOL :shrug:

Everything is accentuated by Kristoff’s sensual and lush writing. The gritty, gory imagery is in full swing and I love the dark vibes. The descriptions are intense and totally draws me into this unforgiving ancient Roman-inspired world. One of the techniques I loved in Nevernight that I’m really glad continues in Godsgrave is the use of parallels to show juxtapositions between characters. Have two different characters in nearly the same situation, but change a few things as we go back and forth between views and the differences are so much more profound. There’s a lyrical nature to it and I couldn’t help but look for these moments.

Of course the story is amazing and I’m on the edge of my seat the whole time cheering Mia on as she progresses through her killing spree, AHEM I mean journey. Kristoff doesn’t make it easy for her so every tiny victory seems like a big step in the grand scheme of things. AND THEN. AND THEN. Kristoff totally blindsided me because THAT ENDING. THAT DAMN ENDING. My brain is still a grey mess it’s literally been blown to smithereens. Talk about fucked up. I was like fuck. FUCK. FUUUUUUUCK NO WAY. NO FUCKING WAY. I’m still not over it. Conspiracies layered within conspiracies and the mind fuckery is so real. One more book. One more book and Kristoff needs to get Mia out of this cesspool he’s thrown her in. GOOD LUCK MATE.

Basically read this book, READ NEVERNIGHT. READ EVERYTHING JAY KRISTOFF WRITES because we’re all masochists here and love having our feelings slayed. Embrace the dark, gritty, seductive world of Nevernight and rise with Mia Corvere.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Review: The Duchess Deal

The Duchess Deal The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Every time I try one of these historical romance novels I hope for something different. Alas, they all fall into one of two plot styles and The Duchess Deal was no exception. I'm not sure why I even bother but there's the hope that one day I'll stumble across one I really love.
The Duchess Deal lacked the complexity in plot I was looking for to make this standout. It's typical poor girl with sad back story and broody troubled aristocrat being forced together and falling in love. There's the occasional obstacle here and there but nothing majorly chaotic. It's light, on the surface and of course accompanied by smut.
The Duchess Deal wasn't bad per se, it was ok (see the 2 stars lel) but I got bored a lot of the way through. Said obstacles bored me and had me rolling my eyes.
Emma is fierce and tenacious enough, speaking her mind and the Duke is certainly broody and caring in that stereotype we see. I don't mind their characters but they didn't stand out to me.
I get these are meant to be cute, sweet, sexy and the kind of book you read when you want something to get away from the deep, heavy stuff. I KNOW that, I even expect it? But I can't help wanting more.

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Review: The Savage Dawn (The Girl at Midnight #3) by Melissa Grey

Firstly, thanks to Date a Book for this review copy <3



Date Read: August 15 - 20 2017
Date Released: July 6th 2017
Publisher: Hachette Australia (Atom)
Source: Review copy via publisher
Genre: Fantasy
My Rating:

Synopsis:
"The sides have been chosen and the battle lines drawn.

Echo awakened the Firebird. Now she is the only one with the power to face the darkness she unwittingly unleashed . . . right into the waiting hands of Tanith, the new Dragon Prince. Tanith has one goal in mind: destroy her enemies, raze their lands, and reign supreme in a new era where the Drakharin are almighty and the Avicen are nothing but a memory.

The war that has been brewing for centuries is finally imminent. But the scales are tipped. Echo might hold the power to face the darkness within the Dragon Prince, but she has far to go to master its overwhelming force. And now she’s plagued by uncertainty. With Caius no longer by her side, she doesn’t know if she can do it alone. Is she strong enough to save her home and the people she loves?

Whether Echo is ready to face this evil is not the question. The war has begun, and there is no looking back. There are only two outcomes possible: triumph or death."

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It’s always so hard to review the last book in a series. There’s so much to say and yet I can’t talk about most of it because it would spoil the journey that was taken. And what a journey The Girl at Midnight has been. From the moment Echo first appeared on my doorstep back in 2015 to the very last page of her saga in 2017, I have been invested in her story.

Once upon a time Echo was just a simple human girl in an Avicen world and all she wanted was to eat sweets. But then prophecies, destiny and an ages old war swept her up in magical mayhem and Echo is no longer simple human girl stealing sweets. Watching her become this increasingly selfless heroine was an interesting progression. It was a bit jarring seeing her throw everything down to save a friend with no hesitation at all; she hit the ground running from the first page of the book. Echo continues taking on more of the burden, the responsibility of needing to save the world solely resting on her shoulders. It was definitely exhausting reading from her POV sometimes because she wanted to do everything herself, not letting others around her in to help. But can we blame her when she’s the Firebird?

Grey has done an absolutely stellar job of including a cast of wonderful and diverse characters with their own storylines. I can tell you that a number of books I’ve read have included diversity for the sake of having it, like the author felt it had to be included to tick off a box. Those occurrences come off as forced and unnatural and honestly those books would’ve fared better without the so called ‘diversity’. This series though? Done so well. We’ve obviously got the glaring race issue of Avicen versus Drakharin but amongst that there’s LGBTQ representation throughout. And you know what? These characters aren’t cast aside, they’re front and centre, with their own stories and perspectives and HUGS ALL AROUND. I loved Ivy’s gentleness, Dorian’s steadfast and unending loyalty, Jasper’s confident fa├žade that hid his vulnerabilities.

I’m biting my lip just thinking about the romance. So much build-up throughout the series and MY SHIPS. I just… nope can’t even with the feels. Sweet and lovely and bittersweet and fleeting and enduring. I’m sorry I can’t really string together proper sentences so I’m just flinging adjectives at you. These are my emotions in full swing *massive sigh*.

The plot continues with the Kucedra’s wrath threatening the world and the Firebird racing to stop it. I’m not going to lie and say it’s anything mind blowingly complex but it’s a story that we’ve heard a lot and doesn’t tire – giving one’s people a chance, of being sick of needing to hide and the ambitious means to be great. Execution style? Not graceful or ideal but in the eye of the beholder’s clouded judgement well… Do I even make sense? I’m just going to carry on now.

ANYWAY. I love Grey’s writing style. She’s not flowerly but there’s a poetic ease in the way she writes that gets her point straight across. It’s effective and she uses that technique of bringing together many meanings that can’t be expressed by a single word in the English language, through a foreign word. I loved it and was scrambling to commit these lovely words to memory as they rolled off my tongue.

It’s a story filled with magic and heartache, lives are lost and sacrifices made. With Grey’s lovely writing directing Echo to the end we experience happiness, love, loss and in those final pages, a bittersweet edge that for now it’s the end.