T5W: Friends in Sci Fi and Fantasy

T5W: Friends in Sci Fi and Fantasy

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Lainey. You get a new topic every Wednesday, and you list your Top 5 books related to that topic. If you’d like to take part, join the Goodreads group, and add your name to the list of bloggers & booktubers!

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When a letter arrives for unhappy but ordinary Harry Potter, a decade-old secret is revealed to him that apparently he’s the last to know. His parents were wizards, killed by a Dark Lord’s curse when Harry was just a baby, and which he somehow survived. Leaving his unsympathetic aunt and uncle for Hogwarts, a wizarding school brimming with ghosts and enchantments, Harry stumbles upon a sinister mystery when he finds a three-headed dog guarding a room on the third floor. Then he hears of a missing stone with astonishing powers which could be valuable, dangerous – or both. An incredible adventure is about to begin!

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Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .
A convict with a thirst for revenge
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager
A runaway with a privileged past
A spy known as the Wraith
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes
Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

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It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.
His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

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It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.
Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…
Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

Which friendships do you love in sci-fi or fantasy?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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The Dead Girls Dance (Morganville #2) – Rachel Caine

The Dead Girls Dance (Morganville #2) – Rachel Caine
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Claire has her share of challenges. Like being a genius in a school that favours beauty over brains; homicidal girls in her dorm, and finding out that her college town is overrun with the living dead. On the up side, she has a new boyfriend with a vampire-hunting dad. But when a local fraternity throws the Dead Girls’ Dance, hell is really going to break loose.

I really enjoyed this book, and I flew through it. But unfortunately, I remember it in a fonder light. I remember my first read of this being gripping, on the edge of your seat and so emotional. I’m not going to lie, it was emotional, but I feel like Caine missed some opportunities for some really good scenes.

It’s like instead of remembering what actually happened in this book, I was taking the best parts and remembering a different, better version. Maybe that’s a problem with re-reading books later in life when you have a lot more maturity and reading experience!

‘Claire: “So we do nothing?”‘

That being said, I did still love reading this book. It’s still gripping (to a degree), and I was definitely kept entertained. I read this in less than 2 days once again and couldn’t put it down, the pages really fly by in this series. I also love the variety of scenes all over the town, with such a big cast of characters, that added so much to the atmospheric feel of this book/series.

This book is definitely more of an introduction to Morganville. We’ve met the main characters, we know who we’re rooting for and who we’re against, and now it’s time to learn about this creepy town. The description of the town is definitely one of my favourite things about this series. Caine knows how to build up atmosphere.

‘Michael: “We do the best nothing you’ve ever seen.”‘

I still adore the characters, even Claire, although I understand why most readers seem to find her annoying. She does make some stupid decisions, but mostly she’s just a real, scared, courageous, 16 year old girl who is completely out of her depth. Her loyalty is outstanding, and I love her for it.

There is still no doubt this series is pure entertainment. But I can’t help but love it anyway.

★★★★ 
3.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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T5W: Underrated Fantasy and Sci-Fi

T5W: Underrated Fantasy and Sci-Fi

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Lainey. You get a new topic every Wednesday, and you list your Top 5 books related to that topic. If you’d like to take part, join the Goodreads group, and add your name to the list of bloggers & booktubers!

Hi all! So I’m definitely going off-topic with this one as we were meant to be talking about creatures from sci-fi and fantasy books. But that’s a topic I struggle with and we did a similar one late last year, so I’m going to do underrated fantasy and sci-fi instead!

All of these books (aside from the last one, which has just over 20,000), have under 10,000 ratings on Goodreads.

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I loved this book so much when I read it. It’s an underrated dystopia, and is about a cult/religious group. Such a unique concept, and one I loved so much!

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I cannot even tell you how much I adored this book. It blew my mind, and I can’t wait to hopefully re-read it soon as it’s been too long!

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Lauren James is by far my favourite sci-fi author, so she deserves to have 2 books on this list, okay? Okay.

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A romance book that includes time travel? Hell yes. Another one I’m due for a re-read soon.

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Of course this one might not be quite so underrated, it’s Leigh Bardugo for gods sakes, but I had to mention it. If you love fantasy and short stories, this is the book for you. It was one of my favourite reads of 2018!

Which underrated fantasy and sci-fi books do you love?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Stacking the Shelves #82

Stacking the Shelves #82

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga where we share books we’ve bought this week. Find out more and join in here!

It’s time for another Stacking the Shelves post with no books! I’m still on my book-buying ban with 7 more books to go, but I’m honestly really happy about the ban. It’s helping me realise I don’t need to buy as many books as I do and it’s helping me save some money! However, I did buy something book-related and very special this week for Valentines Day.

I bought my other half a gorgeous Harry Potter card that has a little pug on, from here.

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And to go alongside? I got him something we both love – Lego!

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We’re slowly collecting Harry Potter Lego, and I thought what would be more perfect than this?

Did you buy any books or bookish goodies this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Beautiful Quotes #115 / The Hunger Games

Beautiful Quotes #115 / The Hunger Games

Beautiful Quotes is a weekly meme hosted by me, where I post some of my favourite quotes. Any other bloggers are welcome to join me in this and just link my blog!

Hi all! I started back at uni last week so these couple of weeks are going to be very busy. I’m really trying to plan so I can fit everything in the next couple of days! I’ve been working hard on something exciting, and I’ve mentioned this a couple of times now.

So I’m very happy to announce I have something brand new coming to the blog TOMORROW! I’m so looking forward to sharing my secret project with you all. Anyway, today’s quote comes from a YA classic, The Hunger Games.

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“I said, ‘A coal miner? Why did she want a coal miner if she could’ve had you?’ And he said, ‘Because when he sings…even the birds stop to listen.” 
― Suzanne Collins, 
The Hunger Games

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: King of Scars (#1) by Leigh Bardugo

Review: King of Scars (#1) by Leigh Bardugo
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Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.
Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

Before I begin, I have to say that this review is coming from the view of someone who has never read the Grisha trilogy, and has only read the Six of Crows duology. I really believe this has effected my thoughts on the book so just a warning! I also want to mention I read this book with my bookish bestie Courtney, and we had so much fun doing our first buddy-read together. 🙂 Reading is just a bit more special with someone to share it with!

I want to start with the start of the book – because this took me so long to get into. I think part of the reason was because I’ve been in the Shadowhunter world since early December, and it was just so strange to suddenly be thrown into a completely different world.

My second reason is definitely because I didn’t receive the world-building I needed from the Grisha trilogy. Although King of Scars is very descriptive, it took a lot of concentration for me to understand what was actually going on. So if you want to read Bardugo’s books, I’d honestly say please read her other books first (Grisha trilogy followed by Six of Crows). You need the world building and preparation – and lots of her previous books are spoiled in King of Scars!

“Stop punishing yourself for being someone with a heart. You cannot protect yourself from suffering. To live is to grieve.”

But despite this, I still really enjoyed King of Scars, especially after the first 250 pages. It took me about 4 days to read the first half, and only 2 to get through the second. Maybe the pacing is a little off because it definitely picks up, but I think this is also partly due to me finally clicking with the world (yes, it took that long).

I’ve always said this but I have to point it out again – Bardugo can write multiple POV books like no one else I have ever read. Six of Crows was from 6 different POV, but those books are among some of my favourites. And here we are again, with four POV, yet I loved them all in their own ways. There was such a balance here – each role was unique, and I wasn’t waiting or hoping to get back to a specific person.

“You are not protecting yourself by shutting yourself off from the world. You are limiting yourself.”

Overall, what a great book, and the second half really made it for me. The tense edge-of-your-seat plot and fighting scenes were immense, and made me fall in love with Bardugo’s work even more. I’ll definitely be re-reading Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom and King of Scars once I’ve tackled the Grisha trilogy!

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Stacking the Shelves #81

Stacking the Shelves #81

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga where we share books we’ve bought this week. Find out more and join in here!

I haven’t bought any books yet again this week as I’m still only halfway through my book-buying ban! In case I haven’t explained yet, me and Courtney are on a joint ban where we have to read 20 books before we buy any more. We’ve been tackling this since early December and so far it’s going well.

So again, I haven’t bought any books! But I have borrowed a few from my lovely friend Chloe, to complete my Shadowhunters read. Thanks Chloe!

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Simon Lewis has been a human and a vampire, and now he is becoming a Shadowhunter. But the events of City of Heavenly Fireleft him stripped of his memories, and Simon isn’t sure who he is anymore. He knows he was friends with Clary, and that he convinced the total goddess Isabelle Lightwood to go out with him…but he doesn’t know how. And when Clary and Isabelle look at him, expecting him to be a man he doesn’t remember…Simon can’t take it. So when the Shadowhunter Academy reopens, Simon throws himself into this new world of demon-hunting, determined to find himself again. His new self. Whomever this new Simon might be. But the Academy is a Shadowhunter institution, which means it has some problems. Like the fact that non-Shadowhunter students have to live in the basement. And that differences—like being a former vampire—are greatly looked down upon. At least Simon is trained in weaponry—even if it’s only from hours of playing D&D.

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Fans of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices can get to know warlock Magnus Bane like never before in this collection of New York Times bestselling tales, in print for the first time with an exclusive new story and illustrated material. This collection of eleven short stories illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality, flamboyant style, and sharp wit populate the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices.

Did you buy any books this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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