Review: Soundless by Richelle Mead

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Soundless by Richelle Mead

or: I can hear clearly now the Hiatus has gone

Goodreads   ||  The Book Depository

Synopsis: For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village. Her people are at the mercy of a mysterious faraway kingdom, which delivers food in return for precious metals mined from the treacherous cliffs surrounding them. When villagers begin to lose their sight, their rations shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the boy she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation. Then Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon…

I honestly don’t know why people don’t like this book. I loved this book! Some of my favourite reviewers really disliked it and I was really shocked when I found out. I do agree, Mead sometimes misses the mark, but I honestly really liked this book.

I’ve never really been exposed to much Chinese mythology, and Mead’s story has certainly inspired me to read more. Mead has done her research here, and while some are complaining of it’s lack of authenticity coming from a white author, I think they’re not considering how many people are now going to look into Chinese mythology because of this book.

Was there a few times Mead’s white-ness showed through? Yes. Did I mind? No. It can be forgiven because Mead has been nothing but respectful.

I liked the setting and the world building, I loved that the characters were deaf. I loved the tension and the struggle within the book. I loved the ending. I loved it.

I loved this book because it was so different to what Mead usually offers us. Mead made the brave call to go out on a limb and go into a new area. Because it was her first book since the end of the Vampire Academy/Bloodlines Universe, it was bound to stir up some anticipation and controversy.

This book did however, have issues with pace. Sometimes it felt like Mead was spending too long on parts that should have been short,sharp and snappy and racing over parts that needed more explanation. This isn’t a new problem for Mead, she struggled with this in the Dark Swan series and one or two books in Bloodlines/VA. I would have loved more time spent on the nature of a society where everyone is deaf; I feel like she skipped over it and focused solely on the village problem of not having food. I also wish she had taken more time to weave the cultural mythologies and fantasy through the story a bit more so it wasn’t so sharp of a surprise when very very strong fantasy was shoved down our throats right at the end.

I also kind of feel like Mead rushed this book. This entire book felt hurried. Maybe I’m wrong and maybe I was just a bit jolted by her change in narration style, but this I feel ties closely into her pace issues. Given hindsight and more recent knowledge on Mead’s up and coming projects- this feels like she quickly spat this book out before her new series, like she wanted to get the idea out of her head before she dedicated herself to the new series.

But, overall, as I said, I really enjoyed this book. I totally understand peoples different opinions and I totally understand why people may take offense. If you have been offended, I’d like to appologise on Mead’s behalf. We are still a long way from delivering perfect PoC stories, but I feel like this is a step in the right direction and encouraging the masses to read more PoC things.

I received this book in my November OwlCrate and I was so stoked to receive this book. Thank you Owlcrate!

Read: American Hardcover Edition

This Book was read in 2015 and was apart of my 2015 Reading Challenge.

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Top 15 Books That I Want to Read in 2016

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So the first month of 2016 is almost over and I’ve made a cracking good start to my 2016 reaching challenge having finished 5 books. While I’ve already ticked off some books that I was itching to get to, as always with me, there are a million more books that I would like to read.

This blog post contains the books that I am hoping to get to this year in 2016, at some point. In no particular order of course

I got this

 

  1. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

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An ambitious read, but one thats been on my to read list for close to 2 years. I finally got around to watching the TV series in 2015 and fell head over heels in love with the story and the characters. This book has effectively jumped up the ranks to sit pretty much at the top of my most coveted list. I’ve been told the book is even better than the show and if that didnt sell me, then Jamie Fraser certainly would

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2. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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I went on the hunt for this book last year and actually had a pre-order that fell through on me. Unfortunately, by the time I found this book in stock somewhere online, it was way out of my price range. I decided to suffocate my mighty need and wait it out. Fingers crossed, this book will make it into my grubby little paws this year and I will finally get to read this beauty. Given the reviews I’ve heard, it might be worth the wait.

 

3. Vengence Road by Erin Bowman

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I’ve had my eye on this book for a while. Stumbling across it when it was a long way away from being published, I’ve been waiting to purchase it until my list has been cleared from pressing series. Because I feel like this book needs a dedication and clear mind that my current self does not yet have. A western YA? sign me the hell up! While this book hasn’t gotten a lot of attention by bloggers or booktube, it seems like one of those books that just might be a hidden gem, waiting to be found

 

4. Cinder by Marrissa Meyer

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One of those series that I’m very slow finding out about, is Cinder. I feel like this series exploded last year; every man and his dog was talking about it. Curiosity spiked, this book has been trawling in the bottom of my book buying basket for a while. While it’s taken the back seat in recent book halls, I have the feeling this book may just creep into my hands this year. I’m a sucker for Fairy tale retellings almost as much as I’m a sucker for dystopian future worlds.

 

5. The Darkest Part of the Forrest by Holy Black

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A Christmas gift this year, I’ve had my eye on this one for a while. Recently my tastes in books have shifted away from the usual vampires/witches to turn towards Fae. Its overwhelming how many of my current reads are now swinging aboard the Fae mythology train, but there’s no going back now. I used to love stories about Fae taking humans into their world when I was little, and it seems this love has resurfaced. I haven’t heard much about this book but I can feel in my bones that this book is going to hold my attention.

 

6. Rook by Sharon Cameron

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Like Cinder, the Blogging/Booktube world couldn’t stop raving about this book, and it feels like the last few months of 2015 were gripped with Rook fever. As soon as I read the synopsis for this book, it went straight onto my to read list. As a history fiend, this book was like a siren song. Alternate Histories are my jam! And this book combines my other great love- fiction- into the mix. I never stood a chance

 

7. Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

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Much like Rook, this book just spoke to me. Alternate WWII ending? Hook, Line and Sinker. This book HAS to make its way into my possession this year.

 

8. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

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Last year, if you were following me, you would have witnessed me falling in love with Sarah J Maas and her characters. Easily one of my favourite books last year was A Court of Thorns and Roses, so when I found out that it’s sequel, was coming out this year, I almost had to be sent to the ER. I cannot WAIT to see what Maas has in store for us with this next installment and I cant wait for the great Maas love-affair to continue. Don’t let me down Sarah!

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9. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

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After being introduced to Bracken’s work last year through her spectacular series The Darkest Minds, I am extremely eager to read her other book which has so much hype surrounding it, it’s publishing almost saw mass hysteria. Time travel? Hell yes! Where do I buy a copy of this?! I very well may need that time travel to read all these books i’m listing.

 

10. The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

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My queen and savior Richelle Mead has given me a new hope; there’s a new series on the way, and one that promises another kick ass heroine. While it does seem that Mead is obsessed with naming her heroines after Australian Capital cities (not that I mind rather, we are an inspiring bunch us aussies), the premise from the little promotional material that’s been released is more than enough to wet my taste buds. Hopefully she’s given us another cracker.

 

11. American Gods by Neil Gaiman

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I’ve been meaning to read Neil Gaiman for a while, and I purchased American Gods in very late 2014. Due to a busy schedule, this rather chunky book was pushed further and further down my TBR. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book and I’d like to get aboard the Gaiman train this year. Apparently there’s a TV series going to emerge next year, and I’d like to read the book before I see the show.

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12. Undead and Unstable by MaryJanice Davidson

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This may confuse some people, but I’ve been following this VERY hard to find series since I was 16. I ADORE the Undead series and while it definitely is not for everyone, its a series that makes the world seem a little brighter if only for the short time it takes to read them. This series is an easy read, but a lark. Every time I think this series is finished, Davidson releases a new book. I also tend to keep forgetting what number I’m on.

 

13. The Rose and the Dagger by Rene Ahdieh 

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I had the privilege of reading The Wrath and the Dawn as one of my first books of 2016 and I adored it! I was desperate to know what happened to Shahrzad, and I was stoked when I found out there was a sequel coming out this year. As the second book in the duology, this is bound to be excellent and I cant wait to see how Ahdieh wraps the complex and ever intriguing story up. May cant come quick enough

 

14. Sea Glass by Maria V Snyder

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One of the many series I fell in love with last year was the Chronicles of Ixia and after reading the first 4 books last year, I’m keen to sink my teeth into the next installments this year. With many books left yet to read, Sea Glass is taunting me. Sea Glass is definitely one of those books I’ll read sooner rather than later. I cant wait to see where Opal goes next.

 

15. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

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I am BURNING for this book. After being constantly pushed back over the last year, this book seems to have finally settled on it’s April release date. The last book in the beloved Raven Cycle series, I am so beyond ready for this book. Like many others following this series, waiting for this book has been like sitting on a bed of the sharpest spikes known to man. And like many others, I’m desperately calling for someone to please save Richard Gansey III.

 

 

So… that is by no means a complete list of books I would like to read this year. This list is leaving out quite a few hot ticket books, either because I’m currently reading them or I simply didn’t have room for them here. There are so many books I would like to read this year and if I had named them all, we would have all been here for eons.

I have quite a busy year of reading ahead of me it seems. And quite a long queue of book reviews too!

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Review: Ms Marvel Vol. 2. – Generation Why by G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona and Jacob Wyatt

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Ms Marvel Vol. 2; Generation Why by G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona and Jacob Wyatt

or: YES! GO KAMALA!

Goodreads  ||  The Book Depository

Synopsis: Who is the Inventor, and what does he want with the all-new Ms. Marvel and all her friends? Maybe Wolverine can help! If Kamala can stop fan-girling out about meeting her favorite super hero, that is. Then, Kamala crosses paths with Inhumanity — by meeting the royal dog, Lockjaw! But why is Lockjaw really with Kamala? As Ms. Marvel discovers more about her past, the Inventor continues to threaten her future. Kamala bands together with some unlikely heroes to stop the maniacal villain before he does real damage, but has she taken on more than she can handle? And how much longer can Ms. Marvel’s life take over Kamala Khan’s? Kamala Khan continues to prove why she’s the best (and most adorable) new super hero there is!

When I first read Vol. 1 of Ms Marvel, I knew I was going to love this series. But oh my stars, did I adore this second installation! All that rich, lovely world building that Wilson and Co did in the first one was kicked into full throttle by the excellence of plot of vol.2. As if I could love Kamala any more!

This book is a wild ride from start to finish as we see Kamala finding her feet and trying to work out this whole superhero business. Struggling to keep a balance between school, home and her extra curricular crime fighting activities, Kamala becomes even more human and that’s what Kamala’s appeal is. Kamala is cute, funny and so much fun to follow.

The Inventor was a bit of a shock but I pissed myself laughing for a good chunk of his dialogue scenes. I don’t know if that’s what Wilson wanted, but I found the whole premise hilarious. Honestly, now with some time to think on it, I don’t know who else would have possibly shown off Kamala’s strengths as a character more.

And oh my goodness that Wolverine Cameo though! Just all normal, fighting some crime and then BOOM Wolverine comes bursting through. His lines, contribution to the plot and quick bow out were perfect and I loved every second of their interaction. Please Wilson bring Wolverine back in the future!

This comic isn’t strictly action, Wilson also dedicates the necessary time to strengthen the world building and further strengthens the comic as a whole. That’s the beauty about this series; Wilson anticipates his audience and puts on a lavish spread for them, giving them exactly what they need and then some. This is one of those comics that could easily take on the big guns and I really want this comic to pick up more followers because it deserves a heck tonne of fame.

The Third Volume in this series is on my to-buy list and as soon as my TBR piles down, this baby is coming home with me. Definitely a series that is still growing, now is definitely the time to join the Kamala fan club if you haven’t already. With Volume 5 coming out some time in 2016, there’s a lot to look forward to.

This second volume was definitely going to be a make or break, and Wilson and Co. delivered. A big hearty high-five needs to go their way. They’ve killed it.

This Book was read in 2015 and was apart of my 2015 Reading Challenge.

Review: The Wicked + The Divine Vol. 1. Faust Act

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The Wicked + The Divine Vol. 1 The Faust Act by  Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie (Illustrations), Matt Wilson (Colorist),Clayton Cowles

Or: …. Wait What Just Happened?

Goodreads   ||     The Book Depository

Synopsis: Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critical tongue-attractors like Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to create a world where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever

I really wanted to read this Comic. The illustrations looked gorgeous and the plot made me so excited I couldn’t sit still. I ignored the comments on goodreads and the booktube reviews, because I just had to have this comic. In hindsight, I should have listened to the reviews

Unfortunately, while the illustrations were as every bit as beautiful as I had hoped, I was left feeling very underwhelmed.

This was a very confusing comic. Honestly, I’m not sure exactly what happened. The dialogue was beautiful but seemed to jump between different subjects and it felt like there were whole chunks and sections of this story missing, like people had left pages out when putting it together. There was also a lot of internal dramatic monologue from the main character which seemed to serve little purpose. I wish they had spent some of that monologue space making things a bit more clear.

The beginning wasn’t even clear; it begins with an old woman staring at a house fire and this doesn’t make sense until right at the end of the comic. There’s zero explanation, or world building and the reader’s just sort of dumped in the story and left to shakily piece the narrative together with no help from the authors.

The characters were all really interesting and engaging, but, yet again, confusing as to how they fit in within the story. I loved Lucy. She was excellent if confusing. I wish there was more time to flesh her out. She was one of the few characters that was actually given a back story that made some sense.

I think, in the effort to be mysterious and to tease their audience, Gillen and Co sacrificed more than they realised. The comic feels like a crazy pipe dream put to paper and probably makes total sense to the creators. Gillen and Co have accidentally alienated their audience, which is definitely the wrong thing to do. The quality of Comics in 2015 was so great that this one really sticks out as a “miss”. Which is a shame, because like I said earlier, the art is beautiful and so is the concept.

I don’t think I can bring myself to pick up the next comic in this series if there is one. I’m not the only one that feels this way- Goodreads is split and I definitely fall within a strong faction. It’s almost tempting to let myself be enchanted by the gorgeous cover/art and forget about it’s inconsistencies but my brain can’t ignore them. This looks like it’s going to be a big series with many more volumes to come which is good for the comic’s fans.

Some people may really like this book, I just didn’t. Maybe I’m still too new to comics to really appreciate one this arty-farty. Who Knows.

This Book was read in 2015 and was apart of my 2015 Reading Challenge.

Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas (Throne of Glass #2)

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Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas

Or: YAS GURL

Goodreads  ||    The Book Depository

Synopsis: From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil. Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart. Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie… and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

My opinion of this book can be summarized into two words. Hell Yes

I liked the first book of this series. But I LOVED this second book. This is exactly what I wanted to see from Maas for this book; improved skill and craftsmanship in her writing, a killer plot and mysteries galore. Let me tell you, this book delivered.

I was initially hesitant with this series; these books had a heck tonne of hype and its easy to become daunted. This book proves it’s top place in pop culture right now.

I didn’t think Celaena could become any more bad-ass but she did. She showed us her assassin side, a side which Maas had previously very carefully hidden in the last book but let come out with a vengeance. This improved her character, made everything more believable and made you root for her all the more. I adore morally ambiguous anti-heroes, and its rare that you find such a good one in YA.

My only quip with this book however, was the predictable reveal about Celeana’s heritage. Saw that coming a mile off. I had it pegged in book 1 when she found the tomb, and I felt slightly annoyed that I had been right in my guess when the bombshell was dropped. Maas did well in dropping it, but I think in her excitement, she kept giving readers glimpses of her hand too early. She could have hidden it easily but she let too much slip.

I’m glad however,that Maas flipped over and reversed her decision with the love triangle. Thank christ she fixed it. But even better was that she made the degeneration of the triangle seem inevitable and not rushed or guilty. She let the plot fix itself and let characters shine. I’m glad we saw Celeana’s conflict with both herself and Chaol and I loved their struggle with each other and their feelings. I get so sick of seeing perfect relationship in fiction all the time, especially with characters with less than perfect personalities. Thank god Maas saw sense.

The action was perfect! This book held a lot more badass fight/conflict scenes than the last believe it or not, but they were well paced and certainly well executed. Maas succedeed in giving me nightmares yet again with a certain character or two and a round of applause needs to go Maas’ way for her ability to weave such tension and suspense into her writing

This book has sold me on this series, and I’m desperately hoping the rest of the books live up to this one. I’m keen as a bean to see what happens next, and hopefully I can burn through my TBR pile quickly this year so that I can grab the next installments.

There’s a reason this book made it onto my top books of 2015 list, even though I read it reasonably late in the year. Trust me, if you haven’t started this series yet, you need to.

This Book was read in 2015 and was apart of my 2015 Reading Challenge.

Other books in this Series; Throne of Glass, Heir of Fire, Queen of Shadows