Monthly Wrap-Up: March 2017

So, Time to do a monthly wrap up. This is my first wrap-up, so let’s see how it goes!

Books I’ve Read This Month;

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Coraline by Neil Gaiman

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Nothern Lights by Philip Pullman

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The Subtle Knife Philip Pullman

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Blood Upon The Sand by Bradley Beaulieu

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The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

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Magikerns Hus – Den Hemliga Trappan (Original Title; The Magician’s House – The Steps Up The Chimney) by William Corlett

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MH – Dörren i trädet (Original Title; The Door in The Tree) by William Corlett

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Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb

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The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis

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The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

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The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

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Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn

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All right! Been quite a successful read this month. You might notice that like 8 of these books are middle-grade (+) fiction, and there’s actually a very good reason for that. This month I had my exams for two courses so I was very very anxious about them (and my future), plus the fact that I turned 19 this month as well, made me hide behind those books in an attempt to hide from responsibility.

But due to exams and so I did not have much time on writing reviews, which I hope to improve next month. I actually wrote a literary analysis on The Picture Of Dorian Gray which I might post here soon 🙂

The Best Book Of The Month were no doubt Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb (read the review here.), and I’m gonna buy the sequel tomorrow (I hope) so am really looking forward to that!

But I really loved the Narnia books (haven’t read them before!), I listened to the audio books which I highly recommend. I love the movie Coraline so really enjoyed the book, but this was actually one of those few cases where the movie is better than the book (though the book was not bad). The other Gaiman book I read, The Graveyard Book, was just as weird and unique as you could expect from him. A really great read!

I also started reading His Dark Materials – series by Philip Pullman which I’ve enjoyed, and am currently on the last book. Sadly I got a bit stuck due to the exams was then, but hope to finish it by the beginning of April! I will do a full review of the series as a whole then I plan 🙂

Right, if you have any questions about any of the books or so, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments! Or if you just want to hype about one of the books 😀 ❤

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A Song & A Book #24

Today’s Song Is;

People, in their own sweet way,
Like to add a coat of paint,
And be what they ain’t!
 
That’s how our little –
Game is played,
Livin’ like a masquerade
Actin’ a bizarre charade –
While playing the saint!
(really recommend you to listen to the soundtrack of this musical, here‘s another post I made with one of the songs)

And The Book I Chose For This Song Is;

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Oscar Wilde brings his enormous gifts for astute social observation and sparkling prose to The Picture of Dorian Gray, his dreamlike story of a young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty. This dandy, who remains forever unchanged; petulant, hedonistic, vain, and amoral; while a painting of him ages and grows increasingly hideous with the years, has been horrifying, enchanting, obsessing, even corrupting readers for more than a hundred years.”

First Lines Friday

Helluuu

Decided to start another weekly book meme, seeing as I missed both this week due to exams (But I passed :D!). I think first lines are soo important for a book to be good. It has to hook you up and drag you into the story into a whole new world (god did you also sing that in your head?). That’s why I chose this weekly meme (also it looks so much fun).

The Rules Are The Following;

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

 

“Five past midnight in World’s End, three years after the End of the World, and, as usual, there was nothing to be seen or heard in the catacombs of the Universal City – except, of course, for the rats and (if you believed in them)  the ghosts of the dead.”

And

***

The

***

Book

***

Is

***

=

Runelight by Joanne Harris

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The squabbling Norse gods and goddesses of Runemarks are back! And there’s a feisty new heroine on the scene: Maggie, a girl the same age as Maddy but brought up a world apart – literally, in World’s End, the focus of the Order in which Maddy was raised. Now the Order is destroyed, Chaos is filling the vacuum left behind… and is breaching the everyday world.

A chilling prophecy from the Oracle. A conflict between two girls. And with just twelve days to stave off the Apocalypse, carnage is about to be unleashed . . .”

A Song & A Book #23

Today’s Song Is;

(For @booksarelife987 and @sophiethestark who loves Florence + The Machine, and books)

I’m gonna be released from behind these lines
And I don’t care whether I live or die
And I’m losing blood, I’m gonna leave my bones

And The Book I Chose For This Song Is;

Bildresultat för hero of ages brandon sanderson

[Spoilers for The Final Empire Below]

“Who is the Hero of Ages?

To end the Final Empire and restore freedom, Vin killed the Lord Ruler. But as a result, the Deepness—the lethal form of the ubiquitous mists—is back, along with increasingly heavy ashfalls and ever more powerful earthquakes. Humanity appears to be doomed.”

Book Review – Ship Of Magic

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Title: Ship of Magic

Author: Robin Hobb

Publisher: Harper Voyager

ISBN: 978-0-00-811745-0

Three Word Description: Fantastic, Magical, Unique

 

 

 

 

From the author of the classic Farseer trilogy, Ship of Magic begins an epic tale of pirates, sentient ships, magic, sea serpents, slave revolts, dashing heroes and bloody battles.

On the northernmost point of the Cursed Shores lies Bingtown, a bustling hub of exotic trade and home to a proud merchant nobility famed for its extraordinary vessels.

Only Bingtown liveships can negotiate the perilous waters of the Rain Wild River and plunder the riches found upstream, but such vessels are made from the most precious commodity in the world – a material with the ability to become sentient – and so are extremely rare.

Do you know that wonderful feeling when you realized that you’ve discovered a new favorite series, no – author? This is my first Robin Hobb book and is the first book in the Liveship Traders trilogy, and I am so happy that I finally took the time to start reading from her. Trust me, don’t let that thick size of the book intrigue you – I practically devoured it (880 pages in two/three days). I haven’t read a thick book so fast since The Final Empire and Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson.

But what is it that makes this book so good? This High Fantasy novel follows multiple p.o.v. as their lives drastically changes. Now, since I hate spoilers and want to be as subtle as possible, I will not say more of what befalls them. But what happens will lead to some great character developments (and this is just the first book) and an intriguing plot that forced me to keep reading it through the night. Hobb doesn’t need wars or a Court setting to create drama in a fantasy world – her writing of the characters’ worry and angst is all that is needed.

Books that manages to get you emotionally invested in the characters and events are, in my opinion, books that have succeeded. I craved to comfort one character, scolding another like a mother scolds her child, or just outright ready to fight one. I always wanted to find out more – what would happen next? What would they do? Once I started reading it, I just couldn’t put it down.

So it is a very character driven book, so you’ll love this if you’re into those. But who are the characters? You’ll meet a young sailor woman who has the ones she cherished the most taken from her. A ship mate with an equally unsettling past as future, an old woman and her daughter who has to fight for her family, a boy forced to live a life he never wanted, a girl who wants to grow up too early, and a pirate who dreams of becoming king. And these are just to mention a some.

This book also touches sensitive and important subjects such as sexism and slavery with in a very good way. How a man can stop important developments and outright ruin things because of his sexist values, but also how it is mostly formed not out of hate for women, but just ignorance and upbringing. Slavery is portrayed as it is – inhumane. The conditions they’re in, but also the mental state of someone without the right of an identity. I really can’t wait to read the rest of the books to find out more about how they’ll fight these injustices.

But one thing to have in mind is that this book may be a bit slow in the beginning. Though I honestly did not notice, but that may be because I read a lot of thick books. I only heard this a lot from others, so I’d take it into account of I were you. Also, like I said about being so invested in characters, you are going to be (very) angry at some characters. But, in my case, it’s all part of the experience.

I whole-heartedly recommend this book to anyone, and I’m despairing for not being able to go and buy the next yet. You simply cannot miss this book filled with living ships, pirates, drama, magical creatures, amazing characters and a plot that will force you to stay up all night, just to find out what happens next.

 

A Song & A Book #22

Today’s Song Is;

And here’s to the fools who dream
Crazy as they may seem
Here’s to the hearts that break
Here’s to the mess we make

And The Book I Chose For This One Is;

Bildresultat för the girl you left behind jojo moyes

“Whatever happened to the girl you left behind?

France, 1916. Sophie Lefevre must keep her family safe whilst her adored husband Edouard fights at the front. When she is ordered to serve the German officers who descend on her hotel each evening, her home becomes riven by fierce tensions. And from the moment the new Kommandant sets eyes on Sophie’s portrait – painted by Edouard – a dangerous obsession is born, which will lead Sophie to make a dark and terrible decision.

Almost a century later, and Sophie’s portrait hangs in the home of Liv Halston, a wedding gift from her young husband before he died. A chance encounter reveals the painting’s true worth, and its troubled history. A history that is about to resurface and turn Liv’s life upside down all over again . . .

In The Girl You Left Behind two young women, separated by a century, are united in their determination to fight for what they love most – whatever the cost.”

Book Tag #Guardians Of The Galaxy

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It was quite a while since I did a book tag, and I found this new one on Booktube created by G-Wizzel Books. Plus, gotta celebrate that my exam went great so reached my grade goal 😀

Questions:

1. Star Lord – An unlikely hero

Bildresultat för ship of magic robin hobbCaptain Kennit from Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb 

Okay, he is far from a hero, but for some, he’s one truly. The selfish pirate who dreams of being king and is ready to dispose of anyone who might stand in his way (including those closest to him), accidentally becomes a liberator/freedom fighter which I find as the most hilarious thing ever.

 

 

2. Gamora – A lethal weapon of a character

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Nightblood from Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

What do you mean this question isn’t literal? Anyway, Nightblood is a talking sword who can possess you and devour your soul. But on the bright side, all he wants to do is destroy evil. On the other hand, because he’s a sword, he doesn’t exactly know what evil is…

 

 

 

3. Drax The Destroyer – An unpredictable character

Bildresultat för runemarks joanne harrisLoki from Runemarks duology by Joanne Harris

Okay do I really need to explain myself on this one? It’s Loki, and whatever he appears in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe to Neil Gaiman’s American Gods,  or whatever he’s a hero or villain (or more usually, neither) there is but one thing that is always true to his characterization – don’t trust him.

 

 

4. Rocket Raccoon – A character with killer strategies

Bildresultat för steelheart brandon sandersonDavid Charleston from The Reckoners Trilogy

Whatever it’s a plan that has been developed in ten years to something cooked up in a minute, David always has a plan. Although he’s seen as a person who’s all ideas seem to spring up from the depth of Chaos, David actually always has a plan based on strategy. Even though with the ‘killer’ part it isn’t always certain if it’s about their enemy, or themselves…

 

 

5. Groot – A bad ass character with a big heart

32969656Faith from The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

Ohh this was a really tricky one, I had so many on my mind. But in the end I chose Faith from The Lie Tree, because I love her and this book so much and feel like I haven’t raved about this enough. Faith begins the book as a naïve, but certainly not dumb, and sweet girl. But as the book develops, she starts change and to set plans in motion to get what she wants. She no doubt grows to be a true bad ass, but at the same time she still has her big heart, even though it lacks its innocence…

 

6. Mantis – A friendly and powerful side character


15724396X from Magnus Chase and The Sword of Summer

A half-troll that died fighting animal cruelty, friendly is the least you could say of him. And except being very strong of course, he has other attributes for power…

 

 

 

7. Nebula – A character that puts their mission before their family

Bildresultat för northern lights philip pullmanA Certain HE from Nothern Lights by Philip Pullman

If you’ve read the first book I have no need to explain myself, and you’ll know of whom I’m talking. Currently on the last, and am still not sure if he’s going to be a villain or an anti-hero, but in my eyes, he’ll always be a villain because of what he did by the end of Nothern Lights. 

 

 

 

8. Yondu – The annoying character that you cannot help but love

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Vivenna from Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Well that was that about not trying to mention the same book twice in a tag. Oh well, at first I kinda liked her, but nothing special. Then she became a bit annoying as she was very conservative and judgemental towards others, without realizing it. But remembering that she was brought up as a princess and future queen, it was only natural. And then came ~Character Development~!

 

Additional Questions for the fans

of the GOTG comics (these are not mandatory if you don’t read the comics): Haven’t read the comics but will do them anyway 😀
9. Adam Warlock – A character that thinks they are a god

Bildresultat för the final empire by brandon sandersonLord Ruler from The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

Though this one is actually quite a justification. Lord Ruler is THE Big Bad in the book who you just really don’t want to meet, spontaneously or planned. He’s not a fun type, trust me.

 

 

 

10. Angela – A character who is different from the rest of the squad but is a vital member

Bildresultat för good omensAdam Scattergood from Good Omens by Neil Gaiman

Adam is the leader of the ten-year-old squad (+ doggy from Hell) who is still quite different from the others in his little gang. First, he is blonde. Second, he’s the Anti-Christ.

 

 

 

 

So that’s that! Feel free to do it as well :D! ❤

A Song & A Book #21

Today’s Song Is;

Call out a warning (and try not to sound panicked)
but my hammering heart hears the voices
of spirits that tempt us, the scorn that they’ve spoken
I’ll remember the sad frightened noises
of an old friend who dreamt once of storms on the ocean

And The Book I Chose For This Song Is;

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[WARNING! The following description contains huge spoilers for Mark of Athena]

“At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy’s instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through the Gaea’s forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape?”

IMPORTANT NOTICE! FREE ‘The Way Of Kings’

The Way of Kings Brandon Sanderson

Until tomorrow night you can download the first novel, The Way Of Kings, in The Stormlight Archive -series by Brandon Sanderson for free! Click this link to get it!

Speak again the ancient oaths,
Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.

And return to men the Shards they once bore.
The Knights Radiant must stand again.

Roshar is a world of stone swept by tempests that shape ecology and civilization. Animals and plants retract; cities are built in shelter. In centuries since ten orders of Knights fell, their Shardblade swords and Shardplate armor still transform men into near-invincible warriors. Wars are fought for them, and won by them.

In one such war on the ruined Shattered Plains, slave Kaladin struggles to save his men and fathom leaders who deem them expendable, in senseless wars where ten armies fight separately against one foe.

Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Fascinated by the ancient text named The Way of Kings and troubled by visions of ancient times, he doubts his sanity.

Across the ocean, Shallan trains under eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s niece Jasnah. Though Shallan genuinely loves learning, she plans a daring theft. Her research hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.”

This series is probably my all-time favourite Fantasy/SciFi series ever. After finishing the last book, I spent weeks in a book hangover, and when kept updating Sanderson’s website to see how far he was into finishing the third novel. There are no flaws in it. None. Even though it may be a bit slow to get into, it’ll be 100% worth it.

 

 

Book Traveling Thursdays – A PoC Main Character

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Time for Book Traveling Thursdays again! This weekly meme is hosted by Danielle and Cátia over at this Goodreads group. This week’s topic is, because of the International Elimination of Racial Discrimination day was a couple of days ago, a book with a main character that is PoC. Now, first I thought of Twelve Kings by Braadley Beaulieu because everyone is PoC, but feel like it’s been mentioned here so much now so am instead gonna go with;

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan! 

This series is largely underappreciated which is so sad! I love it, and have listened to the audio books 2-3 times already. The first book follows the siblings Carter and Sadie after their father “accidentally” summons the Egyptian god of evil. You know, the usual. This book series is focused on Egyptian mythology, the majority of the characters and all the gods are actually people of colour (I’m looking at you, Hollywood). The two siblings are bi-racial, where the brother took more from their father that’s black, and the sister took more from the mother that’s white. And already in like the first chapter Carter reveals the reason why he is always so well dressed – because people are gonna judge him harsher because of his skin colour. I think it’s so good of Riordan to take up these issues and talk about them, especially since this is aimed at kids.

The books deserves a much bigger fandom (I feel very lonely on tumblr), the characters are all great (the villains, Set and Setne (he’s from the last book) are among my favourite villains – they’re the biggest sassy assholes ever), Egyptian mythology is great and of course there’s a lot of great humour.

Original Cover + My Country’s;

7090447 23445931

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you spot the difference? Nah, it’s the same – except for the font? But even the translation is exactly right.

 

My Favourite Covers;

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Oh how I wish I spoke german or indonesian, so I could get my hands on one of these copies. Even though I do like the previous covers, these two look so much more dramatic. My favourite is probably the german cover (on the left), it’s very different from the other covers and so well done and detailed. And the thing I like about the indonesian cover is the dramatic view. Getting frog perspective with an enormous snake above you does tend to leave an impression.

My Least Favourite Covers;

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Okay the russian cover just look plain bad. First, who doesn’t hate having characters on the cover? Espcially of those characters looks nothing like the ones in the book. White-washing both characters? Check. Photoshopped the cover from the Maze Runner movie? Check. And the one on the right, the alternative cover for The Red Pyramid , I just really don’t like. It looks badly photoshopped as well, I really can’t find anything redeeming about it, except that Carter isn’t white-washed so yay.

So these were my picks! ❤