Library Haul | March 2017

One of my goals for this year was to use the library more. I now have two library cards (one in the town I live, one in the city I work) so I think a monthly library haul is going to be a thing this year. Here’s what I currently have out from the library! I did film this last week, so I’ve read some of the books since then. 

2 Mystery Mini Reviews | Call After Midnight & The Silkworm

call-after-midnightCall After Midnight by Tess Gerritsen
Published: 01.01.1987 by Mira
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Rating: 3/5 stars – ★★★
Goodreads

Synopsis: Newlywed Sarah Fontaine must join forces with special agent Nick O’Hara to find her husband Geoffrey, who is presumed dead, and as they journey to Europe to discover the truth, they become the pawns in a deadly game of espionage.

review

I bought a copy of this in a secondhand shop in Dublin because a) it was super cheap and b) I love Tess Gerritsen’s mysteries. And it seemed to be about 300-330 pages at first. Until I realized that the last 60 or so pages are previews of two of her other books.

This book only has like 250 pages! For a mystery book, I feel like that’s difficult. In my opinion, a mystery needs time to develop and build the tension, and this book lacked in that department because of the length. 

In general though, I quite liked the mystery. It starts with an assassin murdering an assassin. And then Sarah gets a call. Her husband has been found dead in a hotel in Berlin. Only Sarah thought he was in London. She doesn’t believe he died, and wants to find out what happened -which is where Nick O’Hara from the U.S. State Department comes in. I had fun with the mystery -even though I had to suspend my disbelief at times.

The biggest reason I only gave this book 3 stars -aside from the length- is the romance, and how prevalent it was. First of all, Sarah had only married Geoffrey 2 or 3 months ago. She had only known him for 6 months. How do you marry someone you’ve only known for 6 months? That aside, she discovers some things about Geoffrey that make her believe she never really knew him. (I’ll try to hold in my DUH! here). And that’s where the romance with Nick starts. And I feel bad for not liking the romance, because I LOVED Nick’s character. He was an honest, smart and kind person. But you can’t fall out of love with someone in a few days, and fall in love with an entirely new person! Especially when you are a) so dependent on the new person and b) he must be intertwined with your husband’s tragedy in your mind.


the-silkwormThe Silkworm (Cormoran Strike #2) by Robert Galbraith
Published: 19.06.2014 by Sphere

Genre: Mystery, Crime
Rating: 4/5 stars – ★★★★
Goodreads

Synopsis: When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days—as he has done before—and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives—meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced. 

review

I didn’t particularly love the first book in this series, so I didn’t purchase the books. And I was kind of hesitant to continue. But a few weeks ago I went to my local library, and saw a copy of it there. I’ve been in a mystery/thriller mood lately so I figured I’d give it another try. And I really enjoyed this one! 

First of all, I loved the mystery in this book. It included the publishing/author world, which is always a plus to me. It’s about this author who goes missing -and his wife asks Cormoran to find him and bring him home. Along the way, you discover more about Owen and his works. He seems like a horrible person, and not that great of an author either, so there are many people who can be seen a suspects. By the end of the book, I didn’t even feel sorry for him anymore. I thought that he kind of deserved what happened to him -although maybe not in such detail… I never guessed who was behind the crime, so I was completely taken by surprise at the end. 

Then, there are the characters. I think that my biggest problem with the first book is that I didn’t connect to Cormoran at all. I found him much more relatable in this book. I was most definitely rooting for him: not just because he was helping this old and lonely woman, but also because he’s not afraid to stick it to those he hates/doesn’t respect. I also love Robin, his assistant, so I was glad to see her take a big(ish) role in this book. I hate Matthew though, can we just get rid of him? I feel like he doesn’t respect her enough. 

I was so pleasantly surprised by this book! I’ll definitely pick up the third book on my next trip to the library. 

The Mean Girls Book Tag

mean girl book tag

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a tag post on my blog! I’ve actually been tagged in this one and another one, so I’ll try to do both asap. I was tagged for this tag by Reg @ She Latitude, so thanks Reg! She tagged me in this in FEBRUARY people. I’m so sorry it’s taken me this long, it’s kind of crazy. 

1. Which fictional character’s name did you get completely wrong? 

I’m not sure about writing the names, I don’t really have a problem with that. But how do you pronounce 90% of the names in fantasy books?? Honestly. Like, how do you pronounce Kvothe? Somebody please tell me, how to pronounce a word that starts with a K and is immediately followed by a V. And man, I have a problem pronouncing Gaelic/Celtic/Irish (and so on) names. Like 90% of the people in Hounded, or Sorcha from Son of Shadows

2. Which character would you like to place in a different fictional world?

I would love to see what Locke and his Gentleman Bastards get up to in Westeros. Let’s be real, they’d probably sit on the Iron Throne after 1 year. 

3. Which book gave you déjà vû of another book whilst reading? 

The Novice reminded me quite a bit of Lord of the Rings -or Middle Earth in general. There were humans, Elves, Dwarves and Orcs and the former 3 had to band together to fight the Orcs who were attacking the borders. 

4. Which book gave you the complete opposite of girl power feels?

There are two books that come to mind immediately. Whole in the Clouds is a middle grade book, and I DNFed it. Why? Well, let me tell you. Cora, a young girl, is being bullied and people call her fat. Her mother puts her on a strict diet so she’ll have a prettier daughter. Then Cora goes to a magical place (in the clouds) which transforms her: now she’s as beautiful on the outside as she is on the inside. How does she look now? Tall, slim/skinny and with long blond hair. I think this book TRIED to give the message that she’s beautiful, but I took this the wrong way. Also Fifty Shades of Grey. HELL NO. Anastasia is a doormat who lets a guy be abusive to her because he’s hot and rich. 

5. Name a character you wanted to cheer on while reading. 

Hmmm, let’s think. I’m always cheering for MegShe’s trying to figure out her life, sometimes in the most basic sense. So I’m always there like: YES Meg, tell them what you think!

6. How long do you typically spend in a bookshop?

I don’t really know. Are they having sales? Probably 45 minutes. Am I just browsing out of curiosity without true intention of buying anything? 15-20 minutes. How long do I spend in the library? Maybe 45 minutes?

7. Which character would have to get a restraining order on you, if they were real?

This question kind of makes me feel gross. I’m not a stalker people, no matter how hot the guy is! But I’d love to meet Hadrian Blackwater, Locke Lamora and/or Eli Monpress! And Fred & George. 

8. Which overhyped book were you cautious about reading? 

Definitely Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare. I had read the first book in the trilogy years ago. It’s no secret I’m not Cassandra Clare’s biggest fan -as far as her books go, I don’t know anything about her personality so I’m definitely not referring to her as a person. But I ended up loving Clockwork Prince, even though I wasn’t expecting it. 

9. We all love Regina George. Name a villain you love to hate.

Joffrey. I fucking hate Joffrey. And Littlefinger. I hate Littlefinger, but I’m still kind of impressed by him. Joffrey has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. 

10. Your favorite fictional parent?

Molly Weasley. No doubt about it! I just love her. She may not have a large amount of material wealth, but she just has the biggest heart. She gladly accepts Harry and Hermione into her family and home, although she doesn’t have much money to spare anyway.

11. Which book or series do you wish would catch on?

What does this question mean? Does it mean which series would I wish become very popular? Well, any series by Rachel Aaron or Michael J. Sullivan.

12. Describe your ideal character to read about.

So my favorite characters tend to be witty and sassy. Of course they have to be smart and brave, yet flawed -otherwise it’s no fun.

13. What do you do when a book gives you all the feels?

I write a loooong review on it, publish it and basically beg all of you to read it. I also ask the same of you via Twitter.

14. Which character’s one liners would you like to claim for your own?

I’d love to claim anything Locke Lamora says for my own. And Fred & George.Everything they say is hilarious. 

15. Name a character’s decision that has made you roll your eyes.

Oh there are so many, I don’t think I can even start with this one. Any decision made by Bella Swan. Or Anastasia Steele.


So who am I tagging? 

YOU! IF YOU READ THIS POST (and haven’t done the dag but/or want to) GO MAKE IT!

 

Spoiler Free Mini Reviews of Clockwork Prince & Clockwork Princess

Recently I read both sequels in the Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare. Some of you (may) know that I’m not really the biggest fan of Cassandra Clare’s works. I don’t like The Mortal Instruments -although I’m enjoying the TV show! Yet I’m glad I gave this trilogy another chance and continued, because I was more than pleasantly surprised by it. I ended up truly enjoying both books! So today, I thought I’d write some mini reviews on both books -without spoiling anything of course. 


clockwork prince

Clockwork Prince (Infernal Devices #2) by Cassandra Clare
Published: 6.12.2011
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 5/5 stars

Goodreads

My thoughts

It’s safe to say this book was much better than I expected it to be. One of the main reasons I didn’t much care for the TMI series is that I wasn’t really attached to any of the characters. Yet I grew really attached to most of the characters in this book, even side characters. I was not only in love with Tessa and Jem, but so interested in Charlotte, the Lightwood boys, Henry, Magnus and so on. I don’t really love Will, who happens to be most people’s favorite character. In my opinion, it’s never an excuse to treat people badly, no matter the reason. Maybe that’s just my age showing, but I much prefer Jem. Jem is kind, smart, brave -everything you could ever want in a person. 

I also really enjoyed the story line of this book, how you slowly uncover the intrigue and plots together with Tessa, Will and Jem. I love this slow uncover, because it allows me to guess and speculate for myself. I think this was my favorite book in the trilogy!


clockwork princess

Clockwork Princess (Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare
Published: 19.03.2013

Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Goodreads

My thoughts

This was many people’s favorite book of the trilogy, yet my favorite one was the second. While I truly enjoyed this book, my love for it was tainted by two things. I’ll start with the positive things though. I think this is an incredible ending to a trilogy. As I mentioned before, not just the main characters in this story are interesting. I’m very intrigued by the side characters too, such as the Lightwood boys and Charlotte. Especially Charlotte. She’s such a strong woman, a true leader of the feminist movement within the Shadowhunter society -in my opinion. Yet there were two things I didn’t like. First, there is one scene in the book that I found SO EXTREMELY DISRESPECTFUL. I don’t know how anyone could think it was sweet, romantic or even okay. It really wasn’t. It left a bad taste in my mouth. And the last thing I didn’t like was the ending. I both loved the ending (I really do) but at the same time I felt like it was a bit of a cop out? But I loved it anyway. I know that makes no sense…


I’d definitely recommend this trilogy. Even if you’re not a fan of her other works, I’d urge you to give it a go. After all, that’s exactly how I felt. I fell in love with the characters, and was captivated by the story. 

Review: Air Awakens

air awakensAir Awakens (Air Awakens #1) by Elisa Kova
Published: 27.08.2015
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4/5 stars – ★★★★

Goodreads | Bookdepository

Synopsis: The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war. Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all—the Crown Prince Aldrik—she finds herself enticed into his world. Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.

review

I had seen this book on so many blogs I follow, and most/all of them raved about it. As a fantasy-fan, I couldn’t just let that pass. I had to read it too! Overall, I’m glad I followed my gut and went along with the great reviews. I really did like it -but I wasn’t as in love with it as others perhaps were. 

WORLD

Obviously, I can’t write about the magic and world of this book without mentioning Avatar. Like Avatar, the magic in this world is centered around the elements: air, water, fire and earth. I think every elemental book, TV show or movie will forever be compared to Avatar. Sorry, people. I won’t tell you too much, but suffice it to say that the similarities extend quite far. For those who’ve read it, do you agree with me? I so badly want to explain what I mean, but I can’t without spoiling anything.

I do wish I knew more about the history of the world. I’m guessing that will be explored more in the following books? To be honest, it’s been only about a month since I read this book -maybe a tad more- but I already don’t remember too much about the world. I remember the magic, the court, the city, the library, the gardens of where the bulk of the story plays out. But not much more than that. 

PLOT

I’m happy to say I quite enjoyed the journey this book took me on. I do think it took quite a bit of time for Vhalla to embrace herself -all the aspects of herself- fully. But while reading, I never felt like a lot of time had passed (in real life). I hope you know what I mean, but sometimes while I read I think: “it feels like I have been reading for a long time, yet I’m not that much further in the story”. Have you ever had that? Anyway, that didn’t happen here. I found myself reading huge chunks of this one per sitting. I was definitely captivated and interested in the story line.

Politics were also very prominent in this book. That’s (almost) always a positive for me, because I love reading books with scheming characters, intricate plots and backstabbing. I’m always trying to figure out who to trust, who’s just putting on a nice face and so on. It always manages to captivate me. 

CHARACTERS

From the beginning, I quite like Vhalla. At first, because she loves books and works in the library. Also because she asks questions, and values being smart. But I have to admit that at times I thought it took her a long time to take action, or to make up her mind. Yet overall, I thought she was a strong and interesting woman, and I’m definitely interested in reading more of her story. 

Of course she’s not the only character. I was also interested in both the princes. Mostly because like I said before, I love trying to figure out who is actually a good guy on the inside, and not only projecting to be one.

Did I think the characters were perfect? Of course not. But flawed characters are the best -and most realistic- in my opinion. Did it take me a while to really feel the romance? Yes. Because people should not throw others from buildings. That’s just my opinion. 


Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I’ll definitely continue the series. If you’re interested in this series -even in the slightest- I’d urge you to give it a go. The Kindle copies really aren’t expensive AT ALL.