Time for a new chapter!

It’s been 6 years since I started this blog. It seems impossible that this much time has passed! In those 6 years I successfully completed my Bachelors and Masters degree and started a PhD. I moved house 10 times across 3 countries. In the last couple of months, I’ve been thinking a lot about my life. And increasingly I noticed that I had been losing sight of what I’m passionate about and I’d fallen into a pattern of work and giving in to peer pressure.

I’d forgotten that that isn’t me. I read less books. I almost stopped blogging entirely. I lost touch with a lot of people that meant a lot to me. I haven’t been to a con in ages. In these past few months of re-evaluating my life I realised that there is still so much I want to do and things I want to achieve, starting with this blog. Faced with the dwindling amount of posts in the past couple of years I had three options: I could keep going like this, only posting occasionally; or I could just give up the blog entirely; or I could put a bit more effort into it, revive it, re-launch.

I chose the third option and have been working hard the last month to set up my own domain and revive the blog under a different name and with a renewed passion for reviewing and books. This has helped me focus on the things I love in life again and I’ve had so much fun. I hope you will all follow me on this next chapter!

 

.

Here is the link to the new website:

https://midnightbluebookreview.com

Please also have a look at my instagram account where I’ll be posting about the blog, the books I receive or am reading and show off some of my crafts!

https://www.instagram.com/midnightbluebookreview/

 

 

 

Advertisements

Foundryside – Founders #1 – Robert Jackson Bennett

.

Release date: August 23rd, 2018
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
Age Group: Adult
Pages: 503
Format: E-galley
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

 

In a city that runs on industrialized magic, a secret war will be fought to overwrite reality itself–the first in a dazzling new fantasy series from ‘City of Stairs’ author Robert Jackson Bennett.

Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle.
 
But unbeknownst to her, Sancia’s been sent to steal an artifact of unimaginable power, an object that could revolutionize the magical technology known as scriving. The Merchant Houses who control this magic–the art of using coded commands to imbue everyday objects with sentience–have already used it to transform Tevanne into a vast, remorseless capitalist machine. But if they can unlock the artifact’s secrets, they will rewrite the world itself to suit their aims.
 
Now someone in those Houses wants Sancia dead, and the artifact for themselves. And in the city of Tevanne, there’s nobody with the power to stop them.
 
To have a chance at surviving—and at stopping the deadly transformation that’s under way—Sancia will have to marshal unlikely allies, learn to harness the artifact’s power for herself, and undergo her own transformation, one that will turn her into something she could never have imagined.

 

Review:

Every once in a while you come across a book that takes escapism to the next level. There are many excellent books out there, but these particular ones are rare finds that become cherished companions. It was only the day before yesterday that I made a “Top Ten Tuesday” post about books that could get you out of a reading slump. I emphasised old favourites and comfortable, familiar reads. These are the kind of books I’m talking about, the ones you can revisit in times of sadness or nostalgia or just to rekindle your love for reading. When you pick up a book like that for the first time, you just know.

Similarly, there are quite a few books that get hyped up before or right after release. It is difficult as a reader to go in to these books with expectation that can be easily met. But every once in a while, a book comes along that lives up to the hype and even exceeds it. Foundryside is one of those books.

Read the rest of this entry

Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Pull You Out of a Reading Slump

.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. The topic today is Books to Pull You Out of a Reading Slump. We’ve all been there, the dreaded reading slump! I hate it, not being motivated to start any new books, not finding anything that piques your interest. Some of the tactics I’ve tried is returning to a beloved book until I find my drive again or reading some non-fiction. Listed below are a few books that I would use to get out of a reading slump.

 

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

If there’s one series that feels like coming home, it’s Harry Potter. These books are comfortable and familiar. I know the story, I know I love it unconditionally and will enjoy re-reading it.

 

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarity

And by this I mean books like Big Little Lies. This one is just a prime example. Some drama, some suspense, some mystery and fast-paced, easy-to-read plots are just the thing you need to get out of a reading slump!

 

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares 

Another childhood (teenhood?) favourite that feels very comfortable to read. I adore these characters and I’m also a huge fan of the movies. Nothing like binging the movies and reading the books again to get back that reading vibe.

Magician by Raymond E. Feist

Why not go back to the beginning? Even though I’ve always liked reading and I’ve always liked Fantasy and Sci Fi, my passion for it didn’t fully take shape until I read Magician. It meant so much to me that when I got an advance, numbered and signed hardback copy of Magician’s End I cried. Nothing better than revisiting the book that sparked your love for reading!

 

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

Can’t find anything you want to read in one genre? Then why not switch to another. Historical Fiction is my second favourite genre and Pillars of the Earth is one of those books that I simply adore.

 

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon 

If all else fails, re-read an all-time favourite. For me, that’s The Shadow of the Wind. I haven’t found a book that can rival the emotions I get when reading Shadow of the Wind. It is incomparable.

Friday Face-Off: A Cover With a Mask

I’ve decided to join the Friday Face-Off! This is a weekly meme created by Books By Proxy. It’s a simple concept: there is a list of themes (which you can find here), following the theme for that date you choose a book and compare different covers for different versions of that book. In the end, you pick your favourite!

This week, the theme is:

‘…Christine, who have torn off my mask and who therefore can never leave me again! – A cover with a mask

 

Immediately one of my favourite books came to mind: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.

So here are a few covers for that books:

 

The version I own is the first one and I have to say I’m not a big fan of that cover. The other two at the top are also not really my cup of tea. The three bottom ones are more up my alley, especially the bottom left and bottom right. Ultimately, I’ve chosen this one as my favourite:

 

What’s your favourite?

To Kill a Kingdom – Alexandra Christo

.

Release date: March 6th, 2018
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: E-book
Source: Bought

 

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

 

Review:

To Kill a Kingdom seems to be quite a popular and well-received book so far. When I came across it on Amazon, I liked the cover and the premise so I thought, why not? Now that I’ve finished the book I’m a bit in two minds about it. It was overall a quick and fairly enjoyable read, but it had plenty of flaws that stood out.

 

Read the rest of this entry

Spear of Light – The Glittering Edge #2 – Brenda Cooper

.

Release date: June 7th, 2016
Publisher: Pyr
Age Group:  Adult
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

When the post-human Next suddenly re-appear in a solar system that banished them, humans are threatened. Their reactions vary from disgust and anger to yearning to live forever like the powerful Next, who are casually building a new city out of starships in the heart of the re-wilded planet Lym. The first families of Lym must deal with being invaded while they grapple with their own inner fears.
Ranger Charlie Windar is desperate to save his beloved planet. The Next are building strange cities he never imagined, and other humans who want to destroy the Next are his worst enemies.

Ambassador Nona Hall strives to forge links between the powerful station she’s from, The Diamond Deep, and the people of Lym. The formidable merchant Gunnar Ellensson appears to be up to no good, and as usual his motivations are suspect. Why is he sending ships to Lym, and what does he intend to do with them when he arrives?

The Shining Revolution threatens to undo everything by attacking the Next on Lym, and their desire to eradicate the post-humans is greater than their desire to save humanity’s home. It is entirely possible that they will draw the wrath of the Next onto all of humanity.

In the meantime, the Next’s motives remain inscrutable. Why are they here at all? What do they want? Why are they interested in the ancient past of a planet that has been ravaged and rebuilt at least once?

 

Read the rest of this entry

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Worlds I’d Want to/Never Want to Live In

.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. The topic today is Bookish Worlds I’d want to/never want to live in. I decided to pick three where I’d like to live and three where I’d rather not live just off the top of my head.

 

Want to live in:

.

The Draconis Memoria – Anthony Ryan

Any world with dragons would be a definite ‘yes’ for me, but the one Anthony Ryan has created is (though slightly terrifying) so fascinating I’d really want to experience it. Seeing the different colour dragons in all their glory would be a dream come true! My chances of survival would probably be quite low, but I’d say it’s worth it 😉

 

 

.

Shades of Magic – V.E. Schwab

How awesome would it be to live in Arnes/Red London from the Shades of Magic books? A London where magic is prominant and vibrant. Preferably I’d be an Antari and be able to visit the other Londons too, just to see the contrast and be able to experience it all.

 

 

 

.

Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien

This was an easy choice. I would give a lot to be able to experience the world Tolkien has created in such detail. There are so many aspects of it that I would like to explore! For now, I’ll have to do with the book and movies to get as close to it as I can.

 

Never want to live in:

.

Book of the Ancestor – Mark Lawrence

However much I love Nona and the abilities displayed in the book, living in a world mostly covered by ice does not sound nice. The constant threat of the ice advancing and covering even the last ice-free strip sends shivers up my spine. I’ve never been good with dealing with cold. The clear divide between poor and rich would also make my blood boil. Meeting Nona would be great though…

 

.

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

I think this one is pretty straightforward. Any world that treats women like they are treated in the book would not be one I would want to live in. It makes me sad that women in this world, in our reality have to go through similar things.

 

 

 

.

Monsters of Verity – V.E. Schwab

The world Schwab has created with the Malchai and Corsai terrorising the streets is one that is pretty terrifying and does not seem like a world I would want to live in, for obvious reasons! I’m intrigued by the idea of the Sunai, but not enough to brave the streets of Verity!

Spotlight: Bloody Rose – Nicholas Eames

I’m pretty sure this book has made it on to almost every single Waiting on Wednesday or Most Anticipated list since the first book came out. Kings of the Wyld was an absolutely amazing book, so much fun! So it’s no surprise that I can’t wait for the second book, Bloody Rose, to hit shelves.

About the book

.

Live fast, die young.

Tam Hashford is tired of working at her local pub, slinging drinks for world-famous mercenaries and listening to the bards sing of adventure and glory in the world beyond her sleepy hometown.

When the biggest mercenary band of all rolls into town, led by the infamous Bloody Rose, Tam jumps at the chance to sign on as their bard. It’s adventure she wants – and adventure she gets as the crew embark on a quest that will end in one of two ways: glory or death.

It’s time to take a walk on the wyld side.

Publication date: August 28th, 2018 (Orbit)

 

About the author

.

From Nicholas’ website:

Nicholas Eames was born to parents of infinite patience and unstinting support in Wingham, Ontario. Though he attended college for theatre arts, he gave up acting to pursue the infinitely more attainable profession of “epic fantasy novelist.” Kings of the Wyld is his first novel. Nicholas loves black coffee, neat whiskey, the month of October, and video games. He currently lives in Ontario, Canada, and is very probably writing at this moment.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books That I’ve Heard Great Things About But Haven’t Read

.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Today is a freebie topic that we could choose ourselves. I chose to list ten books that I’ve heard great things about but haven’t read yet.

 

The Poppy War – R.F. Kuang

Senlin Ascends – Josiah Bancroft

Nevernight – Jay Kristoff 

Daughter of the Forest – Juliet Marillier

Guns of the Dawn – Adrian Tchaikovsky

The Cruel Prince – Holly Black

Every Heart a Doorway – Seanan McGuire

The Way of Kings – Brandon Sanderson

A Wizard of Earthsea – Ursula K. Le Guin

Sabriel – Garth Nix 

Update: What I’ve Been Writing

Hello everyone!

It’s been pretty quiet on the blog again. I promise you though, I haven’t forgotten my promises from January! The last few months have been crazy. I have been working on something for a long time now, specifically writing something. I started it approximately two years ago at the start of my PhD and yesterday it finally got published! *Insert excited squealing here* Unfortunately it’s not a kickass Fantasy of Science Fiction book, but it’s a scientific literature review about my field of work. Combining writing scientific work and book reviews has been a real challenge for me, which is why I focused on the science more. Obviously getting articles published in prominent journals is very important for my career and writing these articles is also something I genuinly enjoy. Hopefully with this one out I can write a few book reviews before the draft of my next paper gets back from my supervisors with comments! Stay tuned, I’ve read some awesome books in the first part of this year and I can’t wait to share them with you all.

If you’re interested in reading my scientific work, here’s the link to the paper. Unfortunately the full text is not accessible without a personal subscription or through a university.

See you all soon!