Friday, 16 February 2018

Review: Blood and Sand (Untitled #1) by C.V. Wyk

FORGED IN BATTLE...
FROM THE DUST OF THE ARENA...
A LEGEND WILL RISE

The action-packed tale of a 17-year-old warrior princess and a handsome gladiator who dared take on the Roman Republic―and gave rise to the legend of Spartacus...

For teens who love strong female protagonists in their fantasy and historical fiction, Blood and Sand is a stirring, yet poignant tale of two slaves who dared take on an empire by talented debut author C. V. Wyk.

Roma Victrix. The Republic of Rome is on a relentless march to create an empire―an empire built on the backs of the conquered, brought back to Rome as slaves.

Attia was once destined to rule as the queen and swordmaiden of Thrace, the greatest warrior kingdom the world had seen since Sparta. Now she is a slave, given to Xanthus, the Champion of Rome, as a sign of his master’s favor. Enslaved as a child, Xanthus is the preeminent gladiator of his generation.

Against all odds, Attia and Xanthus form a tentative bond. A bond that will spark a rebellion. A rebellion that threatens to bring the Roman Republic to its end―and gives rise to the legend of Spartacus...

The story continues in Fire and Ash, coming in 2019 from Tor Teen.


-- Goodreads.com description --



I first came across this book on Cait's blog Paper Fury. Her review really intrigued me and I wanted to pick it up ever since. So, I bought the e-book in the beginning of the month and I'm so glad I did!

I loved Attia! She is a wonderful character that reminded me so much of Mia from the Nevernight Chronicle by Jay Kristoff. Both characters have witnessed the executions of their fathers and swear to avenge them. Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff was the first book I read this year and there were so many comparisons to this book. The main characters have similar goals and both books are about gladiators. I can't quite decide if this is a positive or a negative aspect in my review of Blood and Sand. If I had to choose between these two series, I would definitely pick The Nevernight Chronicle, but Blood and Sand was good in its own right too. I probably should have put more time between reading both books. On the other hand, if you are looking for a similar read to Godsgrave, you definitely should give Blood and Sand a chance! 

Rory is another fantastic character that I wish I could hug so many times throughout the story. Rory is a very young girl and Attia's assignment is to be her nursemaid. I really enjoyed reading Attia's interactions with Rory and how they kind of became friends.

This book is told in dual perspectives and though Xanthus's point of view is interesting, I much preferred Attia's. I kept speeding through my Xanthus chapters because in the end, not that much happened in them that could not have been told through Attia's perspective as well.

The secondary characters could have been developed better. We barely get any information about the villains of the story and the other slaves are interesting and I really liked them but I would have loved more interaction with them.

I felt that this book was too short and because of that underdeveloped at times. Some things were drawn out and other scenes were too quick. In addition, I would have liked to see more character development and a stronger world building (not that this was bad, I just wanted a little more). I believe all these minor issues could have been solved if the book was longer and the author took more time to explore all these elements.

The romance was completely unrealistic. Attia and Xanthus go from distrust to love so quickly without any real foundation. I don't like that I would have much preferred a slowly developed romance or even no romance at all.

Then there is Lucius and from the start I had the feeling that the author was striving for a love triangle. Nothing of the sort has been established in this book, but I do get the vibe this might become true in the sequel. We'll see.

In the end, I did really enjoy this book and I definitely want to read the sequel. All things considered, I gave this book 4 stars. If you are looking for a quick fantasy read with lots of great action scenes and a revenge arc, this is the book for you!


Have you read this book or are you planning to? Leave your thoughts down below!


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Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. It's based on Waiting On Wednesday hosted at Breaking the Spine.


Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they'll find seven months after the invasion? 

Meanwhile, Kady's cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza's ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha's past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. 


With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken. 

-- Goodreads.com description -- 




For years I have seen this meme going around and now I decided to participate for the first time!

One of my most anticipated books this year is Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. This is the third book in a young adult science fiction novel. The story is told through documents and it reads very fast. I can't wait to see how things will wrap up in this book even though I would not have minded if the series were longer.

Which books are you highly anticipating? Have you read The Illuminae Files or are you planning to? Leave your thoughts down below!

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Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Sunday Post #3

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted here @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. 

So much has happened this week! I can't wait to tell you all about it!

Life

Thank you all for your encouraging comments on my previous Sunday Post! I am glad to let you know I passed with distinction and for the first time ever I am no longer a student. A fact that both scares and excites me. I slowly started applying to jobs last week and I actually already got a job in the school I hoped I would get in. As I probably told you before, I have a Masters in English and Spanish literature and linguistics, so naturally I am now going to teach Dutch. It's not even a half time job, but I believe it's a splendid start and gives me a chance to find my balance a little. I start on the 19th of February and it's only a four-week job but if I do well, there is a part time English teaching job coming my way in May!

All these developments made it a little tricky to blog this week as I wanted to absorb everything that happened so quickly. Instead I devoted my attention on reading and Bookstagram :)

Weekly favourites

My favourite books I read this week/month are The Secret History by Donna Tartt and The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger! I wish I had read these books sooner! They are perfection!


Last weekend I watched The Darkest Hour in the cinema and wow! It's such a remarkable movie! I plan to write a review soon! Gary Oldman definitely deserves the Oscar!

Instagram

This week I reached 500 followers on Instagram which is amazing! It's so much easier to interact with people and get followers on Instagram than through Blogger. I started my Instagram in September, so I'm very pleased with this progress!



Beat the Backlist

I have read nine books so far this year and all of them are backlist books! I think I'm doing pretty great on that challenge! Furthermore, I have mostly been reading books that have been on my shelves for quite some time!

I currently feel a like I'm in a little reading slump :( I could use some recommendations!


What have you guys been up to this week? Leave your thoughts down below!


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Also, I've been using a different font for this post, do you like it or prefer Verdana? I have been wondering if the size of this font is too small... What do you think?

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Sunday Post #2

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted here @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. 

Last month I (hopefully) had my final academic exams ever! I will know my results on Friday and I'm currently starting to apply for teaching jobs. To say I'm nervous about this is an understatement.

Today I want to share what happened on my blog so far this year and which movies and TV shows I watched in January.


On my blog









Best book I read so far: Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff

Movies 


Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Star Wars: The Last Jedi


I watched the original movies with my parents in order to go see the newest in theatres. Really enjoyed it!

Before I go to sleep

Most disappointing movie of the month. Liked the book but should have avoided the movie.

Arrival

Really surprised by this one! I liked that this was about language!

Dunkirk

Great movie but a little confusing at first, we didn't realize it wasn't chronological until the second part of the film.

Blade Runner

Finally got a chance to watch this, can't wait to watch the sequel!

Land of Mine


Probably my favourite movie of the month! It was very gripping! Review to come!

TV shows 

Lucifer


Love this show! It's only getting better in my opinion!

The Crown


This was fantastic! A bit slow at first but so addicting! Review to come!

The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel


I enjoyed this but I thought I would love it more.

Brooklyn nine-nine


Fun show, as always!

The Good Place


Love this one! Still have to watch the last episode of the season, though! I want to savour it!

The End of the F***ing World


This show was nuts but perfect to binge watch!

The Punisher

I started watching this when it came it but wasn't in the mood for it at the time. The first episodes are a bit slow, but man, does it get better soon! Highly recommend this one! My favourite Netflix superhero show!

Grace and Frankie


I was looking for another show with short episodes and found this one! Really enjoying it!

The Night Manager


I've had heard such amazing things about this show but it started quite slow, the end was better but this definitely wasn't one of the better show I've seen this month.


What did you recently watch? Have you seen any of the movies or TV shows above or are you planning to? Leave your thoughts down below!

Also, I could use some recommendations on shows that are about 20-30 minutes long!

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Have a wonderful week everyone!

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Stacking the Shelves: January Book Haul

Stacking the Shelves is a meme co-hosted by Reading Reality and Tynga's Reviews. Each week bloggers share the books they got. I randomly decided that I should not distract myself with buying new books during my exams and attempted an impromptu book buying ban. It went well, I only got a couple of e-books because I had a discount and since my goal of the ban was limiting the space on my bookshelves, e-books were not a problem (and I got them all for 4,44 euros)!
These are the books I got in January!

1. Binti (Binti #1) by Nnedi Okorafor


I've heard good things about this novella!

2. The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory


I love the other cover but the e-book was four times as expensive as this one, so easy decision!

3. Criminal Enchantment (Enchanted, Inc. 0.5) by Shanna Swendson


This is a short (free!) prequel novella from the Enchanted, Inc. series which I adore! I also just found out there is an eighth novel in the series! I need to get that one too! 


Which books did you recently get? Have you read any of the ones mentioned above or are you planning to? Leave your thoughts down below!


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Friday, 2 February 2018

January Wrap Up


These are the books I read in January. Since I had exams this month, I'm quite happy I managed to read these! They all count as backlist books for the Beat the Backlist Challenge!

1. Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle, #2) by Jay Kristoff



This was a fantastic start to my reading year! Definitely going to be one of favourites this year! It was incredible! Can't wait to read the third book! 5 stars!!!

2. Vicious (Villains, #1) by V.E. Schwab




Enjoyed this one but I felt it was too short! Definitely looking forward to read the sequel! 4 stars!
3. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell



Cute read, but as I am not a huge contemporary reader I gave it 3 stars! By all means that is a good rating from me in this genre! I did not like the fanfiction fragments and I wish it did not have such an open ending (like I want to know how she did with her story!)

4. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline 


I wish I could have had the time to read this in one sitting but alas, exams were the priority.
Really enjoyed this! Loved the 80s references and I'm glad I finally read this! 4 stars! The only thing I disliked about this book was the super tiny font! 

5. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson


This was a creepy read to end the month with! Really enjoyed it, though! 5 stars!


Have you read any of the books mentioned above or are you planning to? Leave your thoughts down below!

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Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

December Wrap Up

Better late than never, right? Due to exams I did not have the time to post my December wrap up earlier.

These are the books I read in December 2017! Luckily I read a lot more in December than in November and I ultimately read 92 books in 2017! I'm quite pleased about that!

1. Kulti by Mariana Zapata
2. Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin by Mariana Zapata 

Really enjoyed Mariana Zapata's books! Can't wait to read more! I gave them both 3 stars!

3. The Little Red Wolf by Amélie Fléchais


I got an e-arc from Netgalley and you can read my review here!

4. An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson


I was very productive in December, so you can read my review here.

5. Disney Manga: Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas by Jun Asuka


You can find my review here!

6. Herding Cats (Sarah's Scribbles, #3) by Sarah Andersen 


You can find my fantastic review here :)

7. Night of Cake & Puppets (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2.5) by Laini Taylor 


This was lovely! I love Mik and Zusanna! Gorgeous illustrations and cute story! 4 stars!

8. The Winter King (Weathermages of Mystral, #1) by C.L. Wilson


I liked this but I felt it could have been a little shorter. Definitely interested in reading the sequel. 3 stars!

9. The Trouble With Women by Jacky Fleming


This was fun! 4 stars!

10. Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia


I adored this book! Definitely my favourite of the month! It was absolutely fantastic! 5 stars!

11. Giant Days, Vol. 4 (Giant Days, #4) by John Allison


Love Giant Days and this volume was no exception! 5 stars!


Have you read any of the books mentioned above or are you planning to? Leave your thoughts down below!

January wrap up coming soon! Have a great week everyone!



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