Wednesday, 24 September 2014

WWW Wednesday (7)

The book meme WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading.

The aim of WWW Wednesday is to answer the following three questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I seem to be in a bit of a reading slump at the moment. It's taking forever to get through my books which is very unlike me. But I guess we all go through these at some points. It is frustrating me though especially as I've committed to a number of group/buddy reads which have start dates and I'm feeling under pressure! That's not what reading should be a bout so I need to prioritise and let some slide...

What are you currently reading?
I am also still reading Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde. I am enjoying it but I feel like throwing the book right now as it's taken me nearly a month to get through and I'm sick of the cover now! It's taking a while to read because the language is very clever, very subtle with plays on words, sarcasm and humour throughout and I don't want to miss anything.

I started reading Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence for a buddy read. One of the reasons I love fantasy books is because of the world building and the interesting characters. This book, which was the author's debut, has intriguing characters but it lacks the world building aspect so I feel the story is lacking somewhat. It is holding my interest though and I want to find out where the story is leading. It is the first book in the Broken Empire series.

What did you recently finish reading?
I finished reading Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden which was fantastic. I gave it 5 stars and it made it on to my favourites list. I can't believe I waited so long to read it. I highly recommend it if you haven't read it already.

What do you think you’ll read next?
In theory, I am supposed to be reading Hexed by Kevin Hearne for another buddy read. I really want to read it as I loved the first book in the series. However, the buddy read started today and I am nowhere near finishing the two books I am currently reading. We shall see...

Have you read any of these? And what did you think?

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Tuesday Intro & Teasers: Prince of Thorns

First Paragraph - First Chapter - Tuesday Intro is hosted by Bibliophile By the Sea. So for this book meme, I just have to post the first paragraph of the first chapter of either a book I am currently reading or about to start.

I'm going to be focusing on a book which I have already started reading - Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence. This book has been on my wishlist for ages and seems to divide people - it's another one of those love it - hate it books. I am reading it with a group of other fantasy enthusiasts!

"Ravens! Always the ravens. They settled on the gables of the church even before the injured became the dead. Even before Rike had finished taking fingers from hands, and rings from fingers. I leaned back against the gallows-post and nodded to the birds, a dozen of them in a black line, wise-eyed and watching."
Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by Miz B of Should Be Reading. So for this book meme, I have to randomly turn to a page (or two) and choose a sentence to post here to tease you all with. I'm combining the two book memes and using the same book for both.

My teasers:
"War is a thing of beauty, as I've said before, and those who say otherwise are losing". ~pg 35
"I woke up with that sudden convulsion you get when every muscle you own suddenly realises it's dropped off on duty". ~pg 118
Prince of Thorns: View on Amazon || View on Goodreads

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

WWW Wednesdays (6)

The book meme WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading.

The aim of WWW Wednesday is to answer the following three questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Well, it feels kind of pointless joining in this week as I've had so little time to myself to read that I am still reading the books I was for WWW Wednesday last week and I haven't finished any others since then either. I didn't even get the chance to write a post yesterday for the two Tuesday book memes I take part in. Real life has got in the way - in a good way though thankfully! In fact, this boat is what has got in the way!
What are you currently reading?
I am still reading Memoirs of a Geisha by Andrew Golden. I am really enjoyed it and I'm about 70% in so not long now. I will definitely want to watch the film after I've finished too.

I am also still reading Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde for a group read. I am enjoying it but I haven't read as much of it this week as I've been focusing more on Memoirs of a Geisha.

What did you recently finish reading?
Nothing that I haven't already mentioned in previous posts :-(

What do you think you’ll read next?
I just picked up the last book in the Women of the Otherworld series, 13 by Kelley Armstrong, from the library as I really want to tick off another series as completed so I will probably read that. But that depends on when I finish my current books as I have a buddy read due to start soon for Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence.



Have you read any of these? And what did you think?

Monday, 15 September 2014

Mailbox Monday (10)

Mailbox Monday is a book meme which is hosted by Marcia at Mailbox Monday blog.

In this post, you can see which books I have bought, received for review, or borrowed this past week.

I've been trying desperately not to buy any books this week but a few managed to sneak their way on to my kindle. Here is what made it in to my house:

Personal Purchases:


Mitosis is a pre-order which isn't released until November so it's not technically made it in to my house yet.

Library Books Borrowed:

Have you read any of these? If so, what did you think? If not, do any of them take your fancy?

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Review: Shift by Hugh Howey

In a future less than fifty years away, the world is still as we know it. Time continues to tick by. The truth is that it is ticking away.

A powerful few know what lies ahead.

They are setting us on a path from which we can never return.

A path that will lead to destruction; that will take us below ground.

The history of the silo is about to be written.

Our future is about to begin.
This is the second book of the Silo series although it is a prequel to the first book, Wool Omnibus. I loved Wool because it was different – I love dystopian stories but the ones published in the last few years have been marketed more as YA so it was nice to find a series of books which were targeted for adults. Wool was suspenseful and I couldn't stop reading.

Shift is quite different. It was still good though and was an integral part of the overall Silo story. It just lacked the suspense that Wool had. It was still a page turner though - it was good to see how the dystopian world came about, who was responsible and why the silos were arranged and ran like they were.

Because it's a prequel, the vast majority of the characters were new. We only became reacquainted with some of the ones in Wool in the last half of Shift when the time period progressed towards that of Wool events.

Even though it's a prequel, I would say it is necessary to read the books in published order because if you were to read Shift first, I think some of the plot twists in Wool would be ruined for you.

Howey doesn't describe the characters that much in this series – not how they look anyway so it is left to the reader to conjure up an image of what they look like. Their personalities are explained as well as what their beliefs and views are on the goings on in the silo. The characters are an important part of the story as in any story but it's as if Howey has made the silos out to be the main characters – they are described in more detail which has given me a real sense of what it must be like living within the confines of them. I like this unusual approach.

I thought the ending was rather abrupt but that was more because my kindle was tricking me, saying I had some more pages left to go but they ended up being book group questions!

It set things up nicely for the next book, Dust, which I have already purchased and look forward to reading. I'm excited to find out what happens next.

Shift: View on Amazon || View on Goodreads

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

WWW Wednesday (5)

The book meme WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading.

The aim of WWW Wednesday is to answer the following three questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading Memoirs of a Geisha by Andrew Golden. It has been on my physical bookshelf for years but I have kept putting it off for some reason. Then this month, in a group I'm in on Goodreads, we were paired up with someone who would choose a book for us to read from our To Be Read shelf. And this book was chosen for me! I am so pleased with the choice too. I can't believe I have waited so long to read it. It is beautifully written, very interesting and the characters are well developed.

I am also reading Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde for a group read and I am thoroughly enjoying it. Very humorous, extremely well written and the world is expertly crafted. This is my first book by Fforde and it won't be the last! Check out the book's intro.

I am also listening to Stephen Fry narrating Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K Rowling. it is my first read through of this series. I've seen most of the films except this one it would seem. I knew there was one that got away! I hope Stephen Fry narrates the whole series as he has the perfect voice for it. I'm enjoying it so far.



What did you recently finish reading?
I finished Shift by Hugh Howey which is the second book in his dystopian silo series. Because this one was a prequel, there was a new cast of characters - towards the end there was some overlap as the story brought us up to present day with the first book. It was a great book and set things up nicely for the series finale, Dust. I will post the review imminently.

I also finished Spell Bound by Kelley Armstrong which is the 12th book in her Women of the Otherworld series. Just one more book to go now although there are a couple books of short stories too which I might check out afterwards. Sometimes when I finish a series it's almost like I mourn it because I've enjoyed it so much, while others I can't wait to finish even though I've had fun reading all the books. With this series, I am feeling the latter - not because the series is bad - far from it. I have loved every moment of it but I'd like to finish it and move on to another series now.

What do you think you’ll read next?
A difficult question! I'm undecided. I have read all the books I "need" to read this month, except Prince of Thorns but I am reading that for a buddy read towards the end of the month. So in the meantime, I can just read some books "just because". I'd like to work through the unread books on my actual book shelf so that once read, I can put them in the box to be "carbooted" to clear some space. So that narrows it down somewhat. So I'm thinking either Made to be Broken by Kelley Armstrong, Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice, The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson or Drawing of the Three by Stephen King. I had wanted to save all my spooky books for October so that I can read nothing but spooky but I think I'll still be able to do that even if I go with one now as well.



Have you read any of these? And what did you think?

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Tuesday Intro & Teaser: Shades of Grey

First Paragraph - First Chapter - Tuesday Intro is hosted by Bibliophile By the Sea. So for this book meme, I just have to post the first paragraph of the first chapter of either a book I am currently reading or about to start.

I'm going to be focusing on a book which I have already started reading - Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde. Not to be confused with 50 Shades of Grey! It is a VERY different book indeed! This is my first Jasper Fforde book and I am really enjoying the satirical humour and the world he has created. He has an amazing imagination and is a real wordsmith.

"It began with my father not wanting to see the Last Rabbit, and ended up with me being eaten by a carnivorous plant. It wasn't really what I'd planned for myself. I'd hoped to marry into the Oxbloods and join their dynastic string empire. But that was four days ago, before I'd met Jane, retrieved the Caravaggio or explored High Saffron. So instead of enjoying aspirations of Chromatic advancement, I was wholly immersed within the digestive soup of a yateveo tree. It was all frightfully inconvenient."
Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by Miz B of Should Be Reading. So for this book meme, I have to randomly turn to a page (or two) and choose a sentence to post here to tease you all with. I'm combining the two book memes and using the same book for both.

My teasers:
"Colourising gardens was a complex task that involved matching the osmotic coefficients of the different plants with the specific gravity of the dyes - and that was before you got started on pressure density evaporation rates and seasonal hue variation". ~pg 12
"There was a fear - enthusiastically stoked by other Chromaticologists, I believe - that if you annoyed a Swatchman they'd flash you a peek of 332-26-85, which dropped an instantaneous haemorrhoid". ~pg 35


Shades of Grey: View on Amazon || View on Goodreads

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Monday, 8 September 2014

Mailbox Monday (9)

Mailbox Monday is a book meme which is hosted by Marcia at Mailbox Monday blog.

In this post, you can see which books I have bought, received for review, or borrowed this past week.

This has been an exciting week for books as I won one! And I also got hold of a book through NetGalley which I have been really looking forward to. That always cheers me up! Here is what made it in to my house:

Personal Purchases:

Free Books

I received The Lost Empress through NetGalley. It's part of a series about a Genealogist who solves mysteries and I have thoroughly enjoyed the other books in the series. I was really excited about this book and it is due out around my birthday so I was going to treat myself to it but then I saw it on NetGalley and now I can spend my pennies on another book instead.

The Magician's Lie I also received through NetGalley - it said it was for fans of Water for Elephants and The Night Circus, both of which I really liked. And the most exciting thing of all...I won Acceptance on Goodreads. It is the third book in the Southern Reach Trilogy. So I HAD to buy book two, Authority (see above), so I could carry on with the series.

Library Books Borrowed:

Have you read any of these? If so, what did you think? If not, do any of them take your fancy?

Friday, 5 September 2014

Review: Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.

This is the twelfth expedition.

Their group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain and collect specimens; to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another; and, above all, to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.

They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding—but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them, and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another, that change everything.
Reading Format: Kindle eBook
Year Read: 2014
Star Rating: 3.5 stars

This is the first book by Jeff VanderMeer that I have read. He has been on my radar for a while though as his books have kept popping up as recommendations on Goodreads and Amazon.

Annihilation is the first book in the Southern Reach trilogy, all books being released in 2014. This first book is pretty short (approx. 200 pages). Personally, I think I'd have preferred one chunky book rather than three short books - I have thought this on several occasions with series which consists of lots of short books. The next two books in the series are much longer though so I can kind of see why it's been done like this. Also there's a growing trend of releasing sections of books a little like TV episodes of a series - another book series like that which springs to mind is the Wool series by Hugh Howey.

Back to this book! A team of four women are chosen to enter Area X, where many teams of scientists have gone before them, most of which didn't come back or came back changed in some way. So from the outset you know things aren't going to end well!

I enjoyed the book and I read it quickly and I wanted to find out more but it was lacking but I'm not sure why. I thought the ending was a little vague but that's because there are more books to come.

I wrote the review above shortly after I read the book (back in June 2014) but since then, it has grown on me and I think I would probably rate it higher now as I look back on it with fondness! It was a strange little book.

I recently entered a competition on Goodreads to win the third installment, Acceptance, and I WON!!!! I was so excited! So I bought book two, Authority, so that I can continue on with the story. When my prize book arrived, I noticed that Stephen King, one of my favourite authors, had blurbed the book stating that he had enjoyed the whole Southern Reach trilogy and that it was creepy and fascinating. Now I'm even more excited to get back to the series, especially as I have heard some very good reviews about the third book finale!

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

WWW Wednesday (4)

The book meme WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading.

The aim of WWW Wednesday is to answer the following three questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?
I am not far off finishing Shift by Hugh Howey which is the second book in the Wool Series. While it's the second book, it is actually a prequel which I think upsets the overall series flow. It is very interesting to read about how the apocalypse came about and what happened in those early years but there is definitely less suspense (and surprises) compared to the first book. I'm still enjoying it though and I have the final book, Dust, already loaded on my kindle.

What did you recently finish reading?
Last night I finished reading Rose of Sarajevo by Ay┼če Kulin for a buddy read plus I needed to review it for NetGalley. At the beginning, I wasn't sure whether the author knew whether she wanted to write a history book or a novel. It was heavy on the politics and history which I found very interesting but I didn't find that it weaved smoothly into the fictional story line. The second half of the book flowed better and was more focused on story of the main characters. I have learnt a lot about the Yugoslavian war though which was one of the main reasons I wanted to read the book.

I finished Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn which was an amazing read. I'm very sad now though as I have read all of Flynn's books and have to wait ages now for her next one! Flynn's books seem to be either love it or hate it mainly because she focuses on the darker side of life. I love that kind of thing as I think it is more real than a book which is all happily ever after.


What do you think you’ll read next?
Next up is Spell Bound by Kelley Armonstrong, which is the 12th book in The Women of the Otherworld series. I've thoroughly enjoyed the series but I'm kind of glad that it's coming to an end soon (just one more book to read after this one).

Have you read any of these?

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Tuesday Intro & Teasers: Spell Bound

First Paragraph - First Chapter - Tuesday Intro is hosted by Bibliophile By the Sea. So for this book meme, I just have to post the first paragraph of the first chapter of either a book I am currently reading or about to start.

I'm going to be focusing on a book which I am planning to start soon - Spell Bound by Kelley Armstrong. It is book 12 in The Women of the Otherworld series. I am so close to finishing the series - one more book after this one which is aptly titled 13!

"He watched a girl stumble from the motel office, room key glinting under the harsh lights of the parking lot. Lightning flashed, illuminating her figure. Tall and slender, barely more than a teen, too young to be out alone in a place like this, on a night like this.

Thunder rumbled and crashed. The parking lot lights flickered and buzzed. Sheets of ice-cold rain battered the girl. She kept walking, oblivious, as her long hair whipped against her face.

She paid no attention to the storm. No attention to the dark. No attention to him, standing across the road, watching."
Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by Miz B of Should Be Reading. So for this book meme, I have to randomly turn to a page (or two) and choose a sentence to post here to tease you all with. I'm combining the two book memes and using the same book for both.

My teasers:
"He can summon just about any demon you care to deal with. And for the right price, he will." ~ g 61
"When I called Paige back after that ordeal, she said they'd send someone to take Roni to a safe house." ~ pg 133
Spell Bound: View on Amazon || View on Goodreads

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Monday, 1 September 2014

Mailbox Monday (8)

Mailbox Monday is a book meme which is hosted by Marcia at Mailbox Monday blog.

Basically, we have to make a post featuring the books which we bought, received for review, or loaned this past week.

For a while I thought I wasn't going to have anything to report in this week's Mailbox Monday but a Kindle Daily Deal and a NetGalley request came through at the last minute! Here is what made it in to my house:

Personal Purchases:


I haven't read any books by McCammon before but a lot of my friends on Goodreads rave about him and he is recommended by Stephen King so I think I will like him. Unfortunately all of his books are really long and have generally been quite expensive which has put me off buying them but this one appeared on a Kindle Daily Deal for £1.29 this week and I thought it was too good to miss out on. I might allocate it as my Halloween read!

Swan Song: View on Amazon || View on Goodreads

Books for Review on NetGalley:


Everything I Never Told You: View on Amazon || View on Goodreads

Have you read any of these? If so, what did you think? If not, do any of them take your fancy?