Fiction Books, YA Books

OtherEarth by Jason Segal and Kirsten Miller – Book Review

I really loved Otherworld so when I saw OtherEarth on netgalley I just had to request it and I’m so glad I was approved! Thank you to OneWorld publications and Rock the Boat for providing me with an eARC.

OtherEarth releases on October 30th

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Rating: 4.5/5

Here is the synopsis for OtherEarth from Goodreads:

Simon saved his best friend, Kat, from the clutches of the Company and their high-tech VR gaming experience, Otherworld. But it was at a steep price. Now he, Kat, and their friend Busara are on the run. They know too much. About the Company’s dark secrets. About the real-life consequences of playing Otherworld. And about Kat’s stepfather’s involvement in everything. The group is headed to New Mexico to find Simon’s old roommate, who is a tech genius and possibly the only person who can help them reveal the truth about the Company before it’s too late and the line between what’s real and what’s fantasy is erased . . . forever.
Imagine a future in which you can leave reality behind and give in to your greatest desires. That future is now. And the future is terrifying.

So OtherEarth picks up right where OtherWorld ended and although it had been a while since I had read OtherWorld and was worried I wouldn’t remember what happened but as I started reading everything came rushing back to me. Like OtherWorld, this book was also fast paced and even more action packed and I loved it!

This book was intense and once I started reading I could not put it down and was reading well into the night. It’s full of intrigue and the story is even more complex than the first book. We spend a lot more time outside of OtherWorld and get a lot more backstory about the company and how and why OtherWorld was created. But we are left with even more questions too! I just wanted to keep reading to find all the answers.

I just have to say that the technology and the game that has been described in these books are absolutely terrifying and I am so glad that this technology does not actually exist and hope it never does! Even though it was made with good intentions, it never ceases to amaze me how inhumane humans can be. Like the first book, there were players who hunted the beings created in the game for sport. As a result of the technology they are actually sentient beings yet they were hunted and killed in horrifying ways. I’m so glad this side of gaming was discussed in books as it’s something I feel strongly about but I feel like it’s not something that is generally discussed.

I really liked Simon a lot more in this book than I did in OtherWorld. He was a lot more fleshed out and complex and generally more likeable. I also loved his relationship with Kat, they were adorable! Kat was a really great character and I do wish we could have seen more of her.

I also loved the addition of Simon’s friend, Elvis. He was fun and sassy but also kind and caring and smart. I’m looking forward to seeing more of him in the next book. The only person I still can’t decide what to think of is Busara. She is secretive and mysterious and I couldn’t figure out what she was hiding. I hope we learn more about her in the next book. Also that ending made me even more curious to know more about her.

I’m also intrigued by Simon’s hallucinations. Are they a form of PTSD? What is real? What’s his hallucinations? Especially that ending left me reeling and shocked and even more confused as to what Simon was seeing and what was real or not real! I won’t say anymore because I don’t want to spoil anyone but oh my god, I was not expecting that ending at all and I just desperately need the next book because I need all the answers!

I highly recommend reading this book especially if you enjoy gaming or sci-fi books. I’m not even a gamer and I loved it!

Let me know if you’ve read the book and what you thought!

Fiction Books, YA Books

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E Pearson – Book Review

This book was a gift by my lovely friend Aaliyah who I met through bookstagram. She raves about it all the time and so I went into this book with high expectations and it did not disappoint! I really loved this book and I cannot wait to continue with the series.

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Rating: 4/5

If you don’t know what this book is about then here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

A princess must find her place in a reborn world.
She flees on her wedding day.
She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor’s secret collection.
She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.
She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.
The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can’t abide. Like having to marry someone she’s never met to secure a political alliance.
Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.

One of the main reasons why I had put off reading it for so long was because I could see an obvious love triangle and I’m not a fan of them but this is not your average love triangle and had such an interesting twist that I just couldn’t stop reading once I had started!

We are told that Lia runs away on her wedding day and ends up spending time with both the prince she was supposed to marry and an assassin sent to kill her. But we don’t find out which is which until well over halfway through the book! I spent half the book thinking that I’m just going to read just one more chapter just so I could continue trying to figure out who is the assassin and who is the prince. Who do I like more? Which team am I on? For the record I’m team Rafe! What is even more interesting is that the story is told through all three points of view so we can see what each one of them is thinking but it still left me guessing who was who.

I really loved the writing style too, it flows really well and it kept me hooked from the first page. I mean even the first sentence had me intrigued and wanting to instantly know more. The way that the characters identities were kept secret from us until it was revealed later in the books was done really well too.

Today was the day a thousand dreams would die and a single dream would be born

I loved that all the characters were complex and each had their own secrets which made them mysterious and interesting. Even the secondary characters had backstories that we slowly learn small details throughout the story and I’m really looking forward to learning more about all of them.

Lia is a really great character, she lives in a patriarchal society and is given no choice in her own future so she decides to take her future in her own hands. She is brave and smart and is so resilient despite everything that gets thrown at her. She’s also incredibly loyal and caring especially to her friends and brothers. She also knows that despite what she wants she has responsibilities and she doesn’t hesitate to fulfil them. She is also witty and sassy and I just loved how she stood up for herself and didn’t allow anyone to speak down to her.

Who was this girl who thumbed her nose at two kingdoms and did as she pleased?

Both Rafe and Kadan are mostly a mystery, we do learn a little about them but I think we will find out a lot more in the next book. I’m also looking forward to seeing more of Pauline who is an amazing, loyal and brave friend to Lia and more of Gwyneth who I know has a lot of secrets.

Pauline is such a wonderful character, she is brave and strong and so resilient. She leaves everything behind to help Lia escape and then risks her life to help Lia by going back to Morrighan, knowing she could be killed for helping Lia escape. She also has to deal with hardships and perseveres even when she thinks she can’t go on. Her friendship with Lia is just so beautiful,, I love seeing truly amazing female friendships in books instead of women hating each other. They truly care for each other and make sacrifices on each other’s behalf. I hope we get to see more of them together in the next book.

Maybe there was no one way to define it. Maybe there were as many shades of love as the blues of the sky

This book was such a wonderful surprise and I’m so glad I read it. It’s a story of friendship, of self-discovery, of living life on your own terms and adventure. It’s full of people who for one reason or another hide who they are and deceive those around them. The second half of the book is a little slow for me at times but the story was still so interesting and full of plot twists I wasn’t expecting that I still wanted to continue reading. Really looking forward to what will happen next in the next book.

Adult Books, Fiction Books

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon – Book Review

I reread this book as part of a readalong that I took part in over on Instagram. And I loved it even more reading it the second time around! I am so looking forward to continuing this series with the next readalong!

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Rating: 5/5

So if you don’t know this is book two in The Bone Season series. The first three books have been released and book four is set to release in 2020 currently.

If you don’t know what The Mime Order is about here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal prison camp of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the survivors are missing and she is the most wanted person in London…
As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on the dreamwalker, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city’s gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take centre stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner.
Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided.

This book is freaking amazing! Samantha has created this intricate, complex world complete with an alternate history of England. There is a slow build up with an explosive ending and it was done so well! It allows us to slowly put the pieces of the mystery together from the information we are given as the plot progresses but still leaves us shocked by the end.

I think main weakness of the first book, The Bone Season, is that due to how intricate the world is there was a lot of information thrown at us and that can feel a bit overwhelming but in this book we are already familiar with the world so we can enjoy it more.

The syndicate was so interesting to read about from it’s power dynamics and how there are specific social conventions even within an underground criminal organisation. There is a lot of politics involved and Paige has to navigate it all. The way it’s set up and how the flaws in the syndicate is what leads to the ending.

Paige is a wonderful character! She is brave, resilient, driven and will stand up and fight for justice no matter where that person is in the hierarchy of the syndicate. She’s smart and learns to play the long game to be able to make any changes in how the syndicate is run. Her character development is so great as she does make mistakes and she learns from them. She has flaws and sometimes has to do resort to killing people to be able to save others but it doesn’t come easy for her and she doesn’t take pride in it like others.

Warden is the Rephaim who helped Paige in the first book yet we still know very little about him, he’s dark and mysterious but I hope that we will learn more in later books! The Rephaim in general are mysterious and we know very little about them and what we do know is quite scary!

I know this is probably an unpopular opinion but I am not a fan of the Paige and Warden ship. I just don’t see them together but I know there’s lots who do!

Another interesting character is Jaxon Hall who is essentially Paige’s boss. He is another mysterious and complex character and we learn very little about him. He has interesting power dynamic with Paige who does stand up to him, unlike the others who work for him. I am so looking forward to seeing more of him!

Nick and Eliza also work for Jaxon and they are also friends with Paige. I love how throughout this book they develop a closer relationship. They support and protect each other and I especially love Nick’s and Paige’s relationship!

The build up at the end of the book was done perfectly! It was intense and kept me on the edge of my seat. The fight at the end with Paige having developed her powers throughout the book was amazing to read and then not only are there plot twists then we also get another huge plot twist right on the very last page! It will be a huge game changer in the story and what will happen in the next book and I am so looking forward to being back in this world soon!

I highly recommend you read this series, it’s such a unique dystopian book with an amazing story and great characters.

Unboxings

Fairyloot Unboxing – September Starcrossed Swoons Box

Hey booknerds! It’s time for another unboxing! This is the Fairyloot Starcrossed Lovers September box. I was so excited for this box as I had a pretty good idea about what book would be included and it’s a book I had read and fallen completely in love with. Plus the other items were from some of y favourite fandoms!

So lets get to the unboxing!

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The first thing that was included in this box is a Bella and Edward candle by Nerd Poured Candles. It has lovely scent of apples, pine and cedarwood.

They also included a really unique item that is also really useful! This is a Strange the Dreamer inspired apron! It was designed by Literary Life Co. It’s so pretty I almost don’t want to use it!

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The next thing they included was another unique item which was ACOTAR inspired shoelaces! It was designed by Fictiontea Designs and has all the courts on them.

They included a beautiful constellation notebook with a quote from The Star Touched Queen. This was designed by Read At Midnight.

They also included a set of postcards each featuring starcrossed lovers from different fandoms! There was Julian and Emma from The Dark Artifices, Rhysand and Feyre from ACOTAR and Cassian and Nesta also from ACOTAR. They also included Amar and Maya from The Star Touched Queen and Lazlo and Saarai from Strange the Dreamer. The amazing artwork is by Taratjah.

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The last thing included was a love rune enamel pin and an angelic fire runes candle matches both designed by Fictiontea Designs. I love them both!

The book that was included this month was Mirage by Somaiya Daud. I read an arc of this book and loved it so I’m so happy to have this edition with an exclusive cover with purple sprayed pages. They also included an author letter and artwork of the main characters by Gabriella Bujdoso.

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The extras included this month was a sampler of Queen of Air and Darkness, Tempests and Slaughter bookmark and a Muse of Nightmares postcard.

I adored everything in this box and I’m really looking forward to getting the October box!

Adult Books, Fiction Books

Vicious by V.E. Schwab – Book Review

I originally read Vicious a few years ago so I wanted to reread it before Vengeful released. And it was just as amazing as I remembered it to be!

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Rating: 5/5

If you don’t know what Vicious is about then you can read the synopsis from goodreads here:

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.
Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the arch nemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

This book is a wonderfully dark story filled with morally grey characters. It deals with the complexities of what a hero and villain is. Both Eli and Victor are complex, dark and very arrogant. They always know how to be in front of people but inside are something else altogether.

The first chapter shows Victor with Sydney digging up someone’s grave. It is such an interesting way of opening a book because it makes you instantly curious and want to know why he is doing that. We then are taken back ten years to when Victor was at university and each chapter goes forward and back in time through which we are slowly given the information to understand the full story. It built up the suspense and made me want to read one more chapter to see the big picture.

Victor Vale is one of my favourite characters and our anti-hero, he is arrogant, ridiculously smart and petty and is hell bent on seeking revenge but he still cares for those he works with, especially Sydney. The way he is with Sydney is just adorable! He does use her for his own advantage but still tries to protect her when it’s possible. I was totally rooting for him throughout the book.

Eli was his own brand of crazy, he has a god complex and feels that what he does is truly the right thing to do. I just couldn’t relate to him at all. He was a sociopath, even when his girlfriend died he didn’t feel anything, just used it to his advantage.

Sydney and Serena’s relationship was so tragic. You could see how close they were before they became EO’s and that path led them down a destructive road and they ended up on opposites. It was heart breaking watching their relationship devolve and I truly felt so bad for Sydney.

Sydney is a child and is pulled into this because of Serena and she’s innocent but at the same time it was scary how well she adjusted to Victor’s plans and didn’t seem fazed or scared by it.

Vicious is an addictive, fast paced read and if you love anti-heroes with an element of sci-fi then I know you will love this book!