Book Recommendations, Booksish Discussions

Books Featuring Cats in the Story – National Cat Day

Today is National Cat Day and if you know me then you know how much I love my cat, Sherlock. So here is a post dedicated to that diva and some of my favourite books with cats in the story. I always love seeing cats in stories they often become some of my favourite aspects of the story.

If you are like me and love seeing cats in the story then here are some recommendations:

Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes – A found family, space heists and psychic space cats!

The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa – A beautiful story of a journey between a man and his cat.

The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare – Jem adopts Church the cat and he appears in several of the series.

If Cats Disappeared From the World Genki Kawamura – This was an interesting story with lots to think about.

The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan – While Bast is technically an Egyptian God she takes the form of a cat and is the guardian of the MCs.

The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty – Technically Mishmish is a Shedu but he’s basically a bif cat wings so it counts, right?

Diana and the Island of No Return by Aisha Saeed – Diana’s best friend, Sakina has a snow leopard which in my opinion counts as a cat.

Jinxed by Amy McCulloch – A book where the MC has a baku which is essentially a AI in the form of a cat. Sassy and clever I loved him.

Moonchild by Aisha Bushby – A MG Arabian Nights retelling with a jinn companion who takes the form of a cat

Do tell me what books you loved with cats in the stories! I’m always looking for more recommendations!

Booksish Discussions, Muslim Shelf Space, The Daevabad Trilogy

Daevabad Characters as Cats

Here is my regular reminder to read The Daevabad trilogy S.A. Chakraborty! It is a trilogy that has become my favourite books of all time and I just cannot get enough of these books and characters.

This post is basically full of cute cat photos which I thought reminded me of each character in the first two books as I don’t want to spoil anyone for the last book.

So here are Daevabad characters as cats!

Nahri: This is the look of a girl who has just conned an arrogant man.

Ali: A little startled but trying his best to look presentable

Muntadhir: Always looking his best

Zaynab: A smart incredible woman who looks amazing no matter what she does

Jamshid: His most defining feature is of course his moustache (couldn’t resist using Sherlock with a moustache for this)

Dara: Looking like his intimidating self here

Lubayd: Just look at his cute self complete in a turban

Aqisa: Looking fierce as always!

Hatset: Looking beautiful and regal complete with a crown

Ghassan: No one mess with him, he will hurt you!

Manizheh: Looking fierce and intimidating as usual

So there we have it, some of the Daevabad characters as cats! I had so much fun looking through all the cat photos to find these! I hope you enjoy the post!

PS. I have lots more Daevabad content which you can find all over on my Daevabad trilogy section

Adult Books, Diverse Books

Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes – ARC Review

This book had me at psychic cats! Once I started reading I was completely and entirely hooked! Also can we take a moment to appreciate this book cover because it has become one of my favourite covers ever! Complete with space cats!

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Rating: 4.5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Captain Eva Innocente and the crew of La Sirena Negra cruise the galaxy delivering small cargo for even smaller profits. When her sister Mari is kidnapped by The Fridge, a shadowy syndicate that holds people hostage in cryostasis, Eva must undergo a series of unpleasant, dangerous missions to pay the ransom.
But Eva may lose her mind before she can raise the money. The ship’s hold is full of psychic cats, an amorous fish-faced emperor wants her dead after she rejects his advances, and her sweet engineer is giving her a pesky case of feelings. The worse things get, the more she lies, raising suspicions and testing her loyalty to her found family.
To free her sister, Eva will risk everything: her crew, her ship, and the life she’s built on the ashes of her past misdeeds. But when the dominoes start to fall and she finds the real threat is greater than she imagined, she must decide whether to play it cool or burn it all down.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading this but it was amazing and took me on a wild ride! This book is fast paced and action packed and every time I thought I had figured things out, I was hit with a plot twist that had me reeling and I loved every second of it!

This book has a wonderfully diverse cast who are all so different from each other yet they work so well together and have become family. I loved how they looked out for each other and protected and supported each other. They each have their own flaws and baggage but are there for each other and help them through it.

The main character, Eva, is a wonderful character who I immediately fell in love with. She isn’t perfect and has a lot of baggage which still haunts her but we see her go through some really great character development. She is sassy and sarcastic and doesn’t tolerate any crap from anyone, though it does get her in trouble at times. She is also bilingual and unapologetically Latinx. I loved how her culture was an important part of her life and how she switched from Spanish to English mid-sentence. Especially as I also switch between Urdu and English regularly when I talk.

Eva already has a lot on her plate, from dealing with her sister being kidnapped and her having to work for a crime syndicate to get her back and on top of that she ends up insulting an alien called Glorious, who is the living embodiment of toxic masculinity and male privilege. It’s something that’s really relatable and made me angry on Eva’s behalf because she was blamed for the mess and there is no consequences for him.

This book has such great world building and takes us to all the far corners of space and it was so great to see different places as it showed how vast the world is. We get to see so much from psychic cats to mind controlling parasites and all the aliens! I had total Firefly vibes reading this and I just loved it so much, from the space drama to family bond and so much more!

I also loved the plot twists, which I did not see coming and left me mind blown! The story itself takes place over a longer period than I thought it would too so that made it even more interesting to see where the story would take us next. One of the things I loved in this book was the chapter titles. I know it doesn’t affect the story but they did make me giggle! The whole story is hilarious, I constantly had a grin on my face reading the book.

This book is a great debut and I am so looking forward to seeing where Eva and her crew go next especially there’s unresolved things at the end of the book. Also I would like to just put it out there that I would love to see more psychic cats, even a whole book about them. Please and thank you.

Monthly Wrap Up

My Favourite Books of 2018

This year is already over and I simultaneously feel like it has been 2018 forever and that it’s over in a blink. I have had some tough times this year with my health but I am so glad I had some amazing books to get me through. I have discovered some amazing new series and am sad to see some series end. I have met some amazing bookish people through our shared love of books and spent far too long fangirling about these books!

Before I begin, let me just tell you this, you all need to go read these books! These books are all five star reads so they are my absolute favourites of the year!

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So firstly my top ten reads are:

1 The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty – YOU ALL NEED TO GO READ THIS BOOK. I’m currently rereading it for the fourth time this year and I just cannot get enough of this book. The world building, the characters, the plot twists. It is PERFECTION. If you want to know more you read my review here

2 Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin – this book has only released in Canada and won’t be out in the UK until March 2019 but I had no patience and just had to order it! It’s a modern pride and prejudice retelling with Muslim characters and it is glorious! I adored this book so much and I still get all happy thinking about it! You can read my review here

3 The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeyneb Joukhadar – wow this is a beautiful book. It’s heart breaking and heart warming and I just loved the way it was written and I felt so immersed in the story. It also deals with such a relevant issue of refugees. You can read my review here

4 Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton – what a wonderful final book in a trilogy! Although it was heartbreaking at times the ending of the book was one of the best endings I have read. Everyone needs to read this trilogy!

5 Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart – I read this book in one sitting. I could not put it down and oh wow what an epic cliffhanger! I cannot wait for book two! You can read my review here

6 Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk – This was an unexpected five star read! I received this in an Illumicrate box and I’m so glad I did as I otherwise may not have ever read this wonderful book! If you enjoy historical fiction I highly recommend it!

7 Everless by Sara Holland – I had heard so much about this and it definitely lived up to expectations. I cannot wait to read Evermore!

8 The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccerelli – This book has dragons! So of course I had to read this and wow did I love it or what! This was another book I read in one sitting!

9 The Extinction Trials by S.M. Wilson – The Hunger Games meets Jurassic Park! Fast paced and keeps your heart racing. I am so looking forward to the final book in this trilogy!

10 The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa – I read this back in January and I still tear up thinking about it. It is a must read for all cat lovers. I just adore the relationship shown between the cat and his owner.

So these are my top ten favourites, but of course I can’t just share these as there’s so many more that deserve to be mentioned here too! So these are my other five star reads and still among my favourites of 2018

11 I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan – I really enjoyed reading this book. It’s a topic not often discussed but still needs to be addressed and I think he did really well.

12 Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed – A young girl fighting for the right to study. Something I am hugely passionate about so this book had me bawling! You can read my review here

13 Jinxed by Amy McCulloch – I was not expecting to love this book as much as I did. I’m a sucker for books with cats and this blend of sci-fi and reality was so good! You can read my review here

14 The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson – Well now I know what the hype is about! I really loved this book. The world building was phenomenal and I cannot wait to continue this trilogy

15 The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan – Of course a Rick Riordan book would be amongst my favourites! This one was particularly devastating and I just need my favourites to be safe!

16 Are we all Lemmings and Snowflakes by Holly Bourne – This book had such amazing mental health rep! You can read my review here

17 Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh – I loved this book as much as the first and I’m sad there won’t be more in this world. You can read my review here

18 The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell – A heist through time?! I so needed to read this book and I loved it! I loved the characters and the time it was set in. So looking forward to reading the next book. You can read my review here

19 Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas – Even though I’m not a Rowaelin fan I still loved the book as I’ve been part of this world for so long and now I’m sad I won’t get more of my faves Chaol, Dorian and Manon

20 OtherEarth by Jason Segal and Kirsten Miller – I’m not a gamer so I was pleasantly surprised by how much I love this series! The ending of this left me reeling! I so need the last book already! You can read my review here

So these are my top twenty favourite books of the year! Are any of these your favourites? What books made it to your top ten? Or did you not like any of these books? Let me know!

Unboxings

Illumicrate Unboxing – Clever Ruse November Box

Hey booknerds! I have an unboxing for you today! This is the Illumicrate November box and the theme was Clever Ruse. As usual the box was amazing and I loved all the items! Plus this month they included two books as it was their anniversary box! So lets get to the unboxing.

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The first item included was a woodmark inspired by Warcross. I love the design and the quote! The artwork is by @chattynora

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They also included a pin banner inspired by The Night Circus, Caraval and all things Circus! I love that it looks like a circus top! As you can see I have already filled it with all of my pins! It was designed by illumicrate themselves!

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They included some unique items this month and one of them was this drink cosy inspired by To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. I really love the artwork which is designed by @giacatam

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I adore this item that was included, a Throne of Glass inspired necklace. It’s so beautiful and designed by @fableandblack And of course I just had to have my cat, Sherlock, model the necklace for me!

They also included an exclusive edition of Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce. I have heard such great things about this series and this is the perfect excuse to start reading!

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The last thing included is a Mulan inspired scarf which has some beautiful artwork on it. The artwork is by Feifei Ruan. It’s absolutely stunning!

The book included in this months box was Empress of all Seasons by Emiko Jean. This edition has an exclusive cover and sprayed pages. It sounds like such a great story and I’m super excited to read it!

The extras that were included in this months box are a bookmark inspired by The Poppy War and a This Mortal Coil DNA helix

So that’s everything in this months box! I loved everything and I am so excited for the Saints and Scars box and their next quarterly box!