Illuminae Book Review

Title: Illuminae

Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Series: The Illuminae Files

Published by: Knopf

Genre: YA/Science Fiction

Pages: 608

Format: Paperback

Sources: Goodreads

illunimae-coverSummary

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more, Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Review

What can I say. This book is nothing like I have ever read before. Its far from ordinary. For me this was certainly a new reading experience. To start with the genre is sci-fi, which is a theme I don’t normally go for. The hype that was built up about this book though, drew my attention in and I had to go grab a copy. The main thing about this book that’s like no other is the style and format. Its not your typical narration at all. Its written in a series of case files from a variety of characters in the book. The book is on the large side but as soon as you open up the book you are immediately immersed in the world of Kady and Ezra (the books two main characters). This is not a book you just sit down to read. It is a book that draws you in and allows you to use all your senses, giving the illusion that you are actually standing right there witnessing everything happen around you.

The plot follows out two main characters Kady and Ezra. Their planet is attacked which leads to the both of them fleeing aboard three rescue ships, Alexander, Hypatia ad Corpernicus. These ships are controlled by an onboard computer system known as Aiden or AI. These ships end up being persued by the corporation that destroyed Kadys home planet of Kerenza. Aiden ends up going a little bit crazy (I dont want to say too much to avoid any spoilers). Kady and Ezra don’t make it onto the same ship and so have to communicate via the online system. Kady is very strong willed and is an amazing hacker. She doesn’t just sit back and enjoy the ride, she is determined to find out what happened to her planet….even if it means risking life or death. Ezra her ex boyfriend is perhaps not as fiery as Kady but still has his own charm and determination in helping Kady. Without these two I don’t think the plot would have worked as well. As a reader you really become involved with them both and fully support them throughout the novel.

The structure of the novel works really well in allowing us to get to know a whole host of other characters. This works well as you get a really sense of the ships being full of evacuees along with all the normal staff that are working hard to try and save themselves from the fast approaching destroyer ship.

To conclude this is a book you will not want to put down. I managed to completed it in a few days. The style takes some getting used to but once you become accustomed to it you’ll really enjoy it. As a reader of this, I became fully engrossed in the story of Kady and Ezra. I was constantly willing for them to succeed. This book has definitely converted me to the genre of sci-fi and I will certainly be reading the next book. I’m also looking forward to the fact that there is a third book on the way too later this year. This is a book I would recommend to anyone. I think a wide range of people would enjoy Illuminae.

I’m giving it 5 bookworms out of 5.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: the orginal screenplay

Title: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Author: J K Rowling

Series: Book 1 of 5

Published by: Little Brown

Genre: Fantasy, Magic

Pages: 304

Format: Hardback

Sources: Goodreads

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Summary

When Magizoologist Newt Scamander arrives in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when his magical case is misplaced and some of Newt’s fantastic beasts escape, it spells trouble for everyone…

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, author of the beloved and internationally bestselling Harry Potter books. Featuring a cast of remarkable characters, this is epic, adventure-packed storytelling at its very best.

Whether an existing fan or new to the wizarding world, this is a perfect addition to any reader’s bookshelf

My Review

As soon as this book was released I immediately went out to pick up a copy. I must admit I was a little disappointed that it was written in the screenplay format again (as someone that grew up enjoying waiting for the next big fat novel to be released brimming full of detail), I do find that the screenplay doesn’t allow for a lot of detail to be added in. None the less I did enjoy this story more so then the Cursed Child (also written as a screenplay). This book read better then the cursed child and flowed a bit more fluidly.

The story goes back in time to before the original Harry Potter series and stars wizard Newt Scamander. We meet him in 1926 where he arrives in NewYork with a suitcase full of magical creatures from the wizarding world. This whole new time era opens the world to adults even more so then Harry Potter did. The characters are of course older and more sassy in a sense I would say. We have Tina who is determined to find out what Newt is up to when she spots him in the bank. Queenie her sister is described as a typical 1920’s glamourous flapper. Newt himself is a quirky character trying to make his way in New York. They deal with issues that adults deal with. An example would be where Newt meets New Yorker Jacob who is visiting the local bank in order to secure a loan to set up a bakery, only he is downcast and rejected by them. So begins his adventure with Newt. The era for the story compliments the characters well. People are full of hope and life after the First World War. There is a sense of hope and adventure to be had which I think is portrayed well in Newts character. He has journeyed far from his home in order to seek out magical creatures and pursue the writing of his book. Queenie was one of my favourite characters as she seems so full of life and looks for the thrill in everything.

The pace of this book is of course a lot faster then the first Harry Potter novels. Some readers may enjoy this more as it certainly doesn’t leave you time to become bored. Its a nice quick fast read. I completed it in two sittings.

I’m not going to go into any spoilers here as if I did it would basically give away the whole plot and story. If you have read the book I would suggest also watching the film. I didn’t enjoy the film as much as I was hoping I would. To be honest I felt a bit let down by it. This might be partly my fault as I had built up a world in my own head. There is talk that Fantastic Beasts is one in a series of five so I’m hoping there will be books to go along with the up and coming films.

Overall I did enjoy the read but I will always love the old style big novels full of description and detail. The book itself is illustrated beautifully on the front cover and throughout the book. I’m going to give Fantastic Beasts 4 out of 5 bookworms.

As always I would love to hear your views on the book and the film. Which one did you prefer? Who is your favourite character? Please leave a comment down below letting me know. Thank you for dropping in to my little blog and taking a read.

See you soon bookworms,

Sarah

Checking In

Hello bookworms,

Just wanted to check in with you all, as its been a very long time since I last posted on this blog. Wanting to let you all know that I’ve not abandoned this blog and that I will be back to regular posting in the coming weeks. Life has got in the way abit these past few months but I’m now back on track and ready to start blogging again.

Please keep checking back to my blog as I’ve got some reviews coming up of fantastic beasts and where t find them and Illuminae. I will also be posting a February TBR.

Thank you as always to all of you out there that keep reading my blog.

See you all soon

Sarah

August TBR list

Hello Bookworms,

Popping in today with a quick blog post on my TBR list for August. Last month I didnt get chance to read many books at all so this month I’m detemrined to read more. I’ve got a stack of books slowly piling up that need reading and reviewing. I know we’re nearly at the end of the month now but I still wanted to post this list as it will also roll onto my Spetember TBR too. Okay lets get to it.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K.Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany. This is Harry Potteris the eighth book in the Harry Potter series focusing on life nineteen years on from when the last book ended (NOW COMPLETED READING – SEE REVIEW ON IT)

ScarletScarlett by Marissa Meyer. This is the second book in the lunar chronicles and is based on the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas. This is the first novel in the Court of Thorns and Roses series. It follows Feyre, a nineteen year old hunter who finds herself taken captor by the faeires. ACOTAR

Inherited by Freedom Matthews. This was one of the books I DSCN2276received in the July Fairyloot box. It follows the character of Lennie and her quest aboard the pirate ship the Wilted Rose.

Frostblood by Elly Blake. This was the ARC copy I recieived in the July Fairyloot box.It follows the story of Ruby. She is a fireblood stuck in a world ruled by frostbloods who are intent on destroying all that are left of her kind. DSCN2275

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Galbaldon. The second installment in the popular Outlander series. I’m dying to read this book and find out what Dragonfly in Amberhappens to Claire and Jamie.

 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Book Review

Evening Bookworms,

I’m back with another review, this time its the long anticipated eighth Harry Potter book. As soon as this was released on 31st July, I made sure I rushed out that morning and picked up my copy. I started reading it straight away and finished it within three days. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. My review does contain some spoliers later on but I will indicate further down when these are coming up. As always I love hearing from you all, o please leave me a comment on what you thought of the book. Happy Reading x

Summary 

Harry Potter

This is the special rehearsal edition.

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

My Thoughts

As an avid Harry Potter fan since the age of eleven, I was so excited to hear that an eighth book was going to be released. I loved reading the other seven books and couldn’t wait to get stuck into the latest edition. As with the other books, there was of course a huge build up and hype about the forthcoming release. There were Harry Potter parties at the book launches, midnight release times and various Harry Potter related book tags across YouTube and the blogging world. Old fans wanted to delve back into the magical world and rejoin their faithful friends now that they were older. We all wanted to experience the magic of Harry Potter once again and this book certainly did not disappoint. I’ve read on some blogs that people didn’t enjoy the book, but I for one can say that I thoroughly enjoyed this new adventure.

The main difference with this novel was the format. Unlike the other seven Harry Potter books, this one was written in the form of a stage play. The read is much faster then the other books which does mean that the action happens quicker and there is less time for a build up to the point of action. Some readers may not like this as with the other books, there was plenty of detail and build up to be had. I found that once I got used t the style, it didn’t bother me at all or affect my read of the book.

If you have not yet read the book then I would stop reading here as there will be some spoilers in the next few paragraphs. If however you have finished reading the book then please continue reading and enjoy.

The eighth book is set nineteen years from where we left off at the end of the seventh. Harry now works for the ministry of magic and is also a father of three married to Ginny Weasley. The story focuses on their third son Albus who is sorted into Slytherin house and befriends Draco Malfoys son Scorpius. Struggling to live with the fame of his dad Harry, Albus starts to rebel a bit. Together with Scorpius they decide to travel back in time to save the life of Cedric Diggory at the Tri Wizard Tournament. The idea is planted into their heads by Amos Diggorys (Cedric’s dad) niece Delphi. She agrees to help them obtain the time turner which has been confiscated by the Ministry of Magic, This doesn’t go according to plan as it is later revealed that Delphi is in fact Vodlemorts daughter who wants to change time in order to make her father the most powerful wizard in the world. Fortunately for Albus and Scorpius everything works out in the end and the magical world is restored to normality.

My favourite character had to be Scorpius. Even though he is a Malfoy, I found him to be a really sweet and gentle character. Suffering with his own turmoil, he still puts Albus first and helps him try to save Cedric. Scorpius is tormented most days by pupils at Hogwarts who say he is the son of Voldemort. Scared that this may be made worse if people found out they were travelling back in time, Scorpius is still brave enough to go along with the plan and help Albus as best he can. In one scene Scorpius is sent to a time where everyone likes him ad he is known as the Scorpion King. Given the chance to keep this alternative time where he is liked, he decides against it and puts the future of others before his own happiness. This scene really shows that he isn’t like all the other Malfoys we know so well.

Even though Albus wasn’t my favourite character, I still warmed to him. Being a son of Harry Potter is a hard enough task but when your sorted in Slytherin, it makes life at school that little it harder. Albus comes across as quite a gloomy personality. His relationship with his father breaks down through the first half of the book. This makes him more determined to right the wrongs he thinks Harry committed i.e. letting Cedric die. Readers are left constantly wondering if father and so can unite and become a family again.

The host of other characters in the story all bring their own bit to book. Hermionie and Ron still portray the same characteristics we know and love about them. Hermionie is now Minster of Magic, she’s strong willed and shows a real determination to be the best minister she possibly can. Ron now runs the joke shop his brothers had set out to originally. He is one character that injects some fun and laughter into the tale. He and Hermionie are married with two children, Hugh and Rose. Rose is the same age as Albus and acts very similar to how her mother did when she was at Hogwarts. Harry has similar traits to what he had when he was younger. He suffers nightmares along with his scar hurting. This convinces him that there is dark magic at work. He sets out to save Albus and prove that he deeply loves his son. Some readers may find it hard to accept that Harry, Ron and Hermionie are no longer teenagers themselves, but for me I soon got into it and treated them like the adults they were in this novel.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves the previous seven books. I would say that if you haven’t read any Harry Potter before then it would be a good idea to read them first in order to learn about the characters and how we get to the point we are in the eighth book. Its made me want to go and see the live stage play. I’m therefore giving Harry Potter five bookworms out of five.

Ruby Red Book 1 Review

Evening Bookworms,

I know I’ve already posted a review up today but since i already had this one typed up, I thought I might as well get it up and live on the blog. I’ve been MIA for a while so I really want to get going again with my posting schedule. Juggling work, an 11 month old, daily life and a blog is no mean feat currently. I love reading and blogging though so am determined to find a good balance. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. As always I want to thank you all to everyone that reads and/or follows my blog. Without you guys reading and enjoying the posts I’d have no reason to keep posting so THANK YOU!!! 🙂 On with the review, happy reading.

Title: Ruby Red

Ruby Red

Ruby Red, Book one is a series of three.

Author: Kerstin Gier

Series: Ruby Red Series

Published by: Square Fish

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Sci-fi, Romance

Pages: 324

Format: Paperback

Sources: Goodreads

Summary

Gwyneth Shepherd’s sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for travelling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!

Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon–the time traveller from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.

My Reviews

I first heard of Ruby Red when it popped up in my Amazon recommended list. Reading the description and positive reviews about it, I went ahead and purchased a copy. That was four weeks ago now and I’ve only just finished reading it. Its safe to say I didn’t enjoy this book at all really. Reading it has been a drag for me and I’ve really had to push myself to keep going back to it and carry on reading. I am disappointed because it sounded like a good plot line.

The majority of the book almost feels like a constant build up to an event that never seems to materialise. To say its a book about time travel……well lets just say that’s pushing it a wee bit. Sure there is time travel in it, but for me there wasn’t enough. The scenes that were of time travelling didn’t last that long and were over pretty quickly. A lot more detail and description would have made the adventures better and more lively.

The majority of the plot lines, I think I was able to figure out fairly early on in the book. Thus near the end I was actually skipping chunks of writing safe in the knowledge that I wasn’t really going to miss anything vital. Skipping chunks is something I never normally do but I was so eager to get it finished.

The characters themselves aren’t awe inspiring. I found them to be fairly wooden and flat. They didn’t have any get up and go about them. I don’t know about you but if I was suddenly told that I could time travel then I would be raring to go and seek adventures back in the past. Gwen is our main protagonist of the story. All her life she has been led to believe that she is not the time traveller of the family but instead it is her cousin Charlotte that carries the gene. However, yep you guessed it, it is in fact Gwen who is the gene carrier. The other main character and fellow time traveller is Gideon, a show off and know it all. Gwen and Gideon have a typical love/hate relationship. This is one relationship though where I didn’t care if they got together or not. Charlotte, Gwens cousin is a total snob and is not very supportive of her cousin when their roles are reversed. Lesley, Gwens best friend is more on hand to help her. There’s a whole host of other quirky characters that don’t really help the plot along. Some have little if not anything to do with the plot at all.

The time travel aspect has to be one of the most boring ones I’ve read. We are told that there is a machine where the twelve time travellers blood is read into it (this part yes interested me). These chosen ones then can travel through time safely. The bit that confused me is when Gwen is told that no one is allowed to change history yet later on we find out that one family member that some of the twelve go back to meet are telling him to invest here and there. They also give him details of winners of Wimbledon from 1950 onwards!! If that’s not chafing time, then I don’t know what is.

Overall Ruby Red wasn’t the book for me. It pains me to say that, as I really hoped it was going to be something good that I could recommend. There are another two books in the series, Sapphire Blue and Emerald Green. I’m not too sure whether I’m going to go ahead and read the others. Perhaps if I’m ever to stumble across them, then I might give them a go. I must say the end of Ruby Red did leave the reader hanging on a bot of a cliffhanger but it wasn’t enough to make me rush out and purchase the next one.

To sum up I’m going to give Ruby Red one bookworm out of five. I’m purely giving one as at the start it did have some potential but then sadly went downhill from there.

Twilight Book Review

Morning Bookworms,

I’m back with another review, this time on one of my teenage favourites Twilight. I first read this when I was about 18 years old and simply loved it at the time. I couldn’t get enough of Edward Cullen. Since reading it again, I still enjoyed it but it has lost some of tht spark for me. Do any of you feel the same?

Title: Twilight

twilight cover

Twilight Book Cover. Love the simplicity of this cover.

Author: Stephanie Meyers

Series: The Twilight Saga

Published by: Little, Brown and Company

Genre: YA/Fantasy/Paranormal

Pages:498

Format: Paperback

Sources: Goodreads

Summary

Isabella Swan moves to small town Forks to live with her dad Charlie. As if starting a new school wasn’t scary enough, she meets the mysterious Edward Cullen. With his striking golden eyes, pale skin and strange manner, Bella is determined to find out all she can about him. Unbeknown to her is that the closer she gets to him and revealing the truth of his real identity, the more in danger she becomes. Twilight is a seductive romance that will have readers wanting to read on right until the very last page.

My Thoughts

I must admit I hadn’t heard of the Twilight series until the announcement of the first film release. After seeing the trailer I instantly rushed out to buy a copy of the first book. I quickly read through the novel and finished it within a couple of days. At the time I thought the book was brilliant and I couldn’t get enough of the series. I’ve since reread the book and yes I still think its a really good read but I didn’t quit feel the same about it.

The plot is a typical boy meets girl and they fall in love. The only snag is that one of them is a human and the other is a blood sucking vampire.

Initially I thought Bella was a great heroine and protagonist but on second reading I found her to be a bit boring. She arrives in Forks to live with her dad and instantly moans about her surroundings. She clearly doesn’t want to be in Forks and doesn’t seem willing to try and make the best of things whilst there. She calls her dad by his first name Charlie even though she claims she’s not allowed to call him by his first name. On Bella’s first day of school she encounters the handsome Edward Cullen in the school canteen. She’s drawn to his looks and mannerisms. Bella later then finds him sitting in her biology class and places herself next to him. However this first encounter doesn’t quite go to plan, Edwards reaction to her sitting by him shocks her and he pulls away from her as if repulsed by her. Little does she know he wants to drink her blood and quickly becomes infatuated with her. For the majority of the story, Bella has a longing to be around or close to Edward a much as possible. This can become a bit tedious as in some places the action can be quie slow or even sometimes you get a build up to what you think is going to be a great scene only to transported forward to the after effects.

The other main character in Twilight is of course the vampire himself, Edward Cullen. I have to admit if I was Bella I think I would be infatuated with him too. He’s pale skinned with deep golden eyes, is well read, plays the piano and shows up at any given moment to protect you……how could any woman resit!! Edward is a very strong determined character He goes against what being a vampire means even if it means being destroyed or rejected by his family. For me, out of the two main characters Edward was the one that I enjoyed reading about. Meyers description of him is excellent as it really gives you a real sense as to what Edward looks like and also what hes feeling at any one given moment.

Twilight is supported by a host of other character which include werewolf Jacob. I warmed to Jacob straight away. If I was Bella I would love him as a close companion. The Cullen family are a right mixed bag of vampires yet they are interesting to read about and all bring their own talents to the survival of their clan. Of course no decent vampire story wouldn’t be complete without a gang of bad vampires hell bent on destroying the Cullens and Bella.

Overall I did enjoy Twilight each time I read it and honestly I will no doubt pull it out off my bookshelf in the near future to enjoy all over again. I think it has been hyped up bit especially due partly to the film I would imagine but nonetheless it is a good enjoyable and fairly fast read.

I give Twilight 4 bookworms.