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.

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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

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.

Fairyloot July Unboxing Review

Evening Bookworms,

I’m back to blogging. Today’s review is going to be slightly different as I wont be reviewing a book as such. Instead I’m going to be talking about my first ever Fairyloot subscription box.

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This is what the Fairyloot boxes look like when delivered.

Disclaimer

The following post has not been sponsored in any sense or form. I do not receive any commission from any links mentioned. All thoughts and views are my own.

I discovered Fairyloot a few months back on Instagram and instantly fell in love with them. If your unfamiliar with them, then Fairyloot is a monthly subscription box packed with literature related goodies which include a novel. Each box is based on a theme. It is delivered to your door on a monthly basis. The boxes can be purchased either singularly, 3 monthly or as a six monthly subscription. They are based in the UK but ship internationally. For more information, please go check them out, you wont be disappointed. I’ll leave a link at the end of this post.

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The theme for July was Pirates and Power.

This was my first Fairyloot purchase. I was so excited when it arrived and opened it as soon as I got in from work. The delivery time was really fast. I had an email the day before it arrived informing me that my box was on the way. It arrived in perfect condition and was really well packaged inside. Hidden beneath the famous purple and silvery paper worms were all of the gifts just waiting to be picked out like special chocolates and devoured.

I’m going to talk you all through what I received in my box, so the next few sections will contain some spoilers. If you have purchased a July box and have still yet to open it, you might want to skip over these sections to avoid ruining the surprise for yourself.

Without further ado, lets crack on.

The theme for Julys box was Pirates and Power. DSCN2273

First up was a black tote bag from Alice in Wonderbookland. Its a good strong bag that is adorned with a white pirate ship print along with the words “I ship it”. This bad will be perfect for carrying my man reads around over the summer months.

Next up is a pirate bounty lip balm from a company called Geeky Clean. This is coconut in flavour and is lovely on the lips. Even the casing itself is decorated with so much detail, its a lovely item to carry round. Geeky Clean provide two items in the July box. The other one being a bath bomb named Frostblood and Fire blood. Th bomb is red and blue in colour. This ties in with the ARC book that’s included in the subscription. Even though I’m yet to use it, it gave off a wonderful fruity scent which made my box smell amazing when I came to opening it up. Looking forward to using this bomb.

The box also contained a beautiful notebook made by Museum and Galleries. They sent out two different covers. I received the Treasure Island theme which was a lovely foil image set against a black background.

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Also included was a bookmark to colour in from the company Behind the Pages. I love this idea of being able to create your own bookmark in a sense and colour it how you like. Great idea, so thumbs up to Behind the Pages.

A subscription box wouldn’t be complete without the famous Funko Pops. Two different characters were sent out to coincide with the theme of the ARC book. My box contained a Jon Snow (Game of Thrones) keyring. The other keyring I believe was Daenerys.

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Lipbalm, Jon Snow Funko Pop and Bathbomb.

The first of the two books was the ARC copy of Frostblood by Elly Blake. Two covers were released and I received the Frostblood one. Its a beautiful blue and grey cover. The other cover has the Fireblood design on it. This novel is set to be released next year in 2017. I’m hoping to do a review for this book as soon as I can so please stay tuned for it. The book also came with a bookmark showing both cover designs.

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Frostblood by Elly Blake

The other book I received is by Freedom Matthews and is entitled Inherited. This book ties in with the pirate theme of the box. I was really happy to see that the publisher is non other then Benjamin from Of Tomes Publishing. There was a little note included from him in the box. I follow him on YouTube so its great to see that he’s doing so well with his publishing house. I was also lucky enough to be able to have my copy signed and dedicated to myself by freedom. The inner page is signed in gold pen. It really makes the book feel that extra bit special and personal to you. The final items that came with the book were a personalised letter from freedom and a postcard depicting the cover.

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Inherited by Freedom Matthews

Each Fairyloot box also contains a unique hashtag code which will be found in one other box. This means that you can hopefully find your Fairyloot buddy and chat about the box and contents together. Mine is #fairylootcupid so if your out there and reading this, then please get in touch :).

As you can see this box was jam packed with lively goodies. I can safely say that it out did my expectations by far. Unfortunately I’ve now missed out on the August box as its already sold out but I am definitely going to be looking into purchasing a 6 month subscription when the September box is announced.

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If any bookworms out there received a July box, please leave a comment down below letting me know what you think and what your favourite item was. As mentioned earlier I am planning on reviewing both books contained in the box. It may be a while yet as my TBR list is always expanding so please bare with me.

I hope you enjoyed reading all about my first experience of a Fairyloot box and maybe its even inspired you to try a box out for yourself.

Links

Fairyloot http://www.fairyloot.com/

Of Tomes Publishing http://www.oftomes.com/

Behind the Pages https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/behindthepages

Geeky Clean http://geekyclean.com/

Alice in Wonderbookland http://alicewonderbookland.wix.com/rabbithole

Funko Pop http://funko.com/collections/pop

Follow Freedom Matthews on Twitter: @FreedomMatthews

Follow Elly Blake on Twiiter: @elly_blake or visit her site http://ellyblake.com/

Update: Missing in Action

Hello Bookworms, DSCN2254

I just wanted to check in with you all and say that I havent forgotton you. The last couple of weeks I havent been able to find time to put posts up as I’ve just started back in my day job after taking maternity leave.

Luckily though I’m starting to feel abit more organised now so I’m hopng to start posting regulalry again. Didn’t realise how difficult it would be to actually get myself and a little person ready at 6:30am in the morning!!!

I’ll sign off by saying thank you for your continued support and patience. You guys are what make my blog worth doing. I love reading and being able to share my reviews with you all, make it that much more enjoyable. Reading and writing is the one job I would love to move into in the near future. This blog is the start of that dream.

Thank you all again.

Sarah x

Stardust Review

Evening Bookworms,

Tonight i’m posting a review about Stardust written by Neil Gaiman. I found this book to be a really quick and enjoyable read. It definetley holds a special place on my bookshelf. I’d love to know what you think of Stardust or any other Neil Gaiman books you could recommend.

Title: Stardust

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Stardust is a quick and enjoyable read that has the traditional feel of a fairy tale.

Author: Neil Gaiman

Series: N/A

Published by: Headline Books

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Pages: 194

Format: Paperback

Sources: Goodreads

Summary

Tristran Thorn lives in a little town named Wall situated in the sleepy English countryside. Life here moves at a steady pace. Tristan is in love with one of the popular girls in Wall, named Victoria Forester. Victoria doesn’t however return Tristan’s affections. One night, the both see a star fall from the sky. Victoria claims that if Tristran can retrieve the star for her, then he will win her hand and love. It is this vow that sends the young Tristran over an ancient wall on the edge of the town, into a world that is mysterious, strange and dangerous. This world opens up his eyes, the star is a fiery young woman who joins Tristran on an adventure featuring witches, magical sailing ships, curses and unicorns.

My Thoughts

Stardust is one of my favourite go to novels. At just 194 pages long, its a fast read packed full of gripping detail. The novel could be mistaken for being a fairytale. It has the typical plots of good verses evil, a romance and adventure all wrapped up with a dusting of magic.

The main protagonist is a young man named Tristran Thorn. He is of half faerie parentage. Early on it is clear that Tristran doesn’t fit into the town of Wall. He is a dreamer, who wants to go on adventures and do remarkable things. Any romantics among us will instantly fall in love with Tristran. He’s warm hearted and goes out of his way to try and impress the popular girl of the village, Victoria Forester. When they see the star fall from the sky, he’s determined to retrieve it for her in order to win her heart. I love the thought of being given a glittering star. It truly would be a very romantic thing to bestow on a person. (One can dream!) As the story moves on we can see that Tristran is strong, determined and is unwilling to go down without a fight. He’s protective of the star all through the adventure they share together. Sometimes he can come across as being a bit unorganized and bumbling but I think that adds to his charm. He’s definitely an unlikely hero that shapes up to be a real strong character.

The other characters in the book include Yvaine, the star who falls from the sky. Yvaine, We first meet her as a sobbing woman, clearly upset at having fallen from her home. Once Tristran however slips the unbreakable chain over her wrist, she becomes more abrupt and defensive. Similar to Tristran she will not go down without a fight. The language Gaiman gives to Yvaine works really well. From the description of her I imagine a beautiful young woman who sparkles due to her star like qualities yet her language is abrupt and not so beautiful at times. This is especially so when she is insulting Tristran. I really like Yvaine. She adds a refreshing difference to the typical damsel in distress type figures we see in the average fairytale.

Yvaine is a valuable character in order to compare Tristrans love interest to. Victoria is cold hearted and self centred. She doesn’t seem to care at all about Tristran going off risking his life in order to bring her back the fallen star.

Stardust is a novel that is a fun read for people of all ages. Everyone from children to adults will find something to enjoy in this book. Its well written. Gaiman has that knack of using the words so effectively that you are instantly immersed in the world of Wall and Faerie.

Overall I think Stardust is the type of book that you can go back to over and over again. Its a typical cosy read that takes you back to your childhood. The only downside is that I’d have liked the book to be a bit longer as I didn’t want the story to end. As this is the only Neil Gaiman book I’ve managed to read so far, I’ll certainly be looking for some more of his books to read.

To sum up I give Stardust 4 out of 5 bookworms.