WWW Wednesday -17 April 2019

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

What have you recently finished reading?

I finished A Million Worlds With You by Claudia Gray. This was a great end to the series. I wasn’t sure how Claudia Gray was  possibly going to wrap everything up but she managed it, and it worked really well! Here are my reviews of the second and third books in the series.

I also read The Steam Engines  of Oz by Sean Patrick O’Reilly and Erik Hendrix with illustrations by Yannis Roumboulias. This was at the behest of my partner, who has started a YouTube channel talking about various Oz adaptations and how they relate to the original books. I didn’t love this. It didn’t have a whole lot of depth and while I’m not completely up on my Oz lore, even I spotted deviations from the original stories which didn’t really seem to add anything.

I also finished Wolfhunter River by Rachel Caine and enjoyed it despite it really only getting going in the suspense department in the last third. But it had a lot of really strong character stuff, and a pretty strong crime story, so still plenty going nfor it.

What are you currently reading?

I literally finished Wolfhunter River an hour ago, so I am something like 1% into Romanov  by Nadine Brandes.  I have really high hopes for this book, and I really hope it doesn’t disappoint. I had tickets to see Anastasia on Broadway later this year and then it closed in March so this book is all my Romanov-inspired fantasy for this year.

I have also started listening to Enchantee by Gita Trelease. I’m glad I’ve found an historical fantasy set in France that I am enjoying more than I enjoyed The Gilded Wolves. Though I think it is going to be a bit on the long side. We shall see.

On that note, thanks for your audio book recommendations last week! I appreciate it, and I’ve added a few to my wish list.

What do you think you will read next?

I’ve been saying this for weeks, but this week it really will be Changing Gear by Scot Gardner, another #LoveOzYA that is on the Children’s Book Council of Australia 2019 Notables list.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

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“Fate doesn’t guarantee us a happy ending … but fate gives a chance.” // Review of “A Million Worlds With You” by Claudia Gray

Title: A Million  Worlds With You (Firebird #3)
Author:
 Claudia Gray
Genre: Sci-fi/romance
Target audience: YA
Date Read: 08/03/2019 – 14/03/2019
Rating: ★★★★

Review:

Please note: as this review is for a third book in a series, there may be mild spoilers for the first, A Thousand Pieces of You, and second, Ten Thousand Skies Above You.

I honestly wasn’t sure how Claudia Gray was going to tie everything up in this last book of the series. There seemed to be so much goinig on and so many variables. But she managed it and she  managed it well.

What I’ve really admired about this series is the way in which little hints dropped early on become so much more important later on. This continued in this book, right down to things that were mentioned as a possibility in the second book becoming important here. It’s clear that Gray had this whole series set out before she delved into writing it.

In this book, several of the universes where Firebird technology has developed are in communication with each other, and sometimes it got a bit confusing trying to remember who was who. Especially in one pivotal scene that I don’t want to spoil, but you’ll definitely know it when you get to it. Once again, some of the sciencey stuff did seem to be resolved a little too easily, but the woorld-building remained internally consistent so I didn’t mind too much.

As I’ve said in my previous reviews of this series, the romance is just as important, if not more important, than the science. THis one is no different. I understand that the splintering in book two is what has affected Paul, but I did just find him a bit mopey at times… and Marguerite thus had to spend a lot of time trying to convince him that their relationship was still something worth pursuing. I don’t know, this just got a bit old after a while. But there was a really lovely moment between Paul and one of the other Marguerites that made me grin stupidly. Again, you’ll know it when you get to it.

Theo was still Theo and I think overall, he actually turned out to be my favourite of the two guys. He just didn’t have as much to do in Book 1, which is why I didn’t realise earlier. 😂 I also want to note how much I loved the different versions of Henry and Sophia, Marguerite’s parents. they are delightful. It has been nice to read a YA series where the protagonist’s parents are not only both alive but actively involved in the events of the story.

I’m really glad I picked up the first book of this series on a whim. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know these characters and I’m definitely going to keep an eye on Claudia Gray’s other series.


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“Ten thousand skies, and a million worlds, and it still wouldn’t be enough for me to share with you” // Review of “Ten Thousand Skies Above You” by Claudia Gray

Title: Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird #2)
Author:
 Claudia Gray
Audio book narrator: Tavia Gilbert
Genre: Sci-fi/romance
Target audience: YA
Date Read: 31/03/2019 – 08/03/2019
Rating: ★★★☆

Review:

Please note: as this review is for a second book in a series, there may be mild spoilers for the first, A Thousand Pieces of You.

This book was not as good as the first one in the series, and I got frustrated quite a bit! However, it did address some things that had bothered me in the first book, and some of the things that bothered me early in this book were actually addressed and questioned later on, so that was good. 

In the aftermath of the events in the first book, Paul and Marguerite are convinced that destiny brings them together in every universe, which is a bit… *gag*. But as she travels to various universes, this is actually questioned. Theo plays a much larger role in this book than Paul, who is often barely there at all. And after Paul being all Book Boyfriend Material-like in the first book, I have to say, Theo stepped up to the plate here. XD

On that subject, I want to make two notes about the love triangle in this series. The first is that this when you’re dealing with multiple universes and infinitie possibilities, it actually makes sense that a person would have more than one love interest. So I didn’t mind the love triangle aspect so much.

And second, I love the way Theo’s feelings for Marguerite don’t come between their friendship, that he respects that she didn’t choose him in their universe (even if he is jealous of his counterparts where she did), and it also doesn’t come between Theo’s friendship with Paul. Direct quote: “I love Paul just as much as you do. Anything you want to do to get your boyfriend back, I want to do to get my best friend back.” So often the love triangle comes at the expense of everything else and that didn’t happen here.

The plot did get a bit predictable at times. I called three major revelations well before they happened. But I didn’t expect the major twist towards the end, which sets things up for book three.

Once again, the pacing was sometimes strange. I’ve realised that this is a quirk of these books: start by throwing the reader into an exciting scene. Then have a series of flashbacks to explain how Marguerite reached this moment. Most of the time in each world was focused on Paul and Marguerite’s feelings, and often the science-y bit was wrapped up quite easily in a chapter before they left for the next world. The really important information all came in the final quarter.

One of my frustrations with these books is never knowing how the characters’ other-world counterparts feel about having their bodies taken over for a period. To that end, I did appreciate the return to the Russiaverse of the first book, even if most of the chapters spent there seemed a bit… useless. Again, it was mostly just a way for Marguerite to figure out her feelings, rather than there being much in the way of the plot moving forward. But revisiting a past ‘verse did mean that Marguerite had to recognise that her actions have consequences for her counterparts, and that was important.

In terms of the audio book, Tavia Gilbert is once again a really great narrator. I was a bit disappointed that there were fewer accents, though. In the first book, all the Russian characters had Russian accents. Here, they were American, as though we were hearing their conversation through a Babel Fish (google it if you don’t understand that reference). This one does say that Theo has a slightly Dutch accent in the Russiaverse, so I can understand not using the heavy French accent from the first book, but the Marguerite and Vladimir have grown up in Russia, so there’s no reason for them to have anything else.

… sorry, that last paragraph got a bit long-winded.

The book ends on a cliffhanger, and I was glad I had a copy of the third book to move straight onto. Despite these frustrations, I think it is mostly a case of middle-book-syndrome, and i absolutely want to see how everything pans out.


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WWW Wednesday -10 April 2019

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

What have you recently finished reading?

I finished Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray. It’s been a long time since  I sped through an audio book in a week. Yes, I had more solo driving recently, but i think it was also that I was actively putting this on whenever I possibly could. It’s not as good as the first one (my review will be up tomorrow and explains why), but it definitely does some good setting up for the last book.

On a related note, click the title to read my review of A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray.

What are you currently reading?

Of course, I have now moved onto A Million Worlds With You by Claudia Gray, which is the third and final book in the Firebird series. I am actually reading this one, rather than listening… I’m not very far in at the moment because I haven’t had much reading time. I’m doing a uni intensive this week, but tomorrow and Friday we don’t have site visits so I can bus to campus and read during travel time.

I’m at about 20% on Wolfhunter River by Rachel Caine. As I said, I haven’t had much reading time so I haven’t been able to give it much attention. I have a couple of days off next week in addition to the Easter public holidays so I might try to devote a morning to it or something.

What do you think you will read next?

I have some library books but I’m not sure where exactly I’ll go. Does anyone have any audio book recommendations? I can’t decide what to spend my next Audible credit on.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

Teaser Tuesday – April 10, 2019 – A Million Worlds With You by Claudia Gray

Hello, and welcome once again to Teaser Tuesday.

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too.

I did this meme for a couple of months back in 2015 when it had an entirely different host. I’ve decided that starting this month, I’m going to try to get more involved in the bookish community, and I’ve got a few memes to participate in.  I look forward to getting to know you all better!

Today’s teaser is from page 1 of A Million Worlds With You by Claudia  Gray. This is the third book in the Firebird series, which I have been reading over the past few weeks and really enjoying. I have only just started this one and didn’t want to flip too far in and spoil myself, and you have to admit, this is a pretty gripping opening paragraph.

“I can’t breathe. I can’t think. All I can do is hang onto this cable and stare down at the river at least four hundred feet below me.”

You can visit The Purple Booker for more Teaser Tuesday posts!

~ Emily