WWW Wednesday – 15 May 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.

First of all, sorry if I linked you to my writing blog rather than this one last week! I do blog hops on both blogs on a Wednesday and totally wasn’t paying attention to which link was on my clipboard!

What have you recently finished reading?

I finally finished Enchantee by Gita Trelease! My review will be up on Friday. I enjoyed it enough and I thought it tied up really well, but overall it was a three star read. Might have been partly because it took me so long to get through?

I also finished His Name Was Walter by Emily Rodda. I spent the whole book feeling a bit reading slumpy and thinking this would be a three-star read at most, and then things sort of all tied together in the last few chapters and got me right in the feels. To the point I teared up a little. So that was nice.

Only one review posted this week: The Things That Will Not Stand by Michael Gerard Bauer.

What are you currently reading?

I have started reading The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty (yes, sister of Liane for the curious). Jaclyn is an author I keep going back to, even though I don’t always enjoy her books. So far, this one is giving me Nevermoor vibes in that it’s quite lighthearted and whimsical and a bit nonsense (in the best way), but I suspect it will also get me in the feels at some point.

I also started listening to Emily the Strange: the Lost Days by Rob Reger on a whim. It’s rather bizarre, kind of a Lemony Snicket/Welcome to Night Vale mashup. Strange things happen but it’s all delivered with a completely straight face. I think Emily might be a clone or something?

What do you think you will read next?

Not sure what I’m in the mood for. Also Bronte Nettlestone is quite long so there’s a good chance I won’t finish it this week with everything else I’ve got going on. I’ll also finish Emily the Strange pretty soon but I have no idea what I fancy audio book-wise, either.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

WWW Wednesday – 08 May 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 The Things That Will Not Stand by Michael Gerard Bauer in a single day, which I was not expecting. It was very readable, and full of puns. Also some really strong characters. Having said that, I haven’t quite figured out how to review it yet, so that’s still pending.

Then I finished my ARC of Lucid by Kristy Fairlamb, which I ended up giving three stars. I think I was hoping for something a bit more thrilling. I posted a review here.

What are you currently reading?

Enchantee by Gita Trelease as got a bit more interesting. I think I’m at around the 60% mark now. I don’t actually know why it’s more interesting, I think it may be more to do with me than the book, if that makes sense. Anyway, I’m a bit more keen to find opportunities to listen to it now.

I’m also reading His Name Was Walter by Emily Rodda. This is the first book I’ve read of hers as an adult, though she was a favourite author of mine when I was growing up. At the moment, I’m not quite sure whether this is more ghostly or fairytale-y or what it’s going to be, but I’m pretty sure I will enjoy it.

What do you think you will read next?

Not sure at this stage. I’m really more in the mood for fantasy, but the books I have from the library are more contemporary in one way or another. I might have a look at my ARCs and see what’s coming up soon.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

WWW Wednesday – 01 May 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 P Is For Pearl by Eliza Henry Jones, which is a lot more character driven than books I usually read. But the coastal town vibe was so well done and I really liked the characters so I still enjoyed it. I’ll have a review up soon.

Click to read my review of The Doll Maker, book four in Celine Jeanjean’s The Viper and the Urchin series. This was released yesterday and might be my favourite one of the series so far!

What are you currently reading?

Still listening to Enchantee by Gita Trelease. The last audio books I read were A Thousand Pieces of You and Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray and I was actively cleaning or folding laundry in order to have more time to listen. I… am not having the same desire with this book. It’s going to take me a little while to get through, I think.

I am also reading an ARC of Lucid by Kristy Fairlamb, about a teenager cursed to dream the final moments of the dying. I’m about 20% of the way through and there have been some interesting characters introduced and some pretty nasty dream descriptions, but I’m kind of waiting for the story to get going. There’s a weekend away with friends coming up so I suspect that might be where things start getting interestinig.

What do you think you will read next?

I have accidentally ended up with eight library books out at once! Though a few of them are ready to return, several are for my Children’s Book of the Year reading challenge, which I need to get back to. I think I’ll start with The Things That Will Not Stand by Michael Gerard Bauer.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

WWW Wednesday – 24 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 spent Friday reading Romanov by Nadine Brandes and for a while I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. Part of that was because I was expecting it to be something it was not, but also in and of itself, there were things I had issues with. But I found myself thinking about the true story of the Romanovs a lot as a result, so it obviously got under my skin. Here’s my full review.

Then I read The Winter  Freak Show by Daniel Parsons, which has been on my TBR since about 2015! I want to give it the benefit of the doubt and say I’m just a bit old for it… but honestly, I think it was just not the best written book. I just never felt involved.

Last but not least, I finished my early copy of The Doll Maker, which is the fourth book in Celine Jeanjean’s The Viper and the Urchin steampunk series (she hasn’t got it up on GoodReads itself yet). I liked this more than the third book! I think because the conflicts were more personal to the characters, rather than the sweeping effects on a whole nation in the last book.

I don’t usually mentioned DNFs on WWW posts, but a couple of people were interested in Changing Gear by Scot Gardner when I mentioned it last week. I read about 90 pages and it’s possible that it was going to pick up after I left off. But the main character just made a string of terrible decisions and I didn’t have any sympathy for him!

I also reviewed Wolfhunter River by Rachel Caine this week. Click the title to read it.

What are you currently reading?

I’ve started P Is For Pearl by Eliza Henry Jones, which is next on the 2019 Children’s Book Council of the Year Award Notables list. It’s a contemporary, and the Aussie setting is really vivid and the teen characters actually seem realistic (with all the SFF I’ve been reading recently, everyone has seemed a bit older than their years). I’m not sure exactly what this one’s about but I’ve been warned to have the tissues handy.

Not much movement on Enchantee by Gita Trelease this week. To be honest, after finishing Romanov, I spent my solo driving time singing along with the Anastasia cast album,  so this got pushed aside.

What do you think you will read next?

I was scanning NetGalley the other day and Lucid by Kristy Fairlamb was available as a Read Now. I already follow this author on Twitter and had been considering reading the book, so I snapped it up.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

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? 🙂

“Possibilities are where the best stories begin.” // Review of “The Cottingley Secret” by Hazel Gaynor

Title: The Cottingley Secret
Author:
Hazel Gaynor
Audio book narrator:
Karen Cass, Billie Fullford-Brown
Genre:
General fiction/magical realism
Target audience: Adult
Date Read: 09/10/18 – 24/10/18
Rating:
★★★

Review:

I’ve been intersted in the Cottingley Fairies ever since I researched the case and turned into a drama project in my final year of high-school. So as soon as I saw the word Cottingley in this book’s title, I knew I wanted to read it.

This book tells the story of Olivia, visiting Ireland after the death of her grandfather, and the parallel story of Frances Griffiths, one of two cousins who historically took photographs of fairies in Cottingley, Yorkshire, in 1917 and caused a worldwide stir. As Olivia reads Frances’ memoir, she discovers they share more of a connection than just a belief in fairies.

I have to admit, while I liked Olivia for the most part, there were times when I wanted to shake her. I could tell from the first time he was mentioned that her fiance was obviously an awful person, and I wished she realised that sooner and was  a bit more decisive. I did like that she was a book binder! I know book binders! I really appreciated the  sensitive handling of Alzheimer’s disease through the character of Olivia’s Nanna, Martha. I thought that was very well done.

As I said, I was pretty familiar with the case of the Cottingley Fairies, but the chapters from Frances’ perspective did give extra insight into how a young girl might have felt thrust into the spotlight unwillingly in the way she and Elsie were.

I did appreciate the little hints of magic throughout both the historical and contemporary stories. While it is acknowledged that the photos were fakes, Hazel Gaynor leaves it up to the reader to decide whether or not fairies are real or whether they were a figment of a young girl’s imagination. The two stories are woven together particularly well towards the end, and I actually found myself getting a little bit teary in the final chapter. In a good way, of course.


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“I can’t make the forest grow faster because I want it to. I can’t will it to grow. It takes time.” // Review of “Only Human” by Sylvain Neuvel

Title: Only Human (Themis Files #3)
Author:
Sylvain Neuvel
Audio book narrator:
Full cast
Genre:
Sci-fi
Target audience: Adult
Date Read: 11/09/18 – 29/09/18
Rating:
★★

Review:

I’ve got to be honest: this book wasn’t as good as the first two in the series. For quite a while, I thought I was going to give it only two stars but it picked up enough in the final third for me to bump that up to three. But only just.

This book is set another 9 years after Waking Gods. Earth is in disarray, as Rose, Vincent and Eva discover upon return from the alien planet, Esat Ekt.

The problem with this book, from my POV, is that it seemed that Neuvel had been leading up to a situation where the world was in disarray just so he could use it as a metaphor for the disarray present in the world today, and give us some good old lectures on it. And I got So BORED.

There was little tension in the flashbacks because we knew from the start that they had done something morally questionable on Esat Ekt, it was just a question of what. And so much of the present day stuff was just them talking obliquely about their time on Esat Ekt. Or lecturing the reader. As I said earlier, it does pick up in the last quarter. There is a bit more action, and some more interesting character development. But in some ways, that was too little too late. It’s always a shame when a series ending doesn’t live up to the previous instalments.


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#WWW Wednesday – September 12, 2018

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.

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

I finished White Night by Ellie Marney and totally loved it (I am two for two with 5 star reads from this author now). I used to say “Oh, I don’t read much contemporary YA” but I realised I actually read a lot of it, and this one gave such a good sense of growing up in a country town and trying to work out your place in life as you finish school and it was also so Australian. Review will be up Friday.

I only ended up reading maybe six of the stories in Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy edited by Amerie. It wasn’t really doing it for me.

I also posted two reviews this week: Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel and Blackwing by Ed McDonald.

What are you currently reading?

finally put Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel onto my phone this morning, so I’m actually starting to get into it properly. Vincent is definitely my favourite character of this series, giving me all the feels. I am a bit annoyed that they appear to have changed some of the voice actors, though? Eva now just has an American accent, where she had a Puerto Rican one in Book 2. I could understand her losing her accent in the time between the events of the two books, but there are flashbacks, dammit!

I have also started Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend today and I’m only 57 pages in but if it stays this delightful the whole way through, then the hype is totally justified. The cover describes it as Harry Potter meets Alice in Wonderland and it basically is that. It’s not nonsensical like Alice in Wonderland but it is whimsical. Also there’s a character I suspect is based at least in part on David Tennant’s Doctor.

What do you think you will read next?

It was going to be Terra Nullius by Claire G. Coleman, but after Nevermoor, I don’t know if I’ll be in quite the right mood for hard-hitting dystopia. I picked up Caraval by Stephanie Garber from the library this morning, and I might read it instead.  It has mixed reviews among my GoodReads friends but I am still in a circus mood so hopefully that will help.

What are you reading this week? 🙂~ Emily

 

 

P.S. If you’re interested, head on over to my writing blog to read an excerpt from my current WIP.

“You were made for a particular purpose, but you can be anything you want.” // Review of “Waking Gods” by Sylvain Neuvel

Title: Waking Gods (Themis Files #2)
Author:
Sylvain Neuvel
Audio book narrator:
Full cast
Genre:
Sci-fi
Target audience: Adult
Date Read: 15/08/18 – 29/08/18
Rating:
★★★

Review:

I’m pleased to say that this book was just as good as the first in the series. It pulls no punches and takes you by surprise, all the while still creating a balance between the global and the personal consequences.

This book is set 9 years after Sleeping Giants, but it doesn’t take long to fill us in on what has happened in the meantme. And the action starts on page 1. I was listening to the audio book while I was driving and there were times when I was gripping the steering wheel too hard because the action was intense. But there are also parts that made me smile or laugh or “aww” over my favourite characters. Then there were the parts that made me teary! I had all the emotions.

I did sometimes feel the conversations went around in circles a little bit, particularly when Mr Burns (Byrnes? I don’t know, I’m listening to it!) was involved. He likes to ramble. And sometimes the scientific explanations were quite long-winded, which is fine when you’re reading and can skim, but a bit more annoying when you’re listening.

I do feel the need to warn that there is a torture scene at one point during the book, and if you’re listening to the audio version, it is very realistic. I ended up having to switch it off for the remainder of my drive.

Those were my only qualms, this series goes from strength to strength and the third and final instalment promises to be just as good from the little bit I’ve  listened to so far.


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#WWW Wednesday – September 06, 2018

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.

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

I finished Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel on my way to choir last Thursday. This was definitely as good as the first book. I love the way Sylvain Neuvel manages to both highlight the global effects of proof of alien life, and also focus on the person as well.

I also finished Skin Deep by Brandon Sanderson, which was fine, but with the exception of the main character having a bunch of self-aware hallucinations, it felt like a straight crime book and there were parts that weren’t that engaging. I’m still going to read the third book when it arrives at the library, though.

I actually posted reviews on both Friday and Monday this week! Quelle surprise! Haha. Click titles to read my reviews of All The Little Bones (Circus Hearts #1) by Ellie Marney and Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1) by Sylvain Neuvel.

What are you currently reading?

started Only Human, the last Themis Files book by Sylvain Neuvel on CD in the car the other night, but I haven’t converted it and put it on my phone yet, so I’m not very far into it.

I am also reading Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy edited by Amerie. It’s… fine? So far, I’ve read about six and there’s one story that I’ve particularly liked. The Jack and the Beanstalk one struck me as particularly weird, mostly because part of the vegetarian character’s journey to becoming a villian was “I realise I have to eat meat to fullfil my destiny!” Um.

What do you think you will read next?

I still have White Night by Ellie Marney from the library so I will pick that up next. I’ve also picked up a couple of books by Indigenous Australian women because I realised I’m pretty behind on my Australian Women Writers Challenge for this year.

What are you reading this week?~ Emily