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Book Review: Reprobation by Catherine Fearns

Hello readers and welcome to my blog, today I will be reviewing Reprobation by Catherine Fearns, First of all I would like to extend by thanks to NetGalley and author for sharing copy of the book in exchange of honest reviews.

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Synopsis:

Dr. Helen Hope is a lecturer in eschatology – the study of death, judgement, and the destiny of humankind. She is also a Calvinist nun, her life devoted to atoning for a secret crime. 

When a body is found crucified on a Liverpool beach, she forms an unlikely alliance with suspect Mikko Kristensen, lead guitarist in death metal band Total Depravity. Together, they go on the trail of a rogue geneticist who they believe holds the key – not just to the murder, but to something much darker. 

Also on the trail is cynical Scouse detective Darren Swift. In his first murder case, he must confront his own lack of faith as a series of horrific crimes drag the city of two cathedrals to the gates of hell. 

Science meets religious belief in this gripping murder mystery. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

Before picking up this book I had no clue what I am going to read and when started reading, it took me by surprise. Reprobation is a murder mystery  which gave me very strong Dan Brown vibe. It is a story of Helene Hope a nun and professor who along with Heavy Metal singer Mikko goes on a quest to find out about murders. This book is perfect combination of science and religion with really good character development and in extremely dark setting, I loved layers in character of Dr. Hope, who gave up pleasures to embrace god but is often questioning herself. She is confused and sometimes vulnerable which makes her relate able.

There is a police officer who is incharge of this serial killing case and is trying to make sense of everything that is happening around him, I felt his anger and confusion through out the case.

Even after all these positive points, I could not say that this story is flawless, there were some things here and there but at the end this book ended really well for me and I am looking forward to read more from this author.

Verdict:

3.7/5 Stars.

Book Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Hello and welcome to another book review and today I will be reviewing Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

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Synopsis:

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .

A convict with a thirst for revenge

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager

A runaway with a privileged past

A spy known as the Wraith

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes

Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

Six of Crows is a book I picked up with no expectations and now it is safe to say it lived upto it.

Six of Crows is a story of six misfits who came together to pull off an impossible task in exchange of millions, each one of them have their own reasons to go to this impossible heist which if gone wrong would be last of their lives.

World building is not flawless and that is the beauty of it. This place called Ketterdam has not been nice to these people and it is believable. I would say I am impressed with this universe. Character building is good but I wanted to know more about them, what worked for me was how vulnerable these characters were with ghosts of past and everyone carrying some sort of burden. I connected with characters, while reading I was angry, I was happy with them.

Narration in this book is really impressive and pace was fast. Language is simple. I liked detailing in plot. There were flaws here and there but I can happily ignore them as the climax of this book was game changer and left me in awe. I would love to see these characters on Netflix.

Verdict:

4.7/5 stars.

Book Review: Ghosts of Gotham

Hello readers and welcome to my blog, today I am going to review Ghosts of Gotham by Craig Schaefer. I would like to thank author and NetGalley to give me a copy of book in exchange of an honest review.

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Synopsis:

Irresistibly drawn to mysteries, if only to debunk them, reporter Lionel Page exposes supernatural frauds, swindlers, and charlatans. His latest case is an obsession—at least for an ancient and wealthy heiress: verify the authenticity of a lost Edgar Allan Poe manuscript circulating through New York City’s literary underworld. But the shrewd Regina Dunkle offers more than money. It’s a pact. Fulfill her request, and Lionel’s own notorious buried past, one he’s been running from since he was a child, will remain hidden.

As Lionel’s quest begins, so do the warnings. And where rare books go, murder follows. It’s only when Lionel meets enigmatic stranger Madison Hannah, his personal usher into the city’s secret history, that he realizes he’s being guided by a force more powerful than logic…and that he isn’t just following a story. He is the story.

Now that the true purpose of his mission is revealing itself in the most terrifying ways, it may finally be time for Lionel to believe in the unbelievable. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

Ghosts of Gotham is a dark urban fantasy with supernatural factors, secret society, conspiracy theories and horror element. I must say I have read something like this after a really long time . Every aspect of this world is just insane and brilliant. Now, what is it that makes this story so good, I think timing has an important role to play and I loved how genius plot is.

I particularly liked this dark New York with all mysteries hidden in plain sight which is eerie in most delicious way. When it comes to character development, I liked Lionel Page’s character, a man who is curious and cynical at the same time, who is now exposed to the world he thought never existed. Maddie on the other hand is witch and carries burden of her own past but again strong character.

Another important aspect for me is pace of book, and in this book what I liked most was how fast paced chapters were there was no unnecessary descriptions and long narratives.

That is all from me now.

Verdict:

4.5/5 Stars

 

 

Book Review: Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Hello friends and welcome to my blog, today I will be reviewing Uprooted by Naomi Novik.

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Synopsis:

“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

I picked Uprooted because of its popularity among the readers, this book gave me very conflicting thoughts to be honest, there were certain aspects that I hated about the story but in my opinion overall idea about this book is great.

Uprooted is a book set in an ancient fantasy world where there also resides an evil wood, this book will definitely suffice your cravings for magic and fantasy especially if you are someone who loves to read about good versus evil.

I think premise of the novel was not new  but I liked how the story has been told which made it interesting, I liked narrations. I flew through first two-three chapters of this book but after sometime book becomes irritatingly slow, it is when things became difficult for me. There were so many moments where I was arguing with myself why I should continue reading and because of this I took more time than anticipated to finish this one.

Another issue I had was the language of the book, English is my second language and hence I kept encountering words I didn’t understand, I am thankful that I was reading this on Kindle so I was able to check meaning of words right away.

Author did good job in building this world but character development was weak for me. Agnieszka’s character seemed real and relate able to me but Sarkan’s character development was really bad, I don’t know what was vision of author while developing this character as he was rude throughout the book. Kasia’s character was real treat to read and Solya was just amazing. Special mention to character development of woods, yes you read correct in this story wood is not just wood, it is something which is living and can feel everything.

Another thing that worked for me was negligible romance. At the end I would just say, I will definitely pick other work of this author in future.

My Verdict:

3/5 Stars

Subscription Box

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Hello friends and welcome to another blog post, today I am going to share my views on  subscription box, book subscription box in particular. Being part of the bookish community, I noticed a lot of people are buying book subscription box and to be honest it allured me a lot, specially unboxing videos on bookstagram which resulted in me buying those boxes few times. So here are my thoughts:

  1. Expensive:

In my opinion the prices of these boxes are quite on higher side, see I understand there are lot of dynamics behind the pricing policy but somehow I feel buying boxes may be expensive for the person who is on budget like mine.

2. I got books I already had:

It happened to me twice that I got books which I already had and it was kind of disappointing.

3. Bookish Goodies:

I am a person who loves bookish goodies and swags and these boxes have been my favorite for the same reason but as soon as I got them I realized I do not use them and at the end those items end up on corner of my bookshelf.

Book subscription boxes are like magic box but for me it is not as exciting as I thought it would be. This however it does not guarantee that I am not going to buy book subscription box in future but as of now I think I will not be buying any.

Guys do share your experience with any  subscription boxes, whether they are your cup of tea or not.

Book Review: The Last Singer by Marjorie Lindsey

Hello and welcome to another book review, this time I am going to review The Last Singer: The Falcon Chronicles Book 1 by Marjorie Lindsey. First of all I would like to extend my thanks NetGalley for providing me the copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.

so without further a do, let’s see what I have to say about this one.

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Synopsis:

A planetary threat. A forgotten prophecy. A gifted singer fights for freedom against a cunning Premier and a malevolent Genetrix. At 18, Brynna Bokk’s life changes forever. Forced by law to leave the sanctuary of her beloved island home, she faces a restricted existence in the floating city of Hypor. A gifted singer, her fiercest challenge is to hide her talent in a city where singing is forbidden. But that isn’t the only secret she carries. Her mismatched eyes and falcon birthmark link her to a mysterious sisterhood. When a solar threat and a government conspiracy threaten her planet and her loved ones, Brynna joins a rebellion led by an emerald-eyed warrior. The discovery of an ancient diary raises questions about her heritage and throws her life into further turmoil. Intent on defeating corruption and uncovering her destiny, Brynna faces betrayal, imprisonment, and death as she traverses a dangerous path with the highest stakes imaginable-the survival of humanity. The Last Singer is the first book in The Falcon Chronicles . The setting for this futuristic adventure series is a planet whose population has been devastated by rising oceans. Greed, brutality, and jealousy face off against friendship, love and Brynna’s growing power. If you enjoyed The Hunger Games and Divergent, you’ll love this new heroine’s exciting adventure. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

The Last Singer is a story of Brynna Bok set is futuristic world. Brynna who is soon to be 18 will need to leave her island to start working in Hypor City, she is not sure about it but she knows she needs to go because it is compulsory. Brynna has to be careful as she has some secrets to conceal.

I must say universe created by author is creative and this is my first official scientific fiction book. What I liked about this book is bunch of characters who are as real as I am. Unlike any other young adult fantasy in this book no one was trying to be heroic and every one was dealing with situation like I would have done. There was some moments that were detailed and brilliant. Even after so many good points this book thoroughly reminded me of Red Queen, not that it is bad but somehow I felt as if I was already aware of what is about to happen.

Author did commendable job with developing characters, there were some surprise moments in this book which made me happy. At the end I would say I enjoyed journey of Bok.

Verdict: 

4/5 Stars

 

Top-5 favorite reads of 2018

Hello readers and welcome to my top-5 reads of this year in no particular order, before getting started I wanted to say 2018 is by far the best year of my life when it comes to reading. I believe I have grown so much this year as a reader, I have read books from different genre and I really came out of my comfort zone.

So without further a do lets get started with my top 5 picks of the year.

  1. The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy:

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What if the ordinary things in life suddenly…disappeared?

Aila Quinn’s mother, Juliet, has always been a mystery: vibrant yet guarded, she keeps her secrets beyond Aila’s reach. When Juliet dies, Aila and her younger brother Miles are sent to live in Sterling, a rural town far from home–and the place where Juliet grew up.

Sterling is a place with mysteries of its own. A place where the experiences that weave life together–scents of flowers and food, reflections from mirrors and lakes, even the ability to dream–vanish every seven years.

No one knows what caused these “Disappearances,” or what will slip away next. But Sterling always suspected that Juliet Quinn was somehow responsible–and Aila must bear the brunt of their blame while she follows the chain of literary clues her mother left behind. 

As the next Disappearance nears, Aila begins to unravel the dual mystery of why the Disappearances happen and who her mother truly was. One thing is clear: Sterling isn’t going to hold on to anyone’s secrets for long before it starts giving them up. (Goodreads)

Also here is a link to my review for this book. click here 

 

2 . The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo:

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This book will always hold special place in my heart, all I can say about this book is that I simply love it.

A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo.

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.

So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.

Click here to read my review for this one.

 

3. Three Dark Crown Series by Kendare Blake:

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Well this is technically not a single book but entire series but I can’t help it, this series is just what I wanted.

When kingdom come, there will be one.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown. (Goodreads)

 

4. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman:

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Neverwhere was a pleasant surprise for me, I picked this book expecting nothing but this book is really really good.

Under the streets of London there’s a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. This is the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks.

Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his workday existence and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and utterly bizarre. And a strange destiny awaits him down here, beneath his native city: Neverwhere.

Click here for my review.

 

5. Reaper at the Gate by Saba Tahir:

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An ember in the ashes series is my all time favorite and 2018 brought third installment in this book also author did fabulous job it was much more satisfying than I anticipated.

Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.

The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister’s life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias’s devotion–even at the cost of his humanity. 

Click here for my review.

And is it guys, do let me know your favorite reads this year in comment section.

Book Review: Scrapbook of an Unfound Songstress by Vicky Nolan

Hello and welcome to another book review and today I will be reviewing Scrapbbook of an Unfound Songstress by Vicky Nolan. I would like to thank Vicky for sharing her book with me in exchange of an honest review.

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Synopsis:

You’re a 15-year-old schoolgirl who has big dreams of becoming a pop star, and then one day you get your lucky break. Polydor records sends you to Copenhagen to make pop music – to make you a recording artist. You get back home and your future is looking brighter than ever – until the High Court writ hits the door mat – you’ve fallen out with your management and they have decided to sue. No, this isn’t a dream, this is now Vicky Nolan’s reality and fast becoming a nightmare, and all while still at school at the sweet age of sixteen.

Read about the trial, the family, Hollywood, London town, the glamour, the dog (eh?) and most importantly, the music. Curiouser and curiouser?

We always talk about ‘making it’ and fulfilling your dreams. The question is, what if you don’t? What happens next? Ultimately, this book speaks about life and family; its hopes and disappointments, its ups and downs. Scrapbook of an Unfound Songstress is in some way a story that speaks to us all, because in the end, the best stories are always true. (goodreads)

My Thoughts:

scrapbook of an unfound songstress is very heart warming story of 15 y/o who wants to make big in her life, story of stardom and what follows after. I had no trouble in getting along with the story, I loved how fast paced chapters were and more importantly I loved writing style of author. These are not just the reasons why I liked this book so much, I know what dreams and ambitions are and I know how far a person can go to achieve them so at some level I was connecting to it. I was curious how a life of teenage stars are and this book gave me perfect picture of that. In the end I would love to say I got more from this book than I expected.

Verdict:

4/5 Stars

Book Review: Dragonfire by Donna Grant

Hello readers and welcome to my blog, today I will be reviewing Dragonfire by Donna Grant. I am thankful to author and NetGalley for this book in exchange of an honest review.

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Synopsis:

As a Dragon King, Roman is sworn to protect all mortals–even though they no longer believe in dragons. But deep in the Carpathian Mountains, he discovers a beautiful and mysterious gypsy who possesses the power to see into his very soul. To reignite the fire in his heart. And to help him find the long-lost sword that could save the dragons forever…

Sabina remembers the stories her grandmother told her. Legends of dragons and kings, fire and ice. And she’s never forgotten the dark prophecy that filled her ancestors with fear–a fate they tried to prevent by stealing a Dragon King’s sword. Sabina knows that helping Roman is dangerous. He is a dragon betrayed, and more powerful than any man. He could destroy her in a single fiery embrace. But how can she resist the longing in his eyes–or the feelings in her heart–when their destinies are bound by desire? (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

Dragonfire starts on a very strong note with equally interesting premises. I picked this book the moment I read its synopsis and flew through half of the book just like that. I loved how the Story of Sabina started and how her destiny was conspiring to meet the person she always thought about. I loved the universe building by the author although I realized this world is much bigger than I thought. I liked character developments but I had hard time following stories with so many characters at once, I started becoming bored with the book and it was hard for me to keep up with it. I particularly enjoyed sexual tension between Roman and Sabina.

I have a personal liking for the stories which have legacies, secrets and dragons but somehow I felt this book was not up to the mark with my expectations despite the fact that I really liked how the story started.

Writing style of author is flawless, I hope I would read more books form her.

Verdict:

3/5 Stars

Book Review: Reaper At The Gate by Sabaa Tahir

Hello readers and welcome to another book review blog, today I will be reviewing Reaper at the Gate by Sabaa Tahir which is third book in An Amber in the Ashes series.

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Synopsis:

Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.

The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister’s life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias’s devotion–even at the cost of his humanity.

My Thoughts:

An Amber in the ashes series is my all time favorite and I can’t get enough of this book, characters and stories. From the first book till reaper my love and obsession for this series has grown to all another level. I cannot think of writing a review without giving away much but I am going to try as I do not want to ruin this gem for others.

Reaper at the Gate is complex, intense and heartbreaking. In this book Laia, Elias and Helene were mostly apart from each other but they were connected through their love,loyalty and pain. I loved how beautifully author wrote this complex relationship of these characters. As a reader I want to protect these characters but author had pretty clear vision about what she wants to do with them and she did exactly what she wanted.  There were some plot lines in Torch against the night that I despised but in this book there was fair explanation behind every thing mentioned in last book.

There was hint of romance but I am glad it was not in dominance, although I missed the sexual tension between the characters which was there in first two books. I wanted more scenes of Laia and Nightbringer but I didn’t get much of it.

I believe I successfully shared my opinion without giving away much.

Verdict:

5/5 Stars.