Friday, 6 April 2018

Book Review: Heart of Mist (The Oremere Chronicles #1) by Helen Scheuerer

Book: Heart of Mist
Series: The Oremere Chronicles book 1
Author: Helen Scheuerer
Age Group and Genre: YA, fantasy 
In a realm where toxic mist sweeps the lands and magic is forbidden, all Bleak wants is a cure for her power.
Still grieving the death of her guardian and dangerously self-medicating with alcohol, Bleak is snatched from her home by the Commander of the King’s Army, and summoned to the capital. But the king isn’t the only one interested in Bleak's powers.
The leader of an infamous society of warriors, the Valia Kindred, lays claim to her as well, and Bleak finds herself in the middle of a much bigger battle than she anticipated.
Heart of Mist is the gripping first book in The Oremere Chronicles, a fantasy series of epic proportions. - Quoted from Goodreads

Rating: 5/5 STARS

My Review:
Heart of Mist is a book that took me completely by surprise.  I'd heard hardly anyone talking about it so I was going back and forth on whether or not to read it but ultimately the blurb sounded too interesting to let it pass me by.  And I am so glad I decided to read it.

Heart of Mist is a YA fantasy centred on Bleak (the mc) who can hear people's thoughts.  And to cope with hearing people's thoughts all the time she turns to alcohol.  Yes, this is a YA book with an alcoholic mc.  It's a richly imagined world where people with magical abilities are rare to come by and are not looked on kindly by the king.  At the start of the book a group of the king's soldiers come to take Bleak to the king.

I loved this book, it was written so well.  The world was wonderfully set up and the characters were all so interesting and individual that I just wanted to read more about them.

Bleak was a fascinating mc, from her dependency on alcohol to her testing the limits of her powers.  All of it made her an intriguing character.  I also liked reading about the Valian, who are a race of female warriors, who take Bleak under their wings.  Henri is the leader of the Valian and she is another intriguing character.  She has a very tough exterior and her motives are always a bit unclear which adds a lot to the intrigue of her character.  I liked reading about her relationship with Athene, her second in command, and would like to read more about their background with each other in further books.

Although Bleak is the mc, the book also has multiple povs that introduce other characters and I thought these povs really added a lot to the story and were so captivating to read and I loved how interwoven the povs were.

Overall I loved the richly imaginative world of Heart of Mist and the characters and their backstories are so interesting.  The writing feels so seamless as it brings together a great plot.  I don't like comparing books but while I was reading Heart of Mist, the writing and flow of the storyline reminded me of the earlier Throne of Glass books and the Poison Study series so I would highly recommend Heart of Mist if you liked these books.  I can't wait to see where the story goes next.  

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

March 2018 Wrap Up

Unbound: Stories from the Unwind World by Neal Schusterman - 3/5 STARS
This is a collection of stories that take place in the Unwind world and although I did like some of the stories, there was also some I feel didn't add anything to the overall story.

Summerlost by Ally Condie - 2/5 STARS
I didn't really enjoy this book but I think the main reason for that is because it's made for a much younger age group.  I didn't think it had much of a plot.

Archangel's Viper (Guild Hunter book 10) by Nalini Singh - 4/5 STARS
I really liked this book and I loved reading about Venom and Holly.  I love this series and I like seeing in each book of this series how close of a bond all the characters have with each other.  It's so interesting to read. 

Restore Me (Shatter Me book 4) by Tahereh Mafi - 3/5 STARS
There were parts of Restore Me I liked and parts I didn't.  I didn't like Juliette in this one, I found her to be really weak.  I liked reading her journal entries and I thought she had a much stronger voice in them but they were from the past and not who she was in Restore Me.  There was also a lack of communication in this book between Juliette and Warner that I felt was very unnecessary. 

Heart of Mist (The Oremere Chronicles book 1) by Helen Scheuerer - 5/5 STARS
Heart of Mist was a huge surprise for me.  I went into this book not knowing much about it, I heard hardly anyone talking about it and I ended up loving it.  Everything about it, the world, characters and plot were all written in such a captivating way.  If you like YA fantasy, I would highly recommend reading Heart of Mist.  I will be making a full review of this soon.

Here are some of my Bookstagram pictures from March.  You can find me at: xo_reader_kyla 

What books did you read in March?

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Top Ten Tuesday- Books On My Spring 2018 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week's topic is: Books On My Spring TBR.

Obsidio (The Illuminae Files book 3) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson book 10) by Patricia Briggs
Heart of Mist (The Oremere Chronicles book 1) by Helen Scheuerer

I decided to keep my list short because there are so many new releases coming out in the spring months that I plan to read as well as these five books.  What books are on your Spring TBR?

Friday, 9 March 2018

UKYA Books I Would Like To Read This Year

This year I've decided that I would make a goal to read more UKYA.  Recently I've realised that although I am from the UK the vast majority of the books I read are not.  When I decide to read a book I don't check where the author is from I just go by the blurb.  If I like the blurb, I'll read it.  Simple.  And although that is a thing I would like to maintain I would also like to be more aware of some UKYA books that have been/are being published.  I've listed here some of the UKYA books that I would like to read this year.  

The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle
To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury
A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven
Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron (Release date: 22nd March)
I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman (Release date: 3rd May)
We Are Young by Cat Clarke (Release date: 3rd May)

Have you read any of these books? What do you think of them? Do you have any UKYA recommendations?

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Top Ten Tuesday - Favourite Book Quotes

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week's topic is: Favourite Book Quotes.  

'She feels upturned, emptied, all the stardust of the past flying out of her pockets and away on the breeze.' - Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer

'I spent my life folded between the pages of books.
In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association.'  - Shatter me by Tahereh Mafi

'One must always be careful of books and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.' - Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

'I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.' - The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

'Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?' – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K Rowling

'Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.' – The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

'You are all the colours in one, at full brightness.'  – All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

'The madness of youth made me unafraid.' – Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

'To the stars who listen- and the dreams that are answered.' – A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

'You could rattle the stars.' – Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas 

These are just some of my favourite book quotes.  What are some of yours?

Thursday, 1 March 2018

February 2018 Wrap Up

In February I read four books.  Here is a list of them and some of my thoughts on them.

The Girl from the Other Side: Siúil, a Rún Volumes 1 & 2 by Nagabe - Both 4/5 STARS
I enjoyed these two volumes and I really loved the artwork of it. It has a very dark and mysterious quality to the story and I love that about it.  

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air book 1) by Holly Black - 4/5 STARS
I loved how much this book centred on faerie politics and I liked the twists and turns throughout it. You can find my review of it here

Into the Drowning Deep (Rolling in the Deep book 1) by Mira Grant - 4/5 STARS 
This book is about killer mermaids!  And although I did find some of the scientific and marine research parts of the book went over my head, the book is certainly memorable and the last half of the book is very thrilling.

Those were all the books I read in February.  I also watched Jessica Jones and I really loved it.  It's a great series and I can't wait to see where season 2 goes but first I have to watch the other Marvel series on Netflix.  I also started watching the k-drama Pinocchio.  I'm only around halfway through it but its soo good!

Here are some of my Bookstagram pictures I posted in February.  You can find me at xo_reader_kyla.

What did you read or watch in February? 

Friday, 23 February 2018

Book Review: The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black

Book: The Cruel Prince
Series: The Folk of the Air book 1
Author: Holly Black
Genres: YA, fantasy

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever. 
And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe. 
Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King. 
To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences. 
In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself. - Quoted from Goodreads

My Rating: 4/5 STARS

My Review:
I enjoyed The Cruel Prince a lot.  Before reading I was interested in this book but the blurb made it sound like it was centred on a typical YA romance between a cold hearted boy and a girl who just can't seem to stay away and that the rest of the story was in the background and that made me feel a bit wary of it but I was pleasantly surprised that the political intrigue and twisted court life that is mentioned briefly in the blurb is what the book is mostly centred on instead, which is great.

I really enjoy reading books about the fae.  I find faeries so interesting to read about and I love to see how an author makes a unique spin on them.  I was really dragged into the story at the beginning with the opening scene of Jude's (the main character) parents being murdered and her being forced to go to faerie and the story continued to be interesting.  It was full of twists and turns and I loved how embroiled Jude became in all the political aspects of faerie.  I liked how she made her own choices and decisions.

I liked how complex all the characters were.  A lot of them were so fun to read about because they were very morally grey and unpredictable.  Jude was an alright character, I didn't really feel fully connected to her.  I found Madoc to be the most interesting character and was so intrigued by his relationship with Jude and her sisters.  I didn't really care for Jude's twin sister, Taryn.  I thought she was a very weak character and I didn't feel much of a bond between her and Jude which was a bit of a disappointment.  I didn't like Cardan either.  He's too much of a cliched tortured bad boy stereotype for me and he did a lot of bad things in this book that I don't think I can look past.  I did find the ending interesting and I'm excited to see where the story will go next.

Overall I enjoyed The Cruel Prince.  I liked how it centred on faerie politics and how twisted that became.  There were some typical YA cliches, mainly in the romantic aspects of the book, but apart from that I think it's a good read and the ending really makes me wonder what is in store for the next book.