Anticipated releases for the second half of 2019

ttt

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday (created and hosted by  The Broke and Bookish) is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future week’s topics can be found here.  This week’s topic is:

Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of 2019

Nice and easy one this week – just look at a long list of books that I’m awaiting (not so patiently) and choose the first ten!

The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War #2 by R.F. Kuang 

Dragon Republic

Darkdawn (The Nevernight Chronicle #3) by Jay Kristoff

Darkdawn

A Little Hatred (The Age of Madness #1 by Joe Abercrombie

ALittleHatred

The Harp of Kings (Warrior Bards #1) by Juliet Marillier 

TheHarpof

The Hanged Man (The Tarot Sequence #2) by K.D. Edwards 

TheHangedMan

The Bone Ships (The Tide Child #1) by R.J. Barker 

BoneShips

The Night Country (The Hazel Wood #2) by Melissa Albert 

NightCountry

The Name of All Things (A Chorus of Dragons #2) by Jenn Lyons 

NameofallThings

The Girl with No Face (The Daoshi Chronicles #2) by M.H. Boroson

thegirl

Mistletoe by Alison Littlewood

Mistletoe

 

 

 

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The Fall (Thieves of Fate #2) by Tracy Townsend

FallThe Fall is the second Instalment in Tracy Townsend’s Thieves of Fate series in which we once again return to a fascinating world.

Please be aware that this review may contain spoilers for The Nine so please don’t read this if you haven’t read the first book yet – and also, I would suggest you read the first in series rather than diving straight into The Fall otherwise you’ll be missing out on a lot of world and character building.

In The Nine we literally discover a self writing book that documents the experiences of nine selected individuals as they go about their everyday existence.  They’re guinea pigs in a way, chosen seemingly randomly to allow God the chance to scrutinise their actions and behaviour.  This series focuses on three primary species – humans – (needs no explanation I think), Lanyani – trees of a sort, they can move about, communicate and more importantly think quite strategically and Aigamuxa – creatures that are large, strong and fast.  They also communicate and are able to think, their eyes are set in their heels – definitely an unusual development and they tend to resort to violence in the first resort.

The second book takes us about 8 or 9 months after the conclusion of No.1.  Rowena is working in the Alchemist’s apothecary, the alchemist is still recovering and Anslem is conspiring with the Alchemist to keep Rowena in the dark about things.  Everything is going swimmingly until they’re invited to a party, a party that sees them being hired for an unusual job that involves the trio travelling a long way to explore a library – ( I’ll repeat it for those who missed it first time – explore a library).  Meanwhile other things, plenty of other things, are afoot, conspiring is rife and everyone seems to be scheming – the self writing book has fallen into different hands that could endanger everyone and certain species are becoming allies most unexpectedly.

This is proving to be a series that has plenty going on and no shortage of thought provoking material.  It’s very clever, incredibly creative and well plotted with a great combination of science and theology.  There are plenty of characters and in fact there’s a much deeper exploration of motivations.  However, and I’m just going to get this out of the way early on, this does slow the pace somewhat, particularly in the first half of the book.  There’s a lot to take on board, plenty of POVs and plots just waiting to break out.  Basically, you need to pay close attention, everything is relevant here and so you need to carefully digest each chapter.  I realise that probably sounds a bit dramatic or perhaps even puzzling – like, ‘don’t you pay attention to every book you read?’ Obviously, yes, but some books just take more brain power than others is what I’m driving at. So, yes, a slow start that you need to be patient with – but well worth the effort.

The author really builds on the world in this instalment taking us exploring much further afield and spending time with different cultures and, given the way the story ends, I think that’s a trend that is set to continue.  I really liked this aspect of the story, we visit a Japanese inspired country with a love of clockwork invention and spend time getting to know the politics and set up which result in some interesting developments.

In terms of criticisms.  Well, as I mentioned, there is a slight slowing of pace initially which makes it feel like the plot is pending somehow, just waiting to really get started.  For me, there was something more holding me back and it took me a while to figure out what that was.  I think, to be honest, it boils down to the fact that Rowena, Anselm and the Bear have less page time.  Obviously, that was necessary in order to explore what was going on with the others in the story and to give readers a deeper insight but I felt the lack of their presence a little – even whilst I understand the necessity for it.

All that being said, the second half of the book really does come into its own with a burst of action and revelations and the ending has left me desperate to pick up the next book.  So, in spite of a few issues here and there this was still a very good read.  You do need to exercise patience but overall it’s a clever plot that’s well executed.

I received a copy courtesy of the publisher, through Edelweiss, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

 

 

 

Weekly Wrap Up : 16th June 2019

Hello again everyone.  Hope you’ve had a good week.  The weather has been absolutely horrible but the silver lining of bad weather is more reading.  I’ve read three books this week and I have to confess I’m on a role – three really great reads.  Limited Wish – the second instalment of Mark Lawrence’s time travelling sci fi which is a lot of fun and totally mind bending in a great way (how is that not a contradiction?).  The 10th instalment of the Mercy Thompson series which I really enjoyed and really shook things up and finally The Corset by Laura Purcell – which absolutely blew me away – I loved it.  In other news SPFBO5 is now live – and has already received over 250 entrants – in fact the tally as this post goes live is 264.  Looks like there’s some strong competition and I’m looking forward to seeing which books and authors are in my group.  So, here’s what I’ve been reading:

My books:

  1. Limited Wish by Mark Lawrence – 4.5 stars
  2. Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs – 4 stars
  3. The Corset by Laura Purcell – 5 stars

Next scheduled reads:

  1. The Whisper Man by Alex North
  2. Nocturna by Maya Motayne
  3. Across the Void by SK Vaughn

Upcoming reviews

  1. King of the Road by RS Belcher
  2. Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs
  3. The Fall by Tracy Townsend
  4. Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs
  5. The Corset by Laura Purcell

I’d love to know what you’re reading this week.

Friday Face Off : “Coraline opened the box of chocolates. The dog looked at them longingly.”

FFO

Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme created by Books by Proxy .  This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers.  The rules are fairly simple each week, following a predetermined theme (list below) choose a book, compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.   Future week’s themes are listed below – the list has been updated to help out those of you who like to plan ahead – if you have a cover in mind that you’re really wanting to share then feel free to leave a comment about a future suggested theme.  I’ve also listed events that take place during the year, that I’m aware of, so you can link up your covers – if you’re aware of any events that you think I should include then give me a shout.  This week’s theme:

“Coraline opened the box of chocolates. The dog looked at them longingly.” – A cover featuring something sweet

Ohh this was a tough theme.  I did have a couple of books such as Chocolat or Willy Wonka but I think I’ve used them both before so I’ve gone for a book that I read many moons ago – a sweet book and a lovely read.  Magical realism if you like it.  My book this week is : The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen and here are the covers:

My favourite is – notice the cup cake:

Moon3

This cover is kind of simple but I just like it with all the little bits and pieces that feature in the story.

Which one is your favourite?

Like last week I’ve added a Mr Linky here so that you can leave a link if you wish or please leave me a link in the comments so we can all visit and check out each others covers.  Thanks

I’ve updated the list and included themes through to the end of 2019 – I’ve also included events that I’m aware of so that you can perhaps link your themes up where possible (if you know of an event you’d like to share that let me know in the comments).  I also have a list prepared for 2020 and so will set up a separate page soon for forthcoming themes.  As always, if you wish to submit an idea then leave me a comment.

Next week – Summer Solstice – the longest day of the year – Pagan rituals/standing stones/blazing suns – a cover with your own interpretation

Future themes: (if you’re struggling with any of these themes then use a ‘freebie’ or one of your favourite covers)

2019

21st June – Summer Solstice – the longest day of the year – Pagan rituals/standing stones/blazing suns – a cover with your own interpretation

28th June – “And who decided which people wore the striped pyjamas” – A cover that is striped

5th July – “The question of whether or not we are alone in the universe… has been answered” –  a cover featuring something/somebody historic 

12th July – A wrap around cover

19th July – “You can’t choose between life and death when we’re dealing with what is in between.” – A cover that is grainy or looks like ‘white noise’

26th July – “Ludo ….. down” – A cover that is Upside Down

2nd August – “There are children here somewhere. I can smell them.” A cover featuring children

9th August – “I’m disinclined to acquiesce to your request.” – A cover featuring Pirates

16th August – “The haft of the arrow had been feathered with one of the eagles own plumes” – a cover featuring feathers

23rd August – A cover that is a movie tie in

30th August – “I wandered lonely as a cloud” – a cover that is predominantly yellow

6th September “Warm September brings the fruit” – a cover that is seasonal for Autumn/Fall

13th September – Friday the 13th – unlucky for some!  A cover with ‘curse’ in the title

20th September – “Your hair is winter fire,January embers.” – A cover featuring hair

27th September – Freebie

4th October – “Feed me Seymour” – A cover that is 60s horror

11th October – ““And, though there should be a world of difference between the smile of a man and the bared fangs of a wolf, with Joss Merlyn they were one and the same.”  – a cover featuring an Inn

18th October – “It’s your favorite scary movie, remember? He had on the white mask, he stalked the babysitters.” – A cover featuring a scream

25th October – for Halloween – pick any scary cover you like

(I’m hoping that November will once again bring to us SciFiMonth – Twitter @SciFiMonth)

1st November – A cover that is predominantly grey

8th November – “big badda boom” – a cover that features an explosion

15th November – “No thinking thing should be another thing’s property, to be turned on and off when it is convenient.” – a cover featuring a robot

22nd November – A cover that is Futuristic

29th November – “When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere.” – a cover that is 60s sci fi

6th December – Now is the winter of our discontent, Made glorious summer by this sun of York”  – a cover that puts you in mind of winter

13th December – A cover that features a temple/or religious icon

20th December – Longest Night –  a dark and foreboding cover

27th December – the festive season – a cover that is glittery or sparkling

(2020 – January is Vintage SciFi month so I’ll be including possible themes to take that on board.)

Limited Wish (Impossible Times #2) by Mark Lawrence

LimitedWishLimited Wish was a blast of a book that brought with it more mind bending paradoxes and adventure very much in the style of Back to the Future.  This series is a whole lot of fun – although I’m not sure fun is the word I’m really looking for or truly says what I want it to – it will suffice for now and maybe I’ll shoot back in time later and revamp this – and nobody will even see this version.  Also, be aware that this review may contain spoilers for One Word Kill so unless ‘current you’ has a way of manipulating time  and jumping back to tell ‘past you’ not to read it – then, well, be warned.  That is all.

We jump forward a little as the story begins and find Nick in a punt, racing from a bunch of hysterical students with blood on their mind.  It seems that Nick has caused offence in some way and is about to pay the price unless he can make his escape.  As it happens, a young woman saves the day and rescues the dude in distress.  Hooray.

Meet Helen.  Nick has that strange feeling of deja vu, he’s sure he’s met Helen a few months earlier in what has come to feel like a haunting event.  Helen is also a student at Cambridge, easy going and easy to like Nick develops an almost immediate crush – but, what about Mia you might very well ask – well, Mia and Nick are no longer dating, too much stress accompanied their pre-destined relationship – but, hold up, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Nick, at the age of 16, finds himself unexpectedly attending Cambridge University, mathematical genius and beater of cancer.  He’s working, alongside an eminent professor to discover the time travel he will need to make use of in later years.  Of course all is not plain sailing.  Apart from getting off to a bad start with a number of the older students who very much resent Nick’s existence let alone his gall in attending their prestigious university, the pressure of finding scientific solutions becomes very real when the sponsors of the project start to use strong arm tactics to keep things on track.  On top of this Nick once again finds himself becoming something of an anomaly, strange things occur around him and he finds himself visited by people from a future yet to come.  But none of these things are as life threatening as the ‘wrinkle in time’ that has affected Nick’s timeline so disastrously and resulted in him having to cope not only with a world determined to see his demise but also facing the news that the cancer he beat has returned with a vengeance.  Things have gone rapidly wrong to say the least.

I’m not going to go further into the plot as this could undoubtedly spoil the surprises in store.  There is no shortage of mind bending twists in Limited Wish.  It really is a book that will make you stop short and think hard.  I love the conundrums created here, it truly is a ‘what came first, the chicken or the egg?’ type of read.  If somebody didn’t come back in time in book one, for example, would time travel even have been thought of as a possibility?  Riddle me this –  the Terminator – travels back in time to assassinate the mother of the rebel leader who is proving such a problem in the future and in doing so leaves behind a peace of technology that is so futuristic that it actually enables that future, which the Terminator comes from, to exist. Yep, it kind of does my head in too but in a good way that, as strange as it may sound, I enjoy.  So many, infinite possibilities that occur not in a lifetime but in a mere instant, all with the possibility to split into different possible futures.

On top of this we have the return of Nick’s friends, or nearly all of them.  They’re starting to lead more separate lives in some ways, and Nick’s departure to University has helped to speed up the rift a little, but they still come together every weekend to share their love of D&Ds.  Mia has a boyfriend and Nick struggles to come to terms with it all, particularly when she starts to bring her new fella to their weekly games sessions.  It’s all part of growing up.

Lawrence has definitely tapped into our love of a certain era with this series. It’s just got such great vibes, its fast paced and is basically a story very well told.  The other thing that is really well done is the voice of the main protagonist.  Nick feels like a 16 year old and even though Lawrence manages to make this seem deceptively easy to achieve I have to applaud it especially the way that the main thrust of the story is all about the difficult choices which he’s presented with – which is a very real issue when you’re in your teens.

In terms of criticisms.  I don’t really have anything to be honest other than the fact that the other characters play something of a lesser role here – but it feels like a natural part of their own growing up.

A second instalment that builds admirably on the foundations laid in the first book and in fact develops in even more twisted ways – I can’t even begin to imagine the ways in which the third book will explore the multiple possibilities that open up when time travel is a possibility.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

 

 

 

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