Book Review; A Deadly Education- Naomi Novik

Lesson One of the Scholomance

Page Count 336

 Publication date  2020/ Publisher Del Rey

GoodReads link

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Synopsis

A Deadly Education is set at Scholomance, a school for the magically gifted where failure means certain death (for real) — until one girl, El, begins to unlock its many secrets. There are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships, save strategic ones. Survival is more important than any letter grade, for the school won’t allow its students to leave until they graduate… or die! The rules are deceptively simple: Don’t walk the halls alone. And beware of the monsters who lurk everywhere. El is uniquely prepared for the school’s dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out millions. It would be easy enough for El to defeat the monsters that prowl the school. The problem? Her powerful dark magic might also kill all the other students.

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Book Review; All The Stars And Teeth- Adalyn Grace

A world full of magic, curses, pirates and mermaids.

 Publication date Aug 2020/ Publisher Titan

GoodReads link

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Synopsis

As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer – the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder – and more peril – than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.

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My 2019 DNF List

Tell me, was I right to put these books down?

For any who are unsure DNF stands for Did Not Finish. Not in the sense that I didn’t have time or just haven’t gotten around to picking it back up yet. DNF is a conscious decision to put that sucker down and walk away forever!

This is my third annual DNF list. The intention is not to spread negativity, many of these books I’m sure are loved by other readers. I’m going to tell you a little bit about why I stopped reading each, bearing in mind the furthest I got was 32% into any of these titles so my opinions were formed early.

If you think I’ve missed out by putting any of these down please tell me! If you think you might convince me to pick any of them back up please do! Continue reading “My 2019 DNF List”

How Important Is A Plot Twist?

I’m beginning to find it more difficult to find books that shock, scare or surprise me, one of my priorities when choosing what to read. I love trying to guess endings and I’m always happiest when I fail to do so.

I agree with the notion that when a book announces a twist, shocking revelation or surprise ending they’ve already eliminated those exact qualities.
We’re prepared for what’s to come and immediately start picking up on any hints and red herrings subconsciously, if not on purpose.

However, there needs to be connections to the end result earlier in the book to make them feasible. When a surprise comes straight out of left field and has no build up it feels lazy and sometimes makes no sense at all.
It’s a very nuanced art and (I assume) extremely difficult to balance the right amount of direction without paving the way to an obvious conclusion.

Often I’ll see reviewers rave about how they ‘never saw it coming’ and secretly roll my eyes, but I’ve also been amazed by revelations other readers had easily predicted.

For me a plot twist is a major factor in any suspense, crime or thriller novel. Done wrong it can leave me indifferent to the books other redeeming qualities. Done right it can rocket a mediocre read to much higher standing.

How do you feel about plot twists?

Do you have any good examples I should read?

2018 -Books I Meant To Read

In August last year I had my 30th birthday and left my long time career as a fashion retail manager, between these two major events I cashed in HARD on gift vouchers from my loving family and colleagues. I spent these entirely on books -obviously- nobody expected any less of me. 

Suddenly my (already extremely long) TBR list was growing at lightning speed! This meant that many of the books I’d been looking forward to got lost amongst over fifty new purchases. Of course my monster TBR increased again over the festive period and I even reached the stage where I wanted for nothing! Upcoming releases excepted. 

I’ve made it through the entire first month of the year with almost no purchases! That’s a first for me. Instead, I’m focusing on #SeriesToFinish and a backlist I’m quite certain would beat me in a fist fight.

Here are *just a few* releases I own but didn’t get around to reading last year… Continue reading “2018 -Books I Meant To Read”