Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (#9)

Waiting on Wednesday is about sharing a book every week you cannot wait to be published. This week, I'm waiting on

by Michele Jaffe

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Pages: 400

Expected Publication: January 30, 2014
Publisher: Razorbill

Description from Goodreads:

A high concept, cinematic read with a surprising twist,MINDERS asks the question: who is really watching who?

Q: If the boy you love commits a crime, would you turn him in?

Sadie Ames is a type-A teenager from the wealthy suburbs. She's been accepted to the prestigious Mind Corps Fellowship program, where she'll spend six weeks as an observer inside the head of Ford, a troubled boy with a passion for the crumbling architecture of the inner city. There's just one problem: Sadie's fallen in love with him.

Q: What if the crime is murder?

Ford Winters is haunted by the murder of his older brother, James. As Sadie falls deeper into his world, dazzled by the shimmering pinpricks of color that form images in his mind, she begins to think she knows him. Then Ford does something unthinkable.

Q: What if you saw it happen from inside his mind?

Back in her own body, Sadie is faced with the ultimate dilemma. With Ford's life in her hands, she must decide what is right and what is wrong. And how well she can really ever know someone, even someone she loves.

I was already sold when I saw the world "cinematic" - I love visual books. And this combined with a really cool sci-fi idea gets me all hyped about Minders! Who's with me?

Monday, 16 September 2013

Shades of Earth (Across the Universe, #3) by Beth Revis

Description from Goodreads:

Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceshipGodspeed behind. They're ready to start life afresh--to build a home--on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience.

But this new Earth isn't the paradise Amy had been hoping for. There are giant pterodactyl-like birds, purple flowers with mind-numbing toxins, and mysterious, unexplained ruins that hold more secrets than their stone walls first let on. The biggest secret of all? Godspeed's former passengers aren't alone on this planet. And if they're going to stay, they'll have to fight.

Amy and Elder must race to discover who--or what--else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. They will have to look inward to the very core of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed--friends, family, life on Earth--will have been for nothing.



I had really liked the trilogy before I had read the third and the concluding book Shades of Earth. I was even feeling a little bit of nostalgic as Across the Universe and A Million Suns had given me so many memorable and exciting moments. Therefore, I think it goes without saying how much I was looking forward to this book. 

Even though the beginning was very action filled as Amy and Elder faced all sorts of problems and dangers, I wasn't very captivated by the events. In fact, it took a really long time for me to actual get absorbed in the book. There definitely were all sorts of things going on which I didn't first see coming, but I just couldn't help but feel a tad bit disappointed as the plot development was rather predictable in general. The big revelation wasn't a surprise but more of a confirmation to my own speculations, and this was the biggest let down for me. Previously Revis has taken me by a surprise, but Shades of Earth didn't just do it for me. 

Quite many new characters are introduced to the readers which have been mentioned before, but haven't been fully known. Amy's parents for example are some of these characters. In the previous books we have gotten a very subjective opinion of Amy's father, Colonel Martin, as he was always described from Amy's point of view. However, when he is unfrozen the readers realise that he in fact isn't exactly the kind and sweet type of dad, at least not 100% of the time. He is the colonel first, and being a dad comes second (he is on a mission, after all). Like Elder mentiones, he is way too similar to the Eldest which makes Elder very suspicious of him. I was really happy that Colonel Martin wasn't exactly what Amy told us, as it created tension between the dynamics of Amy, Elder and Colonel Martin.

One of the other things that I've always found really well executed is the romance between Amy and Elder. Even though the element always is somewhere in the background, it never is the main theme. Across the Universe after all is about survival and finding your own place in the world. However, there is some notable progression in their relationship as Amy finally starts to realise that Elderis  exactly what she wants and needs. However, there also are some bumps in the road as the trip to paradise isn't without obstacles.

As Shades of Earth is the final book the trilogy, I think it's pretty mandatory to talk about how I liked the ending. Revis took pretty safe way to end the book, but it worked pretty well. There were some dramatic events, but it wasn't too difficult to figure out how things turn out to be in the ending. Even though I said that the final chapter worked okay, I wish there was something extra special there. Something that would make the readers gape or exclaim in wonder/surprise - just like in the end of book 1, Across the Universe. That would have been the cherry on the top for the trilogy.

The trilogy has been amazing, even though I think that Across the Universe was the best of all. A Million Suns takes the second place, and Shades of Earth comes third. I have to say that the books worked better in space than on ground, and I wished Shades of Earth would have concentrated on there too. Nevertheless, together the books has given me an amazing adventure with Amy and Elder, and I'm really happy I decided to pick  Across the Universe. Thank you Beth Revis for giving me a great ride with these incredible characters.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Stacking the Shelves (#6)

It's Saturday and so it's time for Stacking the Shelves!
Here's what I managed to get my hands on:



Brave New World by Aldous Huxley


Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1) by Marissa Meyer

Both of these books are some of those that have been on my TBR list forever, and I finally I got my hands on them. I hope I'll be able to read them real soon!

Friday, 13 September 2013

Divergent (Divergent, #1) by Veronica Roth (2011)

Description from Goodreads:

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.


Do you know the feeling after reading a book, that this trilogy could become one of favourites of all time? Well, this happened with me while reading Divergent. I just, ugh. I can't. It was just so good. I can't believe that at first I though that I might not like it. Shame on me!

So first of all, the world of Divergent is maybe one of the most imaginative dystopian worlds I have encountered for a  long time. The people are divided by their personality traits as they are allowed to choose to which society they want to belong to: Daunteless, Abnegation, Amity, Erudite and Candor. I mean, the idea is so simple, but so brilliant! The people who government the society have so the complete control over the people, as people are similar in their traits, mutiny doesn't arise as easily. Ingenious. And everything is based on this idea. 

I think I read the book in a matter of hours. The plot kept me captivated from the very first moment. All the events were so captivating and addicting as I had no idea what's going to happen next, and I just had to know more. There were mystery, political scheming, loyalty and identity crises, life and death choices to make, and of course action exuding so much that my pulse elevated quite a bit. 

I loved the evolution of Tris. Even though she does give some indications that she has tendencies to other traits beside Abnegations' own, at the beginning of the book she is the typical compliant, amiable member of Abnegation. However, as she chooses to change her faction, she slowly changes into a completely different person. But this person in fact is the girl who she really is. I enjoyed the development as it wasn't instantaneous, but gradual and subtle one. 

One of things which made me adore Divergent was the romance. Even though it becomes quite important part of the book, it never quite dominates the book's plot and direction. The romance was nicely paced, first a bit hesitant, but in the end overwhelming Tris. Even though the romance isn't exactly perfect, I found it sweeter and more heart-warming than most of the YA novel's relationships. 

The only large disappointment I faced with Divergent was that we never really get the reason why the society has been forced/decided to make 5 different factions. Why is this, what were the motivations behind? I hope these questions will be answered in the future books, because otherwise I'll be sorely disappointed.

One the things which make me so eager to read the book two, Insurgent, because it could be headed to anywhere - the choices are endless. I really hope that it doesn't take the predictable way of rebelling against the system straight away, but there should be something else included. Well, I guess I'll see that soon enough!

"I am not Abnegation. I am not Dauntless. I am Divergent. And I can’t be controlled."

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Description from Goodreads:

The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?


I've been meaning to read Shadow and  Bone forever. Somehow, I always found an excuse to buy or start another book. Mainly this was because of the huge hype that had surrounded the series. But then after a long break from reading, I had to start with something that many people have liked - just to get my motivation right again.  And oh yes, wasn't the book a good choice! Before I went to bed I read maybe 25%, and the first thing I did the next morning was continuing with the book. I ended up reading rest of the book in one sit.

I just simply fell in love with the story and plot like wise. It has been ages I have read young adult book which has been unpredictable for me! Always when I thought I was getting a hang of things, something drastic happened which made me read the paragraph again. Is this really happening?? I love how Bardugo was leading the readers to a false assumptions, and then suddenly pulling the rug under your feet. That is the reason why I read: I'm amazed, surprised, and keep yearning for more.

The Grishas, or the ones who possess magical powers, were so cool move from Bardugo. I fell in love with the hierarchy system in which they are the elite and above all others (even though it isn't really a fair system to the commoners). But it was really interesting as there was a hierarchy system also within the Grisha population. All the tension and politics between different Grisha groups was intriguing to read, and I wished there was more about it in the book. The different magical abilities they possessed were also really fascinating to witness, and I'm hoping we will get to see more of those in the future books.

I really liked Alina's character. Even though she was a physically weak and even little oppressed, she had some spunk in her. She spoke her mind and didn't change her values or opinions to please others or in order to fit in. Alina always stayed true to herself. She was also multidimensional with her strengths and weaknesses, her mistakes and loyalty. I usually need some warming up for the main characters, but I felt like I clicked with Alina immediately - that happens so rarely.

There is a sort of love triangle thing going on as well. I used to love them, but recently I have just read some many of them that I start to get a little sick and tired of them. I suppose the authors are trying to make the plot a little longer by having a third wheel, but sometimes I wish the writers would concentrate on one love interest. Nevertheless! In Shadow and Bone the love triangle worked so well! I think I could even say that this one is one of my favourites as the dynamics between the characters is so strong and constantly changing. At the beginning I was so sure which one Alina would choose, then I changed my opinion, after this I had already picked my team and was confident in it, and then I was unsure again! That's how you write a love triangle!

I can't wait to read Siege and Storm, the book 2. The description sounds so fascinating and I'm so sure the readers are going to witness  some serious drama and action. Ugh, I need to have the book 2 now!!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (#8)

Waiting on Wednesday is about sharing a book every week you cannot wait to be published. This week, I'm waiting on

(Heart of Dread, #1)
by Melissa de la Cruz & Michael Johnston

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Post-Apocalyptic, Supernatural
Pages: 336

Expected Publication: September 17, 2013
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

Description from Goodreads:

From New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston comes this remarkable first book in a spellbinding new series about the dawn of a new kind of magic.

Welcome to New Vegas, a city once covered in bling, now blanketed in ice. Like much of the destroyed planet, the place knows only one temperature—freezing. But some things never change. The diamond in the ice desert is still a 24-hour hedonistic playground and nothing keeps the crowds away from the casino floors, never mind the rumors about sinister sorcery in its shadows.

At the heart of this city is Natasha Kestal, a young blackjack dealer looking for a way out. Like many, she's heard of a mythical land simply called “the Blue.” They say it’s a paradise, where the sun still shines and the waters are turquoise. More importantly, it’s a place where Nat won’t be persecuted, even if her darkest secret comes to light.

But passage to the Blue is treacherous, if not impossible, and her only shot is to bet on a ragtag crew of mercenaries led by a cocky runner named Ryan Wesson to take her there. Danger and deceit await on every corner, even as Nat and Wes find themselves inexorably drawn to each other. But can true love survive the lies? Fiery hearts collide in this fantastic tale of the evil men do and the awesome power within us all.


The reason why I was so captured by the description is because (even though there are still some familiar elements)  the idea of post-apocalyptic New Vegas. Despite the fact that the world has encountered a huge disaster changing the life of humans forever, the society still goes on. Also the concept of "Blue" really intrigues me. What is it really? How did it come to be? Luckily, the publication date is pretty near, so we don't need to wait for Frozen for long!

Does Frozen sound interesting to you as well? Have you read any other Melissa de la Cruz books?

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (#6): Books as movies/TV adaptations

Top Ten Tuesday this week is about the books I would love to see as a movie/TV adaptation

1. Across the Universe trilogy by Beth Revis. How cool and visually impressive science fiction movie trilogy could be made of these books. I would definitely go to see them in the movies!

2. Delirium trilogy by Lauren Oliver. I think they tried to make a TV show out Delirium but I guess it flopped, or something (does anyone know more about this?). I would prefer if they made movies out of the books rather than a TV adaptations. 

3. Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. YES! One of the many reasons why Lux movies would be great is that we could see actual physical Daemon Black, but also the cool light alien forms Luxens can adapt. 

4. Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. Yes, I know they have made a movie out of Eragon, which by the way was awful! They completely raped the book, and I hope someone brave will try to make a remake out of it. Pretty please, with modern technology and with a budget big enough, the movie could be grrreat.

5. Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. Yes, yes, yes. 

6. Gentleman Bastards series by Scott Lynch. How awesome TV series would these book make? I think they could make every episode 1,5h long just like BBC Sherlock's episodes are. Gentleman Bastards books are pretty eventful and epic, so they could be made into movies, but something tells me that TV adaptation would be pretty great as well.

7. If You Could See Me Now by Cecelia Ahern. I'm not usually a big fan of rom-coms but I think this one could change my mind. Granted that it is well casted and done!

8. The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler. How cute movie adaptation could be made of The Future of Us? I really want to see it!

9. Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor. Just thinking about a movie adaptation of Daughter of Smoke and Bone gives me goose pumps! Think about how amazing the angels and chimaeras would look like. Think about Karou with her blue hair and Akiva with his burning eyes. Yes, please!

10. Angelfall by Susan Ee. Once again, a very visual survival/action/romance movie. I can already see the angels and the devastation of the city with own my mind's eye. I want this and all of the above happen so badly. Please, moviemakers, adapt these books into movies! 

Do you agree with me on these?

Monday, 9 September 2013

Viral Nation (Viral Nation, #1) by Shaunta Grimes

Description from Goodreads:

After a virus claimed nearly the entire global population, the world changed. The United States splintered into fifty walled cities where the surviving citizens clustered to start over. The Company, which ended the plague by bringing a life-saving vaccine back from the future, controls everything. They ration the scant food and supplies through a lottery system, mandate daily doses of virus suppressant, and even monitor future timelines to stop crimes before they can be committed.

Brilliant but autistic, sixteen-year-old Clover Donovan has always dreamed of studying at the Waverly-Stead Academy. Her brother and caretaker, West, has done everything in his power to make her dream a reality. But Clover’s refusal to part with her beloved service dog denies her entry into the school. Instead, she is drafted into the Time Mariners, a team of Company operatives who travel through time to gather news about the future.

When one of Clover’s missions reveals that West’s life is in danger, the Donovans are shattered. To change West’s fate, they’ll have to take on the mysterious Company. But as its secrets are revealed, they realize that the Company’s rule may not be as benevolent as it seems. In saving her brother, Clover will face a more powerful force than she ever imagined… and will team up with a band of fellow misfits and outsiders to incite a revolution that will change their destinies forever.


I was really excited when I noticed that my request for Viral Nation was accepted on NetGalley. I haven't read any post-apocalyptic books for a long time even though they usually end up being some of my favourite books. The idea of autistic main character also made me intrigued about the book as I don't recall reading any similar kind of books. There were so many fascinating elements that I knew I had to get my hands on the book. So, you can imagine my excitement as I started reading the book.

I really liked the main characters Clover and West whose point of views the readers were allowed to witness. As Clover is the autistic main character, I was slightly worried that Grimes couldn't write her convincingly. But that worry ended up being for nothing! The readers immediately notice how Clover is struggling with social situations and can't correctly interpret others' rhetorics or intentions, just like it usually happens to autistics.  However, it was nice to realise despite of everything that I was able to identify with her character. She feels compassion and love, and on top of this, she is a child genius with  her incredible memory. I was never left cold by her character.

West on the other hand was this protective and loyal big brother who had taken care of Clover as long as he could remember. However, he had to put his own dreams on hold as West always puts Clover's needs first. Writers tend to write the male characters in a very romanticised fashion, but it was really refreshing as West isn't perfect: he has problems with his aggression and he doesn't always handle situations related to violence in the best manner. 

Even though the plot isn't exactly original, I loved the corrupted society the book included. The nation has been swept away by the virus killing the majority of population, only leaving some hundreds of thousands people alive. The survivors now have established few cities surrounded by walls which prevent the citizens from leaving as they are told that here are only dangers waiting outside the city walls. I wish Grimes would have introduced more of the society and how the hierarchies work, even though we got a brief glance to the system. I was left with so many questions that I would have liked to gotten answers to.

But there was something which in the book that left me a bit cold. Well, if I'm being completely honest, more than a bit of cold. I usually enjoy reading books which include action and all sorts of dangers, but I don't feel like Viral Nation offered too many situations like that. Despite the fact that there were this constant atmosphere of fear, there weren't scenes which made my heart pound and want to read faster than I actually could. The plot in itself was good, but I didn't find it thrilling or suspenseful.

Viral Nation was a good read. It wasn't as good as I hoped it would be, but I did enjoy it. I tend to have too high expectations and this is probably why I end up disappointed with so many books. But I don't think it is actually correct to lower my expectations when I'm reading, is it? I think we all deserve books which we love unconditionally. Viral Nation just wasn't one of those books for me. 

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Half-Blood (Covenant #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi pure bloods have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals--well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. 

There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.


I think (once again) I'm referring more to Covenat series rather than the first book of it, even though Half-Blood does have a special place in my heart for many reasons. First of the many reasons is that this book belongs to my list of books which have made me fall in love with YA genre.

Even though I've always loved to read, at some point during my teens I forgot how much I enjoyed it. Friends, TV shows and movies took the place of reading. But then when I finished high school and found myself quite lonely at my university campus, I started reading again. And one of the books that I picked up was Half-Blood

The book completely sucked me in. I couldn't help myself but read the whole book in one sit. I started reading when I woke up in the morning, and I didn't stop until I had finished the very last page. I kept gasping, snorting, laughing, sobbing, and gaping at the book as Armentrout really knows her business when it comes to action, romance and tormenting her readers with the plot twists.

First of all, the characters. I love all the character she writes, even the bad guys! Armentrout makes all her characters multidimensional and emotive starting with the main characters, but also continuing to secondary characters. None of her characters is purely good or evil as they all seem to have their virtues and weaknesses. One of my ultimate favourite characters of all time is Seth who is a secondary character in the series. He is first presented as a narcissistic and power-hungry teenager, but slowly but surely, the author let us see that there is more to him. He's funny, loyal to the end, insecure and sweet when he wants to. 

One of the things which I always list as my favourite things of Armentrout's writing is the chemistry between the characters. It is incredible! The electricity between Alex and Aiden almost is touchable and always presented in right quantities. The scenes make you all giggly as well as frustrated which ensures you are always coming back for more. Even though Armentrout is a fan of including love triangles in her books, they seem to work pretty well as the heroine is rather loyal to the primary love interest (which of course makes the underdog team a bit crazy). 

I've always been a huge fan of Greek mythology and I was just so ecstatic when I found out that some of the legends were incorporated in the storyline. It was so much fun to read how Armentrout had put a little of her own stuff to the legends and still made it work smoothly. Even though the first book doesn't have so much of the mythology included, the element becomes more prominent the further the story goes on. I loved how things start slowly to unravel and you find things that you thought would never happen.

I've heard tons of critics of Covenant as it is rather similar to Vampire Academy series. The forbidden romance, a boarding school, kick-ass heroine etc. I'm not sure if Armentrout got her inspiration from Mead's books, but let's face the fact: those elements arise almost in every fantasy YA book. For instance there is a boarding school in Fallen by Lauren Kate, there is a kick-ass heroine in The Hunger Games, there is a forbidden romance in Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Nowadays, it seems to be pretty rare not to find similarities between YA books. I want to make sure that I'm definitely not dissing those who claim that Covenant is a copy of Vampire Academy, but it is just my opinion that she probably didn't mean to have so similar elements in her books (or maybe she did, but I really hope not).

Liebster Award Nomination

Lanaia  from The Temporary Escape nominated me for Liebster award! So incredibly nice of her, thank you so much! It really warmed my heart, and not only because she remembered me, but also because this is a great thing to do among the bloggers who don't have massive amounts of followers. 

Liebster Award is a way to help blogs you like with less than 200 followers. It's a way to give them some deserved attention so our followers can discover them as well.

These are the rules:

- Link back the blogger that tagged you;
- Nominate 10 others and answer the questions of the one who tagged you;
- Ask 10 questions for the bloggers you nominate;
- Let your nominees know of their award.

Questions I was asked to answer:

1. Why did you start your blog and how do you like blogging so far?

One of my friends has a book blog of her own, and she seemed to be enjoying blogging quite a bit, so I though I might give it a try as well. And I really like it! I love writing about the things I love (and occasionally don't), as well as doing all the weekly memes. The last few weeks have been a bit quiet as I haven't read too much, but there will be a change to that!

2. What's your current job? Do you like it? If you're a student, what do you want to be?

I'm a 3rd year psychology student at the moment. I'd really love to go study brain imaging after I've completed my undergraduate degree, and after that become a specialist working in hospitals.

3. If you could meet your favourite author, who would it be and what would you say to them?

George R.R. Martin without doubt! I've listened and watched various interviews of him, and he always seem to have great stories to share. I'd love to ask him a few questions about A Song of Ice and Fire!

4. What are your 3 favourite books?

I knew this question would come up (haha)! Argh, it's so difficult to say three absolute favourites as they tend to change according to my moods. But I think at the moment they would be (in no specific order) A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold by George R.R. Martin, Angelfall by Susan Ee, and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.

5. What are your 3 favorite songs?

Ballad of a Politician by Regina Spektor, Locomotive by Alex Winston, and I've got your number, son by She & Him.

6. If you could live in any fantasy world (from books), which would you chose?

Once again, so many options.. I'd definitely want to experience a high fantasy world with elves and magic, but then again something related to space would be really cool as well with high technology.

7. What do you like to do in your spare time, besides reading and blogging?

Raiding bookstores, charity shops and coffee houses. I also tend to watch too much TV.

8. Where would you like to travel and what would you do there?

New York and San Francisco are on the top of my list at the moment. I've always wanted to visit the States and those two cities sound so incredible and vibrant! 

9. What is your favourite fantasy creature?

Definitely elves!

10. Any kind of books you don't like to read?

Excessively religious aren't exactly my favourites.

My questions:

1. How are you today?
2. What are you currently reading?
3. What is the book you are dying to read, but haven't got a chance yet to read it?
4. Name your 3 favourite movies and books.
5. Who are your favourite hero and heroine?
6. If you could meet one author and spend a whole day with him/her, who would that be?
7. What is the best part of having a book blog?
8. What made you create your blog?
9. Give 5 words that describe you the best.
10. Do you have any dreams?

Here are ten bloggers who I have nominated:

This was so much fun! Thank you again, Lanaia, for nominating me! And for those who I have tagged, I hope you didn't mind as I found this really cool.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastards, #2) by Scott Lynch (2007)

Description from Goodreads:

Thief and con-man extraordinaire, Locke Lamora, and the ever lethal Jean Tannen have fled their home city and the wreckage of their lives. But they can't run forever and when they stop they decide to head for the richest, and most difficult, target on the horizon. The city state of Tal Verarr. And the Sinspire.

The Sinspire is the ultimate gambling house. No-one has stolen so much as a single coin from it and lived. It's the sort of challenge Locke simply can't resist...

...but Locke's perfect crime is going to have to wait.

Someone else in Tal Verarr wants the Gentleman Bastards' expertise and is quite prepared to kill them to get it. Before long, Locke and Jean find themselves engaged in piracy. Fine work for thieves who don't know one end of a galley from another.


I had very high expectations for the book. I loved the book one, The Lies of Locke Lamora, so much because of it's witty, smart and funny dialogue and twists which knock your socks off. Red Seas Under Red Skies did offer these elements once again, but not nearly with the same standard as the first book, or at least I felt like this. 

I think the main reason for this is the fact that like the description tells us, Locke and Jean are forced to become pirates. Even though the idea seems pretty appealing to put the duo in a situation where both of them are helpless sounds pretty comical and interesting, it was mostly boring and predictable for me. I was able to guess every plot development while Locke and Jean were on the sea, and I didn't like it. I have never been a huge pirate fan, so probably this also contributed to my lack of enthusiasm. If the book wouldn't have concentrated so much on piracy and sea traveling, I probably would have liked the book better. The guys are definitely land rats, and I prefer them to be on dry land as that is where they shine. 

Fortunately, the book wasn't all about the pirates, but we got plenty of action in Tal Verrarr, the city Gentleman Bastards habit for the moment. The beginning and the ending were my favourite parts of the books as Jean and Locke were in their element. Of course as always, they face some tricky situations and they need to solve it order to move forward with their plan. I really admire Lynch's ability to come up with such complex shams Locke invents and he gives hints how the plan is carried out, but only in the end everything is revealed. In Red Seas Under Red Skies, we didn't get so much of this as in the book 1.

Another thing that is to my liking when it comes to Gentleman Bastards books, is the characters. Jean and Locke faced a terrible loss in the book 1, and some of the aftermath is handled in Red Seas Under Red Skies. Locke starts drinking trying to forget his sorrow while Jean concentrates on something concrete in order to copy with the events that took place in The Lies of Locke Lamora. I wish the readers would have gotten more of the coping with the sorrow as it was both heartbreaking and occasionally tragicomic to watch especially Locke's effort to move on (or not to move on). Other characters were also once again brilliant as this time we got also very strong female characters. I loved that they weren't stereotypical but felt very real with their strengths and weaknesses.

Even though I did mostly enjoy the book, I just wanted to skim some parts (the pirates). I think partly the reason why I'm disappointed with Red Seas Under Red Skies is because I loved the first book, and I was expecting the plot to be so different what it turned out to be. Nevertheless, I do want to continue reading the series as the third book The Republic of Thieves sounds mind-blowing. I can't wait to see what happens!

""You're mangy," said Jean. "You're dirtier than a Shade's Hill orphan. You've lost weight, though where from is a great mystery. You haven't been exercising you wounds or letting anyone tend to them for you. You've been hiding in a room, letting your condition slip away, and you've been drunk for two straight weeks. You're not what you were and it's your own damn fault.""