17 Jan 2015


Mastiff (Beka Cooper, #3)

Title: Mastiff

Author: Tamora Pierce

Series: Beka Cooper #3

Genre: Fantasy (YA)

Pub. Date: October 25th 2011

I discovered the joy of Tamora Pierce’s writing a long while ago, however recently I have re-devoured all of her Tortallan books, Beka Cooper being the latest of my caffeine fuelled escapades. Full of mystery, action, Achoo (!), and, of course, that classic Tamora Pierce flair, Mastiff is a brilliant end to the Beka Cooper trilogy that I would recommend to everyone.

I often say how I find heroines strong, or brave, but it is only after reading Ms. Pierce’s books that I realise how much I have been lying to you all. Beka is a true heroine, she is tough, strong, incredibly smart, and an idol for feminists everywhere. I have no idea how she does it, but Pierce manages to consistently provide us with brave, independent young women who put other heroines to shame. I liked Beka’s attitude to things, straightforward, no nonsense – if something bad happens she doesn’t run around crying why me?, she picks herself up and makes sure she does a better job in the future. My kind of girl? Definitely.

On the plot: Loved it – although others may find it does to tend to drag on a teeny tiny bit, not that I cared. It was a big finish for the end of another successful series, with plenty of political intrigue, annoying characters you just relished hating, magic, and betrayal. That betrayal. WHY, Ms. Pierce, why? I was just saying to myself, it can’t possibly be them, and then you have to go stomp all over my dreams! I applaud you for, as they say, ‘throwing us a curveball’, but i feel as if it was done more for shock factor than anything else. The villain could have been someone new and i would have enjoyed it just as much. 

I can see why Tamora has stuck with her world of Tortall for so long, she’s built it up into a truly magnificent figment of the imagination, and whenever I think of fantasy this is always one of the first things that pop into my head. It has that lovely quality of old – or medieval –fantasy with it’s kingdoms, regal castles, Gifts and just the general atmosphere that the author manages to create. Pierce’s writing is unique in that is straight forward with no messing around, you get everything you need without reading pages and pages of poetic babble. And trust me, it’s lovely and all, but after reading about ten books in a row FILLED with it, this is a welcome break.

I'm a big fan of the added touch of romance, and I really mean it when I say it was just a touch. If you’d told me Beka would fall for him in the first hundred pages I would have laughed till I cried, but towards the end Ms. Pierce somehow worked it in flawlessly so that it ended up feeling completely natural. Before Mastiff I’d hedged my bets on a certain King of Thieves, but i guess you'll just have to read the book to find out who the lucky man is...

If you haven’t read any of Tamora Pierce’s books yet, just…just leave. And then go find a book store or a library and borrow as many as you can, it’s so worth it. If you’re a fan of proper fantasy, or just a good book with amazing characters; you seriously cannot go wrong with the Beka Cooper trilogy.

15 Jan 2015



Title: Refuge
Author: Karen Lynch
Series: Relentless #2
Pub. Date: December 9th 2014
Genre: YA Paranormal/Fantasy
More Information

Rating: 5 STARS

The anticipated sequel to Relentless by Karen Lynch, Refuge delivers on all fronts as the next installment in this fantastic paranormal YA series.

After the disastrous events at the end of the last book, Sara has moved to Mohiri headquarters in order to keep her family, friends, and herself safe. Thrust into this new world Sara must learn to fight and control the powers that come with her unique heritage, at the same time the Master who will stop at nothing to get her begins putting into place a sinister plot. In this unfamiliar place Sara will make new friends, experience profound betrayal, loss, and even unexpected love.

Sara is officially the kind of heroine I adore – strong, caring, selfless, yet still possessing faults that make her completely relatable. She’s willing to admit her own weakness, and is not afraid to cry if everything becomes too much. In this novel we get to see her flourish in a new environment, watching as she finally meets her fellow Mohiri and begins to develop her skills and unique Undine powers. Sara is particularly unique in that she, unlike some of her kind, isn’t as quick to judge based on heritage, a trait adorably portrayed through her relationship with the hellhounds. The secondary characters were all well fleshed out and given unique personalities, my new favourite being Sara’s unlikely friend Jordan and her own special brand of kick-ass.

In this book Lynch continues to build the world she created in the first novel, extending it into the Mohiri and even parts of Faerie as Sara learns about her heritage. We meet all manner of new creatures, from the guardians of the nearby Lake to a disgruntled Wyvern, each new discovery more fascinating than the last. The writing style is simple yet descriptive, managing to flow well and creating a vivid mental image of the events described. The plot itself was tight, moving forward at just the right pace and unveiling key aspects in the build-up to the final confrontation at the end. Action was present in droves, with plenty of fights against demons, vampires, witches and more. Although events at the Mohiri estate could drag slightly at times, this book certainly does not suffer from ‘filler’ syndrome, and is a worthy installment in its own right.

The romance aspect of this book is something that has been building for a while, and has been highly anticipated by myself and other followers of this series. In the first novel Nikolas and Sara’s relationship was one mainly of protection and tentative friendship, yet in this second installment we see their feelings bloom as Sara is (seemingly) out of danger. Some may be annoyed by how clueless Sara is for most of the book, however I found it understandable and it only made the realization that much sweeter. We also discover something major in regards to their relationship in this book; something I had suspected yet was thrilled to discover was true. For those who enjoyed their dynamic in book one, I am certain that you will love the direction the romance takes in book two.

This series continues to be one that surprises and delights me, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good YA/Fantasy novel. I look forward to reading the last book in this trilogy, Rogue, when it comes out at the end of this year!

14 Jan 2015

Waiting on a Wednesday

Waiting on a Wednesday is the creation of Breaking the Spine, where book bloggers show their favourite upcoming releases. Sometimes it can be hard to wait so long, but often that only makes the book that much better!

This week i've chosen Visions in Silver by Anne Bishop. I read and absolutely adored the first two books in this series (Written in Red and Murder of Crows), and it's been a long and difficult wait since March of last year - but only 2 more months to go!


The Others freed the cassandra sangue to protect the blood prophets from exploitation, not realising their actions would have dire consequences. Now the fragile seers are in greater danger than ever before - both from their own weaknesses and from those who seek to control their divinations for wicked purposes. In desperate need of answers, Simon Wolfgard, a shape-shifter leader among the Others, has no choice but to enlist blood prophet Meg Corbyn;s help, regardless of the risks she faces by aiding him. 

Meg is still deep in the throes of her addiction to the euphoria she feels when she cuts and speaks prophecy. She knows each slice of her blade tempts death. But Others and humans alike need anders, and her visions may be Simon's only hope of ending the conflict. 

For the shadows of war are deepening across the Atlantik, and the prejudice of a fanatic faction is threatening to bring the battle right to Meg and Simon;s doorstep...

Sounds fantastic, right? Let me know down in the comments what it is you're waiting for this fine Wednesday, and i'll be sure to pop over to your blog to return the favour!

13 Jan 2015

Teaser Tuesday

Today i'm participating in another meme hosted by Should be Reading.


Here are the general rules:

1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a random page
3. Pick out 2 lines that are SPOILER FREE
4. Name the title, author, any other relevant info

I've started this week by picking up The Lord of the Rings, which i originally began last year however abandoned at around the halfway mark. As an avid fan of the movie trilogy, i am absolutely that ecstatic that the book lives up to it and more!

" You are the Ring-Bearer...and you are the heir of Bilbo, the Ring-Finder"

"There is great vigour in the waters that come down from the snows of the Misty Mountains"

Let me know what you've been reading down in the comments below! If you're a new follower make sure to link your blog so i can return the favour :)


12 Jan 2015

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

Hello! Today I'm doing my first contribution to the weekly meme 'It's Monday, What Are You Reading?' hosted by the lovely Book Journey. In this meme we share what we've read this past week, and what we're going to read this week. If you haven't heard of this meme and want to join head over to Book Journey's blog and get posting!


So without further ado, here's what i've been reading this week!

Sora's Quest - T.L. Shreffler

Viper's Creed - T.L. Shreffler (Review Soon!)

The Collector's Society - Heather Lyons

Dead of Winter - Kresley Cole

The Lord of The Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien

I've been getting a lot of free time now that uni's on a break, so i've been able to smash through a chunk of my TBR (although still not as much as i'd like). This week i'm a bit busier, but i plan to get through some books that have been on my shelves a long time, plus some new releases i've been dying for. 

Temperance - Ella Frank

Origin - Jennifer L. Armentrout

Heir of Fire - Sarah J. Maas

Dreams of Gods and Monsters  - Laini Taylor (started last week but need to finish)

So there you have have it - my reading list for the past - and future - week! Let me know down in the comments what you've been reading, and link your own It's Monday post if you're taking part in the meme. If any of you are new followers, let me know and i'll pop over to your blog to return the favour!

Imo xx

11 Jan 2015

The Collector's Society


Title: The Collector's Society
Author: Heather Lyons
Series: The Collector's Society #1
Pub. Date: October 23rd 2014
More Information

Rating: 5 STARS

How many times have readers wished that their favourite characters, the fantastical worlds that they live in, could be real? In The Collector’s Society, this dream may not be as impossible as we believe…

In Victorian London, Alice – you know, that Alice – have willingly locked herself within an asylum as she struggle to overcome madness. After a visit from an enigmatic stranger who needs her help, Alice finds herself spirited away to present day New York to the Collector’s Society. The society consists of fictional character, all dedicated to preserving their own worlds – known as Timelines – which are in danger from a new, unidentified threat. Alice and her partner Finn, from a certain Mark Twain fame, must work together in order to save Wonderland before it is permanently deleted along with the rest of the fictional worlds.  

“In pages we find worlds. In worlds, we find life”

The concept of this book is bursting with potential, taking many readers’ dreams and bringing them to life. Lyons’ world building is interesting and complex, making The Collector’s Society one of the most original novels I have read in a very long time. It was fascinating to see the differences she portrayed between the general perceptions of these characters and how they really are, from Finn’s shame of his trouble making past to Alice’s acceptance of her own madness. In this way Lyons hasn’t simply copied characters from their original stories, instead giving them a unique spin that makes them fascinating in their complexity.

“The book isn’t how Wonderland really is. The people there, the animals, the sights…None are silly and cartoonish Finn. Wonderland has its mysteries and beauty, but there’s a lot of darkness there, too.”

Alice is not the young, innocent girl portrayed in Carroll’s Wonderland novels – and even Wonderland itself is changed. It, and Alice, both have a harder edge, one that presents itself when least expected. Our heroine holds many secrets, from her lethal fighting skills to her true status in Wonderland. At times this can be slightly frustrating, especially when watching her attempts to push everyone away because of her secretive nature. This was particularly evident in her relationship with Finn, who she claimed to love wholeheartedly yet still kept in the dark about most of her time in Wonderland.

The romance aspect of this book took a while to build yet was a large focus of the second half of the novel. Finn was likeable and a good match for Alice with his unshakable devotion to her, yet my only complaint is that he was so perfect occasionally I thought of him as rather bland. His only real negative aspect was his aversion to speaking of his childhood, however that was borne out of shame for his antics – again, making him a good guy. Although this book is classed as New Adult the actual content is not very explicit in nature, making it suitable for upper YA readers or those who don’t wish for large amounts of adult content. However, if that’s what you’re looking for…don’t expect much – but don’t let that put you off this book!

Original, magical and romantic, The Collector’s Society is a novel I highly recommend to all fantasy readers and a series I will certainly continue!

10 Jan 2015

Movie Saturday

As a book review blog i tend to write mostly about books, however a fact i mention very little is that i am also an avid movie watcher. I decided that once a week, on a Saturday, i would dedicate a blog post to a movie i have watched that week and do a mini-review to encourage (or not) you to watch it.

This week i was lucky enough to go see Into the Woods, a musical that i have always loved and one that i was ecstatic about when i heard it was going to be turned into a feature film.

First things first: I thought Disney did a great job of turning this classic musical into a 2 hour movie. Although some aspects of the original story were removed, they retained enough to keep the feel of the musical and the aspects ignored were (in my opinion) only minor.

The cinematography and look of the movie were gorgeous, with rich, wooded landscapes and quaint villages. The woods themselves were deliciously dark and creepy, with low, twisted trees and all manner of strange obstacles. I felt that Disney recreated that fairy-tale atmosphere crucial to the story, and it was interesting seeing all of these sets separately in real life instead of all on one stage.

The cast of Into the Woods did a wonderful job of bringing the characters to life - special mentions go to Emily Blunt for her role as the Baker's Wife and Meryl Streep for playing an enigmatic (and slightly crazy) Witch. The casting came with a few surprises as well, with Chris Pine as Prince Charming (i never knew he could sing!) and the adorable James Corden as the Baker. Overall, a fine performance from many of the actors.

Disney's adaptation is one well worth seeing, both for those who know the original content and those who are new to this world. A movie appropriate for a family outing, or for seeing with friends, i definitely recommend it!

Have you seen Into the Woods? What did you think? Drop me a comment, or let me know if you've seen any other movies that are worth the watch!

Imo xx