25 May 2018

Book Beginnings and the Friday 56 #16

Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56 are weekly memes hosted by Rose City Reader and Freda's Voice.

Rules: 

Book Beginnings: Share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. 

The Friday 56: Grab a book, turn to page 56 or 56% in you eReader. Find any sentence (not spoilery) and reflect on it if you want.
 
 
Here's what I'm reading this week:
 
by Neil Gaiman
 
 
Synopsis:

The great Norse myths, which have inspired so much of modern fiction, are dazzlingly retold by Neil Gaiman. Tales of dwarfs and frost giants, of treasure and magic, and of Asgard, home to the gods: Odin the all-father, highest and oldest of the Aesir; his mighty son Thor, whose hammer Mjollnir makes the mountain giants tremble; Loki, wily and handsome, reliably unreliable in his lusts; and Freya, more beautiful than the sun or the moon, who spurns those who seek to control her.

From the dawn of the world to the twilight of the gods, this is a thrilling, vivid retelling of the Norse myths from the award-winning, bestselling Neil Gaiman.
 

Book Beginning:
 
"Before the beginning there was nothing – no earth, no heavens, no stars, no sky: only the mist world, formless and shapeless, and the fire world, always burning."
 
 No surprises here: the beginning starts with the beginning.
 
 
 The Friday 56:
 
"They swore oaths then, the mightiest of oaths, the gods and the stranger, that neither side could betray the other. They swore on their weapons, and they swore on Draupnir, Odin's golden arm-ring, and they swore on Gungnir, Odin's spear, and an oath sworn on Gungnir was unbreakable."
 
I wonder if both sides will keep their word.
 
 
 What are you guys reading this week?
 

23 May 2018

WWW Wednesday #14

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words

WWW stands for three questions:
 
What are you currently reading?
 
by Vanessa Morgan
 
 
Synopsis:

Clervaux, Luxembourg. This secluded, picturesque town in the middle of Europe is home to more cats than people. For years, tourists have flocked to this place – also known as “cat haven” - to meet the cats and buy cat-related souvenirs.

When Aidan, Jess and their five-year-old daughter, Eleonore, move from America to Clervaux, it seems as if they've arrived in paradise. It soon becomes clear, though, that the inhabitants' adoration of their cats is unhealthy. According to a local legend, each time a cat dies, nine human lives are taken as a punishment. To tourists, these tales are supernatural folklore, created to frighten children on cold winter nights. But for the inhabitants of Clervaux, the danger is darkly, horrifyingly real.

Initially, Aidan and Jess regard this as local superstition, but when Jess runs over a cat after a night out in the town, people start dying, one by one, and each time it happens, a clowder of cats can be seen roaming the premises.

Are they falling victim to the collective paranoia infecting the entire town? Or is something horrible waiting for them? Something unspeakably evil.

Aidan and Jess' move to Europe may just have been the worst decision they ever made.
 
I'm 60% through Clowders at the moment.
 
 
What did you recently finish reading?
 
(The Veil and the Crown #1)
by Zia Wesely
 
 
My review is coming this week!
 
 
What do you think you'll read next?
 
There was a change of plan recently and I started Clowders earlier than Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. Mr. Gaiman's book is still the next one on my list, for real this time.

Please don't forget to leave your WWW links below! Happy reading!

22 May 2018

Tell Me Something Tuesday #2

'Tell Me Something Tuesday' is a weekly discussion post at Rainy Day Ramblings.
 
Today's question is:
 
Are you more inclined/less inclined to read books that are compared to other popular books/authors? 


I'd say more often than not I fall for this kind of luring strategy. I think if a book is compared to another already popular one it kinda gives you an idea as to what you can expect going into the fresh title. However, comparisons can be misleading, not to mention they can create unnecessarily high expectations, which can ruin the book for you.

When a book is compared to another one I always go into it cautiously, with moderate expectations and I try not to look for similarities/differences with the other book while reading. The comparison is there to give the reader a vague idea of what they're getting into but it cannot always be taken for granted.
 
Most of the time if the new novel is not a sad shadow of the one it gets compared to and is original in some aspects, I end up being happy with it. 

How would you answer this week's question?
 

21 May 2018

Life Update and Goodreads Monday #14

As you might have noticed, I skipped my wrap-up post this past weekend. The reason is that my boyfriend came to visit and we could finally spend more than one day together (living in different cities sucks). On Saturday we watched Deadpool 2 in the cinema, had a good laugh during certain scenes and cooked lunch together afterwards. On Sunday we had a lazy day but we managed to book accomodation and plane tickets for our summer outing to London. Comic con, here we come!

Tomorrow I'm starting my new job with Travelliance. I'm a teeny tiny bit excited for that... I'll do my best running the blog the same way I have so far but let me say sorry in advance if in the first couple of weeks my posts will come in an erratic fashion. I'll have to come up with a comfortable schedule to make it work but I surely will.

A week went by since the last Timeless episode and there is still not one peep from NBC about the show's future. The ratings went up with the season finale, Clockblockers almost broke twitter on Sunday and still, there's no news from the network. It makes me worried and angry sometimes because it's not fair towards those who work on the show and towards fans either. I apologize if you follow me on twitter and see my daily #SaveTimeless tweets but I'm serious about wanting to help save this show. You know how much I love history and this show makes a good job gathering and conveying unknown facts to the viewers, which is only one of the reasons why I'm obsessed with it. I refuse to give up on Timeless and I'm letting NBC know that ever day.


I'm a bit behind myself with my May reading schedule but hey, what's new? I'm currently reading Clowders by Vanessa Morgan, which is my first horror novel since December last year, when I read and loved Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot. Clowders is too slow-burning for my liking so far and not as scary as I expected it to be, though I'm only half-way through so my opinion can still change if the plot thickens a bit.

And now, onto my customary GoodReads Monday post...


Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren @ Lauren’s Page Turners. To participate, choose a random book from your TBR and show it off! Don’t forget to link back to Lauren’s Page Turners and link up to the inlinkz so others can see what you picked!

I think it's time I got acquainted with Hamilton the musical (I've heard a lot about it but never listened to the soundtrack) and the story behind it too. It seems the following book could be a nice companion to the musical:

by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie


Synopsis:

A novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton

A general's daughter...

Coming of age on the perilous frontier of revolutionary New York, Elizabeth Schuyler champions the fight for independence. And when she meets Alexander Hamilton, Washington's penniless but passionate aide-de-camp, she's captivated by the young officer's charisma and brilliance. They fall in love, despite Hamilton's bastard birth and the uncertainties of war.

A founding father's wife...

But the union they create - in their marriage and the new nation - is far from perfect. From glittering inaugural balls to bloody street riots, the Hamiltons are at the center of it all - including the political treachery of America's first sex scandal, which forces Eliza to struggle through heartbreak and betrayal to find forgiveness.

The last surviving light of the Revolution...

When a duel destroys Eliza's hard-won peace, the grieving widow fights her husband's enemies to preserve Alexander's legacy. But long-buried secrets threaten everything Eliza believes about her marriage and her own legacy. Questioning her tireless devotion to the man and country that have broken her heart, she's left with one last battle - to understand the flawed man she married and imperfect union he could never have created without her...

 Which book are you dying to read right now? Let me know in a comment below!

18 May 2018

Book Beginnings and the Friday 56 #15

Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56 are weekly memes hosted by Rose City Reader and Freda's Voice.

Rules: 

Book Beginnings: Share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. 

The Friday 56: Grab a book, turn to page 56 or 56% in you eReader. Find any sentence (not spoilery) and reflect on it if you want.


This Friday the spotlight is on:

by Vanessa Morgan 


Synopsis:

Clervaux, Luxembourg. This secluded, picturesque town in the middle of Europe is home to more cats than people. For years, tourists have flocked to this place – also known as “cat haven” - to meet the cats and buy cat-related souvenirs.

When Aidan, Jess and their five-year-old daughter, Eleonore, move from America to Clervaux, it seems as if they've arrived in paradise. It soon becomes clear, though, that the inhabitants' adoration of their cats is unhealthy. According to a local legend, each time a cat dies, nine human lives are taken as a punishment. To tourists, these tales are supernatural folklore, created to frighten children on cold winter nights. But for the inhabitants of Clervaux, the danger is darkly, horrifyingly real.

Initially, Aidan and Jess regard this as local superstition, but when Jess runs over a cat after a night out in the town, people start dying, one by one, and each time it happens, a clowder of cats can be seen roaming the premises.

Are they falling victim to the collective paranoia infecting the entire town? Or is something horrible waiting for them? Something unspeakably evil.

Aidan and Jess' move to Europe may just have been the worst decision they ever made.


Book Beginning: 

"They held the memorial service in the crematorium on the outskirts of Luxemburg City."

Okay, so we are one character down before the story even begins? These evil cats must be very effective :)))


The Friday 56:

"'I won't leave it at that,' she said, and she took Eleonore's hand and guided her toward the exit.
Eleonore screamed as if she were being dragged to a scaffold, ready to be executed."

I wonder what happened that upset the little girl (Eleonore) so much...


Let me know what you're reading this week!

17 May 2018

Review - Nothing But Sky by Amy Trueblood

Title: Nothing But Sky

Author: Amy Trueblood

Publication Date: March 27th, 2018

Synopsis:

Grace Lafferty only feels alive when she's dangling 500 feet above ground. As a post-World War I wing walker, Grace is determined to get to the World Aviation Expo, proving her team’s worth against flashier competitors and earning a coveted Hollywood contract.

No one’s ever questioned Grace’s ambition until Henry Patton, a mechanic with plenty of scars from the battlefield, joins her barnstorming team. With each new death-defying trick, Henry pushes Grace to consider her reasons for being a daredevil. Annoyed with Henry’s constant interference, and her growing attraction to him, Grace continues to test the powers of the sky.

After one of her risky maneuvers saves a pilot’s life, a Hollywood studio offers Grace a chance to perform at the Expo. She jumps at the opportunity to secure her future. But when a stunt goes wrong, Grace must decide whether Henry, and her life, are worth risking for one final trick.

My Thoughts: 

I received a free ebook copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

"Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace." 
Amelia Earhart

Wohoo, I found a gem, you guys. Don't y'all love reading about topics that are relatively new to you? I know I do. I've heard about wing walkers, but other than that I didn't know much about barnstorming before picking up this book. I'm so glad I did because not only could I travel to my favourite decade in the 20th century, I also got to learn about an interesting form of entertainment that captured many Americans' heart after the Great War.

Grace Lafferty is one of the coolest heroines ever, I'm telling you. She's a real daredevil, a sucker for adrenaline and she is fighting for what she loves with unwavering persistence. There are two things she wants to keep at all costs: her barnstorming family and the sky. If they don't make it to the World Aviation Expo she might just lose both. To avoid that end she does everything she is capable to: she practices her stunts all day, she saves money on whatever she can, she is even ready to abide the presence of Henry Patton, the team's new grumpy mechanic.

The strong theme of family and love in the book is heartwarming and most of the characters are not even related to one another. The brother/sister relationship between Grace and Daniel the male wing walker in the team is so pure, I melted every time they had a conversation. I also loved how Grace's presence in Uncle Warren's life slowly moulded the man into a more than decent father figure.

Beyond the family feels what made this novel extremely worthwhile for me were the little stories and details that adorned and rounded out the storytelling. Most men in the book had fought in the trenches just a couple of years before, which means the horrors of the war are still very fresh in their minds. Henry is affected the most, he's definitely suffering from shell shock. Grace doesn't know what that is of course, but she realizes something is not right with him and she is determined to make him open up to her. And so he tells her stories. My favourite was the one where Henry saved the life of his men by teaching a memeber of the enemy to dance.

The feminine power in the book is incredible. Bessie Coleman the first black woman ever to gain a pilot licence makes an appearance. I was so happy to learn more about her! She was quite a character and it's always a pleasure to read about women pioneers. Grace, of course, is also a character who bends society rules and follows her own mind; she wears pants and oil-stained shirts and doesn't give a damn what others think of her often manly ways. Oh, how I loved that!

The atmosphere of the 1920s seep through the pages: the clothes, old Hollywood, bootlegging, the Spanish flu, it's all there. Nothing But Sky will transport you right there, you'll feel as if you time travelled to Gatsby's age.

To sum up, this novel was a real joy to read and there are no words how much I recommend it to everyone who likes historical fiction and is just a tiny bit interested in aviation history!


15 May 2018

Review - Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Title: Red Queen (Red Queen #1)

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Synopsis:

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. 

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare's potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance - Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

My Thoughts:

I  think the hype around Red Queen is well-deserved. The book is a solid fantasy that transports the reader to a cruel world where the colour of people's blood decides about their place in the social hierarchy, since it renders them weak or strong from the moment they're born.

When Mare Barrow finds out she is special, she realizes her exceptional state can serve the Red cause. Only by that time she is involuntarily put on display at the Silver Court where the Royal Family does everything they can to hide her 'otherness'. A power play begins that shatters families and turns hearts.

Red Queen would have been a very quick read for me had I not signed up for a scheduled read-along that featured this title. The story pulls you in and you want to know what happens next. There are quite a few twists and turns along the way; there was a part towards the end that left me kinda shocked because it put Mare and Cal (the crown prince love interest no. 1) in an entirely unexpected situation.

I loved how varied silver powers were in the story. They were like superpowers and they came in all shapes and kinds: someone could temper with nature, others could control metal or force people's mind to yield to them. These powers were amply used in the story for a myriad of purposes good and bad. I found that creative.

The politics are intriguing. Silvers are desperate to hold onto power but Reds even without abilities are able to scare their overlords. I can't wait to see if later they'll manage to weaken the evil royals' grasp on the realm.

You cannot help but care for the characters and you'll find yourself trying to put yourself in their shoes. I found Cal especially fascinating because he struggles between two sides all the time and I myself couldn't figure out what I'd have done had I been in his place.

There are truly spiteful characters as well, like the Queen and Evangeline, Cal's betrothed. You'll love to hate them, I'm sure.

The story is rich, the characters make an impression, the world building is superb and I was not bored for one minute when I was reading this book. What's more to ask? I do recommend it to every fantasy-lover!


 

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