Book Report: April 2017

Yes, a book report that is on time! I read a lot in April compared to the three previous months this year – even though I’ve been really busy this month. Is that a thing – do I actually read more when I’m busy? I don’t even know. Lots of books were really good as well, so picking a Book of the Month was difficult.

Format is inspired by C.R.M Nilsson – link in the sidebar!

Continue reading Book Report: April 2017


Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist #1)

Started: April 24, 2017
Finished: April 29, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 4/5 stars

“As she grew from a curious child into an even more curious young woman, the word she most often overheard at her back was odd. Much too odd. Far too prone to asking questions. Far too apt to linger in places she wasn’t meant to be.”

I received a copy of this through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This. This was probably the best ARC I’ve received from NetGalley in a long, long time – and I’m still in shock that I got to read it earlier than I’d planned.

This story is a loose retelling of Mulan, set in feudal Japan. The main character, Mariko, is the daughter of a samurai, the sister of the legendary Dragon of Kai and betrothed to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the Emperor’s favorite consort. En route to the capital, Mariko’s escort is ambushed and she is the only one to escape. Having overheard some of the mercenaries she believes the attack was conducted by the Black Clan – a gang of bandits living somewhere near where she was attacked – and in order to find out the truth she disguises herself as a boy and infiltrates the clan. Soon Mariko realizes that things are not exactly as they seem – and what she once thought was the truth is a mere mirage.

To be fair, even though I knew this would be set in a Japan-inspired country upon starting this I would have liked to see it set in China. The legend of Hua Mulan is, after all, Chinese and we seriously do not have enough YA books set in China – and before you ask, China and Japan are as different as England and France, so one does not replace the other.

Still, I found myself loving this story. Bits and pieces were a bit predictable and sometimes felt rushed, but the majority of the story was amazing. The ending blew my mind – I had not expected that twist – and I am now very, very excited for the next book. Even though that one doesn’t even have a release date.

Crown of Ice (The Mirror of Immortality #1)

Started: April 3, 2017
Finished: April 24, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 2/5 stars

“The last piece. I must place it. Give it to me.”

I received this through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

First; I do like the cover of this new edition. A lot better than the first one.

However, the story was quite a let down. The Snow Queen is probably my favorite H C Andersen fairy tale and I’m one of those people who wasn’t completely enamored by Frozen because it was not the retelling I wanted. Don’t get me wrong; I liked Frozen, but I can’t see it as a retelling of this fairy tale. And I’m not a fan of this retelling either. It felt too simple, too predictable (yes, it’s a retelling, but a good retelling still puts twists and spins on the original story that were not expected) and I was not a fan of the characters.

Also – and I’m not sure if this was due to the Kindle ARC format – but there were a lot of sentences that jumped around on the page. Half of a sentence would be at the top, the other half somewhere in the middle. Did not help with smooth reading. And a lot of sentences lacked a capital letter at the start. I usually don’t get too bothered by this when correcting essays as a teacher – but when it’s a full length novel my fingers just start to itch and I want to edit the errors.

I did enjoy bits and pieces of it towards the end, though, which is why I got the rating up to two stars. But it is not a series that I will continue reading.

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1)

Started: April 11, 2017
Finished: April 24, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 5/5 stars

“The bodies in my floor all trusted someone. Now I walk on them to tea.”

Actual rating: 4.5/5 stars

So this book I received through the Christmas Book Santa Gift Exchange 2016 and I was so, so happy to get it because I’d heard so much about this trilogy. And I was not disappointed.

I love the magic in this book, how it has a mind and will of its own and you need to be careful, or you might end up like the people of Black London; lost forever. But, of course, there are other dangers as well. Like smuggling illegal objects between the various versions of London – from Grey to Red to White – and that is what Kell, adoptive son of Red London’s royal family, does while also being an ambassador. He gets into trouble and finds himself in league with a thief from Grey London – Lila Bard. Who, by the way, is a badass girl who definitely deserves to live her dream of becoming a pirate.

It’s a story of adventure and magic, difficult choices and difficult feelings. I couldn’t quite rate it a 5 out of 5, however, because I felt like too much was “solved” by the end of it. There are still things that need to be solved and loose threads that need to be followed, but I felt like there weren’t enough. Still, this is a really, really good book and I am excited to read the next one!

The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4)

Started: April 17, 2017
Finished: April 20, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 5/5 stars

“He was a book, and he was holding his final pages, and he wanted to get to the end to find out how it went, and he didn’t want it to be over.”

Actual rating: 4.5/5 stars

As you might have noticed if you’ve followed my reviews for some time, I have a tendency of not continuing a series straight away. That’s because I like to let it rest a bit, sort of allow me to gather my thoughts and feelings between one book and the rest. If it’s a good series I don’t like to wait too far (so no, I’m not happy about waiting a year for the next book to be published) but I rarely, rarely continue with the sequel straight away.

This book? I finished Blue Lily, Lily Blue on the 16th of April and I started The Raven King the next day. Because I couldn’t stay away from it!

And how did I feel about this book? I liked it – a lot – as you can see from the rating. I still do not think it was as good as Blue Lily but it was really, really good. I think the reason why I didn’t like it as much as the previous book was actually that you kind of knew what was going to happen. I mean, it’s been known since book one that Blue would kiss Gansey and kill him. And I always had this feeling that they would somehow find a way to bring him back and keep him from staying dead, so I wasn’t surprised about that either.

I’m still really happy about how this series came to an end and also kind of sad – because I want more from these characters. All of them! Can we have a spin-off series? Pleeeeeaaaase???

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3)

Started: April 13, 2017
Finished: April 16, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 5/5 stars

“Maybe I dreamt you,” he said.
“Thanks for the straight teeth, then,” Adam replied.

Okay, alright, so, this is probably the most disturbing book so far in this series – and it’s also the best. And I don’t even know how I feel about me feeling that!

I think, however, that what makes this book so amazing is the character and relationship development that happens in this book. I mean, Ronan and Adam are AMAZING – and I know that they will get together in the final book because, hey, if you don’t read a popular book right when it comes out you’re bound to find out what happens to certain characters prior to reading it.

But yes; this book was disturbing. The ley lines are disturbing. Disturbing to a point where it becomes an addiction! People used to say I wrote disturbing stories, but I think I was mainly focusing a lot on the details while writing a battle scene or something. This is disturbing on a Wonderland level (and you guys know I’ve previously rated Wonderland retellings low because I do not like those things but somehow I liked this a lot).

In short; I’m still in shock regarding how much I loved this book!

Wolfsbane (Nightshade #2)

Started: March 8, 2017
Finished: April 10, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 4/5 stars

“What in life is worth a sacrifice, if not love?”

Just like the first book this one is written in a way that flows really well, making it easy to read. And still it took me soooo long to finish it. Why? I’m not quite sure. I liked the story, I liked the twists and turns taking place, I loved the new characters and the magic – and still I found myself putting the book aside instead of speeding through it.

I have a theory regarding what it might be that kept me from going – and I’m going to put that behind a cut because it might be considered a bit spoiler-y.

Continue reading Wolfsbane (Nightshade #2)