Posted in book reviews

What Magic Is This? – Holly Bourne

Sophia, Mia and Alexis are clinging on to a spark of hope that maybe – just maybe – they’re special. But could they really be witches with the power to cast life-changing spells? When the three friends gather to cheer up heartbroken Sophia, they’re ready to put their theory to the test. But when long-held secrets are revealed and hard truths start to hit home, their night of bewitching quickly takes an unexpected turn …

What Magic Is This? at it’s heart, is a tale of friendship. It is the binding agent to this spell, one of the most important ‘ingredients’.

Sophia, Mia and Alexis are all well-rounded, distinct characters, each going on their own personal journey in the course of this novella. This was very well done, as this is such a short book, but it manages to create and follow through on a story arc for all three of the characters. The characters deal with a discourse on self-love and self-worth, mental health, and explore relationship dynamics both romantic and platonic. These are similar topics/issue that we all have dealt and deal with – therefore, making this book instantly relatable. And hopefully, as it did for me, end with a heart warming feeling that these are things you can grow, evolve and learn from.

However, I do think I would have enjoyed this more if I haven’t read so much of Holly’s other work, or read this in such a close time frame to The Places I’ve Cried in Public, as they all begin to feel very similar. The relationship between Sophia and Aiden in this felt like a very watered down relationship to the one within The Places I’ve Cried in Public. This doesn’t mean that Holly can’t write about the same themes and topics more than once, but I find that her catalogue is beginning to feel like the same idea, over and over again.

3/5 stars.

Posted in other bookish posts

Reaction to V.E Schwab’s Shade of Magic news!

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This post will contain spoilers for the Shades of Magic trilogy.

My first thought?? AHHHHHH.

Honestly. I am SO excited for this. The Shades of Magic trilogy, soon to be series, is one of my favourites. I absolutely love the world, the characters and the writing so I am really excited to see more of that being explored.

I’m anxious about the new characters – will I love them as much as I did Kell, Lila, Rhys, Alucard and Holland? Will I have the same connection? Schwab said that they will still be prominent – but will it still be the same??

So many questions. I hope to God we finally get more of that backstory about Kell and the story about the initials – I WANT TO KNOW. Frustrated me to no end when Kell passed up that chance. . . but now it seems there’s hope??? I WILL CROSS MY FINGERS.

Also there will be a timejump of about 5 – 10 years. What will Lila be doing – still a pirate? And Kell?? How is he coping? And Rhys – how is he doing, now that he’s King?

ALL THE QUESTIONS. I HAVE MANY.

And then not to mention the other book she mentioned – A FEMALE ASSASSIN IN A FUTURISTIC NEW YORK CITY. THIS SOUNDS SO FREAKING COOL AND I AM HELLA THERE FOR IT. CAN I HAVE IT NOW??

Posted in book reviews

A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2) – V.E Shwab (A Review)

It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift – back into Black London.

Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games – an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries – a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.

AHHH! Deep breath in, deep breath out!! WHAT AN ENDING. Okay, so I know V.E Shwab said it took 9 books for her to invoke the dreaded cliffhanger…but considering this is only my 2nd book by her, my phrase is “Why, why would you do this to me?!” but oh God was it perfect, heartbreakingly amazing.

All the relationships in this book! I’m so happy we get to see more of Rhy, and that we get to see more of Rhy and Kell’s bromance flourishing! Oh, the wit and the banter and the cute moments! Lila is awesome like always, and I just love her obsession with her knives. Lila is definitely one of my favourite female characters of all time. All her point of view chapters were amazing. Mr Alucard Emery…at first I was wary of this newcomer into this but gahhh, he was awesome too!

I’m also a fan of the scenes we get between Rhy and Lila. There’s something just so sweet about them, and I wish we could have more. But Kell and Lila though…all the build up to their reunion, and trust me, I was not disappointed!

This book is amazing. It’s definitely one of my favourite books I’ve read this year, if not THE favourite (it’s in good company with Six of Crows, Me Before You and Lady Midnight, and it’s predecessor A Darker Shade of Magic).

I loved seeing the way all of our characters have grown and changed, and we see how they are dealing with all the events that happened to them in the first novel and how they’re trying to move past that. The way Kell and Rhy try to look out to each other is both sweet, you can see how stifling and frustrating it can be for them, but they never blame each other for what happened to them.

I just really loved this book, and although it took me a while to read, that was mainly because I never wanted it to end! Ever! I’m now going to go and find out all I can about the 3rd book and wait impatiently for it to come out.

Check out my review on Goodreads also!

Posted in book reviews

The Copper Gauntlet (Magisterium, #2) – Holly Black and Cassandra Clare (A Review)

Callum Hunt’s summer break isn’t like other kids’. His closest companion is a Chaos-ridden wolf, Havoc. His father suspects him of being secretly evil. And, of course, most kids aren’t heading back to school in the magical world of the Magisterium . . .

It’s not easy for Call . . . and it gets even harder after he checks out his basement and discovers that his dad might be trying to destroy both him and Havoc.

Call escapes to the Magisterium but things only intensify there. The Alkahest – a copper gauntlet capable of separating certain magicians from their magic – has been stolen. And in their search to discover the culprit, Call and his friends awaken the attention of some very dangerous foes – and get closer to an even more dangerous truth.

As the mysteries of the Magisterium deepen and widen, bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare take readers on an extraordinary journey through one boy’s conflict -and a whole world’s fate.

An enjoyable sequel to the Iron Trial. It’s been a year since I have read the first book, and luckily that didn’t hinder my reading experience. Thankfully the book went over a lot of details and main plot points of the first book, making it easy to jump right back into the world.

This book was okay. I can’t say that I loved loved it, but I didn’t not like it. It was okay, it was good and I will still continue on with the series.

I very much enjoy the magic system. With the chaos, and Callum making an “Evil Overlord” column. The latter was funny, if not a little cynical at times — he constantly questions even the smallest of things. This really does show the inner conflict he’s in, and his own struggle on whether he truly is the evil Mage that people said he was.

It’s exciting to see them move up through different years, and learn more about their own magic. Since they didn’t spend much time at the school in this book, hopefully there will be more in the next.

*SPOILER* So when Call finally announced that he was actually Constantine, his friends took it pretty well. Well, everyone but Jasper, but he’s not exactly best friends with Call. I feel like Jasper’s was the most appropriate reaction. Someone who had murdered hundreds of mages is in front of you and you’re just standing there? Like nope. Yes, Aaron and Tamara both were disbelieving and unwilling to admit it…but they just seemed to accept it so easily. I don’t know, I was expecting a bit more from the revelation than what we got. A bit more anger? Maybe there will be more of this in the next instalment…*SPOILER ENDS*

I would like to see more of Alex. Hm…I think there might be a lot more to his character than what we see. But let’s just all accept that Havoc is the best character!

Overall, this was a good, enjoyable, easy read and I will be picking up the next one!

You can also view this review on Goodreads!

Posted in book reviews

The Darkest Part of the Forest – Holly Black (A Review)

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

READ: 5th of March 2016 – 6h of March 2016.

Why did this have to end? Can I have more, please? So I read that at this particular moment this is just a stand alone novel. That makes me incredibly sad. While it does great as a stand alone novel I love this world so much and I really want more. I think it has a strong potential to have a great sequel, even a series of books. There’s just so much in this world to explore and if Holly Black decided to revisit this world and write another book I’ll 100% be buying that. No doubt about it.

As soon as I finished this book I wanted to turn right back to the beginning and dive back into this world. I didn’t want to leave & I really want to go back in to it. I really don’t know how to put my thoughts into words but I really was enchanted by this book and I liked it a lot more than I expected to.

I’m now kicking myself for not buying this book sooner, and The Coldest Girl in Cold Town is definitely getting bumped up a place or 10 on my TBR list. (let’s just pretend I have an organised list and not just a nagging voice in the back of my head reminding me of all the books I still have yet to read)

You can also view this review on Goodreads!