Books, General

King of Scars | Review

Title: King of Scars

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Rating: 4 Stars

Dates read: 29 Jan 19 – 05 Feb 19

Publication date: 29 Jan 19

Publisher: Hachette Children’s Group

Genre(s): YA, Fantasy

Description:

Face your demons . . . or feed them.

Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war – and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried–and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

***While this is a spoiler-free review of King of Scars, reading further may result in spoilers for The Grisha Trilogy and Six of Crows Duology*** Continue reading “King of Scars | Review”

Books, General

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry | Review

Title: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

Author: Neil deGrasse Tyson

Rating: 4 Stars

Dates read: 28 Mar 19 – 01 Apr 19

Publication date: 02 May 2017

Publisher: W. W. Norton and Company

Genre(s): Non-Fiction, Science

Description:

There’s no better guide through mind-expanding questions such as what the nature of space and time is, how we fit within the universe, and how the universe fits within us than Neil deGrasse Tyson.

But today, few of us have time to contemplate the cosmos. So Tyson brings the universe down to Earth succinctly and clearly, with sparkling wit, in digestible chapters consumable any time and anywhere in the busy day. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry reveals just what you need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from the Big Bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe. Continue reading “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry | Review”

Books, General

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told | Review

Title: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told

Author: Nick Offerman and Megan Mullaly

Rating: 5 Stars

Dates read: 04 Apr 19 – 07 Apr 19

Publication date: 02 Oct 2018

Publisher: Dutton Books

Genre(s): Non-Fiction, Memoir, Autobiography, Humour

Description:

At last, the full story behind Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman’s epic romance, including stories, portraits, and the occasional puzzle, all telling the smoldering tale that has fascinated Hollywood for over a decade.

The year: 2000. The setting: Los Angeles. A gorgeous virtuoso of an actress had agreed to star in a random play, and a basement-dwelling scenic carpenter had said he would assay a supporting role in the selfsame pageant. At the first rehearsal, she surveyed her fellow cast members, as one does, determining if any of the men might qualify to provide her with a satisfying fling. Her gaze fell upon the carpenter, and like a bolt of lightning, the thought struck her: No dice. Moving on.

Yet, unbeknownst to our protagonists, Cupid had merely set down his bow and picked up a rocket launcher. Then fired a love rocket (not a euphemism). The players were Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman, and the resulting romance, once it ignited, was . . . epic. Beyond epic. It resulted in a coupling that has endured to this day; a sizzling, perpetual tryst that has captivated the world with its kindness, athleticism, astonishingly low-brow humor, and true (fire emoji) passion.

How did they do it? They came from completely different families, endured a significant age difference, and were separated by the gulf of several social strata. Megan loved books and art history; Nick loved hammers. But much more than these seemingly unsurpassable obstacles were the values they held in common: respect, decency, the ability to mention genitalia in almost any context, and an abiding obsession with the songs of Tom Waits.

Eighteen years later, they’re still very much in love, and have finally decided to reveal the philosophical mountains they have conquered, the lessons they’ve learned, and the myriad jigsaw puzzles they’ve completed, in a book. Featuring anecdotes, hijinks, interviews, photos, and a veritable grab bag of tomfoolery, this is not only the intoxicating book that Mullally’s and Offerman’s fans have been waiting for, it might just hold the solution to the greatest threat facing our modern world: the single life. Continue reading “The Greatest Love Story Ever Told | Review”

Books, General

Stepsister | Review

Title: Stepsister

Author: Jennifer Donnelly

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Dates read: 01 Apr 19 – 03 Apr 19

Publication date: 15 May 2019

Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre/Hot Key Books

Genre(s): YA, Fantasy, Retelling

Description:

‘In an ancient city by the sea, three sisters – a maiden, a mother, and a crone – are drawing maps by candlelight. Sombre, with piercing grey eyes, they are the three Fates, and every map is a human life . . .’

Stepsister takes up where Cinderella’s tale ends. We meet Isabelle, the younger of Cinderella’s two stepsisters. Ella is considered beautiful; stepsister Isabelle is not. Isabelle is fearless, brave, and strong-willed. She fences better than any boy, and takes her stallion over jumps that grown men fear to attempt. It doesn’t matter, though; these qualities are not valued in a girl. Others have determined what is beautiful, and Isabelle does not fit their definition. Isabelle must face down the demons that drove her cruel treatment of Ella, challenge her own fate and maybe even redefine the very notion of beauty . . .

Cinderella is about a girl who was bullied; Stepsister is about the bully. We all root for the victims, we want to see them triumph. But what about the bullies? Is there hope for them? Can a mean girl change? Can she find her own happily ever after?

*I received an eARC of this book courtesy of Bonnier Zaffre/Hot Key Books and NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review* Continue reading “Stepsister | Review”

Books, General

The Power | Review

Title: The Power

Author: Naomi Alderman

Rating: 3 Stars

Dates read: 15 Dec 18 – 26 Jan 19

Publication date: 27 Oct 2016

Publisher: Viking

Genre(s): Dystopian

Description:

All over the world women are discovering they have the power.
With a flick of the fingers they can inflict terrible pain – even death.
Suddenly, every man on the planet finds they’ve lost control.

The Day of the Girls has arrived – but where will it end? Continue reading “The Power | Review”

Books, General

Empress of all Seasons | Review

Title: Empress of all Seasons

Author: Emiko Jean

Rating: 3 Stars

Dates read: 08 Mar 19 – 19 Mar 19

Publication date: 08 Nov 2018

Publisher: Gollancz

Genre(s): YA, Fantasy

Description:

In a deadly tournament to become empress, any may enter but only one will survive, and one competitor doesn’t just plan to win, she’s going to steal the Emperor’s fortune. . .

In each generation, a competition is held to find the next empress of Honoku. The rules are simple. Survive the palace’s enchanted seasonal rooms. Conquer Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall, and you can marry the prince. All are eligible to compete – all except yokai, supernatural monsters and spirits whom the human emperor is determined to enslave and destroy.

Mari has spent a lifetime training to become empress. Winning should be easy. And it would be, if she weren’t hiding a dangerous secret. Mari is a yokai with the ability to transform into a terrifying monster. If discovered, her life will be forfeit. As she struggles to keep her true identity hidden, Mari’s fate collides with that of Taro, the prince who has no desire to inherit the imperial throne, and Akira, a half-human, half-yokai outcast.

Torn between duty and love, loyalty and betrayal, vengeance and forgiveness, the choices of Mari, Taro and Akira will decide the fate of Honoku. Continue reading “Empress of all Seasons | Review”

Books, General

Our Dark Duet | Review

Title: Our Dark Duet

Author: V E Schwab

Rating: 4 Stars

Dates read: 02 Mar 19 – 14 Mar 19

Publication date: 26 Feb 2019

Publisher: Titan Books

Genre(s): YA, Dystopian/Fantasy

Description:

Kate Harker is a girl who isn’t afraid of the dark. She’s a girl who hunts monsters. And she’s good at it. August Flynn is a monster who can never be human. No matter how much he once yearned for it. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.

Nearly six months after Kate and August were first thrown together, the war between the monsters and the humans is a terrifying reality. In Verity, August has become the leader he never wished to be, and in Prosperity, Kate has become the ruthless hunter she knew she could be. When a new monster emerges from the shadows—one who feeds on chaos and brings out its victim’s inner demons—it lures Kate home, where she finds more than she bargained for. She’ll face a monster she thought she killed, a boy she thought she knew, and a demon all her own.

Which will be harder to conquer: the monsters they face, or the monsters within? Continue reading “Our Dark Duet | Review”