Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Whatcha Reading Wednesday

Wednesday 30th September

This week I am still currently reading the fantastically talked about A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. To be honest I don't think this book needs much introduction as I believe lots of people already know/heard of it before. 
Yet for those that haven't heard about A Game of Thrones, this book is behind the TV phenomenon, and follows a bunch of characters on their journeys as war starts for one goal, to claim the Iron Throne.

So far, I am really enjoying it but I can't deny that I have gotten lost a couple of times. But then I tend to get lost a lot with the High Fantasy genre, just because there is so much going on.

Yet, no matter how much I get lost and confused, I still can't lie in saying that this book is extremely compelling. So much so, I literally for the life of me cannot put it down. 

So if you haven't wanted to read/start this massive series, I would say that do not the size of the books put you off because it really is so far a spectacular read. And you, like me, would be kicking yourself if you didn't give it a try.

Happy Reading Everyone!
Polkadot Book Blog x
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Monday, 28 September 2015

Most Anticipated Release: From Book to Film

The Martian - 30th September

What with it being only 2 days away, I think it's safe to say that I am not the only one who is super excited to see the release of Andy Weir's, The Martian to hit the big screen. 

This book was one of the most hyped books of this year and it screamed brilliance from the get go, so I'm sure from the trailers this film is going to go down in my books as being one of my all time favourites...and that's just from the trailers! 

With a extremely good cast of Matt Damon, Kristen Wig, Jeff Daniels, Sean Bean and so much more, this film just exudes blockbuster hit and I, for one, definitely hope they do this amazing story justice.

But seeing as I still have to wait 2 more days, I think I will just spend my time continuously re-watching the trailer. 

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Thursday, 24 September 2015

Review: Knights of the Hill Country - Tim Tharp

Written by: Tim Tharp
Published by: Ember
Pages: 233
Purchase from: Amazon |  Book Depository

Welcome to Kennisaw - Where Friday night high school football ranks next to God and country and sometimes even comes first. This year, the kennisaw Knights are going for their fifth - straight undefeated season and if they succeed, they'll be legends.

But the Knights' legacy is a heavy weight to carry for linebacker Hampton Green. On the field, he's so in control you'd think he could stop time. His life off the field is a different story: his father walked out years ago, and now his mom has a new boyfriend every week. He's drawn to a girl at school who is exactly the type a star athlete isn't supposed to get involved with. Meanwhile, his cocky teammate and best friend, Blaine is struggling to hold on to a star status that's slipping away. And he's demanding Hampton's loyalty even as Hampton senses he's losing control.

From the moment I watched Friday Night Lights, the TV show, I have been absolutely obsessed with American Football. So when I saw this book on Amazon and I saw that it was written by Tim Tharp, who I have been wanting to read for a while now, I couldn't buy it fast enough. It just ticked all the boxes, American Football set in high school with a slight mix of romance thrown in, it was like it was calling to me and I needed something to curb my sadness over the loss of Friday Night Lights. As you can probably tell, I expected a lot from this novel and I'm quite pleased with the fact that it did not let me down on the football front.
"That's how it is with legends. The greater they sound, the more must've got left out."
To be honest if there was one thing that I loved more about this book, other than the football scenes, it was the fact that it was written like a TV episode. I don't know if that's just my way of interpreting it but I could not help but imagine it playing it from a television screen. The drama, the romance, the friendship, it all just stated playing out in my head and that made it one of the most enjoyable things about the story. Normally I have problems picturing the storyline into something but this time it was so clear it was literally like I was watching an episode of Friday Night Lights on Netflix. Even the accent of the characters was picturesque and woven brilliantly into the story, it wasn't remotely hidden, you could clearly detect where they were from. Which in turn, made it even more realistic and I was definitely eating the story up just to curb my fangirling a little bit more. 
'Man alive, did them stands explde in cheers then. But they wasn't yelling "Defense, Defense, Defense" anymore. Now it was "Hampton! Hampton! Hampton!" '
In addition to the fantastic writing, the other gorgeously entertaining aspect of this novel was the main character Hampton Green. He was so genuine and simple that it every thing was clear cut in his head. He was loyal to a fault and beautifully sweet that reading from his perspective was such a breath of fresh air. I loved how the other characters didn't see how smart he was because it made him all that more genuine. He was just such a sweetheart that I immediately rooted for him and became protective of him all the more, so that when his decisions started to veer off from his character I couldn't help but scream at him to get back on track, stick to his decisions and stop believing others. 
"You know how when you see someone day in, day out, year after year, you don't really notice him getting taller or wider or older or whatever? It can be like that with the way people are on the inside too."
To conclude, all in all Knights of the Hill Country is a brilliantly simple novel that pulls on your heartstrings and gives you a fantastic realism of teenage drama, with an amazing adrenaline filled mix of american football thrown in for good measure. For me it definitely filled the void of Friday Night Lights, which is a big feat in itself, and encouraged me to buy more of Tim Tharps books because his writing is just gorgeous. The only downside would be that the storyline, was slightly stilted. In the fact being that there wasn't really a big storyline involved, while it played out like a TV episode it would be more along the lines of a filler episode, as there was not a lot too it but it was still highly enjoyable to read. 
Knights of the Hill Country
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Saturday, 5 September 2015

Review: These Broken Stars - Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Written by: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 374
Purchase From: Amazon   |  Book Depository

It's a night like any other on board the ICARUS.
Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more than trouble than they're worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other's arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder - would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every stop. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won't be the same people who landed on it.

These Broken Stars has so many things going for it, brilliant concept, gorgeous cover and incredible characters, but for some reason, even though I did love it, it fell slightly flat. The story itself gives off a somewhat Titanic-esque vibe, with added amounts of survival and a slow burning romance thrown into the mix. And summing it up, I loved the beginning and middle parts but when it came to the ending I was just not feeling it. In other words, the ending, instead of tying the story up in this epic conclusion, for me felt as though it was sinking the story into the depths of slow and pointless-ville. 
"You don't mention death when it's hovering near someone you love. You don't want to attract the reaper's attention."
Yet the pros of this story definitely outweigh the cons. Essentially just by looking at the characters you can see the brilliance. They both exude strength and badassary, from the the first couple of chapters. You want them to survive, you want them to win and you want them to have their happily ever after. I couldn't find one fault with either main character because each had an underling depth that just called out to be seen. They tugged on my heartstrings and made me feel like they were worth fighting for, which is what ever hero needs in an epic story, someone rooting for them.
"How do you live again, knowing what waits for you in the end?"
Overall, It kills me that I can't give These Broken Stars a full five stars but the ending of the story fell a little flat for me. The pacing slowed and not much happened until it was all thrown in and rushed till the end chapter. For me, I just couldn't get the maximum level of enjoyment out of the story because I didn't care for the ending of it. Nevertheless, the first two parts of the story more than made up for it. Plus if we add in the beautiful characters then it really lessened the blow. So to round it up, These Broken Stars radiates an amazing science fiction read with a gorgeous heroic romance, that will surely multiply within the series.

These Broken Stars (Starbound, #1)
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Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Review: The Invasion of the Tearling - Erika Johansen

Written by: Erika Johansen
Published by: Random House UK/Transworld Digital
Edition: Kindle
Pages: 380
Purchase from:  Amazon   |  Book Depository
With each passing day, Kelsea Glynn is growing into her new responsibilities as Queen of the Tearling. By stopping the shipments of slaves to the neighbouring kingdom of Mortmesne, she crossed the Red Queen, a brutal ruler whose power derives from dark magic, who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what is hers. And nothing can stop the invasion.

But as the Mort army draws ever closer, Kelsea develops a mysterious connection to a time before the Crossing, and she finds herself relying on a strange and possibly dangerous ally: a woman named Lily, fighting for her life in a world where being female can feel like a crime. The fate of the Tearling – and that of Kelsea’s own soul – may rest with Lily and her story, but Kelsea may not have enough time to find out.

As you can tell from my review of the first book in the series, The Queen of the Tearling, (which you can read here) I absolutely adored Johansen's writing style, her development of characters and basically just everything about the story. So it didn't take me very long to decide which book I had to read next. The Invasion of the Tearling picks up right where The Queen of the Tearling left off, meaning that just like the first book it hits the ground running, pulling no punches where action and risk is concerned and just out right being completely mind consuming. 
"Corruption begins with a single moment of weakness."
First off, there is not a lot too the second book, in other words its only 380 pages, and I did have some minute practically minuscule problems that were hardly anything at all, but nonetheless didn't really sit right with me. One of these being I really did not enjoy how the relationship between the Mace and Kelsea had changed slightly. It was slow burning but it still bugged me how after everything they had been through the Mace was being slightly disbelieving of Kelsea's visions and ideas. Normally I would see this a character growth because in truth the relationship between them is growing to an almost father daughter feel but for some reason my brain kept picking at it not letting it settle. Having said this, individually I absolutely adored how the characters were still growing ad developing. For one, Kelsea was clearly maturing and become regal in her position, making her so much stronger, she's taking on the role of queen and, in my opinion, flourishing.
“When it fails, they do call it madness, Lazarus. But when it succeeds, they call it genius.”
Secondly, even though I got completely sucked into the story from the very first paragraph I couldn't help but think that the pacing of the story in some areas dragged slightly. After the first couple of chapters, I realised this was down to the 'flashbacks' that Kelsea was experiencing. For me, it made the story elongate and travel to places that I thought weren't necessarily needed. I understand that it added background to the story, and opened up and developed areas within Kelsea's magic that the first book didn't touch, but I really couldn't get into these parts of the story. It took away the intensity slightly because while there is a war going on and highly stressful and intriguing sub plots happening in the current world, we are pulled into a world that is connected, and in different ways intense, but not not necessarily needed throughout the entire novel. It gives pause to the current story to make way for a new one and in my opinion it slowed the novel down and dragged out the story. Not only this but it adds a whole new level of confusion of the world it is set in because there are basically two sets of storyline going on in one novel, with two different worlds that add up to one. 
“Even small gestures of kindness have the potential to reap enormous rewards. Only the shortsighted man believes otherwise.”
All in all, The invasion of the Tearling is reaches up to expectations that the first novel sets. It makes you fall in love with the story all over again and makes you itch for more. It does have its confusion with the world its built in still mixed in within the pages, but it doesn't stop you from getting completely gripped within the story. The characters achieve the impossible and become vastly more developed than the previously novel and the relationships between Kelsea and her guard become a lot sweeter and family like, which just adds to the story in a perfect way. While I did have some grievances with the novel, it wasn't enough to take way from the sheer beautiful quality the writing has to offer and I fell in love with it all over again. Making The Invasion of the Tearling a pretty much idealistic sequel to an all over thrilling first book. 
The Invasion of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #2)
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