October Haul

In terms of book-buying, this month actually ended up being even more extravagant than last month… 😦 I think I may have a problem. On the plus side, though, I have now bought all but one of the books on my new list of books that I’m allowed to buy this year, so there probably won’t be a November or December haul (unless I get books for Christmas. Or lose control of my book-buying impulses…).

October HaulAnyway, here goes nothing:

1) Throne of GlassCrown of MidnightHeir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas. The first three books in a series about an assassin called… Caelena? Forgive me if I’ve misspelt her name. :/ Anyway, I’ve been in the mood for assassin books recently, & I’ve heard nothing but good things about this series (and they were in the buy-one-get-one-half-price offer at Waterstones!), so I couldn’t pass them up.

2) Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik. The fourth book in the Temeraire series. I really love these books, though I’ve only read the first two. I also really love the covers, so I thought I’d pick this one up before all the copies get replaced by the new, much uglier ones. The series basically centres around the Napoleonic Wars, but with dragons.

3) Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while – since  I heard about it when it won the Costa Novel Award for 2013 – and I finally decided to pick it up since it was on special offer (& I haven’t been able to get hold of a copy from my library). As far as I can tell, it’s about reincarnation… Or else repeating the same life over and over. I’m not entirely sure, but it sounds pretty interesting.

4) The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I decided to pick this up after reading The Jewel by Amy Ewing, since it’s been compared to The Handmaid’s Tale. I don’t know much about this book – despite the fact that it’s a classic – except that it’s set in a dystopian future where the birth rate has gone way down…

5) Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. An apparently sad contemporary road-trip book that I don’t know much about, but have heard is good. I will probably be reading this soon.

6) The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss. A novella set in the Kingkiller Chronicle universe. I have the two main books in this series on my kindle, so I was actually planning on getting this one in ebook form, but then I walked into Waterstones & found that they had signed copies! So this is signed, & beautiful, & I will probably read this pretty soon, too. 🙂

7) Clariel by Garth Nix. The Old Kingdom prequel. I have been waiting for this book for almost 10 years, & it is so good to finally have it on my shelf. 😀

8) The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan. The final Heroes of Olympus book. I’ve actually already read this one, & written a mini-review, which you can find here.

9) The Iron Trial by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare. Another book I’ve already finished reading, & loved. The first book in the new Magisterium series, which follows a boy names Call who decidedly does not want to go to the Magisterium & become a mage. Unfortunately (for him, but not for us 😛 ), it seems that the universe has other plans.

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October Wrap-Up

Happy Halloween! (Or not. I know it’s not Halloween anymore, but it was technically still Halloween when I started writing this…) This month has been a little slumpy, reading-wise (mostly because there were a couple of books that I was putting off, even though I knew I had to read them…), so I’ve only got eight nine (!) books to show to you, but there are definitely some good ones in there…

William Golding//Lord of the FliesLord of the Flies by William Golding. Slow at the start, but it picked up after the first couple of chapters. I was surprised by how much I liked this one (but perhaps I shouldn’t have been, since my expectations were pretty low after reading the beginning). It was somewhat similar in feel to I’m the King of the Castle by Susan Hill, a book that I read (and loved) when I was in school… Very chilling.4 stars

Diana Gabaldon//Dragonfly in AmberDragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon. The second Outlander book! The first part of the story lent a slightly bittersweet undertone to the rest of it, but it was really wonderful to see Jamie and Claire’s relationship develop further. The plot was very engaging and the characters were wonderful, and there was lots of Jacobite drama, which I enjoyed immensely. There was also a slight cliffhanger at the end, so I’m definitely looking forward to reading the next book soon.4 stars

Skye Jordan//RebelRebel by Skye Jordan. The first half dragged a bit, but it picked up towards the middle. Unfortunately I didn’t really manage to connect with either of the main characters, which I think is the most important thing when reading a pure romance novel. Not exactly bad, just kind of disappointing (especially since I was so pleasantly surprised by the first book in the series)…2 stars

Rick Riordan//Blood of OlympusAmy Ewing//The JewelAt this point in the month, the Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon came ’round, and the two books I managed to finish for that were The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan and The Jewel by Amy Ewing. I’ve already written separate mini-reviews of both of these, so if you’d like to know what I thought of them, then click on the images to the left!5 stars4 stars

Holly Black & Cassandra Clare//The Iron TrialThe Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. The synopsis reminded me a little of the Harry Potter series, but the tone was very different – it actually reminded me more of the Percy Jackson books (Call and Percy had somewhat similar voices). I loved both the story and the characters (and I desperately want my own Havoc!). I’m really excited for the next book, even though it’ll be almost a whole year before it’s released… 😦5 stars

James Dashner//The Kill OrderThe Kill Order by James Dashner. This was the second book (the first being Lord of the Flies) that I’d been putting off reading. It was kind of interesting at times, but ultimately unsatisfying. Once again, too many questions were posed and too few questions were answered, and it had surprisingly little to do with the main trilogy. There was very little character development, and the only characters I felt that I got to know were Mark and Alec… Trina, although it seemed from the blurb that she was going to be a main character, really did very little in the book, and was absent for a large part of it. Also, I assumed that the epilogue would wrap up Deedee’s storyline, but instead it jumped back to Thomas… so what happened to Deedee? Are we supposed to already know from the main trilogy? ‘Cause I don’t remember her showing up in any of the other books… :/2 stars

Cassandra Clare//Clockwork AngelClockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. This was a great pick-me-up after reading The Kill Order… I was kind of expecting to enjoy it, since I liked The Iron Trial so much, but I ended up liking it even more than I thought I would. I really liked the romance developing between Tessa and Will, and Jem was such a sweet character (he’s definitely my favourite)! The plot was great – I didn’t see that twist coming at all! – and I’m really looking forward to the sequel.

5 stars

Jon Klassen//This is Not My HatThis is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen. I picked up this book randomly at Waterstones, & though I didn’t buy it (it was tempting!), I did manage to read through the whole thing there… It’s very short (mostly pictures), but it’s the funniest book I’ve read in ages, and it’s also adorable. 😀5 stars

Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon: Wrap-Up & Ending Meme

So I finally crashed at about 5am this morning, after making it through 16 hours. Or rather, I decided to take a short nap, and when I woke up (at 7am), I felt sick enough that I just went straight back to sleep. So my first 24-hour readathon wasn’t a huge success, but I’m pretty happy with my progress anyway: After finishing (& reviewing!) both The Blood of Olympus and The Jewel, I managed to get through about half of The Iron Trial (by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare) before sleep became a necessary thing, so my final page count was 1001 pages. Not bad for a single day (well, technically 2 days, since I only started at 1pm…)!

Anyway, to finish up, I thought I’d answer the End of Event Meme questions, so here goes… 🙂

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
When I hit midnight, I knew that tiredness was oncoming, but I wasn’t sure when it would hit, so that was pretty daunting…

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
I think the best tactic is just to read books that you’ve been really looking forward to. That way you can avoid any dreaded reading slumps… For specifics… I think The Blood of Olympus was a great book to start with, because it’s a new release, & part of a series that I really love. Hopefully there’ll be more exciting books being released around this time next year. 🙂

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
Erm… no, not really.

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
The hourly posts on the website kept me really motivated, which I didn’t expect (having never taken part in a 24-hour readathon before). 🙂

5. How many books did you read?
2 & 1/2.

6. What were the names of the books you read?
The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan, The Jewel by Amy Ewing, & The Iron Trial by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare.

7. Which book did you enjoy most?
Definitely The Blood of Olympus, though I really enjoyed all three.

8. Which did you enjoy least?
Erm… none of them, really. I guess if I have to pick, then The Iron Trial, since I didn’t manage to finish it… (but that will change soon!)

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
N/A.

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
Oh, I’d definitely like to be a reader again next time. This was really fun! 🙂

Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon: Update 1 & Mini-Review

Rick Riordan//Blood of Olympus

JUST FINISHED: The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan. [Finished at approximately 8:30pm & ringing in at a grand total of 500 pages!]

Epic! Amazing! Wonderful! I wish it wasn’t over, but it was a great ride. Absolutely action-packed the whole way through, with a tonne of emotional moments (though not quite as many as in The House of Hades).

My favourite parts: Hades’ parenting skills; Nico & Reyna’s epic bromance; Nico’s POV!!! (I’ve been waiting for it for so, so long, & I knew it’d be awesome); Chaperone!Buford & his talking hologram; Piper & Jason getting serious character development; so, so many others; & that ending!

Not-so-great parts: Rick Riordan’s overwhelming need to pair off everyone (except Reyna, apparently). That’s actually all. This book was basically the perfect ending to the series.5 stars

CURRENT READATHON STATUS: Taking a snack supper break.

Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon: Info & TBR!

So, the Dewey’s 24-hour readathon is scheduled to take place on October 18th, and I actually managed to find out about it in time to sign up officially this time! 😀 The readathon will last for a whole day, & there will be hourly challenges/giveaways/other such things. The coolest thing about it in my opinion, though, is that it starts at the same time all over the world – in the UK, where I am, it’ll be starting at 1pm (which is convenient), but in Hong Kong, for instance (I’m looking at you, Chloë 😉 ), it’ll start at 8pm & last until the same time on Sunday – so everyone will be reading together!

If you’re interested in participating, there’s still time to sign up as a reader here, but there are lots of other ways to participate if you don’t want to be a reader… For more information, be sure to check out the following links:

1) Official site

2) FAQ

3) List of start times (by time zone)

4) Goodreads group

dewey-300x300

Now for what I’m planning on reading – here’s a short list (& this may change, depending on how much reading I get done before the readathon starts…):

1) The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan. The final Heroes of Olympus book! This is the one I’m most likely to have read before next Saturday, as I’m ridiculously excited about it. I’m not even sure why I haven’t already read it…

2) The Jewel by Amy Ewing. A dystopian romance (so far as I can tell). I don’t know too much about this one, but it looks exciting, & I’ve heard that it’s good. 🙂

3) The Iron Trial by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare. But only if I still have time after finishing the other two, since there’s only so much reading I can do in one day.

I’m excited for this, as I’m sure you can tell. Are you excited, too? Let me know in the comments if you’ll be participating, &, if so, what you’re hoping to read!

Upcoming releases of 2014

A lot of great books have already been released this year, but here’s a few more that I’m really excited for (mostly new entries in series’ I’ve been following…). October in particular looks like it’s going to be an exciting month!

[NB: All the release dates I’ve given here are accurate as of 29/08/2014, according to the following wesites: amazon.co.uk, tamorapierce.com and katielmcgarry.com.]

Garth Nix//Clariel

& the cover matches the other books I have in the series! I especially love that the background is made up of tiny charter marks…

Clariel by Garth Nix (2nd October)

The long-awaited final (kind of) book in the Old Kingdom trilogy (which is, I suppose, technically not a trilogy any more). And when I say long-awaited, I really mean it: I’ve been wanting more of this universe since Abhorsen was first released about 10 years ago…

This is apparently a prequel to the series – a concept that’s grown on me, even though I was initially hoping it would be a next-generation type thing – & since the main character is one of the Clayr (a society of respected seers living in the Old Kingdom), I’m hoping that Clariel will be Lirael’s mother… but even if it’s not, I’m still excited! Post-Sabriel, I was dubious about the introduction of new lead characters in the second book, but I actually ended up loving Lirael even more than Sabriel, so I have faith in Garth Nix’s ability to make me love new characters.

17378508Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater (3rd October)

The third book of the Raven Cycle (also called the Raven Boys quartet). I also don’t know much about this book, but the first two books were so, so amazing, so I have high hopes for this one. This should basically be the continuing adventures of Blue, Gansey, Ronan, Adam and Noah (all of whom I love. The plot & writing for this series is great, but I think the characters are what sold me on it). Also, I have no idea why, but I really love the title of this book.

 

Rick Riordan//Blood of Olympus

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan (7th October)

The final book in the Heroes of Olympus series. Need I say more? I actually like this series even better than the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, even though I didn’t initially like all the new characters so much (Piper kind of annoyed me in The Lost Hero, and I thought Jason was a little bland and their relationship rather forced, but they’ve both grown on me since). Also, this series just keeps getting better as it goes on, so my expectations for The Blood of Olympus are pretty high.

What I want from this book: 1) Awesomeness , 2) More awesomeness, 3) For it to never, ever end, and 4) Nico-POV. That last one? I convinced myself it was going to happen in The House of Hades (book 4), and then it didn’t, so I don’t want to get my hopes up too much (& yet, I really feel like it might happen this time…).

Patrick Rothfuss//Slow Regard of Silent Things

I really love the UK covers for this series… So pretty!

The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss (28th October)

This is a novella set in the Kingkiller Chronicle universe, from the perspective of Auri, the girl who Kvothe discovered living in the tunnels beneath the University in The Name of the Wind. I don’t really know much about this book, but Patrick Rothfuss’ writing is amazing, & I really love the world he created in The Kingkiller Chronicle, so I’m looking forward to it anyway. And Auri’s a pretty mysterious character, so it’ll be interesting to learn more about her. I’m hoping that there’ll be lots of backstory.

 

The Gift of Power by Tamora Pierce (sometime this autumn)

The first in a new Tortall-universe series (series!) called Exile, which follows Numair Salmalin (first introduced in the Immortals quartet) as a student in Carthak, and the origins of his feud with Emperor Ozorne. Obviously (and sadly), there will be no Daine in this book, but it’ll definitely be interesting to read about Numair before he met her, and according to goodreads, we’ll be getting at least two books in this series!

Some issues: I’m not entirely sure how often Tamora Pierce’s website is actually updated, but the release date listed there is “Fall 2014” (however, it also just lists one book, & refers to it as Exile, rather than The Gift of Power). Goodreads has The Gift of Power specifically listed for release sometime in 2015, so I might be waiting for this book a while. Also, if you’re interested in reading or buying this book (and you live in the UK), you should note that Tamora Pierce’s books are no longer being published in the UK (which sucks), so you’ll have to get an imported copy online.

Breaking the Rules by Katie McGarry (30th December in the US / 1st January in the UK)

The (probably) final book in the Pushing the Limits series, which is set between books 1 & 2 (around the same time as the novella, Crossing the Line), and brings us back to Noah and Echo, the main characters from the first book in the series, as they spend the summer holidays together and try to figure out if their relationship will last (my guess is, it will 😉 ). I haven’t read the sample chapter on goodreads, because I don’t want to be annoyed by the fact that I can’t read the rest until the end of the year, but if you’d like to check it out, then you can find it here.

This series has been a little hit-and-miss with me: I really loved Pushing the Limits (book 1) and Crash Into You (book 3), but Dare You To, Take Me On (books 2 & 4, respectively) and the spin-off novella were a little lackluster. That said, I really hope that Katie McGarry will write more of this series. It’d be really great to get a book following Abby and Logan, or even an Ethan book (though I’m not entirely sold on the idea of Ethan and Abby that some fans have been talking about…).

What books are you guys excited for this year? Let me know in the comments!