Wednesday, 1 March 2017

My review of Frostblood

Frostblood (Frostblood Saga #1) by Elly Blake
Release Date: January 12, 2017
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository

Frostblood (Frostblood Saga, #1)In a land governed by the cruel Frostblood ruling class, seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has spent most of her life hiding her ability to manipulate heat and light - until the day the soldiers come to raid her village and kill her mother. Ruby vows revenge on the tyrannous Frost King responsible for the massacre of her people.

But Ruby's powers are unpredictable...and so are the feelings she has for Arcus, the scarred, mysterious Frostblood warrior who shares her goal to kill the Frost King, albeit for his own reasons. When Ruby is captured by the Frost King's men, she's taken right into the heart of the enemy. Now she only has one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who took everything from her - and in doing so, she must unleash the powers she's spent her whole life withholding.

Frostblood is a fantasy tale filled with magic, danger, and a twist around every turn. Blake has created an exciting world that is just at the tipping point of a war narrated by a fiery and strong-willed female protagonist. 

The war brewing in this story is between the Firebloods, those who have power to wield fire, and Frostbloods, those who can control ice. The main character of the book is a Fireblood, one of the only ones left because they have gradually been wiped out by Frostbloods. So immediately we're thrust into a world where our hero, Ruby, is in danger and this had me stressed OUT. 
Image result for stressed out gif
What I thought to myself was why does everyone have to be in danger? But of course it wouldn't be a gripping book if there wasn't a something to hook you in right at the beginning. Ruby is not the easiest character to like at first, she's stubborn, hot-headed and I did find her quite annoying. But as she learns to harness her gift and develop it with the help of some monks and a mysterious and tortured boy named Arcus, I also learned to love her as well. 

In Frostblood, there is fantasy but there's also a lot of action and a twinge of romance which is what I enjoyed as well. This book reminded me of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, so if you enjoyed those series I'd recommend you try this one out even though the fantasy in Frostblood doesn't feel as rich, but the story line is just as interesting. The romance for me at first was a bit rocky, I didn't know how I felt about Arcus as he was the brooding and rude male interest that you know you'll fall in love by the end but just not sure about at the beginning. Arcus is a Frostblood, therefore seeing him and Ruby get over their hatred for each other and slowly fall in love was really nice. This book definitely has what I'd call a cute romance. I'm hoping that it'll spice up in the second book though, I loved scenes with the both of them in because they have great chemistry and really made my heart happy.

This didn't feel like the most groundbreaking fantasy story to me and the premise of "a war between two worlds with a prophecy saying that could it be stopped by a person born with extraordinary powers" has been used quite a lot in the young adult genre. However, I'm not deterred by this and as this is the first book out of three I do feel like the story has a lot of potential and a lot of exciting and innovative directions it could go in. I did really get hooked into this story and the wonderful world that it offered an escape into as the writing was just brilliant. Blake really brought this world to life for me and I couldn't put the book down, but I do realise that many people might want to be completely knocked off their boat by a crazy, wild and original young adult story and may not want to read a story that kind of has the same premise as a few books already out there. Therefore in that respect this one might not be for you. But if you're willing to let the world suck you in and fall in love with the characters then I do think you will enjoy this book as much as I did. 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Frostblood. I would definitely recommend it to those wanting a world that's similar to Throne of Glass or Shadow and Bone. And I'll also recommend this to those of you that may have watched and loved the cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender, I think that show describes this book quite well. 
Image result for avatar the last airbender
I'm really looking forward to reading the second instalment which will be released in September 2017, so there's plenty of time to pick up a copy and fill yourself in before the sequel is released. I'm hoping Blake will take this into a completely unpredictable direction just as she did towards the end of Frostblood.

Monday, 9 November 2015

My review of The Heir

The Heir (The Selection #4) by Kiera Cass
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository

The Heir (The Selection, #4)Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon—and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she'd put off marriage for as long as possible.

But a princess's life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can't escape her very own Selection—no matter how fervently she protests.

Eadlyn doesn't expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn's heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her . . . and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn't as impossible as she's always thought.

**Mild spoilers for the previous Selection books**

The Heir is the fourth installment in the Selection series that focuses on the next generation of royals, and more specifically Eadlyn, who must undergo the Selection to find a suitor. I was slightly surprised when I heard the series wouldn't simply end at the third book (The One) because I felt that everything had rounded off quite nicely with an ending that tied up all the storylines but also left you with a magical idea for the future. However, the author has managed to weave a storyline that works. It did feel slightly drawn out but as this is the first book I am willing to give it a chance. 

What pushed me to carry on reading this series is the fact that I knew Maxon and America would obviously appear in the story and also play a large role in it. After all, the story is about their daughter. I also came round to the idea of their being another selection as I really did enjoy reading about the process in the first few books. If you're unsure of what the selection is, basically there are 35 people competing for the heart of the heir to the throne, and in this case it is Eadlyn.

To be completely honest with you all, I didn't like Eadlyn. I didn't like her at the beginning, I didn't like her in the middle and I didn't like her at the end. To be honest she came across as bratty and selfish. I couldn't really stand her at times. The main issue that she has with her life is that she doest want to be the next Queen. She didn't asked to be born with this responsibility on her shoulders. But come on girl you've got to get on with it and stop sulking. She also like to use her title when telling off others, "you can't speak to me that way I'm a royal." Not an exact quote but gives you an idea of what she's like.
What kept me reading on was the storyline. I wanted to get to know and meet the suitors! I wanted to see what they had to offer the princess and how charming they could be in her presence. However I really do hope the story picks up a bit more in the next few books and that our darling Eadlyn learns to grow up. I'm quite interested to see who she will end up with as she has so many options.

On a side note, no you do not have to read the previous books to read the Heir. It will definitely give you more insight into the characters and give a better feel for what the selection is like, but it is not compulsory.

Previous books reviews: The Selection (#1), The Elite (#2), The One (#3)

Friday, 30 October 2015

My review of Pierre the Maze Detective: The Search for the Stolen Maze Stone

Pierre the Maze Detective: The Search for the Stolen Maze Stone by IC4DESIGN, Hiro Kamigaki
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository

Pierre the Maze Detective: The Search for the Stolen Maze StonePierre the Maze Detective has a new case. Mr X has stolen the Maze Stone, which has the power to turn the whole of Opera City into a maze. Can you help Pierre and his friend Carmen find their way through the mazes – and stop Mr X before it's too late? This beautifully illustrated book features 15 full-spread illustrations of intricate, magical mazes. Take a trip through a fantastic world of underground cities, hot-air balloons, tree-top towns and haunted houses. Trace your way through each maze, spot the clues and solve the extra mystery challenges along the way. 

Pierre the Maze Detective is actually the most adorable children's book I've ever laid my eyes on. The illustrations and colours are so simplistic yet I'm still awestruck every time I open this book.

At first I thought this was a Where's Wally's book but oh I was wrong. There is so much to do, even after weeks of having this book I still haven't even been able to complete all of the different landscapes. So what you're meant to do is try and find a route out of the scene that you've been given, may it be the sea, a castle, the forest, a cafe, etc. But you also have extra challenges that you have to complete like in the cafe scene you have to find a pickpocket, you know little things like that. BUT I'M BLOODY OBSESSED! Wait, there's still more. You've also got to find other numerous hidden objects. Basically this is Where's Wally with a lot more instructions on things you can find and I love it.

The colours are gorgeous and the illustrations are marvellous. I believe some call this the Japanese version of Where's Wally and I can understand that but there's something about this book that just feels even more lovable. I am a teenager, I have to study but this has literally taken over my life at points. I know, it's a terrible addiction. (I think I'm secretly using this as an outlet for procrastination.)

Overall I would highly recommend Pierre the Maze Detective for anyone; any age; any where, because come on? Who doesn't secretly love these engaging children's activities books? Exactly, the answer is no one. This book is perfect if you want to give it to a child to keep them entertained, or if you're just like me and still love the idea of completing a quest. Pierre the Maze Detective is for you, my friend.
A review copy was provided by the publisher

Friday, 9 October 2015

My review of Secret Garden - Artist's Edition by Johanna Basford

Secret Garden - Artist's Edition by Johanna Basford
Release Date: September 15, 2015.
Amazon UK |

From the publisher that brought you the hugely successful Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest - this special artist's edition features 20 beautiful, pull-out art prints for coloring in. Colouring fans of all ages will enjoy immersing themselves in a selection of the most popular artworks from the original book, now presented in a new, large-scale format for maximum coloring enjoyment.

Each detailed illustration is printed on high-quality card, and can be removed easily for framing or craft projects.

I simply don't know where to begin! Secret Garden is a beautiful colouring book with so many stunning illustrations that will blow you away. What's great about this Artist's Edition is that you can pull out and frame your work. The quality of the book is amazing and when I first started colouring it in I put a lot of pressure on my self to make a mind-blowing piece of art and this is how I got on.

This book is perfect for de stressing. I enjoyed blending colours and really bringing the image to life. In my spare time I have done small elements of the piece and hopefully one day soon it will be finished. There's 20 prints in this whole book, isn't that crazy? I didn't expect to fall in love with it as much as I have. The illustrations have captivated me every time I've flicked through the book. I honestly can't wait to hang them all up.

I would definitely recommend this book if you enjoy colouring in and want something that could be seen as age-flexible. Anyone could love this book! It brings to light that colouring isn't just for children, it can be enjoyable and therapeutic for adults too! I'm so in love and will relish in the day that I can see these on my walls. No, no I'm not joking.

I've done a little bit of research and found that there's a whole series of these beauties; there's "Lost Ocean" and "Enchanted Forest". So if this particular theme doesn't take your fancy there's still more you can choose from ORRRR if you like them all and want to take extreme colouring up as a hobby then go ahead and pick up all three! 

More images from the book:
A review copy was provided by the publisher

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Devil and the Deep Release Day Party

Hey there!

Today is the release day of Devil and the Deep by Megan Tayte, this is the fourth book in the Cerulean series. 
Release Day: September 30, 2015
Scarlett is living her happy-ever-after, back in the real world. Only the ‘happy’ part is proving problematic.
For starters, there’s the isolation. Being a Cerulean among humans is fraught with risk, so her time with people can only be fleeting. Which means being with Luke but not being with Luke.
Then there’s her Cerulean light, her power over life and death. Less awesome talent, as it turns out, and more overwhelming responsibility. And it comes with rules – rules that are increasingly difficult to obey.
But what’s really pushing Scarlett to the precipice is something much bigger than herself, than her life in the cove. A force to be reckoned with:
When long-buried truths are exposed, will Scarlett keep her head above water – or will she drown in the blood-dimmed tide that is unleashed?
You can buy Devil and the Deep at: Amazon UK, Amazon, The Book Depository

About the Author:
Once upon a time a little girl told her grandmother that when she grew up she wanted to be a writer. Or a lollipop lady. Or a fairy princess fireman. ‘Write, Megan,’ her grandmother advised. So that’s what she did.

Thirty-odd years later, Megan is a professional writer and published author by day, and an indie novelist by night. Her fiction – young adult romance with soul – recently earned her the SPR’s Independent Woman Author of the Year award.

Megan grew up in the Royal County, a hop, skip and a (very long) jump from Windsor Castle, but these days she makes her home in Robin Hood's county, Nottinghamshire. She lives with her husband, a proud Scot who occasionally kicks back in a kilt; her son, a budding artist with the soul of a palaeontologist; and her baby daughter, a keen pan-and-spoon drummer who sings in her sleep. When she's not writing, you'll find her walking someplace green, reading by the fire, or creating carnage in the kitchen as she pursues her impossible dream: of baking something edible.

You can find Megan at:

Megan is also running a giveaway for a tote bag so make sure you enter that in the Rafflecopter below.
Have a good day!

Monday, 14 September 2015

My review of I Was Here

I Was Here by Gayle Forman
Release Date: January 29, 2015

I Was Here
This characteristically powerful novel follows eighteen-year-old Cody Reynolds in the months following her best friend's shocking suicide.

As Cody numbly searches for answers as to why Meg took her own life, she begins a journey of self-discovery which takes her to a terrifying precipice, and forces her to question not only her relationship with the Meg she thought she knew, but her own understanding of life, love, death and forgiveness. 

I Was Here left me feeling underwhelmed. I was expecting a lot more than what this book had to offer especially from the author of such stunning and memorable books like If I Stay and Where She Went. I started reading with high expectations and the thought that this book will leave an impression on me like the previous books had. However after giving the story a good go I could just feel my engagement slipping away and feel the boredom creeping in.

The story is about a girl called Cody who loses her best friend Meg. Meg committed suicide leaving nothing but one last scheduled email and Cody can't figure out why she couldn't see the signs. Therefore she embarks on an investigation to find out what led Meg to take such extreme actions. It all sounds quite interesting and exciting, right? Well for me that wasn't the case. The main character built up the personality of her friend as "one of a kind", "unique", basically someone that you would be lucky to have known, but I didn't really feel any of this coming through. The voice of Cody felt dull and unconvincing. It led to me not being able to engage with her and her memory of Meg.

Overall, I now don't remember clearly what I was expecting from this book, but whatever this was wasn't it. I know this story won't stay in my mind for very long and I would preferably like to forget about it. Gayle Forman is a very good writer and this shows in her previous books including Just One Day and Just One Year, this story just simply was not for me. The characters were not for me. And the whole journey of the novel wasn't for me. 

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Celebrating International Literacy Day

Hey there!

I was approached by Grammarly to join in with their literacy campaign for International Literacy Day. They've provided me with an info graphic containing some very intriguing facts about the topic.

I hope you found those figures as interesting and intriguing as I did. You can check out Grammarly's International Literacy Day post here!

Have a great day!
Sam :)