23 Oct 2020

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays: THE INVISBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE by V.E. Schwab

23 October 1 Comments

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays introduces readers who are unfamiliar with the Adult SF/F genre to books, authors, and discussions all about the vast expanse of the world of Adult SF/F!

THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE

Author: V.E. Schwab
Series: N/A
Source: Purchased from Audible; eARC from Publisher
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: October 6, 2020
Summary:

A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.
Purchase:

I have never been so blown away by a story before, where I wanted to savour every moment and make sure I was truly listening and understanding every word on the page. I loved that this was a flash between history and the present, the touches of magic, and the way that everything intertwined. I had some issues with the pacing and some of the choices even though they made "sense" in the end but overall, I highly recommend this one.

I loved Addie's story and Addie herself. I liked how seemlessly both of our main characters being bisexual was put into the story - making it a complete non-issue. I thought Addie was a really strong character and I liked seeing how she went from innocence to doing what she must to survive. She was the perfect character to follow through this story and I loved seeing how she was able to leave her mark, something I think we all fear not being able to do.

While this is definitely a slower paced novel, there are so many beautiful moments that it seems to just fly by. I think the audiobook is over 17 hours and it felt like I read it in 5 because it was so lyrical and magical. While there is the typical "flowery" prose in parts of this, I didn't mind it for the most part. There were some times that it caused a bit of a break in the reality of the world for me, which meant I had to relisten to some parts or just try to figure it out from some context.

I also just didn't like Henry as a whole. I thought he was not the most interesting person that Addie was with, or wanted to be with. And I understand why he was involved but it felt like Addie made poor choices because of him and that felt out of character. But his choices were worse and I thought he was kind of boring overall. I didn't like his sections nearly as much and wished I could have skipped over them tbh.

But truly everything else was wonderful. You could really tell that this was the book of Victoria's heart and that she had been holding onto this for years. I think this may be my favourite read of hers (yet) and I can't wait to recommend it to more people. An easy way to get into fantasy with its mix of historical fiction and contemporary issues, this is the perfect book for everyone.

TLDR: Gosh Victoria writes such beautiful stories and I'm so glad Addie was one of them. I did have a few issues with characterizations and pacing, but overall I truly enjoyed this one. I especially like that this is a standalone and had a bit of an open ending to allow us to create the rest of the world. I liked the vignettes interlaced throughout and the magic that was weaved around all of this while still making it mostly historical and contemporary fiction.

Have you read this one? What was your favourite part?

17 Oct 2020

Stacking the Shelves (34): October 17, 2020

17 October 1 Comments
Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks!
So I didn't get to writing as many posts as I would have liked this week. I'm feeling a little burnt out about blogging and reading, mostly because I don't feel like there is enough pay off anymore. I work pretty hard to keep up with content, new releases, etc. and constantly feel like bloggers overall are overlooked.

I don't know what that means for the future of this blog but I will keep reading and updating for as long as I can because it is important to me more than anything else. But my life and priorities have changed since I started and that's okay.

How's everyone holding up?

16 Oct 2020

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays: IRON AND MAGIC by Ilona Andrews

16 October 0 Comments

 


Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays introduces readers who are unfamiliar with the Adult SF/F genre to books, authors, and discussions all about the vast expanse of the world of Adult SF/F!

IRON AND MAGIC

Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: The Iron Convenant #1
Source: Purchased from Audible
PublisherNancy Yost Literary Agency, Inc
Publication Date: June 22, 2018
Summary:

No day is ordinary in a world where Technology and Magic compete for supremacy…But no matter which force is winning, in the apocalypse, a sword will always work.

Hugh d’Ambray, Preceptor of the Iron Dogs, Warlord of the Builder of Towers, served only one man. Now his immortal, nearly omnipotent master has cast him aside. Hugh is a shadow of the warrior he was, but when he learns that the Iron Dogs, soldiers who would follow him anywhere, are being hunted down and murdered, he must make a choice: to fade away or to be the leader he was born to be. Hugh knows he must carve a new place for himself and his people, but they have no money, no shelter, and no food, and the necromancers are coming. Fast.

Elara Harper is a creature who should not exist. Her enemies call her Abomination; her people call her White Lady. Tasked with their protection, she's trapped between the magical heavyweights about to collide and plunge the state of Kentucky into a war that humans have no power to stop. Desperate to shield her people and their simple way of life, she would accept help from the devil himself—and Hugh d’Ambray might qualify.

Hugh needs a base, Elara needs soldiers. Both are infamous for betraying their allies, so how can they create a believable alliance to meet the challenge of their enemies?

As the prophet says: “It is better to marry than to burn.”

Hugh and Elara may do both.
Purchase:

In this rare edition of Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays, you get.... a negative review!

I really wanted to like this one. I wanted some good Urban Fantasy and wanted to be blown away. All of my Goodreads friends LOVED this one, so when it came up as an Audible Daily Deal, I was sold. Except... I wasn't. It was really disappointing and I definitely wouldn't recommend it.

Mostly, my pain comes from not being sure what time period it was until much later in the book because the cover, the castle, and the way the characters act make it seem like it was many moons ago when in reality it is present day. Which blew my mind. I had to go back to some of the beginning chapters to see why I thought it would be the past and then remembered most of the plot was around building a moat to defend a castle. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

But really, I didn't like so much about this. Even though it is the start to this series, it is a spin-off of another. And I am getting pretty bored of authors and publishers who say you can start series when they are clearly in the middle of something else. To truly understand the backstory and the intricacies, I needed the other aspects of this. And that's on me, truly, for not reading the rest. 

What isn't on me is that the characters were just terrible. I can't tell you much more about Hugh except that he is moody and Elara is white. That's pretty much all I know about them. And their "romance" was just meh to me. I wanted to know more about the world and truly I would have rather watched them build the moat a thousand times than have to listen to those sex scenes again.

TLDR: This was not my favourite read this year. I did not really enjoy it and thought the romance parts of this took over the rest of the plot rather than supplement it. Also the cover is bad and made me think this was like a historical urban fantasy rather than contemporary.

Have you read this one? What was your favourite part?

10 Oct 2020

Stacking the Shelves (33): October 10, 2020

10 October 1 Comments
Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks!
It's Canadian Thanksgiving so here's some ways you can support Indigenous Persons in Canada!
  1. Donate: Donate to a Canadian charty and/or organization that supports Indigenous communities, especially Northern Indigenous communities.
  2. Listen and Learn: Listen to the Indigenous community on their history and the issues they have in the present day. Learn and educate yourself on current issues in the Indigenous community.
  3. Volunteer: Volunteer with Canadian charities and/or organizations to help offset some of hte costs!
  4. Read Indigenous Literature: Most importantly, read some Indigenous literature to give back to the community and support an array of diverse authors. So tomorrow watch for a whole list of those!
How's everyone holding up?

9 Oct 2020

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays: Books to Read on a Long Weekend

09 October 0 Comments

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays

introduces readers who are unfamiliar with the Adult SF/F genre to books, authors, and discussions all about the vast expanse of the world of Adult SF/F!
It's a long weekend here in Canada, so here are my recommended SFF reads while you curl up and celebrate having three days off!

THE PRIORY OF THE ORANGE TREE by Samantha Shannon 

A world divided. A queendom without an heir. An ancient enemy awakens...
Purchase:


LADY HOTSPUR by Tessa Gratton

Inspired by Shakespeare's Henry IV, Lady Hotspur continues the saga of Innis Lear, centuries later, as revolution, love, and a betrayal corrupt the descendants of two warring kingdoms.
Purchase:


THE SEEP by Chana Porter

A blend of searing social commentary and speculative fiction, Chana Porter’s fresh, pointed debut is perfect for fans of Jeff VanderMeer and Carmen Maria Machado.
Purchase:


RED SISTER by Mark Lawrence

I was born for killing – the gods made me to ruin. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive…
Purchase:
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
 


A BEGINNING AT THE END by Mike Chen

How do you start over after the end of the world? Because sometimes having one person is enough to keep the world going...
Purchase:


What are your favourite long weekend reads?