Review - Nevernight

Thursday, 27 October 2016

I don't usually read back-to-back books by the same author (see also: Why I Am Bad at Finishing Series) and at first didn't make the connection between the author of this and the co-author of Illuminae.


Anyways. Mia is 16 years old and lives in the city of Godsgrave. A fledgling assassin, she joins a school to learn how to become the Blade that will take revenge for her father's death and her family's ruin.

Mia has to best her fellow students in contests of blades, poison, secrets and the ~subtle arts~~ in order to take her revenge.

As she navigates Tric, The Boy, the school with its own built-in Mia-haters, and friendship, Mia grows into who she is meant  to be.

Listen, this is the girl assassin book I have been waiting for since I fell down the fantasy hole when I was 14. I was 14 in the 80s. Do you know how many girl assassin fantasy novels there were in the 80s? NONE. At least, none that I could FIND.

So I was predisposed to like Nevernight anyway. And THEN Jay Kristoff layers on this Roman Empire-style universe AND THEN ON TOP OF THAT gives the Red Church layers on layers of history and ceremony and the whole thing adds up to basically catnip.


Review - Illuminae

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Kady thinks her biggest problem right now is breaking up with her boyfriend Ezra.

Then her planet is invaded.

She finds herself separated from Ezra, from her mother, and from everything she knows. Ezra, on a different rescue ship from Kady, is also struggling with the sudden and sharp changes in his life.

Soon, both Kady and Ezra realise there's a lot more going on than the invasion of one small speck of a mining planet in the outer reaches of the galaxy.

With a plague invading one ship, and an AI that may or may not be insane, Kady and Ezra find themselves fighting for their lives.

I have to say, I did enjoy Illuminae a lot, although I found the graphic art element of it a little bit distracting and unwieldy at times. I get why it's been put together like that, but.

Anyway, Kady and Ezra are both great characters - brave in their own ways, and each with their own fully realised personalities and skill-sets. Illuminae is fascinating, deep sci-fi storytelling at its best.

Definitely looking forward to the sequel.

Sunday post 46; It's Monday, What are you reading? 32

Sunday, 23 October 2016


The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba here; and is a chance for a chat and a catch-up with fellow bloggers each week.

The 24 Hour Readathon takes place every April and October, and you can find out about it here:

It's Monday, What are you reading? Is now hosted by Kathryn, and it can be found over here:

Let's see ...

I'm only sort-of doing the readathon, which is what I always do. I dive in, read as much as possible in the time that I have given that it starts at 1am my time, and cheer on other readers on the twitter. This year I managed to read half of Nevernight by Jay Kristoff, which I'm really digging. I've put it down for the night now, and will encourage other readers.

I blogged last week - actually did a few posts. Finally wrote that Secret Life of Pets review I've been threatening, wrote a couple of readathon posts, and also reviewed Alexis Hall's new novel, Pansies.

Went to a quiz night last Wednesday with some friends - we usually do all right, and came in fourth, which was a pretty respectable showing.

Got a few more job rejections, but I'm trying to ..... not be down about it? I'm looking into ways to fill in my time, like maybe volunteer work of some sort, or picking a subject I really want to know more about and doing some research. You know how we always say "I'd do .... if I just had TIME." Well. I have time. I'm going to keep applying for jobs, I just refuse to let the process grind me down. A self-pity pit is an easy one to fall into but climbing back out of it ... so. Ideas?

What would YOU do, if you had the time?

I've signed up for nano next month as well. At the moment I'm planning on writing Dragon Age fic, but the idea I have for that is ridiculously complicated, so I might have to change it.

I finished Illuminae on Saturday, and really enjoyed it, though I did find the format a bit annoying. So there should be a review of that coming up this week. I'm halfway through Nevernight, so possibly will review that this week, too.

It's Labour Day here tomorrow, which means spawn will be home from school. Other than that for this week, my goal is to ... get out of my own head a bit. Look into volunteering, and maybe some kind of studying for next year if I can't find a job. It's a much more disheartening process than I realised, but I refuse to let it grind me down. REFUSE.


How's your week?

What are you reading?

Readathon - opening meme

Saturday, 22 October 2016

The Readathon officially starts at 1am my time, so my plan is to stay up for the first hour, go get some sleep, and spend as much time tomorrow as possible reading. 

Let's see how I go - lol.

Meme time: 

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
New Zealand. :) Specifically my living room. Possibly outside for a bit if it's sunny.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
I'm not sure actually, but I have Wizards and Glass by Stephen King, and The Prophecy Con by Patrick Weekes, so I might dive in to one of those.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Caramel popcorn ... om nom nom nom  nom
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
Um. At this point, I'm not sure what people don't know about me - lol.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? Hopefully get a bit more reading done ...

It's (nearly) readathon time again!

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Every year, I whitter over whether I'm going to sign up for Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon or not, and every year (well, twice a year) I talk myself into it.

This month is no different. I signed up earlier in the week, and I'm all set to go, although I still need to stock up on snacks and figure out what I'm going to read.

If you're reading this and going ... huh? Go here: and all will be made clear and all that jazz. Readathon is fun, and it brings all corners of the book blogging community - from the old-school crusty bloggers like myself - to the young'ns on the tumblr and the instagram together to unite in the same purpose: read as much as possible, and consume mass quantities.

This year I'll be diving in a little bit late, as I'm going out on Saturday night to my stitch-and-watch friend's place - Saturday is her birthday, and she not long ago lost her mum, so I'm sticking to my leave-the-house plans this once. On Sunday, however, my "plan" is to find a book, park up somewhere comfy, no doubt with a cat ... and probably spend far too much time on social media, like I always do.

Join us! It's fun! :)

Review - Pansies by Alexis Hall

Alfie Bell, on paper, has everything. A flash London flat, a six-figure salary, and good friends. Going home to South Shields for a wedding, however, throws into relief for Alfie how shallow his life really is. And now that everyone back home knows that he's gay, well, that just adds to the complications.

Alfie expects to grit his teeth through his best friend's wedding, head to London and never return to South Shields again. Fate, however, has other ideas, in the form of Fen. Fen, with his sharp tongue and pink-tipped hair, draws Alfie in straight away. The trouble is, Alfie doesn't remember Fen, but Fen remembers Alfie and the torment he put him through back at school.

Once Alfie realises who Fen is, he wants to try and put things right, and hopefully move on WITH Fen. But there are a lot of obstacles in their way ...

Oh, I liked this. I liked this very much of a lot. Fen, especially is a great character and Alfie is like this blundering, well-meaning Great Dane who still thinks he's a lapdog.

Pansies has more in common with Glitterland (incidentally my all-time favourite Alexis Hall novel) than, say, For Real, and it's just a very, very good read with an awful lot of heart.

Review - The Secret Life of Pets

Monday, 17 October 2016

Ever wondered what your pets get up to when you're not around? Well, here's the answer and it's adorable and funny.

The Secret Life of Pets follows terrier Max as he goes about his day in New York while his owner Katie is at work. Max, as per every kids' movie ever with animals, has a host of quirky animal friends, including Gidget the pomeranian, Chloe the cat and Mel the pug.

When Katie adopts a new dog, Doug, Max lets his jealousy get the better of him and shenanigans ensue. There's a bad-tempered bunny (an abandoned pet) called Snowball, an ancient basset hound called Pops and a whole host of cats, dogs, birds and others.

I took spawn to this during the school holidays, and we both enjoyed it greatly. It's light-hearted for the most part, with some sniffle-inducing emotional parts as well.

Great for the kids, and a really enjoyable family movie.