January Wrap Up 2021

Here we go the first wrap up of the new year!! One of my challenges this year is to read more graphic novels and manga etc. Well, I decided to sign up to WebToon and read some of their webcomics and it was such a great decision! I had 2 5 star books this month, 1 for a webcomic and 1 for a manga.

  • I read 8 books this month.
  • I started both my 2021 Goodreads, Sequel, Physical and ONTD challenge.
  • Genre: I read 1 historical fiction, 1 thriller, 5 fantasy and 1 supernatural!
  • Age range: I read 6 adult and 2 YA.
  • Format: I read 3 paperbacks, 2 ebooks and 3 webcomics.

The Art of Dying – Ambrose Parry (3 stars)

Ok, so not a bad start to the new year. This was an ARC from Netgalley and it was just a solid 3 stars. I enjoyed the characters and I enjoyed the change in POV but it didn’t wow me. I probably won’t continue the series unless the next book looks really really good.

The Plotters – Un-Su Kim (2.5 stars)

So, this was for my ONTD challenge and I had never read a book by a Korean author before so I was quite excited to jump in. This book hit the middle of the road for me. I really enjoyed the dialogue and the Seoul Underworld described in this book but there was a lot of philosophical stream of consciousness esc passages in this book that bored me and ruined the pacing of the novel.

Lore Olympus: Season 1 – Rachel Smythe (5 stars)

So, here is my first 5 star of the year. Starting off well, one of the first web comics I picked up was this one. I had heard so many great things and it ended up matching the hype and exceeding my expectations. It is a re-telling of the “Taking of Persephone” myth from Greek Mythology, where Hades, King of the Underworld, kidnaps Goddess of Spring Persephone and makes her his wife. This is such a refreshing take on this myth, don’t worry everything is consensual between the two! The art-style is amazing, the romance between Hades and Persephone is just incredible and the characters in general are so varied and so well written.

The Steam Dragon Express – R. Merryweather & Porforever (2.5 stars)

This was another middle of the road comic for me. It follows a young girl who joins the Steam Dragon Express Academy to learn how to be an adventurer. The art style was super cute and colourful, I was super interested in the story but I found the episodes to be too short. Also, sadly the artist and the writer decided to go separate ways just as the comic started to really amp up so the ending felt kind of rushed.

The Fifth Season – N.K. Jemisin (4 stars)

I picked this up after hearing so many great things about it. I do think that after reading so much hype it meant that I went in with maybe too high of expectations than I would have gone in with if I didn’t know much about it. That being said it was still really good. I really enjoyed learning about the world and meeting all these new and exciting characters and I love a story with multiple POVs and every single POV was amazing!

Fullmetal Alchemist Vol 4. (10-12) – Hiromu Arakawa (5 stars)

Another, 5 star but this is not surprising! I love this series so much! This is by far my favourite of the series so far. We finally get a greater understanding of the world and the plot seems more important and exhilarating. The art as always is great and I just love how Arakawa can write both really deep and emotional scenes and then also write some incredibly funny scenes.

The Strange Tales of Oscar Zahn – Tri Vuong (4 stars)

Another webcomic to the list. This follows Supernatural Investigator Oscar Zahn through some of his adventures into the paranormal. This was just so good. The art work was amazing, the plot was superb but this comic just had a lot of heart and soul (no pun intended) embedded in these stories. Oscar is a great character and I need more!

Descendant of the Crane – Joan He (3 stars)

This was another book I picked up due to the hype. There were loads of elements of it that I liked; the plot, the sibling relationship, the mystery but sadly I couldn’t connect to the story at the beginning. The pacing at times was quite slow that my attention span faltered and I couldn’t engage with book as much as I wanted to!

Welp, there’s January 2021 all done and dusted. That’s so weird that it’s over already!!!

September Wrap Up 2020

Definitely a better reading month this month. While I did have my first 1 star of the year… all the other books I read were enjoyable. I also have planned all the books I am going to read for the rest of the year plus I have planned more or less all the posts I want to post until Feb next year! December and January is planned with end of the year wrap up kind of posts so it’s quite easy to plan and definitely my fave part of the year book blogging wise!

  • I read 6 books this month.
  • I dnfed 1 book this month.
  • I read 2 books for my sequel challenge and 2 books for my ONTD challenge.
  • I completed my sequel challenge.
  • For genre: I read most fantasy. All with different subgenres; portal, high, urban etc. One book was also a murder mystery in a fantasy setting.
  • For age range: 3 were adult, 2 were young adult and 1 I am not sure of the age range (a cross between YA and adult)
  • I read 4 paperbacks (1 was a manga) and 2 ebooks

Crowning Soul by Sahira Javaid (DNF)

I was super excited to get into this book. I haven’t read many books inspired by Morocco and I was excited to read a book with a Muslim character in the center of the story. But sadly it was a slog to get through. The pacing was weird as we switched through the scenes quite quickly but it felt really slow to read. The dialogue felt very cringey and unrealistic and I just struggled to find the desire to pick up the book.

The Last Wish by Andrezj Sapkowski (4 stars)

I wanted to read this book after I watched the Netflix adaptation at the beginning of the year. I then managed to fit it into my ONTD challenge for September which was read a book with a grumpy character and there are a lot of those kinds of characters in this book. Overall, all the short stories in this collection were really strong and I loved exploring the world through these stories rather than a linear narrative!

Dead Man in a Ditch by Luke Arnold (4 stars)

I wasn’t expecting that a book I read and reviewed as an ARC in February of this year would already have a sequel before the year was out but Mr Arnold seems to be working hard! I thoroughly enjoyed this book more so than the first one and I am super excited to see what this series has to hold!

The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden (5 stars)

Now I was nervous going into this book. I have spent about 3 years making my way through this trilogy and the journey was a rollercoaster of emotions so knowing I was going into the last book made me very apprehensive to read it as I did not want to be disappointed. And let me tell you… I was not disappointed in the slightest! Everyone must read this trilogy!

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (3 stars)

I think that my time with Gaiman has come to an end. I have read 3 of his books now and none of them left me feeling like I wanted to read more. While this book was definitely the better of the 3, the others being Coraline and Stardust, it sadly didn’t wow me enough. I don’t think I will continue to read Gaiman’s work anymore sadly.

Fullmetal Alchemist Vol.3 (7-9) by Hiromu Arakawa (5 stars)

Just expect me to give this entire series 5 stars throughout! All the volumes were great but now the ball is really rolling in regards to the wider plotline so I am super excited to read more!

Black Lives Matter!

I have a small platform but I know that I need to use whatever platform I have to do my bit to support the Black Lives Matter movement. I am devastated by the atrocities committed over the last couple of days, with the horrific murders of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery

I have signed petitions, shared mental health resources on my twitter, helped bring to light what is happening to my family here in the UK and I watched booktuber Bowties and Books’ Instagram story and Live of them detailing their experience protesting peacefully in Minneapolis. Tears fell down my face as I watched their story.

While there is still more I can do I thought I should do my bit to support the movement on my blog. Below are going to be petitions you can sign and places you can donate to help as much as you can.

Educate yourselves, say their name and do not forget what has happened. I am in solidarity with my black brothers and sisters.

For more places you can contact and donate please click this link which will take you to a master thread on twitter.

Closed Casket Review

Lady Athelinda Playford has planned a house party at her mansion in Clonakilty, Co Cork, but it is no ordinary gathering. As guests arrive, Lady Playford summons her lawyer to make an urgent change to her will – one she intends to announce at dinner that night. She has decided to cut off her two children without a penny and leave her fortune to someone who only has weeks to live, and she refuses to explain why…
Among Lady Playford’s guests are two men she has never met – the famous Belgian dectective, Hercule Poirot, and Inspector Edward Catchpool of Scotland Yard. Neither knows why he has been invited…until Poirot starts to wonder if Lady Playford expects a murderer to strike. But why does she seem so determined to provoke, in the the presence of a possible killer? And why, when the crime is committed in spite of Poirot’s best efforts to stop it, does the identity of the victim make no sense at all?

The Body on the Train Review

1929, London. In the darkness before dawn, a London railway porter discovers a man’s body as he unloads a special goods train from Yorkshire, all means of identification stripped away. Hitting a dead end, Scotland Yard call on indomitable sleuth Kate Shackleton, hoping her local Yorkshire knowledge and undoubted skills at winkling out information will produce the results they need. 1929, Yorkshire. Fears of unrest in the Yorkshire coalfields mean that Kate must conduct her investigation with the utmost secrecy. But when she discovers that another murder occurred around the same time as the mysterious body on the train, she is convinced there must be a connection. Using her sharp instincts and persuasive charm, she begins to uncover a web of intrigue that edges her closer to the truth. But with attempts being made on her life, Kate needs all the strength and resourcefulness she can muster, before she becomes the next victim . . .

Well, this is my very first netgalley book! I am so excited to talk to you guys about this book.

Click the title to read the full review! More on Netgalley next Monday!