Bit of an average read this one. I felt little to no desire to keep reading and the ending left much to be desired. I did like, however, the James Bond feel to the plot and how it covered a couple of months and intertwined smaller cases. I was very happy to have finished it though.
This was my first time reading manga and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I watched the TV show before picking up this book which made it an interesting reading experience. I loved seeing all the foreshadowing and dreaded reading certain volumes in which I know what happens. I loved the bromance in this book and the art is exceptional. A really fun read that I think everyone should give a go.
A lot of firsts this month. This was my first ebook. My birthday is in August so I treated myself to a kindle. I decided to pick this up as it fit the theme for the ONTD reading challenge and I devoured it in one day! I loved the formatting in this book, flicking from podcast to Sadie’s first person POV. I really enjoyed the characters and the plot was heart-breaking.
This is a book I have been wanting to read for ages. I have always been intrigued by the premise of this novel and I was so excited to give it a go. It started off really strong and includes some of the best writing I have ever read but halfway through the pacing started to get the better of me and I started getting a bit bored. The ending is so good though!
The Two Towers by J.R.R Tolkien (2 stars)
Now this might shock some people but I DNFed the Two Towers. It started off really good. I loved the account of Merry and Pippin’s time and subsequent escape of the Orcs but the writing was just boring for me and the pacing was so slow. I started dreading it every time I would pick it up. So, I decided it was best to put it down.
Series: The Lord of the Ring Series #2 (I am counting The Hobbit as the first book)
Genre: High Fantasy
No. of pages: 535
Date read: 06/01/19 – 24/01/19
Rating: 3 stars
Challenge: 2019 Sequels and ONTD Reading Challenge: Jan (Read a book which was adapted into a movie or TV show)
First thing I would say is if you are questioning whether to read The Hobbit first. Do it! There are a lot of references and spoilers in this book about The Hobbit so definitely read that one first!
Plot: In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts a Ring of immense power to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.
I loved all the characters. They are all very layered and very different from one another which helped make the group interesting and keep you on your toes. Notable characters included
Aragorn. This is probably the only character in the book where I can’t explain why I liked them. I just thought he was really brave and there is clearly something hidden about him that we will find out in later books.
Gandalf. I loved Gandalf in The Hobbit and he was just as great in this book. I loved how wise, kind and funny he was.
Sam. Sam was the absolute cutest. I loved his loyalty and innocence, he was a refreshing character as most of the companies are rough and serious.
Galadriel. The only female character of importance and she was incredibly powerful and wise. I was happy to see a powerful woman in the book who was respected as more than just the King’s wife which is what I had expected.
The plot is incredibly detailed which made for a rich and fulfilled reading experience. Each character has a long history and origin which makes them who they are, they have all suffered in some way which has affected them in quite deep ways. I loved that we got to see an intricate and long backstory for the Ring, which spanned further back than when Gollum obtained it, I also how it linked certain characters together. The backstory makes the quest more dangerous and intense knowing that the Ring has left a path of blood and devastation in its wake. We also see a long history between the elves and dwarves which is interesting to read about, it is not explored in depth unlike the Ring’s origin but it’s mentioned enough, it gives Legolas and Gimli an interesting dynamic and friendship.
It’s highly imaginative. I loved all the fantasy elements. Sauron’s minions (Black Rider) were incredibly exciting to read about, I loved all the scenes they were in, they bought a real sense of danger and they were incredbly evil and mysterious beings which made me feel I was really reading a high fantasty. The Elven kingdom of Lorien was so beautiful, Tolkien’s description of the kingdom was incredible I could truly visuale it and all it’s beauty. I loved everything to do with the Elves and their magic and I loved the exploration into the mighty power behind the ring.
The scenes of action were incredibly fun and exciting to read, Tolkien knows how to write a really good action scene which exudes danger and get’s your heart racing! Notable scenes include – The Pony, where we first meet Aragorn and we get the first major warning from Gandalf. Any scene with the Dark Lord’s minions and the journey through Moria.
The writing was very intricate and detailed which worked well for the action scenes but… it was too much all the time. Most of the novel consists of the characters from travelling from point A to point B and Tolkien spent pages upon pages just describing the mountains and the rivers. They were so longwinded and dull. I found myself at times wanting to DNF the book as I couldn’t take how much description their was for the landscape. This is one of the main reasons why I couldn’t give this book 5 stars. Too much of the novel was focused on describing the area they were walking through.
The pace is also very slow for most of the book, which didn’t bode well with the longwinded descriptions. The book did have small spikes of fast-paced action which were amazing but it didn’t make up for the fact that the rest of the book plodded along slowly. It was a very stop, start kind of pace, where we would pick pace during action sequences but then stop with chapters of endless walking.
There were only 3 female characters in this book. Goldberry, she was so irrelevant in my eyes she might as well not have been in it, Arwen, who is only there to give Aragorn a sad back story and Galadriel, who is an incredible character I loved her! It was a shame that out of the whole cast only 3 women were included and only one of them was actually important to the novel’s progression. I am sure Arwen becomes important in later books especially with Aragorn. But it was just disappointing that two of the three female characters were boring or said nothing.
The next book I will be reading is Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend.
I heard so much about this series but to me, it was so well-loved and highly praised, I was quite scared to even attempt to read it as I was worried I wouldn’t like it. I hadn’t read much high fantasy before this book so I wasn’t sure if it was my thing. But I thought I would just go ahead and see what happens. I mean, I got the whole set for £4 at a charity event so that gave me the push I needed to give the series a go.
The Plot: Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who loves the safety of his hobbit hole and doesn’t have an adventurous bone in his body. One day he is approached by a mysterious wizard and a band of burly Dwarves and is whisked away on an epic adventure to steal the mounds of riches from the evil dragon, Smaug!
Tolkien’s world building is unmatched! I have never read a book with such intricate world building, I hear that the Lord of the Ring series is a lot more detailed so I am looking forward to that. What made Tolkien’s world building so great is that it allowed you to visualise and place yourself within the scene. You feel as if you’re there with the characters experiencing all the events alongside them. The world building was also important for the battle scenes. I tend to find battles scenes long, boring and most of the time I don’t understand what is going on half the time but with the use of the world building it gives you a clearer image of where they are and where people are positioned, making it easier to understand.
The description of the battle scenes was incredibly intricate. I was never bored reading the scenes as he always managed to keep it light and fast-paced but without losing any detail as he goes. The detail in which he described the fighting styles and the positioning of all the characters was really interesting and as I said before, worked really well with the image of the battlefield he conjured up beforehand. The battle scenes were intense and at moments I couldn’t tear my eyes from the page as I had to know what happened next.
All characters were varied and unique and I don’t think I came across any characters who were similar to each other. Characters of notability include;
Bilbo. Bilbo was by far my favourite character from this book, he grew so much and I loved seeing him change from a man who didn’t like any form of change to a quick-thinking, brave individual who stands up to leaders and dragons! I felt very connected to him as I saw parts of myself in him. (Mainly when he was complaining of being hungry and tired.)
Bombur. Bombur was by far my favourite dwarf. He was endearing and funny and he was a constant throughout the story adding moments of comedy during the dark and morbid moments. He stood out to me the most in this novel as he was so unlike the other dwarves.
Smaug. I was quite shocked by how little Smaug featured within the novel. He was only in about 4 chapters but he made his presence known. I loved his dialogue, you could quote Smaug so easily. All his interactions with Bilbo were really interesting to read and it was fun to watch them bounce off and try to outwit one another
Tolkien’s narrative voice was another element of the story that I really liked. The story is spoken in 3rd person and Tolkien acts as an omnipotent voice following Bilbo and his journey. I loved how he sometimes mentioned things to show he knew more about the story than we did and how he would give extra information about characters or events that the characters didn’t know yet. This just added to the intricacy of the whole novel.
I haven’t read a book about a quest in over two years so I was really excited to go on this epic journey and experience the ups and downs and the problems that the characters were going to face. I loved visiting all the new places and it was just so refreshing to read a story about getting from A to B and the bumps along they way as it’s the kind of story I haven’t read in so long.
The last thing I loved was the realism of the novel. Important characters die, people lose things that are incredibly important to them and after the events of this adventure nothing is ever really the same and I loved that about this book. While I love a happy ending where everyone is ok, it made the novel fell more believable and realistic that the stakes were high and not everyone made it.
My only problem with the book was that initially I found it quite hard to get into it. Tolkien’s writing style for me was a bit hard to get used to so I struggled with the first couple of chapters. Once I had sat down and focused more on the words in front of me I finally got immersed into the story.
This is the last book I will read in 2018 and I look forward to see what books 2019 will bring!
2018 has probably been my best reading year to date. So far I have read 31 books beating my target of 22 and I still have one book left that I want to read in the last 2-3 weeks left of December. Now that we are nearing the end of the year I want to look forward and start planning books I would like to read in 2019 and while that post will be coming in the following weeks. This post is a bit different.
The books in this list are a mixture of series I have completed and want to read again and series I started reading a couple of years ago but never finished, with this series I would start with re-reading the books I had already read and then continuing where I left off.
The reason this isn’t in my 2019 plan is that I wouldn’t be able to finish all of these series in one year as well as reading other books. This is more of a plan to cover the next 2 or 3 years. First up…
Series: Harry Potter
Author: J.K Rowling
Status: Currently Re-reading
Last Book I Read: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
No. of Books: 7
I decided early this year that I wanted to re-read the Harry Potter series. I have tried so many times to re-read the series, which I first read when I was 11, but I always gave up when it got to “Goblet of Fire”. The last time I tried to tackle this series I was 14 and got to the First Task chapter of the 4th book. Since then I have been listening to a variety of Harry Potter themed podcasts and it’s reignited my love for Harry Potter and the desire to re-read the series. One of the other main reasons was that I couldn’t remember much about the series from “Goblet of Fire” onwards especially not “Half-Blood Prince” and “Deathly Hallows” so I wanted to re-jig my memory and read the series through older eyes.
So far I have read; “Philosopher’s Stone”, “Chamber of Secrets” and “Prisoner of Azkaban”. I loved the “Philosopher’s Stone” as it brought back a lot of fond memories for me and I loved the “Chamber of Secrets” due to the murder mystery element to it. My opinion of the book actually changed due to the re-read, I love it a lot more this time around. I liked “Prisoner of Azkaban” but didn’t love it. It was still very good but I just wasn’t drawn into the world as much as I was with the other two books. My plan is to read “Goblet of Fire” next year and carry on the series. After I read Harry Potter I will then begin to re-read…
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians
Author: Rick Riordan
Status: Finished series
No. of Books: 5
I got this series a couple of Christmas’ ago after my dad and I watched the movie and I loved it so much I asked for the books for Christmas and boy was I shocked by how bad the movies were. Those movies were the epitome of “the book was better”. I was always a massive fan of Greek Mythology and the idea of mixing modern day and ancient gods together blew my mind!
I finished this series nearly 5 years ago and remember loving it but that’s the only thing I can remember about these books as I have completely forgotten what happens in this series. The movies can’t help you as they were so badly done and there were only 2 made! So one of the reasons I wanted to read this book was to remind myself about what happens.
Another reason is I remember loving it so much! This series to me was one of the first series where I realised that there wasn’t just Harry Potter out there. I didn’t think I would ever find a series that would match my love for Harry Potter and yet here we are.
Series: The Heroes of Olympus
Author: Rick Riordan
Status: Need to finish
Last Book I read: The Mark of Athena (Book 3)
No. of Books: 5
You are going to see a lot of Rick Riordan in this post, just to make you all aware. I was really scared reading the Lost Hero as I thought I wasn’t going to love it as much as I loved the previous series. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like the new characters and I wasn’t sure what direction this book was going to go. I was relieved when I finished this book that I loved it just as much as I loved the original series and to me, it felt fresh and new, not using recycled storylines which was what I feared it was going to include.
I haven’t finished this series, when I was reading the third book, “The Mark of Athena” the last book came out and I saw loads of spoilers posted by fans so I wasn’t really interested in finishing the series as I now knew the outcomes. So my plan is to re-read the first three books which I have already read first just so I can remind myself what is happening and then continue from there.
Series: The Trials of Apollo
Author: Rick Riordan
Status: To be read
No. of Books: 3
So I haven’t actually read the Trials of Apollo series. I haven’t even read one book. The reason this series is in the list is it’s continuation of the same world that “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” and” The Hereos of Olympus” series are in and I know that big things happen to characters introduced in the previous series’ so I feel like I need to complete this world as it’s not the end of the journey for Percy and other characters, hence why this series is here.
Series: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard
Author: Rick Riordan
Status: Need to finish
Last Book I read: The Sword of Summer (Book 1)
No of Books: 3
I read this book two years ago during the summer holidays when I first decided I was going to focus on reading more. It was one of the first books I ever logged into Goodreads. To me this book was not Rick’s best work but I still enjoyed it regardless. I love Rick’s stories and imagination and to be honest I don’t know much about Norse Mythology so it would be nice to learn more about it as well as finishing this action-packed trilogy.
Series: The Chronicles of Narnia
Author: C.S. Lewis
Status: Currently Re-reading
Last Book I Read: The Magician’s Nephew (Book 1)
No. of Books: 7
I have had the entire book series standing on my book-shelf for I don’t know how long! I read up to “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe” but haven’t read any of the following novels. During December I like to read smaller books just to amp up the numbers on my Goodreads reading challenge so I decided to pick up the Magician’s Nephew in the hopes of a quick read. That book is left unfinished at it was quite dull. I am hoping when I re-read the next book I won’t be so disappointed. I mainly wanted to read this series as I love this world so much, I watched the first 3 movies and adored them and I want to continue being in this world.
Series: Agatha Christie’s entire collection.
Author: Agatha Christie
Status: Need to Finish
Last Book I Read: The Murder on the Links (Book 2 in the Hercule Poirot Series)
No. of Books: To many to count
I have watched adaptations of Agatha Christie’s work since I was about 10. I have the whole box set of every episode of the Hercule Poirot TV series but I have only ever read 3 of her books. Two which were from her Hercule Poirot series and one which was a standalone story. I want to read Christie’s work because I love her imagination and genius. Having watched everything unfold on the screen I would love to now watch it unfold on the page. I also love the fact that there are so many books and I want to challenge myself to read all of them. I love a challenge.
So there you have it. Quite a lot of books to get through. The next book I will be reading starting Monday will be The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien.