Nemesis Games by James S. A. Corey (Review)

Nemesis Games by James S. A. Corey

Blurb

A thousand worlds have opened, and the greatest land rush in human history has begun. As wave after wave of colonists leave, the power structures of the old solar system begin to buckle.

Ships are disappearing without a trace. Private armies are being secretly formed. The sole remaining protomolecule sample is stolen. Terrorist attacks previously considered impossible bring the inner planets to their knees. The sins of the past are returning to exact a terrible price.

And as a new human order is struggling to be born in blood and fire, James Holden and the crew of the Rocinante must struggle to survive and get back to the only home they have left.

Review

Well each time I read an Expanse novel I keep saying I have a new favourite and yet again I have a new favourite. I loved this book! 

This book is very different from the previous books because the crew of the Roci are split up and living their own storylines instead of all being on the Roci sharing a storyline. I really found this interesting because you see the four main characters in a different light when they are on their own. 

Naomi leaves Holden and goes off to try and correct the things she sees as sins in her past. Whilst she is on this mission we learn about Naomi’s past and how she ended up on the Canterbury. I really felt for Naomi in this book, she has real horrors in her past and she was sorely wronged and now she is having to go through them all again. We also learn in this book that Naomi has struggled with her mental health in the past and now has a battle to make sure these mental health problems do not return. 

Amos goes off to Earth for personal reasons and this also shows another side of Amos. We have learnt that Amos is clearly a dangerous character from the previous books but what we really see in this book is just how dangerous he is and what he has to do to make sure his violent side does not take over. Amos comes across as a character without feeling who doesn’t really understand human emotions, such as someone wanting to hold his hand. But what we also see is that in his own way he does care and will try and protect people even ones he has only just met. Amos still remains my favourite character who always makes me laugh and in this book I particularly liked his relationship with Avasarala. 

Alex is on Mars where he ends up helping out an old friend in the form of Bobbie. Bobbie and Alex end up on the Razorback trying to find missing ships, avoiding terrorists and helping in the odd rescue mission. I love the relationship between Alex and Bobbie, they are true friends and I don’t think Bobbie had realised this until this book when Alex refuses to leave her behind. Alex treats Bobbie like family and it is wonderful to see. 

Holden finds himself left behind in this book, his crew have all gone off on their own missions and you can tell he feels left out and lonely. But this doesn’t mean he doesn’t see his own share of the action. Monica comes along and asks for his help and against his better judgement he can’t help but be interested and to try to solve the problem of these missing ships. 

I really enjoyed seeing these different sides of the Roci crew and it really gave a different feel to the book from the previous books. I found myself desperately wanting to know what would happen next for each character. I give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons. 

🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Product Links

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

James S. A. Corey is the pen name of fantasy author Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, George R. R. Martin’s assistant. They both live Albuquerque, New Mexico.

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Roverandom by J. R. R. Tolkien (Review)

Roverandom by J. R. R. Tolkien

Blurb

J.R.R. Tolkien’s earliest children’s story.

While on holiday in 1925, four-year-old Michael Tolkien lost his beloved toy dog on the beach. To console him, his father J.R.R. Tolkien improvised a story about Rover, a real dog who is magically transformed into toy, and his quest to find the wizard who can return him to normal.

The adventures of Rover, or ‘Roverandom’ a he becomes known, include encounters with an ancient sand-sorcerer and a terrible dragon, by the king of wordplay, the story underwent a number of revisions and was originally considered for publication in January 1937, the same year as The Hobbit, was abandoned when the publishers asked instead for a sequel, which culminated in The Lord of the Rings. Roverandom was finally published in 1998.

Review

I love Tolkien and I have read The Lord of the Rings more times than I can count. So when I saw this in Waterstones I knew I had to get it and I was not disappointed. 

Roverandom is all about a little dog who due to being a little bit rude and not minding his manners to a wizard he ends up as a small toy dog instead. Roverandom ends up being taken from his home and his beloved ball and goes on all kinds of adventures meeting wizards, dragons, mer people and much more. 

This story is typical Tolkien but doesn’t flow with his usual style but I think this is because it wasn’t refined for publication by Tolkien. You can also clearly see that the wizards in this book were the starting points for Gandalf as Artaxerxes is a little bit similar to Gandalf. 

This is a wonderful little story that you can just imagine Tolkien telling his distraught son to help with the loss of his beloved toy dog. The story also has a very clear moral about the consequences of not minding your manners and being polite. Roverandom goes on his adventures and learns to be a better dog, a dog with manners who is polite and kind and thinks of others. It really was a beautiful little read that I give 4 out of 5 Dragons. 

🐲🐲🐲🐲

Purchase Links

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on the 3rd January 1892 in Bloemfontein. He moved to England when he was three years old and was home schooled with his younger brother and taught by his mother. Tolkien served in the First World War and after the war he established a distinguished academic career and was recognised as one of the finest philologists in the world. He is best known as the creator of Middle Earth and the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. He was awarded a CBE and an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Oxford University in 1972. He died on 2nd September 1973 at the age of 81.

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan (Review)

The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan

Blurb

The Forsaken are loose, the Horn of Valere has been found and the Dead are rising from their dreamless sleep. The Prophecies are being fulfilled – but Rand al’ Thor, the shepherd the Aes Sedai have proclaimed as the Dragon Reborn, desperately seeks to escape his destiny. 

Rand cannot run forever. With every passing day the Dark One grows in strength and strives to shatter his ancient prison, to break the Wheel, to bring an end to Time and sunder the weave of the Pattern.

And the Pattern demands the Dragon. 

Review

I will be honest the first time I read this book in 2015 I did not find it as enjoyable as the the first book in the series but this time round that has changed and I enjoyed it a lot more maybe even more than the first book. 

I found this book a lot faster paced than the first which I enjoyed more and found myself more likely to pick up the book and not put it down for ages. 

This book introduces us to new enemies such as the Seanchan, who I really did not like but I’m not entirely sure they are the bad guys entirely. We also learn more about The White Cloaks, Padan Fain and The Forsaken. We also learn more about The Age of Legends which I really hope we learn more about in future books as I find it fascinating. 

The characters from the previous book are further developed in this book. Rand gets more depth but I do still find him slightly annoying at times but not as much as Mat. I always feel frustrated with Mat. I know it is not entirely his fault but it is clear he does not have the goodness inside him like Perrin and Rand. Perrin is still my favourite character. He is loyal to his friends, caring and you can tell he is someone who is dependable and will always try to do the right thing. 

We also get to know Min and Elayne more in this book which is good even though Elayne is another one of those annoying characters for me but I suspect she is being portrayed to be annoying in comparison to the other female characters such as Min and Egwene. 

This book has so much going on it, it really is packed. Moiraine and Lan are dealing with their own adventures as well as trying to help Rand, Perrin and Mat. Egwene, Elayne, Min and Nynaeve have their own storyline but in the end they all converge together again.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and could not put it down and I look forward to reading the next book in the series because although I have read it before I can’t really remember much. I give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons. 

Purchase Links

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

James Oliver Rigney Jr. (1948-2007) was an American author of epic fantasy who wrote under the pen name Robert Jordan. Jordan also wrote historical fiction under the name of Reagan O’Neal, a western as Jackson O’Reilly, and dance criticism as Chang Lung. 

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan (Review)

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

Blurb

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

When The Two Rivers is attacked by Trollocs-a savage tribe of half-men, half-beasts- five villagers flee that night into a world they barely imagined, with new dangers waiting in the shadows and in the light.

Review

This is the third time I have read this book because I have tried to read The Wheel of Time series on more than one occasion and sadly never finished it. However, I am determined that this time I will finish the series. 

Every time I have read this book I have loved it and this time round was no exception and I found that I had in fact forgotten a few parts of the story that made a nice surprise. As a massive Tolkien fan I realise that The Wheel of Time series is heavily influenced by Tolkien’s Middle Earth but that does not put me off. After all hasn’t all literature from as far back as Homer and Virgil done the same thing?

This book introduces us to some main characters that are clearly going to be important in future books. Five young villagers from the village of Two Rivers have to flee after a Trolloc attack on their village. By fleeing they hope to save their beloved village from any further attack and to do this they are helped by Moraine and her warder Lan. The fiver villagers are Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene and the village wisdom Nynaeve. Nynaeve is slightly older than the other four but not by much. Nynaeve is also the character that at times I find quite annoying, she is very stubborn and is always questioning and second guessing Moraine which at times just gets boring. Mat is rather a spineless character who you know is not going to be good news for the group of friends. Perrin is my favourite character out of the five as he is down to earth, caring and patient. Rand is rather bland at the moment but you can see he will develop as a character. 

As the adventure continues the group meet new people who help them on their journey but they also learn that no one can be trusted because anybody could be a dark friend. One of these new friends is the Ogier named Loial who is also one of my favourite characters. Loial is never hasty and likes to think everything through, he also loves reading and always has a pile of books with him which is just like me when I go anywhere. 

The world of Aes Sedai is fascinating and I can’t wait to learn more about it all and I also have so many questions regarding what happened in the past that made the Aes Sedai’s power start to dwindle. I really hope I get my answers in the following books. I really enjoyed the book and have already started book two. I give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons. 

🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Purchase Links

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

James Oliver Rigney Jr. (1948-2007) was an American author of epic fantasy who wrote under the pen name Robert Jordan. Jordan also wrote historical fiction under the name of Reagan O’Neal, a western as Jackson O’Reilly, and dance criticism as Chang Lung. 

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

This and That Thursday

Hello!

I hope everyone is having a good week so far.

I thought I would do a non bookish update. Last week was half term which meant I didn’t have any school teaching but I did still do my private teaching and organ playing for church. This meant I had a little bit more free time which meant another adventure.

Adventure

We managed to get away for a night which was lovely and we treated ourselves to a tasting menu at the hotel restaurant. The hotel was absolutely beautiful and was an amazing place to stay with gorgeous grounds. They also had some enormous chairs which I think would be super comfy for reading in.

Walking and fitness

This week has involved getting back into our walking and I decided that for Lent this year we would aim to walk outside at least a mile a day with the hope of walking longer. However, since the start of Lent all it has done is rain and because my asthma is really bad in damp weather we have only managed our mile a day but fingers crossed for better weather and longer walks soon. I have also got back into my fitness recently after a few stop starts from ill health. I am particularly enjoying my new spin bike and following the Kaleigh Cohen cycling classes on Youtube.

Jigsaw

I am still ploughing away with my Winnie the Pooh 1000 piece jigsaw and I will be honest it might just be the hardest jigsaw I have ever attempted. I will post a picture once I have got further along with it or by some miracle finish it.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Christmas Pig By J. K. Rowling (Review)

The Christmas Pig by J. K. Rowling

Blurb

Jack loves his childhood toy, Dur Pig. DP has always been there for him, through good and bad. Until one Christmas Eve something terrible happens – DP is lost. But Christmas Eve is a night for miracles and lost causes, a night when all things can come to life… even toys. And Jack’s newest toy – the Christmas Pig (DP’s annoying replacement) – has a daring plan: Together they’ll embark on a magical journey to seek something lost, and to save the best friend Jack has ever known…

Review

As a big Rowling fan I had this book on preorder for ages and read it pretty quickly after receiving it but I am only just starting to catch up on my book reviews. I do love Christmas books so I was really pleased to read this one. 

I was quite surprised with this book because as a children’s book I found that it had some quite adult themes. At the start of the book the effects of divorce on children is shown and how new relationships for both adults and children are explored. I found that Rowling did not hold back during this section but as usual Rowling covers it with her usual skill. The story then moves on the difficulties faced by children who find themselves with new step parents and step siblings and at this point I really felt sorry for poor Jack because he was not having things easy but thankfully he had DP to help him. 

Christmas Eve something terrible happens and DP is lost but the Christmas Pig has a plan to get DP back but it can only happen during the magic of Christmas Eve. Together Jack and the Christmas Pig go to the land of the Lost to rescue DP. 

I will be honest I found the land of the Lost a bit of a trial because it seemed to have everything in there, even the ridiculous which in my opinion are not lost. However, there were some great characters in the land of the Lost which made it worthwhile. 

The story is full of magic and the illustrations by Jim Field really add to this. However, I did find the book lacked Rowling’s usual spark for me. Ickabog was an incredible read for me and I just found The Christmas Pig lacked in comparison. Overall, I give this book 3 out of 5 Dragons.

🐲🐲🐲

Purchase Links

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Joanne Rowling born 31 July 1965, is a British writer and philanthropist. She is best known for writing the Harry Potter series. Rowling also writes crime fiction under the pen name Robert Galbraith.

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie (Review)

The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie

Blurb

A young woman investigates an accidental death at a London tube station, and finds herself on a ship bound for South Africa… Pretty, young Anne came to London looking for adventure. In fact, adventure comes looking for her – and finds her immediately at Hyde Park Corner tube station. Anne is present on the platform when a thin man, reeking of mothballs, loses his balance and is electrocuted on the rails.The Scotland Yard verdict is accidental death. But Anne is not satisfied. After all, who was the man in the brown suit who examined the body? And why did he race off, leaving a cryptic message behind: ‘17-122 Kilmorden Castle’? 

Review

This is the fourth book in my Agatha Christie challenge and I will be honest it is the first Agatha Christie novel that I actually considered not finishing. The main reason for this was that I just found the lead character Anne Beddingfield ridiculous and extremely annoying. The only thing that kept me reading was the very humorous diary entries of Sir Eustace and wanting to find out who the culprit was. 

Anne has had an odd childhood and spent most her life making sure her genius but eccentric father doesn’t do anything crazy but when he passes away she decides it is time for an adventure and gets the chance to move to London. She then witnesses the death of a man and decides to investigate. This leads to her going off all on her own with barely any money on a ship bound for South Africa. Thankfully she meets Colonel Race and Suzanne who can keep an eye on her but this doesn’t stop her falling into ridiculous traps and just walking into trouble. The amount of times she got into trouble really started to annoy me as the girl really had no common sense. 

Sir Eustace just wants an easy, comfortable life but due to his mysterious secretary Pagett he never gets a moment’s peace from work or the annoying stationary trunk. Sir Eustace, who is also ship-bound for Cape Town, befriends Anne, Suzanne and Colonel Race. Sir Eustace has a very odd obsession for girls with fine legs and liquid eyes and complains a great deal if women do not have these items. 

Colonel Race is a true gentleman who I must admit I felt rather sorry for during this book. Suzanne is the wife of a wealthy man and she delights in travelling without her husband and spending all of his money. She is a rather spoiled character who also drove me a little insane.

Overall, the plot was interesting and had plenty of red herrings to keep you on your toes but sadly the female characters just drove me a little bit mad. I think that with a different lead character I would have been a lot happier with the book. I give this book 2 Dragons out of 5. 

🐲🐲

Purchase Links

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Agatha Christie (1890-1976) was an English writer known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections. She also wrote the world’s longest running play, The Mousetrap. She also wrote 6 novels under the name Mary Westmacott.

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

This and That Thursday

Hello!

I haven’t done a This and That Thursday in ages so I thought it was time for an update that doesn’t involve books.

I have had my first vaccine now and have gradually started going out and visiting places which has been a nice change.

Studying

I have now begun work on my dissertation and I am thoroughly enjoying it. It is so nice to be studying a topic that you have chosen for yourself.

Piano

I am averaging an hour a day of piano practice and thoroughly enjoying it. It is so good to be practicing and having a proper structure to my practice again.

Adventures

We went for a lovely day out to Croome which is a National Trust property. I hadn’t been for years so couldn’t remember much about it. It was beautiful day and it was wonderful to go for a nice walk around the grounds and go around the house followed by a nice lunch in the cafe.

We also went for a lovely meal this evening for my mom’s birthday. It was so good to have some normality and have a nice relaxing evening.

Solar Eclipse

This morning we got the telescope out to see the solar eclipse, with a filter of course. It was rather cloudy but we managed to see it which was wonderful to see. I managed to get a rather dodgy picture with my phone through the telescope, it isn’t great but it was really tricky to get the phone lined up with the telescope.

So there are a few of my adventures recently. Work and chores continue as normal but I must admit I have been having lots of fun with the new strimmer. Hopefully I will manage to go to an actual bookshop soon as well.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard (Review)

Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard

Blurb

A strange darkness grows in Allward.

Even Corayne an-Amarat can feel it, tucked away in her small town at the edge of the sea.

She soon discovers the truth: She is the last of an ancient lineage—and the last hope to save the world from destruction. But she won’t be alone. Even as darkness falls, she is joined by a band of unlikely companions:

A squire, forced to choose between home and honour.

An immortal, avenging a broken promise.

An assassin, exiled and bloodthirsty.

An ancient sorceress, whose riddles hide an eerie foresight.

A forger with a secret past.

A bounty hunter with a score to settle.

Together they stand against a vicious opponent, invincible and determined to burn all kingdoms to ash, and an army unlike anything the realm has ever witnessed.

Review

Wow! This is definitely my favourite book so far of 2021. I’ve never read a book by Aveyard before. I will definitely be reading her other books and future books now. I am so pleased that Waterstones sent me an email about this book and I preordered it when I saw it. Honestly, I struggled to put this down and it was only because of work and sleep that I did take breaks. This book reminded me so much of the work of Tolkien and you can see how the Lord of the Rings has influenced this book but it is not too similar. 

This book contains some fantastic characters and the relationship between these characters is brilliant. The relationship between Dom who is the immortal and Sorasa the assassin is rather amusing and there is definitely some chemistry there even though they would both fiercely deny it. Dom is a Prince of Iona who is hundreds of years old with super strength and speed. He is also my favourite character as he just reminds me of a grumpy bear at times. Sorasa has a past but we don’t learn the full extent of it but what we do know is that she is street smart, an excellent killer and is always prepared. 

Andry the squire has seen some horrors and shares these horrors with Dom. He is loyal and will do anything to protect Corayne and his mother. I also love his love of making tea. Andry has the belief that tea can make anything better and I fully agree. Charlie the forger we don’t know a lot about and he doesn’t feature hugely in this book but it is obvious he will in the next. The same applies to the bounty hunter Sigil. Sigil is a giant of a woman almost as big as Dom and she is an excellent warrior and rather an imposing character. Valtik the ancient sorceress is hilarious and I just loved her character. Valtik speaks in rhyme and riddles and regularly just disappears and reappears for no reason.

Finally we have Corayne, a seventeen year old girl whose has the fate of the Ward on her shoulders. Although she has never left the seaport where she grew up before her quest she knows most languages and is wise beyond her years. 

I loved Aveyard’s writing style and I love the Ward that she has created with all its different realms. Each chapter is told from a different character’s point of view which means you get the story from lots of different angles and this really adds to your understanding of the characters, their pasts and what they think of the quest. I definitely give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons.

🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Product Link

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Victoria Aveyard (1990) is an American writer of young adult and fantasy fiction and screenplays. She is best known for her fantasy novel Red Queen. 

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie (Review)

The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie 

Blurb

Tommy and Tuppence, two young people flat broke and out of work, are restless for excitement. They embark on a daring business scheme- Young Adventurers Ltd- ‘willing to do anything, go anywhere’.

Their first assignment, for the sinister Mr Whittington, draws them into a diabolical political conspiracy, and they find themselves plunged into more danger than they ever imagined…

Review

This is my first Tommy and Tuppence full length novel. I read a short story about them over Christmas and wanted to read more stories about them so this book was a good start as it is the story of how Tommy and Tuppence became the Young Adventurers. 

Tommy and Tuppence are broke and in dire need of money and so they come up with a plan to advertise themselves as the Young Adventurers who are willing to do anything, anywhere. I must admit when Tuppence came up with this idea I did think it was rather risky as they could be asked to do anything but it is the reader’s first introduction to Tuppence’s impulsive and adventurous nature. 

Tommy is a lot more reserved than Tuppence and does tend to think before he jumps but that doesn’t mean he shirks away from adventure and gets into a fair few scraps in this story as does Tuppence. 

Tommy and Tuppence find themselves hunting for the mysterious Jane Finn and they must find her in time to stop a major political catastrophe or possibly even war. This leads them into danger and not knowing who to trust. 

I must admit that at the beginning I really couldn’t put this book down but then as I got further along my fervour waned. I will be honest I worked out who the illusive Mr Brown was rather early on and was frustrated with Tommy and Tuppence that they did not work it out sooner. The only surprise for me was the identity of Jane Finn but I loved the characters Tommy and Tuppence and I can’t wait to read further novels about them. This was only the second book Christie wrote and I can see this within the book as it lacks maturity in the writing. I give this book 3 out 5 Dragons.

🐲🐲🐲

Purchase Links

 Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Agatha Christie (1890-1976) was an English writer known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections. She also wrote the world’s longest running play, The Mousetrap. She also wrote 6 novels under the name Mary Westmacott.