Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Review: Everless

by Sara Holland
Series: Untitled #1
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication date: January 4, 2018
Published by: Orchard Books
Hardcover, 361 pages
My rating: 3/5 ★

In the land of Sempera, the rich control everything - even time. Ever since the age of alchemy and sorcery, hours, days and years have been extracted from blood and bound to iron coins. The rich live for centuries; the poor bleed themselves dry.

Jules and her father are behind on their rent and low on hours. To stop him from draining himself to clear their debts, Jules takes a job at Everless, the grand estate of the cruel Gerling family.

There, Jules encounters danger and temptation in the guise of the Gerling heir, Roan, who is soon to be married. But the web of secrets at Everless stretches beyond her desire, and the truths Jules must uncover will change her life for ever ... and possibly the future of time itself.

Everless was a typical 3-star read for me. Not bad in any way, but lacking something to make me really fall in love and get engrossed with the story. It takes place in a world where time is your currency and it is drawn from the blood. Our protagonist Jules grew up at an aristocratic estate called Everless before she and her father had to flee. Now she is going back to work there in order to earn time to save her father's life.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Why Ebooks Are Great

You know what I think is severely underappreciated in the online book community? Ebooks. When I watch booktube videos, everyone alway stands/sits in front of their huge gorgeous bookcases filled with beautiful hardback books, and when I scroll through my bookstagram feed, I hardly ever come across pictures showing a phone or e-reader displaying book covers. And from personal experience (bookstagram-wise), I think I know why: every photo of an ebook - i.e. my phone displaying the book cover - I have ever posted has gained a lot less likes and comments than my other pictures. To me, this is understandable to some extent, since physical books are usually a lot nicer to look at than my cracked phone screen, and they're honestly also a much bigger pleasure to photograph. But I feel like this practice probably excludes a lot of people from bookstagram in particular, who may not be able to afford buying physical copies of books or just prefer reading ebooks, and therefore don't have stacks of physical books to photograph. So today, I want to talk about why I think ebooks are great and we should all appreciate them more.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

November 2017 Wrap-Up

If you - like me - are thinking WHO IS THIS PERSON? Uploading almost regularly? And a wrap-up? We haven't seen one of those since MARCH! -- Well, meet the new me! Let's enjoy it while it lasts. At the moment, I'm at that stage in my semester where I should really start studying for my exams but it doesn't feel urgent enough yet that I wouldn't try and procrastinate by doing literally anything else. So here I am, blogging! Which isn't the worst way to procrastinate, if you ask me. Unfortunately, the weather here isn't on my side recently and it's been way too dark to take decent pictures, which is why this post is a little late after all. But anyway, let's get to the good part: books!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Review: An Enchantment of Ravens

An Enchantment of Ravens
by Margaret Rogerson

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication date: September 26, 2017
Published by: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Ebook, 304 pages
My rating: 3/5 ★
Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized among them. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes – a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love, violating the fair folks’ ruthless Good Law. There's only one way to save both their lives, Isobel must drink from the Green Well, whose water will transform her into a fair one—at the cost of her Craft, for immortality is as stagnant as it is timeless.

Isobel has a choice: she can sacrifice her art for a future, or arm herself with paint and canvas against the ancient power of the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

An Enchantment of Ravens has been all over bookstagram lately, and when I heard how much everyone seemed to love it, I knew I had to give it a try. This is one of those books that I probably wouldn't have picked up if it weren't for the online book community, and for once I don't think I would've really missed out on anything. Because somehow, this book and I didn't really click.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

On the Topic of My Incapability to Write Reviews

Remember back when I used to review every single book I read on my blog? Don't worry, I can barely recall that glorious time either. Today, I want to have a look at why that is. Of course, there are the 'obvious' answers, namely increased workload at uni, general stress, laziness, etc. These factors certainly had and still have a big influence on my decreasing frequency in blogging in general, but I feel like there are more distinct reasons for why I don't review the books I read as often anymore.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

On the Topic of the Use of German in Wintersong

I have already uploaded my review for Wintersong, but it seems I'm not done talking about this book. This post has been in my drafts for about two months now, but I really want to upload it because I already put quite a bit of work into it, so better late than never, right?

I've read a number of books in the past where some words or little sentences in different languages were included, and I always wondered whether the author either spoke that language or just researched it really carefully. In other words: were those sentences actually correct? With Wintersong, the situation was a little different, as the foreign language used was German, my native language. So for the first time, I was actually able to understand those italic words and sentences. And that's what I want to talk about today.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Review: The Changeling's Journey

The Changeling's Journey
by Christine Spoors
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication date: July 31, 2017
Published by: Christine Spoors
Paperback, 409 pages
My rating: 3.5/5 ★

Ailsa is dead. Leaving Morven the last surviving changeling in the village. Everyone knows it is only a matter of time before she too is dead. Desperate to find out why the fairies steal human babies, and to save her own life, she leaves her family behind, travelling north into the fairy kingdoms with her best friend.

They soon find that making their way through vast magical forests, across kelpie-ridden lochs and over seemingly endless mountain ranges is more than they were prepared for. Despite the countless evenings spent listening to stories about adventures, fairies and magic, they find themselves out of their depth. Fighting to stay alive.

Meanwhile in the fairy kingdoms, Princess Freya of Culhuinn struggles to cope with life now that her love has been taken from her. Whilst Queen Euna of Norbroch spends more time lost in her memories than she does ruling her kingdom.

Overall, The Changeling's Journey was a very good book. It features a great cast of diverse characters, beautiful friendships and a truly magical world. Still, something was missing to make this an excellent, 5 star read for me.