Books I would like to read…

So, since we are nearly halfway through 2020, I would like to mention some of the books I would like to read by the end of the year. This list only consists of 10 books so I’m sure it’s a manageable TBR (even if some of the books are absolute beasts!). If you have read any of these and liked/disliked them, then let me know!

  1. The Priory of the Orange Tree – Samantha Shannon

The Priory of the Orange Tree (Paperback)

2. The Book of Life – Deborah Harkness (All Souls Trilogy/ book 3)
3. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman
4. The Girl with all the Gifts – Mike Carey
5. The Binding – Bridget Collins
The Binding (Paperback)
6. Girl, Woman, Other – Bernadine Evaristo
Girl, Woman, Other (Paperback)
7. A Brief History of Seven Killings – Marlon James
8. Shantaram – Gregory David Roberts
Shantaram (Paperback)
9. Water for Elephants – Sara Gruen
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10. A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara

Romanov – Nadine Brandes

SYNOPSIS

The history books say I died.

They don’t know the half of it. 

Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them, and he’s hunted Romanov before.

Nastya’s only chances of saving herself and her family are to either release the spell and deal with the consequences, or enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya has only dabbled in magic, but it doesn’t frighten her half as much as her growing attraction to Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her.

That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.

REVIEW

This is my first Nadine Brandes novel and I’d seen it a lot on bookstagram so I thought I’d pick it up. I enjoyed reading this book and I found the plot interesting and I loved both the historical side and the spell casting side. This was a really interesting interpretation of the events that occurred!

In terms of characters, Anastasia is a strong willed protagonist who tried to protect her family and remain strong throughout her exile. Her relationship with her brother and father was portrayed really well and it keep me wanting to read more. Alexei’s character annoyed me because he did not resemble a thirteen year old boy. I understand that with the pressure of his royal status and his health condition, it was expected for him to be a strong character, however, he did not come across as a child at all, therefore it made the writing confusing at times.

I personally like that the author used Russian words throughout the book as it really hit home for me and added a sense of authenticity, however, I can also understand that sometimes it was too much and for people with little to no knowledge of Slavic languages, it may be confusing.

One thing that I really did not like was the romance. It seemed forced and both Anastasia and Zash did not click. I felt like the romance was unnecessary because the characters would have been better off as friends. That being said, I loved Maria’s romance with Ivan!

I would say that for the first 200 pages the book primarily focuses on portraying the Romanov’s hardships and their day to day lives in exile, however, as the book progresses, we encounter the magical side and a bit of a chase. The history of the Bolsheviks, The White Army and the Romanov’s was not described much, which I think was a bit of a let down, however the plot was exciting and I enjoyed the book overall.

3/5 stars ⭐️

INSTAGRAM – GLOBALBOOKMANIA

GOODREADS – KATERINA TURNER

A Discovery of Witches – Deborah Harkness

SYNOPSIS

Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

REVIEW

I adored this book, it was very amazing! It was so magical and romantic!

I loved all of the characters. I really liked Diana as a character because she was a storing character. You can really tell the difference between Young Adult and Adult books when it comes to character development. It was refreshing to read a book about adults as opposed to teenagers. Diana is an intellectual who studies the occult and alchemy, which I found fascinating! I know some people did my like this book because it becomes quite scientific in some places but I thought the explanations were great and really interesting.

Matthew is a vampire. Need I say more! He was a typical possessive and protective man who runs off his vampire/animalistic instincts. I found it interesting that he was French as it really added a lot to his character. So did his love for wine! I love that he has his non-biological family that he cares for and they all just took in Diana despite the bad blood between Vampires and Witches.

This book is a beautifully complex love story. The romance is beautifully portrayed and although I did think that it was fast paced, it did my annoy me because it was animalistic and was not supposed to be realistic.

I can’t wait to learn more about Diana’s magical abilities in the next book and I love the concept of time travel! I love Elizabethan England so I’m really excited to read the book in this series. I general I feel like this book was an incredible beginning and so cannot wait to learn more about Witches, daemons and vampires!

4,5/5 stars ⭐️

INSTAGRAM – GLOBALBOOKMANIA

GOODREADS – KATERINA TURNER

Sorcery of Thorns – Margaret Rogerson

SYNOPSIS

All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.

REVIEW

I was nervous heading into this book because I’d heard so many good things about it and I really hoped that I’d love it! The first thing I’ll mention is that the tie between the magicians and demons reminded me of The Golden Compass. The second thing is that the writing style and Elizabeth’s character reminded me of Tessa Gray from the Infernal Devices trilogy as did Margaret Rogerson’s writing.

Despite the similarities mentioned, the plot itself was unique and interesting! The book was really well paced and kept me craving to keep reading the whole way through! Elizabeth was a great character because for once she wasn’t a naive and pitiful young protagonist who develops courage and morality throughout the book but instead is strong, kind and relentless from the beginning.

Silas was such an great character! He was very kind and such a gentleman. Demons clearly make great sidekicks! I felt so sorry for him and even though he kept reminded Elizabeth that was a demon and was born to cause destruction, he was always so thoughtful and wise.

Nathaniel Thorn was sweet and solemn. He is portrayed as the typical attractive young man who is wealthy and who’s life seems perfect to all those around him. The truth is very different as he struggles with his past and deep down is very lonely.

Overall I really enjoyed this and rate it 4/5 ⭐️

INSTAGRAM – GLOBALBOOKMANIA

GOODREADS – KATERINA TURNER

A Torch Against The Night – Sabaa Tahir

SYNOPSIS

Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.

REVIEW

BETTER THAN THE FIRST BOOK!

I enjoyed reading An Ember in the Ashes but I wasn’t completely blown away by it and I didn’t crave the sequel. That being said… this book blew my mind! It was so fast paced as it start off exactly where An Ember in the Ashes ends. Laia and Elias are on the run and they are headed North to free Laia’s brother!

Throughout this we meet so many new amazing characters! We learn more about characters from the previous book! There are some horrific deaths throughout this book that really rattled me. The so called ‘villains’ throughout this book were not as extreme as the in the previous book, however Marcus is quite a horrific emperor (not a spoiler… it was too be expected).

If you are like me and you hate love triangles, you will love this book. I felt like the romance between Laia, Keenan and Elias was really annoying but it’s barely mentioned in these books (and there is a massive shocking plot twist) because the focus is on survival.

I loved learning more about Helene Aquilla – Blood Shrike. From coming across as very cold hearted to now being someone who loves her family, friends and the Empire. She is such a brave badass female character!

I love the supernatural element of this series and I hope to find out more about it in the next book! I want to know more about Laia, Elias, Cook and Helene Aquilla.

4,5/5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Instagram – Globalbookmania

Goodreads – Katerina Turner

* I’m hosting a giveaway on my instagram! There is a chance to win a trilogy box set! This is an international giveaway that closes on the 1st September 🖤

An Ember in the Ashes – Sabaa Tahir

SYNOPSIS

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
 
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
 
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
 
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
 
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

REVIEW

This book sat on my TBR shelf for ages and for some reason I kept putting it off. I’m so glad I’ve finally read it because I truly enjoyed it and cannot wait to read the next book in the series!

I love the characters and the plot itself. The only thing that I did find a little irritating was the odd love triangles going on. One of them was understandable, but the other made no sense to me. It seemed awkward and forced.

The novel starts off straight by jumping into a really extreme and scary scenario which sets the pace of the book and the descriptions were great. The world building could have been a bit better but overall it was unique and interesting. I hope that throughout the series the authors goes into some of the characters backstories as it would be interesting to understand how certain characters became how they are in the book.

RATING – 4,5/5 STARS

Instagram – Globalbookmania

Goodreads – Katerina Turner

Insanity – Cameron Jace

SYNOPSIS

After accidentally killing everyone in her class, Alice Wonder is now a patient in the Radcliffe Lunatic Asylum. No one doubts her insanity. Only a hookah-smoking professor believes otherwise; that he can prove her sanity by decoding Lewis Carroll’s paintings, photographs, and find Wonderland’s real whereabouts. Professor Caterpillar persuades the asylum that Alice can save lives and catch the wonderland monsters now reincarnated in modern day criminals. In order to do so, Alice leads a double life: an Oxford university student by day, a mad girl in an asylum by night. The line between sanity and insanity thins when she meets Jack Diamond, an arrogant college student who believes that nonsense is an actual science.

REVIEW

Insanity by Cameron Jace is both an amazing book and also a confusing one. On one hand I thought that the plot was incredibly interesting and well crafted but on the other hand the characters confused me and seemed to be random.

The relationship between the Pillar and Alice was great and very comical. The history behind the Cheshire was great and I really enjoyed the twists in the book.

I can’t seem to understand Jack Diamonds role in this book. He honestly seemed like a really random character and completely useless. Perhaps he is spoken about more in the later book, but I don’t think I’ll be reading them to find out.

Alice’s backstory is still unclear which is interesting and I loved how all the Wonderland characters were human characters that reflected their true selves.

Overall I would give this book 3,5 stars!

Instagram – Globalbookmania

Goodreads – Katerina Turner

Only Ever Yours – Evie O’Neilll

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Synopsis 

In a world in which baby girls are no longer born naturally, women are bred in schools, trained in the arts of pleasing men until they are ready for the outside world. At graduation, the most highly rated girls become “companions”, permitted to live with their husbands and breed sons until they are no longer useful.

For the girls left behind, the future – as a concubine or a teacher – is grim.

Best friends Freida and Isabel are sure they’ll be chosen as companions – they are among the most highly rated girls in their year.

But as the intensity of final year takes hold, Isabel does the unthinkable and starts to put on weight. ..
And then, into this sealed female environment, the boys arrive, eager to choose a bride.

Freida must fight for her future – even if it means betraying the only friend, the only love, she has ever known. . .

Goodreads Rating 3.84/5 Stars

Review

A friend of mine recommended this book to me, so I just jumped straight into it without much thought only to go through an extreme emotional roller coaster and heartbreak. Even though this dystopian novel in set in another lifetime, there are many aspects and character traits that relate to our own, which make this novel that much more painful and horrific. 

Freida and Isabel are our two main characters. They are waiting to see whether they will be selected to be wives (companions) and bear sons or whether they will become concubines or chastities. The school teaches them that appearance is the most important thing in the world and that girls that cry or are fat, are worthless.  

Like in many schools across the world (sadly) popularity comes with being the most pretty and skinny girl. Eating disorders are encouraged at the school and the girls are given pills and other medication to make them throw up their food in order to main a ‘perfect weight’. The girls constantly judge each other and themselves which at times was absolutely heartbreaking. There was class ‘comparisons’, where two girls would strip and get into glass tubes so that there classmates could critique them. 

‘Only Ever Yours’ is beautifully written. The plot unfolds when Isabel can no longer live up to what society wants her to be – a skinny mini barbie doll. We watch as her best friend and sister of many years –  Frieda, struggles to deal Isabel’s disobedience and depression.She battles between staying a good friend to Isabel who is rapidly spiralling into oblivion and getting ahead of the game in order to score the perfect husband. 

All of the Eves are created the same, so when you see personality differences between them, it’s refreshing and gives you hope that things are going to get better. Isabel is presented as someone unique from the very start, however we are kept in the dark about why she is so special until the end of the book.  The ending broke my heart and in a way I can say that it was predictable, but it made me incredibly angry. 

Overall, I thought that this book was absolutely incredible! I certainly surprised me and at times I wanted to throw it across the room and cry at how horrible some of characters were, but I’m glad I read it. It is an absolute must read for all teen girls and women, but also for men, because it doesn’t exactly portray them well. It portrays domestic abuse and rape as being a acceptable, which it isn’t. 

Amazing book!!! GO READ IT!!!

Rating  – 5/5vStars

Goodreads – Katerina Turner 

Instagram – Globalbookmania

One Wish Away (Djinn Empire #1) – Ingrid Seymour

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Synopsis 

Faris is a Djinn with a secret and Marielle the first master to give him hope. Will she be the one to break his curse? There is no telling. All he really knows is she’s ONE WISH AWAY from breaking his heart.

When Marielle was little, she used to believe Grandpa about his wish-granting Djinn. But now that she’s older, her beliefs have changed, and things like lousy ex-boyfriends and alcoholic fathers have become her reality.

Life isn’t done shattering her truths, though, and when Grandpa dies and the Djinn he warned her never to trust shows up at her doorstep, the world becomes a dangerous, magical place she never knew existed. Reeling for her once-normal life, Marielle soon realizes there’s no going back—not when she’s become part of a mortal conflict between two spell-bound Djinn. Faris—her handsome slave. And Zet—his vengeance-hungry brother. They both want something from her. One, her love. The other one, her life.

Now she’s afraid she will die in love.

One Wish Away is a young adult paranormal romance that will appeal to lovers of Hush Hush, Twilight, and the Fallen series.

Review 

**Disclaimer: I received this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review**

This book is due to be released in Feb 2017 and I cannot wait for more people to read it so that I have someone to fangirl with! I had zero expectations heading into this, but the concept sounded interesting and reminded me a little bit of The Assassin’s Curse, which I absolutely adored. 

The plot was captivating from the first 10 pages of the book. There was so much going on alongside the character introductions and world building. The authors writing is beautiful and portrays emotions incredibly well. There were quite a few creepy moments throughout the book that made me feel scared for the main protagonist – Marielle. 

Marielle is a great character. She is very realistic in terms of her emotions. Rather than being portrayed as a typical overdramatic teenage girl, she is presented as an adult who is both allowing herself to grieve and pushing herself past her grief. In lots of YA novels, the authors add in a tragic event, yet they never seem to mention the emotional aftermath that occurs after said event. 

Faris, the jaw-dropping Djinn is the perfect guy. For once, I’ve read a book where the male protagonist isn’t cocky, arrogant and debonair.Faris happens to be polite, kind and realistic… for the lack of a better word. I couldn’t help but fall for his charm. I loved the way the author made him see old fashioned and not a typical 21st-century teen, as it added an edge of mystery to the character. 

The antagonists of the novel were also very well portrayed. If you’ve read some of my previous reviews before, you’ll know that I love novel with positive underlying themes. I personally believe that in our day and age they are very important, which is why I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this book revolved around the idea of forgiveness. 

I have previously reviewed Keeper by Ingrid Seymour and loved that book! At this point, I think that It is safe to say that I definitely a fan of her writing and look forward to reading more of the novels.

Rating  5/5 Stars

Goodreads – Katerina Turner 

Instagram – Globalbookmania 

Vixen’s Fate – Natalie Erin

Review 

**Disclaimer: I received this ARC from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review**

This book is due to be released in 2017 and is the fourth book in the Creatures of the Land series that I have been reviewing. Therefore there is no synopsis nor a book cover as of yet. That being said, I must say that this series is getting better and better with each book. 

I may be biased since this book focused on my favourite character, Allie, which is why I devoured it. Allie is an incredible character that has so much sass and dimension, that you can’t help but fall in love with her. She is also loyal and kind to those she loves, which combined with her fiery personality make her the most perfect badass heroine. 

I was relieved that this book focused on the characters that I was already familiar with, rather than throwing another 20 characters into the mix. The plot was fast paced and very entertaining. 

I have high hopes for this series, can’t wait to see how it ends, but I also don’t want it to end!

Rating – 4/5 Stars 

Goodreads – Katerina Turner 

Instagram – Globalbookmania