Spoiler-Free: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is No Hunger Games

Spoiler-Free: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is No Hunger Games

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes | Suzanne Collines ★★★ The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is told through the third-person perspective of Coriolanus Snow whose once-rich family has been devastated due to the war between the Capitol and the Rebels. Ten years after victory, his family are living in relative poverty and their only [...]

The Amulet of Samarkand Just Wasn’t Magical Enough

The Amulet of Samarkand Just Wasn’t Magical Enough

The Amulet of Samarkand | Jonathan Stroud ★★★ Nathaniel Underwood is a magician's apprentice. With the aid of ancient words, candles and pentacles, he can summon djinns and other magical creatures to do his bidding. He summons the wise-cracking djinn, Bartimaeus, to help him steal the eponymous Amulet of Samarkand. Humiliated by the older and [...]

The Power – simplistic gender flipping or a fantastical thought experiment?

The Power – simplistic gender flipping or a fantastical thought experiment?

The Power | Naomi Alderman  ★★★★ 'She cuppeth the lightning in her hand. She commandeth it to strike' There are lots of reviews that make this comparison, so let's get this out of the way: The Power in many ways reminded me of Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. It's similar in not only the framing device used to [...]

Where were the dragons in Priory of the Orange Tree? (And other issues I had)

Where were the dragons in Priory of the Orange Tree? (And other issues I had)

The Priory of the Orange Tree | Samantha Shannon ★★½ So this is going to be a controversial blog post as I've seen nothing but good reviews for The Priory of the Orange Tree, especially amongst YA readers but I have a *lot* to say about this high fantasy. ***Minor spoilers ahead*** Although I was [...]

#YARC2019 Ignite the Stars kinda just fizzled

#YARC2019 Ignite the Stars kinda just fizzled

Ignite the Stars | Maura Milan ★★ When the Commonwealth finally captures the notorious criminal Ia Cocha, they're shocked to discover that she is a 17-year-old girl. Instead of imprisoning her, General Adams corners Ia into enrolling in the elite Star Force Military Academy, located on a hidden base. Cocha bides her time, planning to [...]

A Gathering of Shadows is a slow burn Character Story

A Gathering of Shadows is a slow burn Character Story

A Gathering of Shadows | V. E. Schwab ★★★ Set four months after A Darker Shade of Magic, Kell is more prisoner than prince watched closely by the King and Queen and blamed for the so-called Black Night. Rhy grapples with the guilt of being tied to Kell's life and the uncanny feeling that comes with his [...]