Review: Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

36502054

Title: Sea Witch

Author: Sarah Henning

Publisher: Harper Collins UK

Date: 31st July 2018

I would like to start this review off by saying thank you to Harper Collins for giving me a chance to review this book on NetGalley. As soon as I heard about the synopsis for Sea Witch I instantly thought it could be something I would enjoy. I love the Little Mermaid and books that are loosely based on fairy tales are very in at the moment, but this was different. Instead of focusing on Ariel, it would be the character that would become Ursula in the Little Mermaid, but with a twist.

Evie was always the outcast, which was made worse when her best friend Anna died four years ago in a tragic accident. But Evie has a secret and when she meets Annemette, who bears a striking resemblance to her friend that drowned, Evie realises she must keep more secrets from her friend Nik, the prince. Annemette cannot stay on land for long, having cast a spell to change her fin into legs that will last four days, until she can find true love with the prince. Evie will do anything to help her new friend, even if it means harnessing her magic and risking it all.

It took me a little while to read this book and I think it’s because I was going through a reading slump, which might have affected my views on this book. I really liked certain aspects of this book, especially the setting which takes its inspiration from Copenhagen and places like that. There is even a place mentioned in the book that is real, which I thought was really cool. However, this is a very slow book until you get to the last quarter and I think that is why I struggled.

I had a hard time connecting with the characters, especially the main character Evie as it is her point of view we see from. I really wanted to love this book, but it fell a little short for me. With the premise of witches having been hunted in the past and having to hide in secret, I expected more magic and for it to be darker. Unfortunately, not a lot happens in the first two thirds apart from characters having conversations and going to parties.

However, while I had mixed feelings about Evie, I really enjoyed the scenes with Nik in them because he was sweet and charming. Exactly the kind of Prince we need in a story and it was interesting to read his interactions with both Evie and Annemette. You always get the feeling that there is something off with Annemette and as the story unravels we learn more about her, which was quite the shock later on. I love a good plot twist in a story and this had plenty!

I won’t lie, I almost stopped reading this book twice, but as it was an ARC I persevered and was rewarded with the last quarter of the book. I would actually say that the wait is worth it because it was fast paced, intriguing and there was so much going on. I was actually shocked at some of the revelations and I felt that it had the perfect ending with the epilogue.

If you are thinking about picking up Sea Witch, then you need to know that it is quite slow and not a lot of action/magic happens for the majority of the book. If you are okay with that then give this a go because the ending is worth it. I struggled trying to come up with a rating for this but I think a solid 3 stars works well.

5_Star_Rating_System_3_stars_T

Top Two Tuesday: Books With My Favourite Colour on the Cover

Top Ten Tuesday was originally hosted over at The Broke and The Bookish and is now over at Jana’s blog, That Artsy Reader Girl.

I’m really looking forward to this weeks topic because I had so many books to choose from! I used to have two favourite colours when I was younger, red and blue (complete opposites) but as I have grown older one has emerged the victor and it is…Red! I mean, I do dye my hair red so I must love it (although pink is a close second now and blue is third).

There are a lot of book covers that feature the colour red in one way or another. Some of them even happen to be some of my favourites and others are ones I hope to read one day soon.

1. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

three dark crowns

I am so glad that I got the red cover for the first book in the series. It looks amazing and stands out so well against the black background. Even the spine of the book is blood red, matching the books deathly nature perfectly.

2. Scythe by Neal Schusterman

scythe

While this book isn’t completely red, it does feature strongly and I think that this is one of my favourite paperbacks. The graphics and shapes look great and I love how there is the silhouette of the scythe’s face against the weapon. Also, I love that font!

3. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

5797d737fee326f76914ab8c43c5c9cc

 

The second book in the series has my second favourite cover which is red, of course. Not to mention the fact that the pose is so badass. All the covers for this book are incredible in their own right and they look great side by side.

4. A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

A Darker Shade Of Magic

Red, black, white and grey are the colours of this book series, which perfectly represents the four London’s in the book. I really like these covers. They are cool, edgy and mysterious. This book in particular has a red bind with white writing that really stands out.

5. Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody

ace of shades

I love, love, love this cover. I still have to buy and read Ace of Shades but I know that when I do, it will be the US hardback with this cover. I love how the deck of cards and symbols are incorporated into the design and it’s red, so it looks completely badass.

6. Heartless by Marissa Meyer

heartless

The US cover is black with what looks to be red thorn stems all over, but this is the UK one which I think looks pretty good. I love how it looks like it’s been painted (because the roses were painted red)  and the minimalist face to represent the Queen looks really good. I still have to read this standalone novel, but seeing the cover makes me what to even more now.

7. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

illuminae

After reading Nevernight, I find myself wanting to read more of Kristoff’s writing and I am pretty sure that I am going to give this trilogy a go. This is a more red/orange but it still counts. I love the layout of the cover and from what I’ve heard of how it’s been formatted, it is definitely reflected here.

8. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

77493_original

I need to start this series soon, but I have so many good books still left to read. I love all the covers of this series, but the first one is my favourite. Mainly because of how dark and red it is. I’m tempted to start this one next month, or even at the end of this month if I can fit it in.

9. Talon by Julie Kagawa

Talon

A much darker shade of red, but this is actually one of my favourite shades to paint my nails (I like the vampy, dark look) and I LOVE the scales to represent the dragons. Again, another book that I have yet to read, but I will get around to it.

10. The Iconic…Twilight series

twilight-series

I couldn’t not have this feature, mainly because the covers are so iconic. Black, white and red just go so well together and I will never forget treasuring these books when I was younger. Unfortunately I have no idea where they are now. I may have to buy them again considering I am doing a re-read in November (just for fun and to probably cringe) to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the film coming out. Oh, the good old days.

page-break

There we have it. Ten covers with the colour red featuring in them (and yes, I did have Taylor Swift’s song in my head the whole time while writing this post). I could have chosen a lot more but I like these ones the best.

What cover do you like the best that has red on it?

My TBR For May

For the last two months I haven’t given myself a TBR (I never stuck to them) but for this month I have some incredible books, some of which are new, and I am pretty sure of what I am going to be reading. I have already read two books this month, the first being Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes and the second is Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas (both were five star reads and reviews will soon be up).

Considering the books I read are the beginning or part way through a series, I think we all know what I will be reading. I am aiming to read seven books in total this month, if possible and the next five will be the following…

Considering how much I loved Falling Kingdoms, it was the obvious choice to read the second and third book. I don’t yet have the last three books in the series, but I’m sure that if I did have them I would just binge read the whole series this month.

I also want to dive into Empire of Storms, which is absolutely huge! Even longer than Queen of Shadows, I’m sure it will be just as incredible as all the others have been. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series before the final book comes out this year.

In my recent book delivery I bought Scythe, mainly because I have heard so many amazing things about it, both on booktube and Twitter. I’m a big fan of PeruseProject and literally any book she suggests I end up loving, and this was one that she recently read. I wouldn’t put it past me to buy Thunderhead at the end of the month if I love the first book.

And lastly, I hope to finish off the Grisha trilogy by reading Ruin and Rising. Then I can finally read Six of Crows because that is the book everyone seems to love. I’m banking on the fact that if I’ve loved everything else Leigh Bardugo has written, I’m sure to become a fan of the duology.

page-break

Seven books for the month seems like a lot, especially when the most I’ve read has been six, but I’m always up for a challenge.

What books are you looking forward to reading the most this month?

WWW Wednesday – Vikings Galore

WWW Wednesday was originally hosted by A Daily Rhythm, and was taken over by Taking on a World of Words.

Less than one week to go until I have internet at the house and I cannot wait! Using my phone data has been getting me by, but the service out here in the countryside isn’t the best (I live in a village). However, I am getting back into my blogging and I have been reading some amazing books lately that I can’t wait to tell you about!

What Are You Currently Reading?

sky in the deep

Late last week I was notified that I had been approved on NetGalley to read Sky in the Deep, something I was thrilled about considering Amazon cancelled my pre-order and said they wouldn’t be stocking it. I picked this up Monday night (only reading 7% as it was late), but then I flew through it yesterday and I am now on 80%. You can be sure that I am going to finish this tonight. I am so invested in the story and these characters. Adrienne Young has created a unique world that feels so real and raw. I cannot wait to write a review for this book and show how much I am loving it. Plus, that cover is incredible!

What Did You Recently Finish Reading?

the-smoke-thieves

While I haven’t written the review yet (I’ll be getting to that tomorrow) I finished The Smoke Thieves on Monday and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. This was a great start to the trilogy, introducing us to all the characters, the world and the conflict that is surrounding them. I loved how each chapter was from one of the five perspectives (I think it was five) and how eventually their paths crossed. The dialogue in this was great, with some of my favourite scenes being with Tash, the thirteen year old demon hunter/thief, because she was hilarious. I’m looking forward to giving you all my thoughts.

What Do You Think You’ll Read Next?

nevernight

Poor Nevernight keeps getting pushed to the bottom of the pile thanks to NetGalley reads, but I PROMISE I am going to finish it before the weekend is over. I’m a third of the way through, and thanks to how detailed the writing is I can remember everything that has happened so far. I’m looking forward to diving back into this strange and dark story.

page-break

Let me know in the comments below what book you are reading, or if you have read (or want to read) any of the three I have mentioned above.

WWW Wednesday – West-African Inspired Fantasy

WWW Wednesday was originally hosted by A Daily Rhythm, and was taken over by Taking on a World of Words.

The long Easter weekend is coming up and I am so ready for a few days away from work, catching up on sleep and going out shopping for bits for our new home. I’ve already bought a lot of stuff but I feel like I haven’t even made a dent in the list. Not to mention the fact that everything seems so expensive *crying emoji*.

I’m also going to be doing a lot of reading over the five days I have off and if I can read a couple of books I will be more than happy. And do some editing of my WIP, obviously.

What Are You Currently Reading?

children of blood and bone

I have less than 100 pages to read and I can tell you now, this is my favourite book of 2018 so far. There have been some amazing debuts already this year, but this story is special. I was hooked from the beginning by the world that is cruel and dangerous, yet mystical. The characters are incredible and I have so much love for Zelie and her journey. I can’t forget to mention that the writing is amazing, so fast paced and the descriptions are great. I cannot wait to finish it tonight (because I will stay up late if I have to).

What Did You Recently Finish Reading?

siege and storm

I finished Siege and Storm a few days ago, but have yet to write a review for it. Hopefully I can get around to it tomorrow, but I really enjoyed the second instalment and am looking forward to seeing how it all ends for the characters, especially after that ending.

What Do You Think You’ll Read Next?

As you can see, I’m a little undecided on what to read next. As much as I want to carry on with the Throne of Glass series, I really want to start ACOTAR because everyone says how good it is. I will be reading Norse Mythology on my Kindle so I just have to decide between the other two. I’m sure you’ll find out which one I chose whenever a review gets uploaded.

page-break

What have you been reading so far this week?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books With Incredible Fantasy Worlds

TTT-Big2

Top Ten Tuesday was originally hosted over at The Broke and The Bookish and is now over at Jana’s blog, That Artsy Reader Girl.

This weeks topic was originally about the top ten books that take place in another country and seeing as how I only tend to read fantasy, I thought I’d switch it up a little. So, I thought back to all the books I had been reading recently and the worlds that they take place in. Which ones did I love the most? What worlds would I want to visit if I could? Here are my picks.

1. The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

the belles

Based off of New Orleans, the world in which The Belles is set was fantastical, colourful and incredibly imaginative. With post balloons and teacup animals (yes, there are tiny versions of elephants and such) it was so unique and a pleasure to read. I can’t wait to explore more in the next instalment.

2. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

children of blood and bone

I haven’t even finished reading this book yet, but I am completely enthralled by the world that has been created based off of West African mythology. It’s incredible and so vivid that I feel as if I am there with the characters. I cannot wait to sink my teeth deeper into this book and find out more.

3. A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

A Darker Shade Of Magic

With three different London’s and worlds to visit, you are spoilt for choice with this book. Of course, I would choose to go to Red London and explore the magical streets and festivals. I have yet to read the rest of this trilogy, but you can be sure I will get to it this year.

4. The Grishaverse Books by Leigh Bardugo

9781510104518

After reading the collection of fairy tales, I was completely drawn into this world, even more so when I read the first two books of the Grisha trilogy. The magic system is amazing, the world vast with different climates, and a darkness that I am drawn to. I can’t wait to finish this off and start Six of Crows.

5. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

819lPEj+fEL

I loved the idea of the story being set on an island that is completely separate from the rest of the world and the three main groups of people liveing apart from one another. The magic is mysterious and strange, which only makes it more appealing. The first two books have been great and I am looking forward to the third one coming out this year.

6. Everless by Sara Holland

Everless

I remember reading this a couple of months ago and being blown away by how unique the story and world were. The concept of time as currency was refreshing and new compared to what I had read before and I loved the mythology and lore that surrounded the characters.

7. Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh

reign of the fallen

A darker book, but no less special than the others on this list. I fell in love with the characters and the incredible world that they live in. The Deadlands were so interesting and different, and I was completely captured by what was happening. With the chance to explore more at the end of the book it sets it up perfectly for the second and I can’t wait.

8. To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

tokillakingdom

Ah, I love stories set in the ocean. The Little Mermaid was always my favourite Disney movie and I loved the magical world in To Kill A Kingdom. We visit many strange and wonderful lands that are part of the 100 Kingdoms, each different from the next and the descriptions were great. It was such a pleasure to visit the world in the standalone novel.

9. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass

Another book with a world that is cruel, dangerous, yet wonderful at the same time. As the books go on we get to see more of the world that Sarah J. Maas has created and how imaginative she can be with her descriptions. Not to mention the creatures that live in certain areas. I can’t wait to discover more!

10. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

26032825

This list wouldn’t be complete without an entry into the world of the Fae and Holly Black has created one of the best worlds that I have had the pleasure of visiting. It is dark and dangerous, as well as enticing. What I would give to go to the parties and wander through the magical woods.

page-break

And there you have it! My favourite fantasy worlds to date. What would you choose to visit if you could?

WWW Wednesday – Fantastical Worlds

WWW Wednesday was originally hosted by A Daily Rhythm, and was taken over by Taking on a World of Words.

Considering I read two books last week I have been taking it a lot slower this week, mainly because I have been super busy with some personal stuff. I guess I can talk about it because it will actually be happening, but I am moving house at the end of April. My boyfriend and I just got accepted to rent a property that we really wanted and I am so excited! It’s gonna be a little stressful because we have to buy all the furniture but I am looking forward to it!

Apart from that, I’m also making my way through the working week. For our birthdays we get a gift day from work and if it falls on the weekend (like mine does this year) then we can take it either on the Friday or the Monday. I chose Friday obviously, so I can’t wait to get tomorrow out of the way.

Now to talk about books!

What Are You Currently Reading?

siege and storm

I’m still reading Siege and Storm, but I am 70% of the way through and I have a feeling I will be finishing it tomorrow. I love this world, the story and its characters. We’ve been introduced to a few new ones (I love Nikolai, he’s amazing) and I find myself smiling at the dialogue and enjoying where the story is going. I feel like there’s going to be some twists and I can’t wait to finish off the trilogy.

What Did You Recently Finish Reading?

shadow and bone

The last book I finished reading was Shadow and Bone, which was just over a week ago and you can find my review here. I can see why so many people love this series because it’s amazing and Bardugo’s writing is mesmerising.

What Do You Think You’ll Read Next?

children of blood and bone

After doing my Top Ten Tuesday post on the books I want to read in Spring, it was very difficult to choose. However, I have settled on the debut novel that everyone seems to be talking about and one that debuted in the top spot on the NYT bestseller list. I can’t wait to dive into it!

page-break

What are you currently reading? Let me know in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books at the Top of My Spring TBR

TTT-Big2

Top Ten Tuesday was originally hosted over at The Broke and The Bookish and is now over at Jana’s blog, That Artsy Reader Girl.

With the amount of snow we’ve had over the last few weeks it hasn’t really felt like Spring yet, even though it’s supposed to be. I’m still waiting for the flowers to bloom and for the trees to be full with leaves again, but it seems to be a while away now. My favourite season (mainly because I’m a Spring baby) lasts for a few months and I plan on filling it with some amazing books!

1. Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

ash princess

I was so excited to see that I got accepted to read Ash Princess on NetGalley. It sounds amazing and is definitely one that I want to read before the release date. Hopefully I will love it and then I can tell you all to head out and buy it.

2. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

children of blood and bone

I actually pre-ordered this a while ago and haven’t had the chance to read it yet as I’ve been too into all of Leigh Bardugo’s books (they’re so good!). There is a lot of hype surrounding this book and a lot of love. I just hope that I end up enjoying it as much as others have.

3. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

queen of shadows

As the last book in the series is coming out in October I need to get my ass into gear and finish reading the rest of this series. I loved the first three so much and I really hope the rest are as good. I’ve heard a few people say that they are good, not great, but I’ll have to be the judge of that.

4. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

ruin and rising

After I finish Siege and Storm I’m going to take a little break from the trilogy, but I will definitely be finishing it off during the Spring because I am dying to see what happens with these characters. I love the unique world and Bardugo’s style of writing, so I can’t wait to read more.

5. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

23437156

How could I not go on to read the first book of her duology after finishing the Grisha trilogy? Everyone seems to love this book and the characters, and I really felt like I’ve been missing out. No more, I say!

6. A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab

a gathering of shadows

Last year I read A Darker Shade of Magic and I adored it! I had never read anything like it and I have been meaning to carry on with the series since then. With the amount of long weekends I have coming up it is time to get on with the reading. So many people talk about the ending to this trilogy and I feel like I need to know what happens. Soon.

7. Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings

Zenith

One of my aims for Spring is to finally finish reading Zenith. I haven’t picked it up since the end of February and it is about time that I did. I was over halfway through and I was starting to enjoy it more when I hit a reading slump. It is possible that it influenced my feelings on the book so I’m willing to give it another go.

8. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

norse mythology

Slowly I have become more interested in mythology again and I’m finding myself drawn to Norse mythology. Back at Christmas I ordered this on my Kindle (mainly because it was cheap) and I have decided to add it to my Spring TBR at long last.

9. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

77493_original

Having read Throne of Glass, I figured I should give Maas’ other series a go. Again, I’ve heard some amazing things and after watching PeruseProject’s recent YouTube video I decided that it would be sooner rather than later.

10. The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

30312855

I have had this on another TBR list before, but this time I really do want to read it. Like with all the other books on this list I have heard some great things and I know there is another coming out in the series soon.

page-break

With my birthday coming up this list might change a little (I know my dad has gotten me a few books) but I am going to try and read them all before we get halfway through the year. Wish me luck! What are you looking forward to reading the most?

Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

shadow and bone

Title: Shadow and Bone

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

Date: 5th June 2012

I feel as if I am very late to this series considering it has been out for six years now, but better late than never right? The reason I decided to read the Grishaverse trilogy a go is because I keep hearing everyone talking about Six of Crows, and then I found out there’s a series beforehand and I figured it would be best to start at the beginning. Shadow and Bone was amazing. I read it all within two days and I can honestly say that I think Leigh Bardugo is one of my favourite authors now, especially after reading The Language of Thorns as well, which you can read about here.

Alina Starkov is from Ravka, a nation that was torn in two by the darkness of the Shadow Fold, a place where no light exists and creatures made of nightmares attack whoever enters. Alina is with her regiment crossing the Fold when they are attacked and her best friend, Mal, is injured. He would have been killed if she hadn’t somehow saved him with powers that had been dormant for all of her life. Once they have been discovered she is whisked away by the Darkling, a powerful Grisha who wishes to teach her their ways, for she could be the key to saving Ravka. She soon learns that nothing is as it seems and a dark force is looming in the distance.

When it comes to world building, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone do it better than Leigh Bardugo. We are thrown straight into it, with new words, places and people cropping up, but it was done in a way so that it wasn’t information overload. I loved the Russian influence on the names and the setting which made it feel very authentic and real. I became so immersed in the world that I didn’t want to stop reading. I wanted to know more and I cannot wait to see more of these incredible Kingdoms in the following books.

The magical elements of this book were so different to what I had read before and I loved how there were different types of Grisha, all specialising in certain abilities. There were Summoners, like the Darkling who conjured darkness, and there were others that could manipulate the weather. It was very interesting to see how Alina fit into the elite group after living such a mundane life beforehand, one where she was a nobody.

All of the characters in this book are wonderful in their own way and they were fleshed out so they were relatable and real. Alina was a great protagonist, with a strong voice and her character arc was great as she set out to discover who she really is. Yes, she has self-doubt and wonders whether she can be the person everyone expects her to be, but once she stops moping, she turns out to be a badass. Something else I enjoyed reading about were the other Grisha characters that feature and play a role in the story. Genya was someone who Alina grew close to and it was great to see a female friendship that was genuine.

Mal didn’t feature in the book a lot to begin with and I didn’t have much of an option of him, but it was interesting to see his relationship with Alina. The Darkling…He was the most mysterious character out of the whole book and I found myself wanting to know more. His voice was strong and intriguing, with a few twists and surprises that I didn’t expect. You can’t help but like the bad ones and he definitely has hints of that in him. And like with most good Young Adult novels there is some romance in this story and it was wonderful.

Shadow and Bone was a great story overall. While it may have started off a little slowly, the ending was amazing and made me excited to start the second book. If Siege and Storm continues on being as amazing as the first, I have a feeling it will become one of my favourites. I’m going to give this a solid four stars.

5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars_T

WWW Wednesday – Goodbye Reading Slump

WWW Wednesday was originally hosted by A Daily Rhythm, and was taken over by Taking on a World of Words.

For the first 10 days of March I didn’t finish a single book, but in the last 4 days I have managed to finish one book I was stuck on for two weeks, finished another in less than 24 hours and a third book in two days. I think it’s safe to say that my reading slump is finally over. Sometimes it just takes one incredible piece of fiction to pull you out of it. And I am glad to see the back of that slump because it was awful.

My week has also gotten a lot better due to a little book idea that suddenly popped up in my brain. I can’t get rid of it, I can’t push it to the side and yes, I already have a Pinterest board full of images to create an aesthetic for it. This always happens when I start editing but I’m going to try and tackle both at the same time. This idea is too good to not do anything with.

What Are You Currently Reading?

siege and storm

As soon as I finished Shadow and Bone I just knew I had to start the second one. I’m not too far into it but it is off to a great start and I am still intrigued by these characters, especially the Darkling. I wouldn’t be surprised if I read it just as quickly as I did with the first, as long as it is interesting and fast paced still.

What Did You Recently Finish Reading?

I recently finished two books in the last few days (as stated above) and they were both incredible and by the same author. I think I have a new favourite and I haven’t even gotten to Six of Crows yet! The Language of Thorns was beautifully written, full of vivid descriptions and characters that jumped off of the page. I’ve already caught a reference to one of the stories in the second book of the Grishaverse trilogy and I’m so glad I made the decision to read that first. Shadow and Bone was a great read that I thoroughly enjoyed and I really connected with the characters. I can’t wait to find out what happens.

What Do You Think You’ll Read Next?

ruin and rising

Hmm, well, if I enjoy the second instalment as much as the first I have a feeling that I will have to buy the last one, Ruin and Rising. After that I will most likely begin reading Six of Crows, or I might take a break. I’m not really sure yet but as I don’t have a TBR list this month there are so many options available.

page-break

Now you know all the books that have taken over my life recently. What book are you currently reading?