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Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue by Iain Reading

(A huge thanks to the publicist and the author for sending me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)

Following in the footsteps of her hero Amelia Earhart, Kitty Hawk sets off on an epic flight around the world and arrives in Iceland's capital city of Reykjavik where she finds herself immersed in a beautiful alien world of volcanoes, Vikings, elves and trolls. Before she knows it Kitty is plunged head first into an amazing adventure that sweeps her across a rugged landscape where humans and nature exist in side-by-side in an uneasy truce and magical realms seem to lie just out of sight beneath the surface. Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue is the dazzling third installment of the Flying Detective Agency series featuring Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenaged seaplane pilot with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into - and out of - all kinds of precarious situations. This is a perfect book to fire the imaginations of readers of all ages - armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike. From dangerous criminals and corrupt government officials to mystical beings and clashes with the elemental forces of nature, this book has it all. Come and join Kitty Hawk as she experiences the strange and extraordinary world of the Icelanders, and unravels the Icelandic Intrigue.

Kitty Hawk's adventures continue and now she's in Iceland. What is something I ought to talk about right now is how gloriously the author describes Iceland in the book. If you've ever thought Iceland is like a boring place with not much to do or see, FRIEND I HAVE NEWS FOR YOU> It has -- wait, *Shoves book in you face* READ IT.

But honestly, I loved getting to know about the culture and the ways of the people of Iceland too. I always love the wonderful people Kitty comes across due to her traveling. As with the other books, especially the first one, I really liked the family who Kitty stays with. They were kind and provided so much knowledge about the people and the places in Iceland.

As always what I loved the post about Kitty were the inner monologues. I just love how she talks to herself. For me, it makes her ten times more relatable because I do that. A LOT. I'm not sure if it's weird for others, but I absolutely have conversations with myself in my head.

And Kitty has grown from the past two books. The way she deals with the adventure and the mystery she is thrown into shows how much she has grown. She deals with panicky situations with a cool headed, rational thinking. Also the mystery! It was SO good. The author had me guessing till the last moment and I was absolutely flabbergasted by the reveal.

Overall, what I love the most about this series is it's as informative as it's entertaining. It's the kind of book you can read in one sitting. Although there's a LOT of information in the story, - about the places, people, the mystery aspects - I love that there's no info dumping. I also love that the information is provided in a way that we don't forget either. If only my geography books in High school had taken a leaf out of this series!!

Those who have already read Kitty's adventures in books 1 and 2, book 3 is just as amazing, if not more. This is the perfect book that can be read my middle graders as well as adults. It's fun, informative and my favorite part is it focuses on environment conservation and sustainable development. I see this is all Kitty Hawk book sand I applaud the author for talking about these important issues.

Do you like reading books that contains general knowledge along with the story? Do you have any middle grade recommendations for me?

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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

"What's the point of having a voice if you're gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn't be?"

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.

I’m having a really hard time writing a review for this absolute perfection of a book so I’ve finally decided to make a list of reasons why you should read it. (Although most of you have probably already read it and I’m the procrastinator Queen who’s reading this glorious book more than a year after it came out)

8 Reasons why you must read this book ASAP-
  • #BlackLivesMatter and #OwnVoices - Do I even need to explain?
  • It touches up on issues like passive bullying, passive racism and peer pressure.
“That's the problem. We let people say stuff, and they say it so much that it becomes okay to them and normal for us. What's the point of having a voice if you're gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn't be?”
  • Relationships with the complexities of relationships - In other words, realistic relationships. I’m not just talking about couples, but also friendships and the relationships between parents and kids.
- Starr and Chris aren’t the ‘perfect’ couple. They have the fights and arguments that come with being in a relationship. But they’re also really cute and I ship them so hard. I also love how when he’s sometimes being ignorant, Starr corrects him. This isn’t a book where the boyfriends and girlfriends always say the right thing. This is a book where young adults mess up but also learn to own up and correct themselves.
“He got a tan over break. I used to tell him he was so pale he looked like a marshmallow. He hated that I compared him to food. I told him that's what he got for calling me caramel. It shut him up.”
- All the friendships. This book showcases all those types. There’s the friend you don’t see often but you always fall into a comfort zone with them; the friend who’s alwasy around but you aren’t quite sure how exactly the friendship works, that friend you click with when you find out they’ve had a similar life experience, the cousins who are more like your best friends, the friend who’s a friend becasue you have mutual friends. This book has them all. I always get annoyed by the cliques in teen books where you have three friends and you’re a group and that’s it. In reality you have different types of friends and not all of them know each other.

- Parent-Children relationships - Again the author shows how every parent-child duo aren’t the same. There Starr’s mom who is literally the best book mom ever. She smothers them with love, grounds the, fights with them but OML she’s amazing. There’s moms who are ignorant of their children, moms who take their child for granted and I just wanted to go hug Angie Thomas for showing that not every relationship is the same. Some are peachy and some are rocky and they’re all real.
  • Amazing band of secondary characters I grew to love and hold close. We hardly ever see that in YA. In this book we have three dimensional, wonderfully written secondary character who are as important to the movement of the plot as Starr. They also have thier individual equally important storylines. I adored Sekani, Starr’s little brother who’s the sweetest ever, her other brother Seven who’s dealing with violence at home, Maya, Starr’s Asian friend who is a lovely soul and Uncle Carlos who is hands down the best uncle ever.
  • Starr - One of the most relatable character I’ve read in a very long time. I adored Starr. Even when she was doing stupid things that get her grounded. Also she loves Harry Potter.
  • Life Lessons - One of the biggest reasons why it’s an important book. All those life lessons. You could be 80 and yet take away so much from this wonderful book.

“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”
  • Simple but powerful writing. While I read this book I laughed, cried, howled and wailed. Angie Thomas writes beautifully and she knows the way into your hearts. There were times when I had to close the book, keep it a distance away and bawl because I didn’t want to get tears on the pages (#bookloverproblems)

“To every kid in Georgetown and in all “the Gardens” of the world: your voices matter, your dreams matter, your lives matter. Be roses that grow in the concrete.”
  • It’s freaking quotable. Next time anyone is being a jerk - *picks up THUG. Finds the right quote. Puts away book. Screams the quote in said jerk’s face* Next time anyone needs a pick me up *Picks up THUG. Finds right quotes. Puts away book. Changes mind. Hands book to said person.*

Also a gentle reminder that THUG is the author’s debut. IT’S HER DEBUT. Angie Thomas is my queen, my inspiration.

A must read for everyone. It doesn't matter that it's classified as YA. EVERYONE needs to read this. Period.

Have you guys read this book? Are there similar books that I should read?

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The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

'Frost-demons have no interest in mortal girls wed to mortal men. In the stories, they only come for the wild maiden.'

In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, an elderly servant tells stories of sorcery, folklore and the Winter King to the children of the family, tales of old magic frowned upon by the church.

But for the young, wild Vasya these are far more than just stories. She alone can see the house spirits that guard her home, and sense the growing forces of dark magic in the woods...

Wintry Russia is the most wonderful setting for a whimsical book such as this one. This book falls more into Magical Realism than fantasy. The creatures of Russian folklore are a part and parcel of the inhabitants’ lives. They might not be able to see them but it doesn’t stop them from leaving food out for the domovoi and the vazila. Except Vasya. She CAN see them. She befriends the spirits and helps them while also helping the people of her village stay safe from some of the mean creatures.

I loved Vasya. She’s one of the most relatable female characters I’ve ever read despite her belonging to an entirely different time period. She curious, wild, driven and at the end of the day, yearns for freedom.

“I would walk into the jaws of hell itself, if it were a path of my own choosing. I would rather die tomorrow in the forest than live a hundred years of the life appointed me.”
The book could feel heavy for some, with it’s take on politics, religion and the nuances that come with the intermingling of different religions and political views. This is not something that’s explicitly discussed in the book but it’s always there. It’s like a layer below the skin, not immediately visible but you feel it throughout.

What I really enjoyed the most were the folk tales, the story of the Frost King and how Katherine Arden magnificently weaves fairytales with the reality. The does such a good job that when I finally looked up from the book, I was utterly confused to see my room. The imagery of her writing is that powerful.

The lyrical prose reminded me of Maggie stiefvater’s writing but while Maggie’s writing feels to be a modern poetry, this is more a rustic poetry to fit medieval Russia.

“Nothing changes, Vasya. Things are, or they are not. Magic is forgetting that something ever was other than as you willed it.”
The book never went the way I thought it would. On an entirety the story seems predictable but it definitely isn’t. There isn’t just one plot. It’s a mix and match of various characters’ stories that meet at some or the other point. I can’t wait to read the next installment which I believe will be more an epic adventure than a homely mystery as book 1 was? The edition I have has a few pages of “The Girl in the Tower” and I’m quite excited that we get to see more of Vasya’s sister and her brother Sasha. I quite enjoyed his character in this book and was disappointed we didn’t see much of him after a point.

A whimsical book filled with Russian folklore and a tenacious heroine readers would grow to love. A must read if you love dark fantasies and magical realism stories.

Have you read this book? Did you like it? Do you like the genre magical realism?

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Pralay: The Great Deluge by Vineet Bajpai

(This book review is a part of "The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program and Blog Tours", for details visit  The Readers Cosmos")

“Even death is afraid of the White Mask…”

1700 BCE, Harappa – The devta of Harappa has fallen…tortured and condemned to the dungeons of the dead. His murdered wife’s pious blood falls on the sands of the metropolis, sealing the black fate of Harappa…forever.

2017, Banaras – A master assassin bites into cyanide, but not before pronouncing the arrival of an unstoppable, dark force. A maha-taantric offers a chilling sacrifice.

325 AD, Bithynian City (modern-day Turkey) – Unable to foresee the monster he was untethering, an extraordinary monarch commissions a terrifying world-vision spanning millennia.

1700 BCE, East of Harappa – A mystical fish-man proclaims the onset of Pralay - the extinction of mankind. The Blood River rises to avenge her divine sons.

What happens to the devta of Harappa? Is Vidyut truly the prophesied saviour? Who are the veiled overlords behind the sinister World Order? What was the macabre blueprint of the mysterious emperor at Bithynian City?

I quite enjoyed Harappa by Vineet Bajpai and was excited to be picking up the sequel. I'm afraid while it was interesting, it didn't manage to grip me as book one had. Pralay starts right where Harappa ended and one thing I can't complain about is the pace of the story. It's fast and something exciting is constantly happening. there are no dragging parts in the book and I'm glad for that.

"You could take away their homes, their lands, their loved ones, their wealth and everything they held dear. But you could never take away one thing from human being.

This story is constantly moving from past to present. We have three timelines merging and unlike book 1 I found it a little abrupt here. In Harappa too there is both past and present but I found the transitions between the timelines were clearer there. But with Pralay I felt there the author was switching between timelines too often and I found it distracted me from being fully pulled into the story.

The way Bajpai takes the plot would remind you of Dan Brown's books, especially The Da Vinci Code. I particularly enjoyed how the authors weaves the various storylines together to explain to us the present day happenings. I also enjoyed seeing many creatures from Hindu mythology that we don't generally get to see in fiction.

What I most enjoyed about the book was the action. It's thrilling and written in a way that had me at the edge of the seat. This book is very plot driven but then again I was upset about the abrupt ending and having to wait for book 3 to know what happens. While that ending was unexpected and quite exciting in way, I felt it was too abrupt and there for the shock factor.

I also felt there was a lot of info dumping when people tell the main character Vidyut about the various happenings of the past and about Hindu and Aryan culture. I also really wish this had been a duology and I actually thought it would be, until the surprise ending.

“Perhaps divinity is no greater than its believer. One would not exist without the other.”
Some quotes like the one above really caught my attention.

An equally thrilling sequel as Harappa but lacked in the fluid plotlines that Harappa had. I felt the book had a second book in the series syndrome and while the plot IS interesting, I would have liked to see a bit more character development and less info dumping.

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Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.

One by one, the city's elites are being executed as their mansions' security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family's fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he's forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city's most brutal criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce's only hope.

In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.

Buddy read this book with the awesome Amy @A Magical World of Words and the amazing Di @Book Reviews by Di. You can find their reviews HERE and HERE!

For the record, Christian Bale will always be Batman for me.

I'm not quite sure how to review this book. I think it's safe to say while I enjoyed it, I wasn't quite blown away by it. It's not easy to take popular superheroes and write them in a new way. That was the reason I was a little nervous about the whole DC Icons series. But after reading Bardugo's Wonder Woman: Warbringer, I got excited for the rest of the series. Probably too excited. And reading this book while still in the high of WWW, Batman: Nightwalker felt underwhelming.

This story doesn't have 'Batman' just so you know. If you go in there with the movies in mind, you might be disappointed. This is a story of a Bruce Wayne, the billionaire boy before he became Batman. This is a story of him realizing that Gotham city is worth saving. A story of him realizing that he could probably contribute to it's safety.

“Now the tires screeched in protest as Bruce hit another sharp turn.
"I heard that," said Alfred Pennyworth from the car's live video touch screen. He gave Bruce a withering look. "A bit slower on the turns, Master Wayne."
"Aston Martins weren't made for slow turns, Alfred."
"They weren't made to be wrecked, either."
The story started off pretty great. There's a lot of mystery in the air. There is tension among the city's richest as the Nightwalkers pick them off one by one. Then Madeleine Wallace is caught and the story takes an interesting turn. I enjoyed Bruce's conversations with Madeleine although it felt a little cliched. What really made the book fall flat for me was Madeleine's story arc. It felt predictable and somewhat cheesy; neither of which have place in a Batman story.

“Maybe they weren't a smart match but fate had matched them anyway; and someday in some future perhaps they would be matched again.”
While I initially enjoyed Bruce as a character he came off as one dimensional at times. Madeleine, quite an anti-hero character who reminded me of Catwoman at times could have carried this story all on her shoulders had her arc gone a little different direction. But this story is about Bruce and I didn't feel his character had developed well enough for a main character.

What I enjoyed a LOT was the tech. Which is weird considering I'm pretty much technologically challenged. But I've always been fascinated by gadgets in Bond movies, mission Impossible and of course Barman movies. Before starting the book I wondered how Lu would write in technology without it feeling like a mechanical engineering textbook. I needn't have worried for the author does a fantastic job with that.

Another aspect I enjoyed a lot is the writing itself. There's no denying Marie Lu can write beautifully. The descriptions step off the page and paint images in your head. I enjoyed her descriptions of places, especially Arkham Asylum. The writing really kept my interest when the plot wasn't doing a good job at it. This was my first book by Marie Lu and the writing definitely didn't disappoint me.

Special mention - Alfred is a darling. He was another character I was worried about before reading the book but he's definitely my most favorite of them all. sassy, politely sarcastic Alfred is the best and the author is so on point with that.

“Alfred frowned at him. "Where do you inherit all this sarcasm from, Master Wayne?"
"I don't know." Bruce learned forward and hung an arm over the side of Alfred's seat. "Maybe it's from you."
"Me? Sarcastic?" Alfred sniffed, the barest hint of a smile appearing on his lips. "It's as if you think I'm British."
Despite the long day, Bruce couldn't help but grin at the retort.”
A beautifully written story that might have been amazing had it not been for predictable plot twists and inconsistent characterization. While I initially was pulled in by the mystery of the story, the reveals and the direction the plot takes, failed to hold my interest. And I remind you again, it's not a 'Batman' story, it's a Bruce Wayne story; probably the reason why it isn't as dark or thrilling.

Have you read this book? What did you think? Do you like the Batman movies?

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Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

(A huge thanks to Pan Macmillan India for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.)

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia's family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess--a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.

For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She's endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.

Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn't always won on the battlefield.

For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.

Buddy read this book with the awesome Amy @ A Magical World of Words You can find her review HERE.

(This book has physical and psychological abuse. There is one graphic whipping scene and some mentions of rape, brutality and abuse.)
This book had promise. So much promise. And also really wonderful writing but I felt so let down by the plot and character development. Me and Amy both went into this book with so much expectation ‘cause the online book community has been raving about it.

Thora used to be Theodosia, princess of Astrea; that is until the Kalovaxians invade her land and kill her mother. The Kaiser has Theo spared so she can be a trophy. Now they’ve changed her name, her manners and her identity and this story is about how she reclaims some of those things. This could have been GREAT. And the writing indeed is wonderful and some scenes are written so beautifully. But the plot fell flat for me. This could be case of ‘It’s not you, it’s me’ as many seem to love this book? I do think it’s a book I’d have enjoyed back when I’d started to read YA fantasy novels but now I’ve read so many that Ash Princess felt predictable and nothing much succeeded in surprising me.

I found many inconsistencies in some small plot points that I couldn’t quite oversee. And this book had a problem that I’ve found in other YA books too. I know young adults are the main protagonists in these novels but I don’t understand why adults are dumbed down in a way to make the YA gang look better. I’ll explain with a mild spoiler. SPOILER A very powerful Asteran rebel who is amongst the most powerful of them all is unable to do much against the invaders but after his death a group of teenagers are suddenly doing so much including infiltrating the palace and stealing weapons. SPOILER I’m sorry but it just seems so absolutely unbelievable!

Throughout the first half Theo keeps telling us how everything is watched in the palace and how difficult it is to say or do anything without being noticed. She mentions over and over again the brutalities of the palace and how it was impossible to rebel against the Kaiser. But once she decides to fight back against her captors, everything seems to go her way without her seemingly doing anything about it. There are just too many coincidences that help her with her cause. This made it so hard for me to care about her or the other rebels.

“He is a stone, incapable of feeling anything, and I don't like being reminded that he's also human. I don't like to be reminded that we love the same person.”
The romance felt kind of forced and the love triangle unnecessary. I couldn't quite feel attached to either of the love interests or their connection to the main character, Theo. There's the childhood friend she hasn't seen for years and then there is the Prince, the son of her enemy. WHY HASN'T THIS TROPE DIED YET?

But I must say there are some things I enjoyed about the book too. I absolutely enjoyed Cressentia’s character arc and if I ever pick up the sequel, it will be to know what happens to her and what she does. I also enjoyed Artemisia's character and would like to see her taking center stage at some point in the series.

I also enjoyed the beautiful writing. The writing is sp wonderful it doesn’t feel like the debut book of the author. Laura Sebastian writes pretty wonderful romance scenes and I truly enjoyed a particular scene in a boat.

“We are not defined by the things we do in order to survive. We do not apologize for them,’ she says quietly, eyes never leaving mine. 'Maybe they have broken you, but you are a sharper weapon because of it. And it is time to strike.”
The book ends in a kind of cliffhanger with the author revealing something surprising at the end. While it was surprising, it felt unrealistic that this fact hadn’t been revealed throughout the book to Theo.
This is a book with a wonderful premise and a lot of promise but is let down by flat characters and a contrived plot. At the same time, the beautiful writing makes this book a fast and easy read.

Actual Rating - 2.8
Have you read this book? Are you among those who loved it or are you like me who didn't find the book to be as wonderful as the hype says?

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Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the worst thing she'd ever been through. That was before her planet was invaded. Now, with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra are forced to fight their way onto one of the evacuating craft, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But the warship could be the least of their problems. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their biggest threat; and nobody in charge will say what's really going on. As Kady plunges into a web of data hacking to get to the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: Ezra.
Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents--including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more--Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.
“You deserve every star in the galaxy laid out at your feet and a thousand diamonds in your hair. You deserve someone who'll run with you as far and as fast as you want to. Holding your hand, not holding you back.”
Is it weird that I feel exactly that about this book? It literally deserves all the stars in the galaxy and the Goodreads 5 star rating system is grossly inadequate for this book. I mean, it almost always is but I feel it’s inadequacy quite profoundly with this book.

Also I believe I sound a little like AIDAN. Side effects of binge reading Illuminae and Gemina. I can live with it.
Thoughts on so many things!!
  • Kady Grant is my new favourite female character because oh God! Girl, YOU ROCK! She can code and hack her way into pretty much anything. She is the heroine we don’t talk about on a regular basis. The one behind a computer, ruining the lives of bad guys with ones and zeroes. Also she has pink hair that she totally rocks.

“I am frequently underestimated. I think it's because I'm short.”
Girl I relate to that so hard, I can’t even.
  • Ezra is an idiot. Romantic yes, but definitely an idiot. I didn’t connect with him as well as I did with Kady, probably because we see more of Kady’s PoV? But I did grow fond of him. His endearing messages, and ridiculous jokes. He does come off as sophomoric at times but he grew on me as the story progressed.

“All he cares about here on the edge of forever, is her. He does not want to die. Not because he is afraid. Simply because he cannot bear the thought of leaving her behind.”
  • AIDAN gets the “Most complex character of forever” award. (I’m going to refer to AIDAN to “it’ for it is frequently mentioned how it’s voice is sexless.) I could literally write an entire blog post on AIDAN’s character and it’s role in this book! Basically it’s a psychotic AI but if you come to think of it, a psychotic AI that makes some very good points.

“I am struck by a realization: a computer will perform a takeoff or landing with all the grace of a person. It is only for combat—only for the artristy of ruin—that these vessels have pilot seats at all anyome. There is something in humanity more suited to the mechanics of murder than any machine yet devised.”
  • The PLOT OMG, the PLOT TWISTS OMFG. I didn’t see any of those coming. It was all so badass? Like we get a plot twist in the last few pages? And I’m like WHO? WHAT? Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman literally don’t let us breathe. Their plot twists destroy ships (The literal kind. The ones that float in space), destroy hearts, destroy humans, destroy… you get the point. The authors are big on destroying. Yay.

“Miracles are statistical improbabilities. And fate is an illusion humanity uses to comfort itself in the dark. There are no absolutes in life, save death.”
  • Can we talk about the actual format of the book?? It’s full of files, text messages, chats and pictures. Was I worried I might not enjoy the format? Hmm before I began reading, YES. Need I have worried? ABSOLUTELY NEEDN’T HAVE! Because I loved it. The format never felt like it was deviating attention from the story but it actually added more depth to the characters? That probably sounds weird because it’s descriptions that do that and we don’t have a lot of those in this book. But having text messages and chats really put me as a reader in the character’s place and I could react to stuff exactly like I would if they were happening to me.
  • The romance was awesome? It’s a lot different that in most YA novels in that the main characters have just broken up and they also end up on different spaceships after escaping from their recently destroyed planet (Remember what I said about the authors loving destruction? They START off with destroying a PLANET. START.). So most of their conversations are emails and small chats and it was just so adorable and heartbreaking at the same time.

“You have me. Until every last star in the galaxy dies.

You have me.”
  • Also this book is just so freaking perfect? I’ve never been so in love with a book before. Everything was perfect even when I was screaming at my book and burying my face in the pillow. I feel like this is one of those books where rereading would reveal new facts and such that would probably break my heart more. But oh hey who needs a heart?

Enough said.

Have you read Illuminae? what were your thoughts? Can you recommend me any other books set in space? Or books with unique formatting?

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Hello my fellow #bookdragons ! I know I'm always  talking about books on my blog but from now on have decided talked about all things inspired by books too! Today I want to introduce you guys to my favourite bookish/fandom merch shop EVER - Chiqui Creates.
          Chiqui Creates is the brainchild of one of my favorite bookstagrammers ever @chiquireads. She has a penchant for books and jewelry and finally decided to combine the two together; hence was born Chiqui Creates. I was lucky enough to be one of Chiqui's first reps and I absolutely LOVE her creations. I can also tell you how amazing Chiqui is at coming up with new designs. She's constantly brainstorming and discussing quotes and symbols with her reps. Chiqui Creates is a fandom jewelry and accessories shop based in Manila, Philippines who ship internationally. Chiqui is having a sale where you can either opt for free shipping (Internationally) or for a 20% discount. Keep scrolling to find the promo codes!
What can you find at Chiqui Creates?
  • Chiqui creates is all about celebrating fandoms! Both popular and little known ones. There are tons of wonderful jewelry and metal bookmarks for all-time crowd favourites like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Game of Thrones, Six of Crows and Shades of Magic.
Images courtesy of @cakefacereader (L to R - Hufflepuff necklace, PJO quote necklace, GoT glow in the dark Quote necklace)

  • You can also find products for bookish fandoms that are popular but do not have much jewelry based on them. such as - The Lunar Chronicles, An Ember in the Ashes etc and also lesser known fandoms such as Vampire Academy.

Images from my Bookstagram, @books.bags.burgers and @cakefacereader (L - TLC Winter and Jacin quote Necklace, R - An Ember in the Ashes and Six of Crows metal bookmarks)

  • It's not just bookish jewelry you can find over at Chiqui's but also other fandoms like Disney, Marvel and DC.

Images courtesy @hollyheartsbooks and @books.bags.burgers (L - Mermaid scales necklace, R- Wonder Woman double sided necklace)

Some of her latest products and bestsellers include (L-R) - PC @lulumoonowlbooks - The Cruel Prince metal bookmark, PC @chiquireads - Winter TLC Necklace, PC @hollyheartsbooks - The Sun summoner (Grisha Trilogy) necklace, PC @chiquicreates - LoTR inspired necklace

  • I also love that Chiqui also has pieces that non-fandom people can enjoy too. There's so much pretty jewelry and quote jewelry that look gorgeous and make sense even if you're not in the fandom like the Winter necklace or the holographic mermaid scales necklace.

L - R -@chiquireads Illuminae Inspired necklaces, @hollyheartsbooks Nikolai quote metal bookmark, @cakefacereader Lila Bard quote necklace

What are the types of merch available at Chiqui Creates currently?
* Quote Necklaces
* Charm necklaces
* Metal bookmarks
* Bracelets
* Earrings
* Double sided necklaces
* Double Rings

What are the fandoms available at Chiqui Creates currently?
* Shades of Magic (ADSoM)
* An Ember in the Ashes
* Caraval
* Comics (Marvel & DC)
* Classic Fairytales
* Game of Thrones
* Grishaverse
* Harry Potter
* Percy Jackson
* Six of Crows
* Strange the Dreamer
* The cruel Prince
* The Lord of the Rings
* The Lunar Chronicles
* The Night Circus
* The Raven Cycle
* Vampire Academy

What are the offers available currently?With the code "FREESHIPPING" you can avail free shipping internationally! or you can use "SPRINGSALE" to avail 20% off. You can avail only one of these at a time and not both! This promo ends with this month so hurry!

Chiqui Creates - Website/Shop // Instagram // Facebook

Also don't forget to subscribe to her mailing list to avail exclusive offers and discounts!
What is your favourite type of bookish / fandom merch? Do you have any favourite merch shops? How do you like Chiqui's products? Do you plan to buy from her?
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Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Daughter of immortals.

Princess Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mortal. Diana will soon learn that she has rescued no ordinary girl, and that with this single brave act, she may have doomed the world.

Daughter of death.

Alia Keralis just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted by people who think her very existence could spark a world war. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.


Two girls will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. Tested beyond the bounds of their abilities, Diana and Alia must find a way to unleash hidden strengths and forge an unlikely alliance. Because if they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

Buddy read this book with the awesome Di @Book Reviews by Di. We absolutely enjoyed reading this book together and fangirled all the way! You can find her review HERE!

To say in a single sentence how I feel about this book – This book is everything right about a book. Period. Say hello to my new favourite book of this century and be prepared to have me shake you hard call upon you gently and shove this book in your face hand you the book in an attempt to make you read it.

Actual picture of me hitting you with my #nerd energy to make you read the book

“You do not enter a race to lose.”
I LOVED the Wonder Woman movie okay? So when I say I loved Leigh Bardugo's version of Wonder Woman more, that means a LOT. That being said, now I should probably explain why I love this book so freaking much! I'll try to do it with as minimal fangirling as possible. (If throwing GIFs in your faces and screaming at you to read the book is considered minimal.) You have been warned.

  • Female friendships - YAAS! This is something I'd like to see in every single book and most of the times I'm sorely disappointed either by the lack of it or by it having being portrayed so horribly I'd rather not have it at all. But Leigh Bardugo being the queen of all created the most wonderful female friendships in this book. There's the breezy, fun friendship between Diana and Maeve that made me smile. There's the absolutely wonderful friendship between Alia and Nim that has been there for ages. Then there's the one between Alia and Diana that is developed so beautifully. I also love how the three girls get together amazingly(I was so glad Bardugo didn't use the 'Three's a crowd' trope).

“Sister in battle,” murmured Diana, “I am shield and blade to you.”
“And friend.”
“And always your friend.”

  • Diversity - Holy heavens, I swear Leigh Bardugo is the one person who can write so much diversity into a single book and not have it feel forced and seem like diversity for the sake of ticking the diverse boxes. The Amazons themselves are so wonderfully diverse. Then there's Alia who has a Greek father and an African-American mother. Nim has Indian roots and is bi. Theo is a nerdy Mediterranean guy who is just so endearing. And I repeat, NONE of these diverse elements feel forced.

“A pleasure. Are you one of Alia’s friends from Bennett? She’s usually with that pudgy little Indian girl.” “I’m not sure who you mean,” said Diana, feeling her anger prickle. “I’ve only met her friend Nim, the brilliant designer.”

  • The story of the Amazons - I haven't read the comics but the story of Amazons here is different than that in the movie and I DEFINITELY prefer this book version. I loved how detailed Bardugo's world building was without feeling like an info dump. HOW DO YOU DO IT LEIGH?

  • Feminism - The feminism makes me so emotional! I was literally grinning through happy tears while reading this book because all the empowerment and wonderful depiction of all kinds of girls was just -- Excuse me while I sob in happiness.

  • Strong Characters - I loved how Bardugo's characters are actual 'Strong' characters. And by that I mean Bardugo not just writes those who are physically strong but also those who are strong in other ways. Diana is strong and can lift cars but Alia is strong too; intellectually strong. Bardugo celebrates strengths of various kinds and I'm -- Let me get back to my sobbing.

“You may well be my equal in strength,” she said. “But you are no match for Nim’s ingenuity, for Theo’s resilience, for Alia’s bravery. Might does not make a hero. You can build a thousand soldiers, and not one will have a hero’s heart.”

  • The entire cast - This book may be called Wonder Woman: Warbringer but this story is more than just about Diana or Alia. Every single 'secondary' character is developed just as well as them. And even with so many characters, every single character's voice stands out in a unique manner. And of course it was Bardugo so I ended up loving all the characters. At the same time it was Bardugo so I was trying not to get too attached because WHAT IF SHE KILLS OFF SOMEONE? Look at me having a midlife crisis at freaking 21!

  • Dialogue with 100000% sass - I'm always here for sassy, sarcastic banter. Diana reacting to the glorious city of New York is absolute gold and every scene with Nim and Theo made me snort with laughter.

  • All the action scenes - I've always had trouble in action scenes in books. They can either come of as confusing or so descriptive and detailed that the only action going on is my brain cells nudging each other to stay awake. But here the action scenes were absolutely perfect with wonderful imagery that make be feel like I was right there next to Diana, kicking ass!

Honestly, the only complaint I have with the book is WHAT'S WITH THE TINY FONT?? While reading I probably looked like I was trying to eat the book because I had to hold it THIS close to read at all!

*Throws book at you* *Throws my review at you* *Stands with a sword by your side waiting for you to read the book*

Have you read this book? If yes, did you enjoy it? Marvel or DC or both? Who is your favourite superhero?

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Sinners - The Dawn of Kalki by Naveen Durgaraju

(I received a free print copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.)

The world has ended.

It is prophesied that when sin reaches its pinnacle in kaliyuga, Kalki, the final avatar of Vishnu will descend upon earth to cleanse the world. Now, a mind-scrambling psychic wave from a child whom many believe to be Kalki, has caused unprecedented doom, heralding the apocalypse.

The tattered ruins of the Indian wastelands are now populated with clueless survivors, dangerous factions and their grim motives.
Heroes rise and fall, men and monsters duel and humanity collapses in this radiation filled land of despair, dread, sharp claws, dull knives and old guns.

Amid plots of treachery, betrayal, love, revenge and stark terror, the innocent and the wicked clash with and often among each other for survival.
Will those who survive, overcome these odds and their own inner demons? Or will they succumb to the wrath of the wastelands?

Because at the dawn of Kalki, death comes alike to both the saints and the sinners!

(For my friends who do not know the Hindu mythology, Kalki is to be the tenth avatar of Lord Vishnu who will appear at the end of Kaliyuga, the present epoch, destroy all that is bad and usher in the next ‘Golden Age’)

So what were my thoughts as I read this book? And I generally have a lot of thoughts which is why I’m a reviewer and also why my reviews are so long you’re probably falling asleep right now. (I’ll give you chocolates if you stay up.) ( #notbribing)

  • Mythology, Science Fiction and dystopian blend done right! I haven’t read ANYTHING like this before so full points for originality. Bringing mythology and technology together isn’t the easiest thing. Mythology by itself has a rustic, antique-y feel that we love and to bring it together with science fiction could go incredibly wrong if the magic of mythology is no longer there. Author Naveen Durgaraju stays true to the mythology while bringing in his uniquely scary and creepy dystopian world.
  • Hy I’m Uma. I like dark fantasies and lots of blood. And no I’m not a vampire. This book is so BLOODY! And just so creeptastic at places. 100% recommended for readers like me who are just evil dark queens at heart.
  • I wasn’t very onboard with the romance? It was a combination of insta love and love triangle that I found annoying. It felt pretty unnecessary for the plot? Like it was just there for the sake of a romantic subplot in the novel.
  • The writing was rad. I mean this book is totally quotable! Also if you like quotes and poetry you should totally follow the author’s instagram where he posts AMAZING quotes. I absolutely enjoyed having the writing give me goosebumps every now and then.

"Forgiven, Forever
We do not bleed... for we are not men
We do not weep... fir we are not troubled
We do not bow... for we are not bound
We are the living and we are the judged
But we do not die... for we are the forgiven
Forgiven, Forever"

  • Multiple PoVs - I’m on the fence about this one. I generally like them because they give us the whole picture and I definitely wanted the whole picture with this book what with the numerous questions that pop up. But I think it could have been edited better. At the very beginning, when the PoV first changed it was so abrupt I was like huh?
  • World building was absolutely on point. There is a sect of people who call themselves “The Sinless” and have built their own little city with their own culture, rules and such. In a similar way “The Forgiven” have brought together people in the caves and built an establishment there. I loved how the author builds these little cities and how he draws parallels between the different ways of living.
  • Different kinds of characters is my jam. But in books with many characters I’m always afraid they’ll all gonna sound the same and then I won’t be able to tell them apart. I didn’t have to worry about that in this book. Each voice was unique and every person had a unique personality that made them stand out.

This is such a unique read that mixes various genres like mythology, science fiction and horror. I did have trouble with the romance but it doesn't deviate from the main storyline too much. The book has a cinematic quality to it and while I felt the writing could have been more edited, it is nevertheless an entertaining story that leaves readers asking for more. Looking forward to book 2!

Actual Rating - 3.5
Do you like books that are a blend of various genres? Which genres do you like to see together?

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