The Gender Secret by Bella Forrest

The Gender Secret
by Bella Forrest
#2 in the Gender Game Series

Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Date: 2016
Pages: 411
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Dystopian
Days to Read: 2
Purchase Locations: Amazon and Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia

Gliding over the treacherous Green in a shaky aircraft that she has no idea how to land, Violet Bates is still in shock. The harrowing events of the previous night play over in her mind as she asks herself question after question.

Why did Lee Desmond Bertrand behave the way he did?

What is the truth about the mysterious silver egg stowed beneath her seat?

What happened to Viggo and where is her brother? Is either of them still alive?

When Violet manages to reach the toxic ground alive, she has landed in a world of unimaginable danger. She has barely time to catch her breath before she is sucked into a perilous journey at breakneck speed – to uncover secrets guarded for centuries and find the only two people that matter.

The Gender Secret follows the events that occured at the end of The Gender Game. We follow Viggo and Violet in the wake of the dramatic cliffhanger we were left on at the end of the first book as well as unravelling some epic betrayals.

The ideas that are examined throughout the the first two books explore gender diferentiation, stereotypes and how the world would look if we it were divided into two cities/countries run by each gender. It was interesting to see how the prejudice grow throughout the stories and how they are ingrained in each culture.

Violet and Viggo as characters are both morally questionable and as a reader I can say that it definitely made them more interesting to read about. They have already developed so much from the events in the first book that I felt more interested in where their stories we heading.

The Setting of The Green, Matrus and Patrus – which I take to be a post apocolyptic USA – allows the reader to really exeperience the dystopian nature. The Greens descriptions of toxicity and the creatures affected by it gives ‘The Wilder Girls’ and ‘Annihilation’ vibes that allows the reader to see the severity of being out there and experiencing that wilderness.

The developments in the plot of the Gender Secret develop the world exponentially from the Gender Game. We begin to see the implications of a world divided by gender.

There are many ethical questions that are raised throughout be beginning of this series that cause questions about what it would mean for our world if something became more evident. This gives readers an experience that fuels many feelings and thoughts as well as promoting discussion.

Plot: 6.5/10
Ease of reading: 5/10
Character Development: 6/10
World Building: 6.5/10
Quality of Writing: 6/10
Overall: 3.5/5

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Date: 2018
Pages: 984
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Fantasy
Days to Read: 14
Purchase Locations: Amazon & Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

The final battle is here.

Aelin Galathynius has vowed to save her people―but at a tremendous cost. Locked within an iron coffin by the Queen of the Fae, Aelin must draw upon her fiery will as she endures months of torture. The knowledge that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, but her resolve is unraveling with each passing day…

With Aelin captured, friends and allies are scattered to different fates. Some bonds will grow even deeper, while others will be severed forever. As destinies weave together at last, all must fight if Erilea is to have any hope of salvation.

Years in the making, Sarah J. Maas’s New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series draws to an explosive conclusion as Aelin fights to save herself―and the promise of a better world.

Kingdom of Ash is the final book in the Throne of Glass series. We follow multiple perspectives throughout the story and travel throughout the lands of Arellia and beyond. The basics of the story (so you won’t be spoiled, dear reader) is that Aelin and her friends must go to war against Erawan, the demon lord who is taking over the continent.

Aelin has developed as a dynamic and kick ass character, she continues her growth throguhout Kingdom of Ash, becoming a beacon of strength, resiliance and empathy. I love Aelin as our leading lady. She shows what a main character should be, flawed and oh so human but willing to change. She also shows a passion for equailty among her peers and her people.

Our support cast is full of magical and mighty players in this hectic and chaotic war provide additions of much needed humor as well as showing us what is happening in other parts of this vast, expansive world.

The conclusion to this 7 book (plus one prequel book) series is in a word, epic. The setting of Arillia has changed so much over the course of the seven stories that it becomes almost like the reader is experiencing a whole new world. The description and detail really adds to this experience.

To say that Kingdom of Ash is a Tome is an understatement. The sheer mass of this books is something that I found off putting when it came to finally reading the conclusion to a series I was deeply emersed it. It was a commitment that I was anxious about making, however is not one I regret.

The Throne of Glass series as a whole includes so many great tropes. Competition is rife, Fae are many and the detail in back story and connection between past and present is made so semlessly and effectively.

Plot: 8.5/10
Ease of reading: 4/10
Character Development: 7.5/10
World Building: 5/10
Quality of Writing: 8/10
Overall: 4.5/5

Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

Queen of Nothing
by Holly Black
#3 Folk of the Air Series

Publisher: Little, Brown
Date: 2019
Pages: 300
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Fantasy
Days to Read: 12
Purchase Locations: Amazon & Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

He will be destruction of the crown and the ruination of the throne.

Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold onto. Jude learned this lesson when she released her control over the wicked king, Cardan, in exchange for immeasurable power.

Now as the exiled mortal Queen of Faerie, Jude is powerless and left reeling from Cardan’s betrayal. She bides her time determined to reclaim everything he took from her. Opportunity arrives in the form of her deceptive twin sister, Taryn, whose mortal life is in peril.

Jude must risk venturing back into the treacherous Faerie Court, and confront her lingering feelings for Cardan, if she wishes to save her sister. But Elfhame is not as she left it. War is brewing. As Jude slips deep within enemy lines she becomes ensnared in the conflict’s bloody politics.

And, when a dormant yet powerful curse is unleashed, panic spreads throughout the land, forcing her to choose between her ambition and her humanity…

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black, comes the highly anticipated and jaw-dropping finale to The Folk of the Air trilogy.

‘Queen of Nothing’ was the final book in the folk of the air trilogy. This was a book that I hav been looking forward to at the end of ‘Wicked King’ – The second book in the series – we were left with a shifted world, particularly for Jude, our protagonist. I was in such anticipation of how this was all going to be wrapped up and ‘Queen of Nothing’ delivered.

When it comes to Fae stories I am a huge fan of how Sarah J. Maas portrays them. ‘The Cruel Prince’ was my first experience reading Holly Black’s portrayal and I found that I was enjoying the way they were written and saw a lot of what I had read previously in her writing. ‘Queen of Nothing’ stayed true and consistent to the characters we meet in ‘Cruel Prince’ witch great growth and development.

Both Jude and Cardan show a great amount of growth from our first encounter with them. Their growth was fluid for readers – something I find very important when engaging in a story – making us want to see them succeed. They way that every was tied together and wrapped up in our final book was something that I think was done well with the limited pages we got (300 is just not enough!)

Overall, if you enjoy reading fae stories the Folk of the Air series is one that you will enjoy. Throughout the three stories we see how typical fae characters interact with humans who have known the fae world for a very long time. It’s a story that will keep you engaged and hopeful for the characters.

Plot: 7/10
Ease of reading: 8/10
Character Development: 7/10
World Building: 6/10
Quality of Writing: 7/10
Overall:3.5/5

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

Tower of Dawn
by Sarah J Maas
Book #6 in the Throne of Glass series

Publisher: bloomsbury USA Childrens
Date: 2017
Pages: 664
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Fantasy
Days to Read: 10
Purchase Locations:  Amazon and Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks Scribd QBD

Chaol Westfall and Nesryn Faliq have arrived in the shining city of Antica to forge an alliance with the Khagan of the Southern Continent, whose vast armies are Erilea’s last hope. But they have also come to Antica for another purpose: to seek healing at the famed Torre Cesme for the wounds Chaol received in Rifthold.

After enduring unspeakable horrors as a child, Yrene Towers has no desire to help the young lord from Adarlan, let alone heal him. Yet she has sworn an oath to assist those in need—and will honor it. But Lord Westfall carries shadows from his own past, and Yrene soon comes to realize they could engulf them both.

In this sweeping parallel novel to the New York Times bestselling Empire of Storms, Chaol, Nesryn, and Yrene will have to draw on every scrap of their resilience if they wish to save their friends. But while they become entangled in the political webs of the khaganate, deep in the shadows of mighty mountains where warriors soar on legendary ruks, long-awaited answers slumber. Answers that might offer their world a chance at survival—or doom them all

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas takes place along side the events of Empire of Storms, which gives us a glimpse into how actions and events from Empire of Storms are perceived by the characters who aren’t there. This really added another layer to the story.

We follow Chaol and Nesryn as they travel to the southern continent to attempt to pursude the king to join them in battle as well as seeking out healers with magic to assist Chaol in reeling from his injuries in Rifthold.

When I first started reading ‘Tower of Dawn’ I really didn’t know if I was going to enjoy it at all. I had just come off of reading ‘Empire of Storms’ which left us on a critical point in the story and I really just wanted to know how that specific story line was going to play out in ‘Kingdom of Ash’.

Even though I was keen to skip over ‘Tower of Dawn’ I didn’t, the things we learnt throughout the story were just as shocking and had me on the edge of my seat as anything that happened in ‘Empire of Storms’. we learnt some things that are crucial to the story and honestly had me shocked!

I cannot wait to get to ‘Kingdom of Ash’ and wrap up the story that has had me on the edge of my seat from the very beginning. But this ending will be a little bitter sweet. ‘Throne of Glass’ is such a mammoth series that it feels like a hell of an achievement to have gotten this far mixed with the sadness of finishing such an enjoyable series.

Regardless, I can’t wait to get reading.

Plot: 7/10
Ease of reading: 6/10
Character Development: 6.5/10
World Building: 7.5/10
Quality of Writing: 7/10
Stars: 4.5/5

What are your thoughts on the ‘Throne of Glass’ Series?

November TBR

I know this is super late to post however, I still wanted to post it, just to have a record of my reading plans for the month of November.

I know there are a lot of books there, however I am participating in the Triwzard Tournament readathon which requires a few books so most are for that.

What are your November reading plans?

Review: ‘Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire’ By J.K. Rowling

‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’

By J.K. Rowling

Book 4 in the Harry Potter Series

Publisher: Scholastic Trade
Date: 2000
Pages: 734
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Fantasy
Days to Read: 145
Purchase Locations: Amazon & Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

Harry Potter is midway through his training as a wizard and his coming of age. Harry wants to get away from the pernicious Dursleys and go to the International Quidditch Cup. He wants to find out about the mysterious event that’s supposed to take place at Hogwarts this year, an event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn’t happened for a hundred years. He wants to be a normal, fourteen-year-old wizard. But unfortunately for Harry Potter, he’s not normal – even by wizarding standards. And in his case, different can be deadly.

‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ was the 4th book in my annual Harry Potter reread.

Obviously ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ is the 4th book in the Harry Potter series. We follow Harry Potter, a wizard as he heads to school for his fourth year. In the fourth year things are a little different. Instead of students competing in the house Quidditch Cup, they are being joined by students from Dermstrang and Beauxbaton’s who are travelling to Hogwarts to participate the Triwizard Championship. With this deadly competition underway Harry will experience anything but a regular year at Hogwarts.

Harry is our main character. He is the Chosen one. The boy who lived. With all these labels I felt that Harry was no where near as arrogant as he could be. I sometimes feel as though he can be a little to naive. However within the context of ‘The Goblet of Fire’ Harry is a 14 year old boy thrust into something that magically he isn’t ready for which makes the lack of confidence and humble behaviours logical. He can be very hot headed throughout.

‘Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire’ is where the Harry Potter series really takes a darker turn and things really begin to kick off. It is my least favourite of the Harry Potter books but it is definitely necessary for the development of the story.

The Harry Potter series is one that I will always love!

“What’s coming will come and we’ll meet it when it does”

Plot: 9/10
Ease of reading: 8/10
Character Development: 9/10
World Building: 9/10
Quality of Writing: 9/10
Stars: 5/5

Some of the Series I haven’t started yet!

Just like my recent post about series that I had started but still needed to finish, I’ve got a LOT of series that I haven’t even started yet.

In the Waking Lands series we follow Elanna as she is forced to run for her life! This series sounds really good, I honestly don’t know why I haven’t picked it up yet.

The Shades of Magic series is one that I think I will be picking up soon! Not only am I heading to England soon but I’ve really wanted to pick this series up! In this we follow a magic jump Kel who travels between the different London’s.

This is a series that I first heard about from Inabookshell on YouTube. I love Greek mythology. This series is another series based in Greek myth. I think I will pick this one up soon.

This is honestly a Duology I am so excited to read, i need to get to it as soon as I can!

The Iskari Trilogy is one I don’t know much about. All I read was dragons and dragon slayer and I was in. The third book isn’t out yet, but I kind of want to get to this series before it comes out.

the Nyxia triad is a science fiction trilogy. I love a good science fiction book and can’t wait to read these ones.

I only have the first 2 books in ‘The Keys to the Kingdom’ series, but its one that I am yet to start. I picked these up because I was interested in reading a Garth Nix book but wanted to start with some thing more middle grade, and here we are.

I only have the first book in this series so far the first instalment ‘Shoot the Messenger’ By Pippa Dacosta.

Honestly the cover of this book is what really drew me to the series in the first place.

This seems like a science fiction Fantasy series I can get behind.

The Seven Realms series is one that I picked up after seeing on Brittany the Bibliophile’s channel. She absolutely raved about them, I feel as though I have a similar taste in books to her and I am hoping that when I get to them I will love them just as much as she does!

This is one of those epic fantasy series that I wanted to get too. I haven’t read to much about it but the artwork alone seems incredible. The Falling Kingdoms series has been around for a while, but I am still keen to get to it.

For both the ‘Snow like Ashes’ series and the ‘Three Dark Crowns’ series I only have the first book. For some series I like to purchase the whole series before I start reading, for others I just pick up the first book .

The Hibiscus Daughters Duology is a magical realism series, with some of the most stunning covers. This is another series that I saw on YouTube and was drawn to.

Book Series I Haven’t Finished Yet

of course I have a ton of series that I haven’t finished yet, but that I desperately want to get too. Here are the series I’ve started but haven’t quite finished yet.

I’ve begun (and absolutely love) the ‘Keeper of Lost Cities’ Series. I am really looking forward to continuing.

This is the second book in the second book in the ‘Even the Darkest Stars’ series. I haven’t gotten to this one yet.

The ‘Cucumber Quest’ volumes are ones that were a quick read for me, but that the girls absolutely love. I definitely want to finish off the series, just to see what happens.

The ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ Series is another one that is a quick read that I really enjoy. I only have the first 2 books in the series so far but definitely want to collect these ones for me to read (and for my future kids)

The ‘Kiranmala in the Kingdom Beyond’ is a middle grade series that is really enjoyable to read. I read the first book ‘The Serpent’s Secret’ By Sayantani Dasgupta last year and really enjoyed it. The second book ‘Game of Stars’ came out this year and its on my ‘to get to soon’ list.

‘Arlo Finch in the Lake Moon’ is the second book in the Arlo Finch series by John August. This is another middle grade adventure that I started last year, but I haven’t got to the second one yet.

‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ By Jenny Han, is a contemporary series I really enjoy. I’ve read the first 2 books in the series but still need to finish the last book, ‘Always and Forever, Lara Jean’

‘The Wizard of Once: Twice Magic’ By Cressida Cowell, is the second book in the ‘Wizards of Once’ series.

I’ve picked up the book, but I really want to get into the second book in the series.

‘Archenemies’ by Marissa Meyer is the second book in the Renegades trilogy. The third book hasn’t come out yet, but I really want to get up to date on the series.

‘A Witch Alone’ By James Nicol is the sequel to ‘The Apprentice Witch’ this is a middle grade fantasy book about a girl learning to become a witch and all her trials and triumphs.

I really enjoyed the first book this is a series I definitely want to continue.

The confectioner’s Chronicles is a series I discovered this year. There are currently 4 books in the series, including a prequel novella. I’ve yet to get past book one. I do want to continue with the series. Its a concept I haven’t really seen before, however it is not high on my priority list.

‘The Adventurers Guild: Twilight of the Elves’ by Zack Loran Clark and Nick Eliopoulos is the second book in Adventurer’s Guild series.

This is a middle grade series involving elves magic and fantastical creatures.

I am absolutely obsessed with this series. I’ve been spacing out the read of it since the books are so detailed and in depth that they take me a little longer to read. I now only have 3 books left in the series ‘Empire of Storms’; ‘Tower of Dawn’ and ‘Kingdom of Ash’.

I recently started this series by reading ‘Red Queen’. I am hoping to get to the rest of the series this year, although that could be a little ambitious.

I have just started the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard. I am currently reading ‘The Sword of Summer’ By Rick Riordan. I am definitely biased. I love Rick Riordans book and mythology!

There are probably a bunch more series that I haven’t mentioned, but these are the main ones!

What are some series you are in the middle of?