Book reviews · Books

Book review: Four Dead Queens

Hey all! Today I bring you a review of a book that I’ve been looking forward to read ever since I read the first few chapters as a preview! I am glad I read this after the last semester was done because it would have definitely kept me up all night!

Title: Four Dead Queens

Author: Astrid Scholte

Goodreads / Book Depository / Wordery

43307697

Summary: The kingdom of Quadara was once one kingdom, but after the king died, four Queens took his place. For each quarter of the kingdom, one Queen is responsible

  • Eonia, where the scientists are. Eonists are never to show emotions.
  • Archia is most known for their agriculture, where no technology is used. The Archians provide the food for everyone
  • Ludia is known for entertainment en culture. Ludists are seen as extravagant and joyous
  • Toria is where the exploration happens. Torians are known for their curiosity

 

Besides the ruling, each Queen represents her own quadrant. The borders between the quadrants are permanent. However, to Keralie, borders don’t mean anything. Keralie is an originally Torian smuggler, working for Mackiel. Anything she smuggles can be sold at the auction. She’s been working for Mackiel for quite some years, and she’s his best. One day, he sends her to steal a comm case, with chips in it. Comm chips are used to recorder memories on, and she needs to get them off of a messenger. The messenger is from Eonia, and when he shows up at the auction, she knows something is wrong. When they end up in a situation where the only possible option for her seems to be to swallow the chips. From the moment she sees the memories recorded on the chips, everything changes. The memories she sees are the deaths of the Queens, all four of them. Together with Varin the messenger, she has to find out who did this, and why the palace hasn’t told anyone yet.

 

This book was honestly AMAZING. I got to read a preview on Netgalley earlier this year, talked about it, and I preordered the book as soon as I was done. Now, I finally had time to read it and good gods, this was one hell of a ride (in the good way of course)!

Most books, as I’ve mentioned before, have a “twist” that you can see coming or not. Most times, I can guess the twist somewhere halfway and sometimes even before I start reading, and luckily this doesn’t take away a lot of fun. This book, however, is full of twists and honestly, none of them did I see coming! At some point I really thought I had it, and even then I was pleasantly surprised to find it was absolutely not the thing I thought it would be.

The plot is quick in the beginning, slows a little in the middle, and just leaps towards the end, and I flew through most of it in one afternoon. The story is told from Keralie’s point of view, and the Queens have some chapters as well. I came to care for the Queens more than I thought, and the story they tell is how they deal with the murders, how the rules affect them in the palace, and how well they know each other. It was amazingly frustrating to read the things about the Queens and then read a chapter from Keralie in which she just has to guess the same things!

The characters are all well-evolved. Keralie is a smuggler, and she knows how her job, how her life works more than anyone. Working together with anyone, let alone a messenger from Eonia, is difficult. Trusting anyone is not something happening at all, not the way she’s learnt it. She is from Toria, always on the lookout, always wanting to know everything, and Varin just seems like a stone-cold brick from Eonia, not showing or telling anything. Throughout the book, they get to know each other, a little, and learn how the other works as well. I liked that it’s not immediately love at first sight, because it definitely isn’t.

The Queens are very well representing their own quarter, each one exactly as their own land should be. However, there are a lot more secrets underneath, and finding them out was like discovering hidden candies in the store. Each chapter brought me more and more information and more interest to read on.

The ending came together really well, at some point I had no idea how this was ever supposed to end well, and I can’t say a lot without spoiling, but this book really had me at the edge of my seat at most times.

All in all, I loved it, and I really look forward to reading more of this author’s work!

Check out all my reviews here!

-Luci


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Book reviews · Books

(ARC) Book review: Shadow Frost

Hey all! Since my last post, I said I might be able to keep up with a blogging schedule.. Guess what happened ^^;

In all honesty, I planned on it, but it took me like half an hour to write three lines so it was a bit difficult. And then on Wednesday night, the kid got brought here, and then it was mostly hot, more hot, more hot and busy! But I did find some time to write the review so here it is!

Title: Shadow Frost (Shadow Frost #1)

Author: Coco Ma

Goodreads / Book Depository / Wordery

43611226

Summary: Asterin Faelenhart is the Princess of Axaria and heir to the throne. When there are rumours of a demon terrorizing the kingdom, soldiers from the royal guard are sent to slay it. Except.. the soldiers don’t come back. Asterin feels terrible for everyone in the kingdom, and when she discovers she may hold the key to defeating the demon, she decides to slay it herself. Although many trained soldiers did not return, and her mother is pleading her to stay, she starts the hunt together with her friends. During the journey, she discovers things about her friends she didn’t know before, and together, they discover a lot more about the demon that no one knew before… although, that’s what they think.

I got approved for this eARC so thanks to NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing for that! This review is my opinion only, and receiving the eARC did not affect that in any way.

I was excited to receive the eARC because the story pretty much sounded exactly like something I will always read and love. And, correctly, I really liked it. Also: LOOK AT THAT COVER *heart eyes*

Asterin is a princess who loves fighting. I’m all for those kinda characters. She wants to be able to protect her kingdom, so despite her mother’s arguments, she learns how to fight and defend herself. Asterin is omnified, meaning she can wield more than 3 elements. She tries to please her mother but it is difficult because she can’t wield every single one and keeps being pushed to try.

Luna is Asterin’s lady-in-waiting and best friend. She doesn’t remember her past, but has lost both her parents and has trouble wielding any magical element. She and Asterin are very close, and they would do anything for each other. She and Eadric, Captain of the Royal Guard are together.

Orion is the personal Royal Guard of Asterin, and her other best friend. He is teaching her how to fight, and they’re quite close. They’re not in love, but they would do anything for each other, like brother and sister.

Rose and Quinlan are two people coming in later in the book. They are from another kingdom, Eradore, and will be going along with Asterin on her journey. Throughout, they get to know each other, and become great friends.

Harry is a hunter they meet along the way. Harry doesn’t tell a lot about himself but he helps them hunt down the demon and lets them sleep in his house.

The great thing about this book is NO LOVE TRIANGLE. It’s really great that it exists and I’m just so happy. This book has fierce women, something I always love, and appreciate. The guys in this book are mostly regular guys, except that they’re not too shy on talking about their feelings, more bonus points! I won’t get further into relationships because I might give away some spoilers but it was all really awesome.

The story started great immediately. I was hooked from the start, and although it did take me quite a while to finish it, I really was into it. The story follows Asterin and her friends on a journey to slay a demon. During the journey, they find out a lot about the demon they will slay, but they will also find out a lot about themselves. There’s magic, friendship, and many more awesome things.

The magic system works with elements called affinities. There are 9 elements. Everyone who was born was usually born unifinitied, meaning they can wield one element. Those who could wield both are called bifinitied, and people who could wield three elements were called trifinitied. The few people who could wield more than three elements are called multifinitied. The very rare people who could wield all elements are called omnifinitied. Those people were legends, and none of them are known to be living these days. This magic system is different than other books I’ve read. The fact that magic works with stones gives it another nice twist to the story. I liked to see how people in the book use their magic for different things and how it worked for them.

The “big thing” happening didn’t really surprise me since I had seen it coming for a bit. Which is not a bad thing, because I have that with most books. What I didn’t expect, however, was how the characters reacted to it. I really liked the outcome of it all and I could see that they had grown throughout the book.

The only difficult thing was the format on the eARC: most new paragraphs started with half a word and continued on the next line. I don’t think this is something with the book but with my phone because I have this problem with almost every eARC I’ve been reading.

Overall I really liked this book, and I’m happy to have received this ARC. I look forward to the next book in the series!

Did you read this book, or would you want to read it? Do you have any recommendations based on this review? Don’t hesitate to tell me! 🙂

Check out all my reviews here!

-Luci


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Book reviews · Books

Book review: Rivers of London

My boyfriend had the first book borrowed from the library at his work for AGES and said he’d think he’d like the series, so of course I bought the entire series ^^; I read the first one and really liked it!

 

Title: Rivers of London (Peter Grant #1)

Author: Ben Aaronvitch

Goodreads / Book Depository

10086357

Summary: Peter Grant works with London’s Metropolitan Police and he dreams of being a detective. Too bad for him, he gets assigned to the Case Progression Unit, where nothing happens, basically. That is, until he suddenly gets close to a murder, and finds an eyewitness. The only problem is that the witness is a ghost, and technically, they don’t exist.. right? Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale investigates the murders around magic, and Peter finds out that ghosts are the least weird thing in London.

This book was a nice read, in the beginning, it seemed normal, just someone working with the Police, wanting to be a detective, nothing wrong with that. When the ghost appeared, I thought it was going to be a book about ghosts. When the story unraveled further, I got more and more interested in everything that was happening – and more was happening every time.

Peter Grant seemed like an actual “normal” main character to me.. Not that there’s anything bad with anything else, but he was just a guy, wanting a certain job, and then found out he could talk to ghosts, and had magic that he was getting taught. Some things really took him some time to learn, which was nice because it wasn’t the regular “Oh I’ve found out I can do magic and suddenly I can do almost everything”. He got into problems, of course he did, and managed his way out of them (sometimes).

Lesley was his colleague, whom he kind-of-fancied, but who was a great friend too. She believed him and his magic, but didn’t think anything weird of it. She was nice, and it was great that they didn’t fall in love within the first three chapters (I’ll give no spoilers for the rest of the book).

Thomas Nightingale was a bit weird, but a good kind of weird. He taught Peter the magic, and helped him. He didn’t have a lot of story in this book,  but who knows what’ll happen in the books to come – it seems like Peter has a lot more magic to learn.

The various mythical creatures -like the water gods- are written really well, and it made the book a lot more diverse. I loved how those creatures were set up in the book, and how they managed around London. The magic around London wasn’t all that visible, but to the reader, it was. I liked how it was like ancient magic set in modern day, and not a complete new world with new terms, races, and everything that comes with. The references to other (modern day) books/series are also very much there, which was great.

This book also has quite a bit of the dry British humor, and slang, too. I must say, I did come across words that I absolutely had no idea what they meant, but it was great because 1. I knew it was really set in London, and not just some simplified version of London and 2. I learned new words.

Overall I really liked the book and I would consider this an easy read, because it wasn’t too difficult to learn everything magic because it isn’t a whole new world as mentioned before. Sometimes, that’s really nice to read about. I will definitely be continuing the series!

Did you read this book? What did you think?

Check out all my reviews here!

-Luci


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Book reviews · Books

Book review: Mythos

Heya! Today I bring you the review of Myhtos, which I read a looooong time ago (like, 6 months or so or even a year). It won’t be a very long post, but I’ll be honest, books like these, with a lot of short stories are difficult to summarize. I could summarize every myth told in one sentence, but even then I think that would take up quite some time 😉

 

Title: Mythos

Author: Stephen Fry

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35074096

The Greek myths retold, by Stephen Fry this time. As you might know, I looove mythology, from Percy Jackson to Gaiman’s Norse Mythology. I adore all kinds of mythology books and can easily get lost in all those stories. I must say that the Greek ones are my favorite so far, and this book really helped with that.

I listened to Mythos as an audiobook, which was a great experience. It was one of the first audiobooks I ever listened to (after continuing American Gods with a physical copy, I think. Or before.. I don’t remember), and I loved it. It was read by Stephen Fry himself, which was even greater. He has a nice voice to listen to, and because it’s his own book, he knew exactly how to tell everything.

What I really liked was how Fry explained some things by making references to the current world and way of living. It made me help understand it easier, and it was a great addition to the myths. He also put it all to a quite accurate timeline, which was nice to read. It definitely helped me to see the great view of them all.

I don’t have a particular favorite myth that he told, but to be honest, there’s a lot in this book. Overall, it was great to read/listen to, and I think I might read the physical book too one day 🙂

We also found the second book, Heroes, in the bookstore in the matching edition! we immediately bought it and found out that it had only been out for a day or so, so that was really nice 🙂 I haven’t read that one yet, but I surely will!

Did you read this book? Did you like it? What was your favorite myth?

Check out all my reviews here!

-Luci


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Book reviews · Books

Book review: The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet

 

THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SMALL SPOILERS FOR THIS BOOK

Title: The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1)

Author: Becky Chambers

Goodreads / Book Depository

28412145

Summary: The crew of the Wayfarer gets a new member: Rosemary Harper. The Wayfarer is a ship that punches holes through space to travel, which makes her job on the ship dangerous, but everything is better than where she came from. When they get an offer to build a hyperspace tunnel to a distant planet, they’ll earn enough money to live comfortably for years … if they survive the long trip through war-torn space without endangering any of the fragile alliances that keep the galaxy peaceful. Together, they will have to live, fight and survive, but everyone’s got their secrets.

Okay, so for starters I LOVED THIS BOOK. My boyfriend and I both wanted to read it for quite a while, and when he got it as a blind book date, we decided to buddy-read. We both loved the hell out of this book, so I hope we’ll both like book two as well!

I’ll try to list my favorite things because damn.

“Do not judge other species by your own social norms”

  1. The story: there’s no heroine, who saved the world from evil and has a thousand secrets but they’re all forgiven because she saved everyone. Its a crew, and a tight one. They’re family, they all have their secrets, and they couldn’t care about each other more than they already do.
  2. The species. There’s SO MANY different species in this book! Now, usually, I’d think this as overwhelming, but these were all really thought out well. I loved how there were species who identified with ‘they’ or ‘xe’. Usually, there are humans, and some other species who are ‘weird’. Here, everyone is weird. most of all, the Humans
  3. Nothing overwhelmingly bad is happening!! I looove books where things can go wrong all the time, but this is honestly just a space story about a sweet crew and it’s amazing
  4. All the characters. There are a lot, and each and every one of them has their own story, whether that’s revealed at the beginning or later in the book. Everyone is important, none more than anyone other.
  5. THERE IS A SPECIES WHO TRANSFORMS FROM WOMAN TO MAN TO NONE AND IT’S JUST A REGULAR WAY OF LIFE FOR THEM.

There’s probably a lot more that I’m forgetting, which is why I’ll also do the regular review-thingy 😉

First of all, Rosemary. This book starts with her, obviously, coming aboard the Wayfarer. She’s a bit anxious that she won’t be accepted, but we don’t learn what actually happened before until much later in the book. She get’s shown around by Corbin, who’s basically a grumpy man who hates other people, but does his job well. We meet a lot of the main characters right away, which is the entire crew.

Ashby is the captain, who’s walking with a secret too. He tries to do what’s best for everyone, but sometimes, that’s damn difficult. Especially with the different species already on board, life isn’t always simple and neither are decisions. He and Sissix are quite close, but in a normal way. Sissix is a species that’s very close to others, which is shown as she nuzzles Ashby’s neck sometimes. This, for her, is something completely normal, as it is just a way of showing fondness.

Kizzy and Jenks are the techs who keep everything running. They banter a lot, but they love their crew and their ship. Kizzy is someone I could see myself being friends with, honestly. She seems awesome. Ohan are a species that are a Pair. They’re part of the crew, too, but mostly keep their distance.

And last, but not least, there’s Dr. Chef, who is the cook. He has a herbal garden aboard and loves to cook for everyone. Lovey is the Wayfarers sentient AI and has feelings for Jenks. She may be a system, but to the crew, she is part of them, as she talks with them and compared to other AI systems, she’s a lot more personal.

Overall I loved the book, the different sides of all species, and the adventures they had together. I felt like the Wayfarer didn’t just have a crew, it had a family. A family that’s close, that will accept anyone in it. Of course, there are some parts where angsty stuff happens, they can cause war any time, after all.

 

Check out all my reviews here!

-Luci


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