Monthly Rewind: January 2021

Monthly Rewind: January 2021

B O O K S

I actually surprised myself by reading 15 books this month. I have never read this much in a month, but I chalk it up to the UK being on its third lockdown. And now that I’ve graduated, all I can do it look for graduate jobs and read. It feel weird having this much time to read, but I quite enjoyed most of the books I read this month!

  • Six of Crows – I have finally read Six of Crows! I had bought a copy back when it was released but I hadn’t finished the Grisha Trilogy yet. So this book slowly fell down my TBR list because I had taken so long to read the first series. I didn’t like the trilogy that much, but I can definitely see the improvement in SOC. Pray I don’t take four years to read its sequel.
  • Loveboat, Taipei – I have really surprised myself this year with reading more contemporary novels and actually enjoying them for once! Loveboat was so good!
  • The Chosen – Eh, a little disappointing considering I have enjoyed reading Matharu’s previous series with my cousin.
  • Remnants of the Atonement – First DNF of the year 😦 I requested an arc because of a reddit post, but now I feel like I’ve been bamboozled.
  • Get a Life, Chloe Brown – “Yours, Red.” Two damn words and I was a MESS. Damn, who is this person I’ve become that suddenly enjoys contemporary.
  • The Song of Achilles (RE-READ) – I have been playing too much of Supergiant’s Hades. I’ve been desperately trying to reunite Patroclus and Achilles in-game, but it’s hard because I can never seem to find the room where Patroclus can be found.
  • A Place for Us – A book that hit a bit too deep for me. Man, I was sobbing at 3 am.
Continue reading “Monthly Rewind: January 2021”

Review: The Chosen (Contender #1)

Review: The Chosen (Contender #1)

Rating: 3 out of 5.

*I received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book.*

Throughout history, people have vanished with little to no explanation. And now Cade and his schoolmates are one of them. Six months into his new school, contemplating his new, drastic path, he is suddenly transported to another realm. A realm where prehistoric animals and ancient societies have seemingly made a home in this strange world. Cade and his friends have no time to relax when a mysterious being announces them as contenders in a game without rules but to survive. 

I’ll admit there was some confusion on my end because the cover and the original synopsis I had read lead me to believe this series was an extension of Matharu’s Summoner series which I mildly enjoyed. Once the talks of modern school and dinosaurs started popping up, I had a feeling we were not in the Hominum Empire anymore. I laugh at my mistake and then started the book over again. My first thoughts when I finished this book was mild confusion. Even with my initial mistake, I felt like I had been reading a different book than what I set out with initially. I wasn’t particularly blown away, it was good fun to read, but nothing was that special for me, personally. 

What made The Chosen unique was its take on using mystery disappearances. Cade soon learns that many people and creatures he sees before have been reported to have disappeared, never to be seen again. A lot of them have ended up here in this strange world. I was having some fun with this book initially. I initially felt some Lord of the Flies vibes. Matharu does an excellent job of setting the scene, bring together a group of boys as they try to figure out what’s happening to them. They discover buildings and materials from people before them and begin their journey to survival. It is from this moment onwards is where I think the story just loses itself. 

Cade is separated from his peers, and this is where the bulk of the story will continue. He meets more people, discovers bolder enemies and figures how most of his plan on his own. The writing is good, consistent and straight to the point. But I just felt like the story just didn’t know where it was going. Or maybe because it’s a trilogy, it felt stretched out far too much to make any real sense. The boys discover they are running on a countdown very early on in the book, and despite the reminder of the clock, it felt really underwhelming. Cade fights new enemies, creatures and humans alike, but it doesn’t go anywhere. Any semblances of an explanation are revealed only in the final chapter, and at the point, I was more confused than thoroughly informed. 

Overall, The Chosen had the potential to be a lot more eventful and exciting if the journey towards the ending wasn’t so underwhelming. Apart from Cade and another character introduced later on, the rest of the cast blur into each other. We are given signifiers and a somewhat decent backstory for them, but when they’re placed within this world, it becomes the Cade Show, where everyone loses relevance. The mystery does unfold quite interestingly, and I just some faith the sequel can do the series justice, but the introduction is not as exhilarating as it should have been.


GOODREADS | AMAZON | AUTHOR

Book Review: The Inquisition

Book Review: The Inquisition

Rating: ★★★★☆

* I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  This in no way affected my opinion of the book.

After spending a year in prison, 16-year-old Fletcher finally receives a trial but the outcome doesn’t appear good either way. Either he’s convicted for allegedly ordering his demon to kill Didric or they have him on treason for attacking a soldier. After a quick trial and learning a shocking secret about his past, Fletcher soon joins his old friends and enemies on a covert mission into orc territory.

I really enjoyed this one. It did take me a while to remember who was who and what had happened at the end of The Novice so it did take me a while to get into the story but once I did, it was great.

Looking back, I did prefer The Novice, plot-wise, but The Inquisition has faster action and higher stakes with a close look at the enemy Orcs. I’m quite glad the courtroom drama doesn’t drag too long in the first few chapters. It’s quite neat meaning that we learn what we have to know and then it moves on to what’s really important. I’m quite divided about this book in the sense that I enjoyed the great detail of everything as they venture on in their journey but at the same time but I also preferred the more character-driven parts where we see Fletcher interacting with his friends. This conflict for me made it feel like it as partially suffering from Second Book Syndrome just the tiniest bit. But I think I’m a bit too invested in this world and characters to care. There’s also a hint of romance that I guessed would have happened but at the same time, I was still surprised because this book never really focuses on the romance.

This fantasy world is one of my favourites –  it’s so vast and filled with so many different creatures and people. The plot itself only focuses on certain parts of it but there’s potential for the story to reach even further as this world finds itself almost on the verge of war.

The only real criticism I can really say is the sudden influx of new characters. There’s a point where there’s new people and demons alike come in, with new demons comes new demonic descriptions, so that can overwhelm some readers. But I would love to see Matharu release a handbook of some sort featuring all the demons in the series.

Overall The Inquisition is a solid sequel that builds and developed well, leaving you wanting more in the end. If you enjoyed the first book, you should definitely continue reading this series. (Also, R.I.P. me, I seriously died at that cliffhanger)


GOODREADS | AMAZON | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | BARNES & NOBLE

Book Review: The Novice

review_thenovice

Rating: ★★★★☆

Well, I actually quite liked The Novice. A lot. Considering I started this series with not the highest expectations possible. Recently I’ve taken a step back from YA high fantasy but since reading The Novice, I definitely want to come back in.

The Novice follows young blacksmith apprentice Fletcher when he learns how to summon demons and finds himself joining, by chance, the Adept Military Academy. At the academy, those with the gift to summon are trained in the art of summoning and become a battlemage to fight in the Hominum Empire’s war against orcs.

The Novice was an exciting high fantasy novel that was really enjoyable! This series is basically a mix of LotR, GoT and HP, which felt more aimed towards the younger side of the YA book spectrum. I had so much fun reading this novel and its concept was so cool. It has politics, war, clashes between the commoners and nobles with orcs and elves. While the pacing slowed for me in the middle, the rest of the flow was great. All the characters were so wonderfully likeable. Ignatius was basically a mini-Toothless from HTTYD. All the demons just came across as adorable, even the large dangerous ones. It also has a great cast of characters, my favourite being Gen or Sylva.

The world-building is one of my favourite parts of this series. I was so hooked on learning about spells, demons and the Ether from which they originate from. There is so much creativity to it which made is so much more enjoyable. But that ending though… What a cliffhanger. It’s a promising start to a series I know I want to continue.


you can find the book at:
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