The Secret Runners of New York by Matthew Reilly 

The Secret Runners of New York by Matthew Reilly
Published by Hot Key Books

Book Blurb:

‘The windows on all the skyscrapers are smashed . . .
No power, no lights, no people . . .
It’s a parallel New York of some kind.’

THE COMING END

When Skye Rogers and her twin brother Red move to Manhattan, rumours of a coming global apocalypse are building. But this does not stop the young elite of New York from partying without a care.

CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET?

And then suddenly Skye is invited to join an exclusive gang known as the Secret Runners of New York. But this is no ordinary clique – they have access to an underground portal that can transport them into the future. And what Skye discovers in the future is horrifying: the rumours about the coming apocalypse are true . . .

RUN! AS FAST AS YOU CAN!

As society crumbles and Skye and Red race to figure out how to use their knowledge to survive the impending annihilation, they soon discover that the chaotic end of the world is a fine time for revenge . . .

Courtesy to Definitelybooks (Pansing Distributions) for providing me an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3.5/ 5

My thoughts on The Secrets Runners of New York (Spoiler-free)

This is no ordinary just a parallel universe, it is something beyond that.

Honestly I have read the first few chapters and gave it a reread as they did bored me out a little but when it comes to the section where things got scientifically driven (just a little) I started to get hooked.

Throughout the book I felt some parts are cliche as they are quite predictable but some were exciting and nicely laid, the revelation of what is lurking behind and finding out more what it is and connected to were somehow thrilling. Yet some parts are too fast paced, especially character deaths, too fast (no spoilers). Near the end, less than a 100 pages, things were indeed leaning towards a little more spooky (literally madness) but the ending was sentimental.

Initially, I have expected more from this book because I find the blurb pretty interesting but after finishing it I felt a little disappointed, perhaps I have set my expectations too high as I was expecting more scientific contents and details. 

This book is available at all good bookstores.
Publication date at 26th March 2019.

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Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas (Spoiler Review)

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Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury

Book Blurb:
“A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.
It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend.”

From the throne of glass rules a king with an iron fist and a soul as black as night. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly, knowing that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie… and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

Rating: 4.5/ 5 (1st), 4.65/ 5 (2nd)

Spoilers Ahead! Last warning, read at your own risk!
Click here (Spoiler-free) if you HAVE NOT read the book!

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My thoughts on Crown of Midnight (Spoiler)

There was so much happening in this sequel. The plot twist in the last few chapters threw me off-guard as well as the family history, background and connections which seemed like just the beginning of what’s coming next in book three (most likely). Only after rereading Crown of Midnight, did I realise Sarah has been hinting on Celaena’s identity throughout the book (this is why one should never read too fast).

What I like and dislike from the book.

Missions from the King

I felt these missions truly tested how capable Celaena is to do such dirty work for the king but she turned things around, eventually, by not obeying the King’s command, and only making the kills when necessary. Here, Archer is not an exception (he was but in this one he had made a wrong move). I have said it once but I’ll say it again, you never want to mess with Aldarlan’s most notorious Assassin.

When I was first introduced to Archer’s character I had many mixed feelings about him, I got so mad reading his parts; such an arrogant and fishy person! Ugh, how he had betrayed and lied to Celaena all this while seriously angered me. Then we have the showdown between him and Celaena (EPIC!) and I was like ‘You are so dead’ and wondering how Celaena must be so sick of Archer already. Oh, did I ever warn you Archer.. she is not someone you should mess with..

Also, there were many interesting events that made me curious as well, especially getting to know more about the Wyrdmarks. The never ending doors behind the library’s secret hidden chamber leading to the clocktower (yes, the exact same one outside the castle gardens which has that sick chime all the time) were seriously crazy and that creature lurking in those long forgotten passageways was so erk… gross. Antique items such as Mort, the interesting, funny and talking skull door knob that annoys you with sarcasm — what a brilliant object! Other interesting items like the story and background of the Wyrdkeys were also discussed in detail.

Nehemiah’s death

This is the saddest part (and which pretty much relates to why I hate Archer’s character). Things really took a different route after this incident, and it was hard to contain my emotions when I was reading this scene. ‘Yes, the ship between Chaol and Celaena sank so deep.. too deep, it was just so messed up’. (Sorry Chaolaena shippers) — I’m telling myself to keep a neutral stand from now on on pairings (because it just gets too crazy from one book to the other, I’m not joking!)

Dorian has MAGIC!

I really love Dorian’s character development in this book, I see him growing as a King rather and not a prince. Dorian having Magic in his blood was one of the most interesting bits ever (not forgetting Mort the doorknob)! He has the power to freeze things when there’s danger, how cool is that? (He is still learning to harness his powers, I can’t wait to see how he uses them)

Behold the Plot Twist!

Celaena’s real identity reveal was totally a MEGA twist! Not Celaena Sardothien but Aelin Ashryver Galathynius. Her family’s history was an honestly crazy one to be discovered by Chaol in the last chapter after sending her off to Wedlyn (A kingdom located east of Erilea, across the Great Ocean) as well as the connections of the Ashveyer bloodline to the Havilliard bloodline.

What I’d like to know from the next installment: More about..

  1. The journey to Wendlyn and of Aelin Ashryver Galathynius.
  2. Not just about Wyrdmarks, but also the Wyrdkeys and mysterious items that were hinted at in a poem. Also, plans that are brewing under the King’s command.
  3. Witches, and their clans from The Witch Kingdom.

Thank you so much if you read this far! You deserve a cookie!

Do share your thoughts on this book/ series with me if you have read it! I would really love to hear them!

Click here to listen to the Crown of Midnight playlist by Sarah J. Maas.

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

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Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury

Book Blurb:
“A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.
It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend.”

From the throne of glass rules a king with an iron fist and a soul as black as night. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly, knowing that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie… and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

Rating: 4.5/ 5 (1st), 4.65/ 5 (2nd)

My thoughts on Crown of Midnight (Spoiler-free)

I actually read this book in 2 days the first time round but have decided to take things a little slow for this reread; realised I have missed so many details from the start! Tabbing was again super fun for this one!

Don’t really want to give away too much details here but in my opinion, Crown of Midnight itself is a book that takes you on an express read – lots of action and gradual character development.

Once again here’s to a continuous epic journey of events taking place after Throne of Glass in this epic sequel!

P/S A lot of scenes were very much detailed, especially some settings around the castle grounds and things were seriously darker than the first book!

Click here (Spoiler Review) if you HAVE read the book!

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury

Book Blurb:
“Nothing is a coincidence. Everything has a purpose. You were meant to come to this castle, just as you were meant to be an assassin.”

When magic has gone from the world, and a vicious king rules from his throne of glass, an assassin comes to the castle. She does not come to kill, but to win her freedom. If she can defeat twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition to find the greatest assassin in the land, she will become the King’s Champion and be released from prison.

Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her.

And a princess from a foreign land will become the one thing Celaena never thought she’d have again: a friend.

But something evil dwells in the castle—and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying, horribly, one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival—and a desperate quest to root out the source of the evil before it destroys her world.

Rating: 4.5/ 5 (1st), 4.65/ 5 ☆ (2nd)

Hello friends, I’m back with a book review for 2019! Hooray! I have started off by re-reading the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas and I can’t wait to see how things goes and I’m so proud that I managed to tab my books this year (which I wanted to do a long time ago but did not manage to tab consistently till the end)! I am so satisfied to have made it happened. Do you tab or annotate your books?

Here’s a picture of my copy of Throne of Glass being tabbed by me!

Now, let’s get into the review!

My thoughts on Throne of Glass (Spoiler-free)

Betrayal, deadly and gory.

Trust me, you would not want to mess with Adarlan’s Most Notorious Assassin!

Once again it has been a roller-coaster ride even after a reread! I left this series back in 2016 when I stopped at Queen of Shadows (Book 4) and here I am 3 years later picking it back up to finish it. Kingdom of Ash (Book 7) is here (I waited for it actually, and now that the finale is out, it is time for a TOG Marathon) and I still can’t wrap my mind around the thought that the series has come to an end.

I was not completely hooked with the first few pages which was paced a little slow for me (it did not change since I first read it back then) but it gets really interesting after the first few pages. Throne of Glass itself is sort of a Cinderella retelling but with a dark twist!

The characters’ introductions were amazing. Each one has a strong voice and I can really feel and sense their raw emotions clearly. Aside from this, the friendship and trust between the characters are everything, Sarah has really done a beautiful job with this one and I really like it! Also, each scene from the book will just made you go mouth gaping and ewwwww, gross kind of feeling (bloody I say). As for the romance section, you can sense a love triangle coming (your ships will go wild even from the first book! Trust me, it will go even wild further down the road).

As this series is dear to my heart I’m going to move on to the spoilers and I’m going to pour out my feelings for this book, so come back and read it once you have read the book (don’t spoil yourself! Please don’t!)


My thoughts on Throne of Glass (Spoilers)

Hmm, where should I start? There are so many thoughts floating in my head which I want to put into this section, but I don’t want to turn this into a 4-5 page essay, as I don’t think anyone will read it (but thank you in advance if you would, haha).

Here is to a Cinderella tale with a dark twist and a dash of Game of Thrones.

The plot is utterly fantastic! I love how everything started and transformed into an even darker version of what it initially was. The best part: the existence of Magic! Not to mention, the map illustration was stunning and it fits perfectly (a round of applause to the illustrator, you have really done a good job!). I was able to clearly visualize and navigate myself while reading, like I’m living in each and every scene, from the Salt Mines of Endovier to the glass castle in Adarlan to the tests and duels that take place.

From the start to the end, (excuse me, I’m still learning how to breathe again) I was glued to my chair the whole time during each battle. The archery scene was fierce, the wall climbing was a risky one but saving Nox was a good choice although dueling with Cain was a crazy one (It was like Celaena was breathing fire!)

One of the best lines from this scene (page 367):
“Move, and I’ll spill your throat on the ground,” she said, her jaw aching. – Page 368

The mysterious falling of Champions one after another was also part of the main plot which is written with such gory details that I almost felt like puking. Nonetheless, I really wanted to know more about the Wyrdmarks (By the Wyrd, I need to know more). Betrayal in this series was also a main theme, such as poor Kaltain being used.

Characters

Celaena Sardothien
Oh Celaena Sardothien, how I adore you! Trust me, you would not want to mess with her. I love how strong, teeth-clenching and vicious she is from the start (snapping like no one’s business). I even tabbed on the lines she spoke while reading. (How can you resist such charm from this deadly and kicka** character, one who went through a lot from the start, and from a very young age). To be the King’s Champion (as she is now), and one who loves reading; I almost wept when she laid her hands on the piano forte and gracefully expressed her emotions, reliving the sad memories she had had with Sam (their story is told in The Assassin’s Blade).

Also, the building of friendship and trust between Celaena and Nehemia was well-done – gradually progressing from doubting each other to no more secrets between them. Chapter 51 (from page 376), in my opinion, contained the most heart-warming scene between these two characters.

Dorian Havilliard
Dorian giving Celaena a puppy was the most adorable thing ever! Fleetfoot is so sweet whenever she curls up like a ball (I definitely have a soft spot for her). I yearn for more of Dorian’s character development in future books although I already love him in this one! Although Dorian did win Celaena’s heart for a moment (an achingly beautiful relationship), I still value their friendship more and am glad he did not push it further as she wished not to after being the King’s Champion.

Chaol Westfall
Oh Chaol, Captain of the guard, how can I not write about you, his character development is so loyal but taken with precaution, step by step throughout the book. I can tell he has feelings for Celaena but most of the time he conceals them and can be harsh at times. But the highly emotional “Get Up” scene caught me off guard, with its powerful writing. The strength he gave to Celaena was so strong and the scene zooming in on their fingers on that chalk line (Page 359) was unbearable and epic!

What would I like to know more from the next installment?

I’m highly curious about Wyrdmarks and what’s brewing within and after (I know what’s going to come and what creatures are lurking around but I’ll keep this for upcoming reviews for the next few books in the series, I don’t want to give away too much even though I have already read up to QOS). And not forgetting Celaena’s past and future, other characters and the Eye of Elena!

Stay tuned for more!

Do share your thoughts on this book/ series with me if you have read it! I would really love to hear them!

My 2018 Reads

Wowzeeee, is unbelievable that today is the last day of 2018, this year was both wonderful and challenging for me from balancing with my personal life to being a full-time Uni student.

I personally use Goodreads as my personal book tracker to indicate how many books I manage to read every year via the Goodreads Reading Challenge. My target for this year was to complete 12 books but I have only managed to read 8 (I guess I need to work on it more next year, definitely!)

I’m so glad and happy that I have pushed myself to start blogging again this year in the mid of August and allocating some time to read and to break that reading slump of mine. 

I think I should get into the main gist of my post or else this is going to be dragged into an essay of me ranting instead of blogging? haha. Let’s have a look what I have picked up this year! 

2018 GR Challenge BannerI’m really happy to pick up Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli which was the book that got me into reading again. I’m personally a huge fan of contemporaries and this was a really good one!

It’s a wrap guys! I hope this upcoming new year treats me better, have my goals accomplish and of course toast to more books to read! Wishing everyone Happy New Year’s Eve and a Happy New Year! May 2019 bring you joy and happiness! Lots of love, xoxo.

Banner edits by Jonathan Ho

Soundless by Richelle Mead

Soundless

Soundless by Richelle Mead
Published by Razorbill

Book Blurb:

In a village without sound…

For as long as Fei can remember, no one in her village has been able to hear. Rocky terrain and frequent avalanches make it impossible to leave the village, so Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink. Many go hungry. Fei and all the people she loves are plunged into crisis, with nothing to look forward to but darkness and starvation.

One girl hears a call to action…

Until one night, Fei is awoken by a searing noise. Sound becomes her weapon.

She sets out to uncover what’s happened to her and to fight the dangers threatening her village. A handsome miner with a revolutionary spirit accompanies Fei on her quest, bringing with him new risks and the possibility of romance. They embark on a majestic journey from the peak of their jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiguo, where a startling truth will change their lives forever…

And unlocks a power that will save her people.

Rating: 2.8/ 5 ☆

My thoughts on Soundless (Spoiler-free)

It has been awhile since I have jumped right back into anything fantasy. I have got this copy some time ago from Bookxcess (one of my local bookstores here is Malaysia which offers books at an affordable price for readers) and have yet read it, so I wanted to give fantasy another go and to break that fantasy slump of mine.

Since is a standalone I told myself why not give it a try since I’m still not prepared to read any series at the moment.. sorry to say this but this one had disappoint me. (I’m sorry if its your cup of tea but I don’t think it’s mine 50% of the time, but don’t get me wrong fantasy is still one of my favourite genre, but I have lost interest in this genre in the midst of my long overdue bookslump and trying to find my way back into it).

To be frank, I almost Did Not Finish (DNF) this book, but eventually I managed to pulled it through and it took me awhile. I find the plot a little slow in the first place, it gave me the “yes, I’m hooked but no I’m not” feeling. It really took me sometime to grasp the plot as things were very slow in progress, it literally dragged me at some point of time (nearly through 20% to 30% of the book). Also, I personally anticipated a little more of Chinese folklore, culture and Kung Fu which are to be describe in detail with depth but it was not what I anticipated.

Even though the plot was a little slow, but part of the concept behind the story was something new and fresh that I have yet encounter before (the title eventually speaks for itself). However, regarding to the characters, the main character, Fei, her character transitions have eventually turned me off at some point and I was a little annoyed but Li Wei’s character was more sensible to me. Bonus: I can still tolerate the romance and chemistry between these two (the last three chapters near the ending was somewhat the sparks that motivate me to give this book a chance and finish it).

Note: This is only my personal point of view (POV), there is nothing wrong if you enjoy it, as each and everyone one of us are unique so as our opinions and views which is totally fine, cheers!

BTS: Test Your Super-Fan Status by Kate Hamilton

BTS - TYSFS

BTS: Test Your Super-Fan Status by Kate Hamilton
Published by Buster Books

Book Blurb:

Packed with puzzles, quizzes and games, this book will test how much you really know about the world’s newest music sensation. Dedicated followers can enjoy testing their knowledge of the band to find out if they are true super-fans. Activities include fab fill-in stories, word searches, spot-the-difference games and much more! BTS: Test Your Super-Fan Status is a fantastic and fun-filled quiz book on all things. BTS, the breakthrough K-pop band with a global army of fans.

Get ready to reveal your SUPER-FAN STATUS!

Note: 100% Unofficial

Courtesy to Definitelybooks (Pansing Distributions) for providing me a finished copy in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3/ 5 ☆

My thoughts on BTS: Test Your Super-Fan Status (Spoiler-free)

As an ARMY (BTS fandom name) myself, I find this book fun to read, the puzzles, quizzes and crosswords got me attracted because I can really test how well I know this amazing boyband by heart. I can never get over their jokes and memes. Not to mention, their vocals, raps (basically their voices in general) and unbeliebubble performances (yes, I need to throw in Jin’s dad jokes, can’t help it, haha) which always throws me off guard.

But I have found some of the self fill-in short stories have bored me out a little but there are still some parts of the book are short and sweet which I adore. The compilation of details by the author was quite neat. Note: Just a heads up this book is 100% Unofficial.

Overall, to be honest I’m surprised by some of the information from this book too. As for some of them I was unable to guess or have my answer being noted as a correct one (haha).

Bonus: This book also includes 8 pages of gorgeous glossy photos of all seven members (which blown me away, sorry, please ignore my fangirling (can’t help it), they are too handsome and good looking!)

Here’s a picture of BTS (방탄소년단)💜

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Left to right: RM, V, SUGA, JIN, JUNGKOOK, JIMIN, J-HOPE

Okay, this might not be part of the review but I’m listening to some songs by BTS while writing this, do feel free to share what are your favourite songs from BTS!

P/S Happy Birthday V, Kim Tae-hyung (태태) #태태생일ㅊㅋ #태태보라해~💜

This book is available at all good bookstores.