Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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From Goodreads: Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Cinder is a cool, futuristic retelling of the cinderella fairytale within the young adult genre. The world building is detailed and I thought that it was one of the highlights of the novel – you really get sucked into Cinder’s world.  I really liked Cinder as a character – she was smart and funny and kind.  The book itself is quite good and is action packed.  The plot is a bit predictable, but overall it is good.  I liked that the characters were not all carbon copies of each other.  Without spoiling it, one character in particular was very questionable in his methods and whether it was right or wrong what he did.  I would like to see more of that in the future.

The burgeoning relationship between Cinder and Kai was very fun to read.  It was more realistic than most YA romances, in that they developed crushes on each other but weren’t sewn to each other’s side from the moment that they met.  They were very cute and I couldn’t help but ‘ship’ them.  I would give this book a seven out of ten, because it was an enjoyable book and I have already read the sequel, Scarlet.  I can’t wait for the rest of this series to come out!

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Review: Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

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Interview with the Vampire follows the story of Louis, a vampire made in the nineteenth century by the vampire Lestat in New Orleans.   It begins the series known as the Vampire Chronicles. Interview with the Vampire is a very enchanting book.  You get sucked in (no pun intended) from the very start by Rice’s fantastic prose and world building.

One of the things that I love about this book is the atmosphere.  It is dark as expected (it is about vampires) but it also seems to capture the essence of America and New Orleans.  If you read this book you will probably want to visit the place because the book really just makes you want to.

An interesting twist in this book from the normal vampire spiel, is the story of Claudia, a vampire made when she was five years old.  She is Louis daughter/best friend and as she gets older as a reader you really feel her pain, of being an adult trapped inside a child’s body for eternity.

The ending is fabulous.  I don’t want to spoil it, so I won’t say much, but it does leave you feeling for Louis.  The characters introduced in this book are so charismatic that you want to find out more about them, but at the same time that doesn’t make them all good guys.  I really liked that.

Overall I would give this book and eight out of ten because it is really good and this was my second time reading it and I loved it even more than the first time.

Review: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

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 DSC00182This is the story of Santiago, and Andalusian shepherd boy who dreams of travelling the world in search of a treasure as extravagant as any ever found.  From his home in Spain he journeys to the exotic markets of Tangiers and then into the Egyptian desert, where a fateful encounter with the alchemist awaits him.

The Alchemist is a transforming novel about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path and above all following our dreams.

The Alchemist follows the story of a boy named Santaigo as he goes about fulfilling his destiny; finding buried treasure.  I thought that this was a very inspirational book.  There are ups and downs on Santaigo’s path, but he remembers to never give up.  The cost of never trying to find the treasure is higher to him (and everyone) than failure.  This is a very well written book, and I read it pretty fast.  It is under two hundred pages in length.  I enjoyed it and from time to time I felt like it was on the verge of being mind-blowing.  I liked the spiritualism of the book and how it was about never giving up.

Overall I would give this a six out of ten.  I liked it a lot, but for me there was just something missing.

Halloween Reads

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If you have been following this blog for a while, you’ll know that I love fantasy and anything in that kind of vein.  So, I figured I would do a post on some cool books to read coming up to Halloween.

  • Anything by H.P. Lovecraft.  By ‘anything’ I mean any of his books.  I have read his first omnibus and it is awesome.  The tales are creepy, but never gory or over the top.  He is a legend in the horror genre, so is totally worth checking out.
  • The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice.  The first three – Interview with the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat and Queen of the Damned are fantastic books, the rest not so much Imo.  These books are dark and twisted and very well written.
  • I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett.  I know I mention him in like every single post I do but his books are some of the best out there.  Any in the witches/ Tiffany Aching series would be great for getting a person in the Halloween spirit.
  • Grimm’s Fairy Tales.  These are pretty gruesome if you read them as an adult/teenager.  There is one story in there that is about a girl accidentally walking into a den of murderers! Plus if you have a Kindle or other E-Reader, the book is free.

Where to start with the Discworld

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The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett numbers close to forty books by this point.  It is a funny, exciting and sometimes profound series of books, but starting out it can be a bit daunting.  So, here is my guide, as a fan, to where to begin with the Discworld.

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1.  The Colour of Magic/ Light Fantastic omnibus.  This is a little obvious being the first two books in the series.  I started here and I think that it does help to give the reader an idea of the setting of the books and the tone of the early ones.

2. Guards! Guards!.  This is the best ‘early’ book that I have read and it introduces the Watch to the Discworld, who go on to have their own series of books.  I should say ‘mini’ series, because the Discworld series is made up of different ‘mini’ series and standalone novels.

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3. Soul Music.  This is not the first book in the Death series, but I think it serves as a good introduction to Death and Susan.  This also leads into the Hogfather book, which was adapted by Sky a few years back.

October TBR

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I am a big fan of booktube and enjoy watching such and such a month’s to be read posts, so I am going to do the blog version here.  In October I want to read

1. Dagon and Other Macabre Tales by H.P. Lovecraft

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2. Nightwatch by Terry Pratchett

3. The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice

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4. Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice

I don’t expect to get them all done, but a girl can hope right?

PS – I know my pictures are pretty bad – I have a really old camera.

Books I have been Reading 2013

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So it is pretty obvious that I took an extended break from book blogging on here.  I had my reasons, but ultimately they don’t really matter.  This isn’t me coming back to book blogging or anything, but I am still an avid reader and want to share my passion with the world.  Here are some of the books/series of books that I have gotten into in the past year or so.

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  • Cinder and Scarlet both by Marissa Meyer – if you haven’t read it already you should.  Though the premise of a twist on the traditional fairy tales is not original, the books themselves are quite interesting and unique.  Cinder is a cyborg living in a futuristic Asia.  She is really good with machines and technology.  I was really pulled into the story and I have to say that the hype did not disappoint.  I wolfed (pun intended) down the second book in the series Scarlet which is a retelling of little red riding hood and was good in its own right.  Check them out if you like Young Adult Fiction or just want to read something light but good..
  • Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut – this is a modern classic and it totally deserves that title.  It is kind of a hard plot to put into words but basically it is about this guy who was a soldier in World War Two and he perceives time during and after it.  It is incredibly readable and it definitely made me re-evaluate my ideas on warfare.
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – like Cinder I had seen a lot of talk about this one online.  The Night Circus is about these two people who from a very early age are made to take part in a deadly competition between two masters with very different ideas on how one should learn magic.  The book is interesting, but at first I thought it was a bit too sparse on the details.  Overall I really enjoyed it though, and it is a good story with a good resolution to the plot.

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  • Lorna Doone by R.D Blackmore.  This is another classic, but it isn’t as well-known as many other English classical novels. It should be though.  It really should be.  It is about this guy (John Ridd) who is a farmer in rural england, and he is a bit stupid and totally undervalues the women around him.  Until he falls in love with the mystical Lorna Doone, who is basically a lady living with a bunch of blueish blooded bandits.  It is pretty funny in places – like when people point of things to Ridd that he never even thinks about.  I liked I think because it has a lot of charm in it, and a good twist as well.
  • The Earth by Emile Zola.  Another classic, this time by a French author.  The Earth  is chilling and nasty and gritty and the end will surprise and destroy you.  It is about this quaint little farming village in rural France and it should probably be classed as a horror.  Just awesome is all I can say.

Music I listen to when I want to calm down

I am one of those people who gets stressed quite easily, so I have decided to compile a list for people like me.  You may be studying for exams or just stressed out in general.

1. Deva Premal and the Gyuto Monks of Tibet – purification song.

2. Dr Who Soundtrack – Amy’s song

3. Ezios Family from the Assassins’s Creed 2 soundtrack

4. Once Upon  a Time Orchestral Suite from the Once Upon a Time season one soundtrack

5. Belle’s story from the Once Upon a Time season one soundtrack – pretty much the entire soundtrack is awesome.

I hope this helps anyone who needs some calming down.

Three reasons why you should read the Wheel of Time

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Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time is perhaps one of the most hotly debated fantasy series of the past twenty years.  All over the internet you can read about the ups and downs of the series and why is/isn’t worth anyones time.  Since my last post I have read and enjoyed all fourteen of the books in the series.  I was initially on the fence, but now I am a total fan girl.  So, without further ado, here are my reasons why everyone should read the Wheel of Time:

1. Hope – It took me a while to realise this, but the Wheel of Time is a story about hope.  It is kind of like the opposite to GRRM’s A Song of Ice a Fire in this respect.  It raises your spirits as you read the story of Rand and his constant battle before the battle within himself.  Like real life, it isn’t easy for any of the characters and all they have to keep them going is hope.

2. Complexity – Bad guys are not always one hundred percent bad.  Demandred in ‘A Memory of Light’ is not just despicable because of his actions, but because you can see that somewhere deep, deep down this man is fundamentally redeemable.  He could be a hero in another life.  Also, just because the characters dislike some people doesn’t mean that those people are automatically bad guys.

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3.  Characters – there are just so many, but you end feeling for most of them.  Even the most ‘annoying’ ones.  Also, there are strong women in this series, which is always a plus and pretty much ever character (even the more minor ones) goes through some sort of journey.  This is not all that surprising though, because there is something like eleven thousand pages in the entire series.  There is also a lot of humour in the series.

These are just three of the reasons why you should give the Wheel of Time a shot.  Personally, I read all of the books in the series (some people skip certain books) and overall I enjoyed it – but at times I had a love/hate relationship with it.  What are your reasons for reading your favourite series?  Let me know in the comments below.

Goodbye

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Isn’t it funny how our moods, our emotions affect our everyday lives?  Take reading for example – I always find it hard to read when I am stressed, upset or feeling down.  Ironically, that is when I need to read the most.  I try to fight the reading slump as much as I can, but after a while you just have to go with it.  When something stops being fun there really isn’t any point in continuing with it.

I started this blog, originally on blogger, at a really bad point in my reading life.  I had read a lot of books in 2010, and had been on a reading high for several years (barring a small reading slump when I started college).  As I got into 2011 I craved the same enjoyment that I had got out of books before, but it just didn’t happen.  I still loved (and still do love) reading, and I thought that starting a blog might help me to not only keep reading, but also to talk about books and therefore get a more interactive experience.

But that didn’t happen.  Instead I found myself in a strange situation – I wanted to read, and blog about it, but I didn’t have the energy, and when I did have the energy I found myself criticising books that in the past I would have just enjoyed.  I felt that, seeing as I was going to write about it, I had to have both good and bad things to say about them and I had to analyse things.  I also felt pressure to read faster, because most book bloggers read hundreds of books a year.

Likewise, I also found myself putting limits on what I was reading – because I put limits on what I was going to blog about.  For instance, I decided that I wouldn’t review classic books, and so every one that I picked up felt like it was an ’empty’ week – because I obviously wouldn’t be writing about it.

I have a lot of respect for book bloggers – I mean the hours they have to put in to what they do, to do it successfully, must be huge.  The only reason I am writing this at all is because I don’t want to leave this blog open-ended.  Even if no-one reads this, I need closure.  I need to know that the door is shut on ‘I Remember Delight’, and the best way to do that is to publish the words that declare it.

So, basically, this is goodbye.  I want to thank everyone who took the time to read my stuff and to ‘follow’ my blog.  It means a lot to me 🙂