The Last Namsara (Iskari #1) by Kristen Ciccarelli

Synopsis

Asha is a dragon-slayer. Reviled by the very people she’s sworn to protect, she kills to atone for the terrible deed she committed as a child. 
  
One that almost destroyed her city, and left her with a terrible scar. 
  
She wears her scar with pride, but to others, her skin tells a story of devastation, of fiery deaths, of Asha’s irredeemable wickedness.

Only the death of Kozu, the First Dragon, will bring Asha true redemption and unite her father’s fractured kingdom. But no one battles Kozu and lives, so to defeat him she will have to do some very wicked things…
From: Gollancz
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‘The Last Namsara’ published by Gollancz (October 12, 2017)
I fought for this book. Literally. I had to dive my hand into a box full of shredded paper at the same time as four other people and try to find a golden egg in order to win this book. The result: a worsen eczema and a beautiful arc of The Last Namsara. Such is the beauty of book conventions.

Sometimes I get feelings about books; sometimes I’m wrong about them, sometimes I’m right. The first time I saw this book was on the same day I won it and I instantly knew I wanted it. I knew I needed to read it because there was something irradiating from it, like a kind of invisible light that only I could see. When I got it in my hands, I was even surer than before: I knew this book was special and I couldn’t wait to read it.

I finished it a couple of minutes ago. There is a familiar emptiness in my chest that always comes after the end of something I didn’t want to end. But there is also something else: a strange feeling that I would’ve come across this book no matter how or where because it was my destiny to read it.

The Last Namsara is a reminder of the importance of stories. It is a testament to their mighty power which cannot be silenced by anything or anyone. It is a story about stories, a tapestry of intertwined tales that isn’t yet finished. Most of all, it is the story of a girl who made the grave mistake of believing in what other people thought she was, instead of finding out for herself.

Don’t expect this book to be a straightforward tale of dragons and ruthless hunters: that is just the surface. This is a tale about identity and injustice, disillusion and violence. It is a story about a girl – Asha – who is forced to take hard decisions and to understand who she is after her choices become consequences. Asha is a heroine every girl should read about because she evolves into the person she always wanted to be without even realising it. She reminds us that we can become who we have always wanted to be, but were too scared to; most importantly, she makes us understand that regardless of whatever other people have to say about us, we can be the exact opposite.

The Last Namsara is a portal into a different world where dragons exist and stories can kill. It is one big lie and a series of unwavering truths. It will burn you from the inside out and you will be surprised to look the same after you read it. But are you the same?

After all, the best books are able to change you, even if no one else can see it.

When you read this one, try to keep its message in mind: only you can have a say in who you really are.

 

Fae
PS: I would like to thank Gollancz for this arc. I think you’re all set to launch a bestseller.
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Pax by Sara Pennypacker

“You going back for your home or for your pet?”
“They’re the same thing.”

Now, this book may be sitting and waiting to be picked up in the children’s section of any bookshop but it sure isn’t a book for children.

Synopsis

Pax was only a kit when his family was killed, and “his boy” Peter rescued him from abandonment and certain death. Now the war front approaches, and when Peter’s father enlists, Peter has to move in with his grandpa. Far worse than being forced to leave home is the fact that Pax can’t go. Peter listens to his stern father—as he usually does—and throws Pax’s favourite toy soldier into the woods. When the fox runs to retrieve it, Peter and his dad get back in the car and leave him there—alone. But before Peter makes it through even one night under his grandfather’s roof, regret and duty spur him to action; he packs for a trek to get his best friend back and sneaks into the night. This is the story of Peter, Pax, and their independent struggles to return to one another against all odds. Told from the alternating viewpoints of Peter and Pax.

From Goodreads

 

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Pax published by HarperCollins (2016)

 

The story is about a boy who needs to leave his pet fox behind because his father says so. The narrative presents two perspectives: the boy’s and the fox’s. Pax, the fox, loves ‘his boy’ more than he loves himself and so does Peter, the boy. The only difference is that only one of the two realises it first.

That can’t end up well, can it?

Continue reading “Pax by Sara Pennypacker”

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Honestly, I would never have picked this book from my endless to-be-read list if it wasn’t for the tv show. I still think about it every day so it only made sense to get myself the book and find out more about the characters to whom I attached myself so fiercely.

Synopsis

Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:

Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mum Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbours secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realises how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

From Goodreads

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Big Little Lies published by Amy Einhorn Books, 2014

Big Little Lies the book ended up being quite different from the tv adaptation. However, both versions are gripping, funny and clever. I was not disappointed but I did wish the ending had been exactly like the show’s.

Continue reading “Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty”

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

I should probably let a few days pass before I write this review. But it feels like I should do justice to the book and do it now.

My heart is gone. It hasn’t been broken; it has been turned to dust. Beauty has that kind of power. So do certain kinds of sadness. And, God, does this book have every kind of beauty and sadness there is in this world.

Synopsis

The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.

From Goodreads

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A Monster Calls published by Walker Books (2012)

This is the sort of story that I can feed the monster inside of me with. It’s juicy and raw, with a sweet and sour sauce. I hope my monster enjoys it because all of my other parts have.

Continue reading “A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness”

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Synopsis

It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive. There is primal horror here, and menace unleashed – within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.

His only defense is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying and elegiac – as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly’s wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark.

From Goodreads

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The Ocean at the End of the Lane published by Headline Publishing Group (2015)

This is the kind of book anyone who was deeply affected by their childhood’s memories will understand. I don’t believe it’s easy or straightforward. It is a fantasy book, yes, but also a strange sort of memoir. The main character is trying to remember his childhood and some of the most important moments of his life. What we are left with is his perspective of what happened in those moments. I said ‘his perspective’ because, after all, “Different people remember things differently, and you’ll not get any two people to remember anything the same, whether they were there or not.”

Continue reading “The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman”

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare

I’ve finished this book months ago but it’s like I haven’t. Not really and not permanently. In fact, I feel like I will be forever reading it. The words seem too reluctant to leave my mind and the characters… those will always stay.

Synopsis

THE INFERNAL DEVICES WILL NEVER STOP COMING.

A net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. Mortmain plans to use his Infernal Devices, an army of pitiless automatons, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last item to complete his plan: he needs Tessa Gray.

Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment, and the tangled threads of love and loss intertwine as the Shadowhunters are pushed to the very brink of destruction in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.

From Goodreads

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Clockwork Princess published by Simon & Schuster (2013)

I don’t really know what I was expecting from The Infernal Devices ending. The only thing I know is that I wasn’t expecting to finish it sobbing my lungs out for an hour or two.

Continue reading “Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare”

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

“Am I not merciful?”

First of all: This book was amazing! My mind is so blown away that I don’t even know where I should start from.

Illuminae is a young adult/science fiction book. It’s written in a very unique way that makes it truly captivating from the beginning until the very end. Believe me, if you start reading it now, you won’t be able to put it down. So I recommend you to not start reading this book at night, I repeat do not start at night. It will always keep you awake for one more page and when you notice the sun is already rising and you have no hours of sleep left. Worth it, since this story is pretty much amazing.

Synopsis

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival mega corporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

From Goodreads

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Illuminae published by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

The story is told through a collection of hacked documents, including interviews, emails, schematics, medical reports, military files, surveillance footages, and more. That’s what makes this book so interesting: you will not find the book format you’re used to. Instead, you get a unique way of telling a story which, in my opinion, was a really original and incredible way to do it.

Continue reading “Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff”