Review: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Source: www.headline.co.uk
Source: www.headline.co.uk

“A world of witches, daemons and vampires. A manuscript which holds the secrets of their past and the key to their
future. Diana and Matthew – the forbidden love at the heart of it.

When historian Diana Bishop opens an alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, it’s an unwelcome
intrusion of magic into her carefully ordered life. Though Diana is a witch of impeccable lineage, the violent death of her parents while she was still a child convinced her that human fear is more potent than any witchcraft. Now Diana has unwittingly exposed herself to a world she’s kept at bay for years; one of powerful witches, creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires. Sensing the significance of Diana’s discovery, the creatures gather in Oxford, among them the enigmatic Matthew Clairmont, a vampire genticist. Diana is inexplicably drawn to Matthew and, in a shadowy world of half-truths and old enmities, ties herself to him without fully understanding the ancient line they are crossing. As they begin to unlock the secrets of the manuscript and their feelings for each other deepen, so the fragile balance of peace unravels…”
(Source: www.headline.co.uk)

First I have to say that I am currently in a very witchy mood! I am obsessed with all things witches, I guess it’s because of the season..halloween is not far etc. So since I began to watch Witches of East End again (which by the ways is awesome and I do hope that someday there will be a third season!!) I can’t get enough of witches. And since I had “A Discovery of Witches” on my TBR shelf I picked it up and started reading.
And I freaking loved it from the beginning onwards!

Deborah Harkness created a book with such a unique atmosphere and really great characters that I was sucked right into it. The book is rather thick, it has nearly 700 pages and I needed over two weeks to finish it. But that was one thing I loved about the book. I didn’t rush while reading it. Normally it would have bugged me that I was relatively slow reading this book, but somehow it didn’t. I took my time with it and it was worth it. It isn’t that the book wasn’t exciting or anything, but it just suited the mood in the book. Everything needed time to develop, the plot, the characters and me.
All in all I enjoyed the plot, but sometimes I had to roll my eyes about it. There were parts where the characters did something that wouldn’t make sense to me, but that was just a minor thing. I really loved how the relationship between Matthew and Diana developed. Another one of those taboo relationship, he is a Vampire she a Witch and they are not allowed to be together. But they just don’t care and I say go for it! Those two are just so perfect for each other, I loved every moment they had together. Sometimes they were very frustrating, but more often they were just sweet and funny. The age difference of them made it so much more interesting!
What I also loved about the book is that Diana is a historian and that Deborah Harkens put so much detail into describing it and how she works, it made me wish that I was a historian! It sounded so cool and interesting and the parts where she is at the Bodleian Library at Oxford were so exciting for me, I just had to google images of it! I imagined myself right there with her. That is one of those things that set the mood for me! I loved it!

What I did miss a bit was more of the witchy kind of stuff. Diana didn’t use her powers at first, her power developed throughout the book. I wished for more spells and potions and this kind of stuff. But nearing the end there was some of it..but not enough for my taste 😉

I am really glad I picked up this book. It is one of those special books that stick with you for a long time and make you wish you could crawl right into it to be part of the story!
There are two more books in the series and I already have them at home and can’t wait to continue the story of Diana and Matthew.

Have you read this book? Did like it as much as I did?
Can you recommend any other books/movies/TV-Shows with Witches? Lets hear it!

xoxo

Advertisements

Review: Falling Kingdoms – Morgan Rhodes

Source: www.penguin.com
Source: www.penguin.com

War brought them together. Love will tear them apart.

Princess Cleo of Mytica confronts violence for the first time in her life when a shocking murder sets her kingdom on a path to collapse. Once a privileged royal, Cleo must now summon the strength to survive in this new world and fight for her rightful place as Queen.

The King of Limeros’s son, Magnus, must plan each footstep with shrewd, sharp guile if he is to earn his powerful father’s trust, while his sister, Lucia, discovers a terrifying secret about her heritage that will change everything.

Rebellious Jonas lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.

Witches, if found, are put to death, and Watchers, immortal beings who take the shape of hawks to visit the human world, have been almost entirely forgotten. A vicious power struggle quickly escalates to war, and these four young people collide against each other and the rise of elementia, the magic that can topple kingdoms and crown a ruler in the same day.
(Source: www.penguin.com)


I came across this book while looking trough amazon. No I actually came across another book by this author which I thought sounded cool, and saw that it was a Spin-off of this series. So I thought I´d better start with the first series, I don’t want to spoiler myself or something like that 😉

The summary and the cover was what appealed to me about to book. I remember seeing a few weeks before on a blog I think and I just bought and started reading.
First I have to say I am really torn with my opinion on this book! But lets start at the beginning.

The start of the book was really captivating and could make me want to read on and on and that is wonderful. We were confronted with prophecies and murder and secrets. It was really promising. I really liked the world the book was set in and everything that came with it. The magic, the intrigues the forbidden love(s). I think that there is so much potential and I hope that the world building continues in the following novels. I want to know more about the past of Mytica and about the witches and watchers and how everything works.

While the world developed fine in this book, I thought that the characters lacked very much. The book is told from different point of views. We have Princess Cleo, who was the character I liked most. Then we have Prince Magnus who I didn’t like at all. And then there is Jonas who I am not sure if I should like or not, but I tend to yes right now. In between we have a few short scenes told from the perspective of some other characters but these three are the main ones. While I liked Cleo the most, I sometimes just couldn’t understand her choices. She was very very naive and childish at moment, but at others she was brave and strong. But I wished for more development on her part!
Magnus on the other hand I did understand , at least the choices he made or rather why he is like he is. That doesn’t mean that I like him, but he has a side on him that could turn my mind!
And Jonas..I think him I could understand the most. His motivations were clear from the beginning.
I think the lack of character development is the fault of the many point of views. Not everyone can pull that off (they’re not all a Cassandra Clare :P). Sometimes I felt like it was not one story but three different stories put into one book.

The last thing I have to criticize is the love story. What was that?! I don’t want to spoiler anything, but I have to say it was really unrealistic and that I believe that it wasn’t the “real” love story of this series! Ahhh and one other thing. Sometimes the characters in this book did things with no good reason, like start a war with no good explanation on why. Did I miss something or were there none?

Still, despite all my critique I enjoyed the book and I see potential for the following novels. I really hope that Morgan Rhodes put more work into her characters and that book 2 will be better. I am definitely giving it a chance!

Review: Voyager (Outlander #3) by Diana Gabaldon

Source: penguinrandomhouse.com
Source: penguinrandomhouse.com

First of all I want to say I am so proud of myself! I read this over 1000 pages book in only three weeks! I was kind of afraid that it would take me over a year..again..but I practically flew trough the book.

I was really excited after the ending of Dragonfly in Amber, because it ended with a little cliffhanger (but seriously we weren’t THAT surprised that Jamie was´t dead..were we? ;)) so I had to read on immediately.

I wasn´t really captured at first but as the book and the story develops more and more it got me. I wanted to know when Claire finally goes back in time (because it was out of question for me that she would go back…the series has 8 books! xD) and how she does it. I loved the part where she with the help of Roger and Brianna tries to find out where Jamie is! And parallel to that the parts where we read what Jamie went trough. This man has not an easy life!!
I also loved that, when she finally was back with him, that the action was back as well! So damn much happens in that book and I loved it. It is literally a Voyage, on so many levels!
Gabaldon surprised me in nearly every chapter, some were kind of obvious and some were totally unexpected. The whole book was full of tragedy and bad luck, but also full of adventure and it was so exciting to read it.
At first I thought I wouldn’t like the 20 year older Claire and Jamie, but I didn’t see that much of a difference. I could relate to them as well as when they were younger.
I find it quite sad that they don’t spend as much time in Scotland as in the very first book, but I am sure that they will find their way back some time. And I am quite happy with the place they ended up in this book and am really excited to read on.

As I mentioned in my last post I also listened to the audiobook of Voyager. I switched between reading and listening and that was very nice. I can really recommend the audiobook. Davina Porter reads the story and I am very happy with how she does it, except one small thing..I don’t like how she reads Claire. She makes her sound like a very old Lady. But besides that I enjoyed it and will do this with Drums of Autumn as well, because I think that is why I got trough it so fast (:

I can recommend Voyager to all people who want to read a great historical novel full of action and romantic. But please read at first the other two books in this series. It´s just such a wonderful series to get into!
And all of you who have read the first two books and aren’t sure of reading this one..DO IT! Voyager has great potential of being my favorite book of this series! Go read it! Don’t be afraid of the older Claire and Jamie! Don’t be afraid that this book takes them away from Scotland again! Go read it! Go on a voyage of your own!

xoxo

Something like a review: Dragonfly in Amber [Outlander #2] by Diana Gabaldon

Source: penguinrandomhouse.com
Source: penguinrandomhouse.com

“For nearly twenty years Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to Scotland’s majestic mist-shrouded hills. Here Claire plans to reveal a truth as stunning as the events that gave it birth: about the mystery of an ancient circle of standing stones . . . about a love that transcends the boundaries of time . . . and about Jamie Fraser, a Scottish warrior whose gallantry once drew a young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his.
 
Now a legacy of blood and desire will test her beautiful copper-haired daughter, Brianna, as Claire’s spellbinding journey of self-discovery continues in the intrigue-ridden Paris court of Charles Stuart . . . in a race to thwart a doomed Highlands uprising . . . and in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves.”
(Source: penguinrandomhouse.com)

OMG I finally finished the second book in the Outlander series! After nearly a year (I bought it on July 21st) of on and off reading this book I can now add it to my pile of read books. And I am so glad, it was huge and some parts of it were not as exciting as I wanted them to be.

As I finished book one of the series I had to have the next one immediately, so I bought it on my kindle and started reading. Especially as I read the summary for it..seriously..shes back in her time and it´s twenty years later?! What the hell happened? I had to know it.
I was not really thrilled at first that Claire was back in the 20th century and that so much time has passed. I thought..heeeey I want to know what happened after you guys escaped…and where the hell is Jamie?!
But thank god after just 100-150 pages she begins to tell what happened after the events of book one. And that’s the majority of Dragonfly in Amber. 
I didn´t like that so much of this book was set in Paris. I really loved Scotland as setting. But it had his good sides too, Paris in the 18th century can be fun too. But sadly I thought that a big part of their time in France was rather boring. All this meetings with Prince Charles and balls and festivities and blablabla..that wasn’t so great. In every other book I would have probably liked this glamour etc. but I think       it didn’t fit in here.
But nevertheless there were also good and exciting and dramatic passages in Paris. But I was glad when they were back in Scotland (:
The last 40% of the book were awesome. I read them in 1 1/2 weeks. These last percents are the reason why I like this book very much. We got to see all the familiar faces from book one and we came home to Lallybroch. All the action took also place in this last percents, and we finally know why Claire goes back through the stone circle.
At the end we have a small part that´s set in the 20th century again. We learn a few things that are kind of shocking and trigger the story for books three and makes it impossible not to read on!
I really hope that Book three is great the whole time! My goal is to read it in less than a year 😀

If I read the whole series at this pace I´ll need at least 8 years xD These books are triggering contradicting feelings inside me. On the one hand I really love them, the storyline, the characters..everything. But on the other hand there are always parts I find really boring and not so good and omg I am never going to read them in german again. The translation is just so bad! I already have book three in english! And I am going to start today 😛

Do you know this series? Do you like it or not or are you like me and find it awesome and boring at the same time? Tell me!

xoxo

Review: Never Seduce a Scot (The Montgomerys and Armstrongs #1) by Maya Banks

Source: penguinrandomhouse.com
Source: penguinrandomhouse.com

“Eveline Armstrong is fiercely loved and protected by her powerful clan, but outsiders consider her “touched.” Beautiful, fey, with a level, intent gaze, she doesn’t speak. No one, not even her family, knows that she cannot hear. Content with her life of seclusion, Eveline has taught herself to read lips and allows the outside world to view her as daft. But when an arranged marriage into a rival clan makes Graeme Montgomery her husband, Eveline accepts her duty—unprepared for the delights to come. Graeme is a rugged warrior with a voice so deep and powerful that his new bride can hear it, and hands and kisses so tender and skilled that he stirs her deepest passions.
 
Graeme is intrigued by the mysterious Eveline, whose silent lips are ripe with temptation and whose bright, intelligent eyes can see into his soul. As intimacy deepens, he learns her secret. But when clan rivalries and dark deeds threaten the wife he has only begun to cherish, the Scottish warrior will move heaven and earth to save the woman who has awakened his heart to the beautiful song of a rare and magical love.”
(Source: penguinrandomhouse.com)

I love you, Eveline,” he whispered, though he knew she could not hear him. “Somehow, I’ll make you hear me and you’ll know that I love you as fiercely as it’s possible for a man to love a woman.
– Maya Banks

A few days ago I wrote a post about books set in Scotland, there I mentioned the McCabe trilogy by Maya Banks. After finishing this great series I wanted to read more Highlander books, how convenient that Maya Banks wrote another series set in the Scottish Highlands. It´s about the two most powerful clans – the Montgomerys and the Armstongs – under King Alexander II reign. So we are a good 100 years later than the McCabes.

After reading the summary the reader already knows about Evelines condition, she is deaf. Because of that it was even more sad to read about how she got treated by her clan. I mean don´t get me wrong, they all loved her very much, but they thought she was crazy and treated her in that way. Every time someone said that Eveline is not normal, that she can´t be a good wife or that she can´t bear heirs to a laird I just wanted to smack my kindle against the wall. It was just so unfair, why can’t she have children, even when she´s not wholly normal? Her family was really dumb about that, they just had to pay enough attention to her and I am sure they would have realized that she is a very intelligent woman and that she is deaf.

When Eveline and Graeme first met I had a stupid grin on my face. It was just so sweet how she reacted. Graeme is a warrior and one might be afraid of him at first, but Eveline was not, she trusted him from second one. It was so beautiful to read about their love and how they got to know each other. How they grew to like and in the end love each other.
I felt so sorry for Eveline that Greames clan hated her at first, sure one can understand why..at first. She tried so hard to fit in and worked her a** off for their acceptance, but they all were so cruel and mean. I even cried a bit when they were so mean to her. Eveline is such a sweet and good character, one just has to like her!
To read about her condition was very touching, how she fought with it at first, how she overcome her fear and learned to read the words from the lips, it´s just very impressive. It made the whole book more romantic in my opinion.

I really enjoyed Never Seduce a Scot, again it´s a book that could entertain me and it was a fast read. It had everything I expected from it and that’s the important part for me. It´s of course not perfect and I am sure a lot of people don’t like this kind of books, but I can get lost in them and if the characters and story are not completely hopeless I really enjoy them! So if you seek something light and romantic with a bit sex in it, go for it!

Review on Friday: When You’re Back (Rosemary Beach #12) by Abbi Glines

Source: books.simonandshuster.com
Source: books.simonandshuster.com

“She was where my home would always be. It was time I took the next step and proved to her I was all in. Forever.

A chance meeting in Rosemary Beach has turned into a fairy-tale romance as Reese prepares to move in with Mase on his family ranch in Texas. With the loving support of the Colts, and her recent discovery that she has family of her own, Reese can finally move on from the dark horrors of her past and into a bright future.

But Aida isn’t going to let that happen. The beautiful blonde has been raised to think of Mase as her cousin, but it’s clear to Reese that Aida doesn’t love Mase like a cousin should.

And then there’s Captain, the inescapable stranger who has connections in Dallas and Rosemary Beach—and who conveniently shows up wherever Reese happens to be. Hot, mysterious, and plain-speaking, Captain isn’t afraid to tell Reese what he thinks about Mase—and how he feels about her.”
(Source: books.simonandshuster.com)

I was so excited that finally a new Abbi Glines book was out, I am obsessed with her books and love her stories and her writing. So I preordered it and started reading as soon as it was on my kindle.

I didn’t really know what awaits me in this book because I think that the first book of Mase and Reese was perfect and they didn’t need a second book.
And thats exactly my only critique point. This book was not necessary needed. It stirred all this needless drama between the two main characters. And this is coming from ME…I usually LOVE drama, but here it was just not right. Mase and Reese were (or are xD) a perfect couple and their story contained already the right amount of drama and I was satisfied with the end of the previous book. All this stuff with Mases cousin and that she loves him was just not right. I mean she’s not his real cousin..by blood..but still, it was not right. And I also didn’t like the role of Captain here. He was really arrogant and..I don’t know kind of unlikable. The only purpose of this book was to trigger Captains story.
Despite the fact that I didn’t like the story overly, I still liked it. I mean I read everything from Abbi that I can get in my hands and I enjoyed it, but yeah it was not really necessary.

That review might not seem like I recommend this book, but I think if you´re a fan you´ll still love it and if you got this far in the series you´ll read it and you´ll like it (:

Review on Friday: Garrett by Sawyer Bennett

Hey Guys 🙂

Todays assignment on blogging101 is to think about fix schedule for the blog or at least one “thing” that reoccurs weekly or monthly. I thought about this for a while now and decided to do a”Review on Friday” (I know it’s not as cool as an alliteration, but the week does´t have a day that starts with an “R”..so you have to live with that :P) Post every week. I will be reviewing books, movies and Tv Shows. I didn’t figure out how I want to do this yet. I am just going to star now with a review, but I think I´ll keep it casual and not very formal and probably no rating system. We´ll just see how that goes 🙂

So let´s start with the review 🙂

Source: penguinrandomhouse.com
Source:penguinrandomhouse.com

“Carolina Cold Fury star Garrett Samuelson never wants to miss out on a single minute of fun. Whether he’s playing hockey, hanging out with friends, or walking the red carpet with a new date on his arm, he lives every day to the fullest. When he meets Olivia Case, he sees someone who’s exactly his type—confident, sexy, smart . . . his next fling. But the more he pursues her, the more Garrett shares a side of himself that other women don’t normally get to see.

Olivia has been keeping a secret. While Garrett lives for the next thrill, Olivia’s not sure she’ll live to see the next day. She’s undergoing treatment for some serious medical issues, and she doesn’t have time for a relationship with no guarantees—especially one with a hot-as-sin womanizer who won’t take no for an answer. But as she gets to know the real Garrett, Olivia can’t help falling for him . . . hard. To reveal the truth would mean risking everything—but you can’t score without taking the tough shots.”
(Source: penguinrandomhouse.com)

A few months ago I read the first book in this series “Alex” and it was ok, not bad but not awesome. I didn´t intend to read the second book, but last week I had no idea what I wanted to read, so I thought I´ll try this series again. And I have to say I liked it a bit more than book one.
I really liked Garrett as main character. Sure it wasn´t reeeeeally realistic that he changes from man-whore to best-boyfriend-ever in not more than a couple of days. But seriously..I don´t read those books because I am looking for something realistic, I read those books because they can entertain me and are fast reads. And I got this with “Garrett”. I loved how sweet he was with Olivia and that he did´t give up on her!
Olivia was a bit difficult, sure she had all my sympathies because of her illness and everything and I understood most of the time were she was coming from, but some decisions of her I just couldn’t comprehend. But all in all she and Garrett were a very cute couple.
The ending could have been a bit more dramatic for my taste, because if she has such an illness one might expect that it gets really serious at least at some point at the book. But like the whole book it was ok.

I enjoyed reading this book. It was cute and sexy and short-lived, just what I wanted! I can recommend this series to all who want a short adventure with a hot hockey player 😉