Tag Archives: Julie Kagawa

#ReadThemAllThon Sign Up + TBR

readthemallthon

Guess what! Ooh, please guess! PLEASE? Well, fine. If you can’t be bothered to guess, I’ll tell you anyway in case the title isn’t clear. I’m going to read a bunch of books this month again! That is, if I don’t succumb with pressure, something that isn’t entirely unlikely…

As most of you must have caught on, Pokémon Go became a thing (one would even dare to say a hype) early July. It became such a big thing that there are so many challenges/book tags popping up on the great interwebz that you seriously can’t miss it. Seriously. I mean, even I noticed it from underneath my trustworthy rock.

So when I saw Aentee’s, from Readatmidnight, read-a-thon including Pokémon, I thought, hey, why not? I don’t have anything else to do in August (besides work). Et voilà, here I am!

What’s #ReadThemAllThon?

Basically, #ReadThemAllThon is a read-a-thon hosted by Aentee with challenges based on the gym badges from Pokémon. All you really have to know, is summed up in a few points:

Starts: August 14
Duration: 3 weeks
Ends: September 4
Sign-ups: until it’s over
Gym badges to win: 8

For more information, you can check out Aentee’s info post. I also want to stress out that the header and the images with badges/challenges used in this post, are all created by Aentee herself.

Earning CP

Of course, this wouldn’t be a Pokémon based read-a-thon, if you couldn’t choose a Pokémon to combat with. Each Pokémon starts with 10CP. When you reach 15OCP, your Pokémon will evolve. If you have a three stage Pokémon, it can evolve again at 400CP.

Here’s a list on how to earn CP:

Finish a book: +20CP
Write a review: +20CP
Every 10 pages you read: +1CP
Photo of book + Pokémon Go Pokémon: +5CP
Tweet under #ReadThemAllThon: +2CP/tweet
Evolving: +50CP

Fennekin, I choose you!

I had to think long and hard for my Pokémon. I immediately knew I wanted a Fire type one though. I’ve always considered that my element (never have to fear of being cold!). For a long time I considered Eevee but…I wanted something different. And tadaa, enter Fennekin! It also helps (s)he is a fox and I happen to like foxes! Besides, doesn’t (s)he look adorable?!

653Fennekin_XY_anime_4
Name: Fennekin

Type: Fire

Species: Fox Pokémon

Stages: 3

Next evolution: Braixen

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I’ve chosen Starters by Lissa Price. This book was sent to me by Yureka Books and it looked so good that I kind of needed an excuse to read this asap!

Genre: Dystopian, YA
Pages: 336

 

readthemallthon-badge02-cascaderOne of my best friends was reading this book, telling me how it destroyed one of her friends and when asked if it would make me cry, the answer was, yes, it might. Oh goodie! Or saddie. Hmm.

Genre: Historical, Mythology
Pages: 352

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Each time I come across a new bookblogger or booktuber, Maggie Stiefvater’s been mentioned. I’ve always been curious but felt reluctant to begin, afraid that the hype would ruin it. Despite of being scared of the cover (birds, brr – raven, even worse!) I thought, why not?

Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 408

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From the entire bunch, I’m looking most forward to reading this one. My copy feels so good in my hands and I love how the summary intrigued me. I have to admit I couldn’t restrain myself from reading the first page earlier this week and why does it feel like this person is ME?! Not sure if that’s a good thing, considering the first few sentences! Ah well, we’re all a bit nuts in the head, aren’t we? Otherwise life would be so dull!

Genre: Contemporary, YA
Pages: 444

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I admire Carrie Hope Fletcher. She’s young, energetic and goes after her dreams. So when the challenge said to read a book with an epic romance, and the cover saying how it’s “a love story like no other…” I figured this might as well be the excuse to indulge myself into her first fiction!

Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 340

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For this one, I decided on reading a book I have had on a loan for quite a while now. *coughs* two yearsdid you say something? No. Good. Anyway, I’d like to see what the hype is all about and it’s supposed to be good, having dragons and everything.

Genre: Fantasy, YA
Pages: 441

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This was so hard! Apparently, I don’t have a lot of books with yellow on the cover (booktube-a-thon thingy) nor with red! The one book I had with a red cover was Me Before You, which, if you’ve read my previous post, is something I already read in July. AH. So I had to buy a new book. And since Yureka Books helped me to go wild with The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski, I thought it wouldn’t harm to buy the second book in the series. And she’s wearing a red dress on the cover. It’s a win-win, really. Something tells me the purpose of read-a-thons is to kill that TBR pile. Not to supply yourself with more books. Shut up.

Genre: Fantasy, YA
Pages: 400

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Oh my. I thought I had NOTHING to add to the “post-apocalyptic settings” challenge of this read-a-thon but thankfully, I have yet another book on loan – and yes before you say anything on how long I’ve got it, it’s just as long as Eragon – and I vaguely remember how the world had been taken over by Rabids-slash-zombies in the first book of the series and it contained vampires and the mc had to break into abandoned houses and find food in tins. If these zombies aren’t  post-apocalyptic, then nothing is. Just saying.

Genre: Paranormal, Vampires
Pages: 434

What are you reading in August? Have you joined any challenges? 

My Summer in Pictures & Tweets

The first leaves on the trees are changing their colours. The sun’s hiding behind the grey clouds and the rain has begun to fall. The weather is changing and my winter blanket has made its first appearance again. Although autumn is probably my favourite season of the year (minus the influx of spiders in my bedroom!) I wanted to reach out towards summer one more time before I cuddle back on the sofa with my mug, blanket and books.

Continue reading My Summer in Pictures & Tweets

Summer of Series: June

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I’ve challenged myself to read one series a month for Summer of Series hosted by Danielle and Lili and for June, it was The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa. Although I already knew that I would struggle with the series (after reading the first book last year) I didn’t expect it to continue, believing that once I got into the story, it would be fine. At some point, and to some extent, it was fine – but that doesn’t erase the general “this-is-not-my-thing” feeling that I carried along throughout the series.

What’s The Iron Fey series about?

Continue reading Summer of Series: June

Review: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Image by Goodreads

Title: The Iron King
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: YA, fantasy –> Fairies
Series: #1 The Iron Fey
Publisher: 
Harlequin Teen
DOP: 2010
Pages: 363
Rating: 3/5 stars
ISBN: 978-0-373-21008-4
Twitter: @JKagawa

On the day Meghan Chase turns sixteen, a Changeling has appeared in her home, replacing her brother Ethan. On a quest to find him, Meghan discovers the Nevernever and all its mythical creatures. Jumping from one adventure into another, Meghan meets Grimalkin and comes eye to eye with the Winter Prince, Ash, who chases after her to capture her for Queen Mab. Then, she’s summoned to King Oberon’s Summer Court and has to obey his demands, taking her further away from finding Ethan. On top of that, another King lurks, poisoning the land of the Faery with iron.

While reading The Iron King, the first book in The Iron Fey series written by Julie Kagawa, it felt like a modern retelling of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Both girls step into an entire new world and are introduced to the fantastical creatures of the Nevernever, creating a likewise magical vibe that’s so known from Alice in Wonderland. Not only did it have a sense of Alice in Wonderland, Kagawa doesn’t hide the fact that a few characters, Puck, King Oberon and Queen Titania, are taken from Shakespeare’s comedy play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Kagawa took from both worlds and created an unique view on the Nevernever, where two faery courts stand opposite of each other for power and a third Iron King is rising to destruct the Nevernever and change it forever. Within this background, Meghan Chase tries to find her younger brother Ethan, who’s been abducted to this foreign land.

Although there’s a hint of comedy with the addition of Puck from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Iron King is not. The fantastical creatures are cruel towards humans, bullying and using them for their own entertainment or as a late afternoon snack. On a few occasions, there is fighting added and here and there curses are thrown along. In the land of the Faery, being in someone’s debt can cause more trouble than preferable and one of the creatures that actively seeks for deals it can make, is Grimalkin, a talking cat who guides Meghan through the Nevernever (and reminding me a lot of the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland).

 photo Puck Quote_zpsjntavx8g.jpg
Quote from The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Puck and Grimalkin were my two favourite characters in this book. Grimalkin, mysterious in his ways of knowing almost everything and disappearing when least expected, felt like a trustworthy friend even though it’s clear that one should be extremely careful around him. His blunt, to-the-point remarks gave him a dry sense of humour whereas Puck was the opposite, recognising authority but simultaneously taking the mickey out of them. His humour created light-hearted moments between the serious, and sometimes scary, adventures Meghan undergoes, erupting snorts on more than one occasion.

Nonetheless, there were a few things that bothered me while I read The Iron King. Perhaps I’m getting old, and if I do you may definitely call me so, but I experienced Meghan’s journey as a rapid jumping around from one disaster into another with not one moment to catch my breath and process what’s been happening and who and what everything within this world was or represented.

Kagawa shot one fantastical creature after the other to her readers with a minimum of description and although this reminds me a lot of J.K. Rowling’s “this is my world, accept it without questions” attitude, J.K. Rowling at least had the curtsey of describing her creatures; even if we already knew how a dragon looked, her dragons were distinguished and not just a dragon, giving the reader a moment to picture the image and accept it. I tried to remember all the creatures Meghan came across with but I had to drop my towel into the ring; I lost my sight of them. I was often confused, not able to remember and imagine the fantastical creatures she encountered.

The reason why I’m mentioning this: at some point I had Shrek in my mind when I read about ogres but when I googled it later, the ogre looked a lot scarier! So suddenly, the entire meaning of the act when the ogres appeared changed. Instead of cute greenish monsters that wouldn’t hurt a fly, the image is replaced with vicious beasts! As you can see, the connotation of this scene can vary 180 degrees, depending on your own emotional association with the word “ogre” and if you’re like me, having grown up with Shrek…well…what more do I have to say?

The minimal presence of description of the monsters and the constant jumping from one fight and flight moment to the other, has put me off from giving this book a four star rating. The pacing was fast without fluctuations and thus giving me no time to think and process the new world. Too slow paced is boring but too fast paced can be mind dazzling. A nice mixture of both would have been preferable.

On a different note, have you seen the cover of this book? The colour is cleverly thought of, adding to the belief that fairies live in forests and unconsciously forcing the buyer to the connection. The chapters were introduced with cute twirls (because at first glance, faeries do look beautiful and cute) but when looking closer, the thorns on the twirls added an extra dimension to be careful around faeries: they are deceiving, nasty things! Brilliant!

More books by Julie Kagawa:

The Iron Fey series:

 

 

 

 

 

The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten series:

Blood of Eden series:

Book Review

 

 

 

 

 

Talon series:

This was the first book I read for the June series for the #SummerofSeries challenge. If you want to read more about the challenge and which books and series I’ll be reading during the summer, check out this post.

The Summer of Series Challenge

The summer months have arrived and I’m preparing myself for my three weeks holiday in July. Reading will be a huge part of my break and of course, reading is so much more enjoyable when joining a challenge (or two/three/four?). I’ve decided to join the Summer of Series challenge this year, hosted by Danielle from Love at First Page and Lili from Lili’s Reflections.

This summer challenge is to encourage us readers to finish those book series that have been on our TBR shelf for as long as we can remember. The full explanation and requirements can be found here. What’s even more fun, it’s open to everyone! Even tiny Belgium can participate. I’ve experienced quite a lot of bumps on the ride being not a UK/US citizen this year (boo) so I’m thrilled I can join the fun for a change. My gratitude to the ladies!

All I need to do is read and complete a series with a minimum of three books each summer month and if I feel like adding more books that are part of a series to my TBR pile, I can. So without further ado, let me talk you through the series I’ve chosen to read this summer.

Continue reading The Summer of Series Challenge

Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Image from GoodReads

Title: The Immortal Rules
Author: 
Julie Kagawa
Genre: 
YA, fantasy (vampires), dystopian
Series: #1 Blood of Eden
Publisher: 
Harlequin Teen
DOP: 
2012
Pages: 
485
Rating: 
5/5
ISBN: 
978-0-373-21051-0
Twitter: @Jkagawa

Vampires rule the cities, keeping all humans inside the city’s walls to protect them from a rabid’s attack and ensuring themselves to have humans at their back and call whenever they are thirsty. Allie, being an Unregistered human, and thus being off the vampire radar in the city, has only herself and her group of survivors to rely on. With food being scarce, Allie is constantly on the look out, searching new places for edible food. One day, she finds herself in food heaven and driven by hunger, she guides her group towards it. But then, fate strikes and Allie finds herself wounded and in a desperate state, until she meets Kanin.

The only other book I’ve read by Julie Kagawa, was The Iron King, the first book in her Iron Fey series, a few months ago and let’s just say that I wasn’t overly excited. Hence, it’s the reason why I have yet to write my review because I can’t pinpoint what I disliked exactly. So I was sceptical when my best friend recommended the Blood of Eden series. I seriously doubted her sanity at this point but she offered me the first book and here I am, definitely a lot more excited about this than I was with The Iron King!

The Immortal Rules is the cocktail of fantasy I have been waiting for since Twilight* by Stephenie Meyer. Scratch that. It’s the fantasy I was dreaming of while reading Twilight and only realising afterwards there was something missing! There’s action (which, let’s be honest Twilight lacked…) and adventure and although there’s romance in it too, it’s not over-the-top-romanticised like Twilight either. It’s realistic, as far as fantasy can be realistic and yes, sometimes it might be a bit predictable but I can’t have it all, can I? This world is full of tension and attacks but it’s always nicely balanced out with a moment of relaxation, helping the readers to catch their breaths and refocus again. This book is the perfect example on how a story should be built. Let me show with a graphic:

Graphic_TheImmortalRulesRabids are the equivalent of zombies and the vampires have a hierarchy. A hierarchy! That’s right. It’s the first time I’ve read about a vampire hierarchy. Normally, they are just the dominating race (in secret). Now they’re just that: dominating the world! Hell to the yeah! Actually, Rabids are sort of dominating this world too. Scary creatures….very scary creatures. Especially when they bite you.

Without revealing too much about plot twists I really liked being able to read a vampire story from a different point of view. The emotions Allie went through fitted perfectly and were exactly what I imagined it would be like. No disappointments there. The priest was a nicely added bonus. Despite me hating him to extremes, I could imagine his character in this world, guiding the humans to ‘Utopia’ or Eden in this scenario. He was a nice representation of all those who only see black and white and never grey. And don’t get me started on Zeke. He can be my boyfriend any time. *fangirl crush*

Besides world domination by vampires, this story actually has a decent plot in which romance is not the key element. Vampires are searching for the answer on how they can reproduce without creating a mutant off-spring (aka a rabid) while humans are searching for a way out and Allie, well, she finds herself in the middle of this mess.

I would recommend this book to anyone who’d like to read a fantasy about vampires and zombies rabids that includes action, a bit of romance and a few life lessons on how to open up your mind, broaden your horizons and don’t always accept what people are telling you what’s good and what isn’t.

*I’m not a Twilight hater, I liked it enough to read the series twice and went to marathons in the theatre but honestly, it had flaws. A lot of flaws and since it’s written in the same fantasy genre (vampires obviously) I can’t help but compare it with. Especially since everyone knows Twilight. Don’t kill me!