A Conjuring of Light book review

by V E Schwab (2017) Image result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for star

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“Love and loss,” he said, of “are like a ship and the sea. They rise together. The more we love, the more we have to lose. But the only way to avoid loss is to avoid love. And what a sad world that would be.”

– V E Schwab, A Conjuring of Light

Darkness is spreading through Red London and the Antari must leave the city and travel in order to find a way to stop this great power which is threatening to destroy their world. Friends and foe join together to protect the city and its people, love and magic blossoms as well as power being tested and the grief of a city losing to darkness. Kell must do all he can to save his family, joined by the adventure-seeking Lila and nobleman Alucard as they sail out to find a way of beating dark magic.

OH. MY. GOD. I can’t believe this series is at an end. Schwab has such an amazing way with words I seriously don’t know how she does it – building a completely insane but brilliant world filled with magic and the most wild and crazy characters, each with their own stories and past. It was such a beautiful end to an awesome trilogy that I will never forget – the shades of magic series is one of my favourite ever and I want everyone to read this series.

The book starts off pretty much where AGOS left and it was heartbreaking and action-filled right from the beginning without so much as a breath to take in between all the drama. The huge cliffhanger that we were left on at the end of AGOS gets resolved and the plot for the book is set as they have to find a way to stop Osaron.

ACOL sees Osaron take over Red London and Kell, Lila, Alucard and Holland (yes Holland is back and has a lot of character development too) must work together to seek of an object that could stop Osaron’s take over of Red London. Rhy has his own mission to save as many of his people as possible, the ones that can fight against and come out triumphant to Osaron’s magic, all the while the King is creating his own ways to stop the disease over London.

There is so much character development in this book as we see Rhy becoming more King than Prince as he tends to his people, Kell trying to save everyone and Lila and Kell becoming something more. We see the other side to Alucard as he races to save his sister and the relationship between him and Rhy is an adorable as ever.

There was also so much sass in this book! I love the banter between the two brothers and the relationship between Kell and Alucard – the fact that he despises him because of how he hurt his brother. Kell and Rhy are so cute together and the fact that they aren’t brothers by blood just strengthens their relationship even further because they just make the cutest brothers.

This book just wasn’t long enough – I wanted more of every single character and so much happened. Schwab was amazing with her story-telling as always and ACOL had such an unexpected ending but it was just a brilliant goodbye to a truly wonderful series.

Now I have to mention some spoilers – SO MUCH HAPPENED in this book so look away now if you haven’t read any of the shades of magic series.

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So I’ll start with the beginning where Kell is trapped and the collar is killing his power and so Rhy, poor Rhy is slowly dying in Red London. I was so scared for Rhy but I knew he didn’t die so early on – he couldn’t otherwise I would have cried, but he did die which was really strange to read that he truly only lives so long as Kell does. I loved how Alucard stayed with him it just made me all

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With Kell, Lila and Rhy all okay, now here comes another disaster – Osaron is in Red London and killing everyone with his power (I can’t believe Kisimyr got killed off – she was just so bad-ass) so people are dying all over and the palace has to barricade themselves in. The King and Queen are helpless to save the Maresh empire but this doesn’t stop Kell and Rhy who both go out to save as many people as possible. Antari are immune to the disease that Osaron is spreading so they go out to mark as many people as possible with their blood but it’s not enough – they need to stop Osaron, not just save people.

Here enters the Inheritor and the main plot for the book – an object that can contain his power but requires a sacrifice to use (oh god) but before this, we see sweet Alucard ride out into the fog (why, WHY would you do that?!) to save his sister.

Of course she dies and Alucard has left the safety of the palace for no reason so the disease enters his head.

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I seriously had no idea if he would survive or not but thankfully Rhy comes to his rescue and he stays with Alucard and pulls him from the disease.

They’re just so adorable together I could have an entire book of the two of them and be happy. I’ve always loved their relationship but I hated how Alucard left Rhy and caused him so much hurt and that’s why Kell hates him so much. But we learn why Alucard hurt Rhy when he left him – his brother found out that Alucard was seeing Rhy and so basically trapped him on a ship to get him away from the Prince so he couldn’t go back. IT WAS JUST SO SAD because Kell hates him and Rhy was left so hurt by the whole thing but it WASN’T ALUCARD’S FAULT!

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It physically hurt when Alucard was saying goodbye to Rhy before he left on the ship to find the Inheritor and Rhy just didn’t let them have a goodbye. What if something happened to Alucard and they had left on those crappy terms? Why can’t they just make up or at least part on good terms before, I don’t know, one of them potentially dies and that was the last conversation they had?!

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Throughout the whole book I thought one of the four main characters was going to die and then Rhy and Kell’s mother and father suddenly got killed off. The Queen was assassinated and the King got killed by Osaron because he thought he stood a chance at defeating him – I was kind of expecting their deaths I guess, but poor Rhy having to now be King after losing both his parents. But I’m so glad he had Alucard in the end that stayed with him; if Alucard had died I think I might have cried.

I’m glad King Maxim and Queen Emira finally showed Kell some love! The bit where he had the opportunity to find out who his biological parents were was so tense because I really thought it would be revealed to us and we’d have this whole other storyline but it actually worked when he burnt the note. I’m glad we never found out who his birth parents were because his real parents had been the King and Queen (even though they didn’t let him travel and kind of kept him as a bit of a trophy), they still loved him and it showed in the end. It was a brilliant little touch the story and to his character and I loved it.

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Of course Kell and Lila’s relationship stepped up a gear which resulted in one of the best scene’s of the book!

One of my favourite quotes was when Kell and Lila were getting a little too ‘in the moment’ as they were kissing and Alucard bursts in and yells “Stop fucking with the ship!” which just had me laughing. I love the sass in this book and Lila especially pretty much showed her dislike to something by calling it what it was but not before putting “fucking” in front of it. She’s just the best.

The four of them are all amazing and work so brilliantly together, despite Kell hating Alucard there’s just such a good relationship between the four of them.

“What are we drinking to?”
“The living,” said Rhy.
“The dead,” said Alucard and Lila at the same time.
“We’re being thorough,” added Rhy.”

– V E Schwab, A Conjuring of Light

It was a really well written scene though and I’m glad Kell got to find some happiness in Lila and they ended up travelling the world together. That’s the one thing he wanted to do but couldn’t – travel, which was pretty ironic for an Antari.

The ending was actually beautiful but also melanchony. Rhy has Alucard, but loses his brother to his travels with the wild and ferocious Lila. I was both happy that they all got a good ending but I wanted the last page to be the brothers together or in fact all four of them together but because it didn’t, it kind of made it even better? Like life isn’t what you expected but you can be happy in finding what comes your way. It was just so unexpected that the four of them would end up alive so I was so glad to see them all alive and well at the end, and with the people they loved.

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One last thing I have to mention is HOLLAND. Okay so I never liked Holland I thought he was vile but he is just way more complex than I thought! He was originally a nice guy, someone who loved his world and wanted to make it better – then the Danes got involved and tortured him into a man that had emptied himself of caring or kindness because it was easier to help deal with the shit they gave him.

I’m glad he helped Kell and Lila save Red London and ultimately destroy Osaron. He got to go back to White London and die at peace knowing he couldn’t have done anything more. He was one of my favourite characters because you hated him at first, then kind of liked him, then hated him then actually grew to like him again with the flashbacks to his past.

Holland was also really funny in this book as well with his dry sense of humour and sarcastic comments towards Kell and Lila – he could have an entire spin-off novella to himself and I would TOTALLY read it.

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Words can’t express how much I love this book and this entire trilogy. It is amazing and magical and wonderful all wrapped up in the most beautiful writing and it will be a series I treasure on my bookshelf for a long time.

“Anoshe was a word for strangers in the street, and lovers between meetings, for parents and children, friends and family. It softened the blow of leaving. Eased the strain of parting. A careful nod to the certainty of today, the mystery of tomorrow. When a friend left, with little chance of seeing home, they said anoshe. When a loved one was dying, they said anoshe. When corpses were burned, bodies given back to the earth and souls to the stream, those left grieving said anoshe.

Anoshe brought solace. And hope. And the strength to let go.”

– V E Schwab, A Conjuring of Light

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The Rose and the Dagger book review

by Renée Ahdieh (2016) Image result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for star

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With the threat of war looming in the distance and Shahrzad ripped from her love, the Caliph of Khorasan, Khalid, they must each come to terms with their choices and strive to save their beloved city. Khalid desperately tries to rebuild his city broken apart from the lightning attack as finds himself alone as he pushes his dearest friend, the Captain of the Guard away. Meanwhile Shahrzad is back with her first love, Tariq, who is prepared to do anything to protect her.

Shahrzad needs answers to the magic rooted deep inside her and an answer to her most desperate question of all – how to break the curse on Khorasan. But with enemies waiting in the shadows to take down the boy-king of Khorasan, who can Shahrzad trust?

“From the stars, to the stars.” – Renée Ahdieh, The Rose and the Dagger

I adored the beautiful The Wrath and the Dawn and it has taken me ages to finally get round to reading the sequel but as suspected, it was just as wonderful as the first book. Full of sumptuous writing and a love between two characters so strong it could rival the classics, this book is definitely a fitting end to a gorgeous duology.

The Rose and the Dagger picks up where Wrath left off with Khalid dealing with the aftermath of the storm and Shahrzad back with her family and Tariq. Neither is coping well without the other as Khalid burdens the curse that has poisoned his city for so long, and Shahrzad is trying to discover and understand the magic that runs through her blood.

Shahrzad and Khalid are just the most beautiful pairing ever and I love the honest and deeply-rooted respect they have for each other as equals.

“No. He was not here to retrieve his wife. For his wife was not a thing to be retrieved.” – Renée Ahdieh, The Rose and the Dagger

It’s lines like this one that just made me want to hug the book and thank the author for writing it – it was amazingly refreshing and emotional to read a book where ‘prince charming’ didn’t save the woman or she have to rely on a man to save her. They were both willing to die for each other and had the same stubbornness and need for protect the other – they were one and the same.

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Seriously their love for each other was the stuff of fairytales and I could read more and more books centred around these two characters and in fact, I’d love it if another series was written based in this world because two books is not enough! I love the stories Shahrzad tells and the hint at the A Thousand and One Nights retelling this book is inspired from.

I just love this book so much and I can’t wait to read more from this author!

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I’ll mention a few spoilers now so if you don’t want to see, now is the time to look away!

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There are just a couple of things that happened that I simply have to mention – TARIQ – ahem, excuse me so let’s start with Jahandar.

Once a caring and loving father turned power-hungry, book-clutching crazy man who literally set the whole city on fire thanks to his lightning storm. He won’t give up the book but Shahrzad finds out that its destruction is the only way to break the curse without having to fulfil it.

Shahrzad’s sister, Irsa, goes to deliver the book she managed to rip from her father’s death-grip and just as Shahrzad and Khalid are coming into view, TARIQ decides that he can’t control his anger and lashes out and fires an arrow at the Caliph because he ‘swore’ one of them would die when he next saw him.

(She chose Khalid, just let it go, Tariq!)

And somehow in the time it takes an arrow to be fired, a few pushes and shoves occur between Khalid and Shahrzad and Shahrzad is the one to end up with an arrow in her back.

TARIQ YOU ABSOLUTE MORON. Well done, you just shot your love in the back with an arrow because you couldn’t just stop and think that maybe she’s happy and maybe she doesn’t want you.

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But all is well and Shahrzad recovers and somehow they all forgive each other?! Personally I wouldn’t if I had been shot in the back with an arrow…

But anyway I was actually stressing out so bad when they finally had the book because I just wanted Khalid to DESTROY IT ALREADY! Has he not read books? Bad things happen if you wait to do something that is vital in like I don’t know, breaking a curse or something?!

But thank goodness that nothing bad did happen and he finally,  finally destroyed the book and broke the curse on his city.

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HOWEVER. It was at this point that Shahrzad got captured by Khalid’s horrible, vile uncle. But thanks to the help from Despina and Vikram, she manages to escape so again, it’s cheers all round and Shahrzad and Khalid are finally going to be back together and rule over Khorasan as Caliph and Calipha!

But OH NO because GUESS WHO’S BACK – the one and only TARIQ and he can’t LET IT GO that someone has harmed Shahrzad. So he lashes out and tries to kill Khalid’s uncle which of course turns everything into a fight and Rahim – Rahim – is the unfortunate casualty in this case as he leaps in front of the Caliph to save his life.


Thanks to him, Shahrzad got an arrow in her back and Rahim died because he couldn’t just curb his temper.

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Okay so besides that moron basically ruining everyone’s lives, there is an even worse person lurking behind the scenes as none other than Shahrzad’s father, furious at losing his book and source of all his powers, leaps to destroy Khalid. He basically wants to win his daughter’s love again since he has become such a horrible power-hungry person so he thinks the best way to do this is to kill his eldest daughter’s love.

I was actually internally freaking out at this bit but thank the lorrrrrd Jahandar came to his senses and did the one useful thing he could do and gave his life to bring back Khalid.

The ending was so cute with Shahrzad and Khalid with their child – I love books that end on a good hopeful note so you can imagine a good life for your characters long after parting with them ❤

“In the end, there is only time for love.” – Renée Ahdieh, The Rose and the Dagger

Beauty and the Beast Book of the Film book review

by Elizabeth Rudnick (2017) Image result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for star

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This is an absolutely beautiful book of the film of Beauty and the Beast – one of my favourite films ever. I already love the story of Belle the bookworm being the outsider in her little village and the Beast being the first real person she has met, so naturally I went to see the live action film and it was just outstanding.

Keen to stay in my little bubble of the magical world of Beauty and the Beast, I found this book on instagram and thought it sounded just what I needed after being enchanted by the film.

As soon as I turned the first page I knew it was going to be a brilliant read and it definitely was! It follows the live action film almost exactly with the dialogue and occurrence of events and even though I already knew exactly what the characters would say and do, I was still eager to turn the page and read on.

The only thing missing, obviously, are the songs but the scenes of which a song is featured, is still described thoughtfully in the book so their significance is not lost.

With gorgeous description and totally reminiscent of the live action film, it’s a heart-warming and truly magical read. If you love Beauty and the Beast, this is such a good book to pick up and relive the magic!

“She warned him not to be deceived by appearances, for beauty is found within.” – Beauty and the Beast

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A Quiet Kind of Thunder book review

by Sara Barnard (2017) Image result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for star

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Stefi is a selective mute and has pretty much been invisible all her life but it suits her and she gets by. But a new guy starts at her school, Rhys who is deaf and their common knowledge of sign language has Stefi talking more than she ever has before. Because love isn’t a flash of lightning, sometimes is a small rumble of thunder which builds and builds…

Love, love, love this book! I didn’t want to put it down I just couldn’t get enough of this beautiful story. I loved how it wasn’t a typical love story, I mean yeah they get together so it is a typical love story but it also isn’t because they both have their own mental and physical illness which impacts their lives differently. Stefi can’t talk to people which makes everything the average person takes for granted so hard, but Rhys can’t hear and has a whole other world in his life most people don’t give a second thought to.

Rhys is absolutely adorable. Seriously, he is a cutie and I love him and Stefi together in this book because they are so sweet. They argue over which is the best Pixar film: Toy Story or Wall-E (and for the record, it’s most definitely WALL-E I mean there’s just no competition) and then he gets her two pop vinyl figures for her birthday – a Wall-E and Eve! God can Rhys please be my boyfriend haha!

What I loved about this book is how it represents two completely different but so similar people in the fact that they both have some sort of illness/disability – Rhys is deaf and Stefi is mute and has social anxiety. It helps to understand just how someone with anxiety is affected by this and I was quite shocked how some things she did I would consider to be rude or blase. Like at one point she answers a question in class with one word but doesn’t look up and carries on drawing in her notepad – I would have found this to be disrespectful if I didn’t know she was a selective mute so it just goes to show that you can’t presume you know everything about a person just from how they act – there’s always something you don’t know about.

And I learnt so much about sign language and lip reading! I had no idea how much someone could understand what someone is saying just from lip reading, or that someone who is deaf could talk so much. Because it’s not a part of my life – I don’t know anyone who is deaf – I have no idea how someone who is deaf manages with day-to-day life and what obstacles they have to overcome.

I love books like this. Ones that are not only enjoyable to read, but educate the reader about things they just wouldn’t have come across in their life. It was so lovely to read and made me laugh at times as well! I love Stefi’s friend with her cheeky humour and the fact that Stefi has separated parents and two families; it shows that life isn’t perfect but it’s what you make of it and I really liked the representation of family and friendships in this book, as well as starting a relationship for the first time.

It was such a sweet romance to read about, with their texting and their communication through sign language and they were just so cute together! And I absolutely loved the realistic ‘first time’ that Stefi experienced with Rhys – it shows that, again, it’s not the fairytale wonderful moment you dream it to be. This book was just so on it with the reality of life and it was so refreshing to read.

Love and relationships be they family, friend or romantic, are always hard and have their obstacles and difficulties. This book shows that in a beautifully subtle way and I recommend reading it!

“With lightning, you’re never really sure if that’s what it was; it’s just a flash. Thunder, you know. You feel it.’
‘You can keep your quiet thunder. I’ll keep the exciting lightning.” – Sara Barnard, A Quiet Kind of Thunder

Caraval book review

by Stephenie Garber (2017) Image result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for star

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“Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find yourself magic in this world.” – Stephanie Garber, Caraval

Once a year, the legendary and magical Caraval performance brings wonder and madness into life, a game where the audience takes part and anything can happen. Scarlett has never left her tiny island but dreams of seeing Caraval and escaping her father with her sister, Tella. But those far-flung dreams soon become reality when Scarlett and her sister receive an invitation, only for Tella to be kidnapped by the director of the game. Scarlett must save her beloved sister before she disappears, but she must also remember that what happens in Caraval is never quite what it seems…

Wow, wow, WOW!!! This book has certainly lived up to the hype because my god is it amazing!!!

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Seriously, the world-building in this book is extraordinary and there was nothing predictable in this book whatsoever. Every character was brilliantly constructed, my favourite being Legend because of how mysterious and dangerous he’s made out to be. Scarlett and Tella have a typical sister relationship with each of them trying to do what’s best for the other every time and I liked both of them because they were flawed and believable as sisters.

The DESCRIPTIONS in this book were something else – is it possible for words to actually seep magic because that’s what I felt like was happening when I read Caraval. I could just read writing as beautiful as that all day; I never once tired of it or found myself bored – it really grabs and holds your attention throughout the whole book.

Sp the story goes that Scarlett must solve a series of clues along with other participants in order to save her sister from Legend, with the help of a sailor she met along the way. But everyone has warned her that it is only a game, and to not get swept away by it… Scarlett soon learns things and speculations are made but I could not have guessed what happened in the end! It was so unpredictable and amazing with a slight cliffhanger teasing you at the end that definitely leaves you craving for more.

“Welcome, welcome to Caraval! The grandest show on land or by sea. Inside you’ll experience more wonders than most people see in a lifetime. You can sip magic from a cup and buy dreams in a bottle. But before you fully enter into our world, you must remember it’s all a game.” – Stephanie Garber, Caraval

Now of course I’m going to have to mention many spoilers because SO MUCH HAPPENED in this book that I did not see coming so look away now to avoid spoilers!

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I shall start by freaking out.

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Okay so Scarlett and Tella live with their abusive father who actually beats them up. But if Tella does something wrong, he beats up Scarlett and vice versa. I just didn’t see that coming and that was only in the first few chapters!! Doesn’t even scratch the surface of twists and surprises.

They both escape to go to Caraval with Julian the mysterious sailor who seems to know an awful lot about Caraval. Tella is taken hostage by Legend and Scarlett has to save her, and if she wins the game, she gets one wish.

Legend was just the most enigmatic character made and I couldn’t wait to meet him. As Scarlett and Julian tried to solve the clues to find Tella, I had a sneaky suspicion that Julian might be Legend BUT I WAS WRONG. Right, so maybe the guy who says he is Legend when Scarlett confronts him is Legend.


Where the hell is this Legend guy and who is he?!

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And after all that we still didn’t find out who Legend is and by the end of the book I am internally screaming because I need to know who he is!!!

I honestly thought we had met him at the end when he was going all crazy and manic but we all knew that Julian was involved somehow in the game so when ‘Legend’ KILLED him-

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And then we aren’t even left to get over that because straight away Scarlett goes to find her sister and Legend strolls in all concerned that Scarlett has got too swept away by the game. Tella believes him and things escalate as she realises Scarlett was telling the truth and she THROWS HERSELF OFF THE BALCONY

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I couldn’t deal with all that it was too much for a first book in a series, it felt more like a finale or something. But the magic of books is that they always surprise us and of course Julian and Tella didn’t really die! They appear at the end all well and totally not dead but we’re still left just as confused as Scarlett.

Just as it’s about to end, Tella creeps off somewhere and we discover the letter that Legend wrote back to her on receiving her proposal for tickets to Caraval. She owes some kind of payment for her wish being granted for basically her and Scarlett to get away from their abusive father.

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So what does Tella have to do in payment for getting tickets for Caraval and escaping their father? Who the hell is Legend and when exactly are we going to meet him?! I have questions! So many questions!!

I loved every second of this book and I cannot WAIT for the sequel!!!

“Hope is a powerful thing. Some say it’s a different breed of magic altogether. Elusive, difficult to hold on to. But not much is needed.” – Stephenie Garber, Caraval


The Chemist book review

by Stephenie Meyer (2016) Image result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for star

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Alex is on the run from people who want to kill her, like badly want her dead because she’s already evaded them three times now and she knows things – things that can’t get out to the public. Having trained for years to become a medic and worked as a torturer for the last section of her life, Alex is known as the Chemist to those around her –  a name that brings fear to people.

But her previous employment have got back into contact with her again because they need her help. An intricate trap is set in place for Alex to investigate this new information on her own terms but as she discovers something even more horrifying, she is dragged into even deeper distress and Alex finds that making friends is never safe and it’s a liability when there are people out to kill you.

“You’ll make mistakes because it’s impossible to know what is or isn’t a mistake until it’s made.” – Stephenie Meyer, The Chemist

Alex is a fearless character who is no stranger to doing what needs to be done in order to survive. She’ll kill anyone who tries to kill her first but has that something special inside her which hasn’t turned her into something sadistic because she only hurts and kills if peoples’ lives are on the line. I loved her as a character and how independent she was but I hated how isolated and lonely she had become all because of her situation. Alex lives in another world where you can’t trust anyone or get close to anyone for fear they could be used against you. All she knows is chemistry and she sticks to what she can do well.

I loved the fact that she was the best at her job because she is just so intelligent and plays her weaknesses to her strengths – no one suspects a little woman to be the source of unimaginable pain and that’s how she gets results and is why she is the best in the business. All the while having the utmost for saving people and the repulsion to hurting innocents.

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The Chemist was just dripping in research because the DETAIL was astounding. You could tell the author had done their research to get the correct details and add just that bit more realism to the story. The science, the fighting and all the disguises were fantastic as well as the extra additions of adding things like the fact that the characters needed to eat and had to go undercover in order to get supplies – things that some people might just miss out rather than include but characters need to be fed! It really added to making it feel realistic and like this could really happen.

There was so much action in this book and intelligence but it was punctuated throughout enough to give the reader a break. And I really liked all the characters involved and Einstein the dog was brilliant! Seriously give this book a go if you like thrills and action – I don’t even pick up thrillers often but I thoroughly enjoyed this book so much. It kept me on the edge of my seat and nerves wired, especially at adrenaline-induced action parts.

Its ending was just perfectly done and somewhat unexpected. Now I must mention some things that happened that shocked me so look away now to avoid spoilers!

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So I need to begin with Daniel because I kept having such mixed feelings about him. I honestly thought he was the bad guy and did not see the whole ‘his twin is still alive’ thing until right before she showed him the photograph and his reaction was disbelief but sadness. PLOT TWIST – his brother didn’t die and Alex just tortured an innocent.

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I couldn’t believe she actually tortured a man who was completely innocent and didn’t really feel bad about it after – she just kind of accepted what she had done and got on with her job. I suppose there’s nothing she could have done though, you can’t turn back time but still… I guess she’s just hardened given her job.

So Daniel’s brother, Kevin, is alive and comes back to rescue Daniel which is kinda cute that he still loves his brother loads even though he had to pretend to die to protect him. But what confused me about Daniel is how he didn’t seem traumatically scarred by being tortured by Alex – he just gets over it pretty quickly and ends up becoming more than friends with her. Sorry but if someone tortured me, I would NOT want to be anywhere near them let alone get into a relationship with them!

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Saying that, I found myself really hoping they ended up together because I liked them as a couple – Daniel is kind and funny and brings out the best in Alex who needs to be reminded that she can be happy and live without fear with the right people around her. What is a thriller was also a bit of a romance but more so about not forgetting who you are and to stay human, not allowing yourself to become a monster that someone has tried to turn you into.

This book was so full of action but one last thing I want to mention is the bit where Daniel gets shot because OH MY WORD I was so sure he was going to die and I seriously did not see that coming about him being a mirror twin which is what saved his life from the kill shot. I had completely forgotten that being mentioned earlier on in the book and when I read it I was like

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Such a good idea and one I haven’t encountered before – so much better than just surgery being done quick enough or their will brought them back. I loved it!

The book ended on such a good note with the reader being satisfied with the knowledge that Alex, Daniel and Kevin are safe running a little restaurant. It was a sweet way to finish by focusing on someone completely different when the man phones up Daniel and Alex’s restaurant to announce they’ve won a prize because we just get a small glimpse into their new life which is enough and exactly what the reader needed.

An absolutely brilliant book I couldn’t put down and became invested in the characters, I really loved reading The Chemist!

Six of Crows book review

by Leigh Bardugo (2015) Image result for starImage result for starImage result for starImage result for star

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“No mourners. No funerals. Among them, it passed for ‘good luck.”

– Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows

Six of Crows is a Grisha novel set in the world created in the Shadow and Bone trilogy, but focusing on a different part of this world – Ketterdam where anything is traded for a price and bustling with criminals. One such criminal who knows Ketterdam better than anyone, is Kaz Brekker. So when he is sought after to pull off the most dangerous and impossible heist by breaking into the Ice Court (for a rather hefty sum) he gathers together a crew. Will this bunch of six wild and dangerous criminals manage to do the impossible?

I read the Shadow and Bone trilogy last year and really enjoyed the first book, but I found the other two a bit disappointing so I really hoped this book was going to be better and it definitely was! Set in a different part of the same world with the odd reference to happenings in the Shadow and Bone trilogy, you don’t need to have read the previous trilogy to understand Six of Crows.

All of the characters in this book were absolutely brilliant. Each chapter focused on a different character’s perspective (but written in the third person) so the writing was similar throughout but only slightly attuned to how each character noticed and reacted to things. And all six of them had a unique and creatively constructed personality – I love their interactions with each other!

“Kaz leaned back. “What’s the easiest way to steal a man’s wallet?”
“Knife to the throat?” asked Inej.
“Gun to the back?” said Jesper.
“Poison in his cup?” suggested Nina.
“You’re all horrible,” said Matthias.”

– Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows

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Of course Kaz was my favourite. He’s such a dark and mysterious character and what I really liked about him was that he had flaws and wasn’t perfect inside or out – he has a limp but wears it as armour and uses it to his advantage. Kaz also can’t remove his gloves – a weakness but he turns it around into building the image and legend of Dirtyhands, a criminal of Ketterdam that leads him into a deal with the wealthy Jan Van Eck.

So Kaz recruits five people to help him pull of this heist:
– Inej, his spider of Ketterdam,
– Jesper, a wild and hungry-for-action sharpshooter,
– Nina, the bold and unafraid Grisha,
– the Fjerdan and Grisha-hunter, Matthias, and
– Wylan who there is more to than first seems.

Like I said, every one of them is fantasically thought-up and the best thing about this book is the huge amount of awesome character development there is! I love how much we learn and discover about all of them, and grow to understand how and why they got into their position.

“I’m a business man,” he’d told her. “No more, no less.”
“You’re a thief, Kaz.”
“Isn’t that what I just said?”

– Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows

I actually didn’t really warm to any of the characters at first except Jhoost at the start. I loved how it started with a completely random character who wasn’t even essential to the story, but it just showed that there are people who are affected by the doings of others even just because of situational accident. But as I read on I grew to love all of the characters and their hilarious quips and jibes.

Just give this book a go, whether you read the Shadow and Bone trilogy or not, it is such a unique and intriguing read! So I’ll mention a few spoilers now because there were a couple of little twists and turns I was not expecting!

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The Grisha taking the jurda parem was a great idea to continue with the story of the whole Grisha world whilst focusing on another part with completely different characters. I did like the fact that Nina was a main character in Six of Crows when she was just slightly involved in the previous trilogy.

So Jan Van Eck sends Kaz to retrieve the scientist responsible for the creation of jurda parem because he’s a crazy power-hungry man who only wants it so he can gain further control of Ketterdam and further. Breaking into the Ice Court took a little longer than I thought; I just felt like I was reading a lot of explanation without there being actually much explanation with regards to what was going on? I don’t know I just didn’t feel the planning to break in and breaking in part of the story, but things really got going when they actually locate Kuwei.

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I honestly loved Nina and Matthias’s relationship and history in this book – it was just so cute but also frustrating to see Matthias admit his true feelings towards Nina, given how much he hates her ‘unnatural’ kind. So when he betrays her and gets her locked up in the Ice Court, I wasn’t that surprised because I thought I knew his hatred would win out over love. But THEN it turns out that was a rouse and he does love her and it was all an act! Talk about plot twists.

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Learning why Kaz always wears gloves was quite sad with the history of his brother dying I mean, no wonder he is the way he is! And Pekka Rollins is just vile so I’m glad Kaz is trying to slowly destroy that monster. I thought it was really sad when he’s trying to battle his past demons and his feelings for Inej and it made him such a more believable character – him falling in love doesn’t solve everything, he has to figure out himself and accept what’s happened before anything else.

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Each character had their own secrets – Jesper with his gambling, Inej and her time in a ‘pleasure house’ and Wylan with the small detail of being Jan Van Eck’s son who can’t read. It all just adds to the story in making it more relatable and realistic and I love it when authors do this. The bit at the end when Nina took jurda parem and tailored Wylan to look like Kuwei though-

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I thought Kaz was always going to best Jan Van Eck and be five steps ahead of everyone when it came to scheming so I was disappointed when they got bested by Jan Van Eck at the end. How could it finish on Inej being taken by Van Eck?!

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Nothing was expected or could be predicted in this book! It definitely picked up near the end once they got Kuwei but I just loved the amount of character development involved in this book! It will be so interesting to see where their relationships between each other go in the next book, particularly between Nina and Matthias, Inej and Kaz and Wylan and Jesper.

“The heart is an arrow. It demands aim to land true.”

– Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows