Reviewlets: City of Ghosts by Victoria Scwab & Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson

Sorry that this is late, in trying to fix the image placement I managed to completely delete one of the reviewlets. Anyway, I hope you’re doing well and looking after yourself.

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

This is a brilliant ghost story. It just pulls you in. Cass is a fun, interesting character and I really enjoyed following her and Jacob as they explored Edinburgh. I also really enjoyed the fact that Cass can see ghosts, and her parents write about hauntings and have recently started hosting a TV show about them. One of the things I most like about Cars is how independent she is, and I thought her surprise that there were more people like her out there in the world was really believable. I also thought Scwab’s ideas about ghosts and people that can see them are really interesting. I don’t have a lot to say about this book, but I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to the next book in the series.

Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson, translated by Elizabeth Portch ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 stars)

Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson

This was a surprise gift from my aunt, uncle, and cousin for my birthday. I used to watch The Moomins when I was younger, so I had a vague idea who everyone is but although this is the third book in the series it is the first book I’ve read. The book is quite short – one hundred and seventy-three pages – and each chapter is like a mini story, so it is quite easy to dive into and out of it. This edition includes some illustrations by Jansson, which are beautifully done. There is also a map of Moonin Valley at the front of the book, which I really enjoyed (I like books that have maps, they’re awesome). It is a lovely thing to hold, and I think fans will enjoy it to add to their Moomin collection. I was a little disappointed with the stories themselves as I found them quite hard to get into, despite them being quick reads. I did enjoy most of the book, so I can see why people read them and enjoy this series, but I don’t plan on getting any more in the series.

Review: Our Dark Duet by V. E. Schwab

Our Dark Duet by V. E. Schwab (UK edition)

Title: Our Dark Duet (A Monsters of Verity Novel, 2)
Author: V. E. Schwab
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Titan Books (13th June 2017)
Blurb:

Kate Harker is a girl who hunts monsters. And she’s good at it. August Flynn is a monster who can never be human. Nearly six months after Kate and August were first thrown together, the war between the monsters and the humans is a terrifying reality. In Verity, August has become the leader he never wished to be, and in Prosperity, Kate has become the ruthless hunter she knew she could be. When a new monster emerges from the shadows – one who feeds on chaos and brings out its victim’s inner demons – Kate must face a monster she thought she’d killed, a boy she thought she knew, and a demon all her own . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)
Review:

OUR DARK DUET is the second and final book in V. E. Schwab’s Monsters of Verity series. It continues the stories of Kate Harker and August Flynn nearly six months after the events of THIS SAVAGE SONG, still very much apart. Kate has left Verity behind and become a ruthless hunter of monsters. August has become the leader he never wanted to be. There seems no chance that their paths will cross again. A new monster emerges from the shadows, one that is nothing like any monster seen before – it feeds on chaos, bringing people’s inner demons to the surface. All paths lead back to Verity.

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Review: A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab

A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab (UK edition)

Title: A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, 3)
Author: V. E. Schwab
Genre: Alternative Universes, Fantasy
Publisher: Titan Books (21st February 2017)
Blurb:

The precarious equilibrium among the four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving space for another London to rise. Kell – once assumed to be the last surviving Antari – begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. Lila Bard, once a commonplace – but never common – theif, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry.

Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery and the Night Spire crew are attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible, as an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown and a fallen hero is desperate to save a decaying world . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

A CONJURING OF MAGIC is the third and final instalment of V. E. Schwab’s brilliant Shades of Magic series. This book deals with the fallout of events that started in A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC, as the precarious equilibrium between the four Londons reaches its breaking point. Kell and Lila find themselves in the thick of it, as darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire. An ancient enemy appears to claim a crown, and a fallen hero desperately tries to save a dying world. All whilst Captain Alucard Emery races against time to acquire the impossible. They all stand on a knife’s edge; the shadows are hungry.

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Review: This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab

This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab (UK edition)

This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab (UK edition)

Title: This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, 1)
Authors: V. E. Schwab
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher:  Titan Books (7th June 2016)
Blurb:

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city, a grisly metropolis where the violence has begun to create real and deadly monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the inhabitants pay for his protection. August just wants to be human, as good-hearted as his own father – but his curse is to be what the humans fear. The thin truce that keeps the Harker and Flynn families at peace is crumbling, and an assassination attempts forces Kate and August into a tenuous alliance. But how long will they survive in a city where no one is safe and monsters are real . . .

Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

THIS SAVAGE SONG by V. E. Schwab is the first part of an intriguing new series – Monsters of Verity. The story is set in a dark divided world where monsters walk the streets. Kate Harker and August Flynn are the children of the two men who run the divided city of Verity. Between them Harker and Flynn hold the city, but their truce is thinning and the peace it created crumbling. If the truce breaks it will mean war. Kate and August get caught in an assassination attempt that forces them to create an alliance. The only trouble is, they’re not sure whom they can trust.

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Bout of Books 18 |Progress?

This is where I’ll be keeping track of my progress with Bout of Books 18. Be sure to check back here if you want to see how I’m doing.

Day 1: January 2nd
Book(s) I’m Reading: I Was Here by Gayle Forman [Goodreads]
Number of Pages Read Today: 102
Number of Pages Read Total: 102
Book(s) I’ve Completed:  n/a
My day:

Monday was the last day of the Christmas holidays, and I spent it with my parents. So I had quite a gentle start to this Bout of Books, as I didn’t actually spend a lot of time reading. It was nice. This no pressure thing seems to be working.

The first one-hundred-or-so pages of I Was Here were interesting, and I’m glad I decided to pick up this book.It seems like one I can just dip in and out of when things get hard to give myself a bit of distance.

Day 2: January 3rd
Book(s) I’m Reading: I Was Here by Gayle Forman [Goodreads], This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab [Goodreads]
Number of Pages Read Today: 189
Number of Pages Read Total: 291
Book(s) I’ve Completed:  I Was Here by Gayle Forman
My day:

Today I was due for a blood test (because of the medication I take) so I had that first thing, which was why I decided to treat myself to a McD’s breakfast and then have a mooch around town. I also decided to use up the leftover bacon and have bacon and egg mayo cobs.

I was in a real reading mood today, so with a lot of breaks I managed to get quite a few pages in which I am super happy about. 😁

Tueday in pictures.

Tuesday in pictures.

Day 3: January 4th
Book(s) I’m Reading: This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab [Goodreads]
Number of Pages Read Today: 74
Number of Pages Read Total: 365
Book(s) I’ve Completed:  I Was Here by Gayle Forman
My day:

Today was medicine day, and to be honest I didn’t really feel like reading. So I didn’t really. Happy with what I did manage though. It was more than nothing. 😝

Day 4: January 5th
Book(s) I’m Reading: This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab [Goodreads]
Number of Pages Read Today: 200
Number of Pages Read Total: 565
Book(s) I’ve Completed:  I Was Here by Gayle Forman
My day:

Another good reading day. My best one this week so far. I didn’t really do a lot. A little cleaning, but I buckled down on the reading front. 🤓

Day 5: January 6th
Book(s) I’m Reading: This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab [Goodreads]
Number of Pages Read Today: 101
Number of Pages Read Total: 666
Book(s) I’ve Completed:  I Was Here by Gayle Forman, This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab
My day:

Today I took the Christmas tree down and boxed everything up for next year – apparently you’re not supposed to put the tree up until today so that the three magi could deliver their presents. It took less time than I thought it would and was relatively stress free.

Of course I decided to start the day as I meant to go on, by actually making scrambled eggs for breakfast instead of just having toast. I enjoyed it.

I spent most of the afternoon with Mum, which was nice.

My breakfast.

My breakfast.

Day 6: January 7th
Book(s) I’m Reading: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir [Goodreads]
Number of Pages Read Today: 230
Number of Pages Read Total: 896
Book(s) I’ve Completed:  I Was Here by Gayle Forman, This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab
My day:

Today was a typical Saturday, apart from the fact that Mum went off to a tutorial. It was nice and relaxed, so I decided to make cakes. 🍰

I did manage to make a five-minute appearance in the Twitter chat. I was about half an hour late, and had to rush off to help make the stew. From what I saw, there were some interesting questions asked and answered. There were also some book recs that looked interesting, and I really enjoyed the discussion about what people would like to see more of in books.

My lunch.

My lunch.

Day 7: January 8th
Book(s) I’m Reading: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir [Goodreads], A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir chapter sampler.
Number of Pages Read Today: 272
Number of Pages Read Total: 1,168
Book(s) I’ve Completed:  I Was Here by Gayle Forman, This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab, An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir Chapter Sampler.
My day:

Another nice and relaxing day. I slept in and managed to complete An Ember in the Ashes and read the chapter sampler for A Torch Against the Night. It has me intrigued.

It’s only 19:28 as I write this, but I find myself read out which means I’m going to take a break from reading for the rest of tonight. So that means this is it for me for Bout of Books 18. I’ll be posting a wrap-up post tomorrow, but right now I’m really happy with how things went. 🤓👍🙌📚😴

One of the cakes I made yesterday. A lovely reading snack, even if I do say so myself.

One of the cakes I made yesterday. A lovely reading snack, even if I do say so myself.

Review: A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab

A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab

Title: A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, 2)
Author: V. E. Schwab
Genre: Alternative Universes, Fantasy
Publisher: Titan Books (23rd February 2016)
Blurb:

Kell is one of the last magicians with the ability to travel between parallel universes, linked by the magical city of London. It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into his possession and he met Delilah Bard. Four months since the Dane twins of White London fell, and the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body back into Black London.

Now Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila. And as Red London prepares for the Element Games – an international competition of magic – a certain pirate ship draws closer. But another London is coming back to life. The balance of magic is perilous, and for one city to flourish, another must fall . . .

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

A GATHERING OF SHADOWS is the second book in V. E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic series. It continues the stories of Kell and Delilah Bard, and takes place several months after the events of A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC (review). Whilst Delilah is seeking adventure, Kell is facing the consequences of the choices he made, and another London is coming back to life.

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Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab (UK edition)

Title: A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic, 1)
Author: V. E. Schwab
Genre: Alternate Universes, Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Titan Books (27 February 2015)
Blurb:

Kell is one of the last travellers – magicians with a rare ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magical city. There’s Grey London, without magic and ruled by the mad King George III. Red London – where magic is revered, and where Kell was raised alongside the heir to the empire. White London – where people fight to control the remaining magic and magic fights back. And once there was Black London . . .

Officially Kell is the Red traveller, carrying letters between the monarchs of each London. Unofficially he is a smuggler, a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences. His escape to Grey London leads to a run-in with Delilah, a cutpurse with lofty aspirations, who forces Kell to take her on a proper adventure. But perilous magic is afoot, and an adventure becomes a mission to save all the worlds.

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC is the first book in a new series by V. E. Schwab. It follows the stories of Kell, a magician who is powerful enough to travel between worlds, and Delilah, a thief who wants to see the world. Kell is delivering a letter from his home court when he is forced to flee to Grey London where his path crosses that of Delilah.

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