“7 books ahead of schedule,” – Goodreads
Remember to stay up to date with the world, listen to those facing atrocities and help spread awareness/donate where you’re able.
For the second round of playing along with TBR games, I used the prompts that Kaylani SimplyMe got. Kaylani uses the concept of bingo to build her tbr. The amount of balls Kaylani uses is 8 and in this round she also had 2 bonus balls.
For my TBR check out this post. I chose 10 books for the corresponding prompts, and I’m actually really happy that I read as many as I did, despite not completing it fully. In the end I finished 6 out of 10, and also finished City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare that I rolled over from April.
Seasons of War; Derek Landy
- Prompt: N33 || Low Expectations
- Finished: 15.05.21
- Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
War is coming. To avert catastrophe, Skulduggery and Valkyrie are sent on a secret mission that takes them away from everything they know, to a forsaken land of magic and grim, unrelenting terror. It is here that Valkyrie will have to fight the hardest ― not only against the enemies who want her dead, but also against her own self-destructive impulses. It’s only by crawling through darkness that she’ll be able to once again stand in the light…goodreads
I definitely had low expectations going into Seasons of War, but I was pleasantly surprised. This is definitely the best one of phase 2 as yet, which considering how I’ve felt about it so far isn’t that big of a compliment. The dialogue is quite awkward and there were a lot of moments where it felt preachy and as though Landy was trying too hard.
Valkyrie was annoying, but thankfully, through conversations with Skulduggery and Tanith (which could have been done ages ago btw!) she became more tolerable. The rag tag team sent for this mission gave the book more structure and it felt more like Phase 1. It helped that the action was actually fun and there was an interesting and action packed plot.
The problem I have with these books is the villains. They’re set up as these super badass and evil people, but are dealt with so easily. I also still don’t care all that much about the teenagers, but Omen’s parts were actually alright. It was nice to see him being active.
Memnoch the Devil; Anne Rice
- Prompt: O61 || Ugly Cover
- Finished: 22.05.21
- Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
The Vampire Lestat — monster, outsider, hero-wanderer — is snatched from this world to face his most extraordinary adversary ever in Anne Rice’s compelling, dark and daring novel. His guide Memnoch, the Devil, takes him on a tour of Creation and leads him into the mythical worlds we must all one (lay confront, the wry realms of’ Heaven and Hell.goodreads
Lestat is dramatic and extra and I really like that about him. This book starts with his usual behaviour, but then when he enters into the conversation and journey with Memnoch, his vibrant and usual personality is dimmed.
I’m interested in religion – I have a degree in it – so that was a compelling aspect. However, it did get a bit confusing. Aspects of Memnoch’s and God’s relationship and conflict felt contrived and nonsensical. I’m still somewhat unsure of why Memnoch wanted Lestat in the first place. I think the concept was good and could have worked so much better, but the execution wasn’t up to par with the rest of the series before it.
The Bane Chronicles; Cassandra Clare
- Prompt: O72 || First Letter of Name in Title
- Finished: 12.05.21
- Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This collection of eleven short stories illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality, flamboyant style, and sharp wit populate the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices. Originally released one-by-one as e-only short stories by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, and Sarah Rees Brennan, this compilation presents all ten together in print for the first time and includes a never-before-seen eleventh tale, as well as new illustrated material.goodreads
This is a reread for me, and I enjoyed it just as much as before. Magnus is one of my favourite characters, I love that flamboyant and charismatic warlock. Each story has a flair of fun and the host of characters around Magnus are great – I’m mostly talking about Ragnor and Raphael 😂
Teeth: Vampire Tales; Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling (eds.)
- Prompt: O55 || Read at Night
- Finished: 31.05.21
- Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Sink your teeth into these bite-sized tales exploring the intersections among the living, dead, and undead. Features stories by Neil Gaiman, Melissa Marr, Cassandra Clare, Holly Black, Garth Nix, and many more.goodreads
This selection of stories and 2 poems were a mixed bunch. There were some interesting and strange stories and then some confusing and not so great ones. For the most part, I did like reading these and I love that anthologies let you meet a lot of new authors you might not have read from.
Heartstopper Volume 4; Alice Oseman
- Prompt: O75 || Read in 1 Day
- Finished: 01.05.21
- Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Charlie didn’t think Nick could ever like him back, but now they’re officially boyfriends. Charlie’s beginning to feel ready to say those three little words: I love you. Nick’s been feeling the same, but he’s got a lot on his mind – not least coming out to his dad, and the fact that Charlie might have an eating disorder.
As summer turns to autumn and a new school year begins, Charlie and Nick are about to learn a lot about what love means. Heartstopper is about love, friendship, loyalty and mental illness.goodreads
I love these graphic novels. The characters are so chaotic and loving, with issues that are integrated naturally and are realistic. Alice Oseman also treats all the topics with respect and care.
In this volume, there are definite trigger warnings for homophobia, eating disorders, medication, depression, voluntary/involuntary sectioning, suicidal and invasive thoughts.
The Devil and the Dark Water; Stuart Turton
- Prompt: B11 || Isaac Pick
- Finished: 27.05.21
- Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
It’s 1634 and Samuel Pipps, the world’s greatest detective, is being transported to Amsterdam to be executed for a crime he may, or may not, have committed. Traveling with him is his loyal bodyguard, Arent Hayes, who is determined to prove his friend innocent.
But no sooner are they out to sea than devilry begins to blight the voyage.
Could a demon be responsible for their misfortunes? With Pipps imprisoned, only Arent can solve a mystery that connects every passenger onboard. A mystery that stretches back into their past and now threatens to sink the ship, killing everybody on board.goodreads
Kaylani’s prompt was Isaac Pick, but as I have no one in my life called Isaac or someone like that, I got my sister to pick a book from a stack. Of course, she picked the longest. I enjoyed Turton’s previous book, so was super intrigued at what his new book had to offer.
The Devil and the Dark Water is a great mystery with lots of secrets and interesting characters. Arent was a great protagonist, as were a few other main people around him. And the contained setting of a ship at sea added a lot of tension and intrigue. The diagram of the boat was super handy as I don’t know anything about the layout of a boat.
I enjoyed some of the twists (and feel vindicated that I guessed right on one part lol). I will say the ending was a little disappointing – by that I don’t mean finding out the culprit for definite, it was the waffling after and the conclusion our host of characters came to that I found a little lack lustre.
City of Heavenly Fire; Cassandra Clare
- Finished: 31.05.21
- Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris – but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons? When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee – even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned…
Love will be sacrificed and lives lost in the terrible battle for the fate of the word in the thrilling final installment of the classic urban fantasy series The Mortal Instruments!goodreads
I started City of Heavenly Fire in April and rolled it over to May. I’m really glad that I finally got round to it. Cassandra Clare’s books are super easy to read – they’re fast paced and action packed. The last book in the Mortal Instruments was actually really good. I’ve learnt to not take these books too seriously, especially as these characters in particular are melodramatic idiots. They’ve really grown on me~
Despite not really remembering a lot of the previous 5 books, Cassandra Clare’s writing style makes it easy to know what is happening and why. I didn’t feel lost or confused while reading and this definitely got me in the mood to keep going and carry on with the other anthologies and trilogies.
The ending did feel a little easy, but I liked certain aspects surrounding Sebastian. And of course, it’s frustrating to see the adult Shadowhunter’s be judgmental idiots, repeatedly.
Have you enjoyed any of these books? Or not enjoyed? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading!
I hope you’re having a lovely day and staying safe ♥