New book – yes I know I don’t need any more!

In order to try an up my income, I have been completing surveys online and getting vouchers in payment. It takes ages, it’s not fun and I don’t recommend it for making a living. The plus point is last week I finally got enough points to trade in for a voucher. There’s a minimum amount for trading in too. This would be the third time in eight months I’ve claimed ten pounds for spending in Amazon. Needless to say, I got a book. I know, I’m a terrible person for not supporting my local bookshop – I do – but that’s the only available voucher where I can get books.

I’ve had my eye on this one for a while, having come across it on a blog about upcoming YA books worth picking up. This was at the start of the year. And then Tom on twitter pointed out that I would like this. He’d enjoyed it. So I ordered it yesterday, it arrived today and it’s lovely.

The font’s not too small, the cover is pretty but not sticky – you know how some covers just stick to your fingers? This one doesn’t. And the story sounds great. So I’m pretty certain I’ll be reading it as soon as I can.

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Zenith

Over the weekend, while celebrating a wedding, I read this tome. (Yep it’s over 500 pages!) Zenith is a YA sci-fi tale of space pirates and secrets, lies and betrayal. There’s been some drama about this book, and I’m not sure why to be honest after reading it. I’ll try and keep it spoiler free.

First the plus points.

  • This is perfect for fans of Throne of Glass (Sarah J Maas) and Star Wars, particularly the original trilogy.
  • It’s got big world building going on; various alien species, with different traits, a collection of planets, including the busy city, the beautiful planet and the war torn one.
  • The spaceships are pretty cool, especially The Marauder.
  • The main group of characters are likeable. There’s enough of them for anyone to latch onto.
  • The plot is a big one, but not over complicated.
  • The writing is clear and not too prose-y.
  • There is a lot to love with the supporting characters.

Next, the not so plus points.

  • I felt the plot was too long in getting going. Parts of the story dragged.
  • Our lead characters have a tragic past. Like overly tragic past. Not a fan of that plot device.
  • The main character, Andi, feels the need to wallow in her grief and guilt. Almost morbid levels. Was this to make her more sympathetic even though she’s a blood thirsty pirate?
  • The romance was… well unimpressive. Obvious history, but no chemistry.
  • Sometimes, the authors voice became two separate people – I know it was written by two people, but it really read like it sometimes.
  • Occasionally the author would describe exactly what had happened in the previous chapter, just because there was a new POV, but didn’t add anything to the description, making it pointless.
  • It’s very much a YA book in language and style. I kinda wish it had been an adult sci-fi tale, and really gone for it. At least that would have given us a tighter plot for the page count.
  • Some of the twists were obvious, set up from earlier. Others came out of nowhere.
  • Frustratingly, the tag on the back of the book is not the story we get inside. That’ll be the next book.

The book has very short chapters, which does make it a reasonably quick read, and each are headed by some nice black and white space art. Wish there had been more variety on the theme.

It’s a fun read, especially if you do like big sci-fi ideas, and a good intro story to the YA sci-fi genre, or even dipping your toe into sci-fi in general. It’s not too much, not overly detailed or complicated and the sci-fi is recognisable; the aliens are like us, but not quite.

There is rape in Zenith, but in my opinion, it is not as straightforward as you think; first off it’s all implied. Second, there’s more going on with it, and the two characters involved are both victims. You may see it differently, but it’s a key plot point too. (Trying not to give anything away!) Any sex scenes are all off screen; the reader being pushed out of the scene before it gets too steamy.

Personally, I was surprised at the level of violence and gore on display. Considering there’s so little sex on the page, the blood levels are fairly full on. Why is violence considered more acceptable then sex? Both happen in life.

So why all the drama? I honestly don’t know. Yes I’ve read better sci-fi, and YA, but I’ve also read much worse. This is non threatening, big on ideas, with characters that I sneakily feel I already know a bit. One for the open minded reader.

New books…..

So today was International Tabletop Day. We trundled over to Waterstones MK to play some cool games.

Power Grid & Potion Explosion

Over three hours later, four games played, several watched, we decided food was needed and picked up our goodies. Amongst the games that hubby fancied, Terraforming Mars, and my eldest’s birthday pressies, I managed to get a few items.

Dread Nation I’ve been waiting for a while. It’s the American Civil War with zombies.

Lady Mary is about when Princess Mary was demoted because her Dad, Henry VIIIth (all round twit) got remarried and Princess Elizabeth turned up. I enjoyed Lucy Worsley’s first book, so I thought I’d give this a go. Must read her Victoria one. Bonus, this came signed, which I didn’t notice until I put it in my bag.

And finally The Beast Player is an impulse buy because I liked the cover and then the blurb. Know little about it so going in blind.

I know, bad girl, but what can I say? (🎵🎵You’re welcome!)

May TBR

Yep, I know I’m early and we’re still in April, and technically I’m still trying to complete my April list, but I’ve got myself sorted because I need to get some idea of what I’m doing with all my books.

So here’s my reading list for May

Spellslinger we are half way through. It’s the bedtime book, so hubby’s reading it to me a couple of chapters each night. Fortunately, he’s enjoying it too. This is the mobile library copy, so I either need to get my own, or get this read in a week and a half.

The Golden Torc I am currently read and hope to finish it by the end of Monday, but we’ll see. I’m not as far through as I hoped, but really enjoying it.

Flunked I picked up while I was in America. I’ve discovered a slightly younger reader book gives me a good platte clean between all my heavier tomes. Flunked is the first in the Fairy Tale Reform School series and follows a thief called Gilly who gets caught. I love the cover of these books, such fun!

The City Stained Red is a nice big fantasy book from my local library. I really want to read this one as I keep seeing it pop up on my twitter feed. Know next to nothing about it, but assuming there’s going to be a lot of blood involved.

Zenith is another library book that I was going to return, but have decided I want to make my own mind up about it. I’m hearing a fair amount of negative from some corners of booktube, but a sci-fi, bounty hunter thing sounds fun to me.

Queen of Hearts came from the mobile library this week. A prequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, this tells the tale of a young Queen of Hearts, Princess Dinah. It’s a YA book, and not too thick.

And finally, The School for Good and Evil was picked out of my TBR jar, my vain attempt to keep track of what I haven’t read that’s on my shelves. This was recommended by Regan from Peruse Projects and my copy is a secondhand one, just in case I didn’t like it.

Of course, this doesn’t count any library books I pick up in the meantime, there’s two staring right at me, and a Fairyloot book turning up in the next week. I’ve still got The Cruel Prince to read.

What are you reading next month?

Currently Reading

This came in my March Fairyloot Box. I’m over 200 pages in and it’s turned into something I’m not that interested in. I’ll keep going, but it’s got to pick up now for me to finish it this month. I will say the story telling is lovely, the subject matter is really well handled, and there’s much to love in this book. I just wish it had taken a different route.

I’ve also got this on the go. It’s the second in the series so can’t tell you much without spoiling, because yes there were deaths and twists in The Many Coloured Land. I’m enjoying the story, though some aspects of this world make me really cross, and they are supposed to. But a scene has just happened where I was smiling at the death of a character.

I’m trying to finish both of these off before the end of April, so should really get back to reading.

Also, it’s World Book Night so a good excuse to read. As though we need one!

My TBR…. update

Back in January I posted about my physical TBR, that I had 73 books around the house to read.

I looked at that photo last night and realised I’ve read 11 books, one is on the go and two I have heard most of. Not bad I thought. Then I realised I’ve got a huge pile more since this photo was taken.

But I will not feel guilty. I love having books to choose from.

Reviews

Hello, just a quick post about book reviews.

There’s been some drama on Twitter recently about a certain popular book written by some high profile booktubers and book reviews. You either know which one I’m talking about, or now itching to know what book you have missed in all the marvellous books that are coming out lately. It’s still on my TBR pile from the library.

I’m lucky in that I tend to miss drama and only heard about this from Francine Simone, who I follow on booktube. I’m not sure what people were complaining about, but it appeared that apparently smaller booktubers were reviewing as usual and generally giving a low opinion of the book. Those who didn’t post their review straight away were then being accused of jumping on the band wagon, wanting only views by doing negative reviews. And those reviewers should be posting their reviews.

WHAT???

When did it become not okay to post reviews?

If you want to review a book, whether a popular one or not, you can. Don’t let someone tell you you shouldn’t be reviewing a book. If you want to share your opinion of a book you have read, do so.

Be fair, be honest.

Each reader is different, will get something different out from a book, and will different thoughts on a book. That is the beauty of reading; each book speaks to us uniquely.

I’ve talked about this in a video for my booktube channel, which I’ll be posting shortly. It needs a little edit!

www.YouTube.com/channel/UCvdRgQzJGpCKEkUDje3DVVQ

So, enjoy reading and reviewing.