Obsidio was OUT OF THIS WORLD!

obsidioI don’t get that many new books- but I simply *had to* have this one. I mean, you guys know how much I adored Illuminae and Gemina (although I know a fair number of you are new here- in which case welcome! And just to get you up to date at the speed of light: hi, I’m the Orangutan Librarian and I *love* these books!). I mean what’s not to love about a space adventure told in a “found files” kind of way?

I will admit that every time I start one of these books, I do have some trouble getting into the format. Don’t get me wrong- I think it’s phenomenally unique and different- only that sort of thing is always a double edged sword for me, because it takes a while to get used to. That said, each book has been inventive in its own way and I always end up completely immersed in the experience.

More importantly, as a conclusion this was devastatingly emotional. Unlike the first two, there wasn’t the entire universe on the line, but in a way that made it more poignant. Instead of floating around in the vast hypothetical territory of the previous books, this was more grounded and focused on individuals. While it was action packed and explosive like its predecessors, what gave me goosebumps was feeling closer to the people whose lives were on the line.

All the characters felt so real to me- I was on-the-edge-of-my-seat terrified of what might happen to them. The cast was expanded here, which meant we had less time to spend with some of the favourites we’d met in the last two books. But never fear- everyone still got space to breathe and the finale they deserved! Plus, I found the new characters added to the plot in a significant way and were a sympathetic link to the drama going down.

And boy was there drama! The *evil corporation* was upto no good and there was mischief a-foot closer to home as well. Speaking of which, spoilers for the first two books, who knew a murderous AI could be so hysterical?

Overall, this was an entertaining and gripping series- and the only reason it’s not getting a full feast of bananas is cos I’m nitpicky about how long it took to get into it and one grammatical question mark.

Rating: 4½/5 bananas

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So have you read this series? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!

“What would the world be like without Captain James Hook?” Villains I Can’t Live Without

I wasn’t actually planning on making this post… Somehow though, I couldn’t let my thoughts rest after talking about why villains are the greatest and I started mulling over which crooks are the very best at being bad guys…

AKA what villains could I not live without? Well, I’m here to tell you which baddies are some of my faves:

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Captain Hook– there’s a very obvious reason why I named Hook in the title of this post- he’s probably one of the best villains of all time! (not just because I love the movie Hook) As a man who grew into a tyrant, he is the perfect foil for someone who doesn’t want to grow up at all. There is no better symbol of what a person can become if they let their worst impulses get the better of them. Indeed, what would the world be like without Captain James Hook?!

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Richard III– I’m mostly trying to avoid putting anti-heroes on this list, because then I really could go on forever. Still, out of all Shakespeare’s villains, this is the one I find most compelling. I especially wanted to mention him, because I was reading the most incredibly thoughtful post a couple of days ago from Cameron @Here Be Wyverns (seriously recommend checking it out), where he described how you can’t make someone less villainous with a backstory and, well, I thought that’s it exactly. Characters like Richard III are a great example of this- they’re the sort where you see where they’re coming from and yet it’s impossible to excuse their actions. Plus I had to include dear old Richard; he’d have got the hump if I didn’t 😉

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Joffrey Baratheon– GRRM has created some of my all-time favourite villains- yet I don’t think there’s any that I loathed more than Joffrey! (and that’s saying, especially since Ramsay Bolton was in the running!) One of the reasons he’s my pick is not only because he’s one of the first big bads in the story, he also somehow managed to get a lot of the action rolling by being such a vicious idiot. Also, as Drew pointed out in my why I love villains list, he’s a very notable villain- this one’s for you Drew 😉 I don’t think I can formulate the words “I love Joffrey as a villain” though- he’s not even remotely lovable.

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Cathy Ames– aside from how much I love her introduction, she’s one of the most spiteful, vicious characters in literature. I love to loathe her.

 

 

 

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Lydia Gwilt– it’s fairly simple why Armadale is one of my favourite classics: it has one of my favourite villains. I adore this femme fatale- she’s not one to be underestimated.

 

 

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Mrs Danvers– MRS DANVERS IS EVIL. That is all. (Seriously, I’ve hated this woman since I was 10)

 

 

thewitchesThe Grand High Witch– I always get the heebie jeebies whenever I think about the Witches- those long nails, bald heads and basically the fact that she’s pure evil made me terrified of her- arghh- like I said I don’t like to think of her!

 

doomspellDragwena– it doesn’t matter how long it’s been since I read this trilogy, I will always be terrified of the witch characters in Doomspell. With extra sets of teeth and a snake wrapped around her neck, there’s something endlessly ominous about her.

 

 

MissPeregrineCover (1).jpgHollowgast– that name is pretty genius, embodying a period of time and sense of dread, and subsequently demonstrating some of the inventiveness that made this series so powerful for me. I don’t always find myself fearing generic monsters in books, however, there’s something so unsettling about the creatures in Peculiar Children.

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Sauron– a lot of people would perhaps argue that Sauron is more of a force of evil and so not the best villain. However, not only is he creepilicious as a dark force overshadowing Middle Earth, having read the Silmarillion now, I can see how fully fleshed out he is, well, minus the actual body 😉

dolores umbridgeDolores Umbridge– more sinister than Voldemort, more unsettling than the Dementors, Umbridge definitely takes the biscuit for being my most hated Rowling villain. There are no words to describe how much I loathe this woman.

 

smaug 4Smaug!!! I was desperately trying not to include two Tolkien villains- but I can’t help it! I pretty much love all of Tolkien’s baddies, nonetheless, Smaug takes all the gold medals for being my favourite fictional dragon.

 

And finally some “you know who” villains ie ones that would be spoilery to name:

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So what do you think with my list? Agree or disagree with any of them? And who are some of your favourite villains? Let me know in the comments!

BOOK VS. BOOK TAG

For the first time ever I have a good reason for taking so long to do a tag, because when I was first tagged I’d read just one of the books on the list, so doing it would have been totally pointless. However I decided to treat this like a challenge to see how many I could read…. Annnd now that I’ve finally managed to read ALL the books on here so I’m READY TO ROCK!!

Thank you so much to Emily @Rose Read for tagging me and creating such an awesome list of books- I had so much fun doing this!!

Here are the rules:

  • Thank the blog who tagged you and link back to them
  • Your first book is the last book of the person who tagged you
  • Follow the list of books the tagger you gave you and then face off “book 1 vs book 2”
  • As soon as you have a winner, choose 7 more books and blogs to tag

Emily ended with Cinder by Marissa Meyer, so that’s my starting book. Here’s her list of contenders:

  1. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  2. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  3. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  4. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobosky
  7. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

ROUND 1

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Cinder VS Illuminae: Already I’m gonna have some guilt with this question because of how easy it is for me to say ILLUMINAE! In truth, I did really enjoy Cinder but I didn’t love it nearly as much as Illuminae.

ROUND 2

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Illuminae VS Ready Player One: Again I did actually enjoy Ready Player One in the end but IT’S NOT ILLUMINAE DAMMIT!

ROUND 3

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Illuminae VS Enders Game : This is getting ridiculous!!! Guys, I just really like Illuminae okay!?

ROUND 4

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Illuminae VS Outsiders: Okay, before you get up on me for my Illuminae bias, I’m still trying to pin down my thoughts on Outsiders since I had mixed feelings about it… so yeah… it’s got to be Illuminae.

ROUND 5

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Illuminae VS The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian: Ahh well this one’s easy too- cos I actually didn’t like the Part-Time Indian– I didn’t relate to it at all and as I said in my mini-review, I think it’s more aimed at an American audience. So yeah, Illuminae for the win!

ROUND 6

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Illuminae VS Perks of Being a Wallflower: Arghhhh no!!!! Why are you doing this to me?!?! I really thought with how easy it was for Illuminae to win the last few rounds that it would run away with it and I wouldn’t have to make any tough decisions… Alas you’re making me choose between my babies *sobs*!! I think it actually has to be Perks because Illuminae was tough to get into (see I can actually criticise books I love from time to time) whereas Perks was faultless (okay, not always)

ROUND 7

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Perks of Being a Wallflower VS Eleanor and Park: *controversial opinion alert* I didn’t actually like Eleanor and Park… so this one’s a no brainer.

THE WINNER!

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The winner is Perks of Being a Wallflower! Yes, I know, we all thought Illuminae would win for sure, but at the last minute the dark horse of the competition snuck up and stole the prize!

Anyway I’m really looking forward to seeing what people do with this one.

Here’s My List of books:

  1. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  2. 1984 by George Orwell
  3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  4. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  5. Red Rising by Pierce Brown
  6. Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  7. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (I feel like it came so close it deserves to be on here)

I chose books I wouldn’t be able to choose between- I’m so mean- mwhahahaha!

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I tag:

Nel, Kat, Valerie, Shannon, Briana & Krysta @Pages Unbound, Lashaan & Trang @Bookidote, Dani @Perspective of a Writer, Villain Library, Two Gals and a Book, and Around the Library in 80 Days (as always don’t feel like you have to do it and feel free to give it a go if you like the look of this!)

And what do you think of my choices- which book would have won for you? Let me know in the comments!

And heads up I’m gonna be gone for a few days, visiting friends, so there won’t be any posts until the end of next week! I will leave you with this tune…

Which is nice and appropriate for a trip to Scotland 😉

Gemina was a real Gem!

geminaOh gosh I love these books so much!

It took much less time to get into this one- even though the opening was technically less dramatic, it had a much faster pace. The drawings were a nice addition here and I found myself falling in love with the characters so much more quickly.

The characters had such huge personalities that they leapt off the page. I absolutely adored Nik straightaway and his backstory made him even more sympathetic. Cerberus was a pretty decent villain- though I can’t say it compared to AIDAN (my baby!). Speaking of which, his return with his wonderful “oh captain my captain” lines, was very welcome!

I loved the concept for this one. Although I’m beginning to sense not new in terms of sci fi books, I didn’t care, because it’s all new to me and it’s done so well. Like the previous book, I really enjoyed the philosophising- especially the message to make sure you don’t become a monster to beat a monster- it was nicely expressed.

The plot was surreal, but oh so clever. The ending literally made me go “fuck yeah!” This is the kind of book you *need* to read at 2 in the morning when everyone has gone to bed. Cos this is the B-O-M-B and it will make your mind explode with excitement!! I did have one *spoilery* issue in that the conclusion to the whole parallel universe thing was a little obvious- especially since the whole “my bf/gf has died” plot point was recycled from the first book and just multiplied by two- so I had to give a slight deduction for that.

But overall, it was bloody marvellous. The only truly awful thing about this book is having to wait so long for the next one!!! WHY???

Rating 4½/5 bananas

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So have you read this series yet? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments below!

Illuminae Lit Me Up!

illuminaeHellooo! I’m sure I’m not the only one catching up on my December reviews now- and this one is a real gem!

Normally, I don’t go in for unconventionally told stories and I only just got into sci fi- so really this book had everything stacked against it. But do you know what? I *loved* this book! Even though I found the formatting hard to follow at first and it took me a while to get into, it ended up being one of the most exciting books I read in 2016! I am so glad I persevered with it because it was so much fun to read- it was jam packed with drama- I simply could not put it down!

On top of that, it dealt with some big “life questions”- about what it means to be human- all without being wanky! (Now that’s what I call a success!) What was great about this book was how complex it ended up being- in the end everything slotted into place and the issues I had at the start like “why is there an Orwell quote?” and “what’s with the title?” were all answered- and very satisfactorily too. Because this book is more than just another space romp- it’s about the power of the individual to speak truth to power- which practically had me fist pumping *rock on!*

Plus, if that hasn’t got you sold, this book is also full of some stonkingly good characters- I cannot tell you how much I adored them (albeit not straight away- sadly because of the formatting) From the point when AIDAN was given a voice, this book became an emotional rollercoaster. I hated the villain, I loved the villain, I JUST DID NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MY FEELINGS!! There were points where the reader is led to believe a character is dead- but for me this didn’t have the right punch because too many obvious breadcrumbs made it obvious this wasn’t the case. Even so- I felt so invested in this book by the end.

So after docking half a banana for the somewhat slow start, I can happily award this book:

Rating: 4½/5 bananas

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Ah this book made me glad I gave sci fi a chance last year- what genre have you recently picked up and what book was your gateway drug to a new (or old) beloved genre? Let me know in the comments!