Rating: 3 STARS
Genre: YA Fantasy
Standalone/Series: Summoner #1
How I got this book: Bought from Audible
When blacksmith apprentice Fletcher discovers that he has the ability to summon demons from another world, he travels to Adept Military Academy. There the gifted are trained in the art of summoning. Fletcher is put through grueling training as a battlemage to fight in the Hominum Empire’s war against orcs. He must tread carefully while training alongside children of powerful nobles. The power hungry, those seeking alliances, and the fear of betrayal surround him. Fletcher finds himself caught in the middle of powerful forces, with only his demon Ignatius for help.
As the pieces on the board maneuver for supremacy, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of an empire is in his hands. The Novice is the first in a trilogy about Fletcher, his demon Ignatius, and the war against the Orcs.
I decided to read this book after seeing Taran Matharu at the NYALitFest. It had been on my radar for a while and I decided, after listening to the sample, to give the audiobook a try.
This was a buddy read and it took us a month to listen to this one.
The first thing I noticed about The Novice were the clear comparisons to Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Pokemon - an interesting combination.
I found the story intriguing, if following a fairly typical, boy stumbles across powers/magic and starts training at magic school, befriends a boy and a girl and has to defeat the evil, snobbish, wealthy child(ren).
However, I had a huge problem with the narrator. It got to the point where the narrator was massively distracting me with the way he pronounced a lot of the words. It was just driving me crazy, and making me laugh when the story just didn't call for humour.
I persevered because I was enjoying the story, the magic was interesting, and I loved the Pokemon similarities, especially finding out that the humans are the pokeballs which was a funny twist!
I also loved the characters, especially the daemons who have their own personalities.
Where the story ended was a little frustrating (probably because I'm not a huge cliffhanger fan) but it does leave the story open for book 2 and I am interested to see where this goes.
However, I think I'll definitely be going with the paper book/eBook next time, instead of the audiobook.
Rating: 5 STARS!!
Standalone/Series: The Nevernight Chronicle #1
How I got this book: Bought
Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.
Destined to destroy empires, the child raised in shadows made a promise on the day she lost everything: to avenge herself on those that shattered her world.
But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, and Mia must become a weapon without equal. Before she seeks vengeance, she must seek training among the infamous assassins of the Red Church of Itreya.
Inside the Church's halls, mia must prove herself against the deadliest of opponents and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult.
The Church is no ordinary school, but Mia is no ordinary student.
I'm going to start by pointing out that I've marked this book as a Fantasy novel, not a YA Fantasy (as shown on Goodreads) because there is no way in hell that this book is a YA...and by no means is that a bad thing!
I absolutely LOVE it when books live up to their hype, and I admit that I was a little sceptical over Nevernight, because I'd tried to read this book about three times over the past year, and I just kept re-reading the first two chapters and then stopping. My biggest issue was with the footnotes which I struggled with to begin with, I just felt that they detracted from the story a bit and pulled me out of the 'zone'.
You might be wondering why then that I decided to rate this as a 5 star read. Simply put, some of the footnotes aside, this is one of the most incredible books I've ever had the pleasure of reading.
This is my second Jay Kristoff novel, Illuminae being the first, and I can only say that the man is both ingenious and insane. He clearly hates standard formatting, but it works so well that I honestly can't complain, and his character and world development are phenomenal!
Mia is a fantastic character, I love her strength, her pain, her courage and her fear. Nevernight surprised me by having a really fantastic feminist undertone, alongside some brilliant quotes.
"Beauty you are born with, but brains you earn."
After struggling with the first three chapters, I suddenly fell face first into the story during chapter 4 and it dragged me along for an amazing ride.
To be honest, I'm not sure what to talk about first and I really don't want to give much away, but here's a quick run-down of some of my favourite things: Mia (and her shadows), Mr. Kindly (and his sass), the sand krackens, the librarian, the bookworms, the library itself, the blood walk, Naev, Adonaii, Marielle, Hush, Tric (and his impressive skills 😉), Lord Cassius, Mouser, Spiderkiller, AAlea...aaand there's so much more that I can't think of right now.
Surprisingly, this book is packed full of witty humour which comes through in the footnotes, the characters (mostly the 'teachers') and Mr. Kindly.
"She crushed what was left of her smoke out, grimacing.
'Maw's teeth, I've got to cut down.'
'....there are more dangerous things around here to put in your mouth...'
Mister Kindly peered at her through the grey pall.
'....dweymeri boys, for example....'"
The Red Church made me think of a cross between the house of black and white and Hogwarts, if run by Death Eaters, and I'm really sorry, but I think I've found my new favourite potions master because Spiderkiller is incredible and terrifying! It's bloody, brutal, graphic and I loved every bit of it.
The characters, the plot twists, the shock moments (yeah, I'm looking at you Solis!! 😱😱😱), the violence, the 'romance' - arrrggh! I can't get over how perfect it was!!
I am so ready for book two, and if you haven't read Nevernight yet, I'd highly recommend that you do!
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Book addict, film mad, music lover, business owner, aspiring writer and mum (not necessarily in that order), living in the UK.
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