Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – Book Review

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Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

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Six of Crows is exactly the kind of book I’ve been wanting to read lately. It’s style reminds me of Throne of Glass by Sara J. Maas but told in two books instead of six, which is nice since I have series exhaustion right now. Told from multiple POVs, Six of Crows follows six criminals as they journey across oceans and continents to attempt to break into an impenetrable fortress.

When authors use multiple POVs it can be either hit or miss for me. Sometimes some of the viewpoints in a book can seem irrelevant or the shift between viewpoints isn’t distinct enough. That’s a huge annoyance for me in books with multiple POVs, when it switches from one character’s viewpoint to another and it takes me a few paragraphs before I even realize the transition has happened. Bardugo writes her characters’ multiple viewpoints very well, with each one having a distinct narrative style while still keeping the storytelling consistent.

Even the viewpoints of characters that weren’t necessarily essential to read in order to further the plot were still highly enjoyable. It’s rare that I enjoy the viewpoints of all characters in a book but Bardugo succeeded in this. Even when reading A Song of Ice and Fire there were character chapters that I want to skip through due to boredom or indifference. I mean no offense to Martin, as I do so adore that series, but I was never all that enthralled by Davos or Sansa’s chapters.

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I enjoyed the way that the characters in Six of Crows were developed, revealing small tidbits throughout to form a bigger picture of each of their pasts. I think my favourite character has to be Inej or as they call her, The Wraith. She’s smart, sneaky, badass, and still has some of the normal teenage girl angst that makes her relatable but not enough to be annoying.

The plot is well crafted and had just enough twists to always leave me guessing. I’m also a sucker for anything supernatural so the combination of an Ocean’s Eleven style heist set in a fantastical other world where there are people with special abilities? yessssssssssss!

Plus, there are a few romantic stories going on and I do love me a good side romance in pretty much any book.

Rating: 4.5/5

For Fans Of: Throne of Glass by Sara J. Maas, Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, and Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Jackaby by William Ritter – Book Review

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Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police–with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane–deny.

I’m a big fan of Sherlock Holmes inspired books so this one immediately caught my eye. Especially since it has a supernatural aspect to it as well. Yes, please! I enjoyed Abigail Rook’s character as she is smart, kind, observant, and easy to relate to. She’s a girl seeking adventure and excitement during a time when this was a frowned upon interest for women. These kinds of female characters are my favourites in books, movies, and TV shows. If you, like me, enjoy smart, sassy, and strong female characters then I highly recommend also checking out Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries on Netflix. It’s a show set in Australia during the early 1900s revolving around a female private detective who is just a little pot of sass, and I love her.

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Suggestion tangent over, I quite enjoyed this book. It isn’t particularly original or astoundingly well written, but it is a very very fast read (at only 294 pgs) and was great for getting me out of my book slump. Doing so much course reading for school I went the entire month of January without completing a single book, which is practically unheard of for me. Jackaby‘s plot is intriguing and even surprised me a tiny bit with it’s ending, in a good way.

Jackaby as a character is a great Sherlock Holmes knock-off with a supernatural twist. He’s smart, insanely observant except when it comes to human emotions, and has some great sassy lines that I found quite funny.

I would highly recommend this if you’re a Sherlock Holmes fan in need of a case-solving read.

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For Fans Of: Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle, The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, Doctor Who (TV), Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (TV), and Penny Dreadful (TV)

Rating: 3.75/5

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – Book Review

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Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

I read this in December and am fiiiiiinally getting around to reviewing it. Inspired by one of my best friends I’m trying to focus more on the things that truly make me happy in life, one of which is blogging. So, I will be writing a back log of reviews for books I’ve finished in the past few months that I did not bother to review *gasp*.

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I generally avoid reading historical fiction as I tend to find it a bit dry, but have heard such amazing things about All the Light We Cannot See that I decided to borrow my mum’s copy. I say borrow in the loosest of terms because she probably won’t be getting it back now, haha. I really enjoyed reading this book. It gives a good insight into WWII but focuses more on the human stories and less on the war itself, which I liked.

I was fascinated reading Werner’s story and seeing him go from an intelligent and inquisitive young boy to being sucked into the Nazi training program. It was an interesting perspective sympathizing for Werner while watching him become a Nazi soldier because you get a view of the kind, smart, young boy he was and his positive views of the world. Then watching as he joins the Hitler Youth academy only because it allows him to gain a scientific education to further his dreams of becoming a prize winning scientist. Viewing the war through a young man in the Nazi party is not something I’ve seen done in WWII books frequently (Not that I would really know, having read few), and especially not done in such a beautiful manner.

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You can buy this quote as a print or mug or more from my Society6 shop here: https://society6.com/taylormacvittie

Aside from having a great storyline the book is written in very short chapters, making it an easy and quick read, so don’t be intimidated! Not only is it an easy read, but it has quite a few beautiful passages that I bookmarked to read over and over again and have been turning into watercolour art prints. Some of the descriptive passages are just so beautiful!

Anyways, even if you’re like me and avoid books about war definitely try this one. It is marvellous.

Rating: 4.25/5

 

The Magicians – TV Show Review

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I had been wanting to read The Magicians by Lev Grossman for a while after hearing that it was like a darker, dirtier, and more grown-up version of the Harry Potter series. Unfortunately, after reading reviews of the series and hearing about it from the book obsessed people close to me I was very skeptical as the consensus seemed to be negative. So, when Syfy released that they were turning it into a TV show that was the perfect solution for me! I still get to dive into this world of magic where people are learning to master spells at a university for magic, but in smaller chunks and with less of a commitment. Watching it on television is also nice because whenever I read magical books I always dream of the day I can watch them on screen.

Characters Margo, Julia, and Penny

Since I have not read the books I won’t be able to comment on any changes from book to screen or compare the tone of whether the show is better than the books. I’m just going to focus on how much I’m enjoying the show. For real though, this show has me completely hooked so far. The first two episodes start out by slowly introducing our main characters, Quentin and Julia, pulling them into the world of magic while still leaving us with loads of questions about their past and their relationship. I find the slow yet intriguing pace of the show quite refreshing, as it’s rare nowadays for shows not to have an episodic layout when produced for a cable network. The pacing of the show allows for multiple character storylines to be explored more deeply and for a very dark and mysterious overarching plot to be laid out.

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Characters Alice, Quentin, and Eliot

The characters are complex and are being created in shades of grey rather than just good or evil, which I enjoy as it’s more realistic. The characters you root for make mistakes and don’t always do the kind or even smart thing. Also, I just like the intense awkwardness of Quentin’s character and the girl he befriends at magic school, Alice. My god they are major adorable awksauce together. Defs ship them.

My favourite favourite FAVOURITE thing about the show though has to be the crazy cool gestures the characters use to cast spells. The show’s creators went all out and intensely researched ‘finger tutting’, which involves making geometric shapes and sharp angles with your hands and arms to imitate Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. The creators of The Magicians hired ‘finger tutting’ experts to create an entire language from ‘finger tutting’ specifically for spell casting on the show. So freaking cool, right?! I may or may not have been trying to imitate their hand movements… Haha.

So far I’m loving it and I’m just hoping this trend continues.

Rating: 4.5/5

Interested yet? Well, here is the trailer: