Books, the memo pad

The Memo Pad: Book Reviews

mp - august 2016

I’ve done quite a few bookish posts on my blog this month and that’s mainly because I’ve been reading a lot and haven’t done much of anything else. Family have been visiting and I’ve been saving all my energy for them and reading at all other times. Which means quite a few books to share with you. They’re all spoiler free and I would love to hear what you though if you’ve read any of them too.

Read: 5

The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey *****

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her “our little genius.”
Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.
Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

I’d heard a lot about this book and I knew the basic premise as I’d actually watched the trailer for the film already. Horror/zombie books are not in my normal comfort zone but I prefer to read it than watch it and this sounded interesting so I branched out a little and gave it a try.

I really enjoyed this book. It’s exciting, the characters are all 3d and have their own motivations and we get to see how they all react under pressure (some of them do better than others).

The Copper Promise (The Copper Cat #1) by Jen Williams *****

There are some tall stories about the caverns beneath the Citadel – about magic and mages and monsters and gods. For Lord Frith, the caverns hold the key to his vengeance. Against all the odds, he has survived torture and lived to see his home and his family taken from him … and now someone is going to pay. For Wydrin of Crosshaven and her faithful companion, Sir Sebastian Caverson, a quest to the Citadel looks like just another job. There’s the promise of gold and adventure. Who knows, they might even have a decent tale or two once they’re done.
But sometimes there is truth in rumour. Soon this reckless trio will be the last line of defence against a hungry, restless terror that wants to tear the world apart. And they’re not even getting paid.

I have very mixed feelings about this book. I was sorely tempted to take another star away purely because my favourite character died but then that would be petty and I’m better than that…..right? Maybe I’m just use to my favourites always dying.

This book is actually written in four parts. Kind of four novellas rather than a single book and that’s how I read it (buying the four parts separately was actually cheaper on kindle so that’s what I did). There’s basically a mini adventure in each. I didn’t like the first part that much, which may have been because it wasn’t what I was expecting. I was expecting a bit more heist and a bit less magic and dragons but then there is a dragon on the front cover so that was totally my fault. The novellas definitely got better as it went along and parts three and four were great. And for that reason it just scrapes into the four star arena.

The only thing I was disappointed about was Sebastians character. There are some massive things that happen in the plot and we didn’t really get any kind of emotional reaction from him. There was plenty of opportunity to go deeper into his character and it never happened. I wanted more dammit!

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child by JK Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Throne *****

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

I probably didn’t need to add the blurb for this one, did I? I wasn’t even planning to read this but a friend sent it to me (Thanks!). I’m glad I read it because I am a massive potterhead but I didn’t like it much. I’m actually not even that bothered that it reads like a (not a terribly good) fanfiction I was more pissed off at how the characters were presented. I’m aware that the book isn’t the finished script but characters we know and love like Hermione, Ron and Mcgonagal were so far out of character that they were bordering on ridiculous (Ron especially and I never even liked Ron that much). If you’re going to do a sequel the least you can do is keep the characters IN character.

Break The Chains (The Scorched Continent #2) by Megan O’Keefe *****

As the city that produces the most selium – that precious gas that elevates airships and powers strange magic – Hond Steading is a jewel worth stealing. To shore up the city’s defenses, Detan promises that he’ll recover Nouli, the infamous engineer who built the century gates that protect the imperial capital of Valathea. But Nouli is imprisoned on the Remnant Isles, an impervious island prison run by the empire, and it’s Detan’s fault.
Detan doesn’t dare approach Nouli himself, so his companions volunteer to get themselves locked up to make contact with Nouli and convince him to help. Now Detan has to break them all out of prison, and he’s going to need the help of a half-mad doppel to do it.

I read the first book in this series a few months ago and I absolutely loved it (I mean seriously one of the best books I’ve read this year) so when I received the sequel in exchange for a review on netgalley I was mega excited. I was also slightly apprehensive to read it as I really wanted it to be good. Well, I am so glad to say that this book lived up to my pretty high expectations perfectly. I loved it. Detan is back and just as cocky as ever but we get to go deeper into each of the characters this time. We also get to see more of the fantastic world that was built in the first book. It’s got everything I love in a book: amazing characters, airships, adventure, cons, magic. You should definitely check this out (read the first book first!) if you love anything with cocky con-men a la The Gentlemen Bastards or Six of Crows.

Stasis (Ennek Trilogy #1) by Kim Fielding *****

Praesidium is the most prosperous city-state in the world, due not only to its location at the mouth of a great bay, but also to its strict laws, stringently enforced. Ordinary criminals become bond-slaves, but the Wizard places traitors in Stasis, a dreamless frozen state.
Ennek is the Chief’s younger son. He has grown up without much of a purpose, a man who cannot fulfill his true desires and who skates on the edge of the law. But he is also haunted by the plight of one man, a prisoner for whom Stasis appears to be a truly horrible fate. If Ennek is to save that prisoner, he must explore Praesidium’s deepest secrets as well as his own.

I honestly don’t know where to start with my review for this book. I thought about the rating for ages. This wasn’t a bad book. In fact the world building was actually pretty good. But – it’s creepy and not in a good way. I’ve looked at other reviews of the book and no one seems to have the same problem with it but I got major necrophilia vibes off this book. I mean seriously the main character, Ennek, basically gets sexual attracted to a guy who’s in stasis. And okay Stasis isn’t dead but he’s in a coma and he’s not even breathing and did I mention naked? So Ennek decides he wants to save this guy and it only gets more creepy from there. It’s a shame because if the story had gone about this even slightly differently then I think this could have been a really good book. The rest of the plot is interesting and while I think it definitely could have been shortened (it could have been condensed down and gotten on with the plot a bit quicker which would have meant less icky vibes too) it had a lot of potential. I actually have the second book in this series as I got it without realising it was in a series so I I’ll probably read the next book and hope it’s less creepy and starts living up to the potential. Fingers crossed.

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11 thoughts on “The Memo Pad: Book Reviews”

  1. I find it really funny you say that about Ron because I thought out of all the actors the guy who played Ron was most believable as that character. Though that may be due to a script change… I should really go read Cursed Child.

    I’m really excited for the The Girl With All The Gifts movie. Though there is no way I’m going to see it in the cinema. You should try World War Z, it’s a fantastic zombie book. It’s not scary and (fortunately) is nothing like the movie. It’s more like a series of interviews with people who survived a zombie apocalypse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I assumed when I read it that Rons parts were different. They really felt like placeholders that they were going to make better and then never did. For the script anyway. Will be interesting to know what you think when you do read it.

      I’m off to add wwz to my Goodreads lol


  2. You probably don’t remember that I read The Girl With All The Gifts when it first came out… Tbh I’ve forgotten what really happened outside of the ‘everyday’ type activities, but I remember coming away being not very impressed… Though that might have just been my prejudice against zombies coming through.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha. I don’t remember that you read it. I don’t like zombies much either. You didn’t like all the light we can not see either right? Our tastes must only converge at HP and GOT. Which is more important anyway :p


      1. All the Light was OK, I just wouldn’t call it a masterpiece and I’m not rushing to read it again.

        I’m not finished, but now I know which story had the grey stringy stuff. I couldn’t remember which story that was from- the Maze series? The Peculiar Children series? My memory is so bad.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve read The Girl With All The Gifts and found it a nice change from the usual zombie trope – didn’t know there was a movie and will have to watch the trailer. Reading The Cursed Child now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t remember exactly what it was that made me think she was out of character but she definitely wasn’t the worst.


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