25 Apr 2017

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Book Review / Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas ***Contains Spoilers***

***Contains Spoilers***
I will be posting a non-spoiler series review soon once I have finished reading The Assassins Blade

KINGDOMS WILL COLLIDE.

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius as war looms on the horizon. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don't.

With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

In this breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what—and who—to sacrifice if she's to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart.


Published:     6th September 2016
Publisher:  Bloomsbury
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 5, Throne of Glass
Source:  Owned Copy


***Contains Spoilers***


MY REVIEW

Just when I thought the books in this series don't get any longer, this one was the longest yet at 693 pages long.  Like with Queen of Shadows, this one took a little while to get through but I just couldn't put it down!  In this book we certainly learn a lot of secrets and there are certainly a lot more treacherous people in the midst trying to stop Aelin from doing what she needs to!

As with Queen of Shadows, you get a lot more of that wonderful character interaction going on and you can certainly feel the history between certain characters between Aelin, Rowan, Manon and so on...  Although I really enjoyed this story, in this one the only part that I wasn't particularly fond of was at certain parts when Aelin was headstrong in doing something without consultation and seemingly thinking things through, almost selfishly at some points.  I found that a little annoying but with that we had a great balancing character in Rowan who does a great job most of the time reeling her in.  With this book more than the others I got a great sense of 'pairing up' with the characters also.  You have Aelin and Rowan, which we already knew about but then you have a few others one of which was very surprising indeed - Dorian and Manon!!!  That is going to be very interesting to follow in the next instalment (that I just found out about and am so excited for!!!).

What I loved the most was the last part of this book where you have all these different things happening according to plan but then you have a few unplanned things happen but unbeknown to most of the characters Aelin had organised behind their back should something bad happen.  That was very interesting to read and makes me wonder what else does she have planned.  We also find out a few more secrets in this story, but I felt just enough to keep you hooked in.  Still I believe there is so much more to learn (and certainly reading the book description for book 5 in the series (I believe coming out in September this year) there are more things to learn...







Continue reading Book Review / Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas ***Contains Spoilers***

23 Apr 2017

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Book Review / Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas ***Contains Spoilers***

***Contains Spoilers***
I will post a non-spoiler series review once I have finished reading the series.

The queen has returned.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series continues Celaena’s epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.


Published:     1st September 2015
Publisher:  Bloomsbury
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 4, Throne of Glass
Source:  Owned Copy


***Contains Spoilers***

 MY REVIEW

I just can't stop reading this series!  This book was certainly more of a challenge for me being all of 648 pages long, which is longer than what I usually read.  How can I possibly sum up all of the things I loved about this series, this book in particular in just a single review?  Let's see what I can do...

If it wasn't possible to love the character interaction more in this series so far this book has certainly pushed that limit further.  With each book in this series the characters get more and more used to each other and you can tell the history between them with the way they interact with each other; sometimes laughing, sometimes angry and sometimes both at the same time!  Celaena/Aelin's personality I love the most. She is so sassy and fiery but at the same time she shows such compassion and love to the characters she loves it just shows how great she will be Queen of Terrasen.

You then have the world-building.  In this book more than the others before I felt I got to see more and more of what was around, especially the different types of people in different parts of this world.  I especially loved following Manon, the Ironteeth witch who, like Celaena, has such fire I am surprised that anyone wants to try and cross her path but equally you see her have compassion for those who truly deserve it especially with the introduction of a new character called Elide.  I have a feeling that we are going to be seeing more and more of this character as the series goes on.

Lastly, there is the plot line.  Although this book was a monster of a book to read at no point was I bored or confused.  Every aspect of this story had its own place some descriptive, some adding to the suspense of what was to come with the added joy of a few twists and turns around the corner as well!

I know I must say this after ever review in this series but honestly I can't wait to get onto the next one!





Continue reading Book Review / Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas ***Contains Spoilers***

21 Apr 2017

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Book Review / Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas ***Contains Spoilers***

***Contains Spoilers***
I will be posting a non-spoiler series review when I have finished reading the series.

Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak―but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth . . . a truth about her heritage that could change her life―and her future―forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?

The bestselling series that has captured readers all over the world reaches new heights in this sequel to the New York Times best-selling Crown of Midnight. Packed with heart-pounding action, fierce new characters, and swoon-worthy romance, this third book will enthrall readers from start to finish.




Published:     2nd September 2014
Publisher:  Bloomsbury
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 3, Throne of Glass
Source:  Owned


***Contains Spoilers***
MY REVIEW

I am really loving this series!  I can't believe it has taken me so long to get to it!    This one was far longer than the first two at over 565 pages.  It was a challenge to read!  It was also one of those that I just could not put down and I managed to read it over two days (over a lot of hours I will point out!) but it was well worth it!

This book was a bit different to the first two in this series.  You still have the three 'main characters' Celaena, the Price and the Captain of the Guard but this time they are not together.  You have Celaena who is travelling to another land on a job for the King (or so things seem to start with), the Prince and Captain of the Guard are back at the Castle but face some very hard and different choices.

What made this book great for me was the revelations that we find out all of which I really wasn't expecting.  There were a lot of twists and turns, which I loved!

We also follow the story of groups of witches battling it out to find out who will become the leader and when a certain group does they need to do a certain job for the King, but we don't find that out yet.   This part of the story intrigued me and gave me the feeling that we will be seeing a lot more of this part of the story in the next book, but that's just a feeling...

Continue reading Book Review / Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas ***Contains Spoilers***

19 Apr 2017

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Book Review / Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas ***Contains Spoilers***

 ***Contains Spoilers*** 
I will be posting a spoiler free series review once I have finished reading the series :-)

"A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.

It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend."


From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena's world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie... and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.


Published:     27th August 2013
Publisher:  Bloomsbury
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 2, Throne of Glass
Source:  Owned






 ***Contains Spoilers***
MY REVIEW

I just could not put this book down.  Even though it was the second time I have read this, it has been a while and a lot of the story I had long forgotten.  Of course, we are still following Celaena who is now the King's Champion and has been given her first tasks.  The King has a list of people he believes are against him.  Celaena's job is to hunt them down and kill them.  It was very interesting to see Celaena learn of these tasks and the choices she made when seeing them through.  

Of course you still have the love aspect of this story, which I was very much looking forward to seeing more of but the most interesting aspect of this story is when Celaena finds out more about the castle and we see a little more about the history of the world and those who have come before.  For me, that was the best part of this story.  To find out more about that means that I could greater understand what was happening in the present, although I do get the feeling there is so much more to learn...  There are definitely a few twists and turns in this story, a lot of them I have to be honest and say that I was not expecting at all!  

I just can't wait to move onto the next book, which I have not read at all yet... :-)

Continue reading Book Review / Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas ***Contains Spoilers***

15 Apr 2017

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Book Review / Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

"Nothing is a coincidence. Everything has a purpose. You were meant to come to this castle, just as you were meant to be an assassin."

When magic has gone from the world, and a vicious king rules from his throne of glass, an assassin comes to the castle. She does not come to kill, but to win her freedom. If she can defeat twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition to find the greatest assassin in the land, she will become the King's Champion and be released from prison.

Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her.

And a princess from a foreign land will become the one thing Celaena never thought she'd have again: a friend.

But something evil dwells in the castle—and it's there to kill. When her competitors start dying, horribly, one by one, Celaena's fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival—and a desperate quest to root out the source of the evil before it destroys her world.


Published:     7th May 2013
Publisher:  Bloomsbury
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 1, Throne of Glass
Source:  Owned Copy



MY REVIEW

Now that a lot more of the series is out and I now own all of those I thought it would be a good time to catch up with this series.  This series has been one of my most anticipated series for a very long time, in fact probably since the first book came out in 2013!  The last time I through this series I got as far as Crown of Midnight, but only because that was the latest one out at the time!

I loved this the first time I read it and if it is possible I loved this even more the second time around!  What I loved the most was the love triangle type situation going on between Celaena, the Prince and the Captain of the Guard.  I liked how there was a lot of will they won't they with all characters, it was very hard to guess who Celaena would end up with.  I have to say that I believe she made the right choice! 

I really can't wait to read more of this series and see what comes next!  I have a feeling that there are a lot of secrets and a lot more aspects to this world and characters to discover and that makes me really excited to continue... :-)



Continue reading Book Review / Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

7 Apr 2017

Blog Tour Author Feature / The Reunion by Roisin Meaney

It's September 2015 and sisters Caroline and Eleanor Plunkett receive invitations to their twenty year school reunion. But for both, the invitation takes them back to a time they'd rather forget ...

For Caroline, it's a reminder of a night she's never told anyone about - and the traumatic consequences she had to face on her own.

While for Eleanor, who has spent the past fourteen years trying to get over the death of her young daughter, the school reunion is a stark reminder of life before grief.

As the reunion approaches, both sisters face choices and decisions about their lives. Caroline, a successful knitwear designer living in England must choose between love and honesty. Eleanor, who long ago removed herself from the restaurant she started with her husband, must finally make a decision to choose the man she married and the son she has forgotten for so long.




Charity Begins at Home

I’m not certain when it started: all I can say for sure is that I’ve been doing it for a long time. I’ve never tried to hide it, everyone knows. Most of my friends treat it as a quaint character trait, something harmless, even a bit amusing – but maybe a little embarrassing too. They’ve long since learnt to accept that I do it, but they wouldn’t be caught dead joining me.
I’m talking about spending a few bob in charity shops. I can’t pass one without going in and having a rummage – and I’m spoilt for choice in Limerick, which boasts several excellent ones. The notion that you might chance on the perfect top/dress/skirt/bag for a fraction of its original price is intoxicating. It’s the not knowing that I love, the flicking through rails or searching shelves with literally no idea what I might find that keeps me going back, just in case. I think of it as lucky dip shopping.
Mind you, I have my standards. The item in question must be in good nick: if not brand new, with original tags still hanging off it – yes, they crop up occasionally – then at least looking as good as new. I wouldn’t consider anything stained or torn or missing crucial buttons, anything that looks like it was washed at the wrong temperature, or not washed enough. Pre-loved as opposed to just pre-owned; that’s what I’m after when I go hunting.

And labels are important, in the sense that I won’t buy something like a Penney’s top second-hand, not because I have anything against Penney’s, or similar low-priced stores, but because I can easily afford new stuff in Penney’s, and new is always nicer than nearly-new.
Despite my standards, the low prices can sometimes seduce me to rash decisions. Over the years I’ve bought my share of disasters, things that seemed like such a bargain in the shop – a Jesire dress for a tenner! – but that do nothing for me when I try them on again in the cold light of home. I might wear them once, if at all, before they end up back in the charity shop. These mistakes don’t bother me unduly: I’m only down a few bob, I’ve still done my bit for charity – and the shop might manage to sell them again in a week’s time.
A few years ago I took my love of charity shops to a new level, and volunteered to do a weekly shift in my local Oxfam. I got such a kick out of it: I loved meeting the customers, many of whom dropped in regularly, most of whom were happy to chat as they browsed; and I had such a laugh with the other volunteers at the tea breaks – with no salaries to earn, there was no pressure, no workplace competitiveness, and a wonderfully relaxed air about the place.
Of course, the other big benefit of working there was getting first choice of everything that came in. I was lucky enough to be the only size ten among the Friday morning volunteers, so I had nobody to fight with when a gem appeared in my size.
It was a great way to pass a few hours, and a lovely diversion from the writing. Ultimately I had to give it up when deadlines approached and time became tight, but I paid tribute to charity shops everywhere when I worked one into a subsequent book (after first having assured all of my ex-colleagues that nobody was based on any of them!)
I can’t understand some people’s disdain, or dislike, of the idea of recycling goods in the name of charity. For me it’s a win-all-round situation – the donor finds a home for her cast-offs, the customer gets a bargain, the shop makes a sale and the charity benefits. Who cares if someone owned it first? If it fits, and it suits you, and the price is right, so what if you’re the second person to love it?
And now you’ll have to excuse me – there’s a rather nice Abercrombie and Fitch top (seven euro) in need of a little rinse…




Continue reading Blog Tour Author Feature / The Reunion by Roisin Meaney

5 Apr 2017

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Series Review / Slammed by Colleen Hoover



Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she's losing hope.

Enter Will Cooper: The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.

Not long after an intense, heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart.


Published:     2012
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Books 1, 2 & 3, Slammed
Source:  Owned Copies



MY REVIEW

What I loved about this series...  After reading one or two of Colleen Hoover's books before I have now made it my mission to read all of her books.  They are so addicting and easy to read, how can you not!!  You have got a real mix of emotions in this series but what stood out to me as my favourite parts would have to be these...  Firstly, you have Will and Layken - how they meet, interact and how they have a will they won't they relationship (my favourite kind to read about).  You also have the individual stores of Will and Layken; Will is the sold carer for his little brother with his parents having died and Layken having moved to the neighbourhood after her father's death.  You also have one or two surprise twists and turns along the way that I won't spoil for you in this review but a few of them I was expecting and a couple that were a complete surprise.  Loved it!   


What I didn't like about this series...   Now, I loved reading Slammed and Point of Retreat (books 1 and 2) but when it comes to book 3 I have to be honest and say that I couldn't finish it.  I got to about 50 pages in and, honestly speaking, got bored.  It was a lot of flash backs to things that I already knew about and had read about before in the previous two books.  I didn't want This Girl to ruin what I had loved about the first two books so I decided not to read it.  I think this is one that I might pick up later on this year or later on sometime in the future and read independent of the first two to see what I think of it then.  To me, from what I read it just seemed repetitive. 




Continue reading Series Review / Slammed by Colleen Hoover

2 Apr 2017

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Series Review / Balefire Series by Cate Tiernan


After seventeen-year-old Thais Allard loses her widowed father in a tragic car accident, she is forced to leave the only home she's ever known to live with a total stranger in New Orleans. New Orleans greets Thais with many secrets and mysteries, but none as unbelievable as the moment she comes face to face with the impossible — an identical twin, Clio.

Thais soon learns that she and the twin she never knew come from a family of witches, that she possesses astonishing powers, and that she, along with Clio, has a key role in Balefire, the coven she was born into.
Fiery Clio is less than thrilled to have to share the spotlight, but the twins must learn to combine their powers in order to complete a rite that will transform their lives and the coven forever.





Published:     2005-2010
Publisher:  Speak
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Books 1 to 4 - Balefire Series
Source: Owned Copy




MY REVIEW

What I liked about this series...  This book has been on my bookshelf for years.  Its always been one that I say I will pick up one day but never got around to it.  So, now I decided to get on with it and read it!  Cate Tiernan's Sweep series is one of my favourite series of all times, so I was very excited to be reading another series by her.  What I loved about this series was the history.  You have Thais and Clio who discover that they are twins and that there's a lot more to their family history than meets the eye.  They are witches, which is my favourite kind of 'supernatural' story to pick up.  You have goodies and baddies throughout and it was fun to try and figure out who was who. 

What I didn't like about this series...   Although I did enjoy reading this series, there were one or two things that bothered me.  Firstly, you have a massive case of insta-love/lust going on.  Both Clio and Thais seem to fall head over heels in a matter of seconds and I found that very unrealistic.  Mix that with a really weird love triangle that got me confused for part of the book, I didn't really get on with that side of the story.  Without giving too much away, I also found the ending to be very confusing.  You have a particular character I thought would bring a massive explosion type of story line to the story but it never really happened, or certainly didn't appear to for me. 




Continue reading Series Review / Balefire Series by Cate Tiernan