La Louve et L’Enfant review

La Louve et L’enfant (La Moira tome 1) By  Henri Loevenbruck

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Rating: four stars ^^

I always loved this author but never had the occasion to read his fantasy series but I think they were republished recently so yeah to that ^^.

So this first book is the instalment of the trilogy. In this book we meet the main character Alea and a wolf named Imala while this book doesn’t really dwell on that their destiny seems linked. Alea is a young outcast who suddenly comes across a cadaver buried in the sand. The cadaver bears a ring which Alea takes for herself and is suddenly graced with strange powers. Thus starts her adventures.

I am not going to spoil too much of the plot but I found it good, it has a lot of fantasy tropes but I still liked it. I might say that the action was a little bit too quick and sometimes I was clearly wondering if Alea was not the daughter of Flash xD But it was an essential part of the narration to describe the chasse between Alea and the bad guys. Yet, sometimes they just reach a place and don’t stay hence descriptions are quite quick and you don’t really have the time to get attached to a place.

Alea was a good character but I wish there was more on Imala and wolves but I think they will be more developed in the next books. Also I found it great that druids have a great part in this book, it is something I realised recently but druids are not as common as before in the fantasy genre, they have a sort of two-face things going on here and I love when characters are complicated. However, for some reason the little group sounded a bit like the start of an RPG game. “So there was our joyful company with a child, a druid, a bard, a dwarf and a paladin …” xD or at least a good fantasy joke. But the group is very dynamic together and I came to love their quarrels and dialogues.

I honestly really liked this book, and not only because I am a big fan of the author, and I cannot wait to get my hands on the second one!!

All I want for Christmas booktag

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Hey guys! I hope you’re all having a good day and here we go for another tag!

It was created by A Thousand Lives of Daisy and here’s the link to the original video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnIL1vliTDQ

1)What fictional character do you want Santa to leave under your Christmas tree?

I would love a Mabari!!!! For those who don’t play Dragon Age they are a type of war dog but at the same time they are super cute!

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2)What character do you want to kiss under the mistletoe?

Jorg of Ancrath *.* He is my most recent book-crush xD

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3)You write your Christmas list for Santa, what are the top 5 books on it?

Ho wow that’s hard. I mean I always have a super long list for Christmas but to choose only five… I guess it will be cheating if I only used manga title? Meh. I’ll try to narrow it down and try not to pick only continuation of series. I’ll try I never said I will succeed.

The Ancient Magus Bride volume 3 by Kore Yamazaki I am in love with this manga series! It has a great plot, great characters and every volume always ends with a sort of cliffhanger hence I really want to read the next volume. And probably the next. And next. xD And I really need to read them before the watching the Anime.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab I heard only good things about this fantasy series so I really would like to try it out.

X-Men: X-Corps (Uncanny X-Men, Volume I) by Joe Casey (Text), Ian Churchill (Illustrations), Sean Phillips (Illustrations), Tom Raney (Illustrations), Ashley Wood (Illustrations), Ron Garney (Illustrations), Aaron Lopresti I always loved the couple Phoenix/Wolverine so I tend to collect every volume were they are together because they are made for each other. And well now that Wolverine is dead…. Yes it’s official… I guess they will be together in the afterlife!

X-Men: The End Book Three by Chris Claremont and Sean Chen same thing as for the one before. Yeah I know these are a lot of comics but I always ask/buy more comics at Christmas because it’s my tradition.

-And the final volumes of Orange by Ichigo Takano. It’s a great series and I absolutely want to know what happens next!

4)It’s secret Santa at Hogwarts, what do you want to receive?

Hm…. A dragon? Or Charlie Weasley? xD I’m kidding but it’s been such a long time since I’ve read Harry Potter…. I would probably like one of the magical creatures all of them are so cute it was what made me love the series.

5)You get to spend the day with the characters and movie adaptation actors from one fandom, what do you pick?

That’s easy! The Hobbit cast and characters *.*

6)What fictional animal would you like to replace Rudolph and be able to meet on your roof?

Can’t you guess? A dragon! Of course it would have to be a dragon xD.

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7)You invite 10 fictional characters to your New Year’s Eve party, who do you pick?

Yeah no drawing for this one because I know it would be too chaotic, especially with the ones I have in mind. Okay so here’s the list trust me if this really happens the house would explode.

-Bilbo Baggins

-Thorin Oakshield

– Jorg of Ancrath

-Sansa Stark

-Sandor Clegane

-Fred Weasley (and of course his dear twin)

-Deadpool

-Daken

-Poison Ivy

-Harley Quinn

8)What character would make a good Santa (Doesn’t have to be appearance, personality counts too)?

Hagrid! On Norbert (sorry for the colors I could not remember what color he was described to be in the books). I think he is one of the most kind and good hearted character I ever read about (that is human). And I think he would make a great Santa.

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All righty guys that’s all for today! tomorrow a new review and next sunday a new tag!!!

I hope you will all have a great week see you later!!! =D

Here There be Dragons book 1 review

Here there be dragons by James A. Owen

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Rating: 5 stars!!!! 😀

I adored this book! Seriously it’s been a long time since I was so hooked on a series. I almost read it in one sitting (all for sleep….).

The world itself mixes different mythologies and cultures together to create a world parallel to our own yet both are influencing each other. First when characters are entering the Archipelago they come across Avalon as an introduction to all the myth presents. I mean Arthurian retelling are part of the most popular out there, I was scared that it would be once again concentrating on Arthur but no! It actually shifts pretty fast from one culture to another and even to legends one might not know.

I also love how languages come into the plot as a crucial point. In my studies I have studied Old and Middle English, Latin, Middle French amongst other language and sometimes I do ask myself “Why, why should I learn a language no one speaks anymore?” Besides for my studies of course, everyone can relate to John and slack a bit when it comes to learn declensions from Latin (rosa, rosa, rosam….. it never gets old….) but see now I might pay more attention to it xD since it can help me save a world of mythology and legends.

It takes place during the WWI in London, well first in London. It is explained that the war is due to the events happening in the Archipelago. I think it’s an interesting way to show how legends influence our lives, even when you study history you realize how they have an impact and not only in Antiquity but in medieval and modern times too. I really enjoyed that explanation for what happens in our world.

As for characters, I am pleased to say I loved them ALL! (And that’s pretty rare of me). They were snarky and cynic; the dialogues are especially really well done and always tend to have a dash of humor. And now that I think about it I don’t even have a favorite in the entire crew…. See how great I thought the book was? I just want to mention Tummeler and how his character first reminded me of animals in Narnia and now that I’ve seen his relation to Charles and read the end it makes so much more sense! (Nope no spoilers I swear!)

Now of course I need to talk about the dragons and more particularly about the dragonships, since there is only one dragon present in this book, Samaranth. As for dragons they are not really “original” I mean Samaranth can be related to other dragons in other books. By that I mean that they are compliant with the idea one has of dragon (old, wise but not always telling everything and of course looking down on humans). As for the ships I thought it was a great idea to integrate dragons to them and make them “more alive”.

I’ll quickly mention the drawings that were gorgeous and made the reading even more pleasant. I always love to see how an author portrays his own characters.

The plot itself is rather simple, at first, three men are chosen to carry a map and save the Archipelago from the Winter King. But the plot twists seriously!!!! Ho and at the end (no I will resist the urge to spoil the end) I was almost yelling the fangirl very mature yell.

All that being said you will all understand the very good rating and I cannot wait to read the rest of the seven books!!! Make sure to check it out, it is really worth it!

The Joy of Christmas Booktag!

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Hey guys! I thought it would be a good idea to do a countdown to Christmas with a few Christmas tag! So here is the first one!

Original tag was created by Samatha from Sam’s Nonsense https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZ4DZ0uEXnk

1)Anticipation: The Christmas excitement is real, what book release(s) are you most anticipating?

I’m not really sure because I really need to catch up on some series… But I guess the next Game of Throne’s book is the closest thing that comes to mind. I really want to know how it ends and I clearly need to catch up on the series because I’m on book four so I missed quite a bit.

2)Christmas Songs & Carols: What book or author can you not help but sing it’s praises?

That’s not hard, it’s my favorite French author Henri Loevenbruck. He is considered to be the next Umberto Eco in France and he has a variety of genres from fantasy to detective and I think his last one was purely fiction (not sure because I have not read it for some reason it is hard to find). There’s also Mark Lawrence because seriously nothing is better than the Broken Empire trilogy, the world building and the characterization are really great and I think it’s far better than some overhyped fantasy books that are merely as good.

As for dead authors well classics like Tolkien, Agatha Christie, Alexandre Dumas and Jane Austen because they are the ones who got me into reading. I think founding figures of genres like they are always hover on the shoulder of an author when he’s writing.

3) Gingerbread Houses: What book or series has wonderful world building?

Well a lot of fantasy series has great world building so that question is pretty hard….  I guess the last one I read with really a great world building was Here there be dragons.

4) A Christmas Carol: Favorite classic or one that you want to read

I cannot choose only one favorite classic so I’m going to go with one I want to read and that is Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. People always talk about Shakespeare, Dickens or Jane Austen (not that they are all great) and I wanted something less hyped and on the Middle Ages. So I hope I will really like it!

5) Christmas Sweets: What book would you love to receive for Christmas

Probably one of the books on my TBR…. Or a history book because they are great for my researches but super expensive… But besides that I don’t really have any specific ideas.

6) Candles in the Window: What book gives you that warm fuzzy feeling?

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen! Every single time I read it I have those warm feeling and I feel “at home”. The same thing happens with The Hobbit.

7) Christmas Trees & Decorations: What are some of your favorite book covers?

Any Tolkien book covers by Harper Collins. But to diverse my reading spectrum (yes I know I speak a lot about Tolkien) probably the Discworld’s book I love the art that they used and I think it sticks perfectly to the novels.

8) Christmas Joy: What are some of your favorite things about Christmas And/Or some of your favorite Christmas memories?

I have a confession to make. I do not like Christmas. No really I don’t. I love Disneyland Christmas or decorating a tree (with geeky ornaments and of course nothing too red or that reminds me too much of Christmas). But besides that I found it depressing and stressful. I do enjoy the vacations though and seeing my family and also curling by the fireplace under a blanket with a mug of tea and a good book.

So that’s it for this tag! I hope you’ll enjoy it  and sorry for the lack of art, the next one should be more artsy!

Cowboys and Aliens

cowboys-aCowboys and Aliens by Joan D. Vinge

Rating: two stars

+SPOILERS+

I will start off by saying that I’ve never seen the movie before reading this book.  Nor have I ever heard of it before stumbling upon the cover. Yes because to be honest it was the cover and the title that lead me to buy this book.  I will not compare the book to the movie in this review (that will be hard to do since I’ve never seen the movie) but I will treat is as a book but bear in mind that everything that I say is for what I read and not the movie.

As I was just saying, it’s a novelization of a movie. Usually I tend to dislike novelization because they are not as good as the movie or they are badly written. Well, for this one I was partly wrong. The writing style is okay. I have nothing to really say on it except that it was perhaps a little dull during the descriptions.

It is the story of a man who wakes up wounded and without any memories. The only thing he has left is a metal manacle on his wrist. He ends up in a town where the local sheriff recognizes him as a wanted man. As he is thrown in prison, aliens attack the town and kidnap some of the townsfolks. Along with the town businessman, the man has to search for the aliens and his memory.

The plot was weak. By that I mean that it was cliché and easy. What I mean by that is that there was nothing new or spectacular. There was everything a stereotyped Western has (cowboys, Native Americans, gold, a sheriff, a romance) and mixed it up with cliché Sci-Fi plot elements (aliens looking like demons, spaceships, Earth’s conquest, and kidnappings).  I will say the first forth of this book was really good but the rest was a succession of “I knew it would happen”.

The worst part is that I love the lead character’s storyline. I thought it would be very interesting to see him get back his memory and being accused of the worst crimes on Earth while trying to get back what he lost. He was why I gave two stars to this book and not one. But let’s be serious, his romance with an alien is RIDICULOUS! Seriously, he met her two days ago and suddenly he’s ready to die for her while having memories of his past lover? How is any of that logical on an emotional scale?

Talking about ridiculous, gold hunting aliens? Just no. Because of course, aliens would be drawn to Earth because of gold, like conquistadors invaded America…. Why does it always have to be gold? Where there are cowboys gold is never really far in literature and movies. It’s just boring to read something that has already been dealt with dozens of times before….

Talking about recurring subjects, Native Americans appear in this story a bit like the Doctor in London.  You just know they are going to be here and not in their best suit. It would not matter if they were not there, they don’t bring anything new to the plot.

To be honest this book didn’t made me want to see the movie, on the contrary it just made me recoil from anything mixing cowboys and aliens. I think that they just don’t mix well because they both have so many clichés that together they make an abundance of it quite boring.

Aristotle and Dante review

Ari and Dante

Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe

Benjamin Alire Saenz

Rating: four stars

*Spoiler Free*

I am probably the last person on earth to read this book. I did want to read it when it came out but I’m always cautious of overhyped books a bit like Carry On. So I waited for the hype to die down and read diverse reviews before finally reading it. And oh my! This book deserved all the hype it got!

I know everyone knows about the plot but I’m still going to describe it a little. It is the story of a teenage boy, Aristotle, who is going through the hardship of growing up. Ari is quite the loner and has several issues. He meets Dante another teenager and both start to share an unlikely friendship.

The great force of this book was the characters; each of them had a very distinct personality and they were all very interesting. Ari and Dante’s friendship is unveiling in front of our eyes (and developing into something more) and we see how hard/easy it is to trust a friend when you’re a loner. It also impacts on their family and leads to some harsh truth being said.

I am not going to dwell too much on the plot because I think it’s a book you have to discover on your own but I will say that it is not as light hearted as the blurb announces it. It is one of the best YA book I’ve read so far, it had a lot of feels and themes that are interesting. Usually these themes are not well dealt with in YA novels because the stories tend to focus on the relationship between the two main characters and they blur everything happening in the background. But here we have no plot holes (which is always frustrating).

Overall it is a beautiful book that anyone should read!

Carry On review

Carry OnCarry On review

Rating: Four stars

This book had a lot of hype. And when I say a lot what I mean is it was what everyone was talking about in the book community. Now for myself, I waited a bit before going into it. First it was because I thought it was a YA like Fangirl (which I still haven’t read) so I was a bit skeptical. But as the reviews started to be published I saw that it was not at all like that. Sure it’s still a YA but it’s a YA that makes fun of Harry Potter and Twilight, basically the best sellers of YA.

Who was I to say no to that?

I must first explain why it appealed to me the second I acknowledged that. For Twilight it’s going to be very short. I absolutely hated it. And I did try to read it. Oh boy I did and I still think it was a loss of my time.….  For Harry Potter, well, I tend to keep my opinion to myself because I am cared of Harry’s fan. But wait! I did not “hate” Harry Potter, in fact I loved the first four books, and I HATED Harry, the chosen one.

This being said, you might understand better why I loved Carry On.

This book is heavily influenced by those two series. But, in a good way, by that I mean it did not ‘copy’ them but used their flaws to make it a good adventure. By flaws I mean R. Rowell used every ‘stupid’ or ‘naïve’ even ‘romantic’ aspects of these books and made fun of them. But not in a very harsh way, I mean she used references in a comical tone which I found great.

The plot was very past paced and it works with flash backs to tell us what happened before and how it all unfold in the story later. Basically Simon Snow has to face the Humdrum who is destroying the magic world while wizards are divided because of the Mage’s(the headmaster of the school) reforms.

Yeah, the story is much like Harry Potter’s. Simon Snow is the chosen one in his wizarding world. He has two friends Penny and Agatha and a sworn enemy Blaz. See where I was saying they were alike? Well, I must say, the world was a bit less developed. And it’s the only bad point I found in this book, the world needed more development.

But! Where the book lost in world building it gain it characterization. Seriously the characters were so much better than in Harry Potter or Twilight. Because they had depth and one could see that because the story is divided into their different point of views which makes the story even more interesting. And the relationships are more developed especially how they see the Mage or even the love stories they were not full of good feelings like Hermione and Ron or Harry and Ginny (I hated that couple, why, why why???!!!).

Also I think I heard somewhere that this book was meant to be a fanfiction of Harry Potter for Fangirl.  That actually made me think, because I did write some fanfictions and I read some that were really great, so perhaps that if authors changed just a few things like in Carry On it might be great novels. But that’s beside the point.

Oh did I mention the dragon? 😉

Finally if you were taken back by the bazillions reference to Harry Potter in my review, read the book you’ll understand why. But don’t do it as a hard core Harry Potter fan, keep an open mind. And if you lived on a rock for your entire life and never heard of Harry before, don’t worry your life is not over, but you can still read this book but do tell how you saw it because it is full of references ^^.

My Salinger Year review

my salinger year

(sorry for the image quality….. watercolor and my camera are at war at the moment, we might reach a peace settlement for the next review xD)

My Salinger Year review:

Rating: five stars 😀

I am not one to read contemporary fiction, mostly because it bores me to death. Well, I gladly broke that rule for this book.

I have to say that I never plan on buying this book, it was given to me. First I thought ‘ugh contemporary….’ But I always give a chance to every book I own. So I started this book with no real expectations.

And it turned out great.

It is the autobiographical memoirs of Joanna Rakoff when she was working for the Agency, an editing house intermediate. She has the job of assisting the boss while answering letters from J.D.Salinger fans and sometimes reading some manuscripts.

I was very interested in her experience since I myself would like to work for an editing house. But even if you don’t want to, I think you can still commiserate with the characters.

Joanna is in that period of life when you are an adult but not sure where you are fitting in. This time frame when you are going through motions and starting to realize that maybe everything around you is wrong and you need a change.

I think that year was important for the character as a transitional year, a year to know what you want and perhaps found yourself. It may sound a bit cheesy but it is the simplest way to put it down.

It is very short but it has a big impact, by this I don’t mean its life changing, but it gets you emotional and you might think, ‘hey I actually know what she is going through’. I believe anyone can relate to what is happening in this book even without the whole bookish background that I loved.

Of course I couldn’t talk about this book without saying a word on Salinger. I never read any of his books. There I said it. I knew about them because of the whole John Lennon thing but I never tried. I guess I was curious but I always remembered it was a trigger for acting out. And we’re all scared of acting out. But enough about that. In this book J.D. Salinger has a central place without being here all the time and I think that’s great. It represents the weight of literature on your life or of certain authors, something everyone can relate to.

Cats are back (New Prophecy review)

Warriors 2

WARNING! Spoiler for Warriors series one.

Rating for the three first books: 3.5 stars

Here I am with a new review on an Erin Hunter series. This one is the second Warriors series, The New Prophecy. I only read the three first books Midnight, Moonrise and Dawn.

First I must said I was a bit disappointed with the first two books because of how Firestar changed in just a book, I don’t it’s something that I felt.

Now I cannot talk only of Firestar because the lead character is no longer him. In fact there are several, the four prophecy cats and Firestar’s daughters. That is something I really liked, the fact that several characters are important, it’s more diverse in a way. I really liked Brambleclaw he is a great cat and an interesting character since he has to live with the fact that he is Tigerstar’s son and Firestar’s doubts on his loyalty.

Somehow, for me, the fact that cats from different clans come together is a bit a copy of the last book of the first series until I read book three. Actually even at the end of book two. But sometimes I can’t help but wonder WHY!!!! Why do they need to be divided especially in times of hardship… I think it needs to be explained not just with the sentence “There were always four clans”.

Now! The hardship here is human destroying the forest, and I just thought how accurate it is, I mean how much species are endangered because of our stupid methods to try to control nature. I am a bit disappointed in the fact that Erin Hunter didn’t try to find another solution than the one of the prophecy because she could have come with an epic way to preserve the forest.

Something else that disturbed me was the way kitty pet are coming in the story, they feel a bit like the characters in epic fantasy books that are helping but not taking part in the actual battle. I already said it for the Warriors review, but I’m a bit disappointed that they don’t have a bigger place in the story but I think that the manga concentrate on that. If you want to read the manga it takes place after Dawn but contains spoilers.

I’m not sure if I will continue the series, I kind of want to continue Survivors and read Seekers after that. But we will see!

Cats in power (warrior series review)

Warriors

Hello Humans!!!

*spoiler free*

series rating: four stars

The Warrior series has been in my heart and on my bookshelves for a long time. I fell in love with Erin Hunter’s books when I was 12 years old and ever since I still read at least one of her books every year. She has an amazing talent for writing about animals and explaining their behaviors through fantasy plots. The first time I read Fireheart’s story I was hooked on the entire series!

This first series is a great way to dive into Erin Hunter’s style, although I suppose that if you want to read another series such as Survivors or Seekers you probably don’t need to start here but if you want to know about the clan cats here is your starting point!

Warriors is her longest and earliest story, it follows the cats of the Thunderclan and mostly Fireheart. It is the story of how a kitty pet Rusty came into the Thunderclan and became a warrior known as Fireheart. As a character Fireheart has every characteristics of a hero, he wants to act for his clan and even transgress rules to help the ones he cares about. His opponent throughout the entire series is Tigerclaw who is the typical bad guy in the series and I was a bit disappointed that he was not as developed as I expected him to be.

The series has a great plot that constantly evolves but the major flaw is the characters. Since their names are changing with their ranks sometimes you can get them a little mixed up especially once you start The New Prophecy, yet it is also a way to have plenty of secondary characters that are all important in their own ways (and sometimes not in the first series but in the second or third).  Now when you try to link them all in a family tree it sounds a bit complicated… BUT! Bear with it because it is worth it!

As I said, the plot is great and interesting and tries to deal with every aspect of the clan. As Rusty becomes Fireheart we learn with him how it’s like to be a warrior cat and how to live in the wild. I thought it was interesting to see how cats of the clans behaved and their lifestyle. And of course I have to talk about my favorite character Bluestar! There is a standalone (which contains spoilers if you have not read the entire first series yet) about her and how she came to be who she is and the choices she had to make, I think she is the most interesting character of this first series.

The standalones can be read without diving into the series but they do contain spoilers so read with caution!!! Of course it is a great way to know more about some characters and parts of the plots of the later series. I think it is a great way to develop characters.

The entire work of Erin Hunter are Middle grade books so they are very easy to read and quick to get into although the series darkens with passing tomes but it goes well with the plot. If you’re a cat lover or an antho amateur go check it out!