Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin

Title: A Game of Thrones
Series: A Song of Ice and Fire (Book 1)
Author: George RR Martin
Publisher: Harper Voyager (TV Series tie-in edition)

Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.

Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.
If you can't tell already, I am a huge fan of House Stark. And quickly becoming a fan of this series!

I was a little dubious about starting Game of Thrones as, when it comes to fantasy, I am pretty damn fussy. But, after a few chapters, I was most definately hooked. The characters are well-constructed and constantly offer surprises and twists. Just when I thought I had the story figured out, a character would come along and throw a spanner in the works. It is not often I am left guessing, but this book had me doing that throughout!

Don't be lead into temptation and watch the series first. I avoided that and I think it might ruin the beauty of the book knowing what is going to happen and what part the characters have to play. Needless to say, I AM going to see the series now, as I am dying of curiousity to see how the events and characters are portrayed on screen.

What a great start to my year od 100 books! I am definately going to be looking into reading the rest of series that has been published thus far. And inevitably join the hoards of fans frothing at the mouth in their anticipation of book six!

Keep an eye out for my thoughts on the HBO Game of Thrones TV series and the rest of the novels.

Rating: 8/10

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013: Bookish Resolutions and More

I have made a rather difficult promise to my flatmate that I shall not purchase any new books until the end of June this year. The reason for this simply that I own FAR too many books that I have not read or would like to reread for the purposes of review. If I happen to slip up and buy a book, my flatmate has my express permission to bitchslap me. A pretty good motivator, I think!

Going hand-in-hand with this promise is a list of things I have to achieve by the end of the year.

  1. Read at least 100 books
  2. Write a comprehensive review for every single book I read for this blog
  3. Finish all the published books of George RR Martin's Song of Ice and Fire Series
  4. Read more books outside of the YA genre
  5. Increase the followers and page views of the blog
In short, I could easily reach my goal of 100 books and still have plenty to spare on my shelf!

I look forward to blogging about my reading journey and sharing everything with you. 

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs

Title: Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Published: June 7th 2011 by Quirk

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.
As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here - one of whom was his own grandfather - were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason. And somehow - impossible though it seems - they may still be alive..." (From Goodreads)
 I did read this book a few months back, but it is certainly worthy of a review. One thing that also bears mentioning is how challenging it was to find this title in South Africa initially. I really should explore purchasing my books online, but it takes away the whole experience of bookstores. The smell! I love the smell!

Back to the novel. I was pleasantly surprised by Rigg's writing style. The man has a way with words and this alone is worth reading Miss Peregrine for. I didn't feel that it suited the voice of the character, however. A teenaged boy is not going to word his thoughts so eloquently.

For those who are not aware, the novel is smattered with odd photographs that play a part in the story. I liked the concept, but felt some of the references were a little forced. The pictures are disturbing though and add an interesting element to the reading experience.

And the plot... well, sadly, this is where this novel falls short. What is a book without a plot?

Oh, the story started out well enough. I was thoroughly engrossed in Jacob's search for his grandfather's past and the hints that are dropped of the macabre. And... then something just fell very flat for me. What should have been a  whirlwind creepfest became a silly, mundane love story.

I was so disappointed that this one did not live up to the hype surrounding it. It was a brilliant concept that didn't meet the promise it offered.

It is worth a read though, but don't expect too much and you should be fine.

Rating; 5/10

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Top Reads of 2012

While my posts have been sporadic at best over 2012, I have read some phenomenal books!

Here are the most noteworthy in no particular order:

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

 Insurgent by Veronica Roth

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

 Full reviews of all of the above and more coming soon!

All the best for 2013! I hope this years bring you many good reads and new adventures!