Sunday, 31 May 2015

End of the Month Round-Up - May

With June just around the corner, it's time to say bye-bye to May. And what an amazing May it has been! With more fantastic releases than you can shake a stick at, book signings and BEA and BookCon, May has been a great one this year for everyone.

First up, what books did I get during May?


Drop by Katie Everson (Thank you Jo Unwin for this!)
Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Talon and Rogue by Julie Kagawa (Thank you to numerous people here! Since I was sent three copies of each Talon AND Rogue!)
The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard (Manuscript). (A massive, ginormous thank-you to both Sooz and Sarah J.Maas for this baby!)
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J.Maas (ARC) (Again, so many thank-you's to Sarah and Sooz here!!)
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J.Maas (signed UK bookplate edition) 
Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard (Yes, AGAIN, thank-you to Sooz and Sarah. You amazing gals you).
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J.Maas (US hardback) 
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.

Now, apart from the amazing May releases, May was also amazing for another reason:


For those that know me, you know just how big of a deal that was to me. If you don't, well... basically, Sarah is one of my literary queens. I even run a fan account for her fans to mingle and I host giveaways and more (Twitter @HeirOfFire).
Meeting Sarah was easily one of the most emotional moments of my life. Her work has shaped and changed me in ways that I can't explain. To finally meet her was a literal dream come true! Gosh, I'm getting teary just thinking about the 21st of May!

Also during May, the Truthwitch stuff began. I'll explain much more about this in the future!

So. What will June be bringing us? More amazing books, of course! We have ones like:

And many more besides! June is going to be a kick-ass month from the looks of things. June also means summer. HEAT. FINALLY! The wind and rain of England right now is really taking its toll on everyone. We've had 8 months of jumper weather. 8 MONTHS!!! 

Anyway. Here's to an amazing June, guys!

Saturday, 30 May 2015

REVIEW: Trial By Fire by Josephine Angelini

TRIAL BY FIRE (Worldwalker #1)
Josephine Angelini

Love burns. Worlds collide. Magic reigns.

This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying many of the experiences that other teenagers take for granted...which is why she is determined to enjoy her first (and perhaps only) high-school party. But Lily's life never goes according to plan, and after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly Lily is in a different Salem - one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruellest of all the Crucibles is Lillian . . . Lily's identical other self in this alternate universe. This new version of her world is terrifyingly sensual, and Lily is soon overwhelmed by new experiences.

Lily realizes that what makes her weak at home is exactly what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. It also puts her life in danger. Thrown into a world she doesn't understand, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can't hope to shoulder alone, and a love she never expected.

But how can Lily be the saviour of this world when she is literally her own worst enemy?

Published: 28th August 2014
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Genre: YA, Witches, High Fantasy

My goodness! What a ride! 

First of all, let's take a look at that STUNNING cover for a moment! How gorgeous is that?! I was worried that the UK cover wouldn't top the US one... but I think it just about does! (Excluding the brand-new covers! Which blow both covers out of the water with their beauty.)

Check out the cover reveal for FIREWALKER and a new design for TRIAL BY FIRE in the World Walker Trilogy by Josephine Angelini

I have attempted Josephine's work before with Starcrossed, but unfortunately I never got to finish it. Plain and simple, I was not keen on her writing style and characters. But NOW? WOW! Just... WOW! Josephine has improved beyond recognition. When I bought this book, I was extremely apprehensive in case it was another Starcrossed. But it is completely different to that trilogy. I'm kicking myself for not picking this up off my shelf for so long!

This story is a gem in the parallel universe/alternate world genre. I have never been a fan of the genre, but TRIAL BY FIRE has changed my mind. The moment I finished, I went searching for more like it. 

In the story itself, the plot is so well thought out and exquisite. I could almost reach out and touch Lillian's world. Each character is masterfully crafted. Too well in the case of Lillian. Lillian is a terrifying character because... well, she is completely against nuclear power like her counterpart, but where Lily just wears a t-shirt with a slogan on and protests, Lillian is at the complete other end of the spectrum with the whole "Whoo let's hang a school that I created!" Yes love, nuclear power IS bad and I agree with that, but you don't run around and kill thousands of innocent people! She's doing something good by doing something beyond bad. I want Lillian to die a painful death, but I also love her. I am so conflicted!

And while we're on the subject of nuclear power and stuff, the mixture of magic and science in the book is absolute genius! The bioluminescent trees that act as streetlamps, the Woven, which are creatures that have been spliced and combined, the way heat turns into energy and power. It completely captured my imagination and left me in awe of Josephine Angelini's writing skills. 

The romance in this story was perfect. Not too much that it turns into a cheese-fest, or two little that we feel unfulfilled. The relationship between Lily and Rowan is more than beautiful, it's an acorn. An acorn that has only just sprouted. In the coming books, that tiny sapling is going to grow into a majestic oak tree. Lily did not spend the book 24/7 thinking "he's SO hot," which is a breath of fresh air. She was easily one of the most likable character's that I've ever met. Cannot wait to see where her story goes after that ending!

Speaking of that ending... how EVIL! EVIL I TELL YOU! I turned over the page, my heart in my mouth and desperate to see what happened... and there was nothing but the acknowledgments! Ack! I need the next book so terribly bad!

In short, this book is completely BEWITCHING. Yes. There had to be at least ONE witchy pun in this review!

Rating? A magical 5 hearts!

Brand new blog!

Whoo! Out with the old and in with the new! Pandemonium Books is now up-to-date with a brand-new design! Is it a Yay or a Nay?

Thursday, 28 May 2015

REVIEW: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson


Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.

Elisa is the chosen one. 

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can't see how she ever will. 

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people's savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

Published: September 20th 2011

Publisher: Greenwillow 

Hearts: three

I was VERY excited to read this book after hearing so many good things about it, but unfortunately, it just wasn't QUITE up to scratch.

The story revolves around a chubby princess called Elisa who, in her navel, bears the Godstone. What a Godstone is, I don't think anyone really knows just yet. I certainly don't. I kept seeing it as one of the tacky navel-piercings the girls from my old college used to have. They creep me out so much it's UNREAL.


If you dislike whiny princesses, steer clear of this book. 

When Elisa isn't complaining about/thinking about how she's fat, she's whining about something else. But her character did improve as the book went on. I actually grew to like her a little when I was nearing the final few pages. But 90% of the book I spent wanting to punch her in the face. You're fat. So am I. GET OVER IT.

30 Funny animal captions - part 13 (30 pics), animal pictures with captions, funny memes
cute animals wearing clothes | Tags: cat wearing a shirt , funny cat meme @Hollie Baker A L E Y |  V A N  |  L I E W Neumiller

My problem with this book isn't Elisa, but the plot. More specifically, the pair of deaths. Far from simply shocking me, they made me mad. There just didn't seem to be ANY reason why the pair needed to die! I've no intention of reading the next two books now they're BOTH dead. They were the only ones I was slogging through the book for. There were holes in parts of the book and bits that most certainly didn't need to happen, which put me off a little more. I'm so gutted because half of this book I DID enjoy, which is why the rating isn't 2 hearts.

I did enjoy the world-building and the characters. Each one was crafted very nicely, the world intricate and vast. It's a shame that I won't be reading any further, but I don't think I can force myself through another book like that.  I am so very conflicted about this book, because bits I loved, bits I hated. Gah.

So sadly, three hearts.

Okay. One more funny picture.
Love it
Elisa is that you at the beginning of the book????

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Things To Do If You're Not Going To BEA15

It's that time of year again where a vast majority of the bookish community begin to despair and wallow before their computers. Why? Book Expo America.

BEA is THE place to be if you are a book blogger. Why? One word: ARCs. So we have compiled a list of things you can do instead of sobbing into your laptop's keyboard.


Make a book fort. Why? Because it will take so long that you won't have time to think about not being at BEA! Plus you can curl up inside of your igloo of literature and enjoy a nap. Because who doesn't love naps or sleep in general? Just make sure not to bring hot chocolate inside your fort. We don't want any accidents!     

This guy who turned a public library into his own personal fort. He deserves an award.


Look up hot guys on the internet. Nuff' said here. The world is your oyster, ladies, so get searching on Pinterest or even Google. Embrace the screens filled with abs you could bounce a penny on.
Chris Hemsworth. Well, yeah, this was originally why I wanted to watch Thor... And now he is on my list ;)


Try a new hobby for a few days. Ever wanted to start up drawing, or watercolor? Or even knitting? This is your chance! Shun the internet in favor of a paintbrush instead for a few days. You never know; you might find a new favorite hobby while drowning out your BEA pain!

I love the wall mounted paint brush organization. It's easy to see each brush and they would dry well after cleaning. LA CUISINE DE L'ARTISTE


Go on an adventure. Take a leaf out of Bilbo's book and get out there! Whether it's just down to the local library, or a walk around your town or city! Go and discover a new cafe and try their specials. Explore places nearby that you have never been to. Go wild!

"This life, which had been the tomb of his virtue and of his honour, is but a walking shadow; a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing" - William Shakespeare


 READ. Just because you're not going to BEA doesn't mean you have to throw your books aside and ignore them for a few days or so. Start a new book, a book you would never usually try. If you're a fantasy lover, try a contemporary! Always wanted to try a graphic novel? Go ahead and give it a shot!


So there is our short list of things to do instead of wallowing over BEA. But of course, wallowing IS allowed. We're doing it right now while looking up pictures of Chris Hemsworth. Grab a hot chocolate, find a comfortable booknook and read, guys. We've survived these past years of not going to BEA and we'll survive all the coming ones too.

One day, friends. One day we shall be at BEA.

REVIEW: Starborn by Lucy Hounson


Death and destruction will bar her way...

Kyndra's fate holds betrayal and salvation, but the journey starts in her small village. On the day she comes of age, she accidentally disrupts an ancient ceremony, ending centuries of tradition. So when an unnatural storm targets her superstitious community, Kyndra is blamed. She fears for her life until two strangers save her, by wielding powers not seen for an age - powers fuelled by the sun and the moon.

Together, they flee to the hidden citadel of Naris. And here, Kyndra experiences disturbing visions of the past, showing war and one man's terrifying response. She'll learn more in the city's subterranean chambers, amongst fanatics and rebels. But first Kyndra will be brutally tested in a bid to unlock her own magic.

If she survives the ordeal, she'll discover a force greater than she could ever have imagined. But could it create as well as destroy? And can she control it, to right an ancient wrong?
Publishing date: April 23rd 2015
Publisher: Tor UK
Pages: 400
Rating: half a heart

I saw this book on the shelf and was instantly drawn to it. The description, the intriguing first chapter, I bought it on the spot. I hurried home itching to delve into this beautiful sounding world and no-doubt exquisite storyline.


Starborn was, sadly, one of the most disappointing books I have ever read. I am bitterly regretting not looking at reviews before making my purchase. I barely got to page 100 before deciding that this book was going onto the DNF pile. 

The world-building was beyond lax, the characters so flat I could iron my clothes on them and the storyline... there was so much wrong with it. So much wrong with the characters too. Kynder was easily one of the most dullest heroines I have ever read about. There was so much that didn't make sense that in the end, I basically just gave up. I am saddened that TOR would publish this and actually promote the book as one of the most anticipated books of the year! Very saddened. 

I feel like a total b*tch with this review, but I honestly cannot find anything to like about it except the cover. (I'm sorry!) 

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY - Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo



Game of Thrones meets Ocean's Eleven in this brand-new book in the world of the Grisha by New York Times-bestselling author Leigh Bardugo.

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. 

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.

Expected publication: 29th September 2015

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company


Today I am waiting on SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo.

Basically, I am obsessed with everything and anything Grisha. The lush and vibrant world, the exquisite characters, just... gah, everything!

I bought the first book of the Grisha trilogy so long ago that I can't remember when exactly. But the book I bought was THE GATHERING DARK, the name of Shadow and Bone before it was changed. The cover of the original is so beautiful and really captures the feel of the book. I could gush forever about the Grisha trilogy to be honest.

The Grisha Trilogy shattered me apart and then glued me back together again, and SIX OF CROWS is no doubt going to have the same or similar effect. Books are like onions - there are so many layers.

New characters set in the Grisha world? Count me in! I do hope we see the ones who survived the utter devastation that was Ruin and Rising. Of course... we won't be seeing HIM, which is all kinds of agonizing and heartbreaking.

This duology is going to be amazing as its predecessors, I am sure of it. To those lucky, lucky people who will be getting a review copy of SIX OF CROWS at Book Expo America today, consider me jealous in the extreme. And very likely to assassin-swoop down on you and snag your book.

Donkey, from Shrek.   "For your information, there's a lot more to ogres than people think.   Example?   Okay, um, ogres are like onions.   {Sniffs} They stink?   Yes - - No!   They make you cry?   No!   Oh, you leave them in the sun they get all brown, start sproutin' little white hairs."
Great. Now I'm thinking about this fellow, onions and ogres.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Meeting Sarah J. Maas - 21/5/14

Meeting Sarah J. Maas, author of the Throne of Glass series and A Court of Thorns and Roses is easily one of the highlights of my life so far. Prepare yourself for GUSHING. And a few tears on my behalf.

I live a good few hours away from Derby (where the signing was,) so my day started pretty early at 7am. It was the first time I'd ever traveled alone on a train, so nerves were sky-high.

I really shouldn't have worried though. Everything went without a hitch. Heck, I even grew to LOVE traveling around on my lonesome on trains! Already cannot wait for another signing so I can hop back onto one.

So at 11am, I finally made it into Derby. It was HOT. Like, really hot for England. How lucky was that!

I was not the first person at the shop despite being more than 2 hours early. A girl name Grace sat before me, and she was wearing THE most epic ACOTAR shirt you can imagine.

ISN'T THAT FABULOUS?! Apparently it's from Redbubble if you guys want your own!

So we started chatting, and it was epic. Turned out we live only 30 minutes from each other! How freaking cool is that!?
And then, slowly but surely, more people started to join us. But still not many. In fact, I don't think the signing was much more than 20 people! VERY small.

In the end we all turned into one gigantic friendship group. We've named ourselves the Maas Squad. And ACOTAR Crew. We have many names, much like Celaena/Aelin. 

And so we waited, chatting about books, blogging and how much we loved Sarah. 

Sarah's throne ;)
The staff at the Derby Waterstones were beyond lovely. They even came around every ten minutes or so with gummy bears and wine gums for us! 

I had the biggest pile of books, hands down. People would walk in and GAPE at my pile. Do I have any regrets? Hell no. Never, ever.

Months back on my Twitter that is dedicated to Sarah's books (@HeirOfFire) I created a little project that I called Throne of Postcards. Basically, people would write what Throne of Glass meant to them onto a postcard, which I finally gave to Sarah. 

To all those that sent cards, thank you so much! Sarah was BEYOND overwhelmed. She wanted to read them all at the table, but there were sooo many! Safe to say, you guys almost made her cry and ruin that lovely make-up.

And then Sarah arrived 45 minutes before the signing. At the mere sight of her we all melted into the floor and silently freaked out so that we didn't come off as utterly INSANE fangirls. Which we are, duh. She vanished into the back and we all prepared ourselves. With more gummy bears and wine gums, of course.

Annnnnnnnnnnnd then it was time. Sarah took her throne like the queen she is and we all lined up, her loyal subjects. The horror in the eyes of the staff member who saw my colossal pile of books was real. I would say I'm sorry, but I'm totally not!

I wish I could write down our entire conversation, but it was just THAT long and THAT exuberant and gushy and almost tearful on both our parts for me to remember any specific lines. Sarah practically hugged me to death the moment she saw me. And there was me worrying all morning that she wouldn't be allowed to hug me! She's a great hugged btw. Queen of Hugs. 

And so I met one of my idols. And it was bloody amazing. 

You can find me kneeling next to Sarah looking high on happiness

All those books on the table are mine. WHOOPS!
Also, a month back or so, I won a 
competition from Sarah and Susan Dennard (Sarusan forever!!) The prize was a bound manuscript of TRUTHWITCH, Susan Dennard's (freaking AMAZING) new book, and Sarah's last ACOTAR ARC. The ever awesome and amazing Sooz also sent along a copy of her other book Something Strange and Deadly for me too! Promoting her and Truthwitch on my Twitter account (@Truthwitch) is an honor, seriously. You all NEED to go and read her books and talk to her, because she's freaking amazing. (Read my review of TRUTHWITCH HERE!)


After the signing, me and the crew went to a cafe named Bookcafe. We exchanged information, gushed even more, read our dedications in our books and drank milkshakes. Or, in Ray's case, necked back tea.

We did head back to the shop to say goodbye to Sarah, but she was long gone since the signing was so tiny. 

And then it was over. The heartbreaking journey home began. But until next year when we meet again, Sarah! 

Ray and her true love

I will cherish these forever.

I'm pretty sure there's more to write about, but I'm still emotional! And yep, the signing was 2 days ago now.

Giveaway coming very soon!!