Reading

Dark Age – Pierce Brown | A Book Review

Dark Age - Pierce Brown

Title: Dark Age

Author: Pierce Brown

Genre: Science Fiction

About the book: It’s the fifth book in the Red Rising series that follows multiple characters in Darrow, Lysander, Virginia, Lyria, and Ephraim. Brown explores power, violence, love, as well as hope.

First impressions: I enjoyed reading the previous books, so I was excited to read this novel. It took some time for me to get back into the story because I didn’t remember everything that happened in Iron Gold.

Characters: There are so many characters that at first I found it hard to keep track of who was who. I’m glad there’s a character list at the beginning. I gravitated towards the storylines of Lysander and Lyria. They aren’t perfect, yet I still wanted to cheer them on.

Quote:

“But we are entitled only to the moment, and owe nothing to the future except that we follow our convictions.”

Writing: The novel is almost 800 pages, so it’s longer than the other books. Brown spends a good amount of time building the world and describing things in detail. The chapters alternate point of view with each being told in the first person.

Final thoughts: Overall, I preferred the ending over the beginning. I would recommend reading the entire series in order before delving into Dark Age. This science fiction story isn’t for everyone, as it’s a mature read with violent and graphic scenes.


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Reading

Pick One: Book Characters

While writing my Pick One: Book Series blog post, I was inspired to pit fictional characters against each other. Enjoy!

Peeta or Gale? Hunger Games 

They’re both cool characters. Younger Herminia just thought Gale was cooler.

Edward or Jacob? Twilight 

Probably Jacob. I’m old, but I believe younger me was a bigger fan of the latter.

Dorian or Chaol? Throne of Glass

I liked Chaol’s character and his relationship with Celaena.

Rhysand or Tamlin? A Court of Thorns and Roses

Rhysand. He was more interesting to me even in the first book.

Darrow or Sevro? Red Rising

Darrow is amazing, but Sevro is somehow even more amazing. But I love them to pieces.

Minho or Newt? The Maze Runner

Minho in the books, Newt in the movies. So much got lost in the film adaptations. It’s such a shame.

Brenda or Theresa? The Maze Runner

Theresa in both the books and movies. She had greater depth to her character.

John or Robert Puller? John Puller

Robert. I’ve said this before, and I’m going to say it again: I love the older brother’s brain. I need a series that exclusively follows him everywhere.

Safiya or Iseult? The Witchlands

Iseult. She helped me remember the word, homeostasis, which I coincidentally learned in my biotechnology class. That’s enough to win me over. I have low expectations, okay.

Clary or Isabelle? The Mortal Instruments

Isabelle all the way. She’s one of the few characters I grew fonder of.

This was such a struggle to write. I hope you appreciate my suffering.

Reading

Pick One: Book Series

I force myself to choose between book series to figure out which ones I love with my broken heart.

Hunger Games or Divergent?

Considering I read all three books of the former and I only read the first book for the latter, it’s no contest. The Hunger Games takes the cake. I’m not usually a big fan of love triangles, but Gale and Peeta didn’t annoy me. Maybe I also need to do a post where I pick between two characters. That’ll be fun.

Twilight or Thirst?

The latter. It’s not as well known, but I enjoyed reading Christopher Pike’s novels in high school. I finished all of the Twilight books in 22 days, something I don’t do very often nowadays. By something I mean I don’t read a whole series all at once in such a short span of time. I miss the good old days where I had no responsibilities.

Throne of Glass or A Court of Thorns and Roses?

The Throne of Glass novels will always have a special place in my heart because I started that series first. But also because I love the characters so much it’s not even funny.

The Maze Runner or The Mortality Doctrine?

I read all the books in the former and only The Eye of Minds for the latter. I even watched The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trial films alone because I have no friends.

Lorien Legacies or Legend?

Legend. I’ve been trying to pit similar series together or books written by the same author. This one is slightly questionable. I digress. I liked Legend. I didn’t like I Am Number Four.

The Ender Quintet or Red Rising?

There isn’t a series that can rival my love for Red Rising, despite my four star ratings on GoodReads. Take those with a grain of salt. I’m all over the place and have yet to get my act together. I’m not sure how I’m 20 years old.

Writing this post has made me realize how many series I haven’t read but need to. And that my memory is bad (re: I am 20, so old; did you get that memo?).

Let me know your picks down below!

Reading

Plan Your Perfect Author Panel

Not long ago, I watched an author panel about genre blending. It got me thinking how awesome it’d be if I could gather all my favourite authors in the same room and listen to them talk about writing.

Here’s how I imagine my perfect panel:

Who would be there?

Pierce Brown, Stephen King, Sarah J. Maas, and Jodi Picoult. They’re my favourite storytellers as of right now.

Why these authors in particular?

In general, I love all of their work.

I enjoyed Brown’s Red Rising series, even though it shattered my already broken heart. So now I’m eagerly awaiting Iron Gold. In fact, IG is the first book I ever preordered. Also, Brown was in the genre blending panel, and his comments were spot on. The video is on YouTube for anyone interested.

King is king. I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. This won’t be the last time, my friends. For some reason, I have this irrational fear I won’t like one of his novels. He still continues to surpass any and all expectations of mine. Carrie has a special place in my heart. The film adaption was not as good as the book but it wasn’t bad either.

I didn’t think I would like Throne of Glass by Maas as much as I did. The hype surrounding the books almost made me pass on it. I’m glad I didn’t.

Fortunately, I found and fell in love with House Rules. Then I proceeded to read all the Picoult novels I could get my hands on. Nineteen Minutes and The Pact stand out in my memory still to this day.

What will the panel be about?

To start, I’d want them to talk about their writing journey.

I even have questions prepared. When did you start writing? What made you become a writer? Why do you write? What’s a typical day in your life like? Where do you work? How do you write? What’s the easiest thing about your job? What is the hardest?

I’m a curious writer myself, so I like listening to other writers share their life stories.

Of course, if I could only ask one question, I’d have them answer this: what’s one piece of advice you’d give to aspiring writers?

Where would the panel take place? 

I wish more book events and conferences were held in the wonderful country of Canada. As much as I love the United States and hope to visit the United Kingdom one day, I can’t book a plane ticket without losing an arm or a leg. Probably both.

So, for obvious reasons, I’d want the panel to be held at a location near me. That way I could actually attend and keep all my limbs. In my dreams, I want to go to a Canadian book conference. Preferably downtown Toronto in a large building with awesome views of the skyline. Bonus points if it’s close to a hotel for those flying in from other countries with their two arms and legs.

When would the panel take place?

A weekend in the summer would be ideal. Or during autumn when the temperature is cool but not chilly. Then again, the panel will be inside an air conditioned room. But I’m all for having fun events take place outdoors. Beggars can’t be choosers, but planners can be picky, right?

Who should moderate?

I’m not sure. Perhaps another writer. Maybe an agent or an editor. I don’t have anyone specific in mind.

I want to hear all about your dream author panel. Let me know in a comment down below or create your own blog post and get carried away like me. I won’t judge.

Thanks to Eventbrite for inspiring this post. They are a self-service ticketing platform that helps people find and plan events like book conferences or author panels.

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Reading

Completing The 30 Books Challenge

1. A book you love:

Morning Star by Pierce Brown

I love this book with all my heart. And I’m trying to make other people love it too.

2. A book you can’t forget:

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

My grade five teacher recommended it to me. Bless her for doing so.

3. A book that motivated you:

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

King makes me want to be a better writer.

4. A book that made you think about life:

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

It’s thought-provoking.

5. A book with a colour in its title:

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

I adore Brown and his brain.

6. A book with a number in its title:

Zone One by Colson Whitehead

I had to read it for school, but I liked the modernized zombie tale.

7. A book everyone needs to read:

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Timeless classic. What more can I say?

8. A book that was recommended to you:

All the Rage by Courtney Summers

A good friend of mine made me pick this one up.

9. A book you didn’t expect to like as much as you did:

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Because of the hype surrounding Maas and her work, I thought I wasn’t going to like her novels. But I enjoyed ToG so very much.

10. A book that made you cry:

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

It didn’t directly make me cry, but I was holding the book while I cried. Does that count?

11. A book that reminds you of your childhood:

The Giver by Lois Lowry

I was a naïve child.

12. A book you have reread or would reread:

Thirst No. 4 by Christopher Pike

I reread the fourth book prior to reading the fifth in order to jog my memory. The second read through was just as good, if not even better than the first.

13. A book that was turned into a movie:

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

I read the book before I watched the movie. If you know me at all, you know I’m firmly in the camp that the book was obviously better.

14. A book you wish was turned into a movie or TV show:

The Escape by David Baldacci

This needs to be made into a movie.

15. A book you couldn’t put down:

Endgame: The Calling by James Frey

Action-packed fun.

16. A book that kept you up at night:

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

I remember finishing the novel late at night and being blown away by the ending.

17. A book you travelled with:

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

I carried the novel in my bag with a water bottle I didn’t close properly. Safe to say water and paper don’t mix unless you’re painting with watercolours.

18. A book you wanted to toss across the room:

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Because of how it ends.

19. A book you received as a gift:

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

From my one and only older brother. Thanks.

20. A book you gave or would give as a gift:

The Elements of Style by E. B. White and William Strunk Jr.

I would give it as a gift, especially to someone who likes writing.

21. A book you think is underrated:

Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris

I don’t see or hear many people talk about Norris and her books.

22. A book that lived up to its hype:

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

I didn’t think it would, but it did.

23. A book that broke your heart:

House Rules by Jodi Picoult

It was my first Picoult novel. I’m happy to say it was not the last. I really felt for the characters in this one.

24. A book that restored your faith in humanity:

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Young, awesome characters tend to restore my faith.

25. A book with a pretty cover:

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

It’s my aesthetic.

26. A book that reminds you of summer:

Atonement by Ian McEwan

The novel takes place in the summer.

27. A book that brings back good memories:

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

Technically it’s a play I performed with some of my best friends in high school.

28. A book that makes you happy:

Nevermore by James Patterson

I enjoyed the entire series.

29. A book you will never get tired of talking about:

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

I could go on and on about this gem.

30. A book you wish you wrote:

Carrie by Stephen King

If I had to be honest, I wish I wrote every novel King wrote. Carrie is no exception.


This post contains many affiliate links to Amazon. If you buy through them, I earn a commission at no extra cost to you.

Reading

Books Of The Month | October 2016

It’s the end of October already? I’m not ready for November, where I’ll be attempting to write more, which means I’ll likely read less.


What I Finished:

Red Rising by Pierce BrownRed Rising by Pierce Brown

One phrase description: 

Love.

Quote:

“Life is the most effective school ever created.”

My general thoughts:

I didn’t love it at first. But by the end, I did. I may have purchased the next two books already, which is a testament to how much I enjoyed the one pictured above. For the longest time, I saw pictures of it everywhere, and I was tired of seeing something I didn’t have.


Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
northanger-abbey-by-jane-austen

One phrase description: 

Like.

Quote:

“All has been, or at least all have believed themselves to be, in danger from the pursuit of some one whom they wished to avoid; and all have been anxious for the attentions of some one whom they wished to please.”

My general thoughts:

I don’t love or hate it. I’m fond of the characters despite their flaws or maybe in spite of them. Interestingly enough, I enjoyed the middle chapters more than I did the beginning or ending. It took some time to get used to Austen’s writing early on. Also, the end didn’t satisfy me. I feel the need to mention I read this for school rather than pleasure. Funny, I told a friend I probably wouldn’t read Austen on my own for fun.


Atonement by Ian McEwan

atonement-by-ian-mcewan

One phrase description: 

Like led to love.

Quote:

“It wasn’t only the wickedness and scheming that made people unhappy, it was confusion and misunderstanding.”

My general thoughts:

I fell more and more in love. The story started a bit slow, but picked up nicely. A part of me wants to watch a movie adaptation. If you know me at all, you know I don’t watch many movies. Similar to Northanger Abbey, I read McEwan for my English class. Still I’m going to gush about it to anyone who cares to listen to me, meaning no one.


City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

city-of-glass-by-cassandra-clare

One phrase description: 

Love and hate.

Quote:

“And no place that you are never allowed to leave can be a home.”

My general thoughts:

I liked some things, disliked others. The writing irks me at times. For some reason, I’m not really fond of characters calling other characters by name multiple times in a conversation. I don’t think it’s realistic. But the story arc works for me. If I didn’t buy all six books at once though, I’m not sure if I would have read beyond the first novel. So what does that say about me or the series as a whole (in my opinion)? I don’t know. I’ll let you form your own conclusion.


What I’m Currently Reading:

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

to-the-lighthouse-by-virginia-woolf

First impressions:

It’s short, but I’m not the biggest fan so far, but let’s see if Woolf can win me over in the next couple hundred pages. It hasn’t happened yet. I just wish the story would unfold quicker because I’m impatient.


What I Want To Read Next Month:

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

city-of-fallen-angels-by-cassandra-clare

Why: 

Because I want to finish the series and move on with my life. I mean that in the best way possible.


Those affiliate links take you to Book Depository where you can buy more, you guessed it, books. Don’t you want more?

Reading

How I Procrastinate

I read a book to avoid reading another book.

That ladies and gentlemen is actually how I procrastinate. I was talking to a friend about it just now.

I’m proud of my procrastination tactics. It works fairly well if I do say so myself.

Do I want to read Jane Austen for class? Or would I rather read Red Rising by Pierce Brown for the sake of saying I did?

Red Rising by Pierce BrownThere’s no contest.

I know. My priorities need to be prioritized.

Reading

Books Of The Month | September 2016

It’s that time of the month where I reflect on what I read and maybe also what I didn’t read…


What I Finished:

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

One phrase description:

A great fantasy.

Quote:

“You must learn to ask the right questions before you can receive the right answers.”

My general thoughts:

I feel as though this book is more mature than the first. Perhaps because Celaena has grown up somewhat? Or maybe I’m just losing my mind and making stuff up. Probably the latter. A part of me enjoyed Throne of Glass just a bit more. I like reading about people fighting, less so about people loving.


The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

One phrase description: 

A good mystery.

Quote:

“But the lies she told were woven into the fabric of her being, her life; so that to live with her and love her was to become slowly enmeshed by them, to wrestle her for the truth, to struggle to maintain a foothold on reality.”

My general thoughts:

I don’t hate the writing, but I’m not the biggest fan either. It’s slightly more descriptive than I would’ve liked for a crime novel. So the entire story felt slow, especially in the beginning. I hate to brag, yet I will anyway. I’m getting better at guessing who did what. There goes the surprise I used to feel during “the big reveal”.


The Raven Boys by Maggie StiefvaterThe Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

One phrase description: 

A strange story.

Quote:

“She recognized the strange happiness that came from loving something without knowing why you did, that strange happiness that was sometimes so big that it felt like sadness.”

My general thoughts:

I had and still have many questions. But I guess that’s why it’s a series. I don’t think I love the first book enough to pick up the second one though. However, I can see why some people adore the characters or even the entire story as a whole. I’m just not one of those people.

What I Want To Read Next Month:

Red Rising by Pierce BrownRed Rising by Pierce Brown

Why: 

I’ve heard positive things about Brown and his books. And I’ve seen pictures of both everywhere. So it’s probably a sign from above, trying to tell me something.


The line between spoiler-free and spilling everything is too thin. I’m trying my best while failing my hardest.

Did I read the book I was supposed to read for school? You probably know the answer to that.

If you purchase through my affiliate links, you’re really just prodding me to buy more books.