The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon

Rating – 3.5/5

“Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal prison camp of Shoel I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the survivors are missing and she is the most wanted person in London…”

I don’t know what it is about this series that I’m not liking. I enjoy the writing style, I am fond of most of the characters and the world building is incredible but there just seems to be something missing for me.

I was looking forward to reading this book after the first book, The Bone Season, got better as the story progressed. However, this book seemed to do exactly the same and I only found myself getting really into the story in the last few chapters. These last few chapters were tense and atmospheric and oh my goodness, that ending completely threw me! I am looking forward to reading the next instalment and I hope I enjoy it more than I enjoyed the first two books.

We continue to learn more about the society and government in this book which is what interested me the most and I have a feeling that the next book will entice me even more with the politics of this world. I am starting to really enjoy Paige as a character after feeling rather indifferent towards her at the start and I sincerely hope that Nick Nygard stays alive throughout this whole series because I would really miss his character if he died.

This is a really unique story and I am looking forward to what the next books bring.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Rating – 3.5/5

“For the past two hundred years the Scion government has led an oppressive campaign against unnaturalness in London. Clairvoyance in all its forms has been decreed a criminal offence, and those who practise it viciously punished. Forced underground, a clairvoyant underworld has developed, combating persecution and evading capture. Paige Mahoney, a powerful dreamwalker operating in the Seven Dials districts of London, leads a double life, using her unnaturalness illegally while hiding her gift from her father, who works for the Scion regime…”

I’d heard so many wonderful things about this book and it really seemed like the sort of book I would love but unfortunately, it didn’t live up to my expectations.

My low rating for this book has nothing to do with the writing and world-building, which were both brilliant and have made me want to continue with this series. The characters were interesting, although I did not feel a connection to any of them, I am interested in reading more about them in the next instalments of the series.

I think what made me enjoy this book less was that it reminded me of a trilogy I read some years ago about angels which I really didn’t enjoy so although the writing and world-building were interesting (and did make me keep reading when I was ready to DNF this book), I just couldn’t shake the feeling that parts of this story reminded me of a trilogy I didn’t enjoy. However, as the book progressed, I was starting to get into the story and by the end I was anticipating reading the sequel so I am going to continue on with this series and I will hopefully enjoy the next instalments more than this first book.

A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab

Rating – 5/5

“The precarious equilibrium among the four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving a space for another London to rise. Kell – once assumed to be the last surviving Antari – begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. Lila Bard, once a commonplace – but never common – thief, has survived and flourished through a series of magic trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry. Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery, and the Night Spire crew are attempting a race against time to require the impossible, as an ancient enemy returns to claim to a crown and a fallen hero is desperate to save a decaying world…”

What a sad but perfect end to what has become one of my favourite trilogies. A Conjuring of Light concluded the series perfectly and I was left in tears at the thought of leaving these characters behind.

From start to finish this book kept me on the edge of my seat! I experienced a rollercoaster of emotions and I was left a sobbing mess. I haven’t fallen in love with a book in such a long time and I know that this unique story will stay with me forever. The world created is so vivid – I could picture the characters as I was reading! I’ve recently discovered that A Darker Shade of Magic is being adapted into a film and I cannot wait to see this incredible series brought to the big screen. The story went in a direction I could not have expected and the characters continued to be developed so well. The final few chapters were so beautifully written – I really didn’t want this story to end!

It’s so hard to review the final book in a trilogy without giving away spoilers but I must admit that Rhy Maresh is still one of my all-time favourite characters, as well as Hastra and Lila Bard is still one of the coolest female characters in YA!

I’m so excited to read more from V. E. Schwab and I know I will be coming back to this trilogy again and again.

A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab

Rating – 4.5/5

“Kell is one of the last magicians with the ability to travel between parallel universes, linked by the magical city of London. It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into his possession and he met Delilah Bard. Four months since the Dane twins of White London fell, and the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body back into Black London. Now Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila. And as Red London prepares for the Element Games – an international competition of magic – a certain pirate ship draws closer. But another London is coming back to life. The balance of magic is perilous, and for one city to flourish, another must fall…”

I knew this trilogy would get better and I wasn’t disappointed! From start to finish this book was tense and heartbreaking and I couldn’t stop reading.

I loved the new characters we were introduced to, especially Alucard and Hastra, and I fell even more in love with the characters we already knew (Rhy Maresh may be one of my all-time favourite characters!). The suspense I was in waiting for Kell and Lila to be reunited was like nothing I’ve experienced whilst reading a book before and the moment they did was everything I could have hoped for and more. Victoria Schwab has created characters that I will admire and love for a very long time!

The Elemental Games were such a cool and unique aspect to this story. I really enjoyed reading about the tournament and learning of the international competitors. We were also introduced to further information about Red London and the other London’s which was really interesting. The chapters set in White London were also really interesting – I was unsure of my opinion of Holland in the first book and I am even more conflicted now!

I’m so excited to read the conclusion to this trilogy and to also read more from Victoria Schwab because I adore her writing! I highly recommend this trilogy!

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

Rating – 4/5

“Kell is one of the last travellers – magicians with a rare ability to travel between parallel universes by one magical city. There’s Grey London, without magic and ruled by the mad King George III. Red London – where magic is revered, and where Kell was raised alongside the heir to the empire. White London – where people fight to control the remaining magic and magic fights back. And once there was Black London…”

When the third book in the trilogy, A Conjuring of Light, was released, I saw lots of people talking about this series and how incredible it is so I knew I had to read it for myself. Unfortunately, I’ve waited a while before reading them so I have seen quite a few spoilers for this series yet it was still nothing like I was expecting.

The story is incredibly unique and combined with strong, likeable characters, this series has the potential to be one of my favourites. Now you’re probably wondering why I only gave this book a 4/5… From what I’ve read, the books get progressively better so I want to save my 5/5 rating for the final book as I already know it is going to be incredible. That isn’t to say this first book wasn’t incredible, I just know that other two are going to be even better.

I can’t wait to see more from the characters – I’m already obsessed with Kell, and Lila is one of the coolest female characters I’ve read about. The world that has been created with the different versions of London is so vivid that I can clearly picture each world as Kell travels between them so I’m excited to learn more about these worlds as the story progresses.

Even though this is only my first book of V. E. Schwab’s that I have read, I am already highly anticipating reading more from her. I highly recommend this book!

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Rating – 5/5

“A Shadowhunter’s life is bound by duty. Constrained by honour. The world of a Shadowhunter is a solemn pledge, and no vow is more sacred than the vow that binds parabatai, warrior partners – sworn to fight together, die together, but to never fall in love. Emma Carstairs has learned that the love she shares with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, isn’t just forbidden – it could destroy them both. She knows she should run from him. But how can she when the Blackthorns are threatened by enemies on all sides? Their only hope is the Black Volume of the Dead, a spell book of terrible power. Everyone wants it. Only the Blackthorns can find it. Spurred on by a dark bargain with the Seelie Queen, Emma; her best friend, Cristina; and Mark and Julian Blackthorn journey into the Courts of Faerie, where glittering revels hide bloody danger and no promise can be trusted. Meanwhile, rising tensions between Shadowhunters and Downworlders has produced the Cohort, an extremist group of Shadowhunters dedicated to registering Downworlders and “unsuitable” Nephilim. They’ll do anything in their power to expose Julian’s secrets and take the Los Angeles Institute for their own. When Downworlders turn against the Clave, a new threat rises in the form of the Lord of Shadows – the Unseelie King, who sends his greatest warriors to slaughter those with Blackthorn blood and seize the Black Volume. As dangers close in, Julian devises a risky scheme that depends on the cooperation of an unpredictable enemy. But success may come with a price he and Emma cannot even imagine, one that will bring with it a reckoning of blood that could have repercussions for everyone and everything they hold dear.”

I absolutely love Cassandra Clare’s writing and the world she has created. I honestly don’t think there will ever be a book written by her that I do not like. From start to finish her books are magical, romantic, tense and heartbreaking and I cannot recommend them enough.

Lady Midnight (the first book in The Dark Artifices trilogy) was incredible. Lord of Shadows was even better. We were introduced to more incredible characters and we learnt so much more about the ones we already love so much. The reveal surrounding Diana’s character was absolutely incredible and I’m so excited to see where Cassie takes this information in the final book. The friendship between Ty, Livvy and Kit was my favourite part of this book – to learn more about Ty (who is my favourite character) and see him develop due to his new friendship with Kit was wonderful. Of course, this book wouldn’t be what it is without the heartbreak between Emma and Julian – I adore these two characters and I can’t wait to see where the final book takes them. It was also really interesting to see Dru’s perspective as she wasn’t very prominent in the first book but I have a feeling we may see a lot more of her in the final book. The relationship between Mark, Cristina and Kieran was also really interesting and I’m really looking forward to seeing how this progresses. Although I love the Los Angeles Institute, it was really special to go back to the London Institute (which you will have visited if you have read The Infernal Devices) and be reunited with a couple of characters I thought we would not meet again.

I honestly cannot rave about this book enough. I could gush forever about how wonderful it is but I don’t want to spoil it for those of you who have not yet had the pleasure of reading it. However, if you are planning on reading this book/trilogy, I would recommend reading The Mortal Instruments first – it is not necessary but you would be spoiled if you read this trilogy first!

More Than This by Patrick Ness

Rating – 3.5/5

“A boy drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments. He dies. Then he wakes, naked and bruised and thirsty, but alive. How can this be? And what is this strange deserted place? As he struggles to understand what is happening, the boy dares to hope. Might this not be the end? Might there be more to this life, or perhaps this afterlife?”

After reading (and loving) A Monster Calls earlier this year, I decided I would try and read all of Patrick Ness’ YA books. This is the third of his that I have read and unfortunately, it is my least favourite.

I had absolutely no idea what was going on during 95% of this book. I think that was the point but I get really frustrated when I can’t understand a book and I really couldn’t understand this one. I could guess what the book was about but I probably get it wrong.

I do love Patrick Ness’ writing which is why this book has a 3.5/5 rating. It was poetic without being overly so and it was a really enjoyable reading experience for that factor alone. I couldn’t connect to any of the characters but I did really love Tomasz – he was wonderfully innocent and a perfect character.

I honestly don’t know what else to say about this book. I did enjoy it. It had short chapters which made it easy to speed through and some chapters kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next. I will continue to make my way through Patrick Ness’ work as I do really enjoy his writing style