August 2017 TBR

August. The final summer month. The last few weeks of work/internship and then back to business at uni. Final weeks staying at my parents’ house, then back to my own flat. So time to read the final books for summer! I do hope to read a lot these last weeks of summer here in Finland.

What to finish

The Inquisition by Taran Matharu – Almost halfway through. Doesn’t feel as good as the first one but I do want to know where it is going. Still very Eragon-ish.

The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan – I am ashamed. It is still here. But maybe I’ll get to it this month?

What to start

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – The next book to read in the Wizarding World Book Club! I hope all of you have joined in. Not gonna start this I think until I get back to my own flat in a few weeks though.

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller – I WANT TO READ THIS! Jeez I am bad at picking books up (or just slow at finishing the ones I am reading).

Icefall: Episodes 1-6 by Walt Stone and Mica Stone – NetGalley, the review will come. And soon. Promise! As soon ass uni starts again I will probably have more time to read… hrrm… somewhere between being a tutor and studies.

What do you want to read in August?

Magic and the Muggle World

The Dursleys hate magic. They would prefer it not to exist, but they know it does. So they angrily reject and stubbornly ignore any signs of it in the Muggle world – even when forced to take in their wizard nephew, Harry.

– Pottermore

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
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Chapters 1-4
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Source: Pottermore

I love the first chapter of Harry Potter. The normal family and the strange things that happens. Having read it sooo many times and now listening to it, I cannot do anything but appreciate it. It draws you in and you never want to leave.

Separate Worlds

I have to say that it is astonishing how separate the muggle and magical worlds are. They basically have nothing to do with each other. Not even fashion seems to have crossed over (not to mention normal paper and pencils). In the first chapter Dumbledore and McGonagall are dressed in the usual robes worn by the magical community. When reading the books as a kid this just makes the magic more magical, but when thinking about it now I don’t know how to feel. Maybe I’m just used to a very global world.

Thinking about something as simple as the different fashion styles of muggles and wizards, I cannot help to think that there has to bee quite a few wizards with basically no muggle connections. Or at least throughout history there has been very few connections. But since television doesn’t work that well together with magic (magical interference) it might be how the communities have managed to stay so uninfluenced by each other.

Join the Wizarding World Book Club

Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith

Ewan Pendle and the White WraithEwan Pendle and the White Wraith by Shaun Hume

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was given this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

This was a decent read, but I would have liked it more if it hadn’t been pitched as something especially for Harry Potter fans. Now I couldn’t do anything but compare it to Harry Potter and sadly it falls short.

The story is very Harry Potter-ish. A boy without parents goes to a special school where he makes some friends and there is a mystery to be solved. The school even have “common rooms” and “houses” (but with different names). It is not just the world that has things in common with Harry Potter, the story is pushed forward in some similar ways as well. For example, in Philosopher’s Stone the trio finds out about the stone from The Daily Prophet, in this book the main characters find out about the white wraith from The London Lectern (also a newspaper). Since Ewan Pendle is set in today’s world (at least I think it is) why didn’t they use the internet? That is just one example, there are more.

However, the characters were really good, I especially liked Enid, a pirate girl. She was badass from the beginning and she didn’t lose the badassness even after becoming more friendly with Ewan and Mathilde. I was so glad to see that! It is always scary when an awesome, and somewhat ruff around the edges, character becomes friends with people. There is quite a risk of them becoming too soft (due to “character development”).

Ewan himself was interesting to follow. He’s a bit naive at times (which is understandable, he’s 11) but he has such a big heart and reaches out to other outsiders. He is such a good role model and gives everyone a chance (even if they walk around barefoot all the time or have a tattoo on their face).

In conclusion, the story could have been more original and given some more work, but the characters are this story’s strong point. I might pick up another book about these characters when/if released, and I do hope another story will be published.

“Ewan Pendle was weird. Really weird. At least, that’s what everyone told him. Then again, being able to see monsters that no one else could wasn’t exactly normal …

Thinking he has been moved off to live with his eleventh foster family, Ewan is instead told he is a Lenitnes, one of an ancient race of peoples who can alone see the real ‘Creatures’ which inhabit the earth. He is taken in by Enola, the mysterious sword carrying Grand Master of Firedrake Lyceum, a labyrinth of halls and rooms in the middle of London where other children, just like Ewan, go to learn the ways of the Creatures.”

– Goodreads

Goodreads | Amazon

The Wizarding World Book Club

I am a little late to the party, but who cares? 😀 The Wizarding World Book Club. I heard about it, loved the idea, and somehow didn’t log in to Pottermore. It started a month ago, Friday 23 June, but I’ll be joining now (I started listening to the first book on audiobook. First time listening to a Harry Potter book).

I hope to have some fun Harry Potter months to look forward to!

Sins of Empire

Sins of EmpireSins of Empire (Gods of Blood and Powder #1) by Brian McClellan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Brian McClellan has done it again. This story just pulls you in to never let you go. That’s the reason I flew through it in just a few days.

We’re back in the familiar world from The Powder Mage Trilogy, but in a different part – Fatrasta. It is a turbulent country, their war for independence was what made Taniel Two-Shot legendary, and there are deep frictions between the different people. And who is thrown into this? Vlora, previously engaged to Taniel and hero of Adro. Having lived as a mercenary for quite a few years since the happenings in The Autumn Republic, she is now thrown back into a world of politics and fighting. A world she’d rather left untouched.

He thought of sorcery like he did politics. He knew it existed and that it affected his life in deep intrinsic ways, but he tried his best not to get any on him.

I have to say that the plot of Sins of Empire is very similar to Promise of Blood. Not as bloody beginning as Promise of Blood, but the overall plot follows the same structure. There is even a new “investigator”! Instead of Adamat we are now introduced to Michel Bravis, spy.

Despite that, this book got me hooked. McClellan really knows how to write action and you are never left bored. Since I enjoyed this as an audiobook I have to comment on Christian Rodska, who does an incredible job reading these books. His style is perfect for the world McClellan has created.

“An epic new fantasy series from Brian McClellan, set in the same world as his wildly popular Powder Mage trilogy.

The young nation of Fatrasta is a turbulent place – a frontier destination for criminals, fortune-hunters, brave settlers, and sorcerers seeking relics of the past. Only the iron will of the lady chancellor and her secret police holds the capital city of Landfall together against the unrest of a suppressed population and the machinations of powerful empires.

The insurrection that threatens Landfall must be purged with wile and force, a task which falls on the shoulders of a spy named Michel Bravis, convicted war hero Ben Styke, and Lady Vlora Flint, a mercenary general with a past as turbulent as Landfall’s present.

As loyalties are tested, revealed, and destroyed, a grim specter as old as time has been unearthed in this wild land, and the people of Landfall will soon discover that rebellion is the least of their worries.”

– Goodreads

Goodreads | BookDepository