Christmas Book Haul • Books To Read In January

As an adult, I don’t get as much for Christmas as I used to, but I still received some great books from family and friends that I’m really looking forward to reading this January.

I mentioned to my friend that I wanted book 1 in the Grisha trilogy, Shadow and Bone, and it turned out she was my Secret Santa so I finally got my hands on it. My luck is never usually that good! I half-expected to get a generic shower and body set, but this is infinitely better!

My mammy got me The Spire (which I’ve wanted for months!) and Paper Girls 2, which she got for a great discount off Book Depository (a fantastic site to buy books), and another friend of mine got me The Legend of Eli Monpress from eBay. Unfortunately, it’s a little damaged even though he paid for a version supposedly in excellent condition so he’s going to try and get his money back. I don’t mind about some damage as long as I get to read it, so no worries on my end!

christmas book haul

I got Flashfall from December’s Fairy Loot and it looks right up my street. It’s nice to have a TBR list for every month during my book challenge as it gives the year a bit more structure. For 2017, I’ve dropped my goal a little and I’m aiming to read 30 books; I’m absolutely positive I’ll reach it, and if I exceed it then all the better.

Flashfall by Jenny Moyer 

Orion is a Subpar, expected to mine the tunnels of Outpost Five, near the deadly flash curtain. For generations, her people have chased cirium—the only element that can shield humanity from the curtain’s radioactive particles. She and her caving partner, Dram work the most treacherous tunnel, fighting past flash bats and tunnel gulls, in hopes of mining enough cirium to earn their way into the protected city.

But when newcomers arrive at Outpost Five, Orion uncovers disturbing revelations that make her question everything she thought she knew about life on both sides of the cirium shield. As conditions at the outpost grow increasingly dangerous, it’s up to Orion to forge a way past the flashfall, beyond all boundaries, beyond the world as she knows it.

The Spire by Simon Spurrier and Jeff Stokely 

The Spire is a mountain of metal and stone that rises out of the middle of the desert, containing a vast city of twisting tunnels, grinding elevators, and ancient machinery, and home to over a million human and non-human residents. Sha, the last of the Medusi, is responsible for keeping watch over them as Commander of the City Watch, despite the fact she isn’t shown any respect due to her race. When a string of grisly murders is committed just as a new Baroness of the Spire is about to be sworn in, Sha will have to find the serial killer and bring them to justice. But the new Baroness has a deep hatred of non-humans, and Sha will have more than one enemy at her back.

The Legend of Eli Monpress by Rachel Aaron 

Eli Monpress is talented. He’s charming. And he’s a thief.

But not just any thief. He’s the greatest thief of the age – and he’s also a wizard. And with the help of his partners – a swordsman with the most powerful magic sword in the world but no magical ability of his own, and a demonseed who can step through shadows and punch through walls – he’s going to put his plan into effect.

The first step is to increase the size of the bounty on his head, so he’ll need to steal some big things. But he’ll start small for now. He’ll just steal something that no one will miss – at least for a while.
Like a king.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

Paper Girls 2 by Brian K. Vaughan

The smash-hit series from BRIAN K. VAUGHAN and CLIFF CHIANG continues with a bold new direction, as intrepid young newspaper deliverers Erin, Mac, and Tiffany find themselves launched from 1988 to a distant and terrifying future…the year 2016.

All blurbs from Goodreads! 

What books are you reading this month? Let me know in the comments!

Wishlist • 11 Highly Anticipated Books for 2016

It’s a new year which means I’ve started my wishlist for the books I want to read in 2016. Before now, I would note down the name of a book that looked right up my street and I’d convince myself that I’d find time to read it; that mostly didn’t happen at all in 2015 as I found myself prioritising so many different things that (now that I look back) don’t seem all that important. Basically, I feel like I missed out on a whole year of reading, so I figured if I wrote up an official list for myself then I have to read my way through it. No excuses!

The following list consists of 11 books that I want to get stuck into this year:

The Heart

The Heart by Maylis de Kerangal 

This book was initially published in French and I was a little wary of that at first as sometimes books don’t translate well and the prose and message gets distorted. Despite my worries, I really want to give it a chance as the plot sounds intriguing.

A teenager (don’t let that put you off!) called Simon suffers irreversible brain death after a car crash and the story follows several characters in the intense 24 hours it takes to harvest and transplant his organs to save the life of a woman close to death.

Passenger

Passenger by Alexander Bracken 

Many of the BookTubers I follow have mentioned this book a lot and, with such glowing reviews already published, I can hardly avoid it. It has a really interesting premise that hooked me straight away.

Violin prodigy, Etta, is basically kidnapped by time travellers and she becomes the passenger on a ship with a guy called Nicholas, who is running from a powerful family he served called the Ironwoods. He is tasked with protecting Etta and making sure that she brings back a valuable item to the family, so they set off on a dangerous journey across centuries and continents to get it.

Time travelling, a cross-worlds mystery and a wee bit of romance? Ideal!

A Gathering of Shadows

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab 

This is the sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic, which I’m currently reading. Although I’m not finished the first instalment, I already know there’s no chance I won’t pick up the sequel as the story is so original and the writing is easy and well structured.

The covers for the books are absolutely stunning and are such a refreshing change from the generic ‘random woman/man starting out at the reader’ visuals that are far too common these days. I’ll straight up say that I absolutely judge books by their covers; it’s a seriously bad habit but I can’t help myself.

How to Hang a Witch

How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather 

I love stories about witches but so many seem to be the same tired trope reused again and again; the main reason why How to Hang a Witch appealed to me is the fact that it’s told from the perspective of a girl called Samantha whose ancestor was Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for the Salem trials.

Involving a group of girls called The Descendants, whose ancestors were killed during the trials, and a handsome ghost who doesn’t like Samantha messing with his stuff, this book looks like it’s a winner and I’m so looking forward to its release.

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 03.44.13

Why We Came to the City by Kristopher Jansma 

I’m a huge fan of Friends and any similar show which features a group of very different people who stick together throughout their adults lives as they grow together in a city. I never read anything like that, however, as I don’t think that kind of story translates well from screen to page. However, I read the blurb for Why We Came to the City and the characters really appeal to me, so I think it’s time to give one of these type of stories a go. Who knows? It could very well become my favourite sub-genre.

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 03.45.08

New Republic: Bloodline by Claudia Gray 

I’ve heard nothing but good things about Claudia Gray, and in fact Lost Stars is on my to-read list as well, but it came out last year so I didn’t include it here. Friends of mine have raved about Gray and her character-shaping ability as well as her great writing, so I’m super excited for this release. I’ll have to add it to my ever-growing pile of Star Wars novels I need to read!

Starflight

Starflight by Melissa Landers

This one really reminds me of Firefly, and anything that can prompt me to think of one of my all-time favourite shows is definitely worth a read! It’s an adventure story starring an orphan called Solara who wants to explore the outer realm on board a spaceliner. Not everything goes to plan and she ends up on a different ship, the Banshee, which is a vessel of dubious repute.

She and a former enemy get caught up in a journey of discovery and intrigue surrounding the mysterious Planet X and discover that the fate of the universe is hanging in the balance. Sounds pretty good, right? It’s definitely one of the books I’m most looking forward to.

The Shadow Queen

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine 

This is essentially a re-telling of Snow White and, as I’ve just started the Cinderella re-telling called Cinder and I’m enjoying it, I’ve decided not to be prejudiced about these kind of stories. Just because I know the trajectory and ending of the original doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the modern rehashes.

Plus there’s a strong female lead and that’s always a plus for me.

This Savage Song

This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab 

Written by the author who penned A Darker Shade of Magic, I’m fast becoming a big van of her writing style. She comes up with some very interesting plots, and this is no different. The story is about a city called Verity which is overrun with monsters who demand protection fees from humans. It’s about a dark creature called August and the daughter of a local leader who try to find peace between monsters and humans.

Heartless

Heartless by Marissa Meyer 

Way before we knew her as the Queen of Hearts in Wonderland, she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. As a favourite of the King, she doesn’t really have much of a choice and, as she falls for the court joker called Jest, she risks offending the King and infuriating her parents. Though she enters a secret courtship with Jest, fate has other plans.

I mostly really want to read this because I love the idea of Jest’s character; hopefully he doesn’t disappoint. And of course it’ll be really interesting to see the Queen’s point of view and how she fell into darkness.

Truthwitch

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard 

This series is another about witches, but I say keep ’em coming! Safiya is a Truthwitch, which means she is able to tell when someone is lying or telling the truth. Unfortunately this has to be kept a secret or she could be used as a pawn between warring empires.

She meets another gifted one, a Threadwitch, who can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her. Together, along with a prince who is also a Windwitch, they fight emperors and mercenaries alike who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

What are you going to be reading in 2016? Let me know if you have any recommendations in the comments!