Thursday, 31 March 2016

Have you met the god of Death? | Grave Mercy

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1) by Robin LaFevers

Published: April 3rd 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genre: young adult, historical, fantasy

Goodreads summary: Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?


I've been hesitant for such a long time to read this series, you have no idea. I first heard about it in 2013, when I started watching BookTube and joined Goodreads. I was pretty excited about it, then saw a couple of negative reviews and gave up on it. Finally, after seeing people reading the series in my Goodreads feed in March, I decided to finally pick the first book up, which was a good decision, except from my sleeping time.

I didn't know a lot about this book, except it was about assassins nuns, serving a god of death, Mortain. I had no idea it was set in Brittany in the late 15th century, which meant centring around the future duchess Anne of Brittany. I was surprised at how accurate the history part was - I studied it two years ago - which I immensely enjoyed. I loved the concept of Saint Mortain's convent, that he was an ancient god of Brittany, it was pretty interesting. Even though Ismae had been raised to follow the convent, I enjoyed that during the novel, she questioned her assignments and chose her own paths.

I have to admit the pacing was pretty slow, but I didn't mind that much because it meant fully immersing myself into the story. It focused a lot on court politics and it's true that I would have liked more action, since Ismae was an assassin. It was also a mystery, because Ismae was looking for a traitor at Anne's side. 

Ismae was a great character, I liked having her backstory at the beginning of the book, because I could fully understand her and her evolution during the first chapters. Moreover, when she was in the convent, she worked a lot on poisons, which I found weirdly fascinating. The secondary characters didn't get a lot of screen time, but I found them realistic and relevant to the story, because Ismae and Duval couldn't do everything just together. The romance was built-up nicely, it was a total game of cat and mouse since the whole court believed Ismae was Duval's mistress. The author managed to write a believable tension and I was just waiting for the characters to finally do something about it.

The ending was pretty fast-paced, I couldn't stop reading and got to bed pretty late. However, when Ismae thought she had figured out the traitor, it was still early in the book, in my opinion, no one believed her and I was so sure there would be a final plot twist… But sadly no, so the revelation wasn't as shocking, since the main character suspected it but had no clues. This series will be centred around a different girl each time, the author introduced the two others during Grave Mercy and we got enough glimpses on their lives to make me interested in reading their stories. 

Overall, this book had a compelling and accurate setting which I'm craving, I'll definitely read Dark Triumph next month. The premise was so interesting, I liked the idea of the convent. The characters were enjoyable to read about and I was so excited for the main ones to get together. Yes, the plot was a bit slow-paced and I wanted more murders, but I loved the investigation and the politics in this book. The ending got me reading way too late into the night, but I didn't regret it at all.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? If you've read the whole series, which girl was your favourite? Which book?

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Grabby Hands #4 | April 2016

April is coming, which means another Grabby Hands post! It's a feature I created at the beginning of the year, where I highlight all the new releases I'm excited to get my hands on in the upcoming month. There are some pretty good books coming out in April, but the madness will know its climax May 3rd, where I'm litteraly excited for ten books. I'm quite relieved that three books will come out April 26th instead of May 3rd, because my wallet won't be happy with me at that time.

                                                                          April 5th                                                                          

Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima - I loved the Seven Realms series and got so excited when the author announced she was writing a new series set in the same world but a generation later. It's been such a long time since she announced it, but I'm sure it will be worth the wait. I had it preordered since my birthday, so I just have to wait a few more days.

The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows - I've read the Orphan Queen in December and I loved it. Since then, I started Jodi's Newsoul trilogy and it's so good. Of course, I'm really excited for the Mirror King, for TOQ ended badly and it's the conclusion. Moreover, the cover is one of the prettiest ever (like the covers for the Newsoul trilogy) so I need iton my shelves. It should be here soon though, since I've preordered it!

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead - I loved Vampire Academy and Bloodlines, so of course I'm interested in this one, in spite of my bad experience with Mead's last novel, Soundless. I have to say the premise got me quite intrigued. It is set in a Elizabethan world and it is about a girl who wants to run off from an arranged marriage and get into a kind of school for women, the glittering court. Then romance, of course, happens. Richelle Mead is usually really good to write swoony-worthy romance, which makes me quite excited.

When We Collided by Emery Lord - I've seen a lot of positive reviews for Emery Lord's books, but I haven't read a single one yet, since I'm not a big contemporary reader. I follow her on Twitter and I think she's hilarious. Moreover, because it's finally Spring and I've read a lot of fantasy books since the beginning of the year, I'm starting to be in a contemporary mood.

                                                                         April 12th                                                                         

Lady Renegades by Rachel Hawkins - I really enjoyed Rebel Belle, but like many readers, I thought that Miss Mayhem had the second book syndrom. Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to see how this trilogy will come to an end. What I like most about it is the concept, with an oracle, a paladdin and a mage, it is pretty unique. These books are so much fun to read. Moreover, I like the continuation between the covers and title. 

                                                                          April 19th                                                                        

Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey - I added this one because it is set in the 19th century, I don't need another reason, because when I see 19th century + young adult... I just add it to my TBR. It also involves spies so it could be interesting. Another reason I added it was because I loved These Vicious Masks and at the end of the book, there was an ad for this one. 

                                                                          April 26th                                                                        

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi - Everyone is praising this debut, so of course I want to read it! Apparently, it's a retelling of Hades and Persephone's myth and it was inspired by Indian mythology: I'm already compelled. I want to know what all the hype is about! It was supposed to come out May 3rd, but it will be released earlier, so I won't have to struggle to choose between all the new releases from May 3rd to know which I want to read first.

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater - Finally, it is coming. This book has been pushed back again and again, I think it was supposed to come out last year or something. I'm really excited for it, but I need to buy the paperbacks of the first two (I own them in French but they stopped translating it so I have the worst mismatched set ever) and then reread all of them to be ready. But I don't know if I'll be patient enough to do that, let's be real.

The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh - I loved the Wrath and the Dawn. It was romance-driven, but I liked the complex world the author set in place and the retelling aspect of the novel. Because of that, I'm excited to read what happens next in the story and it's great it's coming out earlier than first planned, like the Star-Touched Queen.

Soldier by Julie Kagawa - So far, it is my favourite series she has written, I devoured a lot of her books last year. Rogue ended on an evil cliff-hanger - I actually remember it when I read the book nine months ago (!!) - so I can't wait to see what will happen next. It's about dragons and yes, I need more books like that.

Which book(s) are you most excited for in April? Did you get your hands on ARCs of the books I mentionned? If so, how were they?

Sunday, 27 March 2016

A huge disappointment set in one of my favourite eras | Into the Dim

Into the Dim (Into the Dim #1) by Janet B. Taylor

Published: March 1st 2016 by HMH Books for Young Readers
Genre: young adult, time travel, historical

Goodreads summary: Sixteen year-old Hope Walton travels back in time to rescue her mother who is trapped in twelfth century England in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Along the way, she becomes entangled with a secret society of time travelers and a mysterious boy who could be vital to setting her mother free... or the key to Hope's undoing. Addictive, romantic, and rich with historical detail, "Into the Dim" is an "Outlander "for teens


I've never been sadder to write a negative review than for Into the Dim.* It was one of my most anticipated debuts of the year, because it dealt with time travel in the 12th century, which doesn't happen enough in young adult fiction. I feel like a black sheep for this one, because those who finished it seemed to really enjoyed it. For me, it was just a succession of tropes I thought had been eradicated from young adult fiction for the last four years or so. It had started well though, with a catchy first sentence. I can't tell you if it's similar to Outlander, for I haven't read it and don't intend to.

*To make this review happier, all the gifs will be from Harry Potter. Obviously because this book was set in Scotland and because you won't leave since you love Harry Potter, mwahaha.

This couldn't be more cliché. It starts with a homeschooled girl who travels to Scotland to discover mysterious family members and their big secret. the secret part is the beginning of a lot of books, which is fine, but it dragged for so long. They didn't tell Hope the truth before 20-25% in. She was stumbling into things but they were like: "No, we can't tell her right now" for so many chapters, it was frustrating. Then, when they finally told her the truth... It still took a lot of chapters for them to time travel. As a reader, knowing this book was about time travel but not having it was irritating, because I was just waiting. 

When the characters finally arrived in the 12th century, the plot was more interesting, because we discovered a new era and the book had found its purpose. Nevertheless, I had guessed every twist from the beginning of the novel, I found it to be so predictable. I was never left shocked or anything, I was just rolling my eyes and telling the characters to move on. Also, I really liked the concept of this time travel, it was really interesting and felt realistic.

I couldn't bring myself to care about Hope. For me, she was just another Bella Swan, helpless but yet very special from the rest of the world. I thought we were done with that trope but apparently no? I just wanted to cry in frustration. The only cool thing about Hope was her eidetic memory, but that's pretty much it. 

I didn't relate or care for any of the characters, I think the only pleasant ones were Phoebe, Rachel and Eleanor. Hope's father was described as a despicable person in the beginning, because he had already moved on and was just sending Hope away and blah blah blah. Moreover, Sarah was supposed to be a fantastic person and when we met her... She was not. I could understand why, but it was stupid. It was just part of this : "let's make parents look bad so the teenage characters can do whatever they want"... And I'm so done with that.

The romance was cringe-worthy and unrealistic. I'll just tell you how these characters me: the boy was taking pictures of the girl from afar, of course she caught him. But of course, she's attracted right away to him and accept to see him again. Excuse me but no? Who would accept to see this stranger alone after that in real life? Literally no one, he could have been a pervert and Hope was like "okay I'm attracted". No, just no. 

The ending was a little more fast-paced than the rest of the book, so I liked it a little more than the rest of it... But it clearly wasn't enough, since I guessed every twist correctly. I liked that it was harder than expected for them to get home. However, the final scene? Can we get more cheesy? I think not. It just ended on the characters kissing. Like, no.

Overall, this wasn't the book for me, which made me so sad, since I tried so hard to like it, but sometimes that's how it is. I found this book to be predictable and full of tropes, which you probably got from my long rant, haha. Nevertheless, I liked the concept of the time travel and the era they travelled to... Which is why I'm giving it two stars, let's be generous. But it's pretty much because of the Doctor Who reference.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? Do you love Outlander?

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Life isn't a fairy tale | The Shadow Queen & The Great Hunt

The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire #1) by C.J. Redwine

Published: February 16th 2016 by Balzer + Bray
Genre: young adult, fantasy, retelling

Goodreads summary: Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.


I was excited for this one and I was so right! It hooked me from the first page – with a prologue that led Lorelai and her brother to flee the castle – and it was a hard one to put down. I think that it was Russian-inspired, which I loved. It was set in an interesting world with dragons (so basically, yes! It’s so rare to have dragons), witches, faeries and so on. While I really liked learning about this world, I would have liked to know why there were dragons only in this kingdom or faeries only in that one. But that’s a minor issue that I had, since the rest was amazing. It was also a dark world, because Irina was sucking everything up.

I loved the characters. Lorelai wasn’t a damsel in distress, which you would expect from Snow White, she was powerful and tough. I had a hard time liking Kol in the beginning, but he went through a lot of character development and evil influence *cough*, I loved him at the end of the novel. He was the huntsman and the prince at the same time, so of course it was a nice twist. I can’t tell you if it had anything similar with the movie with Chris Hemsworth and Kristen Stewart, because I haven’t watched it. I shipped Lorelai and Kol so much and the ending! Oh, my heart <3. They went through so much together, poor babies. I liked that C.J. Redwine gave a realistic backstory to the Evil Queen, because I could understand why she was doing this. It didn’t mean I liked her but I noticed the effort. The secondary characters were all really enjoyable; they made me laugh a lot.

The plot was captivating and action-packed; I didn’t have a page to be bored. Also, Irina had a pet snake so I was very, very scared, and the story was also brutal, with no one was safe. But well, this world is in darkness and the peasants have nothing so yeah, it made sense. It was such a gripping story that when I got into it… I couldn’t stop until I finished. It was a good retelling where everyone was so much badass than in the original tale. But what would you expect with dragons? *grins like an idiot*

Overall, this one is now a favourite and I’m really excited for the second book. But I’m crying because there is nothing on Goodreads yet and I don’t want to wait another year for that awesomeness. Also, I think it could be a companion series, so the other kingdoms? Please? I just need it.

The Great Hunt (Eurona Duology #1) by Wendy Higgins

Published: March 8th 2016 by
Genre: young adult, fantasy, retelling

Goodreads summary: “Aerity…” Her father paused as if the words he was forming pained him. “I must ask you to sacrifice the promise of love for the sake of our kingdom.”

She could only stare back, frozen.

When a strange beast terrorizes the kingdom of Lochlanach, fear stirs revolt. In an act of desperation, a proclamation is sent to all of Eurona—kill the creature and win the ultimate prize: the daughter of King Lochson’s hand in marriage.

Princess Aerity knows her duty to the kingdom but cannot bear the idea of marrying a stranger…until a brooding local hunter, Paxton Seabolt, catches her attention. There’s no denying the unspoken lure between them…or his mysterious resentment.

Paxton is not the marrying type. Nor does he care much for spoiled royals and their arcane laws. He’s determined to keep his focus on the task at hand—ridding the kingdom of the beast—but the princess continues to surprise him, and the perilous secrets he’s buried begin to surface.

Inspired by the Grimm Brothers’ tale “The Singing Bone,” New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins delivers a dark fantasy filled with rugged hunters, romantic tension, and a princess willing to risk all to save her kingdom.


I think this is another case where I didn’t like the author’s debut but enjoyed her new series: it has been the case with Melissa Landers and Rae Carson already, so that’s basically proving that second chances can be necessary. The Great Hunt isn’t the best book out there, I actually found it pretty average, but I still liked it.

My main issue with this book was that it was so slow. In the beginning, I wasn’t really into it for that reason; I liked it better after but… It was repetitive, there were only small parts about the hunt and other than that… It was really about the romance *sigh*. I’m not surprised, because Sweet Evil focused a lot on the romance, but still, I wished for something else. Moreover, I wished we knew more about the world-building: how did the world come to be? Why are some people Lashed and some others Unlashed? In the end, I would have liked to have answers to these questions, but I think we’ll learn more about the Lashed in the next book.

The plot was alright, but it wasn’t original at all. It’s also a plot you would expect from a fairy tale and the author still managed to make it unique but the fact that it dragged made me lack of interest at some point. I found the characters to be pretty average, but it doesn’t mean I didn’t relate to them. I liked the main characters though, but I just don't think the secondary characters were memorable. I found the romance to have a little instalove: basically, Aerity was drawn to Paxton because he was the only one who wouldn’t talk to her… *coughs* It was so cliché, but the author wrote the romance well, so it was quite bearable.

I didn’t know the tale, The Singing Bone, when I went into this one and I really enjoyed that, it made the book more unique because let’s face it… How many retelling of Snow White (see above) or Beauty and the Beast do we have? TONS. It was quite refreshing to discover a new tale. You can read the tale beforehand, since the story is more inspired by it. It doesn't spoil anything big in the story. I found an aspect of the ending to be unexpected, which made it worth it to endure all the slowness of the book before. Moreover, I was afraid that we wouldn’t see a lot of women in this book, because men are supposed to hunt, not women, but the more time passed, the more joined the hunt. They could have been seen as worthless in the beginning, but they proved that they could be just as good as any men. You rock, Aerity!

Overall, it was better than Sweet Evil, but it was really slow, which killed the story a little. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the writing and reading about this story. I liked the ending and I’m actually eager to read the next book in this duology, because it could be really good! It didn’t really end on a cliff-hanger, because it’s obvious where it’s going, but I’m excited for it.

Nota Bene: I love the cover! Also, the main character isn't ginger but strawberry blonde, the cover designers kinda messed it up and the author didn't have a say in it. :(

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? If not, do you plan on picking them up? Did you liked these authors' previous series?

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Books I love but haven't talked about enough | Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is: Ten Books I Really Love But Feel Like I Haven't Talked About Enough/In A While. I'm choosing to go with books I haven't talked about enough, that I read before I even started doing this blog and after I started reading in English (meaning 2013), because it wouldn't be very useful to you if I only talked about French books that haven't been translated in English, haha. You probably know all of these books, since they're among the first books I read in English and everyone was talking about them at that time, so we should be able to fangirl together! ;)

1. Just one day by Gayle Forman - I read almost every book by this author, but this one is my favourite, along with If I Stay. I read it at a big turn in my life and I felt like it had been written for this exact moment. Moreover, the main character is going to Paris, where I live because of university, so I loved discovering the city all over again through her eyes. Unfortunately, the sequel isn't as good as this one, but I still loved it. It was a cute coming-of-age and romance novel.

2. Across the Universe by Beth Revis - I think this must be the first sci-fi series I read and I loved it so much! The characters were aboard a spaceship and had to find a new Earth to live on. I was so intrigued about this society during the entire book, I found that Beth Revis had created an interesting and realistic world. If you haven't read it yet, it's a little like the 100, but they stay on the ship a looooong time during the trilogy. 

3. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo - This one is my favourite in the trilogy, because obviously, there is a ship. Oh, and Nikolai. Funny story, I read Shadow and Bone on the Kindle app, then bought Siege and Storm in hardcover, because it was soooo good. I only own a hardcover copy of S&B since October, when I meet Leigh in Rotterdam, better now than never! Anyway, I feel like the second book was the best out of the trilogy, which almost never happens! Also Nikolai!!
4. Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier - It's a German trilogy and I read it in French but... It doesn't matter. Actually, I had a friend who knew the French translator, which is why I read this, haha. I loved it, it's about secret societies and time travel. Nevertheless, Gwen was so annoying sometimes, ugh. There was also a movie, which I liked and made me want to reread the books, even though I don't own them. I can't wait for Emerald Green's movie! This author also wrote another trilogy, the second book will come out in English on May 3rd. It reminds me a little of the Raven Boys, it was quite good! But the drama will be back in the second book, just like in Sapphire Blue, ugh.

5. Anna dressed in blood by Kendare Blake - This one was so hard to read. I remember reading the first page and not understanding anything. Starting reading in English was tough, that's why I remember this one: I was so proud of finishing it and understanding it. It's about a boy who hunts down ghosts and he falls in love with a ghost so yes!! There isn't enough good books with ghosts out there but this one was great! The sequel wasn't as good but the first one was on point. It was even scary at some point and I'm not scared easily with books. Kendare Blake is a good writer, I'm excited for her new book, Three Dark Crowns, coming out later this year.

6. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - Oh, the feels! I'm not a huge fan of World War II novels, as you may know (because the setting is awful, but I'm trying!), but this one was quite unique. It was told by Death, so it's a win, obviously. Also, it's about books and it's so, so, so sad. It's such a quotable book, I love it so, so much! (Key word = so).
“The only thing worse than a boy who hates you: a boy that loves you.”
“I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.”
I'm ashamed to say I haven't seen the movie yet but I definitely should. Soon, I hope, but I don't watch a lot of movies, so we'll see. I have problems of attention with movies/TV shows/videos.

7. Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout - This book is so cheesy and reminded me of Twilight so much, but I loved it. It's just a fun and addictive book, it's a guilty pleasure book, let's be real. Also, it makes me feel nostalgic every time, because I think it's the only series of this author that I love. I disliked Half-Blood, White Hot Kiss and gave up on Wicked after a few pages, because it was trope after trope and it made me cringe. I still think the Lux series was good and I had so much fun marathoning the series: after each book, I just wanted to read the next one.

8. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi - Oh look, a dystopian trilogy without a love triangle? How unique is that? Seriously, I was so pleased when Rossi chose not to include a love triangle, because that's basically the plot of so many dystopian books. Moreover, I liked the concept of this book, some people couldn't just go outside or they would die. The society outside the Compound also had its own system, it worked with senses and it was the first time I saw it. I found this book to be a unique dystopian novel, which doesn't happen a lot.

9. The Archived by Victoria Schwab - I think it was the first book by Victoria Schwad I read, and she's now one of my favourite authors. I found the premise of the story so unique and interesting: when you die, your soul go on a shelf and there are people to protect it and the world from souls that escape. It was really interesting and gripping. Apparently, there will be a third book at some point, why not? I want her to write ADSOM3 first, then we'll see, because I'm dying after A Gathering of Shadows

10. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand - I love this one so, so much. For Unearthly, I own a UK edition I dislike very much, I should buy it as a hardcover, but moneyyyy. Anyway, it was a cute paranormal romance book about angels and oh the feels. I remember crying a lot during this trilogy, because OTP problems. Also Angela was a really good character. Moreover, Cynthia Hand managed to make the angel world more complex than I thought it would be, which I appreciated. I had a little issue with the ending of Boundless but other than that, it was so good. No I swear I won't talk about the Last Time We Say Goodbye by this author, even though it broke me. I feel like I talk about this one every time.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?  
What books do you think you haven't talked about enough/in a while?