Book Review: The Book of M

39899065Rating Four Star

Title: The Book of M

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Series: No

Goodreads

Book Depository | Dymocks | Booktopia

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Harper Voyager in exchange for an honest review. I also read a large part of this book via audiobook, which was purchased through my own Audible account.

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The Book of M is a one of the best post-apocalyptic fiction I have read in recent years, and it’s hard to believe it’s a debut novel. It’s a poignant examination of human memories and connection, filled with powerful and surrealistic imageries. The last pages of the novel still haunt me, and I keep catching myself thinking about the book’s shadowless world. I did have some issues with the book which I will discuss below, but overall, this book marks Peng Shepherd as an author to be watched – I can’t wait to see what she will come up with next. Continue reading “Book Review: The Book of M”

Reread at Midnight: The Poppy War Chapter 5

TPW Reread 5.pngAnother week, another chapter of The Poppy War. In this chapter, Rin deals with menstruation, tops her classes, steals a library book, and is a general badass.

Reminder that these posts will contain spoilers for the ENTIRE book. If you haven’t finished reading The Poppy War yet, feel free to check back when you are done.

REREAD INDEX

Chapter 5

Content Warning: Self-harm

Rin gets a harsh reality check after Jun bans her from Combat class after a scuffle that was largely Nezha’s fault. She responds to the elitism at Sinegard Academy by resolving to beat every single one of these aristocratic children in all their classes. Rin’s brand of hardcore determination is a large part of why I love this book so much.

But Nezha attacked first.
The more she considered this, the faster her despair crystallized into anger.

Rin is consistent in always managing to turn most extreme emotions into rage, it’s no wonder that The Phoenix loves her. Also explains why she can relate to Altan so easily. Continue reading “Reread at Midnight: The Poppy War Chapter 5”

Reread at Midnight: The Poppy War Chapter 4

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It’s that time of the week again! Today we take a deep dive into Chapter 4 of The Poppy War, where the infamous Altan Trengsin makes his first appearance.

Reminder that these posts will contain spoilers for the ENTIRE book. If you haven’t finished reading The Poppy War yet, feel free to check back when you are done.

REREAD INDEX

Chapter 4

We quickly learn that Sinegard Academy is pretty much a glorified bootcamp, where students are literally left to either sink or swim. Continue reading “Reread at Midnight: The Poppy War Chapter 4”

#1KBE A Thousand Beginnings and Endings Reading Challenge

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This challenge is co-hosted by LitCelebrAsian, so please keep an eye on the blog and twitter to follow updates, author interviews, and more!

What is A Thousand Beginnings and Endings?

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings is an upcoming anthology featuring retellings of mythology and legends from East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.The collection is edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman, and will feature stories from the following authors: Elsie Chapman, Renée Ahdieh, Sona Charaipotra, Preeti Chhibber, Roshani Chokshi, Aliette de Bodard, Melissa de la Cruz, Julie Kagawa, Rahul Kanakia, Lori M. Lee, E. C. Myers, Cindy Pon, Aisha Saeed, Shveta Thakrar, Alyssa Wong.

For more information and preorder:  Harpercollins | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Indiebound | Book Depository | Dymocks | Booktopia Continue reading “#1KBE A Thousand Beginnings and Endings Reading Challenge”

Reread at Midnight: The Poppy War Chapter 3

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Welcome back to The Poppy War Reread, this week we are diving into chapter3.

Reminder that these posts will contain spoilers for the ENTIRE book. If you haven’t finished reading The Poppy War yet, feel free to check back when you are done.

REREAD INDEX

CHAPTER 3

Content Warnings for Chapter 3: allusion to drug use and drug addiction, allusion to genocide.

Rin and Nezha are the last to arrive to the main hall, thanks to their scuffle at the end of the last chapter. I love that the older students are being loud and brash on purpose to set the new recruits on edge, reminds me of my good old days in high school. Continue reading “Reread at Midnight: The Poppy War Chapter 3”

Book Review: The Queens of Innis Lear

37795682Rating Three Star

Title: The Queens of Innis Lear

Author: Tessa Gratton

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Series? No

Goodreads

Book DepositoryDymocks  |  Booktopia


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Harper Voyager Australia in exchange for an honest review.

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I still vividly remember studying King Lear for Year 11 English class, for me, it’s Shakespeare’s most memorable tragedy. I spent many hours that year writing about the folly of men in power and the toxicity of patriarchal societies, so I was immediately intrigued when I learned of this feminist retelling of King Lear. Continue reading “Book Review: The Queens of Innis Lear”

Reread at Midnight: The Poppy War Chapters 1-2

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I’ve made it loud and clear on numerous occasions over the past weeks that The Poppy War is my favourite read of 2018. I think it has the potential to be one of my favourite reads of all time (I usually wait a couple of years after my first read to make that call). I’ve had such a hard time getting the book out of my mind that I’ve decided to do a detailed chapter-by-chapter reread while waiting for the sequel. Please join me if you have finished The Poppy War but want to dive back into this world.

SPOILERS FOR THE ENTIRE BOOK BELOW. PLEASE DO NOT READ THESE POSTS UNTIL YOU HAVE FINISHED READING THE POPPY WAR.

Reread Index

Content Warning of Chapters 1-2: self-harm, allusion to sexual assault, drug addiction and drug use, death, hit-and-run accident.
Continue reading “Reread at Midnight: The Poppy War Chapters 1-2”

Book Review: Furyborn

34323570Rating Three Star

Title: Furyborn

Author: Claire Legrand

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Series? Yes, 1 of 3

Goodreads

Book Depository | Dymocks | Booktopia


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from NewSouth Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Furyborn is an ambitious fantasy following a prophecy about preordained queens and mythic reckoning over the course of thousands of years. On the one hand, we have Rielle, who must conquer deadly trials to prove she is the predestined Sun Queen. On the other, we have Eliana, a cynical assassin who only knows Rielle as a bloody and half-forgotten legend.

Sadly to say, the execution fell a little bit flat for me, I was only invested in one half of the narrative voices. As the book has dual point of views that are separated by millenia, it can at time feel disjointed. I had high expectations for this novel, especially given the explosive prologue. However, the rest of the book never quite manages to regain the exhilaration of its first chapter.

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I did really enjoy Rielle’s point of view, and I felt connected to all of the characters around her. There is also the compelling dramatic irony running throughout, as we know from the first chapter that her story ends in tragedy. Learning the steps which led Rielle into becoming the reviled Blood Queen of prophecy is like putting together an intricate puzzle you don’t quite have the heart to complete.

Rielle’s character development throughout the novel was credible and engrossing, especially when the voice of Corien is thrown into the mix. The constant battle between her moral integrity and her darker impulses are even more exciting than her elemental trials.

Audric is also one of the sweetest love interest I’ve read about in YA, and remembering his eventual fate every time I see him on page causes me deep pain. One can easily see the groundwork for future disputes between him and Rielle, it almost feels inevitable – but you can’t help but wishing that maybe through reading, the ending may transform into something different.

The world building within this book is variable in quality. Once, there was a great battle between angels and saints, the saints who emerged victorious eventually went on to find all of the great nations within this world. Each saint commands a specific elements, and there are several humans who can do the same. However, the fated Blood Queen and Sun Queen of the legend, can control all the elements (*cue Avatar opening music*). Beyond the names of a few angels and saints, and seeing people handling the various elements, we don’t get an in-depth look at the fabric of this world – it seems to crumble upon further scrutiny.

I also had a hard time with Eliana’s chapters, I felt very detached from her – perhaps because she also kept an emotional distance between herself and other characters. The readers are constantly told about how she feels, rather than seeing it in action. The characters supporting her story were also less vivid than the ones in Rielle’s scenes. Overall, the only thoughts I ever had while reading her chapters were ones wishing they would end soon so that the limelight can be given back to Rielle.

While I had mixed feelings about Furyborn, I love Rielle and Audric more than enough to want the sequel. It’s going to be a long wait until next year!


Have you read Furyborn? Did you think it was worthy of the hype?

Interview with R. F. Kuang on The Poppy War

The Poppy War Interview

Hi all! Another day, another post to slowly transform Read at Midnight to a fanblog for The Poppy War. I have a very exciting interview with R. F. Kuang to share with you all today. Minor spoilers for the book in the last question (I’ll mark it, don’t worry). I also have links to R. F. Kuang’s other interviews at the end of the post, if you need to dive deeper into her brilliant mind.


 

Continue reading “Interview with R. F. Kuang on The Poppy War”

Book Review: The Poppy War

35068705Rating Five Star

Title: The Poppy War

Author: R. F. Kuang

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Series? Yes, 1 of 3

Goodreads

Book DepositoryDymocks  |  Booktopia


The Poppy War is a searing and blood-soaked military fantasy that will carve itself into the reader with every word. Deftly blending historical events and Chinese mythology, the novel imagines a vivid new world and uses this alternate universe to process living generational trauma. Between the endless actions and warfare, among the figures of gods and monsters, readers will also find a human story about war and the lasting impact it has on the individuals and nations involved.

The-Poppy-War Continue reading “Book Review: The Poppy War”