Friday Favourites: Non-Human Characters

Welcome back to another Friday Favourites, dear friends! Last year this weekly meme was hosted by the wonderful Kibby @ Something of the Book! However, this year Kibby has passed the torch on to Lorraine @ Geeky Galaxy. This week’s topic is: non-human characters.

Can you believe that for a couple of minutes I actually sat staring at this prompt thinking that I have no idea what to write about? Pfft. These drowsy meds are really getting to my head because WHO AM I KIDDING? Of course I have favourite non-human characters and in fact I have plenty of them! But for the sake of brevity, I’ll be sticking to a top five for this post? I’m not sure it’s all that fair to say ‘top five’ but these are also in no particular order!

Mr. Kindly

This list would be an incomplete fail of a list without Mr. Kindly in it. How can I not love this not-cat and his sharp, witty and sarcastic comments? Let’s not forget his dry humour that had me in giggling fits all throughout the Nevernight Chronicles. Plus, who actually wouldn’t love to have a not-cat shadow companion that eats all your fears? I mean, sign me up, please!

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Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp

We’re back with another Sundays in Bed With… meme! This meme dares to ask you what book has been in your bed this morning and is hosted by Midnight Book Girl. Come share what book you’ve been you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed with, or which book you wish you had time to read today!

I’ve spent this Sunday finishing up The Snowman. This was a pretty dense thriller but I do find that I struggle a lot with books written by Scandinavian authors… I don’t know why. But that means it took me a while longer than I expected to finish this book, though I’m glad I finally read it and tried my first Jo Nesbø!

Soon the first snow will come
A young boy wakes to find his mother missing. Outside, he sees her favourite scarf – wrapped around the neck of a snowman.
And then he will appear again
Detective Harry Hole soon discovers that an alarming number of wives and mothers have gone missing over the years.
And when the snow is gone…
When a second woman disappears, Harry’s worst suspicion is confirmed: a serial killer is operating on his home turf.
…he will have taken someone else

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Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp

We’re back with another Sundays in Bed With… meme! This meme dares to ask you what book has been in your bed this morning and is hosted by Midnight Book Girl. Come share what book you’ve been you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed with, or which book you wish you had time to read today!

I’ve spent this Sunday thinking about the two books that I’m currently reading: Darkdawn and Descendant of the Crane. I’m really enjoying both and I know I said I would give my wholehearted attention to Darkdawn once I started it but I read the first page of DotC last week and found that when I put it down I couldn’t stop thinking about it… So here we are reading both books!

The Republic of Itreya is in chaos. Mia Corvere has assassinated Cardinal Duomo and rumors of Consul Scaeva’s death ripple through the street of Godsgrave like wildfire. But buried beneath those same streets, deep in the ancient city’s bones, lies a secret that will change the Republic forever.

Mia and her brother Jonnen must journey through the depths of the ancient metropolis. Their quest will take them through the Godsgrave underdark, across the Sea of Swords, back to the library of the Quiet Mountain and the poisoned blades of Mia’s old mentors, and at last the fabled Crown of the Moon. There, Mia will at last discover the origins of the darkin, and learn the destiny that lies in store for her and her world. But with the three suns now in descent, and Truedark on the horizon, will she survive?

Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own.

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

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September Monthly Wrap Up!

I still can’t believe that September is already over! This year is going by way too quickly and I’m wondering if the rest of 2019 is going to speed by in the exact same way? September was a pretty mediocre reading month for me. I think I started off pretty strong but once I tucked into Priory of the Orange Tree, my reads slowed down considerably. I still managed to read 15 books though, so it wasn’t all bad! I am now sitting at 156/90 reads (this number still shocks me; being part of the book community has really increased my reading this year)!


⁍ Pumpkinheads (review)
⁍ Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) (review)
⁍ Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle #2) (review)
⁍ The Hating Game (review coming)


⁍ Two Weeks Notice (review)


⁍ The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) (review)
⁍ The Priory of the Orange Tree (review coming)


⁍ A Different Time (TheWriteReads Blog Tour Review)
⁍ Breaking Up Is Hard To Do… But You Could’ve
Done Better (review)
⁍ The Ingredients of Us (review)
⁍ The Perfect Moment (review coming)
⁍ On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness (Wingfeather Saga #1) (review coming)


⁍ Fake Date (Dating #2) (review)
⁍ The Stopover (The Miles High Club #1) (review)


⁍ The Love Solution (review)

My favorites out of all of these were Nevernight and Godsgrave. After finishing Nevernight (my mind was totally blown) at the start of the month, I just couldn’t resist reading the sequel as soon as possible. Kristoff is a man who does not hold back on screwing with your feelings. After the ending of Godsgrave, I’m so excited but equally terrified of finishing this series. But I know I won’t be able to resist Darkdawn so it’s gonna be happening this October!

I was planning to read a lot more sequels for Sequel September but also a few more standalone’s for Standalone September (focusing on hyped standalone’s) but both of these endeavors ended up failing pretty badly. I think I can only count one book towards the former and two books towards the latter. I think I’m going to give challenges a break for now? I’m obviously not very good at them 😂

Last time I listed a full recap of all the posts that I did for the month, but since I now have a more organized menu bar, you can find all my weekly memes, challenges, tags and thoughts in the drop down menus! I still have to fix some things up, but I think I’ve done the sorting right and hopefully all my posts will continue to be updated each time I make them! For now, I’ve still listed the other reviews that I did this month (the reviews for this months’ reads are above in the recap), just so it’s easier for you to read them, in case you missed out! I’m still trying to tweak how I do my wrap up posts–I’m sure you’ll notice that from the start they’re all quite different–but I think I’m happy with this? I don’t want to make it too long and boring for people to read! Any tips or comments? Please let me know!

Reviews

eARC Review: The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

Review: Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson
Review: One Day in December by Josie Silver
Review: Vicious (Villains #1) by V.E. Schwab
Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Review: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Review: The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan
Review: The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker

I hope you all had a great reading month in September and I hope that October continues to be awesome for all of us! What was your favorite read this month? Come let me know in the comments & let’s chat!

Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle #2) by Jay Kristoff – #BookReview

Goodreads: Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle #2)
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Panda Rating:

Conquer your fear, conquer the world.
Mia Corvere, destroyer of empires, has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry do not believe she has earned it. Her position is precarious, and she’s still no closer to exacting revenge for the brutal death of her family. But after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.
When it is announced that Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself into slavery for a chance to fulfill the promise she made on the day she lost everything. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold, secrets are revealed and the body count rises within the collegium walls, Mia will be forced to choose between her loyalties and her revenge.

CW: Gore, Murder, Abuse (Physical)

When I started Godsgrave two days ago, the first thing I told myself was: DO NOT GET ATTACHED. I mean, this was my mantra and I was ready. Kristoff could bring all the emotional fckery to the table and hit me with it because I WAS NOT GOING TO GET ATTACHED. He can absolutely take his torture elsewhere! I see you, Kristoff. I know better after Nevernight!

O, gentlefriends the lies we tell ourselves, neh?

it me

If I wasn’t 100% convinced after Nevernight that Kristoff takes absolute pleasure in making his readers writhe in agony as he slays off one character after another, it’s safe to say that I don’t need convincing now because I have zero doubts about it. Kristoff is eerily like George R.R. Martin. If you like a character in this book, chances are they’re going to get fcked over at some point, and hard! And yet, I still can’t get enough of this series (and what does that say about me exactly?). When I wrote this review my thoughts and emotions were still all over the place, so fair warning, this review might be as much a hot hot mess.

Audiobook

I followed along to the audiobook again because it played such a big part in my enjoyment of the story of Nevernight. The audio started off a bit shaky and I felt it wasn’t as strong as Nevernight, but I still enjoyed the narrator, Holter Graham, and thought he did a great job with voicing the cast. I did notice there were a lot of errors in wording and sometimes voicing but it wasn’t a very big deal. I’d give this performance 4★s!

The Writing

Kristoff’s writing has really grown on me a lot since Nevernight. I enjoy the OTT metaphors and similes, as well as the dry and often crass humor that’s interjected and brings much needed levity to such a dark story. I found that I still loved the footnotes because you learn so much about the republic through them, and I find that the text is often hilarious. If there’s one thing I’m dying to know is who the narrator is! Does anyone have any guesses?

“If Vengeance has a mother, her name is Patience.”

The Plot

Godsgrave moved at a fast pace that didn’t let up until the end. The world building continued to be fantastic, and I especially enjoyed the horrific and jaw dropping arenas where the gladiatii battled. These arenas were mind-blowing and like an insanely “pimped up” and magical Gladiator. Unsurprisingly, there’s even more blood and gore as Mia joins a collegium of gladiatii as part of her plan to avenge her familia. There are also a few well-written sexy scenes! The plot gets more complex as conspiracies and ugly truths come to light. There are plenty of twists, revelations, lies and heartbreak, but also some great, heartwarming friendships too. There’s a romance storyline that I didn’t love but I’m sure many will enjoy–I just don’t trust the character at all! Some of the revelations I saw coming but the very last one had me shook. I was definitely over here screaming like a banshee as I read it! I’m STILL shaking and hella curious to see how these elements will come together in Darkdawn. There’s so much anticipation!

The Characters

There’s a completely new cast that appear in Godsgrave. Few characters from the first book reappear, but they don’t play big roles in the story, except for one/two.

Mia Corvere continues to be an incredibly complex character. She has become an even more proficient killer and although her lack of fear has made her a bit colder, she still retains her conscience; I love those two sides to her character. Towards the end of the book, I ended up shouting at and hating her for what she was doing, but I should’ve known better. Tricksy little Kristoff! We get to see a bit more of Mercurio in Godsgrave, and I really love his paternal relationship with Mia. I love a gruff character with heart!

“When you take a person out of the world, you don’t just take them, do you? You take everything they were, too.”

We’re introduced to many characters in Godsgrave, especially when Mia joins the collegium. We have Leona, the Domina of the collegium. Arkades, a former gladiatii and now Executus of the collegium. Maggot, the young girl who was the collegium’s healer, absolutely stole my heart with her sweetness and curiosity! Then there are the other gladiatii and although most of them remain minor characters, I couldn’t help loving what I learned of Sidonius, Bryn and Byern, Bladesinger, and Wavebreaker! I thought for sure there would be one asshole that makes life at the collegium unbearable for Mia, but for the most part they treated each other like family. I loved the camaraderie between them, and the banter like that between siblings. I wanted to spend more time with them and learn more of their interesting backstories. This is obviously where I also got attached to characters that I should not have done and the big event at the end seriously broke my heart. I was railing so hard at both Kristoff and Mia!

AND THEN OF COURSE

There’s the big twist and reveal of characters and their relationships in the last few pages of the book! WHAAAT?! Kristoff is so cruel to end this on such a note, but I’m so glad that I decided to start this series when Darkdawn came out because now I don’t have to wait years to know what happens. I’m honestly a little scared but also very excited to see how this story wraps up. There’s no doubt in my mind that it’s going to be terrifying, horrifying and heartbreaking. Will I be ready for the feels?!

Have you read Godsgrave? What’d you think of it? Also, have you read Darkdawn? Are my feelings going to be absolutely destroyed?!
Let me know in the comments and let’s chat!

Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) by Jay Kristoff – #BookReview

Goodreads: Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1)
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Panda Rating:

Destined to destroy empires, Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death. Six years later, the child raised in shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything. But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult. The Red Church is no Hogwarts, but Mia is no ordinary student. The shadows love her. And they drink her fear.

CW: Gore, Murder, Abuse

HOLY MOTHER. THIS BOOK! I don’t even know what to do with myself right now? My feelings are so… betrayed? Confused? What? I don’t know. I’m just feeling all of it and I’m going to try writing a coherent review but sorry in advance if it’s all just a load of blabber! I read Nevernight on my Kindle while following along with the audiobook. It made my experience 100% better and I’d highly recommend it.

it me

Audiobook

My first impression was that I didn’t think I’d like this narrator, especially when he voiced Mia. I always find it awkward when males do female voices and vice versa? However, that changed very quickly the more he played out the roles. I LOVED IT! I thought this narrator was a wonderful voice actor and his impressions/accents really stole the show for me. There were times I found myself a little annoyed with his reading because he pauses as he enunciates every two or three words (I really don’t know how to explain it), but after a while I didn’t notice it as much. At the times I read without the audio, I actually found myself reading the way he would lol as I’ll no doubt mention a few more times in this review, the audiobook was what initially really pulled me through this book. There’s a lot to take in but somehow the audio helped me bridge the missing pieces that allowed me to get sucked into the story. I’d give this performance 5★s!

The Writing

This is where I took some points off because I have to be honest, I was reading back and forth at the start, trying to make sense of what was happening, making sure that I wasn’t missing anything and that what was happening really didn’t make sense. I was frustrated to say the least and if it wasn’t for the audio I might have given this is up and claimed it wasn’t for me. The writing is surprisingly dense. It’s riddled with metaphors, similes, it’s a little (okay, it’s a lottle) dramatic and sometimes OTT. Fair warning friends, there are also TONS of footnotes (and not the short kind). I found them pretty annoying at the start but as the story progressed, I found I really enjoyed the mini-(hi)stories that came with each footnote. That said, I loved how (Kristoff’s) humor was so effortlessly weaved into the story. I think he might be an ‘acquired’ taste as not everyone will be into his quirky(?) and bold writing style, but I came to love it.

The Plot

The plot was incredibly fast paced and I felt like it didn’t let up until the end. As already mentioned, there was a lot of a whole new world to take in at the start. But wow, the world building of the Itreyan republic is incredible. The histories of the various regions, the politics, the religions, the societal structures, the legends and myths… I know a lot of other books have these but I feel like I haven’t read any lately that’s on the same level as this. I loved all of it! Not a spoiler, but this book starts with sex and murder and it’s a pretty good indication of what’s to come. There’s a lot of blood and gore, not surprising considering it’s a story about a school of assassins, and while I’m usually not that great with the stuff, I didn’t find it overwhelming. There’s also sex of the smut variety, which was really surprising! Although I had heard talk over on Twitter and Instagram about it. It wasn’t distasteful though and the chemistry between the characters made it fire! But again, a warning for those who don’t like these elements in a story. The ending is something that I’m still processing. You best believe I was screaming incredulously at the book and there may have even been a few tears (I’m emo, don’t hate). I’m still shook. I can’t believe it. I honestly don’t know where to hate or love Kristoff for what he did. Just… WHY?!?!

it me

The Characters

MY NUMERO UNO MISTAKE WAS GETTING ATTACHED TO CHARACTERS. I’m getting the feeling Kristoff is a lot more like Martin than I could’ve ever suspected. I think I’ve also figured out who was responsible for all the painful deaths in the Illuminae Files series because the character deaths in this book gave me the same sort of heart hurt! URGHGRGRR… I want to say NEVER AGAIN but… yeah, I know myself better than that!

Mia had a horrifying past that made my heart ache for all that she’d been through. Her character was incredibly complex! I didn’t think I’d grow to love her so much but I did and I rooted so hard for her! She’s smart and cunning, fierce and a killer intent on avenging her familia, but she’s also got heart. While some may find her weak for it, I thought it was a strength that set her apart. Her character development was well done and I can’t wait to see how else she grows in the coming books, especially with what happened at the end of this one. DAMN YOU, KRISTOFF!!!

Tric. Oh, Don Tric. Be still my heart! I don’t even have the words for how much I loved Tric’s character. Like Mia and many others in the school, he had such a painful and heartbreaking past that led him to being an assassin. He may be a side character next to Mia, but he was so well developed that it didn’t feel like it. His banter with Mia had me giggling so many times, and their chemistry was OOF! I just wanted to fling myself onto him and never let go! He was such a great character, I’m crying.

Mister Kindly – the not-cat that was ever present in Mia’s shadow. His reactions often had me barking with laughter (I just can’t get enough of the humor in this book)! He’s the ultimate companion and pet. I loved his steadfast support for Mia, even if it was for his own gain too!

I guess you can say the rest of the characters were minor-ish but they still played considerable roles in the story. Ashlynn, one of Mia’s closest friends in the school had a great attitude, made me lol plenty and I loved her devil may care attitude. Lotti was another one of Mia’s friends and she grew on me quickly! I loved her deadpan reactions and her smarts! Jessamine was enemy #1 and has a similar history to Mia, but she blamed Mia for what she went through. She was a great villain that I continued to strongly dislike until the end. There were lots of other side characters that also really grew on me, like Naev, Hush and I’d even go so far as to say Adonai and Marielle. Unsurprisingly, everyone was tricksy AF and just when you think they’ve got a heart… Well, you can cancel that thought!

Aaaand breathe.

My thoughts are still reeling over that ending. I still can’t believe it! So much… SO MUCH THAT I CAN’T GIVE AWAY! If it isn’t obvious already, I loved Nevernight and as much as my chest actually aches with all the hurtful things, I think I might’ve found myself a new favorite series! I’m so glad that I’ve finally read a book by Kristoff (solo), especially since it’s given me insight into which parts he may have contributed to the Illuminae series, another favorite of mine. I can’t wait to continue this series!

Have you read Nevernight? What’d you think of it? Was your reaction as crazy as mine? LOL let me know in the comments and let’s chat!