Showing posts with label Rock The Boat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rock The Boat. Show all posts

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

#re3 - Illuminae

Ok, I did warn you that I might mix things up on the Pewter Wolf and on my Goodreads ( for the next few months, till I find my groove back with reading and blogging (this is a strange new time!), but after listening to the audiobook of Illuminae (a reread, as first read it back in 2018), I knew I wanted to talk about this so, let me get the typical “Here’s all the Info/links” rubbish out of the way and we can talk! 

  • Title And Author: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  • Publisher: Rock The Boat
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought
  • Length: 608 Pages or 11 Hours 40 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible

Now, I’ve already read this so this is a reread and I know most of you guys have read this as you are much better readers than me, but if you haven’t, Illuminae is a bit of a weird one. But in a good way. Stay with me with this as I try (and fail) to explain this. 

The year is 2527 and two megacorporations are at war over a tiny, ice-speck of a planet. Shame no one thought to warn the people on the planet. As enemy fire falls down on them, Kady and Ezra must make their escape to the evacuating fleet. There, they will be safe. Right? 

Wrong. A deadly plague has broken out on one of the ships and is mutating, the ships’s AI has gone AWOL and the enemy ship that was destroying the planet is chasing them, wanting to kill them all. And no one is saying or doing anything. Kady knows her way round computers so she decides to hack their computers to find the truth, but soon realises that she needs one person’s help: Ezra. Yet, there’;s a problem with that: they broke up mere hours before all this crazy started and she’s not sure she wants to talk to him…

Sunday, 30 September 2018



I know, it’s rare I do these now but while chatting to the lovely people at Rock The Boat about if I should read Otherearth, the second book in the Otherworld or Last Reality trilogy by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller (even though I haven’t read Otherworld yet. I know, I keep putting it off for one reason or another - hope to correct this before the year is out!), we got chatting about the series and a few others they publish and I said something along the lines of “I would love to do a contest. Maybe this will be the kick up the behind I need to read this!” and Rock the Boat, seeing that I might need a push went “Ok”. 

So now, I have no excuse now not to read this before the end of the year as I’m doing a contest! 

For those unsure of Otherworld, Otherworld is a game. Expect, it’s not. It’s addictive and will make you want to stay forever and make your dreams come true. Otherworld isn’t a game. It’s the next phase of reality and no one saw it coming. 

It’s an sci-fi thriller (best way to describe it) and am intrigued on what you guys think of this. So, the lovely people at Rock the Boat have given me the chance to give away up to FIVE signed copies. FIVE! And all you have to do it fill in the form below. 

Ok, boring stuff time. This is a UK only contest. Sorry, but this is due to publishing rights. There can only be a max of five winners (In the past, I barely get two or three people enter some of my contest, hence me airing on the side of caution). The contest will end on Sunday (7th October 2018) around midday(ish) and winners will be picked at random via I will tweet the winners and will email them for their address so Rock The Boat can send the winners their winning copy. 

Now, go forth and enter. I wish you luck and hope the odds and the Company are in your favour! 

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Book Review - Illuminae

... well, if you've read my last post, that didn't take me long to read. Well, actually, I finished this the day after my "I'm On A Blog Holiday" post went live and I had been reading it for two weeks prior to that. Mainly because of my fantasy reading slump. Hopefully, by the time you're reading this, I would have kicked myself up the backside and would be back reading my beloved fantasy again.

But, until then, let's talk Illuminae.

Illuminae is the first book in the Illuminae Files trilogy, and it starts with Kady dumping Ezra and both thinking their day couldn't get any worse. Oh, you poor teens, for their don't know that, by the end of the day, their planet had been invaded...

Two mega-corporations go to war over a tiny ice-covered planet that drilling illegally for fuel, not many people got saved from the planet. But Ezra and Lady did. But they're not on the same ship. They're on two different ships and after the fight the ships got into and with the enemy chasing them, it's going to take a long time till they're safe.

But things are going wrong. A deadly plague has broken out on one of the three ships, turning people into something close to space zombies, the ship's AI is seriously flawed and the enemy is chasing them, and it looks like the people in charge of the ships are lying to the refuges. Kady is trying to hack the ships's computer, trying to find the truth, but it looks like the only person that can help her is Erza, the boy who's heart she broke mere hours before the invasion...

So, this book - ok, this series now that book three is out - has got a lot of love on booktube and the blogosphere, and I did try to read this years ago around the time when the first book was published. Got about 100 pages in then had to stop. It was so jarring to read (I will explain in a tick, bear with me). But I wanted to try again and after the whole Page 112 Tag (and my Other Half picking it when I got super stuck), I wasn't sure if this was going to work with me...

The biggest issue that I worried about (and this is the reason why I DNF the first time and the reason why I struggled/nearly DNF this time round) is the style of this book. It isn't written like other books. It is written solely in reports, emails, interview transcripts, DM/IM, diary entries, classified documents to name a few. And because it's written in this style, it works both in favour and against the story. It takes time for you to get your head round the style - around 100 to 150 pages - and because of this, you have to go slower and the pacing feels off and it feels jarring. The whole start feels jarring because you want to get use to the book's style and the story but you can't connect to it till you get the book's rhyme.

I am going to admit this, reading the first 100-150 pages was a struggle. There was one or two occasions I did consider DNFing to because I couldn't get my head round it. But something clicked and I went "OH!" and it made my reading experience with this book interesting. I got it and it made the story go quicker. Plus, it was hugely different to read a book made completely out of reports and documents. It makes this book feel unique in the scifi genre - I do hope this isn't going to become a gimmick through the trilogy.

The story itself is interesting. Yes, there are one or two of you out there who have said it's a bit flat, character-wise, and the plot is quite cliche, and I understand why. This is a file, full of documents so the characters and the plot are going to feel more flat and distant compared to most books. The weird thing is once I found my groove in how to read this, I couldn't stop thinking about it and trying to find moments to read one more page...

I am going to say that, because of how it's written, this book is one trippy read. This book is very much a marmite read - you are either going to really enjoy its uniqueness or you are going to hate it and struggle like heck. There is no middle ground here.

So, am I going to read the rest of the series (Gemina and Obsidio)? Well... yes. Yes, I am. The publisher, Rock the Boat, has sent me the entire series so can jump right back in (but am going to read a few other things before I do), but to find a scifi book or series that clicks with me is kinda rare - like I said, I am a fantasy/contemporary YA reader - so to want to find out what happens next is super rare. My only concern is that I hope this style of writing isn't going to be become a gimmick and Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff keep it fresh and new and engaging...

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

#VisitOtherworld - Extract and Contest!

I am thrilled to be part of the #VisitOtherworld blog tour to celebrate the release of Otherworld, written by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller.

Welcome to life 2.0. There is no screen or controls. You not only see and hear this world - you can touch, taste, smell... In this new reality, there are no rules to follow, no laws to break, where you can indulge in every one of your desires... so, why would you ever leave...?

To celebrate this book, I am allowed to share an extract for you. And if this wets your appetite, I am hosting a tiny contest to win a copy! All the details of the contest will be on the Google Form so check them before you enter.

Now, with that out of the way, ONTO THE EXTRACT AND THE CONTEST!

Friday, 2 September 2016

Book Review - The Return of the Young Prince

When I was asked by Cailin at OneWorld Publications if I wanted to review this, I was a little hesitant to say yes. I had two reasons for this. The first is the real shocker - I have never read The Little Prince. Never. It just has past me by. I know it's a huge deal for some/most of you and it's HUGE in France. It's huge worldwide - there's been a movie recently released about it.

The second was that this is a sequel written for an adult audience. Very different from The Little Prince. How would that work? And would it work as both a sequel and as a standalone?

Once upon a time, a Little Prince lived on a faraway planet, no bigger than himself. And even little princes grow up. One day, he leaves his planet, exploring the universe... Only to be discovered in the middle of a road by our narrator. This is the story of their meeting and their journey together...

Like I have said previously, I have never read The Little Prince so I can't tell you if this is a worthy sequel. What I can tell you is if this is a good story in its own right.

And up to a point, it is. There is something about this story that feels like a fable. There was something charming about this story.

However, there were problems and yes, I am taking issue with one of these, but that is a later paragraph so bear with.

While I was reading this, there were times when the story's message, themes and its morals were treated very heavy handed. With fables, they should be gentle. The reader should discover these morals and themes themselves, not have them forced down their throats.

What annoyed me the most about this story was religion. From what I understand, The Little Prince is a story about a young prince discovering himself in the universe. Discovering what it means to be a good human being. Not once, to my research, was religion bought up. So why, oh why, was God reference? Why did our narrator and the Young Prince talk about God? It felt so out of place within the story and made me question it. Is the book saying that to be a good person, you must believe in God? If you worship any religion that wasn't Christianity (Islam, Buddhism, Sikh, Hindu to name a few), you aren't a good person? What if you are an atheist, can you still be a good person?

I admit I read quite deeply into this. I am not ashamed to say it, but it annoyed me. We live in a world filled of people who worship different faiths and people who don't believe in religion. We live in a world where tolerance is important. Where kindness is important. Where love is important. So to have a story that teach these morals and then throws in God and spiritual enlightenment, it felt a bit like a slap.

While I did like it, I feel like this has more cons than pros for me. But like I said, I am reading this as something separate as I haven't read The Little Prince so I can't say if these two work side-by-side. As a standalone for me, this isn't my cup of tea. But I'm glad I did try to read it and try something new.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Swan Boy Extract!

WHOOPS!!! I forgot I was taking part in this tour when I started planning my Murder Month! For that, sorry everyone! But a change is a good as a rest! Will return to schedule plan tomorrow! But today, I have a tiny sneak peek in Swan Boy by Nikki Sheehan. 

Swan Boy follows the story of Johnny. When a bully won't leave him alone, Johnny gets aid from an unlikely source: a swan. Events take a turn when, somehow, Johnny becomes lead in the school's ballet production. Not only has Johnny now got to deal with bullies, looking after his little brother and his mother, his teacher wants him to live the role - which shouldn't be too difficult as feathers are now sprouting on his chest...

Hopefully, I shall be reading this in the coming few months (you guys know me by now - I don't plan my reads and I really should!) but to give you guys a tiny taste, Nikki Sheehan is here to give us a tiny introduction to the extract.

But before she does, I would like to thank Nikki for taking time out for writing this and Cailin at Rock the Boat for inviting me to take part in this.

Now, without any more delay, over to Nikki we go!

I’m so happy to see my second book finally launched this week. It’s been a long road and it went through many edits, but I think the essential story about a boy brave enough to start being himself, and the unlikely role models who gave him that courage, still shines through. 
So, this is the story about Johnny, a boy whose dad has recently and suddenly died, and who has had to move away from his friends to a block of flats in North London. In the first few pages we encountered a swan who, out of the blue, defended Johnny from the school bullies. And in this scene the swan appears once again in a very unexpected place. But what could it all mean?

As soon as he stepped into the foyer at Burnham Tower, Johnny noticed that something was different. 
For the first time ever the lift wasn’t wearing its DANGER – OUT OF ORDER sign. 
He looked towards the stairs as they faded into blackness. 
He hated those stairs. He wasn’t as fit as he used to be and the first few flights were OK, but by the third or fourth his legs felt tired, and by the sixth he was breathing hard. By the time he reached the eighth he was sweating like a pig. 
Johnny scanned the floor to see if the sign had just fallen off. 
It hadn’t. 
He still hesitated for a moment, then he pushed the button and the doors swept open. 
Inside the lift was a huge white swan. 
It looked up, turning its head to one side as if consider- ing him. 
He knew he should have shut the door quickly and phoned the RSPCA. Or at least shouted, ‘There’s a *&[email protected] swan in the lift!’ Especially after reading about the arm-breaking thing. 
That’s what the old Johnny would have done. 
But he didn’t, because everything was different now, and what did he have to lose? 
He took a step forward. 
The swan ruffled its feathers, but Johnny thought it looked sort of friendly. For a swan. 
He took another step. 
The swan moved its head again, slowly, considering him through the other eye. 
‘Is it you?’ Johnny whispered, feeling that it had to be the same swan, the one that had attacked Liam Clark. 
The swan shuffled its feet, then sat down. Johnny took it as an invitation and he stepped inside. The lift doors immediately closed and he was hit by the rich dark smell that he remembered from Regent’s Park. It made him think of conkers and stock cubes and life. 
Johnny hardly dared to breathe. The swan took up most of the space in the hot little metal box, and he didn’t want to touch it, so he pushed his back hard against the wall. 
Meanwhile the swan held his gaze, showing no fear or aggression, and Johnny became more convinced that it was the same swan, the one who had attacked his enemy. 
Then the old electric motor began to whirr, the lights dimmed then flickered, and the lift jolted upwards. 
Johnny didn’t want to keep staring into those small black eyes, so he stared at the panel instead, watching the numbers slowly go from 1 to 2 to 3, and wondering where the swan was going. 
Was it someone’s pet? It didn’t look like a pet. 
Was there a swan sanctuary on the fifth floor? Johnny wasn’t sure the council would allow that. 
Was it going to his flat?

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Happy Illuminae Day!


I am really excited to read this (have been saving this read - CURSE YOU REAL LIFE!) but to celebrate this exciting read (it is insane! Trust me! I have read several pages as it's nuts!), I have been allowed by the UK publisher, Rock the Boat, to do a tiny giveaway.

I have five copies to give away to five lucky UK readers (sorry, International readers! I lack funds to do international contest but I PROMISE YOU, I WILL DO A SMALL INTERNATIONAL CONTEST IN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS)! All you have to do is fill in the form below.

The contest will end at midday this coming Sunday (25th October) so you only have a few days to enter! All the winners will be chosen via and they will be emailed for their home addresses so the publisher can send them their winning copy!

Good luck everyone! And hang on - it's going to be one insane ride!