Showing posts with label Sally Green. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sally Green. Show all posts

Thursday, 27 August 2020

Burn The Kingdoms Down

SURPRISE! This is a last minute decision as, on a whim, I emailed Phoebe at Penguin, wondering if Sally Green, author of the Half Bad trilogy and the Smoke Thieves series, fancied writing a small guest post for me to celebrate to release the third and final book in the Smoke Thieves, The Burning Kingdom. Phoebe asked Sally and both were thrilled to. As am I as I got quite obsessed with Half Bad, Sally's debut trilogy!

I'm not going to do a write up about The Burning Kingdoms as third and final in series (I'm not going to spoil! I'm not a monster!), so let me do a tiny write-up of Smoke Thieves. Smoke Thieves follows several leads, each from four different kingdom.

In Brigant, Princess Catherine prepares for a loveless political marriage arranged by her brutal and ambitious father. In Calidor, downtrodden servant March seeks revenge on the prince who betrayed his people. In Pitoria, feckless Edyon steals cheap baubles for cheaper thrills as he drifts from town to town. And in the barren northern territories, thirteen-year-old Tash is running for her life as she plays bait for the gruff demon hunter Gravell.

As alliances shift and things take several sharp turns, throwing everything off course, our four heroes find their past lives transformed and their futures inextricably linked by the unpredictable tides of magic and war...

I am thrilled that Sally found the time to write this guest post, so thank you Sally. I, also, want to thank Phoebe for saying yes and chatting to Sally about this post.

Now, before I hand over to Sally, if you want to say hi to her, you can say hi to her via her Twitter (@Sa11eGreen). Plus, if you are curious on The Burning Kingdom or any other of Sally's novels, you can always check her Penguin's website or Book Depository!

With this all out of the way, OVER TO YOU, SALLY!

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Book Review - Half Lost

As you guys are probably aware, I fell in love with this series last year. I became a little obsessed with it and, because I binge read the first 2 books and one eNovella, I fell into a book slump. So, yes... I had to get my hands on this, the final book in the series. I HAD TO!!! I was going to buy it, hunt it down and panic read. So, when the lovely Megan from Reading Away The Days tweeted that she had a copy and wanted to give it to someone, George of George Lester fame suggested me and I went on full on "I WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER IF YOU GIVE ME THIS BOOK!" tweets. So, my huge thanks to George for suggesting me and a big thank you hug to Megan who I have probably scared with my tweets (and me asking questions about Sookie Stackhouse - it's a series I dip in and out of that I really want to investigate and read!)

After the devastating events at the end of Half Wild, Nathan is running again. The Alliance of Free Witches has all but been destroyed, but they have a plan. They need Nathan to go talk to a witch called Ledger to get half of something that could help me take down Soul and his Council.

But war is war. And not everyone will survive.

I shouldn't have read this so soon after Frail Human Heart by Zoe Marriott. Reading two books which are the end of trilogies I love is too much for my poor heart.

But Half Lost. Ok, am saying this right now, but this book destroyed me. I forgot how much I love Sally Green's writing and I forgot how quickly I fell into this world. I had to force myself to read slow so I didn't power-read it! And this book... oh, this book did feels to my poor heart. It's a breathless read and there were moments I was holding my breath. Or moments where I was going "Nonononono!!!". (George knows this as I was DMing him on Twitter after I finished the book, SCREAMING IN CAP LOCK!!!)

There are some trilogies out there (am not going to name names) that should look at Half Lost as THIS is how you end a trilogy. This book gets it right on the money. I trust Sally Green (as you should with any author whose book you are reading - otherwise, why are you reading the book?) and Sally wrote Nathan's story her way - unflinching and never afraid to take the tough route - and I love her for that. I love how the book is raw, dark unflinching but has moments of softness, kindness and love (only to rip these moments into tiny pieces in front of your very eyes...)

This series is definitely a marmite read - you are either going to love it or you are going to hate it. I love it and I am already itching to reread the whole trilogy again. And I am watching Sally's Twitter feed for any news on her next project. But this trilogy... wow. Just wow.

Friday, 13 November 2015

GoodRead - Half Truths

If you have been reading my blog since the beginning of this year, you know that I went through a bit of a blitz where I read Sally Green (the end of February and beginning of March, to be truthful) and, because of this, kinda fell into a reading slump (I say kinda, because I pulled myself out of it, but still!).

So yes, earlier this year, I became a little obsessed with this series. I admit it (Reactions to Half Bad, Half Wild and the eNovella prequel, Half Liesare on each title.), so when the news was revealed that there was going to be another eNovella, I preordered it without hesitation. I needed more from Sally Green.

Half Truths takes place just after Half Lies (so yes, this is another prequel) where we follow Gabriel from when he arrives in Switzerland, looking for help from the powerful Black Witch Mercury to when he meets Nathan in Half Bad (so it overlaps in a way).

Between Half Lies and Half Truths, I think I prefer Half Truths.

I'm not sure why. I don't think this novella really added anything to the series (but you never know - there was a character who I sense might pop up in Half Lost), expect it gives us an insight in what Gabriel was doing before he met Nathan and it shows that he had a life before Nathan. He met people and nearly fell in love with people before Nathan. It's nice to known stuff about Gabriel that Nathan doesn't know.

Half Truths didn't really add anything to the series, I think, but it's was a nice fast read that will tie me over till Half Lost...

Monday, 2 March 2015

GoodRead - Half Wild

I finished this yesterday evening, and I had to sit and let it sink in before I dare consider writing this review.

After the events of Half Bad (not read my review or seen my 60 second review video for Bookish Brits? You know the drill), where Nathan meets his father so briefly, Nathan is a now a full adult witch. And still on the run from the White Witches.

He needs to find his friend, Gabriel, then try to save Annalise from the powerful Black Witch, Mercury. All the while, trying to control his Gift and watching as Soul O'Brien has taken control of the council of White Witches. War is coming as Soul is planning to take more control and is expanding his war against Black Witches into Europe.

War is coming. The question is, what will Nathan lose?

Right, I have to say this before I go any further. I loved Half Bad.  I LOVED IT SO MUCH! So much so that, within a very short space of time, I read the eNovella prequel and the sequel. THIS IS SUPER RARE FOR ME! I usually get excited and then have to wait a year for the next book, which gives me time to calm down and get my expectations to a nice level so I can enjoy and love the book.

Not this time. And because I LOVED Half Bad, I guessed that, while I'll love Half Wild, I won't love it as much... So I braced myself.

This is a very different book. It feels more brutal and bloody compared to Half Bad. If Half Bad was Harry Potter on acid, then I think Half Wild is Mockingjay on acid as well.

Both books have a feel that war is coming and the planning that goes behind war. But, unlike Mockingjay, which only took one book to look into the war, Half Wild throws us into war in the latter part of book 2 of her trilogy, leaving one more book to make all the heck hit the fan (not going to swear here!).

If you disagree with me, read the last 10 or so percent of this book and get back to me. This left me in a book coma all yesterday and today. And I start a new book amost immediately! DAMN YOU SALLY!!!

The writing in this is still very unique. It feels very Sally Green and I can't fault her in it. It's one the book's strongest points! And the way Sally is tackling the love triangle is interesting - it's there but it isn't the main focus. It's gently simmering in the background and I love that!

I still have a few tiny problems. One of them was Annalise. I can't help it with her. I keep thinking of her as Viola Davis in How To Get Away With Murder (love that show!) so I have to keep them serpeate. But I don't buy the relationship between her and Nathan (yes, this book converted me to the Nathan/Gabriel). I think it's because I was going "Nathan, are you really in love with Annalise? Do you love her because you love her? Or is it because, outside your family, she's the first White Witch who treated your like a human being rather than a experiment?"

But a worthy sequel. I can not wait for how Sally wraps this up (and we have to wait till next year. NEXT YEAR?! HOW AM I MEANT TO WAIT THAT LONG?!). Can I preorder it now or should I start begging Sally for book 3 now?

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

GoodRead - Half Lies

Like I said, I devoured Half Bad (review was up yesterday because of my mini-break with family - review is here), and without a rest-bite, I jumped straight into the eNovella prequel, Half Lies.

Gabriel and Michele is in a new and scary world. They understand that they are Black Witches so the world is cruel to them anyway, but with their mother dead and their father drowning himself with booze, the brother and sister are clinging to each other. They have to find their way when they move to Florida and when Michele begins to fall for a boy that could be seen as unsuitable. Soon, loyalty and love will be tested, but will Michele make a deadly mistake...?

Before I go any further, I have to state that even though this is a prequel, I would strongly advise to read this after Half Bad. I asked on Twitter if I should read this before or after Half Bad, and I was told strongly to read this after but I had to read it before Half Wild.

Now with that out of the way, I am going to be honest with you. I didn't love it as much as I loved Half Bad. I liked it, but there was something about this eNovella that I couldn't warm to and I'm not sure why...

Ok, let's say the good - Sally's writing style is excellent again with this. She write this story in Michele's diary with entries (and small notes written between Michele and Gabriel, showing that Gabriel reads his sister's diary and Michele knows it. I like it alot as it shows their connection and I enjoyed reading this side of the story).

But, like I said, there was something about this story that didn't make me fall in love with it. I didn't warm to the whole "Romeo & Juilet" vibe but this wasn' the problem. There was something about this story that I didn't like and I can't put my finger on what the problem is...

But I like it. Just not as much as Half Bad. But I think this has some importance (or some clue) over Gabriel when we meet him again in Half Wild... We shall see...

PS - A few days ago, the lovely Bookish Brits's Twitter asked what we/they should read next and this was the reply and this is an awesome reply and pin-points at an interesting view of the series at a whole...

Monday, 16 February 2015

GoodRead - Half Bad

I can imagine you all recoiling from me now. I can hear you all shouting "You've only just read Half Bad in the past few days?! YOU CALL YOURSELF A YA BOOK BLOGGER!". And yes, I have only just read and yes, I know I am late to the party but I was scared. The hype/buzz monster scared me and everytime I picked it up to read it, I was always worried over if I would like it and what would happen if I didn't...

Nathan will be seventeen soon. He is living in a cage; beaten, shackled and trapped in a modern London where White Witches and Black Witches are at war with each other. Nathan is a Half Code: White Witch mother and Black Witch father. An abomination. The only way Nathan is going to survive is he has to escape the White Witches, find his father, receive his three gifts and come into his powers. But when he knows that he can't trust anyone, can he keep those he do trust - his family, his friends, the girl he cares deeply for - safe? And if he can't, what then?

Before I go any further, the cover. Doesn't it remind anyone else of Lord Voldermort from the Harry Potter series? Yes, let's get the Harry Potter stuff out of the way first as EVERYONE seems to be comparing the two. Both books have witches and both are set in a world very similar to our own. But that's it. I can't see any other similarities.

Ok, the book. I loved it - it was like read Harry Potter but on acid (ok, last Harry Potter reference. Honest). . I became obsessed with this book when I was reading it. There was a day or two when I had to stop because I was becoming that obsessed with it. I felt scared that Sally Green's twitter feed would be of me going "WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME?!"

But yes, I fell for it. I found the writing so unique and unlike anything I have ever read before. She jumped from first person to second person narrative and back again with such ease and I never found it jarring. The only other book I feel that wrote second person narrative brilliantly was The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (and I LOVED that book!). So it's rare, but Sally nailed it!

I felt the world was strong and how Nathan saw the world was interesting. He saw it as harsh (hence why he wrote the characters quite flat, unless he cared deeply for them, then he gave them depth) and his need to find his father - the powerful Black Witch who kills without a moment's thought - interesting. He knew he was a bad/evil man and yet, his need to find and please him made Nathan complex.

Also, is it bad I shipped two characters even though THEY HAVE NEVER MET?! I'm sorry but Gabriel and Arran need to meet, fall madly in love, get married and adopted little Witch children. I will ship this, even if this doesn't happen!!!

The only negatives I think most people will have is Sally's writing on characters. Some characters are quite flat - but I think this is because if Nathan doesn't care for them, he sees them as quite flat, not a person to take qreat detail of.

Another small thing is his and Annalise's relationship. At times, I just didn't see it. I didn't feel happy with it and I couldn't put my finger on why. I think it might have been rushed or maybe Sally wants to have Nathan question himself and his sexuality throughout the course of the series (I read Nathan as straight, but if this is the route Sally is going to go down with Half Wild and the third book in the trilogy, I will be intrigued to see how sensitively she tackles this subject matter)...

But despite its flaws, I loved this book. So much so, I jumped straight into the eNovella prequel, Half Lies, without a moment's thought (and I requested Half Wild on NetGalley so I will be reading this in the next few weeks!). I sense I will become obsessed with this series...