Book Review: The City of Brass

Book Review: The City of Brass

Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3/5)
* I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. This in no way affected my opinion of the book.

The City of Brass refers to the ancient city of Daevabad, a magical city that is split between six djinn tribes. Nahri, a young con woman, accidentally learns of this world after summoning a daeva warrior. And suddenly her skill to magically heal and deduce other’s medical issues makes almost sense. But now she’s on the run with a daeva warrior with a past that’s as cloudy as hers. The point of view switches between Nahri and a young djinn prince named Ali, who resides in Daevabad, and is training to serve his brother and future king.

I think I’ve found a series where I’m genuinely in the middle of how I feel about it. The City of Brass is very action-packed, literally filled to the brim with storytelling and history which was quite interesting to read. I have not yet found myself to love the central trio (Nahri, Dara and Ali) however they all seem to lose their initial spark when we first encounter them in the novel. I think maybe the sequel is where I’ll consolidate how I feel for them. I often say romance can make or break a story and with how jam-packed this novel was, the romance was sort of disappointing. I believe there wasn’t enough of a build-up to understand what they felt was there or just a spur of the moment.

The world building was the best part of the novel. Even though there’s so much of it and the plot doesn’t really shine as much as the world it’s set in does. It’s just so intricate and intensely detailed that it’s a shame it overpowers the actual plot. The cultural detail from the people to their clothes and customs. I imagined it all so well the sprawling city of Daevabad.

This book is very full on and more foundational than what felt like an actual moving plot. Most of this book is us being introduced to the vast world and its people, and I can see most readers being put off by this. I genuinely believe the final quarter of the book was the best. But judging from Goodreads, it looks like everyone was thrown off its exhaustive beginning and ends up DNF’ing the book before they experience the final excitement.

Overall, The City of Brass will be a huge hit or miss for loads of people. I don’t expect anyone to hold on the way I did. I read this during a large reading block (note to self: don’t read a 500-page book during a reading block) it took a while to churn through, but it was, in the end, gratifying with a conclusion that definitely hooks you onto the next book. I have a habit of enjoying the sequels more than the original text, so I do still have high hopes for the rest of series despite being let down a little here. But I definitely recommend this story of a young healer, a djinn with a dark past, and a prince who wants to do his city justice.


GOODREADS | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | AUTHOR SITE
Trigger/Content Warnings: graphic violence, human trafficking, slavery, war, bigotry, torture and rape.

 

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Summer ’18 TBR

Summer ’18 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature once hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, but has now moved to That Artsy Reader Girl! Each week, a new topic is put into place and bloggers share their top ten (or your own amount) accordingly.

Making this list really made me realise how far behind I am in my TBR. This list doesn’t even include my #1KBE TBR and my TBR waitlist. But I hope to have read all these books before the summer is over!

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Run, riot | From Twinkle, With Love | Children of Blood and Bone | American Panda | Tyler Johnson was Here

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Honor Among Thieves | The Handmaid’s Tale| To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before| Sorcerer to the Crown| Prince of Shadows

What’s on your TTT this week? Leave me a link or let me know in the comments! 🤗

#1KBE A Thousand Beginnings and Endings Reading Challenge | Sign up + TBR

#1KBE A Thousand Beginnings and Endings Reading Challenge | Sign up + TBR

Hello, I am basically back from the dead and to kickstart my comeback and to make myself get back into the habit of reading, I am doing the #1KBE A Thousand Beginnings and Endings Reading Challenge. This started two days ago and in my usual fashion, I am starting it very late.

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 a variety of authors.

1KBE Challenge Board final.png

How am I participating?

Every prompt from the image above is an author and to complete the prompt you have to read one of their published book/short fiction/poetry/article. The challenge is completed when you finish four prompts in any direction.

I am reading from the top left-hand box and moving to the right. And here is my TBR!

32333174Cindy Pon – Want 

Jason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy longer lives. The rich wear special suits that protect them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths. Frustrated by his city’s corruption and still grieving the loss of his mother, who died as a result of it, Zhou is determined Hungry
by Shveta Thakrar (Goodreads Author)
3.44 · Rating details · 9 Ratings · 1 Review
When a rakshasi — a monster from Hindu mythology — awakens after centuries,she’s very, very hungry.to change things, no matter the cost.

Hungry by Shveta Thakrar
When a rakshasi — a monster from Hindu mythology — awakens after centuries, she’s very, very hungry. (No Cover because this was a short posted on Tumblr)

28688476Melissa De La Cruz – Something in Between 

Jasmine de los Santos has always done what’s expected of her. Pretty and popular, she’s studied hard, made her Filipino immigrant parents proud and is ready to reap the rewards in the form of a full college scholarship.

And then everything shatters. A national scholar award invitation compels her parents to reveal the truth: their visas expired years ago. Her entire family is illegal. That means no scholarships, maybe no college at all and the very real threat of deportation.

18798983The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) by Renee Ahdieh

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Okay!! This is a very rushed post but here is the TBR and I’ll get started on this very quickly!

 

Book Review: Skylarks

* I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. This in no way affected my opinion of the book.

Skylarks is about the life of Joni after a wealthy company buys out her family estate, slowly forcing its working-class tenants to leave so that they can make more money. Joni slowly joins the grassroots campaign to reclaim their home. While working at her part-time job at the library, she meets Annabel, a girl who comes from an upper-class conservative background. They clash a lot in the beginning until they slowly find a middle ground with each other, while Joni struggles to keep her family together. It is quite a heartwarming story that touches on poverty, class divide, grassroots projects and inequality.

However, I didn’t really enjoy this as much as I thought I would. It was quite irritating to read, there were odd moments that felt jumpy, with moments that dragged onto long, and I just felt impatient reading this. The plot’s good, just not engaging enough. Joni and Annabel were cute though, I like that they bounced off each other and learnt a lot from each other.

There is also a scene were Joni is very ableist. She’s rightly upset that her father is not receiving the benefits he needs, but she points the finger to her next door neighbour and says that they get more even though she looked well. This was quite horrible to read and it isn’t challenged in the novel. Joni also accidentally outs Annabel to her father due to a misunderstanding and while Joni acknowledges her mistake, it’s quickly brushed off because her father is already aware and then, again, quickly forgotten about.

Overall, a novel about the conflict of wealth and social class while two girls fall in love. It was quite pleasing to read, but I did find it dull in some moments.


GOODREADS | WATERSTONES | AUTHOR

Trigger/Content Warnings: Classism, ableism. If you’ve read this and feel like I missed something out, tell me!

 

Book Review: Song of Blood and Stone

Book Review: Song of Blood and Stone

 Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3/5)

* I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  This in no way affected my opinion of the book.

Song of Blood & Stone is a historical fantasy that follows Jasminda, a mixed-race girl, who finds herself in the middle of a war after saving a stranger with her magic, known as Earthsong. The land it’s set in is separated into two areas: one belonging to the Lagamiri (those with magic) and Elsira (those without). Jasminda is an outcast, despite belonging to both worlds, but her dark skin in Elsira leaves her to lead a life in isolation. 

This was a fascinating read I have to say. I wasn’t expecting much, but I left more satisfied than I had expected. The story parallels to many moments in history, but more closely to our times today, and how refugees are treated and negative media bias. We see how Jasminda is affected and how Jack, the white male lead, learns to use his privilege to do better than his peers and ancestors. It also discusses abuse, erasure and systematic oppression.  

I have to say it did take some time getting into the story and understanding the general plot. The romance was overwhelming and felt a bit forced, more like we were told to like them as a couple rather than growing to love them together, which may be because of the rushed ending. There wasn’t as much world building incorporated as you would expect from a fantasy book, I hope this to be built upon in the next books since I felt a bit puzzled in the first half of the book. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this. I’ve been in search of a new fantasy series, and I think maybe what I’m looking for. 

 

Trigger/Content Warnings: attempted rape, violence, death, sexual content and war themes. If you’ve read this and feel like I missed something out, tell me!

 

 

Monthly Rewind: April 2018

B O O K S

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The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (2/5) – I’ve decided not to write a write for this one since I’m trying to limit the number of negative reviews I write but I really did not enjoy this one. Which is a shame since I do usually like the books Book Twitter recommends. There’s nothing that really gripped me but it was well written and mildly entertaining at some points. But what really didn’t stick with me was the possible love interest going from almost killing Jude and allowing others to bully her into falling in love with her.

Come to the Rocks by Christin Haws (5/5) –

Midnight Sun by Trish Cook (2/5) – A novelisation of the 2018 movie that made never want to see the film.

Animal Farm by George Orwell (4/5) –  I finally managed to get around to reading Animal Farm. I’ve always known the plot and had seen the animated movie but never really got around to reading the actual book?

Continue reading “Monthly Rewind: April 2018”