Review of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Though I have read this book recently I will admit that this month I have skim read this book. I was bought the first book for my birthday and as such read it late last year. But I wanted to make a start on the rest of the series so felt that I needed to re-read this book as a refresher.

This book was certainly my favourite of last year, it took me four days to read it, and I was in work for three of those days. Needless to say I bought the rest of the series as a Christmas present for myself and I have been waiting for my usual reading slump to occur for me to pull them out.

The first book was full of action and mystery, as each new plot point came to the fore I became more and more lost in the world that Sarah J Maas had built and the story which was perfectly paced and had a great balance of action, mystery and romance.

Celaena’s character is multi-layered and I love the way she has a strong moral compass but is still an assassin. Having a strong moral compass and killing people for money rarely go hand in hand. I also enjoyed the relationships she built during the book, those around her gradually began to trust her despite the obvious defects in her character. She is a character that you can easily identify with, whether it is because of her drive or her humour. The characters around her also feel this way.

The other characters surrounding Celaena are just as enticing, wanting to understand the Princess of Eyllwe’s motivation for being in the Castle. Understanding more of the Prince’s character, why he wants to rebel against his father. A lot of the questions posed are yet to be answered. I am only surprised it has taken me until now to break these books out.

The main theme in the book is Freedom, and what you are willing to do to obtain it. Freedom can mean different things to different people, for some it is their two week holiday somewhere warm and sunny, for others it is going for a run to forget everything around them. The book is exploring what Celaena is willing to do for her freedom, killing for her is easy but it comes at a price. A price which for her is hard to bear, uniting with her enemy.

At the ending of the book I was sad that my boyfriend had only bought me the first one. But I just wanted the devour the next book, well if I am honest the rest of the series.

This book is definitely my first 5 star rating for Indulgent Readers!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I am reading a few other books alongside the next one in the series. Have you read this book or series let me know what you think in the comments

Review of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Yesterday was commercial love day… or Valentines day. As such I thought it timeley to share a review on the Classic Pride and Prejudice.

I was about fifteen when I first attempted reading this book and it was not one that I would have recommended at the time. I usually prefer literature which pulls me along in the story, not allowing me to stop to breath. This is certainly not the case with this book. It is not an easy read. The language is often round about and you have to truly concentrate to fully understand the implications of the words.

In a similar vein are the descriptions of what is occurring, As with most authors from the period, they never seem to get to the point, continually speaking around the subject. I appreciated that the book was written in a time that this was the norm, however I am exceeding pleased with the fact that I live in more modern times when it is not rude to get to the point.

Those detractions aside the characters are well developed and they all have believable flaws. Everyone knows someone who can be blinded by their first impressions, or someone who only seems to really cares for materialistic endeavours. The way the characters are presented and grow are the true drivers of the plot and this is one of the strengths of this book.

The plot follows what my boyfriend would call a typical romantic comedy plot, where the couple go two very different ways and seem as though they could never overcome their differences. However the subplots of the other sisters all interlink in such a satisfying way, and the ending they all get the ending that they deserve.

This book has a lot of strong female characters which share one of the main themes of feminism, from how stubborn and strong headed Elizabeth to Lady Catherine De Bourgh who against the only strong male influence in her life (Mr Darcy) goes to the woman he is said to love without thought as to how this could impact on her nephew and his opinion of her. This theme should not be overly shocking, as a female in this time when most authors were expected to be female, she wrote anonymously simply stating – by a Lady.

Despite the issues that I have highlighted above this book still made me feel warm hearted by the ending.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Have you read this book? What did you think? Have yo read any more of Jane Austen’s works? Let me know in the comments below.

My Expirence with Audiobooks So Far

I know I have been a little hit and miss so far this month I am aiming to publish my next review on the 15th…fingers crossed. Thus far this month has been a bit difficult finding time to read. So I made the effort that during the recent weekend I started to listen to a book on Spotify allowing me to read while I was doing the ironing.

This was my first experience of reading an audiobook so I thought that today I would share my thoughts so far.

There is a debate going on within the book blogging world about Audiobooks and if they really count as reading I have always been on the fence as until now I have not really made the step into listening to Audiobooks.

There are a number of people who love listening to books, it allows them to do other things the same as me, commuting, ironing, doing the washing up. I do agree that audiobooks are great for that.

However one of the things that I love about reading is that I loose myself in the prose, world and story. I love the way that the words can let me forget about the chores that I need to do, and sitting down and giving all of my concentration to the book I am reading and this is what brings some of the joy to my reading.

One of the reasons that I had avoided audiobooks is because I wasn’t certain of the best platform. I was lucky that someone in work mentioned that there are some on Spotify, which I already had.

Overall I am enjoying the ability to multitask while reading, but I have not been able to loose myself in the books so far.

What do you think of audiobooks? Do you like them or do you have the same issues that I have found? Let me know in the comments below.

Film vs Book: Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

This is a series which I am going to write alongside book reviews. I often find myself watching something and mentally comparing it to the book so I thought some other people may also be wondering what the differences are.

For the first one of the series I am going to compare the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (The one with Martin Freeman in). As you may be aware I read the book a couple of weeks ago for the International Outer Space day, (give the review a read if you haven’t already).

Now I am comparing the book and the film to see what the differences are, but I will add what I think overall of the film.

Differences:

  1. Trillian being captured by the Vogans and needing to be rescued

In the book Trilliian wanting to go to space makes much more sense, she had two degrees one in Maths and the other, most significantly in Astrophysics. She is curious about the universe and as such Zephod in a very interesting person for her to spend time with. However, this is not really explained in the film and while she is clearly an adventerous character her motivation needed to change for the film and it became a love interest.

I persoanlly feel that Trillian’s character is much stronger in the book.

  1. The love triangle of Zephod, Trillian and Arthur

As above the film needed a story line which would give Trillian some motivation, and with a lot of Hollywood movies there is a romantic element added. I am not saying that this was a bad change but in the book Arthur spends it floundering trying to come to terms with the fact that his home has just been destroyed. He does not have time to start thinking about Trillian as the woman who abandoned him at a party (a few months before) for ‘the president of the galaxy’. Now this change means the interplay between Zephod and Arthur is different. It is a lot more confrontational, and in Arthur’s case a little petulant.

  1. The Point of View Gun

In the book the point of view gun is not there… no matter how cool (though there are four more in the trilogy so I cannot say that it doesn’t appear in the fandom, please let me know if this is the case!)

Similarities

While the above list is not exhaustive of the differences in the film verses book below I have put my top three things that are the same in the book.

  1. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy… the book

Just to be clear, I mean the version that appears in the book. Most of the narration from the book with Dont Panic printed on its cover is almost word for word as the original book. Now unfortunately (or fortunatley) I watched the film before I read the book and any excerpts from the book in my head now sounds like Stephen Fry… there are certainly worse people to sound all knowing

  1. The whale and bowl of pertunias

This is iconic, a whale appearing in thin air and deciding to make friends with the ground… I was so glad to see that this was in the film.

  1. 42…

Do I really need to say more??

Well I will anyway, from the mice who run the world, to the computer who spent 7.5 million years to work out the answer of 42 when it wasn’t sure of the question. I am so glad that this was left in, the number of times that I have quoted this to my friends is innumerable.

Overall I did enjoy the film, though not as much as the book. The characters in the book had more depth but regadless of this the film is well worth a watch.

What do you think the differences are? Do you think any of the differences were an improvement? Let me know in the comments below.

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

So far this year I have read a lot more Terry Pratchett than I usually do. But once you buy one on your Kindle you get told when the others are on offer. This one was inspired by the series being put onto the BBC iplayer. After watching the first episode I realized I needed to read the book…so I did.

The Preface by the authors caused me to laugh a lot and my poor long-suffering partner was subjected to listening to me read it to him… luckily he is a massive Terry Patchett and Neil Gaiman fan.

As I have said above I did watch the first episode of the series before reading the book so the images of the characters were already in place. Luckily the book does not have a large amount of description of any of the characters’ physical appearance, the main bit of description is about Crowley’s eyes.

The plot is well thought out and as a reader of Terry Pratchett you can see elements of his writing, the various plotlines all written chronologically, but coming together as the characters converge. Though I have not read anything else by Neil Gaiman (Stardust is on my TBR pile) the book is split into unofficial chapters which is something that Terry Pratchett does not do.. never think about finishing at the next chapter with Terry Pratchett… you will be there all night!

The characters are all very strong and you can tell the difference between the angelic and the hellish characters with little difficulty. I love that one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse is in truth a woman. I also like the fact that my favourite Discworld character of death makes an appearance.

I love the extra details we get about Crowley and Aziraphale, random details which are completely irrelevant to the characters’ situation, Crowley sleeping through the vast majority of the 19th Century, despite not actually needing to sleep. Azirapahle, on the other hand, was a helpful and not helpful proofreader, adding verses to the bible and being an all-round terrible seller of books.

The theme of the book is predestination vs free will. I mentioned in my review of Mort that Terry Pratchett was exploring predestination and here he is at it again. It mainly focuses on Adam’s life and his choices regarding the apocalypse. But the tentative friendship and “The Arrangement” between Crowley and Aziraphale is another example. The pair are not meant to get along and have different motivations and aims, but when you spend a lot of time together you cannot help but come to find that you have something in common, in their case it was that they were the only other person that they had known for most of their lives. When it really comes down to it, they are there for each other it didn’t matter that they were on opposing sides.

Strangely, the book made me feel a little bittersweet. This book was published in 1990, 30 years ago, and a lot of the problems with the world at that time which Adam laments are still happening and in some cases worse. But the plot is there to give hope, no matter what it is that the characters are facing they managed to get through it with support of their friends, and a little magic. Which is something that we can all strive for.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

I will give this book 4 stars (which is my average so far this year). It is a good feel amusing book which I am glad I took the time out to read… even though it wasn’t on my list of 40 books for the year.