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Book Review: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Book Review: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller


The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Exquisite. That is the first word that comes to mind as I consider The Song of Achilles. Miller is a truly gifted author. The ways in which she was able to breathe new life and depth into characters who have been part of our collective consciousness for millennia is awe-inspiring. The story of Achilles and the Trojan War is one I have consumed in a plethora of formats and reiterations, but the way Miller tells the tale is without comparison.

“I am made of memories.”

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Book Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Book Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Cover art illustrated by: Nico Delort

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Fantasy, Retelling

Pages: 480 pages (US Hardcover Edition)

Published: 10th July 2018 by Del Rey (US) & Pan Macmillan (UK)


If Uprooted is my Hell, then Spinning Silver is my Heaven.

Five years. It’s been exactly five years since I’ve read Uprooted by Naomi Novik. Honestly speaking, I never intended to read Spinning Silver. I consider Uprooted one of the worst fantasy novels I’ve read, and I had no motivation in trying out more of Novik’s works for five years. However, after hearing from many readers—one of them being my friend, Elliot Brooks—who disliked Uprooted that Spinning Silver worked wonderfully for them, my curiosity was piqued. And then, another good friend of mine—Mary—who also disliked Uprooted decided to sent me a copy of Spinning Silver. She said that Spinning Silver is one of the best standalone novels she has ever read. So here I am, nodding my head and adding my opinion to their praises; they were all 100% right. Spinning Silver is one of the best standalone novels I’ve read. This high rating you’re seeing is not a fairytale. It’s well-deserved, and Spinning Silver rightfully deserves the gorgeous cover art (US edition) illustrated by Nico Delort.

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Book Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Book Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik


Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I could not have started the year off with a more pleasant surprise. I read another of Novik’s high fantasy novels, Uprooted, in 2016 and…I was not a fan. While I didn’t loathe it with every fiber of my being like Petrik did, it took me a couple of months to trudge through 435 pages. That’s not my general reading experience. There were a lot of things I really didn’t like about that book and, because of that dislike, I was skittish about picking up Spinning Silver . But, as I own both a physical and digital copy, I knew I was going to have to pick it up eventually. So when Petrik suggested we do a buddy-read as soon as the new year started, I jumped at it. He, Eon, TS, Haifa and myself all started it together, and the consensus has been overwhelmingly positive. Spinning Silver is a thoughtful, intricate, powerful novel that is one of the most atmospheric books I’ve ever read. I’m incredibly glad that we gave Novik another try.

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Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1) by Sarah J. Maas

Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1) by Sarah J. Maas


A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I can’t believe I liked this as much as I did. I’ve owned a copy of A Court of Thorns and Roses for six years, and honestly had no intention of reading it after I became active on Goodreads and was made aware of how toxic the Maas fanbase could be. Yes, I know the author isn’t responsible for the fandom, and that it wasn’t the book’s fault, but I was left with a bad taste in my mouth and decided to stay away. But then my sister-in-law read and loved the series. As did Emma, one of my co-bloggers, who I consider one of the most intelligent readers I know. As did my best friend who, in the end, finally wore me down. But even after being convinced to give the series a try by people I love and whose opinions I trust, I still went into this book incredibly skeptical, which you’ll be able to see from some of the review below, which was written piecemeal as I read the book. I scoffed my way through the first third, and was completely enraptured by the rest. Honestly, I’m a tiny bit pissed that it won me over. But when I tell you I started the next book as soon as I finished the last pages of this one, I’m not exaggerating. I didn’t even give myself a five minute breather between the two. Is it the best book I’ve ever read? No. But do I get the appeal, the dedicated fanbase, and the widespread acclaim? Absolutely, I do.

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Book Review: Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

Book Review: Ariadne by Jennifer Saint


Ariadne by Jennifer Saint
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Jennifer Saint penned a lovely, if depressing, novel in Ariadne. It will definitely appeal to the same audience that loved Madeline Miller’s Circe. However, there was some magic imbued into Miller’s work, some fierce beauty behind the pain, that wasn’t present in this novel. It felt like viewing a work of art through a fog instead of clear glass. While it was a very well written mythological retelling, I couldn’t quite love it.

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Book Review: The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo

Book Review: The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo


The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher, Tordotcom, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I was immediately intrigued when I heard that a fantasy retelling of The Great Gatsby told from Jordan Baker’s perspective was in the works. I’ve always been fascinated by The Great Gatsby, both by the characters and Fitzgerald’s writing style. It’s not the most accessible of novels, despite its brevity, but there’s something magnetic about it, much as there is that same special magnetism surrounding the title character himself. I was very interested in seeing how these characters translated in the hands of another, with magic added to the mix. The author did a pretty great job capturing the tone and feel of the original while still making the story their own.

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Book Review: Olympus, Texas by Stacey Swann

Book Review: Olympus, Texas by Stacey Swann

Olympus, Texas by Stacey Swann
My rating: 6 of 5 stars

The premise and cover of Olympus, Texas immediately grabbed my attention, but I wasn’t expecting anything earth-shattering. I figured I was in for an interesting story that would hopefully keep me engaged but which I would most likely forget about soon after. I was incredibly mistaken. It’s closing in on mid-June, and I can unequivocally say this is the best book I’ve read so far this year. And I started off the year with The Labyrinth of the Spirits, which blew my mind. I can’t believe I found this book even more impactful. Not only was the story excellent and the characters impeccably crafted, this book was a masterclass on the psychology of fictional beings who have been around for millennia without being this thoroughly exposed and explained. I feel like an entire college class could be taught on the Greek pantheon using Olympus, Texas as a textbook. It’s incredible, and it changed the way I think about stories I’ve known for decades.

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Book Review: The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

Book Review: The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins


The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I received an audio copy of this book from the publisher, Macmillan Audio, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Wife Upstairs is an updated, reimagined Jane Eyre. It’s an interesting twist on a classic story, and I’m loving how many such novels have come out recently and how many more are scheduled for publication soon.

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Book Review: Wintersong (Wintersong, #1) by S. Jae-Jones

Book Review: Wintersong (Wintersong, #1) by S. Jae-Jones


Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve been in the mood for anything wintry, and this book seemed like just the thing. It’s young adult, which I’ve struggled with in the past, but I decided to give it a go anyway. I’m so glad I did, because Wintersong is a beautiful story. A retelling of the movie Labyrinth, it’s a captivating take on the Goblin King and his Underground, with music at its core.

“You are the monster I claim.”

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Book Review: Circe by Madeline Miller

Book Review: Circe by Madeline Miller

Circe by Madeline Miller

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Historical fiction, Mythology, Retelling

Pages: 433 pages (US Kindle edition)

Published: 19th April 2018 by Bloomsbury (UK) & 10th April 2018 by Little, Brown and Company (US)


Madeline Miller is now on my must-read author list. I can’t wait for her next work already.

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