ARC review of Chimera #1 by Tyler Ellis

Chimera: Book One – The Righteous and the Lost by Tyler Ellis

Published on the 20th of June

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Graphic novel, Sci-fi

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I received an ARC of Chimera from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review (thank you Netgalley and the publisher!).

Chimera tells about a crew of thieves who have been hired to collect a magical artifact in a world that is ripped apart by an interstellar war. There are creepy religious leaders, aliens, talking dragons, and characters with complex motives – what more can you want from a sci-fi graphic novel!

Overall, Chimera is easy to describe by comparing it to the widely popular Saga. As in Saga, we follow multiple POVs and plot-lines that are wound together. The result is an action-packed but beautifully told story. Chimera is also similarly explicit with the violence and swearing, but dissimilarly to Saga, there are no explicit sex scenes (at least so far). Even the art-style in Chimera and Saga are quite alike!

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I fell in love with this graphic novel. The world is incomprehensibly complex in its politics and vastness, and the characters are anything but black-and-white. No one is all-good or all-bad, which means that the story could go anywhich way at this point! Nevertheless, the first volume is easy to get into. In the short span of 164 pages I had enough time to get invested in the characters and I fell in love with their wittiness. In that short time I also managed to get my heart-broken by this graphic novel.

Chimera has a lot to offer for many readers. I think it is perfect for Saga-fans, but it is easily approachable even for those who don’t read much graphic novels. I was kept on the edge of my seat for the entire time I spent reading it, and I can’t wait for the second installment!

Chimera is out on the 20th of June so just a couple days before you can get your hands on it. Highly recommend!

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Do you read graphic novels or comics?

Thank you so much for reading!

– Pauliina

Review of Circe by Madeline Miller

Published in April 2018
A retelling of Greek mythology.
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Favourite quote:

Every step was perfect, like a gift she gave herself, and she smiled, receiving it. I wanted to seize her by the shoulders. Whatever you do, I wanted to say, do not be too happy. It will bring down fire on your head.

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Circe is the daughter of a great Titan called Helios who is equal to Zeus in his powers. Helios is the Sun. Circe spends her childhood surrounded by her parents’ and siblings’ unkind and cold remarks in Helios’ palace that is completely made of obsidian to reflect his bright fires. In general the Gods are pretty terrible; they trick and lie, destroy and make awful things in the name of jealousy, fame or simple boredom. The story is loyal to Greek mythology, and if you’re well versed in this area you’ll notice a lot of familiar stories. Nevertheless, Circe is kind to those who have very limited knowledge of the mythology and there is no need to revise before diving in this book. But if you’re a Greek mythology geek, you’re in for an awesome ride, Madeline Miller spins the mythology beautifully to weave an intricate and interesting story without distorting the myths.

I rarely run into books that I enjoy so thoroughly as I did enjoy Circe. I think the last book that moved my heart somewhere near as much was Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer which is my favourite book of all time. Circe is a beautiful story but what I enjoyed the most was Madeline Miller’s writing style. Her style is straight-forward and everything that is included in this novel is essential to it. But there is no bluntness to the forthright style. Miller’s writer is so athmospheric that even those readers who often find it difficult to become completely immersed into a novel could easily achieve it while reading Circe. And I don’t mean that as in simply enjoying the book, but I mean immersed as in that you are in the wild island of Aiaia with Circe as she walks the shores with her lion. Like the kind of hallucinative wonderfulness that book-addicts occassionally achieve with brilliant novels. Here is a brilliant novel.

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Many novels deal with families as a unit with a limited set of traits. The parents are like X and Z, the children are Y, G, and R. There is a crazy uncle and an annoying aunt. Circe, on the other hand, has actual complexity. The families are formed by individuals with complex feelings and pains. These heart-aches are not relieved by small things because they are not formed by small things, but caused by years of events that have piled up to make something huge. This is what makes the book so throughly interesting: when the problems are complex things there is no clear answer to how they should be solved.

At its deepest, I think of Circe as an exploration of fear and power.
Do you need to have power to have lived a life worth living?
And if others fear you, is that power?

This was how mortals found fame, I thought. Through practice and diligence, tending their skills like gardens until they glowed beneath the sun. But gods are born of ichor and nectar, their excellences already bursting from their fingertips. So they find fame by proving what they can mar: destroying cities, starting wars, breeding plagues and monsters. All that smoke and savour rising so delicately from our altars. It leaves only ash behind.

To the Gods in Greek mythology, fear seems to be their everything. They enjoy being feared and they go to lengths to make mortals fear them. They find fear thrilling when it happens to someone else, but an awful thing when it is found in their own set of feelings. In the Gods’ halls there is no such thing as kindness and forgiveness. But there is an individual with a drop of both of these qualities and very limited desire for fear and power. That’s Circe.

Circe turned out to be my favourite book of the year (so far) and I’m excited to see if anything I read in the remaining 6 months will best it. I highly recommend Circe, and not only for those who enjoy Greek mythology. I believe that most people would find Circe spectacular, so give it a go!

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Are you planning to read Circe? Or have you read it already? Share your thoughts as I would love to hear them 🙂

Thank you so much for reading!

– Pauliina

The Sunshine Blogger Award

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I’m excited to share that I was tagged by the wonderful Ashley to do the Sunshine Blogger Award! I love her blog which means that I was double-hyped to be tagged by her. Go check out her blog Ashley in Wonderland 😍

It’s my first time ever being tagged! Yippie!

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Rules

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you by linking their blog
  2. Answer the questions
  3. Nominate 11 blogs with 11 questions
  4. List the rules as well as display the Sunshine Award Logo on your post

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border21. What’s the first book you remember reading (or having read to you?)

A tough one! Hmm. I think the first book that I remember being read to me was probably Astrid Lindgren’s The Children of Noisy Village. I eagerly tried to ‘read’ my big sister’s school books before I knew how to, but I remember actually reading Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter and Emily of New Moon by myself. I was a very impatient child so I would start a gazillion books and never finish them hah.

2. Tea or coffee?

I love both, so I’ll go with coffee in the morning and tea in the evening. My husband and I are actually pretty passionate about both; we order beeeautiful fresh green tea from Japan every spring and we get our coffee from a local roastery and grind it at home. Yeah, I know, we’re a bit extra. But in a good way, right?

3. Do you have any pets? Share a photo of them if you’re comfortable!

I sadly don’t. I really want to get a puppy because I grew up with three awesome tibetan spaniels but I got allergic when I moved out of my parent’s house. I think the constant exposure kept my allergy at bay but it caught up on me when I got my own place. But I’m still surrounded by fluff-babies whenever I visit my family because my mum has one pupper, my step-mum three, my brother one and my sister has two cats. So I’m always happy and half-dead from allergies when I visit. Here’s a picture of Luca, one of the puppers I grew up with, who also likes to stuff himself into tiny spaces:

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4. What song can’t you get out of your head or what’s your favourite song right now?

I have been hyping the Greatest Showman Soundtrack for about 5 months now. I know I should let it go but it’s so catchy. My favourite song at the moment is The Other Side in which Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron jump on tables very assertively. Everytime I hear it I want to jump on a table too (and this urge is weird in grocery stores etc) (disclaimer: I usually try not to jump on tables in grocery stores.).

5. Do you have a favourite reading snack?

Muffins or cake. My husband loves to bake and I like to eat, the perfect combination!

6. Have you ever walked out of a movie theatre during a movie because it was so bad?

I have not! But I have come very close. I went to see the Legend of Barney Thomson a couple years ago when a close-by cinema was showing it for free. Well, my friends and I soon realised why it was being shown for free. 1/10 wouldn’t recommend 😂

7. What’s your favourite book to film adaption?

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. Unpopular opinion; I think I actually liked A Monster Calls better as a film. I didn’t shed a tear while reading the book but I kept on bawling for 15mins after the movie finished. And I had read the book before so I knew what was coming! But my heart 😭

8. What’s your least favourite book to film adaption?

Probably the Hunger Games. I was a huge fan of the trilogy when it came out but I wasn’t impressed with the movies. It might be partly due to the casting.

9. Library or bookstore?

Aw do I have to choose? A bookstore for wandering and dreaming. A library for getting all them books. A huge, second-hand bookstore delivers both.

10. If you could live in any city in the world, where would you choose?

I was in New Zealand a year and half ago with my husband and we both fell in love with Auckland. I think I want to live there! I loved the nature, atmosphere, culture and people there.

11. Do you have any blogging goals for this year?

As it is going to be my first ever year of blogging, I want to make it a regular thing for myself. I want to meet a lot of people too if possible!

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Nominations

  1. Lauren @ Northern Plunder
  2. Christine @ All Booked
  3. Lizbie @ Lizbie’s Nerdy World
  4. Mellyna @ Shattered Shelves
  5. Amy @ The Little Booknerds in the Corner
  6. Dani @ Dani’s Bookshelf
  7. Paige @ Just One More Pa(i)ge
  8. Life with All the Books
  9. Monika @ Lauregalie
  10. Debbie @ Debbie’s Library
  11. Erica @ The Novel Quest

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Questions for my nominees

  1. What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it?
  2. Do you annotate your books?
  3. Which country/state do you live in?
  4. How long have you been blogging?
  5. Do you usually go to see a film adaptation of a book you’ve read?
  6. How many languages do you speak?
  7. Do you ever DNF books?
  8. Do you have a favourite reading spot?
  9. Do you have a bookstagram?
  10. Do you have reading goals for 2018?
  11. What was the last TV-show or film you watched?

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Thank you again to Ashley in Wonderland for the nomination and the great questions!

Thank you so much for reading!

– Pauliina

 

June Reading Update

Reading update

Sorry for the absence! I was busy celebrating the results of my final undergraduate year (and degree classification!) at the beginning of the month and then I suffered through a monsterous food poisoning. But I’m back to blogging (and alive hah).

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I was planning to do an outrageously ambitious June TBR and post it , but I kind of missed the TBR-buzz-time. Instead, I figured that I would do a short update on what I have recently read and what I’m currently reading.

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A recent read518848

About five days ago I finished Sabriel by Garth Nix on audio (narrated by Tim Curry).

Sabriel is the first book in the Abhorsen series, and the book was first published in 1995. I haven’t got the faintest idea why it took me so long to get started with this series, but I ain’t stopping now!

I absolutely love fantasies in which the magic system feels ancient and a bit unreliable. In the Old Kingdom the magic is just that. The dead roam the kingdom’s roads and the Abhorsen has the duty of forcing the dead where they actually belong.

I really enjoyed Sabriel and I recommend the audiobook, Tim Curry is a wonderful narrator.

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Most of my reading time is currently devoted for Circe by Madeline Miller. A lot of hype has surrounded Circe since it came out in April, and I went into it with sky-high expectations. Expectations are generally a bad thing, but this time it seems that I won’t be disappointed! I’m currently on page 120 out of 352 and I love it! I’m actually thinking that Circe might be my next 5 star read 😱

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I’m also listening to the sequel of Sabriel, Lirael by Garth Nix on audio. The story follows different characters but I’m really enjoying it so far! I’m at 3.5h/11h.

What to read next

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I have Haruki Murakami’s Men Without Women borrowed from my library’s Overdrive so I need to get to it before I have to return it. I have been wanting to read this for a long time and I’m excited to pick it up! I believe that it’s a collection of short stories focusing on the theme of loneliness.

My second option is the Astonishing Colour of After by Emily X. R. Pan. I have heard amazing things about it! The book tells about Leigh whose mother dies by suicide leaving behind a note that says ‘I want you to remember’.

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That’s my little reading update! What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it?

Thank you so much for reading!

– Pauliina

May Wrap-Up

May WrapUp

May was a good reading month for me, especially considering that I was stuck doing my finals in the beginning of the month.

I took part in Book Battle in May. It is a reading challenge that runs monthly in Facebook; everyone is assigned to a team and reads books that fit prompts. For finishing books your team collects points and the team with the most points wins. If you want to know more or take part in a game, you can join this group in Facebook. It was really fun!

It was my first ever Book Battle and it pushed me to read books I probably wouldn’t have picked up otherwise. I was part of the Spring Court Team (the teams were ACOTAR inspired in May, every month is different), and we finished second to last but I’m still very happy with my effort haha.

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I managed to finish 11 books this month (YIPPIE).

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  • Persepolis #1 by Marjane Satrapi ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • This is How it Always is by Laurie Frankel ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Persepolis #2 by Marjane Satrapi ⭐️⭐️
  • And I Darken by Kiersten White ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
  • Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou (no star rating)
  • What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Chimera by Tyler Ellis ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Ready Player One ⭐️⭐️1/2

I use the maximum star rating of 5. A five-star read to me doesn’t have to be absolutely perfect, but the problems can’t take much of my attention. For five-stars, the story and the characters need to be interesting but the book also needs to immerse me into the world or leave me thinking back on it for long after I finished reading the book. That’s why I often have books that I give a lot of praise to, and then four instead of five stars because it just didn’t overwhelm me with brilliantness.

Below are my thoughts on all of the reads. Be warned, it’s a long post!

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Continue reading “May Wrap-Up”

Most anticipated new releases of Summer

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There are so many awesome books coming out this Summer that Idk how my bank account is going to cope. While I can’t buy all of them, these new releases of June-August are definitely the ones I’m going to be drooling over.

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June

A Thousand Perfect Notes by C. G. Drews

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7th of June

YA, contemporary

While I don’t read contemporaries very often, this book I can’t wait to get my hands on! I have been following C. G. Drews a.k.a PaperFury on Instagram and her blog for some time now, and she is a true wizard of words! She has used her magic for good and written a book. If you don’t know her, go ahead and check out her blog and Instagram, she is probably the funniest (and most colourful) person alive. Not even kidding.

The book sounds really good even when we don’t think of the high expectations that come from the author being a word-wizard. It’s a story about Beck whose violent mother forces him to play the piano. Beck has got his own hopes and dreams but he is scared to stand up to his mother. Check Goodreads here for a more detailed synopsis.

I love that cover

(I have seen that it makes a full butterfly if you either murder the spine or buy two copies)!

Starless by Jacqueline Carey

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12th of June

Fantasy

I ran across Starless while leisurely browsing Goodreads and the synopsis got me intrigued. I have never read anything by Jacqueline Carey before and I know next to nothing about this book.

BUT according

to the synopsis, it will be a fantasy in which exiled gods live among people. Just from that I’m already convinced that I have to have this book. If you need a bit more to go on, this book also has warriors, deception, princesses and destruction. Have a read through Goodreads for the full synopsis.

Continue reading “Most anticipated new releases of Summer”

Fairyloot May 2018 unboxing

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I got my May Fairyloot!

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Fairyloot is a UK based subscription box. The box always includes a newly released YA fantasy book in hardcover and a bunch of amazing bookish goodies, all linked to a theme.

This month’s theme was Save the Kingdom (!!) and Fairyloot hinted in April that it is filled with items inspired by An Ember in the Ashes, The Winners Trilogy, The Remnant Chronicles and Throne of Glass. Well umm I haven’t read any of those, but an Ember in the Ashes and the Remnant Chronicles are in my TBR. Also, I’m always down for some kingdom saving.

Behold! Ahead lay them spoilers. Stop reading if you have yet to receive your May box (but come back later to hype with me!).

Continue reading “Fairyloot May 2018 unboxing”