Sunday, September 24, 2017

My Favorite Eras in History and Books Set in Them - Part I

As some of you might know, I'm a bit of a history geek (to put it lightly haha!) and historical fiction is my favorite genre so today I'm going to talk a little bit about my favorite eras, time periods and topics from history that I love to read about and featuring some books that are set in them. ❤️
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Ancient Egypt
Let's start of with my #1 favorite era in history. For as long as I can remember I've been fascinated with anything related to ancient Egypt. The culture, the mythology, the mystery, the art... it all just speaks to me. Because of this you'd think that I would have read many historical fictions set in ancient Egypt but I actually haven't. I have read a few but mostly I've read nonfiction. Both is good of course so I will feature a little bit of fiction and nonfiction.


The Princess of Egypt Must Die by Stephanie Dray - 4/5★ {Mini review}
A short story about Arsinoe, the sister of the infamous Cleopatra.
The book is free on: 
Amazon | B&N | Kobo

Cleopatra's Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter  4/5★ {Review}
This book is about Cleopatra Selene, the daughter of Queen Cleopatra of Egypt and General Marcus Antonius of Rome who becomes a prisoner of Rome along with her siblings after her parents die.

Tales of Ancient Egypt  by Roger Lancelyn Green 4/5
This book includes stories of ancient Egypt's mythology among others, including one of the oldest Cinderella stories.

Before the Pyramids by Christopher Knight and Alan Butler 4/5
To be fair this isn't just a nonfiction about ancient Egypt only, it also includes explanations and information about an advanced pre-Ice Age civilization and sites like the henges of North Yorkshire. But still it counts. 


20th Century
Books set in the 20th century, especially the early 1900's has been a pretty recent new addiction of mine. I haven't read a whole lot of books set in this era but the ones I have read were all really amazing. I don't know why I suddenly am more interested in those books but there's just something about it.

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn - 5/5★ {My Review}
This brilliant novel about female spies set in 1918 and 1946 is my favorite 
book of the year and definitely a must-read. It was even voted for Reese 
Witherspoon's online bookclub as their July read.

The Artist's Muse by Kerry Postle - 4.5/5★ {My Review}
I was pleasantly surprised about this back when I read it last summer. The writing 
was absolutely gorgeous and the story moved me so much!

Mata Hari's Last Dance by Michelle Moran - 4/5★ {My Review}
I'm super intrigued by the life of Mata Hari. Was she a spy? Wasn't she? 
That's the big question, isn't it. I really can't get enough of reading 
books about her. The Spy by Paulo Coelho is also a good one.


The Ottoman Empire
I'm not sure where my fascination with the Ottoman Empire comes from but whenever I see a book that's set in it I just need to read it. I really can't resist. The rise of the Ottoman Empire started c. 1299 and was abolished in the 20 century. I also have to say most books I've read set in the Ottoman Empire also involve Vlad the Impaler, who I also love reading about.


And I Darken by Kiersten White - 5/5★ {My Review}
This is probably the most popular out of the bunch and my favorite. It's about a 
gender bended Vlad Dracula and it's just all around brilliant. The sequel was 
pretty great as well!

The Sultan, the Vampyr and the Soothsayer by Lucille Turner - 5/5★ 
This was another amazing story. It mostly revolved around the relationships of 
fathers and sons. In this case between Vlad Dracula and his father Vlad Dracul and between Mehmet and his father Murad. It was striking!

The Merchant's Pearl by Amie O'Brien - 4/5★ {My Review}
This one, unlike the others is set in the 19th century when the Ottoman Empire is 
declining so that alone made it different most others I've read. And also 
Jane Austen's books play a pretty big part of the story.

I haven't actually read this one yet but I know it's partly set in the Ottoman 
Empire so I just wanted to add it. It'll be my next read once I finish my current 
one. It sounds  really promising like a mix between historical fiction and science 
fiction. 




So that was it. I hope you all liked this post and that you found some new books to
add to your TBR. I'll post the second part soon because I have so much more 
favorite eras/topics to talk about. :D



Saturday, September 23, 2017

Stacking The Shelves: September 23, 2017

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly bookish meme hosted @ Tynga's Reviews & Reading Reality.



Water Touching Stone by Eliot Pattison
The Stonehenge Legacy by Sam Christer
The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolien
I found these three books on a fleamarket last weekend. The Stongehenge Legacy and The Fellowship of the Ring were 40 cents together and I got Water Touching Stone for free! :D



Freebies:
(still free on Amazon)
(still free on Amazon)

For Review:
The Nosferatu Chronicles: Origins by Susan Hamilton
The author send me a review request for this book and since it's set in 15th Century Transylvania I couldn't resist. It seems like a mix of scifi and historical fiction. Also, Vlad Dracula! (the historical one, not the vampire that Stoker created)




Have you read any of these books or which ones do you think look interesting? Let me know your thoughts.

Have a great weekend, everyone! ♥


Friday, September 22, 2017

Review: Iron Man: The Gauntlet by Eoin Colfer

Title: Iron Man: The Gauntlet
Author: Eoin Colfer
Publication: October 25th 2016 by Marvel Press
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo
Rating: 4/5

Tony Stark is known throughout the world as many things: billionaire, inventor, Avenger. But mainly for being the Invincible Iron Man.

Just when Tony is about to add his pizzazz to an international eco-summit in Ireland, someone close to him forces him to question his role in making the world a more dangerous place with his high-tech weaponry. But Stark doesn't have much time to reflect before an old enemy presents him with an even greater challenge: the assassination of all the eco-ministers, and Iron Man himself. Just how invincible Iron Man is when he is stripped of everything remains to be seen in this breathless adventure by the bestselling author of Artemis Fowl.


Honestly, I don't know how to review this book. First of all, since Eoin Colfer is my favorite author ever I should've read this book ages ago but other books kept coming in between. And then it took me ages to post this review. I know, shame on me! Second, it was so very awesome. Just like I had hoped. 

I don't want to get too much into the story because then I'd be giving too much away for sure but I can say that it's partly set on Little Saltee, which is obviously is very familiar (fans of his other books will totally get this!!!). I felt like a lot of Colfer's personality was definitely written into Tony Stark. So you can imagine the snark and wit was so very much on point. 

I don't knwo why but I felt like it also had a lot of Artemis Fowl vibes. Another reason why I enjoyed this story so much. It's classic Colfer! I can't tell you enough how many times I laughed out loud. It was really hilarious.

Overall, Iron Man: The Gauntlet was yet another great read by Eoin Colfer. Funny, with a lot of high-tech action as usual and unforgetable and witty characters, it's a must-read for young and old.


About Eoin:
Eoin Colfer (pronounced Owen) was born in Wexford on the South-East coast of Ireland in 1965, where he and his four brothers were brought up by his father (an elementary school teacher, historian and artist of note) and mother (a drama teacher). He first developed an interest in writing in primary (elementary) school with gripping Viking stories inspired by history he was learning in school at the time!

After leaving school he got his degree from Dublin university and qualified as a primary school teacher, returning to work in Wexford. He married in 1991 and he and his wife spent about 4 years between 1992 and 1996 working in Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Italy. His first book, Benny and Omar, was published in 1998, based on his experiences in Tunisia; it has since been translated into many languages. A sequel followed in 1999, followed by some other books (see below). Then in 2001 the first Artemis Fowl book was published and he was able to resign from teaching and concentrate fully on writing.

He says, “I will keep writing until people stop reading or I run out of ideas. Hopefully neither of these will happen anytime soon. He lives in Ireland with his wife and two children.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Review: Doctor Who: Myths and Legends by Richard Dinnick

Title: Doctor Who: Myths and Legends
Author: Richard Dinnick
Publication: 
June 29th 2017 by BBC Books
Genre: Science Fiction, Retellings
Purchase Links: Amazon | 
Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Google Play | Kobo
Rating: 4/5

For thousands of years, epic stories have been passed down from Time Lord to student, generation to generation. The truth of these tales was lost millennia ago, but the myths and legends themselves are timeless.

These are the most enduring of those tales. From the princess Manussa and her giant snake Mara, to the Vardon Horse of Xeriphin, these stories shed light on the universe around us and the beings from other worlds that we meet. Myths hold up a mirror to our past, present and future, explaining our culture, our history, our hopes and fears.

A collection of epic adventures from the Time Lords’ mist-covered past, Myths and Legends is an unforgettable gallery of heroes and villains, gods and monsters.


I'm a huge Whovian as well as a fan of mythology and legends so when I saw Doctor Who: Myths and Legends available on NetGalley I didn't hesitate to request it. Needless to say I was beyond thrilled when I got approved for this title. I'm also really glad that it ended up being as amazing as I hoped it would be. 

The book contains 14 short stories in the world of Doctor Who that are all retellings of certain mythology and legends that I'm sure everyone is familiar with. Some stories were better than others but I definitely liked them all. Some stories were even brilliant, in my humble opinion. My favorite story was The Enigma of Sisterhood. Below you'll find all the titles and my rating for the stories. Also contained in this book are some truly amazing illustrations made by Adrian Salmon. These were a big part of why I loved it so much. 

The titles of all the stories + my ratings for them:

The Mondas Touch {Based on the story of King Midas} 5/5 

The Terrible Manussa {Based on the story of Medusa} 4/5 

The Unwanted Gift of Prophecy {Based on the story of the Cumaean Sybil} 5/5 

The Evil and the Deep Black Sky {Based on the story of Cylla and Charybdis} 3/5 

Jorus and the Voganauts {Based on the Argonauts' encounter with the clashing rocks of Symplegades} 4/5 

The Vardon Horse {Based on the story of the Wooden Horse of Troy} 3/5 

Defiance of the New Bloods {Based on the story of Prometheus} 4/5 

The Kingdom of the Blind {Based on the Argonauts' escape from the Cyclops} 3/5 ★ 

The Labyrinthine Web {Based on the story of Theseus and the Minotaur} 4/5 

The Angels of Vengeance {Based on the story of the three Furies and Orestes} 5/5 

The Jeopardy of Solar Proximity {Based on the story of Daedalus and Icarus} 5/5 

The Multi-Faceted War {Based on the story of Hercules and the Hydra} 3/5 

The Enigma of Sisterhood {Based on the lesser-known second riddle of the Sphinx} 5/5 

Pandoric's Box {Based on the story of Pandora}  4/5 



Richard is a writer for TV, comics and books.

He is currently working on the TV show, Thunderbirds Are Go! and is a regular contributor to Titan's 12th Doctor ongoing comic - amongst other ranges.

His new Doctor Who book, Myths & Legends is published in June 2017.

In the past he has written audio drama scripts for franchises such as Doctor Who, Stargate, Sherlock Holmes and Sapphire & Steel.

His first novel Alien Adventures was published by BBC Children’s Books in 2010 and he has since gone on to write books and short stories for Penguin UK, Titan Publishing, Black Library, Running Press and Snow Books.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday: More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. It's based on Waiting On Wednesday hosted at Breaking the Spine.



More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer
Expected publication: March 6th 2018 by Bloomsbury Children's

From the author of Letters to the Lost comes a heart-wrenching story of two teens with big secrets and a love that could set them free.

Rev Fletcher is battling the demons of his past. But with loving adoptive parents by his side, he’s managed to keep them at bay...until he gets a letter from his abusive father and the trauma of his childhood comes hurtling back.

Emma Blue spends her time perfecting the computer game she built from scratch, rather than facing her parents’ crumbling marriage. She can solve any problem with the right code, but when an online troll’s harassment escalates, she’s truly afraid.

When Rev and Emma meet, they both long to lift the burden of their secrets and bond instantly over their shared turmoil. But when their situations turn dangerous, their trust in each other will be tested in ways they never expected. This must-read story will once again have readers falling for Brigid Kemmerer’s emotional storytelling.


Not only is Brigid Kemmerer an auto-buy author of mine but More Than We Can Tell features Rev from Letters to the Lost, which is my favorite book of hers. And Rev was actually my favorite characters from it as well. So I'm really looking forward towards this new release next year. It already has some really great feedback and even a starred review from Booklist.

About the covers: I featured both the UK (above) and US (below) covers but my favorite is the UK one. I can't even express how in love I am with that cover. The colors are so beautiful! With Letters to the Lost I also preferred the UK cover, so I'll definitely buy the UK one this time as well. 


What do you think of this title? Let me know in the comments!


♥ Holly's Boys ♥

Highly recommended story to check out!