Book Review: Girls of Paper and Fire

A group of enslaved girls rise up to fight for their dreams in this lush and diverse young adult fantasy | Review by Nandini @ Unputdownable Books

Author: Natasha Ngan

Genre: Fantasy

Age Range: 13+

Published: By Hodder & Stoughton on November 6th, 2018

Content Warning: Sexual assault, rape, violence and death

Format I Read: Kindle e-book

Grade: Exceeds expectations

Book Review: Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (post graphic image)

Book Synopsis (section header)

Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most persecuted class of people in Ikhara. Ten years ago, her mother was snatched by the royal guards, and her fate remains unknown. Now, the guards are back and this time it’s Lei they’re after – the girl with the golden eyes, whose rumoured beauty has piqued the king’s interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but oppressive palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit a king’s consort. There, Lei does the unthinkable – she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens her world’s entire way of life. Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.

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The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide: Sci-fi and Fantasy Books (2018)

The holidays are coming! I personally don’t celebrate but I love how generous people get around this time of the year. If you are doing some last minute shopping and need to get something for the special speculative fiction lover you know, I’ve put together a list of 10 books to choose from to make your job easier. I have picked out books that I think everyone will enjoy, but certain titles may not be universally suitable, in which case I’ve mentioned who might particularly like it. It is divided by age range and mostly contain books that have come out this year. I hope that this helps you to pick out the perfect gift!

Holiday Gift Guide 2018

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Book Review: The Book of M

Title: The Book of M

Author: Peng Shepherd

Genre: Adult fantasy

Format: Kindle e-book

Published: By HarperCollins Publishers on June 28th, 2018

ISBN13: 9780008225629

Grade: Exceeds expectations

Note: I received a free digital ARC of the book via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review

The Book of M

Synopsis

One afternoon at an outdoor market in India, a man’s shadow disappears—an occurrence science cannot explain. He is only the first. The phenomenon spreads like a plague, and while those afflicted gain a strange new power, it comes at a horrible price: the loss of all their memories.

Ory and his wife Max have escaped the Forgetting so far by hiding in an abandoned hotel deep in the woods. Their new life feels almost normal, until one day Max’s shadow disappears too. Knowing that the more she forgets, the more dangerous she will become to Ory, Max runs away. But Ory refuses to give up the time they have left together. Desperate to find Max before her memory disappears completely, he follows her trail across a perilous, unrecognizable world.

As they journey, each searches for answers: for Ory, about love, about survival, about hope; and for Max, about a new force growing in the south that may hold the cure.

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10 Signs You’re a Tolkien Nerd

Happy Hobbit Day, free people of Middle-Earth! I’m so glad that it falls on a Saturday so I can marathon the movies and fulfil my goal of watching the movies every year. I wanted to write a post about how to throw the perfect Hobbit Day party, but I’m not much of a party person and realised I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to write a post like that.  If you’re a fan just like I am, you’re probably nodding along enthusiastically as I outline my plans. But how far does your obsession go? Are you a book purist or do you brag about how you’ve watched the Oscar award-winning movies? I’ve put together a list of book-related and movie-related points to help you quantify your love for all things Tolkien. It mostly centres on The Lord of the Rings series, Tolkien’s most famous work. For every one ‘yes’ you get one point and at the end you can tally up your scores to see measure your fandom score! Please note that this is just for fun and I’m not trying to imply anyone is a lesser fan if they haven’t done any of these.

STRM - Tolkien Nerd Signs

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Book Review: The Burning Maze

Title: The Burning Maze (The Trials of Apollo #3)

Author: Rick Riordan

Genre: Middle grade mythological fiction

Format: Hardcover

Published: By Disney-Hyperion on May 1st, 2018

ISBN13: 9781368024129 (US Hardcover edition)

Grade: Outstanding

The Burning Maze

Synopsis

The formerly glorious god Apollo, cast down to earth in punishment by Zeus, is now an awkward mortal teenager named Lester Papadopoulos. In order to regain his place on Mount Olympus, Lester must restore five Oracles that have gone dark. But he has to achieve this impossible task without having any godly powers and while being duty-bound to a confounding young daughter of Demeter named Meg.

With the help of some demigod friends, Lester managed to survive his first two trials, one at Camp Half-Blood, and one in Indianapolis, where Meg received the Dark Prophecy. The words she uttered while seated on the Throne of Memory revealed that an evil triumvirate of Roman emperors plans to attack Camp Jupiter. While Leo flies ahead on Festus to warn the Roman camp, Lester and Meg must go through the Labyrinth to find the third emperor—and an Oracle who speaks in word puzzles—somewhere in the American Southwest. There is one glimmer of hope in the gloom-filled prophecy: ‘The cloven guide alone the way does know’. They will have a satyr companion, and Meg knows just who to call upon…

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Popcorn Chat: The Hobbit vs The Lord of the Rings

Welcome to another post in my ongoing September Tolkien Reading Month series! Truth be told, many have found their way to Tolkien because of the mega blockbusters The Lord of the Rings movies turned out to be. It’s the same for me too as I watched the movies as a young girl of ten and have since declared my undying love for everything Middle-Earth. Imagine my surprise and excitement when Peter Jackson decided to adapt The Hobbit onto the silver screen too! I watched the second and third parts in the theatre surrounded by friends and buckets of popcorn. Although watching on the big screen was an experience of its own, I still like The Lord of the Rings adaptation much better without a shadow of doubt. In this post, I want to discuss what makes The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy a classic and The Hobbit movies a pale shadow in comparison.

Note: This post contains spoilers for the movies as well as the books!

STRM - The Hobbit vs LotR
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Book Review: The Serpent’s Secret

Title: The Serpent’s Secret (Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond #1)

Author: Sayantani DasGupta

Genre: Middle grade mythological fiction

Format: Hardcover

Published: By Scholastic on February 27th, 2018

ISBN13: 9781338185706 (US Hardcover edition)

Grade: Outstanding

The Serpent's Secret

Synopsis

On the morning of her twelfth birthday, Kiranmala is just a regular sixth grader living in Parsippany, New Jersey… until her parents mysteriously vanish and a drooling rakkhosh demon slams through her kitchen, determined to eat her alive. Turns out there might be some truth to her parents’ fantastical stories-like how Kiranmala is a real Indian princess and how she comes from a secret place not of this world.

To complicate matters, two crush-worthy princes ring her doorbell, insisting they’ve come to rescue her. Suddenly, Kiran is swept into another dimension full of magic, winged horses, moving maps, and annoying, talking birds. There she must solve riddles and battle demons all while avoiding the Serpent King of the underworld and the Rakkhoshi Queen in order to find her parents and basically save New Jersey, her entire world, and everything beyond it…

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