Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Teaser tuesday: Going Viral by Amy Alward

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Ambrosia of The Purple Booker.
To play along just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Going Viral by Amy Alward.

Going Viral –
Simon & Schuster UK

‘Hey, you can’t remember everything. That’s why we have the internet.’
‘You can’t always access the internet, but I can always access my brain.’
— Chapter 15

This is what best friends do. They not only lift you up but they give you the tools to keep going even in the darkest moment. Her friendship, her love, becomes the armour that I wear against every kind of battle: external and internal.
— Chapter 27


From the beginning, this series has felt something like a feel-good, sit on the couch and enjoy being entertained dramedy show. This is the third book in the series but you could easily start with this one … only you’d miss at least a metric ton of fun that way.
This book picks up the aftermath of the final revelation in the previous book with a literal viral spread of a mysterious disease ailing the magically abled and only the very best alchemist will be able to discover not only the cure but the dark intent behind this threat. And all that on top of finding her place in the world, in her relationship, her heritage, and whatever else life decides to throw Sam’s way.
What I like most about this series, in general, is that the main character never doubts what she wants to do with her life. In a vocational manner. Sam is an alchemist to her very core and is willing to do anything for that future through doubts and setbacks to the point of almost failing but trusting in her ability to emerge triumphantly. And when she doubts, she does so in a constructive and problem-solving oriented way. This almost single-minded determination (or stubbornness) along with her wit has been very relatable from the very beginning.
I wonder a little about that possible fourth book, to be honest. This third one seems to be a fairly round and conclusive end. There is more left to tell but for once I could be alright with leaving the characters where they are now. Or wait, there is that one unresolved issue. And the more I think about it the more I can think about other things that could also use some more exploration. So where is that fourth book?

Vocation is such a great word because it encapsulates this feeling of being called to do/work something. And I think if you can work in a field that calls to you, that is one of the luckiest things of all. Have you found your vocation? When did you know for sure that this was something you wanted to pursue? Share your thoughts and teasers in the comments!

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Teaser Tuesday: That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Ambrosia of The Purple Booker.
To play along just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston.

That Inevitable Victorian Thing –
Dutton Books

“Nary a frog in sight.”
“It’s the ones out of sight I worry about with you.”
— Interlude

She would do right by him, and hope that he could, at the least, respect her for it. She was almost positive he would, but the heart – ah, the heart – was the least logical part of the human body.
— Chapter 17




If I start sounding a little old fashioned, I will entirely blame this book, which was an absolute delight to read for its slightly slow pace combined with its thoroughness. It’s a very alternate universe in which the British Empire continues to prevail but with the modern amenities and even more modern cultural views.
I took great pleasure in the royal undercover story and the slow burn friendship to more with not just one but in fact three complications. And the thought experiment of what would have happened if certain events in history had played out differently is always something I will readily engage in. This book especially obviously made an effort to be as accurate and credible as possible in its alternate history and that really paid off. The characters are front and centre, which is exactly how I like them in standalone stories.

If you had the option to change one historical event and visit (or live in) its aftermath, where/when would you use this power? For example how would today be different if Caesar hadn’t been hacked to death like the salad of the same name. Share your thoughts and teasers in the comments.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Teaser Tuesday: Death and Night by Roshani Chokshi

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Ambrosia of The Purple Booker.
To play along just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Death and Night by Roshani Chokshi.

Death and Night –
St. Martin’s Press

What property is left to dreamers when every idea has been tamed and conquered? What about the poet who dreams of embracing the night sky?
— Chapter 7

You are courageous and clever, creative and compassionate. But your doubts will ruin you if you let them. Choose happiness. Choose love.
— Chapter 9




There is this pesky holiday coming up that clever advertisers have turned into over-priced roses and cavity-inducing Hallmark card slogans. Not much love lost between that particular date and me. However, I will never say no to a sweet and clever love story.
I won’t even attempt to find a fitting description how Roshani Chokshi can craft magic with words and make your heart grow about three sizes if you’re so inclined. Of course, this novella is way too short. I could have read about Death and Night and their courting and wonderful love story for at least a hundred more pages. But wait, I already got to do that in The Star-Touched Queen, which now feels even more bittersweet for all the extra knowledge about how those two main characters really met and fell in love for the first time.
This is also so much more than a love story. Just like in the novel these characters function well enough on their own but through each other they start to question the status quo and grow so much. They are not better together but because of each other. I love it when Night discovers that she doesn’t need Death to be influential and powerful. And that Death can well keep himself guarded and aloof but the world is a more magical place if you encounter wonder from time to time. Safe is not the same as free.
Wonder and love and wit and banter, the perfect package if you ask me. I’ll take those letters over flowers and cards anytime.

My reading tracker just admonished me that I was falling behind on my challenge (which, by the way, is not true, I just can’t log what I’m reading you nosy machinery). Have you challenged yourself to a number of books/pages or anything this year? Share your thoughts and teasers in the comments.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Teaser Tuesday: Invictus by Ryan Graudin

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Ambrosia of The Purple Booker.
To play along just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Invictus by Ryan Graudin.

Invictus – Little, Brown Books
for Young Readers

His choices were the following:
1. Fade into the background. Be lost.
2. Step out into the thick of the crowd. Be seen.
3. Walk the line between.
— Chapter 2

If it was his attention she wanted, as she claimed, why run? And why run so fast?
— Chapter 9




As you may be aware from past experience (and you’ll get in a second why I just giggle-snorted while writing that), I’m slightly partial to books that involve history and/or time travel. So here we go again, this book had me hook, line, and sinker with the tag “The Future’s Hope is in the Past”. Given the fact that I’ve read one or two … or more such book there is little to no wiggle room on my favourites’ shelf in that category though I get the feeling that I might have to make room there somehow. The characters are a colourful mix of different personalities and since I have just met one of the main players (I suspect so at least), who is aggravatingly shrouding herself in a combination of glimpses and mystery I can’t actually say very much about them apart from my general impression that this is going to get even more interesting very soon.
The whole premise of travelling back in time to observe and under no circumstances altering anything versus travelling back to partake and possibly disturb the future is very complex and so far well developed. It will be interesting to see how this might shift as the story progresses as the back cover already hints at the fact that the past might not be as stable as the present might think it is … possibly learning this by way of the future. And that is just the big threat. The smaller one is the also very daunting black market dealer who has way too much power over the lives of the characters I already care for.
Big plus, in my eyes at least, is that this is a standalone book. I love my series (more than I can say) but sometimes it is also very nice to have the end immediately in sight. I can also guarantee that I most likely won’t be saying this by the end of the book when I’m not ready to let go. Yes, I am aware that I am a walking contradiction most of the time. Not contradictory at all is my desire for a pet red panda. I can completely understand why Saffron had to become part of the time travelling crew. They’re just so cute.

If you could have any animal (extinct or not, time travelling makes it possible) for a pet, what would it be? Sharwoollyr wooly mammoth love and teasers in the comments!

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Teaser Tuesday: Tarnished City by Vic James

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Ambrosia of The Purple Booker.
To play along just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Tarnished City by Vic James.

Tarnished City – Pan Books

‘I would say I’ve missed you,’ he said, raising a hand and lightly pushing the blade away from his neck. ‘But Mother instilled in me that a gentleman never lies.’
‘You’re no gentleman.’
— Chapter 6

She used to think ‘courage’ was a reckless, slightly stupid thing. She understood it a little better now. It was doing what was right, even when every shred of self-preservation screamed against it.
— Chapter 10


Be careful what you wish for, it might just come true. I distinctly remember that for the first book I said that I hoped for a more prominent role for a certain string pulling character. (Look here if you don’t believe me.) Well, let’s say I’m now equally happy about said more prominent role and also even more puzzled about what is going on and who has which motives. But in a really good way!
I’m not sure what the twists per page ratio is for other famous series but I’d bet that this one is quite high up among them. It’s probably all going to make sense at the end (or not, depending on where you stand) but I’m quite lost in this twisty labyrinth of allegiances and personal motives. And let’s not forget about debts and other enmeshments.
I was a little – or at one point a lot – thrown by the almost parenthetic death(s) of previously not-unimportant character(s). I understand that this is part of that almost feudal and basically heartless society yet I would have liked for a little more personal impact at least. This felt a little too just touched upon. I could have done without some of the details but that, too, adds to the overall impression of the society in this series. And also shines a spotlight on humanity in general. Or that part of us at least that has a destructive hive mentality because as horrible as it is, the events unfolding don’t seem unplausible if you take away the fantastic aspect.
There is also a host of new characters introduced in this book while others from the previous one take more of a backseat. I usually don’t like this practice too much (getting better at appreciating it though) but in this case, it not only made sense, it elevated the whole narration in my opinion. And I care quite a bit for whom I call the desolate castle thistle. Someone else has so fallen from grace I’m not sure if or how they could ever recover. Almost like they did a 180 while another character proved to live up to a feeling I had about them not being a totally lost cause. As I said: So!many!twists! I love it.
As my wishing worked out so well last time, I’ll attempt it again as I sure hope to a) uncover a certain string pulling character’s motivation and b) find out the story of said stubbornly brave thistle. I found several dates for book three but they seem to converge in summer 2018. Personally, I’m hoping for an early summer this year.

Have you ever had a bookish wish answered in the follow-up novel to an almost spooky degree? What was it and how did it feel for you? Share experiences and your teasers in the comments!