Nyx Book Reviews

fantasy ♥ paranormal ♥ horror ♥ science-fiction

A Week Off!

Hi lovely blog readers! I hope you are all well – and if you celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday, that you had a nice celebration. This is a short notification to let you know that I will be taking a break from the blog for a week, so I can get all of my ducks back in a row. Between the university work, actual work, and social obligations, I kind of lost track of myself. Therefore, I am taking a week to hopefully get back on top of things in all of the areas of my life.

And, hopefully, to do some super cool reading.

Stay awesome, and talk to you soon!

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The Sunday Post 22/11/15

Sunday PostThe Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba from The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I never realize how late in the year it is until I make my Christmas wishlist – which is what I did this week! It’s a struggle to come up with non-bookish gifts (although obviously, a large part of the list is books anyway). The weather is getting colder as well, which is okay, because that just means it’s so cozy inside, reading underneath a blanket!

This week was quite nice – for our five year anniversary, we went to eat sushi and watch Mockingjay Part Two. I think it’s my least favourite of all the Hunger Games movies. For some reason it was a slower, as if they ran out of material. I found the other movies to be more emotional as well, even though we all know the certain terrible thing that happens at the end of Mockingjay. It was still enjoyable, and I don’t regret going to see it.

Picture of the week on Instagram

This week on Nyx Book Reviews

This week’s discussion is very much about where we find our books, and how we decide what books to pick up. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic! The Unquiet leans heavily on the TV show Fringe, and I had some issues with the way it portrayed the main character in a violent society.

Read this week

In order to beat this stupid reading slump into submission, I have started the reread of Soulless. I loved this book when I read it the first time, and it turns out this lovely snarky book is exactly what I need. It’s light-hearted, sweet, and funny, and it really does remind me of Austen with a dash of werewolves, vampires, and clockwork.

Though I really enjoyed Soulless on first read, I never progressed to the other books in the series. I’m hoping that this time I can continue the series – which I can only imagine is just as nice.

How was your week?

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Review: The Unquiet by Mikaela Everett

Title: The Unquiet
Author: Mikaela Everett
Series: Standalone
Rating: 2 Stars

464 pages
Published September 22nd 2015 by Greenwillow Books
Review copy received from the publisher

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

The Unquiet makes me thoroughly uncomfortable. Not the story itself, even though the things the main character goes through are terrible, but the ethic implications the book makes. In a covert way, The Unquiet condones genocide, and I cannot accept that.

But first, the story itself.

Lira grows up in the cottages. She is from Earth II, the version of earth that is slowly disappearing. She and other children are being trained as sleepers on a special mission on Earth I. Slowly, it becomes clear what their mission truly encompasses.

Mythology-wise, The Unquiet leans heavily on the parallel-universe concept which was central to the TV show Fringe. Everything from the alternates, to one earth falling apart while the other lived on, reminded me of Fringe. Probably because I love that show so much and have watched it too many times, but still. Obviously the version in The Unquiet isn’t a carbon copy, but sometimes I wished it distinguished itself more from its source material, especially because the book provides very little world building in itself. It’s never explained why there are two parallel universes, or why the portals between them have formed. Or even more importantly, how can alternates talk to each other on the phone? Lira is not a scientist, but I would have liked some more insights into this.

The strongest point of The Unquiet is probably its atmosphere. The lyrical writing-style evokes a sort of dream-like state, and little pieces of the story are unveiled in a sequence that is not necessarily chronological. Lira’s thoughts are incredibly dark, and the result is a bleak story with only a few pin-pricks of happiness to carry us through. Unlike the deluge of dystopians we’ve had the last few years, there is no focus on romance. There isn’t even a romantic subplot until very late in the book (think last quarter), and even then, it fits naturally in the story. Overall, the story is pervaded with this gritty sense of realness, and the plight of Lira’s tough life.

Having discussed the story itself, which is actually pretty good, I’ll now turn towards what I think is highly problematic. If you want to be completely surprised about what the main part of the book is about, it might be a good idea to stop reading. The following doesn’t contain any spoilers for specific events, but it does say about about the direction the book takes after Lira leaves the cottages.

The main question, so to speak, of The Unquiet is whether someone who does bad things can still be a good person. And with bad things, I mean kill innocent people. With bad things, I mean knowingly participate in the systematic extermination of people. See where I’m going with this? The question is, can someone who participates in a genocide be a good person?

And this book says yes. This book says, if you’re trained to do this, if you’re broken beyond repair, if you rebel in the tiniest way possible and save a handful of people while you kill dozens of others, you are a good person.

The only thing I could think of in my head was that this book would say that people in the SS are good people.

I don’t care what you’re trained to do. I don’t care that you want to survive. I don’t care that you’re part of this system. Honestly, if you participate in the genocide because of all the pressure exerted on you, I can to a certain extent even understand. BUT THAT DOES NOT MAKE YOU A GOOD PERSON. YOU ARE NOT A GOOD PERSON. It means you have decided that the life of yourself, and maybe the lives of some people you love, are worth more than the dozens, maybe even hundreds of lives you take with your own hands.

There are always other options, and I hated the characters in The Unquiet for not considering them. I hated that they were passive, that they did what was asked of them, and that they didn’t try to change the system in a meaningful way. I didn’t care whether they’d succeed or not, I just wanted them to try.

Because in the end, I simply cannot accept them being “good people”. They’re not. And I don’t like the author for making that connection.


For most of her life, Lirael has been training to kill—and replace—a duplicate version of herself on a parallel Earth. She is the perfect sleeper-soldier. But she’s beginning to suspect she is not a good person.

The two Earths are identical in almost every way. Two copies of every city, every building, even every person. But the people from the second Earth know something their duplicates do not—two versions of the same thing cannot exist. They—and their whole planet—are slowly disappearing. Lira has been trained mercilessly since childhood to learn everything she can about her duplicate, to be a ruthless sleeper-assassin who kills that other Lirael and steps seamlessly into her life.

An intricate, literary stand-alone from an astonishing new voice, The Unquiet takes us deep inside the psyche of a strong teenage heroine struggling with what she has been raised to be and who she really is. Fans of eerily futuristic and beautifully crafted stories such as Never Let Me Go, Orphan Black, and Fringe will find themselves haunted by this unsettling debut.

Other reviews you might be interested in

Sources of Reading: Where Do You Find Your Books?


Book lovers enjoy many bookish things, but the feeling of discovering a wonderful new book or author might be one of the most satisfying ones in the book lover’s existence. When I was thinking about what books to put on my Christmas wishlist today, I started to wonder – how do I decide what books I want to have? How do I discover new books, and how do I differentiate between and navigate through the hundreds of books published every month?

The way I picture it, books form a vast network. Some books are connected by having the same author – others have similar subject matter, genre, tropes, or maybe even the publisher is of import. There are websites like Goodreads or Amazon that can be used to follow the strands of this complex web of interconnected books. Even such a humble little blog as mine has a role to play in this system. If you have noticed you have a similar taste in books as me, you might check out other books I also enjoyed. Other ways of discovering books might include random book shop or library browsing, or asking for recommendations on Twitter).

Through these ways we are all faced with an onslaught of titles, covers, and blurbs. When I think about how I pick the books I read, I realize that I often judge books by their covers. Not even necessarily on the basis of what I find to be a “pretty” cover, but the kind of cover a book has says a lot about a book. Epic fantasies tend to have illustrated cinematic covers, while young-adult fantasies are often more abstract or stylized. A cover says a lot about what a book is about. Secondly, I like checking on what shelves the book is shelved on Goodreads. I don’t like highly romantic books in general, which sometimes is obscured in the blurb. But the shelves never lie – so when a book is shelved as “romance” very often, I often decide not to bother.

But all of these techniques and methods aside, discovering a book seems to be part chance. You just have to “bump into” the right book. And like I’ve written about before, reading books is just like falling in love – sometimes everything is awesome, but other times, it just doesn’t work out. All in all, I’ve got some great experiences with finding books through Goodreads and the recommendations of bloggers, and even though I’m in a bit of a slump right now, I like most books I read.

How do you discover new books?

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The Sunday Post 15/11/15

Sunday PostThe Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba from The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

Hi everyone! Just a short Sunday Post this week because I’m not here. I left for a weekend-long camp hosted by a study association, where I will indulge in too little sleep and fun activities. When I get back on Sunday, I will go see Marilyn Manson in my home town! All in all I got myself a very nice weekend planned.

This week the new semester started, and as always I’ve been having some troubles getting back into the flow of things, and that had some consequences for my blogging and writing as well. But that’s okay, since there is always time to catch up :)

This week on Nyx Book Reviews

I picked out my reads for this month, which include a classic, a reread, and a Sanderson book!

Read this week

Nothing! Yet. Reading time oh reading time, whereto hast thou disappeared?

Well, that was indeed very short. Tell me, how was your week?

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November To Be Read

November books

Did you know I actually read three out of the four books I showed you guys last month? It came quite as a surprise for me, ha. I deem this to be read post thing a success, which is why I decided to make one for this month as well.

At the moment I’m really struggling with finding time and motivation to read. When I open a book, I generally just feel blah. Nothing has been catching my interest lately, and I find myself choosing to do nothing on train rides rather than picking up a book. Hopefully this month’s picks will make me feel a bit more passionate about reading again.

Utopia by Thomas More

We’re reading Utopia in class, and it’s a bit dull to be honest, but the book is blissfully tiny, and I already know it’s going to feel so good to finish any book. It describes an island called Utopia, in which the “perfect” society is created. If you think a society where there is absolutely no personal freedom is perfect, in any case. Also interesting is that Utopia was originally written in Latin (while I obviously read it in an English translation).

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

So Mistborn and me did not work out. But. I love big fantasy books, and one night I got bored and picked this bad boy called The Well of Ascension up. Who knows, maybe my second venture into the brave world of Sanderson fiction is more successful?

Soulless by Gail Carriger

When I was thinking about my current reading habits, I realized that it might be a good idea to read something I know I’m going to like. I loved Soulless the first time I read it, and I’m looking forward to revisiting this lovely mash-up of steampunk and paranormal. Last time I read it, I never got onto the second book. Now I actually own the second book, so I hope the reread will compel me read the rest of the Parasol Protectorate series as well.

What are you reading this month?

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The Sunday Post 08/11/15

Sunday PostThe Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba from The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

Ahhhhhh! Hear that long sigh of relief? Well, that is me – after finally having had a week off from university. I passed both courses of this block! I took this week to have some good old relaxing time, get caught up on work, and start writing for Nanowrimo.

Speaking of which! This year I’m doing a sort of mini-Nanowrimo, where I try to write a few short stories during the month of November. If you’re curious about what I’m working on right now, check out my Wattpad account. You can read what I’ve written for the first story called “The Inverse” on there.

Picture of the week on Instagram

This week on Nyx Book Reviews

Mini reviews for all of the classics are up this week! I really enjoyed this bunch, so check that post out. I’ve also reviewed a science-fiction classic as part of the month-long event of #RRSciFiMonth – a book which inspired the movie Blade Runner. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but the book was good.

Read this week

My week was filled with binge-watching Netflix rather than reading. I already read so much during the semester that it felt good to not have to look at words for a while.

The book that I did read was by one of the lovely ladies who always makes me feel good when I read her book: Jane Austen!

This summer I blogged about my experiences with Austen, and Persuasion has only cemented my opinion of her. Her books are full of wit and charm, and engage me even when I’m not feeling very excited about reading in general.

How was your week?

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Review: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

Title: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Author: Philip K. Dick
Series: Standalone
Rating: 4 Stars

193 pages
Published March 2010 by Gollancz

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is a science-fiction classic from the 1960s that has been largely forgotten outside of the genre.

After World War Terminus, Earth is covered in radioactive dust, destroying the ecosystem. Most people have emigrated to the colony on Mars. Rick is one of those who stayed behind. He is a bounty hunter charged with killing androids that have escaped from Mars. After his superior hunter is hospitalized, it’s up to him to “retire” a few dangerous and near-human androids.

I haven’t read a lot of science-fiction, but the genre in general appeals to me in how it treats philosophical concepts. Do Androids Dream is a fantastic example of this. While the book could have easily been a action-packed novel with many fighting scenes and chasing androids across the galaxy, it’s much more concerned with ideas. Though I’m slightly hesitant to use this label, but I think the book has many elements of literary fiction. It’s incredibly layered and the easy-to-read plot keeps the book accessible.

Among other things, Do Androids Dream is concerned with identity, empathy, and ultimately, what makes us human. There is a dash of religion, but while it was inspired by Christianity to a limited extent, it’s served with a big heap of post-modernity, making it much more palatable to my agnostic tastes. There is a lot going on in this book, but I never felt overwhelmed. Mr Dick writes in a clear, though sometimes surrealistic, style. The book isn’t much concerned with futuristic tech, but some of the inventions made me chuckle.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is a book that makes you think, something all good science-fiction does. I would love to reread this book with my academic-reader hat on, because there is still so much to discover. Would recommend it for readers who enjoyed Brave New World.


World War Terminus had left the Earth devastated. Through its ruins, bounty hunter Rick Deckard stalked, in search of the renegade replicants who were his prey. When he wasn’t ‘retiring’ them with his laser weapon, he dreamed of owning a live animal — the ultimate status symbol in a world all but bereft of animal life.

Then Rick got his chance: the assignment to kill six Nexus-6 targets, for a huge reward. But in Deckard’s world things were never that simple, and his assignment quickly turned into a nightmare kaleidoscope of subterfuge and deceit -and the threat of death for the hunter rather than the hunted…

Other reviews you might be interested in

Classics Mini Reviews #1

Title: Jane Eyre
Author: Charlotte Bronte
First Publication: 1847

Jane Eyre starts with Jane’s terrible childhood and the awful conditions she faces at school, until she becomes a governess. Though I’m nothing like her at all, I like Jane. She doesn’t mind following the path others lay down for her, but when that path goes against her principles, she takes a strong stance. The religious overtones were a bit too much for me at times, but I love how heartfelt Jane’s thoughts were. Great novel.

Rating: 4 Stars

Find out more on Goodreads


Title: A Gentle Creature and Other Stories
Author: Fyodor Dostoyevsky
First Publication: 1876

I really enjoyed these three novellas. “White Nights” is about a chance meeting, about a man who lives with his head in my butts and a woman waiting for her beloved to return his affections after a year’s absence. I loved how the turn of events in this novella was so realistic and truthful, instead of contrived such as we tend to be used to as a reader.

“A Gentle Creature” is a monologue of a man whose wife has just died. His thoughts churn around and around in his head, and he tries everything to be absolved from his own blame.

The narrator of “The Dream of a Ridiculous Man” has reached rock bottom. He has decided to kill himself with a revolver, but before he has a chance to, he has a dream.

All three of these stories are personal, zoomed in on the character’s inner thoughts. Dostoyevsky is attributed with being the best psychologist to have ever existed, and the way he can represent human thoughts is fantastic. His novels can be a bit long winded, so this collection of novellas is perfect for someone looking for a taste of his work.

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Find out more on Goodreads


Title: Persuasion
Author: Jane Austen
First Publication: 1818

Lovely novel – and the fifth Jane Austen book I have read. Persuasion does feel more mature than her other novels – I vastly prefer it over Sense & Sensibility, and it’s less light-hearted than Emma and Northanger Abbey. I like Anne, and seeing her finally reunited with her true love is touching. Though I appreciate the writing of Persuasion more than that of some of Austen’s earlier novels, I felt like I could connect less well with Anne than some of her other heroines.

Rating: 4 Stars

Find out more on Goodreads


Title: The Scarlet Letter
Author: Nathaniel Hawthorne
First Publication: 1850

A tale of a woman marked by the sin of intercourse outside of marriage and the Puritan community that will never let her forget it. Hawthorne’s prose is incredibly lofty and high-brow, but it has a certain beauty that reminds me of early Romanticism. Though I don’t share the ideas towards religion and sin that the characters of The Scarlet Letter espouse, I enjoyed the novel for what it is. The story itself is actually quite simple, but it is couched in heart-felt purple prose.

Rating: 4 Stars

Find out more on Goodreads

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The Sunday Post 01/11/15

Sunday PostThe Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba from The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

Hi all! Long time no see. I fell into the pitch black pit called academia again, but I emerge relatively unscathed. I had a tough two weeks finishing final assignments and essays, but I think I did relatively well overall. Which means I can enjoy my first week off since the summer holidays! It’s already pretty packed with plans, but they’re good ones. It’s very nice not having to think about historical theories for a little while.

I hope everyone had a fantastic Halloween! We celebrated it on Wednesday already. I wanted to dress up as Alice from Madness Returns but I couldn’t find some essential parts of the costume. So instead I just went as dead person, like everyone else. The actual Halloween I spent inside, watching Big Hero 6 and reading Jane Austen – a perfect night, if you ask me.

Picture of the week on Instagram

What do you mean, there is blood on my shirt? I love Halloween

Picture by Celine (@celinelien) on

This week on Nyx Book Reviews

I had a bit of a scheduling mishap, so no review went up this Friday. Oh well. I did write two discussion posts – one on my ideas about ereaders and kids these days, and one in which I recommend all of the best YA fantasy books. I’m also halfway in the Monster Haven series, a very cute light urban fantasy that I highly recommend.

This week on Irresponsible Cactus

Nanowrimo is a lovely event for writers – but very hard to combine with studying full time. So I’m going to do a bit of a self-challenge this November, trying to write a few short stories rather than committing to a full length novel.

Read this week


A bit of a mixed bag in terms of reading these last two weeks. I was pleasantly surprised by the first volume of Fables – the art style never appealed to me, but once I started reading, the story was enough to keep me interested. I’m looking forward to reading more Fables in the future. Murder-on-Sea is a mystery with a bit of a Christmas theme. I know it’s still really early for that, but I quite enjoyed it. Sanctum was a bit of a disappointment. Not only was it not scary, the plot didn’t seem to go anywhere and the characters were still as flat as a pancake.

How was your week?

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