Nyx Book Reviews

fantasy ♥ paranormal ♥ horror ♥ science-fiction

Top Ten Favourite TV Shows

toptentuesdayThis feature is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s theme is Books People Have Been Telling You That You MUST Read. However, since this week’s theme has a lot of books in common with last week’s top ten, I decided to do an older one: Top Ten Favourite TV Shows. In no particular order these are:

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  1. Fringe – We’re currently watching the fourth season and it’s SO GOOD. Best science-fiction TV series I’ve seen
  2. Friends – My comfort-show. I’ve watched all the episodes so many times I can practically talk along, but they’re still so funny
  3. Gilmore Girls – I want to move to Stars Hollow when I grow up
  4. Supernatural – Paranormal shows are so hard to get right, especially since Supernatural deals with characters like the Devil, Death and angels, yet they make it work
  5. Murdoch Mysteries – This Canadian historical detective is cute and funny and I love watching this
  6. Heroes – This series is really epic in scope and very engaging. I’m at season three now, and I’m sad that I’ll be over soon
  7. New Girl – I’m not really into most of the “new” comedy shows, but New Girl is the perfect combination of funny, awkward and recognisable
  8. Once Upon a Time – Faerie tales in the contemporary world! Sometimes this show is a bit too sappy for me, but I generally really enjoy it
  9. Game of Thrones – What a surprise! A fantasy lover that loves Game of Thrones. I hope this paves the way for more fantasy on television, I would love to see more of my favourite books turned into shows
  10. The Big Bang Theory – Can you believe this show is already in its eighth season? Big Bang Theory is great for short breaks of mindless geeky fun

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Review Rewind: Lord Loss by Darren Shan

The original review of this book was posted on 30/07/2010.

Title: Lord Loss
Author: Darren Shan
Series: Demonata #1
Rating: 4 Stars

224 pages
Published April 1st 2006 by HarperCollins Children’s Books
Bought

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

I love Darren Shan. I loved his vampire series (although I read the last page first, and when I saw the ending spoiled I didn’t dare to finish the book). Lord Loss is the first book in a new series about the Demonata. And I’m proud of Darren, because this is a completely new series. It doesn’t feel like Cirque du Freak at all. The only similarity is the first person narration.

This book follows Grubbitsch Grady, who likes to be called Grubbs. I immediately fell in love with the name Grubbs. Been thinking about calling my kids like that. Anyway, Grubbs’s family bears a secret. Grubbs notices his parents and sister acting weird. He knows there is something going on, and when he is shipped off to aunt Kate, he walks back home to find out what is going on. At home, he is the witness of something terrible. His dad, head chopped off. His mom, in a pool of blood. His sister, used as a puppet by a demon. Like a miracle, Grubbs escapes the slaughter. And that’s only the beginning.

This book has a warning on the back, and for the first time I really thing the book deserves the warning. This book is scary. It’s disturbing and gross. It’s amazing. This book is not childish at all. The writing style is short and simple in places, to pick up some speed, and descriptive and extensive in other places, to set the scene.

This is a quick, surprisingly dark read.

Looking back

Over the course of four years, I’ve read seven out of the ten books this series has. Although I’ve been slowly outgrowing the age category Shan writes for (which is a horror-loving upper middle grade), these books are still pretty greatI don’t know which series I like better – Demonata or Cirque du Freak; Cirque has more lovable characters, but the Demonata ones are a lot darker which I enjoy as well. I can’t wait to read the last three books in this series.

Blurb

When Grubbs Grady first encounters Lord Loss and his evil minions, he learns three things: the world is vicious, magic is possible, demons are real. He thinks that he will never again witness such a terrible night of death and darkness. He is wrong.

Other reviews you might be interested in

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You’re Cordially Invited for The Book Club That Doesn’t Read

book club laagI’ve been in two book clubs for a short amount of time – but for one others gave up quickly, and the other didn’t work out for my schedule. Book clubs are awesome. Getting together to talk about books and other things, just to rant or rave about the novels we’ve read sounds like every book lover’s dream. However, it’s hard to get a group of people together, and even harder to fit in a book to read together during a month.

So, if you’re like me and you always fail to read the books you’ve promised to read, yet you do want to have monthly chats with book lovers, join the Book Club That Doesn’t Read!

So what does that mean?

  • There will be a chat every month. We’ll find a time by using planning software so we can find a moment that works for everyone
  • The chats will be at least one hour – but if you feel like staying and talk some more that’s great
  • We’ll either use Skype or Google Hangouts. It really depends on the general consensus, I think it would be fun to do voice chat but if others aren’t comfortable with that we’ll use the text chat feature
  • We’ll talk about anything bookish! I’ll think of some themes and questions every month to break the ice, but all suggestions are welcome
  • There are no obligatory reads. Ever.
  • Everyone is welcome. Even if I don’t know you well, feel free to sign up! I’d love to meet you (:
  • It doesn’t matter what kind of books you like. Be it fantasy, YA, classics or erotica, all book lovers are invited
  • The first chat will be in early September

Does that sound good to you? Sign up using this form!

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Review Rewind: The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

The original review of this book was posted on 27/07/2010

Title: The Blade Itself
Author: Joe Abercrombie
Series: The First Law #1
Rating: 4 Stars

517 pages
Published October 2009 by Gollancz
Bought

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

This book follows several characters in their struggle with the hard world this story is set in. We meet Logen, aka the Bloody-Nine (he only has nine fingers left), a barbarian who doesn’t seek out trouble, but well, trouble finds him. Then there is Glokta, a cripple Inquisitioner that doesn’t do much asking, but more torturing instead. We also follow Captain Luthar in his struggle to become the winner of the annual Contest. A small role is for Mayor West, and his sister Ardee. And then, the person that connects all these people: the mysterious First of the Magi Bayaz. Also notable is his sickly assistant, Quai.

There are so many characters in this book, and at first that is rather annoying because it makes it harder to really get to know them, but as I continue reading, it struck me that this really is the strength of this book, because they actually are all interesting and have so much depth, that they indeed deserve a story of their own.

Thumbs up for Mr. Abercrombie for the highly original fantasy story he has created. It is hard to write in a genre like fantasy, where is written so much and almost everything has been done before, and still he manages to write a book that feels refreshing.

Be warned though: this book contains a lot of dark humour. If you don’t appreciate that, please don’t read this. If you can’t handle torture, don’t bother trying it. This is not for the weakly minded.

Looking back

At the time I read a lot of fantasy, and although I really enjoyed The Blade Itself, it didn’t stand out much, except maybe for its grossness. I’m quite impressed now by how much I still know about what happened in this book, and how the characters somehow became imprinted on my concious. The other two books in this series have been waiting for my attention for years, and I hope I will be able to get to them soon. Rereading the blurb and my review makes me want to continue the adventures of Logan, Glokta, and the other dozens of great characters by Abercrombie.

The scene that I remember best is when Glokta tortures someone by chopping off someone’s fingers. Ick.

Blurb

Logen Ninefingers, the infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, his friends dead and his future bleak, he could be staring at death for the last time. But it’s the dead who will offer him a final chance — someone out there still has plans for the Bloody-Nine.

Captain Jezal dan Luthar, paragon of selfishness, has little more dangerous in mind seizing glory in the fencing circle. But war is brewing, the army is mobilising, and on the battlefields of the frozen North they fight by altogether bloodier rules.

Inquisitor Glokta, cripple turned torturer, would be delighted to see Jezal come home in a box. But then he hates everyone. Cutting treason out of the heart of the Union one confession at a time leaves little room for friendships — and his latest trail of corpses could lead straight to the rotten heart of government…if he can stay alive long enough to follow it…

Other reviews you might be interested in

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Top Ten Books I’m Not Sure I Want To Read

toptentuesdayThis feature is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s theme is books I’m not sure I want to read. In no particular order these are:

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  1. Rapture by Lauren Kate – I read the first three Fallen books when I just started blogging, and I’m afraid I might have outgrown them. I don’t think I’ll enjoy Rapture as much as I would have back then
  2. Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick – Another series I started when it came out. Hush, Hush has gotten a pretty bad reputation as condoning rapist behaviour, and I think this series is probably ruined for me
  3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – I’ve read and loved three Jane Austen books, but I keep putting it off to read P&P. What if it doesn’t live up to my expectations?
  4. White Cat by Holly Black – The Curse Worker books come so highly recommended, but I’m afraid they might not be for me
  5. Narcissus in Chains by Laurell K. Hamilton – The first Anita books are great, but from here on the fans get divided. Some call this book the first departure into pure shittiness. Eek
  6. The Selection by Kiera Cass – This series has the potential to be either awesome or absolute crap
  7. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis – I honestly didn’t really enjoy The Magician’s Nephew. Maybe I’m just too old to get into the Narnia thing?
  8. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - Gone Girl is heralded to be the best book ever, but the premise doesn’t draw me in. It comes so highly recommended though, so I’m not sure what to do with this one
  9. Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris – This is the last book in a 13-book long series. I already kind of know how it ends, but still, it will feel so final when I read Dead Ever After
  10. The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa – This is the sequel to The Immortal Rules, which I thought was pretty good. However, I’m not really interested at all to continue the story line; it seems to me they will be walking for another 400 pages

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Review: The Army of the Lost by Lily Herne

Title: The Army of the Lost
Author: Lily Herne
Series: Mall Rats #3
Rating: 3 Stars

329 pages
Published April 17th 2014 by Much-in-Little
Review copy received from the publisher

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

The Army of the Lost is the third book in the Mall Rats series, and marks a departure from the usual setting of the books. I’m a big fan of the series, but the elements that make these books so much fun for me were party missing from this one.

As they left Cape Town in the last book, the Mall Rats find themselves near Johannesburg in The Army of the Lost. Although there are no Resurrectionists here, and the people are relatively safe from zombies, the living conditions are terrible, and they have returned to slavery. The Mall Rats are split up, and each of them have to fight their own battles.

It’s easy for me to pin-point exactly where this book went wrong for me. Instead of the usual banter and family-like feeling we have in Deadlands and Death of a Saint, all of the main characters are separated in The Army of the Lost. Instead, a dozen new characters are introduced, and two new points of view is added to the narrative. Death of a Saint ended on quite the cliffhanger, and all I wanted was to dive into this one – and then it felt like I encountered the fictional equivalent of a brick wall. Instead of the fast-paced beginning I was expecting, I got all these different points of few, and tons of exposition because all the characters are in new environments.

I honestly couldn’t care for the inhabitants of Sandtown. Their plight is probably the worst so far, but I wasn’t interested, and all I wanted was to get the group back together and send them to Cape Town.

It took me months to get through the first part of the book. The only reason I’m still giving The Army of the Lost three stars is because the speed did pick up around halfway. It looks like we’re finally getting some answers (something that doesn’t happen often in zombie books). I’m starting to see the bigger picture, and understand now that this small detour book does have a purpose.

I’m sad that this book wasn’t what I was expecting, but I’m still invested in the fate of most of our characters (though one of them is annoying me to death). The fourth book is scheduled to come out in a few months, and I’ll try to get my little hands on that one as well.

Blurb

One of us is dead, one of us is broken, one of us will betray the others and one of us will have to sell her soul to survive . . .

Eleven years after South Africa was ravaged by the walking dead, most of Johannesburg’s survivors are forced to scratch out a living in the filth of Sandtown, an enclave in the old Sandton City mall, ruled over by a minority of rich, self-serving bureaucrats. Tommy, a bullied fourteen-year-old Sandtownite, dreams of joining the Army of the Left, a radical organisation intent on setting the city free of the dead that lurch around its walls. But fate has other plans for him . . .

Betrayed by one of their closest allies and sold to the highest bidder, Lele, Ash, Ember and Ginger – the remaining Mall Rats – find themselves sucked into the dark heart of Jozi’s twisted political system. While Ash is forced to face his traumatic past and Ginger struggles to regain his sanity, Lele goes head to head against Jozi’s most powerful manipulator – a man who has sinister plans for her. Meanwhile, left for dead on the outskirts of Jozi, Saint begins her own journey. A journey that she hopes will provide the answers to all of the Mall Rats’ unanswered questions …

Other reviews you might be interested in

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Black Dagger Brotherhood Summer: Guest Post by Joy

As part of the Black Dagger Brotherhood Summer I’ve got going on these months, Joy from Joyous Reads has agreed to share her BDB experiences! Her favourite couple also happens to be my favourite couple, heh.

Guest Post

There are literally several thousands of vampire books that have been published in our lifetime. So many, that there isn’t a concrete number to date. The vampire lore has been – and I think – will always be written and re-written because there is something seductive about its evil roots. From Dracula, to The Vampire Chronicles, and the recently more virological version from Guillermo del Torro, the vampire lore will always be of interest in Literature. Whether you prefer them romanticized or with a more sinister flare, we will always have an affinity for these blood-sucking predators.

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Four years ago, I saw a much-to-do about a book I wasn’t at all familiar with at the time. Several of the people I follow on Twitter were talking about how excited they were of a certain book’s release. In all honesty, I wasn’t at all impressed with the title: Lover Mine. It’s one of those books that I wouldn’t dare read in public, for sure. Even so, I ended up picking up the book on my next bookstore jaunt. Little did I know that this book was actually number 8 of a series that have an innate following already. Someone on Twitter told me of this fact. She suggested I read the series in order. I picked up Dark Lover and read it one day. The rest, as they say, is history. I’ve been a big fan ever since.

Every year, The Black Dagger Brotherhood series tops my list of most-anticipated release. It has been the greatest source of my excitement and dread. Coming in late into the game, the first eight books of the series have somewhat become a gift of sorts; something that can be compared to as opening a present wrapped in a bow. I never knew what to expect.

Almost predictably, Zsadist and Bella’s story immediately became my favorite. Zsadist is what you could call as a tortured hero. He aimed to be bad, and has the predisposition to punish himself. Indeed, self-flagellation was what he excelled in. That is until he met Bella. The attraction, though instantaneous, was met with a lot of contention from the Brothers. Zsadist, after all, was the most dangerous, fierce, and careless among all. When you don’t have anything to lose, you tend to live without much purpose. When he met Bella, the fight became a battle of wills for him. In spite of himself, Zsadist couldn’t deny the attraction. However, he couldn’t see himself deserving of something pure and beautiful.

Bella put up a good fight, not with herself but against Zsadist. The more he pushed her away, the more Bella saw the good in him. If you think Bella has prostrated herself for the affection of one man, you will be wrong. In fact, Bella is one of the strongest heroines in this series. Her strength came from her ability to care for a man so broken; he couldn’t see past his scars. Her strength came from her stubborn will to love him even if he can’t love himself. Hers was not martyrdom. Hers was a love meant to withstand Zsadist’s self-hate.

There are currently 12 books out in this series; each one offering its own brand of addiction. Some say this series have become a copycat of each proceeding books (I disagree). JR Ward manages to give me something to look forward to every year. So much so, that I dread the day she decides she’d had enough of Caldwell, New York.

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Review Rewind: The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis

The original review of this book was posted on 10/07/2010.

Title: The Magician’s Nephew
Author: C.S. Lewis
Series: The Chronicles of Narnia #1
Rating: 3 Stars

221 pages
Published May 4th 2005 by HarperCollins
Bought

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

The Magician’s Nephew is the prequel to the famous Narnia Chronicles. It has been written in 1955, five years after the best known book in the series, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It’s actually the first Narnia book I have read because I decided to read the books in chronological order.

The story begins in London around 1900. Two children, Digory Kirke and Polly Plummer, meet while playing in the adjacent gardens of a row of terraced houses. They decide to explore an attic connecting the houses, but take the wrong door and surprise Digory’s Uncle Andrew in his study.

The evil Uncle Andrew then sends Polly to a different world, and forces Digory to go after her. This is the beginning of a series of adventures caused by Magic.

I kind of thought this book to be quite slow for a children’s book. Maybe it’s because I had the wrong idea when I started reading, but I wouldn’t read this book first. It is more about explaining where the Witch comes from and how Narnia took shape than that it’s an enjoyable stand alone story. It takes way too long before we finally arrive in Narnia, and when we do, we see more of the environment (which is quite okay) than of the inhabitants (which are way more interesting). This book did have some brilliant moments (like planting the Uncle.. I actually giggled at that part), and I didn’t found the Christian references troublesome at all. They gave the story a nice classic mythological touch that I liked. And of course, in the end, everything works out. (Except for the Witch problem, we still need her in the next book).

It has potential, and I hope The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe proves to be the real classic it is labelled as.

Looking back

I honestly remember very, very little of this book. Admittedly, it has been nearly four years since I read it, but I feel like it should have been more memorable. My first foray into the world of Narnia was disappointing, and I haven’t ventured back since. I’m honestly considering to just see the movie instead of reading the rest of the Narnia stories in my copy.

Blurb

When Digory and Polly are tricked by Digory’s peculiar Uncle Andrew into becoming part of an experiment, they set off on the adventure of a lifetime. What happens to the children when they touch Uncle Andrew’s magic rings is far beyond anything even the old magician could have imagined.

Hurtled into the Wood between the Worlds, the children soon find that they can enter many worlds through the mysterious pools there. In one world they encounter the evil Queen Jadis, who wreaks havoc in the streets of London when she is accidentally brought back with them. When they finally manage to pull her out of London, unintentionally taking along Uncle Andrew and a coachman with his horse, they find themselves in what will come to be known as the land of Narnia.

Other reviews you might be interested in

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July in Review

reviewsIn which I summarize all that has been going on on the blog this month

July in one sentence: A pretty exciting and busy month, in which I finished my first book during Camp Nanowrimo, and worked on proofreading a novel.

kohlnAnd at the end of the month we visited Köln (Cologne), Germany!

Reviews on the blog:

Interviews & guest posts:

Features & events:

Reading stats:

  • 9 Books read
  • 3018 Pages read
  • Received 7 books, read 6, TBR stack gains 1 book (yay!)

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I’m on a Vacation!

Source

When this post goes up, I’ll be on my way to Köln, Germany! Köln is actually pretty close to where I live (maybe an hour/hour and a half drive) but somehow we never visit it. I’ll be back by Sunday evening (August 3rd). In the meantime I’ve only scheduled my July wrap up, and since I’m abroad I won’t be online at all!

Hope everyone has a nice weekend, and see you in a few days!

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