Nyx Book Reviews

fantasy ♥ paranormal ♥ horror ♥ science-fiction

Bookish This or That


Where do you prefer to read? What does one snack on during reading? These and other important questions are covered in the This or That Book Tag, created by Tea & Paperbacks. For more information on the tag and the rules, check out their blog. Rebel that I am, I have actually not been tagged, but rather decided to do this post because… well, because I can.


Reading on the couch or on the bed?

Though I often read in both, overall I prefer to read on the couch. I find it more comfortable to read in a semi-upright position to facilitate easy page-turning, and being in bed makes me a bit too sleepy to read for long.

Male main character or female main character?

Either! I don’t think there is necessarily a difference between the two.

Sweet snacks or salty snacks when reading?

I probably lean towards sweet – tea and cookies or cake or muffins just go together so well, it’s hard to resist! I also like crisps, or fruit, or veggies though. Honestly, any combination of food en books is great.

Trilogies or quartets?

Hmm, I’ve read many more trilogies than quartets, but I do think quartets less often fall into the filler-second-book pit like trilogies do. I love both though!

First person point of view or third person point of view?

First. I like the immediacy of first person POV, like you’re really inside the head of the main character and experiencing all that happens yourself.

Reading at night or in the morning?

Reading all day every day! Though I probably read a lot more at night because I’m simply not much of a morning person anyway.

Libraries or bookstores?

I used to be a library girl, but now it’s more bookstores for me. Libraries rarely have the books I want and that annoys me. Additionally, I’m such a mood reader that I would borrow books and not read them, and would have to return library books unread.

Books that make you laugh or make you cry?

Books that make me laugh. I love it when a book entertains me, surprises me, makes me snigger in public. To be honest I almost never cry at books.

Black book covers or white book covers?

Black looks better on my shelves and doesn’t get dirty easily.

Character driven or plot driven stories?

Give me character development over plot any day. I feel like truly delving into characters is one of the strengths of the medium of the book, and what makes stories truly come to life for me. I can tolerate a book with great characterisation and a weak plot, but not books with a good plot and boring, flat characters.

What about you?

Feel free to consider yourself tagged ^_^

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Review: The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams

Title: The Dragonbone Chair
Author: Tad Williams
Series: Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn #1
Rating: 4 Stars

672 pages
Published March 1st 2005 by DAW

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

What a fantastic story. Some people can’t stand special snowflake Simon, but I love it all.

The Dragonbone Chair is takes a long time to build, and therefore it’s hard to give a spoiler free premise. Our main character is Simon, a young orphan boy living in the Hayholt castle. He is a dreamer, someone unfit for the dreary castle life. When he becomes the apprentice of the fascinating Morgenes, he feels like he might finally become part of the adventures and grand life he has always fantasized about. However, he doesn’t know that he will become part of a journey that isn’t nearly as glorious as he expected it to be.

In many ways, The Dragonbone Chair is a classic fantasy story. Simon as special snowflake-y as they come – there is no denying it. However, I love following his development from a naive scullery boy to a responsible young man. Simon is a dreamer, an idealist, which is something I can relate to. He develops from someone that things happen to, to someone who becomes more in control of his own fate. He finds bravery, friendship, and through hardship loses his naiveté. His is a typical coming of age story, but a heartfelt one.

The world of Osten Ard slowly unfolds like a scroll being opened. When Simon is young, our perspective is limited to the capitol. As Simon’s scope broadens, so does ours. We learn more about the different tribes inhabiting Osten Ard, and the tensions between them. Instead of dumping this whole world on the reader at once, we’re being taught its mythology piece by piece. There is a lot of background to learn, and I would not call the book a fast-paced one, but I feel all the background adds to the story. The scope of the book is truly epic, and without the sense of history the world building provides, the whole book would fall flat.

The Dragonbone Chair is published in 1988, and its story might no longer appeal to the modern sentiments of contemporary fantasy lovers. If you’re looking for a classic story with clear Tolkienesque influences, give The Dragonbone Chair a try. A good fantasy story is timeless after all.


Kitchen-boy Simon is bored, restless, and 14 years old – a dangerous combination. It seems, however, that his life has just taken a turn for the better when he’s apprenticed to his castle’s resident wizard. As Simon’s learning to read and write under Doctor Morgenes’ tutelage, forces greater than he could possibly imagine are gathering: forces which will change Simon’s life – and his world – forever.

Following the death of Good King John, Osten Ard is plunged into civil war as his sons battle for control of the fabled Dragonbone Chair – the country’s throne as well as the symbol of its power. Simon is forced to flee the only home he has ever known, a journey which will test him beyond his worst nightmares.

Other reviews you might be interested in
Other books in the series
  1. The Dragonbone Chair
  2. Stone of Farewell
  3. To Green Angel Tower

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Looking for Recommendations: Quick Reads

quick reads kindle

The last few months have been quite stressful for me, and consequently I have very little focus. Though it’s slowly getting better, I still have a hard time actually sitting down with a book, and an even harder time finishing anything. I’m usually quite a fan of long and/or complicated books, but at the moment these aren’t working for me. Therefore I’m turning to you, lovely readers, to recommend me some quick reads!

I’m looking for:
  • Anything that’s easy to read. A good read would be something that isn’t too long (think 300 pages max), is fast-paced and gripping.
  • My preferred genre is fantasy, including sub-genres such as urban fantasy, steampunk, paranormal romance, etcetera. However, I’m also up for quick and light romance/contemporary stories
  • Nothing too bleak or depressing. I’m trying to escape my problems, not add to them 😀
  • Both adult and YA are fine. No middle grade unless it’s REALLY good
Some quick reads I’ve enjoyed in the past:

quick reads

Feel free to check out my shelves on Goodreads to see what I’ve read so far. Don’t be afraid to recommend a book that is already on my to be read list, often I forget which books are on there.

What quick reads would you recommend?

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Review: Down With the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn

Title: Down With the Shine
Author: Kate Karyus Quinn
Series: Standalone
Rating: 4 Stars

355 pages
Expected publication April 26th 2016 by HarperTeen
Review copy received from the publisher

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Kate Karyus Quinn not only has a fantastic imagination, but also the skills to translate that onto the page.

Everyone knows Lennie’s name. After her criminal father killed a few people during a heist and got away with it, it’s hard to just live your life; which is exactly what Lennie wants. There are more secrets in her family – including the fact that she can grant wishes. Which her uncles did not tell her. And now she has granted a dozen wishes to drunk teenagers by accident. Whoops.

I have been hooked on Quinn’s books from the moment I read (Don’t You) Forget About Me. Her stories are fantastic, nostalgic, and always resonate with me. Down With the Shine has plenty of moments that will break your heart, but overall I found the tone to be relatively light and humorous. Much of what happens is absolutely absurd and Lennie’s adventure made me think of a teen Alice in Wonderland. Granting all those wishes has led Lennie down the rabbit hole, and will she ever return to normalcy?

The author does voice very well, and Lennie was realistic and relatable throughout all the madness that is thrown her way. Down With the Shine has a cute hate/love interest and I enjoyed their permanent banter. I mention this in my reviews quite often, but no sweeping declarations of eternal love here. Just two teenagers having a crush on each other, and both not ready to admit it yet.

My only issue with the book is that at some point it tried to tie together too many storylines. Though it never got to the point where it got confusing, I did not feel invested in all aspects of the story, most notably that related to Lennie’s father. I can’t pin-point the exact reason I did not care for that part. Maybe it was one step too far? Maybe that storyline was not set up enough? It wasn’t a large issue, but it did temper my excitement for this novel a bit.

Overall Down With the Shine is a great novel of wonkiness and awkward teens being awkward teens and family members that are never exactly who you expected them to be.


There’s a reason they say “be careful what you wish for.” Just ask the girl who wished to be thinner and ended up smaller than Thumbelina, or the boy who asked for “balls of steel” and got them-literally. And never wish for your party to go on forever. Not unless you want your guests to be struck down by debilitating pain if they try to leave.

These are things Lennie only learns when it’s too late-after she brings some of her uncles’ moonshine to a party and toasts to dozens of wishes, including a big wish of her own: to bring back her best friend, Dylan, who was abducted and murdered six months ago.

Lennie didn’t mean to cause so much chaos. She always thought her uncles’ moonshine toast was just a tradition. And when they talked about carrying on their “important family legacy,” she thought they meant good old-fashioned bootlegging.

As it turns out, they meant granting wishes. And Lennie has just granted more in one night than her uncles would grant in a year.

Now she has to find a way to undo the damage. But once granted, a wish can’t be unmade…

Other reviews you might be interested in

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On Silence and Stress

I originally wrote this post on Irresponsible Cactus, but decided to cross-post it here as well.

It has been over a month since I last blogged on Nyx Book Reviews. It has been over two since I last blogged on Irresponsible Cactus. One day I was here, and the next, I disappeared. Or at least, my digital presence did. I turned silent, and that silence has been pressing on me since.

I love blogging. I love reaching out with my words and my mind and to create a little slice of me that others can read and relate to. I love to entertain you, I love to interact on Twitter and meeting new people and chatting with the familiar ones. Blogging and writing have been a huge part of my life in the last six years and I would not have it any other way.

But the truth is, dear reader, that I can’t at the moment. And that makes me feel like a failure in some ways. Why can’t I just open that browser and put some words down? Even if I can’t do it every week, why not at least a few times a month? Why can’t I answer comments and post tweets, or, what weighs even more on me, answer the letters some lovely bookish friends sent me? I’ve done it before. I’ve done it for years. Why can’t I just do it now?

I can pinpoint some key moments where I started to realize that no, I was not well. I was not dealing with the stress. I was not handling it. I was not fine.

So I culled down on anything that wasn’t completely essential in my life and faced the issues that I had been suppressing, in some cases, for multiple years. Though I’m glad I did it, these last few months have been absolutely terrible. All energy I have goes into setting things right both in my mind and my life, and in trying to keep up with school. Even the smallest tasks beyond that are out of my reach. I’ve had days in which I just sat on the couch for six hours straight, doing nothing and feeling overwhelmed. Hell, I still can’t bring myself to do the dishes, even though it’s so easy and takes so little work but even that small household task feels like it’s too much. Everything takes energy, and I have none left.

On some days I feel better, and on some I slip backwards. I’ve made many changes, and one of the most important ones is that I no longer want to lie and pretend I’m doing just fine, thank you. People can’t help you if you’re not honest. I can’t help myself if I’m not honest.

So I’m here today, dear readers, to break through that silence I’ve maintained here and on my other blog. Though generally because I simply couldn’t write, it was also an embarrassed silence. It was easier to disappear than to give a reason why.

I’m here to tell you today that I’m not fine, and that’s okay.

I’m working on it.

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The Sunday Post 24/01/16

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

Hey all! I hope you’re not stuck underneath a huge pile of snow. We’ve had some cold weather here, but barely any snow at all. I love how quiet the world gets when there’s snow, so maybe (hopefully) there will be some more of it in the upcoming weeks 🙂

Last week I shared this short questionnaire about my blog. If you haven’t filled it in yet, please do! It’s been super interesting seeing the answers. Thanks so much <3

This week on Nyx Book Reviews

A while ago I read the science-fiction bestseller The Martian. Though I can see why people love it, I didn’t adore it as much as the majority. I’m also answering the second round of questions for the Rosemary and Rue readalong we’re having. The book is pretty exciting, very high-paced urban fantasy. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of it.

Read this week

You know who the best Marvel super hero is?

It’s Unbeatable Squirrel Girl!

She’s seriously awesome, has the best sidekicks, and cannot be beaten even by the worst baddies. Unlike all of the gritty noir comic heroes, Squirrel Girl is upbeat and funny and cartoony and full of awesomeness. This is the second volume, and though I wasn’t as blown away by it as the first, but it was still very cool.

How was your week?

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Rosemary and Rue Readalong: Week 2

Together with a bunch of awesome ladies, we are reading Seanan McGuire’s Rosemary and Rue. Every week we will discuss a few chapters based on some questions. This week we read up to chapter 14, and the host is Lynn from Lynn’s Books. To find out more about SF/F Read Alongs or to join, check out our Goodreads group. Or, learn more about the book we are currently reading.


1. We finally get to meet Devin and Sylvester. They’ve both played important roles in Toby’s life. What were your initial impressions of both of them and the worlds in which they live. What were your first thoughts about them?

While Devin was quite the way I expected him to be – self-centered, slightly creepy yet kind of loveable, Sylvester was more… excitable than I was picturing? I think throughout the book he has been the first character to be truly happy to see Toby, and he doesn’t seem to be suspicious at all (while all the other fae character seem to be a bit off). This complicates my theory that he might be involved in Evening’s murder!

2. I’m totally intrigued by the Hope Chest – do you have any ideas about what exactly it is and what might be the significance of it being found?

I’m quite interested in the name. Is it a hope chest because it provides hope to changelings? Because fae hope it existed? Some other reason?

It does seem to be a rather powerful magical object with a bit of a mind of its own, which always makes things interesting.

3. Tybalt – I was curious as to Toby’s reasoning to trust him with the Hope Chest – what do you think?

Well, I personally would never entrust anyone I hate with something that important, but Toby didn’t really have any other choices. It would be too easy to put it with her known friends. To be honest I liked it because there was more Tybalt time. I’m not fully aboard the Tybalt-train, but we’re getting there.

4. We experience the reaction of other members of the fae to the murder of Evening and Toby telling them about the Queen’s reactions – did their reactions give you any clues at all?

Everyone deals with grief differently, and I think that counts for the fae as well. Toby’s observation that the Queen is losing her mind makes sense. I can’t say I was looking for clues though, so I have no thoughts on that 🙂

5. What were your thoughts on Raysel and Luna?

Raysel might be the only person more broken than Toby herself. I wonder what happened to Raysel and Luna while they were away for twelve years – I feel like they might have been trapped by that Simon guy, only not transformed into a fish. Luna is an awesome character, I like how she is some kind of pro gardener.

6. That ending, did we just end up back in the first post? – what is going on? Speculation?? Lets just talk about it please.

Poor Toby. Chapter fourteen makes for a fantastic cliffhanger, doesn’t it? I definitely feel like someone is going to rescue her, but I have no idea who yet.


Are you reading with us?

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Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

Title: The Martian
Author: Andy Weir
Series: Standalone
Rating: 3 Stars

369 pages
Published February 11th 2014 by Crown
Received as a gift

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

After a long period of going back and forth I decided that yes, I did want to give The Martian a try. Usually I am not a fan of books being limited to one person in isolation somewhere, because let’s face it, survival can be quite boring. But since The Martian was turned into quite a successful movie, and it received quite some attention from the mainstream, I put it on my wishlist.

Mark Watney is part of a mission to perform tests on Mars. Disaster strikes, and Mark is left hurt and all alone on Mars, while his team mates and everyone else in the world, for that matter, assume him dead. The next Mars-bound mission is scheduled in five years. Can he survive that long in a hostile environment?

The Martian is basically Robinson Crusoe in space without the racism. This similarity touches on what I see as the weakest aspect of the book – the fact that entirely too much time is spent on Mark’s day to day survival. He tells us about his potatoes. He tells us about his machines. He tells us more about the potatoes. What was missing for me was any psychological insight into the mind of Watney. We barely get any sense of what he actually thinks about – unless he truly does only have potatoes on his mind? That part of the story fell flat for me, and often I felt Watney’s chapters were as dry as the dusty surface of Mars.

On the bright side, The Martian comes with a healthy dose of witticisms and quips, and there are plenty of exciting life-threatening situations for Watney to overcome. Additionally, after a while additional points of view are added to the story, which makes it move along faster and breaks the possible monotony of Mark’s potato farming.

At times The Martian felt very much like a debut – the writing isn’t always as smooth as it should be, and there was a lack of psychological depth. Ultimately though, it is a fun and light-hearted science-fiction novel that appeals to a wide public.


Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars’ surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive — and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark’s not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills — and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength – he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth.

Other reviews you might be interested in

The Sunday Post 17/01/16

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

Alas, the ending is in sight! I handed in one big boy of an essay this week and will have to finish the other by Friday. And after that, my dear friends, there lies an oasis of DOING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for at least one whole week. There will be reading and Netflix and all the sleep. It’s going to be wonderful.

I’ve been thinking about my blogging schedule, and I might mess around with that a bit. It would mean a lot to me if you could take a minute to answer these four questions regarding my blog. They’re multiple choice, so you’ll be done in no time at all. Thanks!

This week on Nyx Book Reviews

I got The Girl from the Well from my absolutely awesome Secret Sister as a present and read most of it in a bath tub in Milan. I feel like I have a special connection with this book now, ha. And it’s a good ghost story featuring Japanese mythology, so definitely check it out!

Read this week

Kate Karyus Quinn has been on my radar ever since the fantastic (Don’t You) Forget About Me. It was one of my favourite books of 2014, so I was thrilled that HarperCollins was so kind to provide me with a review copy of her newest book, Down With the Shine. This book has quirky characters, a relatable voice, humour, and just the right amount of bleakness. Its release date is still a while off, but I recommend keeping your eyes out for this one if you enjoy young adult novels with a magic twist.

How was your week?

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