GEMINA Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway!

Friday, 21 October 2016 0 comments

Hey guys! Today I am here as part of the five day blog tour for GEMINA by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff! Thank you to the lovely people at Rock the Boat for giving me this opportunity to part of the tour. Now I read ILLUMINAE last year and fell in love with it's new style of telling an epic tale filled with twists and turns, and it is my privilege to bring for you today, my non-spoiler review of the second instalment in the ILLUMINAE Files, GEMINA.

Hang around because Rock the Boat has also given me the opportunity to give away some finished copies of GEMINA, with the added bonus of the books containing signed bookplates! Yes people, you heard it right - you can be in with the chance of one of three SIGNED copies of the book, scribbled in by the lovely Amie and Jay themselves! I understand your jealousy, but read through the review and then to enter - fill in the form at the bottom of the page!

Please note that before you read this review that I am reviewing this publication for Rock the Boat. I received an advanced readers copy of this title in exchange for an honest review. In no way is my opinion influenced by the fact that I received this free of charge, now onto the review!


Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Publisher: Rock the Boat Publishing
Format: ARC
Publication Date: October 20th 2016
Pages: 672
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Rating: ☆☆☆☆

Purchase: The Book Depository / Waterstones

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.
After becoming totally absorbed in the Illuminae Files world from ILLUMINAE, GEMINA was a refreshing reminder of just how epic this series is turning out to be. Amie and Jay are the total dream team who have crafted a fast paced and thrilling pair of novels, crafted in a unique way not yet explored in the YA industry. GEMINA spins it's tale in a similar way to it's predecessor, with it's use of audio transcripts, official documents, instant messaging conversations and many other notable mediums used to tell this journey.
The story contained within GEMINA's pages tells of the story on the space station, Heimdall, during the events of ILLUMINAE, and with it brings a new epic saga of events that drive the forefront of modern Science Fiction. After the worldwide success of ILLUMINAE, GEMINA brings its readers refreshing twists and turns that will leave them gripping the edge of their books in rapid anticipation. Kaufman and Kristoff definitely know the delights of their readers, bringing devastating delight that will cripple their readers with intense emotion and enjoyment.

GEMINA, similarly to ILLUMINAE, introduces us to two main focal characters. Hanna and Nik are both feisty and dynamic characters who are just as refreshing and kick-ass as their predecessor characters were. Whilst not unusual to expect new characters from Kaufman after the alternative perspectives found in her previous Starbound series, it was, dare I say it, illuminating to see a new twist in events in this epic new universe.

Whilst an enjoyable and pleasurable read, don’t take GEMINA for granted. Kristoff and Kaufman are masterminds in disguise, and provide GEMINA readers with thrilling new jump scares hiding around every turn. Leaving no victims living in their bloodthirsty trail, GEMINA takes a whole new twist of gruesome, providing it’s delicious readers with a slight element of horror, so much so that you feel your heart beating tenfold in your chest.

GEMINA shines bright in light of it's predecessor, providing interwoven storylines filled with endless wonder and surprise. Whilst I could easily ramble for ages on how amazing it is, it's only best that you discover it all for yourself. I easily award GEMINA by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff a 5 out of 5 on my classification scale - a truly magnificent piece of literature, told in a refreshing new style that will take the YA world by storm!


In order to assist in exposing you to the wonderful world of GEMINA, the lovely people from Rock the Boat have given me the opportunity to give away three signed copies. Yes, signed copies of GEMINA could be yours! (Bookmarks in the picture not included*)

All you have to do, is follow me on Twitter (@theblogbookshop) and keep your eye out for the giveaway post which will be posted at some point today! As soon as you see it, retweet it! You will be entered into my giveaway, which will last 2 weeks, and be in with the chance of winning a lovely signed edition of the book!

Good luck!

And that is everything we have time for here at The Blogger's Bookshop for this lovely review and giveaway of GEMINA by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff! If you haven't read ILLUMINAE and you're wondering what on earth we are talking about, then definitely go and check it out and enjoy your entrance to this phenomenal new series thats exploding into bookstores worldwide as a number one best seller! And heck, whilst you're about, check out Amie and Jay's previous series too, they're pretty amazing!

Thank you again Rock the Boat for letting me take part in the GEMINA Blog Tour - it's been a pleasure to host the final day!

Stealing Snow Blog Tour: Danielle Paige's Top Six Fantasy Worlds

Thursday, 6 October 2016 0 comments

Good day everybody! My, oh my hasn't it been a while! A few months I'd reckon! Well to kick things off a bit as a revamp here on The Blogger's Bookshop (The Blogger's Spookshop if you want to be Halloweeny!) I have the lovely New York Times Bestselling Author, Danielle Paige, who is here to celebrate her new release, Stealing Snow. Imagine Disney's Frozen meets YA! If you thought Frozen was popular, then wait until you see what treats Stealing Snow has in store for us!

I have Danielle here today to talk about her Top Six Fantasy Worlds! So without further ado, and in no particular order, here are Danielle's Top Fantasy Worlds!

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Taking Cinderella to space was a feat that I could not have imagined. It totally inspired me when writing my Dorothy and again in writing Stealing Snow. She gives happily ever after a new landscape while still maintaining the heart of the story we grew up loving.


Every detail was magic. Lewis Carroll takes us down the rabbit hole and plays with perspective, taking us eye level with Caterpillars and making us tower over Wonderland! 

The Land of Oz

From L. Frank Baum's original to Gregory McGuire's Wicked, I wanted to go over the Rainbow and meet the witches and munchkins and all of Dorothy's friends. And I got to go to Oz in Dorothy Must Die, but I may have dimmed the technicolor a bit!

Westeros from Game of Thrones

The map of Westeros may as well be a chess board. From Winterfell to the wall to Lannisport, each land is distinct and each people prepared to battle! And there's magic and dragons!!!

A Galaxy Far, Far Away from Star Wars

Star Wars was my first introduction to a space opera, and I will be forever in love with George Lucas' world building! From the Death Star to Tatooine, Lucas creates lands filled with machines, aliens, and creatures! 

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Collins' thirteen districts have to fight in a constructed game of death. The architecture of the game changed with each book as Katniss tries to redraw the map, save herself, and save the people.

And there we have it! The Top Six Fantasy Worlds by Danielle Paige! It's really phenomenal to see where Danielle got her inspiration from, as some of these worlds are absolutely fantastic. I know the world of The Lunar Chronicles is beyond ridiculously cool and the way Meyer spins it is unique! However, that being said, Danielle does a pretty fantastic job at weaving her own worlds as well - I know that whilst reading Dorothy Must Die for the first time, how impressed I was at just how dark and sinister Danielle made The Land of Oz. That being said, the world she crafts in Stealing Snow, whilst being a complete contrast to the alternate version of Oz she creates in Dorothy Must Die, is still just as brilliant and I can't wait for you all to visit it.

I just want to put out a special thank you to Danielle for having me host her fantasy worlds and to the lovely people at Bloomsbury for organising it! Don't forget to check out the final stop in the Stealing Snow Blog Tour over at Emily The Book Addict's blog!


Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent her life locked in Whittaker Psychiatric—but she isn’t crazy. And that’s not the worst of it. Her very first kiss proves anything but innocent…when Bale, her only love, turns violent.

Despite Snow knowing that Bale would never truly hurt her, he is taken away—dashing her last hope for any sort of future in the mental ward she calls home. With nowhere else to turn, Snow finds herself drawn to a strange new orderly who whispers secrets in the night about a mysterious past and a kingdom that’s hers for the taking—if only she can find her way past the iron gates to the Tree that has been haunting her dreams.

Beyond the Tree lies Algid, a land far away from the real world, frozen by a ruthless king. And there too await the River Witch, a village boy named Kai, the charming thief Jagger, and a prophecy that Snow will save them all.

Book Review #80: The Sleeping Prince by Melinda Salisbury

Sunday, 19 June 2016 0 comments
Please note that before you read this review that I am reviewing this publication for Scholastic UK! I received an advanced readers copy of this title in exchange for an honest review. In no way is my opinion influenced by the fact that I received this free of charge. Now on with the review!

Title: The Sleeping Prince
AuthorMelinda Salisbury
Publisher: Scholastic UK
Format: ARC
Publication DateFebruary 4th 2016
Pages: 367
Source: Review Copy from Publisher

Ever since her brother Lief disappeared, Errin's life has gone from bad to worse. Not only must she care for her sick mother, she has to scrape together rent money by selling illegal herbal cures. But none of that compares to the threat of the vengeful Sleeping Prince whom the Queen just awoke from his enchanted sleep.

When her village is evacuated as part of the war against the Sleeping Prince, Errin is left desperate and homeless. The only person she can turn to is the mysterious Silas, a young man who buys deadly poisons from Errin, but won't reveal why he needs them. Silas promises to help her, but when he vanishes, Errin must journey across a kingdom on the brink of war to seek another way to save her mother and herself. But what she finds shatters everything she believed about her world, and with the Sleeping Prince drawing nearer, Errin must make a heartbreaking choice that could affect the whole kingdom.

The Sin Eater's Daughter was the introduction to this fantasy world. A book where medieval  royalty plagued the lands, where confinement and routine are drilled into your minds, where treachery and betrayal looms around every corner. The Sleeping Prince took that initiative and developed it beyond my expectations. Focusing on a completely new character, The Sleeping Prince introduces us to Errin, her story and the trials that she faces in her day to day life. Whilst Errin's story plays out, in the background the Sleeping Prince is awake and his hell-bent revenge and path of destruction knows no bounds.

Errin's tale was totally different to Twylla's and I found myself so engaged for completely different reasons. Whilst I admired Twylla's bravery to survive, I also loved the shared interest to survive from Errin, even if the scenario she was in was completely different. I really loved the contrast between Errin and Twylla - one full of fear and passion and the other embodied by mystery and hope - their narration really makes the story and I'm so glad that Melinda decided to tell their tales in two halves.

Delving into this whole other world, the dynamics of Errin's life are unique. Life as a apothecary has it's hardships for Errin, fighting to survive for a simple meal and to keep the roof over her head, let alone having to deal with the loss of her father, a missing brother and a mother whose mental health is declining so badly it's becoming a danger to herself and Errin. When war against the Sleeping Prince threatens Errin's doorstep she becomes thrust into a world of alchemy, magic and darkness. Her only lifeline is Silas, and the hope of a mystical cure for her mother that takes her across the realm with the threat of the Sleeping Prince hot on her tail. With the introductions of familiar faces woven throughout, readers will be delighted to wonder in this mythological infused fantasy. You'll just have to ignore the brutal and merciless trail of bodies that Melinda leaves in her wake. 

For those of you who have read The Sin Eater's Daughter, you will know that Melinda isn't afraid to take risks, but considering the prologue of The Sleeping Prince leaves readers with a blood volume higher than Dracula's private storeroom, fans of Salisbury's lust to defy reader's expectations will be eternally satisfied. 

In my review of The Sin Eater's Daughter I mentioned that I would have liked to have explored the history and mythology of the Sleeping Prince more, and in this book my desire was granted ten-fold, as Salisbury crafts a mythical lore that will leave readers in awe. The Sleeping Prince is not a force to be reckoned with and the passion in his mythology brings his tale to life. It is truly phenomenal and I cannot wait to see where his vengeance takes the story next.

All in all, the journey that this book takes you on and the woven themes that are presented in both books make this series easily one of my favourites. Whilst I may not be able to completely put my finger on why, it's unique development of it's characters gives this story an edge over other YA titles currently out there. It's no wonder that Melinda's book has been nominated for so many awards, it's truly a magical tale. The Sleeping Prince leaves readers with an epilogue that screams continuation, and whilst 2017 seems like an absolute age away, you can be assured that I will be on the waiting list to read the novel first. I award The Sleeping Prince by Melinda Salisbury a 4 out of 5 stars on my classification scale.Congratulations Melinda, you've provided a delightful adventure for young readers to explore, find themselves in and to be completed absorbed by.

Book Review #79: Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Please note that before you read this review that I am reviewing this publication for Orion! I received an advanced readers copy of this title in exchange for an honest review. In no way is my opinion influenced by the fact that I received this free of charge. Now on with the review!

Title: Glass Sword
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Publisher: Orion
Format: ARC
Publication DateFebruary 9th 2016
Source: Review Copy from Publisher

If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.

It's always difficult to review a book when the only notes you have left for yourself are ' That ending! Those deaths! Why?!' Seriously helpful, Daniel. Looking back on Glass Sword, it is definitely evident to see that Victoria Aveyard has stepped up a notch in providing her readers with something extra. Red Queen was an introduction to Norta and the story of Mare Barrow, and that itself packed a mighty punch. Glass Sword was unreal - a complete opposition to Red Queen in it's story, and yet there was so much development that it left me craving for more.

We continue the story immediately from where Red Queen left off, and we're once again thrust into Aveyard's world of deception and mystery. Escaping from the vindictive and newly crowned, Maven, Mare surrounds herself by old friends as well as a new rebellious force behind the Scarlet Guard. Over time, Mare's story journeys to far off areas of Norta, giving readers a wider angled view of the country we began to learn about in Red Queen, as she seeks out the newbloods on her list - individuals embodied with silver abilities disguised within red blood. As we venture through the lands, we're exposed to some new characters, reunited with old characters and provided with a developed sense of bond and unity that holds the rebellion together. All in all, it was very impressive to see the counter side of the fight after spending the majority of Red Queen investing in the world of the silver bloods.

Whilst at times the story seemed repetitive, constantly seeking out the next newblood, Aveyard provides her readers with intense action sequences and a variety of twists and turns along the way, each darker and more suspenseful than you could imagine. That is one thing that impressed me so much in Red Queen and in Glass Sword it blew it out of the water - Aveyard's ability to provide surprise that will literally get your heart pounding. 

Character development is a major feature of Glass Sword, especially for our main protagonist. In this novel, Mare changes quite a bit, dealing with the impacts of Maven's kingship as well as the extension of her abilities. As she learns to battle against herself, the forces of revolution around her remind her of the trials and tribulations she is yet to face under Maven's rule. You can definitely see there is going to be a scene or two in the third book where Mare is going to have to confront everything she has learned to battle against, especially within herself, and it's going to be explosive. I can't wait. 

Now a book wouldn't be good without a good death and boy oh boy does Aveyard smack you in the face with the death count. Whilst her body hits aren't as torturous as George R.R.Martin, Aveyard certainly knows how to caress your heart and then crush it into a thousand pieces when it comes to her characters. I'm not going to bother spoiling who dies and so on and so forth, but my advice to readers is simply to prepare yourself because it cripples you. As soon as you read it, you'll soon know the sweet torture that Aveyard delivers.

In consideration of everything, the element that makes this book what it is has to be the ending. Aveyard wasn't afraid to shock us in Red Queen with Maven's dramatic turn, and yet in Glass Sword, when we thought Aveyard couldn't brutalise her cliffhangers much more, she drops the bombshell on us that is the Glass Sword ending. My goodness, if you weren't eager for the next instalment then you certainly will be now - the ending is torturous, heart-breaking and yet devilishly delicious. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book to see where this dark and twisted finale will take us. I award Glass Sword a 4 out of 5 star rating on my classification scale - a delicious wonder to behold for those who enjoy sinister betrayal and an explosion of character development. I eagerly await the next book. 

Book Review #78: Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch

Please note that before you read this review that I am reviewing this publication for Harper360! I received an advanced readers copy of this title in exchange for an honest review. In no way is my opinion influenced by the fact that I received this free of charge. Now on with the review!

Title: Ice Like Fire
AuthorSara Raasch
Publisher: Balzer and Bray
Format: ARC
Publication DateOctober 13th 2015
Source: Review Copy from Publisher

It’s been three months since the Winterians were freed and Spring’s king, Angra, disappeared—thanks largely to the help of Cordell.

Meira just wants her people to be safe. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mines for payment, they unearth something powerful and possibly dangerous: Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. Theron sees this find as an opportunity—with this much magic, the world can finally stand against threats like Angra. But Meira fears the danger the chasm poses—the last time the world had access to so much magic, it spawned the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders the two on a mission across the kingdoms of Primoria to discover the chasm’s secrets, Meira plans to use the trip to garner support to keep the chasm shut and Winter safe—even if it means clashing with Theron. But can she do so without endangering the people she loves?

Mather just wants to be free. The horrors inflicted on the Winterians hang fresh and raw in Januari—leaving Winter vulnerable to Cordell’s growing oppression. When Meira leaves to search for allies, he decides to take Winter’s security into his own hands. Can he rebuild his broken kingdom and protect them from new threats?

As the web of power and deception weaves tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom—and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter, but for the world.

After finding Snow like Ashes a more than pleasurable read, I was extremely delighted to dive straight into the sequel, Ice like Fire. Expanding the world of Primoria beyond what we only glimpsed at in the first book, Raasch definitely provides her readers with a whole new experience, picking up almost immediately where the last book left us.

It's been three months since the book ended and King Noam has put in force his plans for the Winterians. Digging away in the mines, striving to uncover the magic chasm that the kingdom's conduit were forced from, our story takes a very different twist from it's predecessor as whilst previously there is a greater impact placed on character development, Ice like Fire is quite heavily focused on the action. That isn't to say however, that there isn't a sense of character development in this book because the way the chapters are split up into Meira and Mather's points of view definitely explore all angles and feelings about whats happening in Primoria. 

Setting off to warn the other kingdoms of Noam's imminent invasion, Meria journeys to the Summer kingdom and meets the princess Ceridwen. Ceridwen for me was my absolute favourite new introduction by Raasch - her determination and defiance of even her own kingdom's beliefs was refreshing and her eased up attitude added a great deal of humour to scenes of such a darker nature.

This books definitely takes a darker turn than Snow Like Ashes did and you can see this simply from some of the themes that are brought about. One of these themes, in particular, is the theme of secrecy. In this novel, Meria discovers many truths that were previously held secret to Winter and the other Kingdom's as well as that of secrets that other character's are hiding themselves. The most mysterious of these would be Theron in this book, and whilst in Snow Like Ashes I adored Theron, in this book I definitely read Theron differently and this dark mysteriousness to him aided this reading. It was a shame to see such a significant turn in Theron's character, and yet the ending, whilst it surprised me, opens up so many opportunities for Theron to develop. This twisted result favours Raasch's ability to surprise and prove some even darker twists and turns which I'm sure will be revealed in Frost Like Night. 

Overall, Ice Like Fire is a difficult book to review without giving away major spoilers because this is definitely a book that changes multiple perspectives. However, these perspectives completely credit the book and Sara Raasch's writing and I found Ice Like Fire to be a thoroughly enjoyable read and one of the most surprising I've read in a while. I award Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch a full 5 out of 5 star rating on my classification scale, a dark and delicious sequel to what is developing as a stunning series. I eagerly await the final instalment from Sara - I just hope she isn't too merciless to some of our beloved characters.

Contact Form


Email *

Message *

Copyright © 2014 The Blogger's Bookshop
Template by These Paper Hearts