Seasons of War, a review

Seasons of War by Derek Landy is the 13th book in the Skulduggery Pleasant series, and a reread for me along with the Dead Famous Readalong. If you want to see my original review, click here, if you just wanna see my reread thoughts then scroll on!

This read was what I like to call a helluva ride. We had SO much in here. We have different dimensions, Tanith joining up with the Dead Men, Val dealing with her PTSD in multiple awful ways and being forced into good ones, and Omen being adorkable as always.

I loved being in the alternate dimension through this book. It let Landy play with bringing back characters and playing out alternative events without screwing with the established timeline, as well as letting us see how the characters would react to things after they’ve had time to grow and develop compared to their younger selves earlier on in the series.

Our protagonist, Valkyrie Cain, has been through a lot by this point. She’s been battling monsters and getting in magical fights since she was 12 years old, and what I love about Landy is that he’s had this impact her. She’s not just brushed it off and gotten on with things. Or at least, that only lasts for the duration of the battle. After that? Well she has a normal reaction. Meaning severe trauma and PTSD. And she tries to deal with it on her own, that goes about as well as you’d expect. I love that Landy addresses this, he includes it in the narrative and has it impact how she reacts in other battles and situations, and that’s just so rarely seen from our badass characters.

I also really enjoyed the portrayal of Darquesse after the events of the last book (look this is damn difficult to do without spoilers by book 13). The day to day thoughts and concerns of those who worship her brought some much needed levity to the book and did a great job of breaking up the more serious scenes.

Omen, as always, was so lovely to read from. He started out so desperate to have adventures and ended up having the same reaction most of us probably would: dear god get me out of here. But at the same time he’s such an adorable bean that he doesn’t want to leave people in trouble. He also immediately thinks the best of people, and in relation to a certain someone (no really, unless you’ve read it I can’t say) I think he’s making a mistake. But I guess we’ll see.

On CAWPILE I rated this reread: Characters: 10, Atmosphere: 8, Writing: 8, Plot: 8, Intrigue: 7, Logic: 7, and Enjoyment: 9 which gives an overall score of 8.14 and a 4.5* rating.

I’m super excited to delve into my reread of the penultimate Skulduggery novel and I’m so excited and nervous for the final book! Ironically this is actually publishing on the day of the last books release (Until the End, out 14th April 2022) and I most likely have been reading that book all day! Even when I maybe should’ve been at work! Have you been keeping up to date with the series? Let me know your thoughts!

Highlight here for trigger warnings: death, war, murder, violence, grief, PTSD[end].

The Ivory Key, a review

The Ivory Key by Akshaya Raman was an extra book in the January Illumicrate box, and seeing as I like to read the Illumicrate books in the month I get them I thought I’d better dive into this one too!

I ended up really enjoying this YA Indian inspired fantasy! We follow four different POVs from royal siblings as they attempt to save their kingdom by working together, despite their emotional, and physical, distance from each other since their parents death.

I enjoyed how the sibling relationships were developed, from hatred in some aspects to respect and co-operation. I’m an only child so I really can’t speak to whether it’s good sibling rep, but it was nice to read!

I also found the magic system to feel really unique. We didn’t see too much of it, because the resource that allows for magic being scarce is the whole instigator of the book, but what we did see was super interesting and how their knowledge of the magic changes over the book? Well let’s just say I’m looking forward to book 2!

The story progression itself was engrossing. I felt myself pulled back to the story each time I put the book down, something that I didn’t want to do! I was invested in these four siblings lives and their joint adventure. There was a moment where I did lose that investment for a bit, when they’re close to reaching their goal. And to be honest I’m still not sure what caused that. But overall, I was enjoying being along for the ride.

On CAWPILE I rated this: Characters: 9, Atmosphere: 7, Writing: 7, Plot: 7, Intrigue: 8, Logic: 7, and Enjoyment: 8 which gives an average score of 7.57 and a rating of 4*.

Like I said above, I’m really excited to delve into the second book in this series when it comes out and I’m really glad that Illumicrate included this in their box as I wouldn’t have read it otherwise! Have you read The Ivory Key?

Midnight reread, a review

My final read of 2021 (yes, I’m finally finished with last years reviews!!! – totally isn’t March…) was Midnight by Derek Landy, the 11th book in the Skulduggery Pleasant series. And with that name is anyone surprised that I was reading this right up until 2340 on the 31st December 21? No? Didn’t think so.

I’ve been rereading all of the Skulduggery books along with the Dead Famous Readalong and whilst this is the 11th book, it’s the second book in the revamped series.

This means that we’ve had time to get back into the world, and now we’re into the nitty gritty.

Of course, as always, I can’t tell you too much about what’s going on because #spoilers but this had one of my favourite plot points in the new series and I adored rereading it. I had remembered parts from the first read but this definitely added some more comprehension and was just so much fun.

This isn’t the most wow-ing of the SP books. Whilst I absolutely adored the smaller scale plotline that we had, many people won’t be keen on this. But it’s right up my alley. It gives us more character development as well as a few more insights into the worldbuilding and I adore that sort of book. Especially when I’m already invested in a series.

On CAWPILE I rated this: Characters: 8, Atmosphere: 9, Writing: 8, Plot: 8, Intrigue: 8, Logic: 8, and Enjoyment: 8, which gives an average of 8.14 and a 4 star rating.

As I said for me this was a really intriguing book, but for those who are used to the big and dramatic books we’ve had so far in the series, just be warned this is a little different.

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, a review

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A Brown was gifted to me by the lovely Kari from Kar-ing for Books, and Olivia from Olivia’s Catastrophe said that she thought I would enjoy it. That was more than enough for me to pick up this book!

This is a fantastic YA fantasy where we follow two POVs. One is from the perspective of a young princess who doesn’t get along with her mother the Queen. The other is from a young boy who is trying to escape a war with his two sisters.

Both don’t know that magic is real. Both don’t know how much their lives are going to change.

I really enjoyed this! (look do we doubt Kari and Olivia’s thoughts about my reading tastes? No. No we do not) The worldbuilding is absolutely gorgeous, as well as really well done character development that has you routing for both sides through the whole book.

If you really want to know how much I liked this? I bought the second book before I even finished this one! If that isn’t proof that I adored this then I don’t know what is. Oh, apart from my CAWPILE score!

Characters: 9, Atmosphere: 8, Writing: 8, Plot: 8, Intrigue: 9, Logic: 8, and Enjoyment: 9 which gives an average of 8.43 and a 4 star rating!

I’m not a big YA reader anymore (despite only being 25) so I would’ve been super surprised if this had hit the 5 star mark. As it is, I’m super excited for the final book in the duology!

Pet, a review

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi was gifted to me by Olivia Savannah from Olivia’s Catastrophe after a really tough time for me. It was the most lovely surprise and I’m so so grateful!!

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This YA Fantasy is a really short book, but it packs a big punch in it’s few pages! We follow a young trans girl named Jam who’s mum is an artist. One day a painting seems to come to life and a monster named Pet is let lose in the world. This world is a Utopia, the bad people are all gone. But Pet says that there’s still a monster here. That it’s preying on someone she loves, and Jam decides to work with Pet to save them.

This is a beautifully written book, I was hooked for each and every second. Emezi has beautiful writing that I’ve loved before (in Freshwater) and she’s adapted perfectly to the YA style.

For my CAWPILE ratings I gave this book:

Characters: 9

Atmosphere: 9

Writing: 8

Plot: 9

Intrigue: 9

Logic: 9

Enjoyment: 10

And to literally no one’s surprise this gives me a score of 9.00 which is of course a 5 star rating!!!

There’s also been a sequel? prequel? that’s based on Jam’s mum and I am *so* excited to get to read this when it’s published! Let me know if you’ve read Pet and what you thought of it!