The Princess Bride, William Goldman

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A tale of true love and high adventure, pirates, princesses, giants, miracles, fencing, and a frightening assortment of wild beasts — The Princess Bride is a modern storytelling classic.

As Florin and Guilder teeter on the verge of war, the reluctant Princess Buttercup is devastated by the loss of her true love, kidnapped by a mercenary and his henchmen, rescued by a pirate, forced to marry Prince Humperdinck, and rescued once again by the very crew who absconded with her in the first place. In the course of this dazzling adventure, she’ll meet Vizzini — the criminal philosopher who’ll do anything for a bag of gold; Fezzik — the gentle giant; Inigo — the Spaniard whose steel thirsts for revenge; and Count Rugen — the evil mastermind behind it all. Foiling all their plans and jumping into their stories is Westley, Princess Buttercup’s one true love and a very good friend of a very dangerous pirate.

This book is wonderful.

I honestly love everything about it, from the wacky ‘real’ world snippets and the ‘cuts’ of stupid amounts of pages, to the story itself. (Or, two stories, I guess, since everything in the ‘real’ part is also not real- Of course, this was never a book before Goldman wrote it. He doesn’t have a son…) Everything was so cleverly thought out and brilliantly done.

Most fairytale style books either are set in a world not like our own, or a time and place that is never specified. This, however, presents the idea of two countries that fit somewhere in our own world, for throughout it there is mention of Spain and various other countries that most definitely do exist. I liked this aspect of it- though his use of ‘timelessness’ was something I liked more. The constant brackets explaining (this was after mirrors) and (they had arguments then) were really entertaining.

Apart from the whole, knowing other countries, this book basically borders on the insane. Like. Zoo of Death. The entire storyline. The characters. The  machine that sucks life away. It was crazy, insane, and oh my god one of the best things I have ever read.

The thing I found funny was how many lines I already knew from it- I’ve never seen the film, but it is referenced so much that you know quotes and you have a favourite before you even start reading.

I am, most definitely, going to watch the film soon.

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On the TBR Pile: the Watchmaker of Filigree Street

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1883. Thaniel Steepleton returns home to his tiny London apartment to find a gold pocket watch on his pillow. Six months later, the mysterious timepiece saves his life, drawing him away from a blast that destroys Scotland Yard. At last, he goes in search of its maker, Keita Mori, a kind, lonely immigrant from Japan. Although Mori seems harmless, a chain of unexplainable events soon suggests he must be hiding something. When Grace Carrow, an Oxford physicist, unwittingly interferes, Thaniel is torn between opposing loyalties.

The Diabolic, S J Kincaid

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A Diabolic is ruthless. A Diabolic is powerful. A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for.
Nemesis is a Diabolic, a humanoid teenager created to protect a galactic senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The two have grown up side by side, but are in no way sisters. Nemesis is expected to give her life for Sidonia, and she would do so gladly. She would also take as many lives as necessary to keep Sidonia safe.
When the power-mad Emperor learns Sidonia’s father is participating in a rebellion, he summons Sidonia to the Galactic court. She is to serve as a hostage. Now, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia. She must become her. Nemesis travels to the court disguised as Sidonia—a killing machine masquerading in a world of corrupt politicians and two-faced senators’ children. It’s a nest of vipers with threats on every side, but Nemesis must keep her true abilities a secret or risk everything.
As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns there is something more to her than just deadly force. She finds a humanity truer than what she encounters from most humans. Amidst all the danger, action, and intrigue, her humanity just might be the thing that saves her life—and the empire

Warning, this DOES  contain spoilers!

I have…extremely mixed feelings about this book.

Like, sometimes, it was amazing. The whole universe and how it was set out was brilliant. The idea of this new religion, and the idea of these test tube grown people who are not really people was awesome- but at the same time, I felt like there was something lacking. I never really  understood how this whole new way of living happened, or how the ‘not-people’ first became made (I like backstory, I question everything)

Like, the whole point of our main character was that she was a Diabolic, yet most of the time, I didn’t feel like that mattered. It almost turned into just another ‘Oh no I can’t let you love me’ thing that so many YA books seems to think is cool. There were so many lines about ‘oh Diabolics aren’t human’ and ‘they are all different’ and how they were judged and hated, but whenever it came out she was Diabolic, everyone just shrugged and carried on. Any anti-comments were almost an afterthought.

The first half of the book was amazing. The first eight chapters, really, were the best, when we see Nemesis and Sidonia at home, how they interact and learning the culture of everything. (Maybe this was because I had hope, because reading their relationship was all ‘I cant live without you’ and  ‘you are my whole world’ and I was like what, do we really get a lesbian couple. HAHAHA WHO AM I KIDDING OF COURSE NOT.) (we will get to that later)

And, then, of course, off Nemesis goes in Sidonia’s place to this place that is meant to be full of danger and evil and everything. And it is. For the first chapter. After that, all the mistakes Nemesis makes, all the problems she causes herself….no one seems to care?

At the start, the characters were all brilliantly thought out. Tyrus, when we first see him and for the first few of his chapters, was interesting. I liked who he was and what he got away with, and right back at the beginning of their alliance, I thought he was great. But after that, it was as if his whole personality disappeared. This whole massive insanity ploy he had- it went within pages, and no one questioned it? I thought it was meant to help him SURVIVE.

TALKING OF SURVIVING. I know I use the phrase ‘death count higher than Game of Thrones’ but I don’t mean it as a challenge to standalone books. But this one- I swear, every other character was killed off, most of them for no reason whatsoever? Like. I have a big thing against books that kill off dogs JUST BECAUSE. IT DOESNT EVEN FURTHER THE PLOT LINE. And I get it, this was meant to be a horrible world where no one was safe, but you know what pissed me off more than anything in this book?
The fact that Sidonia (Who actually does explain to Nemesis that she loves her romantically) gets killed off, not once, but TWICE. (I mean, obviously the first time she survives, but the reader nor the characters know that for a while, so it count) I mean, the only actually LGBT character in the whole book and TWICE they kill her (not only that, but she dies broken hearted because the girl she loves would rather love the emperor in line)

…As you can see, I am rather angry at this book.

But you know the stupid thing? I still enjoyed it. Sure, I’m pissed off with all the problems, but it was still an interesting read, and I kept reading because it had so much more potential. I wanted it to get better because I wanted a reason to like it. I wanted it to get better because under all the romance, it was a really good idea.

Plus, the cover is seriously beautiful. Like, wow.

three stars

A Bookish Update

So, normally on a Friday, there would be an  ‘On The TBR Pile’ post, and normally on a Tuesday, a review of some kind.

For the past two Tuesdays, I’ve been too busy to write a review- last week, I was up in London for the Worlds Collide Tour, seeing Rainbow Rowell and Leigh Bardugo. (Both of whom are amazing and funny and so talented.) The night was one of Hamilton references and freaking out because ‘I can’t swear in a church!’ (that from Rainbow when they were doing dramatic readings of their books)

After spending over an hour in the queue afterwards, I finally got to talk to them both, and give them both bookmarks I had made (The ‘I can’t draw’ of fanart) and got my books signed.

Then, this week, a less interesting but still funny evening was spent at a poetry slam, where a small group of us shared poetry and I suddenly felt very untalented with my words compared to some of the others there. (my poetry, by the way, can be found here)

So, less time reading books and less time to write reviews means I’ve very far behind on my TBR and mildly panicking because I see no time to catch up.

As well as all this, November is upon us, which means not only is it dark at half past four in the afternoon, the Dreaded NaNoWriMo has decided, and I (along with many other would-be-writers) will be spending the month frantically throwing down random words on a document and hoping a few of them will form understandable sentences. (You can keep up to date with my progress here)

So over the next few weeks, there will most likely be many missing posts on Tuesday, and some probably forgotten-to-put-up ones on Fridays as well. I will try my best, but to review books, I actually need to put my laptop down and read them at a normal hour, and not at three oclock in the morning.

After NaNo, I hope to get back on track with blog posts… and also start thinking of other posts to do each week as well (If anyone has any suggestions, I would love them, since I apparently have no imagination)