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Monday, August 31, 2015

August Reading Wrap-Up

I feel as though August has just flown by, can't quite believe that it is over! I have managed to get quite a few books read this month, not quite as many as July but a good total of 18 books this month. As I have looked back at the books I have read this month I have noticed that I have read a lot of part series. So I thought that this month to help split these book up I shall divide them by series.



Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. (Check out the Goodreads Page here)

  • Assassins Blade
  • Throne of Glass (re-read)
  • Crown of Midnight (re-read)
  • Heir of Fire (re-read)
These were mostly rereads there was one of the novella's in Assassins Blade which I hadn't read but I have read the rest many times. If you follow me on Twitter (@Hillsofbooks) you will know that the next book in this series -Queen of Shadows- is out September 1st, so I reread these books to ensure I had all the information fresh in my head to read this next instalment.  
 I am thinking of writing a review for Assassins Blade at some point so keep an eye out for that. I would love to be able to write a real review for the rest of the series but I think it would be more of a gush as I LOVE this series so much!

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. (Check out the Goodreads Page here)

  • City of Ashes (re-read)
  • City of Glass (re-read)
  • City of Fallen Angels (re-read)
  • City of Lost Souls
As you can see I have read most of this popular series before, however when I read these the last few books hadn't been published so I couldn't read them. I have yet to read City of Heavenly Fire but I defiantly plan on reading it some time during September.

I decided not to write full reviews of these books as they are so popular and there must be thousands of reviews for them. However, I will say that I found the first three books were good and I didn't want to put them down (4 Stars). I felt as though the forth and fifth books were dragging the series out slightly but I still enjoyed them and would give them 3.5 Stars.

Fire and Thrones by Rae Carson (Check out the Goodreads Page here)  

This series has been on my 'to-buy' list for quite a while it seem to have lot of positive reviews so I thought I would give it a go. Over all I have enjoyed the series so far, I preferred the second book more than the first book but check out my reviews (linked above) to see my spoiler free thoughts.

The Squad by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Check out the Goodreads Page here

  • Perfect Cover (re-read) (My Review)
  • Killer Spirit (re-read)
This duology is a fun high school based spy story great books to get out a reading slump.

Hell's Belle by Karen Greco (Check out the Goodreads Page here)

  • Hell's Belle
  • Tainted Blood
I read these two book as ebooks and I bought them spontaneously as I fantasied a change. The first book in this series I enjoyed and would give 4 Stars but the second book was disappointed with and would only give 3 Stars. I don't think I will be continuing with this series.

Starts of Series

These next three books are the beginning of new series for me:
All these book were great, A Ranger's Tale can be read as a stand alone and I love the way which this book ended so I won't be reading any more of the series. However, I can't wait for more of the Anomaly and Thief Trap series to be published.

There is only one book this month that I have read that I haven't mentioned and that is Ember and Ash by T.M.Geoglein this is the last book in the Cold Fury Trilogy, I enjoyed it but did have some issues with it to check out my review click here.

So thank you if there is any one who has stuck with through that long list. Would love to hear from you, comment below if you have read any of these book and what you thought of them. 

August Book Hauls

This month I seem to have collected quite a few more books for my book shelves!

The first list of six book I have had on my 'to-buy' list for a while and decided to was time to buy them. The second list is the books I pick up this month while out shopping with my friends.

As you can see I have all ready managed to read some of these book and I have linked my reviews of these books next to the book, also if you want to find out more about any of these book click on the title and the Goodreads page should come up. Would love to hear from you if you have read / plan to read any of these books, please leave a comment down below. :)

Blue Felted Soaps from:

Darkest Minds
Ember and Ash T.M.Geoglein (My Review)

The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson (My Review)

Bone Season .............. by Samantha Shannon
Court of Kate Elliott
In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

Stolen Away ............... by Alyxandra Harvey
Wicked Melissa Marr
Frozen ......................... by

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns #2) by Rae Carson

Spoilers for The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Review of first book here).

Summary from Goodreads

She does not know what awaits her at the enemy's gate.

Elisa is a hero.

She led her people to victory over a terrifying, sorcerous army. Her place as the country's ruler should be secure. But it isn't.

Her enemies come at her like ghosts in a dream, from foreign realms and even from within her own court. And her destiny as the chosen one has not yet been fulfilled.

To conquer the power she bears, once and for all, Elisa must follow a trial of long-forgotten—and forbidden—clues, from the deep, hidden catacombs of her own city to the treacherous seas. With her go a one-eyed spy, a traitor, and the man whom—despite everything—she is falling in love with.

If she's lucky, she will return from this journey. But there will be a cost.

4/5 Star Non-Spoiler Review

Compared to the first book in this series this book was so much better, I was sceptical when I read other review of this book who said that the trilogy got better, but they were right. Also I have to mention the book cover; it is so beautiful, I love the different shades of blue/purple and the gold letters and pattern.
This book has a lot of the same themes as the last book but in my opinion they were played out better. I love Elisa's new character, when I was reading this book I thought that some of her dialog really showed the independent and strong, yet vulnerable person she has become.
"I want to be queen of this great country not because someone is holding my hand, but because I can do it. Me. Elisa." 
"I am ... anxious. About being queen. I'm not sure I'm doing a good job of it so far."
There continues to lots of mystery, mistrust and unanswered questions in this book. There is also romance, it more of a slow growing feeling rather than the almost 'love at first slight' that Elisa had in the first book. I again liked the romance wasn't straight forward that there were complications and mixed feelings and no love triangle! Elisa's also shows emotions in this book with guilt also being shown, something I liked was the realistic choices and consequences to her decisions. However, I was a bit annoyed by the Zafira, I don't really understand why she couldn't have worked that out without the long and dangerous journey?

Over all this book was an enjoyable read and leaves us with a bit of a cliff hanger. I think that with book three we will continue to see Elisa grow into a stronger Queen, I can't wait.


Monday, August 24, 2015

Bookish Thoujghts #1: Reading Outside - Kindle or Paperback?

So here in Scotland we don't often get a really sunny day that is nice enough to sit outside and read.
However, just the other day we have one of these rare days; sun shine, no midges and hardly any wind. So I went outside to read and it got me thinking about the advantages and problems of reading a kindle in the sun. Therefore I made a list of the advantages of both kindles and books when reading outside. Here is my list and please comment down below if you can think of any more.

Positives for reading from your Kindle:

  1. When that random gust of wind comes along, you don't lose your page.
  2. Lighter, so easier to carry to a different reading spot.
  3. If you are reading in a public place then you may get less 'weirdo book nerd' looks (if you care about such things!).

Positives for reading a Paperback:

  1. Can read by water (Swimming Pool if you are that lucky) or if it suddenly starts raining, paperbacks are cheaper to replace.
  2. They can be used to weigh down your picnic blanket.
  3. Can read with sun glasses on (something I can't do with my Kindle Fire!)   
  4. Look nicer in photo's.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Top 5 Reread Fantasy Books

If you follow my blog or Twitter (@Hillsofbooks) then you will probably know that high fantasy is one of my favourite genres. Therefore I have books within this genre that I have reread many times, in fact my copies of all the books in this list are falling apart. These book are the ones I turn to when I am stuck in a reading slump or just can't find anything else to read.
So this list is the books within the fantasy genre that I have reread the most!

 5) Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughan

(Link to the Goodread's Page)

This is a recent addition to my reread pile as it is an adult book and does have some adult content. However it is a great story about a princess who has become a healer, and with her country at war her skills are badly needed. But one day her brother (the king) makes peace with the enemy promising the princess/healer in return. The princess submit to be the enemies slave but she is a tough cookie and this develops into a great trilogy.

4) Graceling by Kristen Cashore

(Link to the Goodread's Page)
This book is a YA fantasy which had a strong female lead. Katsa is graced (gifted) with ability to kill so she defiantly kicks some butt in this book she is also sassy and strong willed. This book is part of a trilogy but I have to say that I didn't really enjoy the rest half as much as this book, I think I may have got a bit too attached to Katsa and Po.

3) Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder

(Link to the Goodread's Page
Although this YA fantasy is part of The Chronicles of Ixia I personally liked the Glass trilogy the best and this is the only part I have reread over and over. It follows Opal who is a young magician with limited powers, we get to see her grow and find herself. 

2) The Gift by Alison Croggon 

(Link to the Goodread's Page
This a teen/YA fantasy, adventure book. It's another book about a girl finding herself but this book has more of a physical journey and less of a romance plot. This is also part of a series but I personally don't love the third book due to the change in the (POV) point of view. Check out my review here.

1) Dragonfly by Julia Golding

(Link to the Goodread's Page)
Dragonfly is a teen standalone, which follow's Princess Taoshira of the Blue Crescent Islands who has been ordered to marry a foreign prince. Clashes of culture and a unexpected abduction threaten this political alliance, and even if they can get though all these issues can the two royal youth ever get on?   


Thursday, August 13, 2015

(The Girl of) Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns #1) by Rae Carson

Summary From Goodreads

Princess Elisa is a disappointment to her people. Although she bears the Godstone in her navel, a sign that she has been chosen for an act of heroism, they see her as lazy and useless and fat. On her sixteenth birthday, she is bartered off in royal marriage and shipped away to a kingdom in turmoil, where her much-older-and extremely beautiful-husband refuses to acknowledge her as his wife. Devastated, Elisa decides to take charge of her fate and learn what it means to bear the Godstone. As an invading army threatens to destroy her new home, and everyone at court maneuvers to take advantage of the young princess, Elisa becomes convinced that, not only is her own life in danger, the whole world needs saving. But how can a young girl who has never ridden horseback, never played the game of politics, and never attained the love of a man save the world? Elisa can't be sure, but she must try to uncover the Godstone's secret history before the enemy steals the destiny nestled in her core.  

Review 3.5 / 5 (No Spoilers)

I have to start this review of by saying that I don't totally know what I feel about this book, I mean I enjoyed it there were a few things about it that I didn't like but, apart from that it just didn't wow me for some reason. I bought this book because I have read/watched quite a few people who raved about it and recommend it to people who liked Kristin Cashore (which I did).  Before I dive into what I liked/didn't like about the plot I have to say I would have loved a map, also I didn't like that the copy of the book that I got was published with a slightly different title that always confuses me.
There is a lot of mystery in this book, in the beginning Elisa doesn't seem to know much about the Godstone and even though she knows more about by the end of this book there is still mystery surrounding it. There is also mystery about her new husband and his actions are a bit confusing but I like that she learns why he acts like he does. Despite all this mystery the main theme of this book is about Elisa finding her purpose in life, which she seems to have done by the end of this book, but with hints that she hasn't yet completed what the prophesy predicted.   
One of the main side themes is the romance, I really enjoyed this side of the story when I released that this book was going to have a common trope, I was a bit disappointed. However this situation was resolved in a way I haven't read before (I am sure it has been used in another book, I just haven't read it) so it surprised me and I greatly enjoyed it.
Although having said all that, it took me quite a while to get into this book, the first 2 part of the book were OK but the last part of the book I really enjoyed and couldn't put down. I don't really know why this was but I think that I was at the point getting to know that characters and the world, so that made it all the more enjoyable. My one negative about this book came in the first part of the book were we were told over and over again about Elisa's size. I love that we had a over weight main character but I got annoyed at it being mentioned and emphasised over and over again.
 I hope we get to see more of Rosario and Lord Hector in the following books as I love their personalities. I would also like to see some interaction between Elisa and her sister at some point in the rest of the series, as I want to know how they would get on since Elisa's transformation.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Thief Trap (A Cloak Games #1) by Jonathan Moeller


Summary From Goodreads

In 2013, a gate to another world opened, and Elves used their magic to conquer Earth, crushing all resistance before them. Three hundred years after the Conquest, the exiled Elven High Queen rules an orderly but stagnant Earth, with humanity forced to fight in the High Queen’s war against the traitors on the Elven homeworld.

Nadia Moran doesn’t care about that. She doesn’t care about the High Queen, or the Rebels seeking to overthrow her. All she cares about is getting her baby brother the treatments he needs to recover from his potentially fatal disease…and those treatments have a steep price.

Fortunately, Nadia has magic of her own, and she’s a very, very good thief. Unfortunately, the powerful Elven lord Morvilind has a hold on Nadia. If she doesn’t follow his commands, her brother is going to die.

Of course, given how dangerous Morvilind’s missions are, Nadia might not live long enough to see her brother’s death…

4/5 Stars (No-Spoilers) Review 

First thing first, the beginning of this book just hooks you right in, and you just can't put it down. This was completely a impulsive buy I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed and saw a post from Jonathan Moeller, advertising that he was publishing a new book and that the beginning was free on his website. So I check it out the book on his website then the next day I had downloaded this book! I haven't regretted this snap decision as I have enjoyed this book greatly. As I have mentioned the beginning of this book is great, the first sentence just set it all off with:
        "One of the earliest things I remember is watching the entire United States
      Congress commit suicide on National television."  
I mean wow, what a way to start a book! This book just goes from one 'surprise' moment to the next. This is a fast paced book and full of action. I liked that as well as surprises we also have a mystery surrounding Lord Morvilind, and Mr Corvus and there is mystery sounding the tablet as well! I also enjoyed that there was a promise of romance in this book and the ending definitely left it open to that possibility.   
I love the main character she has (as is pointed out) a smart mouth and she is a total kick ass. I also like the different way which she interacts with the different people, I enjoyed her interactions with James the most, he seems like the only person she can half confide in even if she can't tell him the whole truth.  
There are only two things I didn't really like about this book:
1) The cover -  I know that urban fantasy book's often have this kind of cover, but I don't think it represented the book well and the only black dress I can remember is a cocktail dress which I didn't imagine like the outfit on the cover.
2) The book was quite short (less than 200 pages). However Jonathan Moeller is a fast writer so the next book I am sure won't be too far away.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Embers & Ash (Cold Fury #3) by T.M. Goeglein

Spoilers for the Rest of the Series in Summery.

Summary From Goodreads

Sara Jane Rispoli is on the wrong side of the Russian mob, but closer to finding her family than ever. And she's willing to do whatever it takes to finally end this terrible journey even if the price is her own life.

The very cold fury that has seen her through the worst of her troubles is now killing her; she knows the cure, but she can't sacrifice the deadly electricity until she's rescued her family. But when she finally does rescue them, it's not the happy reunion she pictured. And the torment doesn't stop there, not even when she finally discovers Ultimate Power. Only destroying the Outfit completely can end this terrible nightmare.

Old enemies return to seek vengeance, double-crosses abound, and even more mysteries are uncovered as we rocket toward an end no one saw coming.

3.5 / 5 Stars Review

So the final book in the trilogy. I always find it hard to review the last book in a series, as I know that nothing else is going to happen and this makes how the book ends really important to me, and unfortunately I wasn't entirely happy with how this ended but more on that later. 
There were many things I liked and enjoyed about this book, firstly I like that although this books starts a month on from Flicker & Burn, that we get to know what happens as a result of Sara Jane's action at the end of book 2. Also the recap of the first book came up in convocation which I made it more natural to read.
There are many twists and unexpected moments in this book, one moment you think you know something for sure, the next that idea is shattered, and you haven't got a clue who is doing/done what. I think that (until the epilogue) this book was by far the best.
The reason for this book losing that half star is because of the epilogue, I loved the way that the last chapter left this book and I kind of wish I hadn't read the epilogue. Without giving major spoilers I just don't think that Sara Jane could live the life which the epilogue describes. I really hope we get a book 4 and it would be just as action packed and kick-butt as these three books have been.     

Friday, August 07, 2015

Perfect Cover (The Squad #1) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Summary From Goodreads (Shortened)  

Toby Klein; a sophomore computer hacker who doesn't play well with others. She has zero school spirit, a black belt in karate, and what her guidance counselor calls an attitude problem. She's the last person you'd expect to be invited to join the varsity cheerleading squad.

Bayport's varsity cheer squad is made up of the hottest of the hot. But this A-list is dangerous in more ways than one. The Squad is actually a cover for the most highly trained group of underage government operatives the United States has ever assembled. They have the perfect cover, because, beyond herkies and highlights, no one expects anything from a cheerleader.

Toby Klein might not seem like the most likely recruit, but she's never been one to turn down a challenge. If she can handle the makeover, Bayport Hight may just have found its newest cheerleader.

Pretty, popular, armed, and extremely dangerous--meet THE SQUAD.

 3.5/5 star Review (Non-Spoiler)


This book was a light and fun read. I loved the idea of the 'airheaded' cheerleaders being government operatives and made me think of the film Miss Congeniality, apart from the main charter Toby doesn't have any official training.  The notes exchange at the beginning of this was a great way to introduce the idea, as it showed clearly to two sides of Bayport's cheerleaders. I also liked that there was a range of different personalities within The Squad, and that although they were friends and would always stick up for each other there were times and situations where they didn't get on. This made the friendship groups interaction more realistic in my opinion. 
There is a hit of romance in this book, I would have liked slightly more of the romance between Toby and Jack, and slightly less of Noah's constant talk of hot girls. I liked the way in which Toby changes and adapts to the new situation which she finds herself in, and I enjoyed her internal thoughts they help to make the book more humours. The change in the vice-principal's attitude towards Toby just shows what popularity can do for a person, and how being popular  can change the way in which people treat you, we can also see this in the wild rumours which begin as Toby becomes the newest member of the 'opular group.  
Other things I liked about this book were the chapter headings which combined the two sides of the cheerleader squad very well. For example:  
I also like the dedication in this book, often book dedication are just a name I like that Jennifer Lynn Barnes has gone into detail about who Michelle is, it was also great to see that she had included in her book advice that she had herself been given:
Over all, a great read and would recommend it to all those who enjoyed the I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter or Model Spy by Shannon Greenland.  

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday | My Favorite Maps

This week Top 5 Wednesday (Goodreads Group ) is top 5 favourite maps. I have looked through all my fantasy books and have chosen 5 maps which are my favourite mainly because of the look of them rather than anything deeper than that. So I tried to put them into an order (1-5) and will show you a picture of the book as well as the map. I will also be linking the books Goodreads pages, it would be great to know what you all think if you agree/disagree, would  love to know what your favourite maps are.

5) Throne of Glass Series (Goodreads Link)


Throne of Glass series is currently one of my favourite series (Highly Recommended) and this map above just helped me to visualise the world better. It was especially helpful when I read the prequel novellas where the main character is sent on missions in different places and countries.   


4) Sabriel (Goodreads Link)


This map has made it up on this list as I like the colour contrast between the water masses and the land. (A poor reason I know but it looks nice, who can say no to a nice looking map?) 




3) Graceling (Goodreads Link)

I think that the thing that draws me to this map is that it has the random picture in the sea, which reminds me of really old maps which have these as well. Though I do have to say that I am not a great fan of other versions of this map I have seen in for example Bitterblue, where they seem to have just simplified it too much for my taste.

2)The Gift - AKA The Naming (Goodreads Link)


This is one of my long-term favourite fantasy books and the map really helped my to understand where the characters were traveling to and from, as there is a lot of traveling in this series. Also something I liked in the first book in this series was that there was a zoomed in version of the map, at the beginning of the different parts to show where in the world that part of the story was taking place.  (Check out my review here) 


1) Kiss of Deception (Goodreads Link

This book is just a beautiful book both inside and out, the cover is pretty the writing style is amazing. However in relation to the map and the reason that it is 1st in this list is mainly because I like the colour that the map has been printed in. I also like that we have the pictures around the edge framing the actual map and showing what I think must be the royal families emblems/coat of arms . 

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Anomaly (Schrodinger's Consortium, #1) by Tony Kuper

Summary from Goodreads

Worst. Birthday. Ever. My first boyfriend dumped me—happy birthday, Josie!—my dad is who knows where, I have some weird virus that makes me want to hurl, and now my ex is licking another girl’s tonsils. Oh, and I’m officially the same age as my brother was when he died. Yeah, today is about as fun-filled as the swamps of Dagobah. But then weird things start happening…

Like I make something materialize just by thinking about it.

When hottily-hot badass Reid Wentworth shows up on a motorcycle, everything changes. Like, everything. Who I am. My family. What really happened to my brother. Existence. I am Oculi, and I have the ability to change reality with my thoughts. Now Reid, in all his hotness, is charged with guiding and protecting me as I begin learning how to bend reality. And he’s the only thing standing between me and the secret organization that wants me dead…

4/5 stars (Great Read)

This book is fast paced and a easy read. One of the first thing I liked about this book was, that although there seems to be a lot said in the summary, a lot of that happens quickly meaning that we have a lot of the story which we are left to guess at. I also liked that although we get the trope of a teen girl finding that the world around her wasn't as she thought, this wasn't the only revelation that she gets during the book. The book starts with quite a bit of mystery surrounding Reid and Josie's older brother, but through the book Josie slowly gets answers mean after initial bombshell there are aftershocks as well.

I like the banter between Josie, Reid and Santos and also the interaction between Josie and her younger brother. I really don't understand Josie's parents at all in this book they just don't seem to care! The ending of this book was predictable in some ways but there were also a few unpredictable moments that I enjoyed. We are left with the promise of another book, which I can't wait for to find out more about the wider conflicts happening around Josie.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

July Reading Wrap-up

So this month I didn't have any university work so I have managed a lot of reading. Although even I am surprised at how many books I have managed to read/reread, but my TRB pile doesn't seem to have gone down much! I shall list all the books I have read according to the number of stars I gave them. (Click on the book name to go to the Goodreads page.)






2.5/5 stars (Wanted to give up but pushed on to the end)

Wake by


The Messenger by Leach Rose (Re-read)

Cursed (Fallen Siren #1) by S.J.Harper (Re-read)

Reckoning (Fallen Siren #2) by S.J.Harper (Re-read)

Stray by Rachel Vincent (Re-read)

The Gift (Pellinor #1)by Alison Croggon (Re-read) ( My Review )

The Singing (Pellinor #4) by Alison Croggon  (Re-read)

5/5 stars (Must Reads)

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard ( My Review )

Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson ( My Review )

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (Re-read)