Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books with Red in the Title


Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature from The Broke and the Bookish, now hosted by ThatArtsyReaderGirl. Expect a new top ten list every week!


| Top Ten… Books with Red in the Title |

Having had little to no free time over the past week or so, my blog posts have taken something of a dive. However, having started preparations for next week’s post in which I will be exploring books with the colour black in their title (and seeing as this week is a freebie), I managed to pull together this post based on the colour red!

With books I’ve read, books I’ve reviewed and books that are firmly planted on my TBR, scroll down for this week’s Top Ten… Books with Red in the Title

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| 1. |

Red Sister

Book One of the Book of the Ancestor

by Mark Lawrence

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| My Thoughts |

Red Sister is a thrilling start to an action-packed and mesmerising series by Mark Lawrence. The world-building and magic system are unique and well-balanced, Nona and her fellow sisters are brilliant, if a little terrifying, and the plot takes a hold of you at the start and refuses to let go. Red Sister is most definitely one of my favourite reads of the past two years.

Rating

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| Synopsis |

At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.

But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.

Stolen from the shadow of the noose, Nona is sought by powerful enemies, and for good reason. Despite the security and isolation of the convent her secret and violent past will find her out. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive…

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| 2. |

The Red Knight

Book One of The Traitor Son Cycle

by Miles Cameron

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| My Thoughts |

The opening to The Traitor Son Cycle is an action-packed epic full of knights, mercenaries and nuns, with and inordinate number of battles, skirmishes and duels to see you through to the closing chapter. Don’t be fooled by a slow start, The Red Knight is a brilliant fantasy novel that will have me reaching for The Fell Sword in no time.

Rating

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| Synopsis |

Twenty eight florins a month is a huge price to pay, for a man to stand between you and the Wild.

Twenty eight florins a month is nowhere near enough when a wyvern’s jaws snap shut on your helmet in the hot stink of battle, and the beast starts to rip the head from your shoulders. But if standing and fighting is hard, leading a company of men – or worse, a company of mercenaries – against the smart, deadly creatures of the Wild is even harder.

It takes all the advantages of birth, training, and the luck of the devil to do it.

The Red Knight has all three, he has youth on his side, and he’s determined to turn a profit. So when he hires his company out to protect an Abbess and her nunnery, it’s just another job. The abby is rich, the nuns are pretty and the monster preying on them is nothing he can’t deal with.

Only it’s not just a job. It’s going to be a war…heart

| 3. |

Red Rising

Book One of the Red Rising Saga

by Pierce Brown

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Red Rising now needs little introduction. This stunning debut introduces us to Darrow as he begins a quest against a classist and racist ruling elite following generations of lies and oppression. This is an action-packed novel that had me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end.

Rating

My review of Red Rising can be found here.

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| Synopsis |

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars liveable for future generations.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilisation against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.
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| 4. |

Red Mars

Book One of the Mars Trilogy

by Kim Stanley Robinson

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| My Thoughts |

Red Mars charts the colonisation of Mars in this descriptive science fiction epic. In a narrative where personal politics reign supreme, the petty dramas and squabbles acted out by numerous characters could cost the hundred the very success of the mission. With worldbuilding and description on an epic scale, Red Mars is a solid and science-heavy read.

Rating

My review of Red Mars can be found here.

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| Synopsis |

For eons, sandstorms have swept the desolate landscape. For centuries, Mars has beckoned humans to conquer its hostile climate. Now, in 2026, a group of 100 colonists is about to fulfill that destiny.

John Boone, Maya Toitavna, Frank Chalmers & Arkady Bogdanov lead a terraforming mission. For some, Mars will become a passion driving them to daring acts of courage & madness. For others it offers an opportunity to strip the planet of its riches. For the genetic alchemists, it presents a chance to create a biomedical miracle, a breakthrough that could change all we know about life & death. The colonists orbit giant satellite mirrors to reflect light to the surface. Black dust sprinkled on the polar caps will capture warmth. Massive tunnels, kilometers deep, will be drilled into the mantle to create stupendous vents of hot gases. Against this backdrop of epic upheaval, rivalries, loves & friendships will form & fall to pieces–for there are those who will fight to the death to prevent Mars from ever being changed.

Brilliantly imagined, breathtaking in scope & ingenuity, Red Mars is an epic scientific saga, chronicling the next step in evolution, creating a world in its entirety. It shows a future, with both glory & tarnish, that awes with complexity & inspires with vision.

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| 5. |

Red Country

by Joe Abercrombie

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| My Thoughts |

Red Country is a witty and gritty Abercrombie offering set in the same world as the First Law. Styled as a western fantasy, this stand-alone novel is full of brutal, bloody action, where humour and a heavy dose of sarcasm take the edge off the grim and the dark. Another brilliant offering from Abercrombie and another solid five stars!

Rating

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| Synopsis |

They burned her home.
They stole her brother and sister.
But vengeance is following.

Shy South hoped to bury her bloody past and ride away smiling, but she’ll have to sharpen up some bad old ways to get her family back, and she’s not a woman to flinch from what needs doing. She sets off in pursuit with only a pair of oxen and her cowardly old step father Lamb for company. But it turns out Lamb’s buried a bloody past of his own. And out in the lawless Far Country the past never stays buried.

Their journey will take them across the barren plains to a frontier town gripped by gold fever, through feud, duel and massacre, high into the unmapped mountains to a reckoning with the Ghosts. Even worse, it will force them into an alliance with Nicomo Cosca, infamous soldier of fortune, and his feckless lawyer Temple, two men no one should ever have to trust . . .

RED COUNTRY takes place in the same world as the First Law trilogy, Best Served Cold, and The Heroes. This novel also represents the return of Logen Ninefingers, one of Abercrombie’s most beloved characters.

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| 6. |

Red Seas Under Red Skies

Book Two of the Gentleman Bastard Series

by Scott Lynch

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| My Thoughts |

Red Seas Under Red Skies is a fun and exciting sequel which continues the story of Locke and Jean as they once again attempt to pull of the impossible using their wits alone. Generally considered not quite as good as The Lies of Locke Lamora, the second in the Gentleman Bastard series is a thoroughly enjoyable romp full of humour, beautiful architecture and a whole host of liars, swindlers and cheats.

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| Synopsis |

After a brutal battle with the underworld that nearly destroyed him, Locke Lamora and his trusted sidekick, Jean, fled the island city of their birth and landed on the exotic shores of Tal Verrar to nurse their wounds. But even at this westernmost edge of civilisation, they can’t rest for long—and they are soon back doing what they do best: stealing from the undeserving rich and pocketing the proceeds for themselves.

This time, however, they have targeted the grandest prize of all: the Sinspire, the most exclusive and heavily guarded gambling house in the world. Its nine floors attract the wealthiest clientele – and to rise to the top, one must impress with good credit, amusing behaviour…and excruciatingly impeccable play. For there is one cardinal rule, enforced by Requin, the house’s cold-blooded master: it is death to cheat at any game at the Sinspire. Brazenly undeterred, Locke and Jean have orchestrated an elaborate plan to lie, trick, and swindle their way up the nine floors…straight to Requin’s teeming vault. Under the cloak of false identities, they meticulously make their climb – until they are closer to the spoils than ever.

But someone in Tal Verrar has uncovered the duo’s secret. Someone from their past who has every intention of making the impudent criminals pay for their sins. Now it will take every ounce of cunning to save their mercenary souls. And even that may not be enough.

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| 7. |

All Systems Red

Book One of The Murderbot Diaries

by Martha Wells

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| My Thoughts |

The Murderbot Diaries are a new addition to my TBR and the first book, All Systems Red, has already made its way onto my Kindle after reading numerous glowing reviews.

Check out this review by Maddalena @ Space and Sorcery to find out more!

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| Synopsis |

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid—a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

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| 8. |

Red Moon

by Kim Stanley Robinson

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| My Thoughts |

After reading Red Mars many moons ago, I have been eager to read more of Kim Stanley Robinson’s beautifully descriptive writing, and Red Moon, a political science-fiction thriller, may just fit the bill!

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| Synopsis |

American Fred Fredericks is making his first trip, his purpose to install a communications system for China’s Lunar Science Foundation. But hours after his arrival he witnesses a murder and is forced into hiding.

It is also the first visit for celebrity travel reporter Ta Shu. He has contacts and influence, but he too will find that the moon can be a perilous place for any traveller.

Finally, there is Chan Qi. She is the daughter of the Minister of Finance, and without doubt a person of interest to those in power. She is on the moon for reasons of her own, but when she attempts to return to China, in secret, the events that unfold will change everything – on the moon, and on Earth.

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| 9. |

A Red-Rose Chain

Book Nine of the October Daye Series

by Seanan McGuire

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| My Thoughts |

The October (or Toby) Daye series is a wonderful and fae urban fantasy by Seanan McGuire. Having read books one to four, I still have some way to go before A Red-Rose Chain but I’m sure it’ll be a magical journey along the way!

My review for Rosemary and Rue, Book One of the October Daye series, can be found here.

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| Synopsis |

Things are looking up.

For the first time in what feels like years, October “Toby” Daye has been able to pause long enough to take a breath and look at her life—and she likes what she sees. She has friends. She has allies. She has a squire to train and a King of Cats to love, and maybe, just maybe, she can let her guard down for a change.

Or not. When Queen Windermere’s seneschal is elf-shot and thrown into an enchanted sleep by agents from the neighboring Kingdom of Silences, Toby finds herself in a role she never expected to play: that of a diplomat. She must travel to Portland, Oregon, to convince King Rhys of Silences not to go to war against the Mists. But nothing is that simple, and what October finds in Silences is worse than she would ever have imagined.#

How far will Toby go when lives are on the line, and when allies both old and new are threatened by a force she had never expected to face again? How much is October willing to give up, and how much is she willing to change? In Faerie, what’s past is never really gone.

It’s just waiting for an opportunity to pounce.

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| 10. |

The Red Prince

Book Three of The Long War

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| My Thoughts |

The Red Prince is the third novel in The Long War series by A. J. Smith. Having now read several wonderful reviews for this series, it has been firmly attached to my TBR!

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| Synopsis |

Between the desert plains of Karesia and the icy wastes of Ranen, there once lay the kingdom of Ro. Its lands were fertile. Its men and women were prosperous. Their god – the One – was satisfied.

But then the men of Ro grew unwatchful, and the armies of the south took their chance. Now the Seven Sisters rule the Kingdom, enslaving their people with sorcery of pleasure and blood. Soon, they will appoint a new god. The Long War rumbles on … but the Red Prince has yet to enter the field of battle.

ALL THAT WAS DEAD WILL RISE.

ALL THAT NOW LIVES WILL FALL..


Stay tuned for next week’s post:

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books with Black in the Title

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Which ‘Red’ book is your favourite?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books on my Spring TBR


Top Ten TuesdayWelcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature hosted by those lovely bookworms over at The Broke and the Bookish. Expect a new top ten list every week!


| Top Ten… Books on my Spring TBR |

This Tuesday I’m paying homage to all those books which have taken long term residence on my bookshelves; books which I fully intend to devour over the coming months! I’m late to the party on all fronts – yes my list even includes some of my favourite (if somewhat neglected) authors – but with these ten beauties to look forward to, it looks like spring is set to be a riot!heart

| 1. |

Gardens of the Moon

Book One of the Malazan Book of the Fallen

by Steven Erikson

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The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting, and bloody confrontations. Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen’s rule remains absolute, enforced by her dread Claw assassins.

For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, surviving cadre mage of the Second Legion, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the many dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities of Genabackis, yet holds out. It is to this ancient citadel that Laseen turns her predatory gaze.

But it would appear that the Empire is not alone in this great game. Sinister, shadowbound forces are gathering as the gods themselves prepare to play their hand….

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| 2 |

The Man in the High Castle

by Philip K. Dick

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It’s America in 1962. Slavery is legal once again. The few Jews who still survive hide under assumed names. In San Francisco, the I Ching is as common as the Yellow Pages. All because some twenty years earlier the United States lost a war—and is now occupied by Nazi Germany and Japan. This harrowing, Hugo Award-winning novel is the work that established Philip K. Dick as an innovator in science fiction while breaking the barrier between science fiction and the serious novel of ideas. In it Dick offers a haunting vision of history as a nightmare from which it may just be possible to wake.heart

| 3 |

King of Thorns

Book Two of The Broken Empire

by Mark Lawrence

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To reach greatness you must step on bodies. I’ll win this game of ours, though the cost of it may drown the world in blood…

A six nation army marches toward Jorg’s gates, led by a shining hero determined to unite the empire and heal its wounds. Every omen says he will. Every good king knows to bend the knee in the face of overwhelming odds, if only to save their people and their lands. But King Jorg is not a good king.

Faced by an enemy many times his strength, Jorg knows that he cannot win a fair fight. But playing fair was never part of Jorg’s game plan…

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| 4. |

Shadows of Self

Book Five of the Mistborn Series

by Brandon Sanderson
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A bloody massacre, a hunt for an assassin.

An Invitation to the criminal elite of Elendel from the brother of the city’s governor to an auction for his vote in the senate becomes a death sentences for all involved when an unknown assailant slaughters everyone in attendance.

Waxillium Ladrian investigates and is shocked to discover that the perpetrator may be a kandra calling herself Bleeder. As the servants of Harmony, the god of the religion Wax himself adheres to, the kandra usually operate in secret, and many people think them merely a myth. Now one of the kandra has gone rogue, which shouldn’t be possible.

Wax, Wayne and the brilliant Marasi must track down Bleeder and keep her from assassinating the governor of Elendel and plunging the city into chaos.

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| 5. |

The Tower Lord

Book Two of the Raven’s Shadow

by Anthony Ryan
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“The blood-song rose with an unexpected tune, a warm hum mingling recognition with an impression of safety. He had a sense it was welcoming him home.”

Vaelin Al Sorna, warrior of the Sixth Order, called Darkblade, called Hope Killer. The greatest warrior of his day, and witness to the greatest defeat of his nation: King Janus’s vision of a Greater Unified Realm drowned in the blood of brave men fighting for a cause Vaelin alone knows was forged from a lie. Sick at heart, he comes home, determined to kill no more.

Named Tower Lord of the Northern Reaches by King Janus’s grateful heir, he can perhaps find peace in a colder, more remote land far from the intrigues of a troubled Realm. But those gifted with the blood-song are never destined to live a quiet life. Many died in King Janus’s wars, but many survived, and Vaelin is a target, not just for those seeking revenge but for those who know what he can do.

The Faith has been sundered, and many have no doubt who their leader should be. The new King is weak, but his sister is strong. The blood-song is powerful, rich in warning and guidance in times of trouble, but is only a fraction of the power available to others who understand more of its mysteries. Something moves against the Realm, something that commands mighty forces, and Vaelin will find to his great regret that when faced with annihilation, even the most reluctant hand must eventually draw a sword.

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| 6. |

Golden Son

Book Two of the Red Rising Trilogy

by Pierce Brown
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Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within.

A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart, Golden Son guarantees Pierce Brown’s continuing status as one of fiction’s most exciting new voices.

| 7. |

The Falcons of Fire and Ice

by Karen Maitland
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The year is 1539 and the Portuguese Inquisition ushers in an era of torture and murder. When the Royal Falconer is imprisoned on false charges to remove him from the inner circle of the boy King, the Inquisitors strike an impossible deal with his daughter, Isabela. Bring back two rare white falcons from Iceland within the year or her father dies.

Meanwhile in Iceland, a menacing stranger appears to have possessed the soul of a woman chained up in a volcanic cave and is threatening to destroy the community. The woman’s twin sister, Eydis, is desperate to intervene but vivid dreams suggest the twins’ only salvation lies with a young girl from afar, travelling in search of white feathers.

Isabela’s quest might hold a more crucial purpose then she could ever imagine and there are those among her travel companions who have an interest in doing her harm. But in order to fulfil her destiny, first she must reach Iceland’s shores. Alive.heart

| 8. |

Assassin’s Quest

Book Three of The Farseer Trilogy

by Robin Hobb
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King Shrewd is dead at the hands of his son Regal. As is Fitz—or so his enemies and friends believe. But with the help of his allies and his beast magic, he emerges from the grave, deeply scarred in body and soul. The kingdom also teeters toward ruin: Regal has plundered and abandoned the capital, while the rightful heir, Prince Verity, is lost to his mad quest—perhaps to death. Only Verity’s return—or the heir his princess carries—can save the Six Duchies.

But Fitz will not wait. Driven by loss and bitter memories, he undertakes a quest: to kill Regal. The journey casts him into deep waters, as he discovers wild currents of magic within him—currents that will either drown him or make him something more than he was.
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| 9. |

The Air War

Book Eight of the Shadows of the Apt Series

by Adrian Tchaikovsky
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All is in turmoil as the world moves towards war. In Solarno, the spies watch each other and ready their knives, while Myna sees the troops muster at its border and emotions run high as it vows never to be enslaved again. In Collegium, the students argue politics, too late to turn the tide. In the heart of the Empire, new pilots have completed their secretive training, generals are being recalled to service and armies are ready to march. Their Empress, the heir to two worlds, intends to claim her birthright. And nothing – either within the Empire or beyond it – will stand in her way. A conflict is coming, the like of which the insect-kinden have never seen.heart

And last but not least, a book which has been on my bookshelf since 2009…

| 10. |

The Gone-Away World

by Nick Harkawayheart

The Jorgmund Pipe is the backbone of the world, and it’s on fire. Gonzo Lubitsch, professional hero and troubleshooter, is hired to put it out – but there’s more to the fire, and the Pipe itself, than meets the eye. The job will take Gonzo and his best friend, our narrator, back to their own beginnings and into the dark heart of the Jorgmund Company itself.

Equal parts raucous adventure, comic odyssey and Romantic Epic, The Gone-Away World is a story of – among other things – love and loss; of ninjas, pirates, politics; of curious heroism in strange and dangerous places; and of a friendship stretched beyond its limits. But it also the story of a world, not unlike our own, in desperate need of heroes – however unlikely they may seem.
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What books are you planning to read this spring? If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to The Broke and the Bookish and sign up!

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2015: A Year in Review


2015


| Books by Proxy – A Year in Review |

Welcome to my first end of year post – and what a year it has been! I started this blog on the last day of July and, over the last half of 2015, have found myself as part of a wonderful community of readers and bloggers. In my albeit limited experience, we book bloggers are lucky to enjoy a very friendly and supportive community, where sharing our books, our reviews and our experiences is all done for a love of reading and can be enjoyed by many. So thank you readers and thank you bloggers for making 2015 such an enjoyable year. I hope you all have a fantastic 2016!heart


| A Year in Books |
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I think we can all agree these two very similar and equally profound books, Blood Song by Anthony Ryan and The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, deservedly made it into my longest and shortest book categories.heart


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Donna Leon

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Leon 10

with ten books in her Commissario Brunetti series

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2015 - 6

P.G. Wodehouse

with nine books in total including seven from his Blandings series

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Jim Butcher

with eight books in The Dresden Files series

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AC - 6

Agatha Christie

with six books in her Hercule Poirot series

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best fantasyBlood Song

Book One of the Raven’s Shadow Series

by Anthony Ryan

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Best SciFiRed Rising

Book One of the Red Rising Trilogy

by Pierce Brown

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best novellaThe SerpentThe Serpent

The Gameshouse I

by Claire North

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best crimeThe Few

A Leone Scamarcio Thriller

by Nadia Dalbuonoheart

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best historicalLamentationLamentation

Book Six of the Matthew Shardlake Series

by C.J. Sansom

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best classicSomething FreshSomething Fresh

Book One of the Blandings Series

by P.G. Wodehouse

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There were so many more amazing books which deserve to be on this list but then it would just be most of 2015’s books!

Thank you all for reading and have a wonderful 2016!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Most Anticipated Releases of 2016


Top Ten TuesdayWelcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature hosted by those lovely bookworms over at The Broke and the Bookish. Expect a new top ten list every week!


| Top Ten… Most Anticipated Releases of 2016 |

Welcome back to another week’s Top Ten Tuesday. I hope you’ve all had a wonderful Christmas whether you celebrate or not! 2015 is finally drawing to a close and for this week’s Top Ten we’re looking at the most anticipated releases of 2016 – and it certainly promises to be a spectacular year for fiction! In no particular order, here are the books I’m most looking forward to getting my hands on in the coming year:

| 1. |

Sharp Ends

Sharp Ends

by Joe Abercrombie

26th April 2016

The Union army may be full of bastards, but there’s only one who thinks he can save the day single-handed when the Gurkish come calling: the incomparable Colonel Sand dan Glokta.

Curnden Craw and his dozen are out to recover a mysterious item from beyond the Crinna. Only one small problem: no one seems to know what the item is.

Shevedieh, the self-styled best thief in Styria, lurches from disaster to catastrophe alongside her best friend and greatest enemy, Javre, Lioness of Hoskopp.

And after years of bloodshed, the idealistic chieftain Bethod is desperate to bring peace to the North. There’s only one obstacle left – his own lunatic champion, the most feared man in the North: the Bloody-Nine . . .

Sharp Ends combines previously published, award-winning tales with exclusive new short stories. Violence explodes, treachery abounds, and the words are as deadly as the weapons in this rogue’s gallery of side-shows, back-stories, and sharp endings from the world of the First Law.

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| 2. |

Daughter of Blood

Daughter of Blood

by Helen Lowe

26th January 2016

A falling wall, a broken shield… and an enemy that will exploit every weakness.

Malian and Kalan are coming home, but already it may be too late. The Wall of Night, dangerously weakened by civil war among the Derai families that garrison it, is on the verge of failing. Everywhere their ancient enemy, the Darksworn, is on the move as the threads of an old pattern begin to tighten.

In Grayharbor and in the Red Keep, a child and a young woman are caught in conflict’s maw, as whispers gather around Dread Pass and a Darksworn prophecy points to Malian herself being the stake the ancient enemy will drive into the heart of the Derai Alliance.

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| 3. |

The Bands of Mourning

The Bands of Mourning

by Brandon Sanderson

28th January 2016

With The Alloy of Law and Shadows of Self, Brandon Sanderson surprised readers with a New York Times bestselling spinoff of his Mistborn books, set after the action of the trilogy, in a period corresponding to late 19th-century America.

Now, with The Bands of Mourning, Sanderson continues the story. The Bands of Mourning are the mythical metalminds owned by the Lord Ruler, said to grant anyone who wears them the powers that the Lord Ruler had at his command. Hardly anyone thinks they really exist. A kandra researcher has returned to Elendel with images that seem to depict the Bands, as well as writings in a language that no one can read. Waxillium Ladrian is recruited to travel south to the city of New Seran to investigate. Along the way he discovers hints that point to the true goals of his uncle Edwarn and the shadowy organization known as The Set.
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| 4. |

The Tiger and the Wolf

The Tiger and the Wolf

by Adrian Tchaikovsky

11th February 2016

In the bleak northern crown of the world, war is coming.

Maniye’s father is the Wolf clan’s chieftain, but she’s an outcast. Her mother was queen of the Tiger and these tribes have been enemies for generations. Maniye also hides a deadly secret. All can shift into their clan’s animal form, but Maniye can take on tiger and wolf shapes. She can’t disown half her soul, so escapes – with the killer Broken Axe in pursuit.

Maniye’s father plots to rule the north, and controlling his daughter is crucial to his schemes. However, other tribes also prepare for strife. It’s a season for omens as priests foresee danger, a time of testing and broken laws. Some say a great war is coming, overshadowing even Wolf ambitions. But what spark will set the world ablaze?

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| 5. |

Morning Star

Morning Star

by Pierce Brown

11th February 2016

Red Rising thrilled readers and announced the presence of a talented new author. Golden Son totally changed the game and took the story of Darrow to the next level. Now comes the exhilarating conclusion to the Red Rising Trilogy: Morning Star.

Born a lowly Red in the mines of Mars, Darrow lost his beloved wife to the treacherous Gold overlords. Vowing to fight for the future that his wife believed in, Darrow joins a secret revolutionary group and is remade into a Gold so that he can infiltrate the ruling class and bring them down from the inside. Now, after years of hiding amongst the Golds, Darrow is finally ready to declare open revolution and throw off the chains of oppression. Nothing in Darrow’s world has been easily won, and this final fight will be the most harrowing of all.

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| 6. |

A Gathering of Shadows

A Gathering of Shadows

by V.E. Schwab

23rd February 2016

Four months have passed since the shadow stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Rhy was wounded and the Dane twins fell, and the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift, and into Black London.

In many ways, things have almost returned to normal, though Rhy is more sober, and Kell is now plagued by his guilt. Restless, and having given up smuggling, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks like she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games—an extravagant international competition of magic, meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries—a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

But while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life, and those who were thought to be forever gone have returned. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night reappears in the morning, and so it seems Black London has risen again—meaning that another London must fall.

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| 7. |


Children of Earth and Sky

Children of Earth and Sky

by Guy Gavriel Kay

12th May 2016

The bestselling author of the groundbreaking novels Under Heaven and River of Stars, Guy Gavriel Kay is back with a new novel, Children of Earth and Sky, set in a world inspired by the conflicts and dramas of Renaissance Europe. Against this tumultuous backdrop the lives of men and women unfold on the borderlands—where empires and faiths collide.

From the small coastal town of Senjan, notorious for its pirates, a young woman sets out to find vengeance for her lost family. That same spring, from the wealthy city-state of Seressa, famous for its canals and lagoon, come two very different people: a young artist traveling to the dangerous east to paint the grand khalif at his request—and possibly to do more—and a fiercely intelligent, angry woman, posing as a doctor’s wife, but sent by Seressa as a spy.

The trading ship that carries them is commanded by the accomplished younger son of a merchant family, ambivalent about the life he’s been born to live. And farther east a boy trains to become a soldier in the elite infantry of the khalif—to win glory in the war everyone knows is coming.

As these lives entwine, their fates—and those of many others—will hang in the balance, when the khalif sends out his massive army to take the great fortress that is the gateway to the western world…

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| 8. |

The Silver Tide

by Jen Williams

25th February 2016

Tales of the Black Feather Three and their exploits abound far and wide, and Wydrin of Crosshaven, Lord Aaron Frith and Sir Sebastian have become sell swords in demand. Having foiled powerful mages and evil magic, they now face a challenge unlike any before – in the form of Wydrin’s mother.

Devinia the Red, notorious pirate and captain of the Poison Chalice, is intent on finding the fabled treasure hidden within the jungles of the cursed island of Euriale. She needs the skills of her daughter Wydrin and her companions to get there, and our heroes cannot resist the lure of coin and adventure. But no explorer has returned from the heart of the island, and it’s not long before the Three find themselves in the clutches of peril. Deep within the island of the gods, there are remnants of forces best left undisturbed…

Follow the reckless heroes of The Copper Promise and The Iron Ghost in an epic quest unlike any they have faced before.

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| 9. |

The Trees

The Trees

by Ali Shaw

10th March 2016

There came an elastic aftershock of creaks and groans and then, softly softly, a chinking shower of rubbled cement. Leaves calmed and trunks stood serene. Where, not a minute before, there had been a suburb, there was now only woodland standing amid ruins…

There is no warning. No chance to prepare.

They arrive in the night: thundering up through the ground, transforming streets and towns into shadowy forest. Buildings are destroyed. Broken bodies, still wrapped in tattered bed linen, hang among the twitching leaves.

Adrien Thomas has never been much of a hero. But when he realises that no help is coming, he ventures out into this unrecognisable world. Michelle, his wife, is across the sea in Ireland and he has no way of knowing whether the trees have come for her too.

Then Adrien meets green-fingered Hannah and her teenage son Seb. Together, they set out to find Hannah’s forester brother, to reunite Adrien with his wife – and to discover just how deep the forest goes.

Their journey will take them to a place of terrible beauty and violence, to the dark heart of nature and the darkness inside themselves.

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| 10. |

Corsair

Corsair

by James L. Cambias

10th May 2016

In the early 2020s, two young, genius computer hackers, meet at MIT. One, Elizabeth Santiago, dreams of technology and space travel. The other, David Schwartz, is just looking to make a quick buck.

Nearly ten years later, David is setting himself to become a billionaire by working in the shadows for international thieves, while Elizabeth works in intelligence preventing international space piracy. With robotic mining in space becoming a lucrative part of Earth’s economy, her job has become increasingly stressful.

David and Elizabeth fight for dominance of the computer systems controlling ore drop placement in international waters. If David can nudge a shipment 500 miles off its target, his employers can get there first and claim it legally in the open sea. Each one intuits that the other is their real competition but can’t prove it. When Elizabeth loses a major shipment, she leaves government employ to work for a private space company to find a better way to protect shipments. But international piracy has very high stakes and some very evil players, and both Elizabeth and David are in for a world of trouble.
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What are your most anticipated releases of 2016? If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to The Broke and the Bookish and sign up!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Newly Read Authors 2015


Top Ten TuesdayWelcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature hosted by those lovely bookworms over at The Broke and the Bookish. Expect a new top ten list every week!


| Top Ten… Newly Read Authors 2015 |

For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, we’re taking a look at some of my favourite newly read authors of 2015. From debut authors published in recent years to firmly established literary masters with a huge repertoire to their name, these are the writers whose work has crept to the top of my reading pile. In no particular order, here are ten of my favourites:

| 1. |

Michael J. Sullivan

with Theft of Swords

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| 2. |

Becky Chambers

with The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

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| 3. |

Brent Weeks

with The Way of Shadows

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| 4. |

Pierce Brown

with Red Rising

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| 5. |

Bernard Cornwell

with Azincourt

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| 6. |

Victoria Schwab

with A Darker Shade of Magic and Vicious

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| 7. |

Helen Lowe

with The Heir of Night and The Gathering of the Lost

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| 8. |

Anthony Ryan

with Blood Song

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| 9. |

David Gemmell

with Morningstar and Knights of Dark Renown

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| 10. |

Kim Stanley Robinson

with Red Mars

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Who are your favourite newly read authors of 2015? If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to The Broke and the Bookish and sign up!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Book to Movie Adaptations I’d Love to See


Top Ten TuesdayWelcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature hosted by those lovely bookworms over at The Broke and the Bookish. Expect a new top ten list every week!


| Top Ten… Book to Movie Adaptations I’d Love to See |

Having not read half the books which are soon to become films, this week’s Top Ten will be looking at the book to movie adaptations I would love to see. These are the books that would make incredible films, fantastic TV series and fill that empty hole left when you finish them. So without further ado, here are this week’s Top Ten:

| 1. |

Dissolution

by C.J. Sansom

The Matthew Shardlake novels would be an amazing series of films. Murder, mystery and a crime solving lawyer in the heart of Tudor England – what’s not to love?! This would make a cracking series too.

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| 2. |

The Blade Itself

by Joe Abercrombie

Couldn’t resist throwing in The Blade Itself. How awesome would Glokta be?! And surely we need a great anti-hero movie, everything’s always a bit Mary Sue on the big screen.

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| 3. |

Rivers of London

by Ben Aaronovitch

A film following Peter Grant as he discovers there’s an even darker and more dangerous side to London – yes please! Gods and goddesses, riots and rebellions, wizards and vampires – I can see the whole series of films!

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| 4. |

Red Rising

by Pierce Brown

This book would just have to work on the big screen! It’s got everything – an awesome angst filled hero, an abundance of oppressed masses and more evil overlords than you can shake a stick at.heart

| 5. |

Vicious

by V.E. Schwab

What an awesome movie this would make! The super-anti-hero needs a place on our screens and Eli Cardale and Victor Vale fit the bill perfectly.

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| 6. |

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A Darker Shade of Magic

by V.E. Schwab

And of course A Darker Shade of Magic would make the cut too! I would love to see Schwab’s Londons up on the big screen – the sumptuous and rich Red London, the gritty and bleak Grey London, the harsh and cruel White London, and the mysterious and dark Black London.

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| 7. |

Company of Liars

by Karen Maitland

It’s 1348, England, and nine strangers are trying to outrun the plague. Except they’re being picked off one by one and the most likely villain is already part of their group. Everyone’s a liar, no one can be trusted, and this would make an awesome film!

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| 8. |

The Lies of Locke Lamora

by Scott Lynch

A swashbuckling, sword-fighting, rip-roaring tale of misadventure – this would be an incredible adaptation. Not least because Camorr would be like Venice on acid.

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| 9. |

Ship of Magic

by Robin Hobb

The Liveship Traders trilogy is a beautiful fantasy adventure. With (Live)ships, pirates and a courageous heroine, this would surely be a fantastic adaptation.

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| 10. |

The Final Empire

by Brandon Sanderson

And my list of movies wouldn’t be complete without throwing the Mistborn series in there. With one of the most unique magic systems in fantasy fiction, one which would showcase the most amazing fight scenes, this film would surely be a hit. Even if the film was only half as good as the books.

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Which books would you love to see made into movies? If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to The Broke and the Bookish and sign up!

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The Monthly Round-Up: October 2015


The Monthly Round-Up - OctWelcome to The Monthly Round-Up. Join me as I look back on the past month to see which books I’ve read, the reviews I’ve posted, the goals I’ve completed and my all important Book of the Month!


| Books Read |

October was one of those months that’s starts off well – in a bookish kind of way – and then real life happens and it gets far too busy to even pick up a book! Hopefully things will be settling down shortly but I’ll try and keep on top of things in the meantime… which would be far easier if I was remotely organised in the first place!

A highlight of this month was attending the Gollancz Book Festival – which I will get round to blogging about shortly – where I bought some awesome sounding books, saw some amazing authors and got many a book signed! My poor October Goals have suffered though which means, except for the one goal I completed, the rest will roll over to November! I am getting very close to completing my Goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge though so… hurrah! Here is the run-down of my October books:

| 1. |

The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch

| 2. |

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

| 3. |

Changes by Jim Butcher

| 4. |

Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan

| 5. |

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

| 6. |

The Few by Nadia Dalbuono


Sci Fi Month 2015


Red Rising

by Pierce Brown


| October Goals |

To read at least two spooky books in time for Halloween

1 of 2  | Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

2 of 2 | Incomplete

Status: Incomplete

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To read at least two books from this autumn’s TBR list

1 of 2 | The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch

2 of 2 | Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Status: Completed

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September Roll-over: To finish The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett

Status: p. 302 of 808 (37%)

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| Goals for 2015 |

Goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge: 97/100 Books Read (97%)

Status: +6% during October

Dragons and Jetpacks 2015 Reading Challenge: 41/50 Books Read (82%)

Status: +6% during October


| Reviews Posted |

The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch

Red Rising by Pierce Brown


4 and a half Stars

The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks


Azincourt by Bernard Cornwell


The Few by Nadia Dalbuono


                  

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter


| Other Posts From October |

The Monthly Round-Up: September 2015

The Month Ahead: October 2015

Cover Reveal: The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson

Cover Reveal: Calamity by Brandon Sanderson

Cover Reveal: The Tiger and the Wolf by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Tough Travelling: Well Travelled Roads – A (Tough) Traveller’s Guide to the Roads of Middle Earth

Tough Travelling: Creative Cursing

Tough Travelling: The Good Thief

Bookish Beats: Assassin’s Creed III

Bookish Beats: Enigma – The Cross of Changes

Bookish Beats: Audiomachine – Phenomena

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Bad Bookish Habits

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Author Duos Which Should Exist

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Wishes for the Book Genie

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Homicidal Inanimate Objects

Teaser Tuesdays: October 06 – The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett

Teaser Tuesdays: October 13 – NOS4R2 by Joe Hill

Teaser Tuesdays: October 20 – Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan

Teaser Tuesdays: October 27 – Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch

Bookish Beats: Inception OST


Bookish BeatsMusic, much like literature, has the power to drive your imagination; it can lift the soul and create real emotion.This is Bookish Beats, a feature which will showcase some of the soundtracks which have enriched the worlds I’ve found between the pages. 


Inception 2

Inception (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Composed by Hans Zimmer


Listen to with:

An action-packed sci-fi thriller

Such as:

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

This week’s Bookish Beats is taking another visit to the silver screen with the Inception soundtrack, the stunning score composed by the incomparable Hans Zimmer. This soundtrack combines fast-paced action with tense atmospheric ambience to create an incredibly emotive and infinitely memorable score. The Inception OST is both powerful and haunting and is undoubtedly one of my favourite movie soundtracks of all time.

Inception is a soundtrack which Zimmer composed ‘blind’ – he wasn’t allowed to see the film once Christopher Nolan started editing the footage. This allowed Zimmer to wholly concentrate on the narrative of the film and has led to the creation of a liberated and multi-layered soundtrack which incorporates atmospheric electronics with a powerful brass section overlaid by the sweeping guitar sounds of Johnny Marr.

One of the most interesting features of this soundtrack is the use of the instantly recognisable horn section to denote a change from one level of dreaming to another. This beat was a slowed down extraction from Édith Piaf’s Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien, which also features in the soundtrack and movie.

This soundtrack’s heavy reliance on ambience makes this the perfect backdrop for reading, whilst its recognisable and powerful tracks provide a perfect backdrop to action and tense moments. Half Remembered Dream and One Simple Idea are both heavily atmospheric tracks, whilst Waiting for a Train, which samples Edith Piaf’s Non, je ne regrette rienstarts off in the same otherworldly way, gradually building the tension until the Piaf break where it fully saturates the track.

Action and tension are very much intertwined in this soundtrack. Dream Is Collapsing is incredibly iconic, the drawn out horn section powering slowly and deliberately to a backdrop of tense strings instantly transports you to a completely different world. Radical Notion takes the powerful horn section and repeats it in this paired down track, incorporating synths and string sections to create an eerie resonance throughout. Mombasa, however, is an action track through and through.

This score is not without it’s beautiful orchestral pieces either. The gentle, sweeping and downbeat We Built Our Own World and Old Soulsas well as the hugely popular Time are Inception’s key emotive tracks. There are also many tracks which exhibit the multi-layered approach – the dream-shift – to become tracks of two halves. 528491 opens with a slow, emotive piece which builds to a tense crescendo whilst Dream Within a Dream takes the same elements as Dream Is Collapsing to create a tense duality.

The Inception soundtrack is a beautiful and otherworldly score which can be listened to again and again and will remain one of my favourite backdrops for reading. Just listen for a moment and you’ll feel that shift and find yourself transported into the story – a world within a world.

Favourite track

03 – Dream is Collapsing

Top track for action

07 – Mombasa

Top track for tension

10 – Waiting for a Train

Top track for emotion

12 – Time

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Review: Red Rising by Pierce Brown



Red Rising

Book One of the Red Rising Trilogy

by Pierce Brown

Young Adult | Science Fiction | 382 Pages | Published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2014


| Rating |


Over the past few years I’ve managed to unintentionally avoid most of the popular young adult dystopian releases – something about hyped novels clearly deflects my attention. That was until Red Rising turned up as the September book of the month for Dragons and Jetpacks. Having, despite the hype, heard very little about it, I cracked Red Rising open with very few expectations and… wow! This novel seriously blew me away. In a debut novel full of repression and vengeance, Pierce Brown manages to surpass all expectations (if I had any at all!). Red Rising is beautifully written, imaginatively crafted and heart thumpingly brilliant.

The Earth is dying. Darrow is a Red, a miner in the interior of Mars. His mission is to extract enough precious elements to one day tame the surface of the planet and allow humans to live on it. The Reds are humanity’s last hope.

Or so it appears, until the day Darrow discovers it’s all a lie. That Mars has been habitable – and inhabited – for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down on Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

Until the day that Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside. But the command school is a battlefield – and Darrow isn’t the only student with an agenda.

Red Rising is a tale of division and repression. The Golds are the conquerors, the glorious leaders who have elected themselves the superior race of humanity. Those who lie elsewhere on the colour spectrum find themselves confined to their caste, unable to climb socially or politically and treated as subhuman by those above. The Reds have it worst of all. Toiling deep underground, they labour under the pretext that they’re making Mars habitable for humanity, a lie perpetuated by the Golds to ensure their continued servitude.

But Darrow and the Sons of Ares plan to bring down the system from within and will do almost anything to free their people. Brown has created a dark and unforgiving field on which to play his characters. This is a harsh land full of harsh people, where only the strongest survive and the most determined rise to power. Those in the way are disposed of dispassionately, both Reds and Golds alike.

This is a novel written with skill and excitement to create a fast paced and thrilling plot; Darrow’s rage and pain filtering throughout the narrative. And though the pages seemingly fly by, this isn’t a novel to rush; the detail Brown puts into his worldbuilding is well worth the time and attention. The characters may carry the novel  and drive the plot but this dangerous and alien planet is described with vibrancy and unobtrusive detail. Pierce Brown can almost do no wrong. Almost. Just one (repeated) phrase – ‘picking his butt’. No.

Darrow is a brilliant protagonist, full of fire and passion, anger and vengeance, sorrow and guilt. It’s incredibly easy to get swept along with his narrative, to empathise with his plight and feel his burning anger towards the Golds. The complete somersault of Darrow’s universe, the necessity for him to change and become someone, or something, else are all etched out in beautiful prose as his character grows and develops. All Brown’s characters feel real and, through friendships and allegiances, brutal tests and grim reality, Darrow’s preconceptions are repeatedly tested to create a complex and exciting novel which bristles with tension and leaves you wondering just where it all might lead.

This is one novel which certainly lives up to its hype; if you’re a fan of dystopian science fiction then Red Rising is sure to impress, and though the opening chapters are deceptively reminiscent of other well loved (and obscenely popular) novels, persevere! – This book stands in a league of its own. Goodbye Red Rising, hello Golden Son!


Bookish Beats Suggestion

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads

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