Bookish Naughty or Nice Tag

I was tagged by Emily over at AlwaysOpinionatedGirl for this particular tag, and it’s a Christmassy themed one, my first of the year! This tag asks us bookish questions about good or bad things we’ve done to books, so I guess it’s bookish confession time from me! So here we go:

Received an ARC and not Reviewed it-Naughty, yup I’ve done this!

I got approached to review an ARC by a publishing company, they sent it to me and I did try to read it, but there were so many spelling mistakes just in the acknowledgements that I couldn’t read it!

Have less than 60% feedback rating on Netgalley-Nice, my ratio is more than this

I currently have a 71% feedback rating on Netgalley, so I’m feeling good about it. I have definitely had below a 60% feedback rating on Netgalley before, but since I’m above at the moment, I’m counting this as Nice!

Rated a book on Goodreads and promised a full review was to come on your blog (and never did)-Nice, I’ve never done this

I always review everything on my blog first and then copy the link to the review over to my Goodreads, so I’ve never done this one! I have however occasionally lapsed on the adding the review from my blog to Goodreads though……..

Folded down the page of a book-Naughty, I’ve done this multiple times

I really don’t see what the big deal is here? As long as it’s my book, who cares whether I fold the pages down or not?

Accidentally spilled on a book-Naughty

Unfortunately yes, there was a minor incident with a Sarah J Maas book and a bottle of water in my bag…..and another one my first year at YALC with multiple books and a bottle of water…..I now carry my water in a separate bag from my books, always.

DNF a book this year-Naughty

Yup, I’ve DNF’ed several books this year, more than ever before (by which I mean like 2 or 3, let’s not get crazy).

Bought a book purely because it was pretty with no intention of reading it-Nice, I’ve never done this

Yes I do buy books based on their covers, of course I do, but I would never buy a book with a pretty cover if I had absolutely no interest in reading it at all.

Read whilst you were meant to be doing something else-Naughty

Of course I’ve done this! I once got into trouble for a reading a book under my desk at school when I was meant to be doing work. In my defence, it was English class, I had finished the work and Black Beauty is way more interesting than Oliver Twist!

Skim read a book-Naughty

Again for school, some of the books they made us read were so boring, you just had to skim!

Completely missed your Goodreads Reading Goal-Naughty

Yup, my first year doing the Goodreads challenge, I way overshot, targeted for 30 books, realised I wasn’t going to make it, cut it in half and still missed the challenge by two books. I won last year though and am pretty sure I’m going to win again this year, so just the one year I’ve missed so far!

Borrowed a book and not returned it-Naughty

Yup, I’m pretty sure there are still a few books from my Primary school library lying around somewhere…….

Broke a book buying ban-Naughty

Are you even a book lover if you’ve never done this?

Started a review, left it for ages, then forgot what the book was about-Nice

I’ve never done this, I always review a book as soon as possible after I’ve read it and if I don’t, I keep pretty detailed notes whilst I’m reading, so it’s basically impossible for me to forget what I think of a book!

Wrote in a book you were reading-Naughty

Yup I’ve done this! I don’t even care, they’re my books and I can do whatever I’d like with them.

Finished a book and not added it to your Goodreads-Nice

I’ve never done this, every book counts towards the Goodreads Challenge!

Well at nine Naughty and only three Nice, it’s pretty safe to say that when it comes to books, my habits are more Naughty than Nice!

 

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#RockMyTBR Song and Book Tag!

Hi all! I’ve got a bit of fun for you guys today, since it’s Thursday and I’ve been tagged in a couple of things, I’m going to do some tags, it’s been a while since I last did one (August) and in the run up to Christmas, I thought it would be nice to do a couple of fun short tags. This is one I was tagged in by Icebreaker694 (check out their answers here: https://icebreaker694.wordpress.com/2017/12/14/rockmytbr-song-and-book-tag%EF%BB%BF/) so thank you to them for that. This is not to be confused with the #RockMyTBR Challenge I take part it, it’s not related to that at all! So here we go, my answers:

Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana)-A Contemporary I Want To Read

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I’m not usually a big contemporary fan, but I’m really excited for this book because FEMINIST GIRLS FIGHT BACK DAMN IT. If that’s not a book written for Jo, then I don’t know what is!

Shut Up And Dance (Walk To The Moon)-Most Anticipated Book You Have

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I’ve had this book since September and still haven’t read it, do you know how much restraint that shows? DO YOU? I need to read this one ASAP, I’m hoping I will start it either before Christmas or sometime before the new year, because I have to read this one before the final book comes out next year.

Centuries (Remix) (Fall Out Boys)-A Twist on A Classic Fairytale

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I love Beauty and The Beast, so I am really excited to try this retelling of it!

 

Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robot (The Flaming Lips)-A Science Fiction Book or A Book Set In The Future

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This book about a time traveller suffering from PTSD due to his trips to and from 1945 in WWII sounds really interesting and I’m super excited to read it.

She Looks So Perfect (5 Seconds of Summer)-A Book With A Girl On The Cover

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I’m not overly keen on covers with people on them, but I do absolutely love this one, I think all the different colours overlaying the girl on the cover looks really good. It helps that the book sounds amazing too-now I just need to get my hands on a copy!

Africa (Toto)-A Book Set In A Foreign Country

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This book is set in 1930s Germany.

Another One Bites The Dust (Queen)-A Book or Books That Will Complete A Series

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This book, releasing in 2018, will complete the Rebel of The Sands trilogy. February cannot come soon enough, I need to see how Amani’s story is going to end!

Someone New (Hozier)-A Book By An Author You Haven’t Read Yet

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This is one I’ve been wanting to read for a while and I’ve never read anything by Martha Brockenbrough before. It sounds so good though, so I hope I’ll read it in 2018!

Hello (Adele)-A Book You DNF’ed Or Weren’t In The Mood For At The Time

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I was meant to read this in November, but I just wasn’t in the mood for a 600 page book when I had so many assignments due, and I just wasn’t getting into it at all, so I had to DNF it.

Love At First Sight (Kylie Minogue)-A Book You Bought Because of The Cover

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Yes I did enjoy Bardugo’s Six of Crows, but I will admit that a lot of the appeal of this book was its gorgeous cover!

I tag anyone who wants to do this, it’s a lot of fun!

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday #137

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Hi everyone! Can you believe it’s less than two weeks to Christmas now? I certainly can’t! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these, I had my last two Uni Christmas dinners and spent the weekend binge-watching Season 2 of The Crown (so, so good!) so all in all it wasn’t a bad way to end the week. The rest of this week will be spent relaxing before my friends come up to join me for our annual Christmas meet up on Saturday.

Anyway, as it’s Tuesday, it’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday, thanks to the lovely ladies over at The Broke and The Bookish. This week we’re talking Best Books of 2017, as there is only a few weeks till it’s over. For some, it might be a bit early to this list, but as I will probably only read two or three more books before 2017 is over, it’s the perfect time for me! So here we go, my Top Ten (and I am going to try to stick to ten!) Books of 2017:

  1. A Conjuring of Light-VE Schwab-5 stars

I had to start with this one, the book that set an impossibly high standard for all of my other reads of the year because it was just that brilliant. It was hard to say goodbye to Lila, Kell and Rhy (at least for the time being, Schwab has announced a spin off series to Shades of Magic which she has heavily hinted the three will be making an appearance in) but this was the perfect conclusion to their story.

2. The Song Rising-Samantha Shannon-5 stars

My only other 5 star read of the year, this was an action packed, tightly paced book full of amazing character development, the shorter book definitely worked a lot better for this story and am now anxious to see where Paige ends up in the next book. Whilst I may have started off having lukewarm feelings about this series, I can definitely now call it a favourite.

3. Six of Crows-Leigh Bardugo-4 stars

Yup, I’m jumping on the Six of Crows bandwagon, at last! The cast of characters that Bardugo created was wildly entertaining, and once you got into the action, it happened a breakneck speed and I could barely put the book down for even a second. I have four Bardugo books on my #RockMyTBR Challenge for 2018, so I think it’s safe to say that I am firmly on the bandwagon.

4. A Court of Mist and Fury-4 stars

I was so wary of the hype on this one, but it definitely lived up to it, it was so much better than the first book of the series, we got new characters, new settings, new villains and Feyre’s character development was brilliant. I still have yet to read the third book of the series yet, but I’m actually excited to now!

5. Caraval-4 stars

I loved the magical world building, the beautiful writing and the engaging characters in Stephanie Garber’s debut novel. I would love to get to be a spectator of Caraval, because it sounds like it would be incredible to watch.

6. Scythe-3.5 stars

Whilst I didn’t love this offering of Neal Shusterman’s as much as I adored Unwind, I still enjoyed the interesting world that he created and thought that the concept of this book was absolutely amazing, so it still makes my favourites list for this year.

7. The Girl From Everywhere-3.5 stars

I read this book after a couple of underwhelming ones and it was really nice to read something that I genuinely enjoyed again. I loved the setting for this one, I’ve never read anything set in Hawaii before, and it sounded beautiful. Plus a time travelling pirate ship? Pretty darn awesome. I thought the whole thing was very creative and beautifully written, the only shame was that I didn’t connect to the main character more.

8. The Crown’s Game-3.5 stars

This book had an amazing setting, a really cool magical system, great characters, pretty writing and most importantly of all lots of food! I would have loved it even more if it had been paced just a little bit better, but overall it was really enjoyable (and there was a masquerade, so that would have saved the book even if I’d hated the rest of it)!

9. Under Rose Tainted Skies-3.5 stars

I’ve discovered over the years that when it comes to YA contemporaries, mental health focused ones are my favourites, perhaps because they are usually harder hitting than ones focusing on romance. This one is definitely one of my favourites that I’ve read, the fact that the author is #ownvoices for the conditions she writes about definitely comes through because Norah’s voice just feels so authentic.

10. Daughter of The Pirate King-3 stars

In terms of fun factor, this one would have got five stars, it was only my analytical reviewer brain that stopped me from giving it that, it was definitely the most fun that I had whilst reading this year, so for that alone it makes it on to my best of the year list. I loved Alosa and that was really what made the book for me, she was just such an amazing MC. I’m hoping in the next book there might be a little more pirating though!

So there we go, my favourite books of 2017! This list was a bit of a weird one for me, because obviously as you can see, most of what I’ve read this year has been 3.5 stars (in fact there’s only a few books on my GR Challenge this year that got either more or less than that) but I feel like people see 3 (even if it’s followed by .5) and think I didn’t enjoy a book and that’s just not true, I still really enjoyed a book that got 3.5 stars, it just didn’t quite make it to what I consider to be 4. What were your favourite books of 2017? Did any of mine make your list? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s topic is Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings, which I will still be doing even though I know it’s unlikely Santa will bring any books this year as Santa has spent the year complaining about how many books I have! Still I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a gift card to Waterstones, or just so money that I can spend on books.

I’ve been tagged in a Christmas book tag, so I will probably have that up very soon, I also have plans for a discussion post and am planning some stuff for my Writing Corner, so hopefully I should be able to end this blogging year with a bang!

#RockMyTBR 2018 Challenge

Hi everyone! I know this seems incredibly early, but I am nearly done with my 2017 #RockMyTBR (one book to go!), so I thought I’d draw up my 2018 list. For those of you who don’t know, #RockMyTBR is a reading challenge created by Sarah K over at YA Book Traveler where she challenges you to draw up a list of books to knock off your TBR on a given year. Now I’m not sure if Sarah is actually officially running the challenge again for 2018, but I’ve had so much fun doing it over the past two years that I decided to unofficially do it again this year. The idea is that you use books that you already own and that have been on your TBR for a while. If you want to join me in unofficially doing this challenge, then you can find Sarah’s post about it here:

http://theyabooktraveler.com/index.php/2016/12/07/rockmytbr2017/

I’ve stuck with my tradition of having 12 books (though I’ve knocked one from this year’s challenge off before the year is over as I just couldn’t get through it, so I’ll be counting the challenge complete at 11 books), it’s nice and low pressure and allows me to read other stuff as well. As with last year, because it worked so well, I decided to let Twitter decided on my list. They did a pretty good job with last year’s list, so I’m hoping they will have done just as well for this year’s:

  1. Rose Under Fire-Elizabeth Wein-This was the decided winner of it’s poll, which I was quite surprised by as I had it up against Wintersong, which is a 2017 release, but I’m very glad it did as Code Name Verity is one of my favourite books (which I actually read for my first #RockMyTBR Challenge, so it’s actually kind of fitting) and this is one of only two of Wein’s books I haven’t read yet.
  2. Moxie-Jennifer Mathieu-It was an incredibly close run between this and Uprooted, and it ended up winning out by only 6% (so like one vote), but this was declared the winner. I’m so excited to read this one as I’ve heard such great things and as a feminist, I definitely want to read more books like this!
  3. Crooked Kingdom-Leigh Bardugo-This is the year of Bardugo, as every poll I had a book of hers in, it won by a considerable amount, clearly Book Twitter is telling me something. I loved Six of Crows when I read it this year, so I’m excited to read the sequel.
  4. All The Crooked Saints-Maggie Steifvater-I’ve heard vary mixed things about this book, so I’m excited and wary to try it. Maggie Stiefvater is one of my favourite authors, but I’m very aware of the problems that have been brought up by #ownvoices reviewers about the Latinx rep in this one.
  5. Language of Thorns-Leigh Bardugo-The second Leigh Bardugo entry on this list! I’m really excited for this one, simply because the cover of this book is just so beautiful. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read before (basically a collection of fairytales), so I’ll be interested to see what I think of it.
  6. Night of Cake and Puppets-Laini Taylor-This one was really interesting because I put it in the same poll as ACOWAR and I was honestly expecting ACOWAR to win, but it was beaten by this by quite a way. Tips from those who’ve read the full Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy, do I read this, or Days of Blood and Starlight first?
  7. Shadow and Bone-Leigh Bardugo-This was winning almost unanimously, until I think a couple of days ago? It ended up at 75% but that was still a lot more than anything else in any of the other polls! I think this is probably going to be my starter read of 2017.
  8. The Exact Opposite of Okay-Laura Steven-I’m cheating a little here, because this is a 2018 ARC, but I’ve had it on my shelf since July when I got it at YALC, it’s been sitting there for five months where I could have read it and haven’t, so I’m still counting it.
  9. Wonder Woman: Warbringer-Leigh Bardugo-The last Bardugo entry on this list, I’m glad I’ve waited to read this one, because now I’ve seen the movie and know how awesome Wonder Woman is, I’m even more excited to read it.
  10. Days of Blood and Starlight-Laini Taylor-Laini Taylor’s second appearance on this list. I’m not gonna lie, slightly terrified by the size of this book, but I’m also really excited to see where Karou’s story goes next.
  11. Vicious-VE Schwab-I’m finally doing it guys! Vicious will be read by me next year. I’m hoping to read it in the first half of the year, so that if I like it, I can get Vengeful straight away.
  12. Radio Silence-Alice Oseman-I’ve heard so much great stuff about this one, so I hope it lives up to expectations!

So that’s my list for 2018! Let me know in the comments what you think I should prioritise and why!

Thanks to the lovely people of Book Twitter who helped pick out my list for next year and I hope you enjoy hearing my thoughts on all the books you’ve chosen for me throughout 2018. I have a feeling this may be my best year yet and I’m excited to dive in when 2018 starts in a few weeks time (where did 2017 go people? Seriously, where?).

Top Ten Tuesday #136

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Hi all! I hope you’ve all had a great week, I have been well and truly getting in the Christmas spirit, I was out at the Christmas market in Edinburgh with my friends today and we exchanged Christmas presents, I have two Christmas dinners coming up in the next two days, so I am feeling very full of cheer right now. Since finishing Uni for the semester, I have been able to kick back, relax and read to my hearts content so I’m feeling pretty awesome right now!

Anyway, as it’s Tuesday, it’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday, thanks to the lovely ladies over at The Broke and The Bookish. This week we’re talking all about Bookish Settings We’d Like To Visit, which is something I’m really excited about, as I often dream of visiting some of my favourite places from books, so it’s great to get to have an opportunity to talk about it! So here we go, the Bookish Settings I Would Totally Visit (were they real!):

  1. Hogwarts-Harry Potter Series-JK Rowling

Do I really have to explain this one? Seriously what’s up Hogwarts, where’s my letter? It’s been 21 years already, you must have really, really slow owls!

2. Red London-Shades of Magic Trilogy-VE Schwab

I’ll be honest, I’d go to any of Schwab’s Londons quite happily and I’d love to be an Antari and get to explore them all, but of the four, Red London sounds like the most fun and it has magic so…..yeah, I’d like to go there.

3. Camp Half-Blood-PJO Universe-Rick Riordan

I just want to have a summer at Camp Half-Blood? Please? Hanging out with all the demigods, getting do all the fun camp activities. I mean I might take a pass on the near certain death quests, but I would love to hang out at the Camp with Percy and the gang. The food sounds amazing!

4. The Faraway Tree-The Faraway Tree Stories-Enid Blyton

This is a childhood one, but I loved The Faraway Tree when I was little and the idea of being able to climb a tree into a land that changes every week, still thrills me a little. I would have to ensure it was a good land like the Land of Goodies rather than a bad land like the Land of Slaps before visiting though!

5. Le Cirque De Reves-The Night Circus-Erin Morgenstern

I may not have loved this book as much as everyone else seems to, but I would still love to visit the Circus, it sounds completely magical!

6. Narnia-Chronicles of Narnia-CS Lewis

Granted, I never made it past The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, but I would love to fall through the wardrobe into Narnia, especially after Christmas was returned!

7. Imperial Russia-The Crown’s Game Duology-Evelyn Skye

Sure, life wasn’t all great in Imperial Russia, but the picture Skye paints of it in her duology is so beautiful that I would love to get to visit it, just once.

8. Velaris-ACOMAF-Sarah J Maas

The descriptions of Velaris in ACOMAF sound so gorgeous, I would love to get to stroll the streets, experience Starfall and get to eat some of the delicious sounding food that Feyre eats in ACOMAF.

9. Higher Institute For Villainous Education-HIVE series-Mark Walden

Would I like to train in a super secret school for villains inside the crater of a volcano? Duh of course I would!

10. Caraval-Caraval-Stephanie Garber

I wouldn’t like to take part in the game, but Garber’s descriptions of it make it sound so amazing that I’d love to get to go and spectate, just soak up the atmosphere of the magical game.

So there we go, the bookish settings that I would love to visit! Do we share any? What bookish places would you like to visit? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s topic is Top Ten Favourite Books of 2017 which should be a really fun one to do, it will be nice to share the love for the amazing books that I’ve read this year! I’m not sure if I’ll have anything else up this week, but I’m hoping to contact some people for my writing feature, Writing Corner, very soon, so hopefully I will have something for you guys in that area soon!

#RockMyTBR November Update (2017)

Hey everyone! It’s the last month of 2017, like when did that happen? Also it’s 21 days till Christmas, I have presents bought and wrapped and everything already, I am feeling damn prepared and incredibly Christmassy! I’ll be off to the Edinburgh Christmas Market with my friends tomorrow, so the Christmas spirit is being well and truly embraced. If you are new to the blog, then welcome, this is the feature where I talk about my neverending attempts to attack my TBR and being constantly beaten by it (it’s a challenge run by Sarah K over at The Book Traveller in all seriousness and you should check it out). November was insanely busy with deadlines, so I only read two books, but I am still on track for my Goodreads challenge, so not feeling too bad about that. Here’s what I read in November:

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House of Ash by Hope Cook:

This was my Netgalley read for this month, I read it from 9th August-4th November (on and off, it didn’t actually take me three months to finish it, I didn’t read any of it in September and only picked it up again in October). This was a decent take on a haunted house story, but it’s not my favourite book I’ve got from Netgalley this year. Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/18/house-of-ash-review-e-arc/

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The Ship of The Dead by Rick Riordan:

This was my other read at the month, I meant to have a #RockMyTBR book as my other book this month, but I wasn’t into the book I had planned for November and I really needed a quick fun read because I was buried under with assignments, so a Rick Riordan book was perfect for that. This was actually my least favourite book of the series, it was still really fun, but I felt like the pacing was off and the ending was somewhat anticlimactic. Still there was some really great character and relationship development along with the always on point humour, so it wasn’t all bad. Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/04/the-ship-of-the-dead-magnus-chase-and-the-gods-of-asgard-3/

That’s what I read in November, this is what I’m planning on reading this month:

Scarlet-Marissa Meyer-My December #RockMyTBR book. I wasn’t so keen on the first book in this series, but I’ve heard they get better, so I’m hoping I enjoy this one more.

The Crown’s Fate-Evelyn Skye-My current read, I really enjoyed the first book earlier in the year and this one has been decent so far, though I’m still waiting for it to really pick up.

Chainbreaker-Tara Sim-I LOVED the first book last year, so I was so happy to get this one from Edelweiss. I started it a few days ago and it’s been pretty enjoyable so far.

Beasts Made of Night-Tochi Onyebuchi-My Netgalley read for the month, I just started this one and I’m struggling with it at the moment, I’ll be honest.

I’m also hoping to start Tower of Dawn and read another book for #RockMyTBR as I couldn’t finish Afterworlds, though that may be a little optimistic!

I’m on track with my Goodreads Challenge, with only 3 books left to read to meet my challenge, so that’s pretty good I think! I will definitely beat my Goodreads challenge from last year, so I am really happy with that. How are your reading goals going this year? What are you wanting to get done before the year is out? Let me know in the comments!

The Ship of The Dead (Magnus Chase and The Gods of Asgard #3)

34879201Book: The Ship of The Dead (Magnus Chase and The Gods of Asgard #3)

Author: Rick Riordan

I was super excited about the final book in the Magnus Chase trilogy, as I have loved reading this series over the past year and this November was the perfect time to read it, because I had an awful lot of assignments to do and I needed something light, short and fun in order to get me through the month. Whilst I did enjoy the book, it wasn’t quite what I was expecting for a series finale? It felt kind of anticlimactic for the conclusion of a trilogy, I was hoping for a little bit more I guess. It was still an incredibly fun and enjoyable ride, but I wasn’t as thrilled by it as I was hoping to be, though I don’t know if it was the book or because I was weighed down by assignments at the time I was reading it. Here is a short synopsis of the book:

Loki the trickster god is free from his chains. Now he’s readying Naglfar, the Ship of the Dead, armed with a host of giants and zombies, to sail against the Norse gods and begin the final battle of Ragnarok. It’s up to Magnus Chase and his friends to stop Loki’s plans, but to do so they will have to sail across the oceans of Midgard, Jotunheim and Niflheim in a desperate race to reach Naglfar before it’s ready to sail on Midsummer’s Day.

Along the way, they will face angry sea gods, hostile giants, and an evil fire-breathing dragon who happens to be a former acquaintance. But Magnus’s biggest challenge will be facing his own inner demons. To defeat Loki, Magnus will need to use words, not force. This will require finding a magical elixir so deadly that it will either make Magnus Chase powerful enough to out-talk the silver-tongued Loki, or destroy Magnus utterly.

First off, I have to start with the elephant in the room: Percy. As everyone who has read the second book knows, it is hinted that Percy makes an appearance in this one. And he does, however, the blurb makes it seem as if Percy will be involved in Magnus’s adventures. He isn’t, he appears briefly at the start of the book where he helps Magnus out training in water, we find out that he and Annabeth are going to college in New Rome and that his mum has had her baby (Estelle) and then they leave again, only to be mentioned once more at the end of the book. This is fine, it is Magnus’ story and not Percy’s after all, but I just wanted to mention it because the blurb is rather misleading on this point. We do get a rather hilarious sequence where Magnus’s sword Jack tries to chat up Percy’s sword Riptide (who is apparently a girl) out of Percy’s appearance and some very cute Percabeth moments though, so it’s not totally wasted.

There were several typos that I noticed in this book, I wonder if Rick Riordan had less time to edit this one or something, because I don’t usually notice any typos in his books and there were several glaring ones here.

The chapter lengths were nice, relatively even about 10 pages per chapter, some a little longer, some shorter, but I still felt like the pacing was off? I don’t know what it was about this book, lots was happening but it seemed to move at a very slow pace compared to the other two. This might just have been me and my assignment addled brain though!

I enjoyed that Magnus’ Floor 19 flatmates had a bigger role in this one, we got to find out so much more about Mallory, Halfborn and TJ and that was nice as they’ve played mainly supporting roles up to this point, so it was nice that they all got the chance to shine and play a part a bit more in this book, their backstories and personalities feel a lot more fleshed out after this book which was nice.

Alex is still probably my favourite of the characters from this series, she/he (if you haven’t read the second book, Alex is genderfluid and his/her pronouns change frequently throughout the book, Alex never goes by they though, hence me not using it in this review), Alex is fierce, smart, sassy and so confident in who she/he is, I’m actually genuinely in awe of him/her. The rest of the cast of characters is equally cool though, I feel like in this book especially, Magnus really came into his own, he no longer feels like a carbon copy of Percy, he has his own personality and style and that is very evident through this book. Sam is also wonderful, her character arc through this book of finally being able to stand up to Loki was great. Basically everyone on Magnus’s team brings something different and it was great to get to see them all interact in this book.

I still loved the humour, the chapter titles in this book were just brilliant and it will always baffle my mind how Rick Riordan manages to make fight scenes both intense and humourous (case in point, this book features a fight scene between ceramic pottery warriors). The pop culture references again bothered me though, I get that Riordan includes them in order to connect with the kids reading, but they felt a little old even for me and I’m a lot older than the target audience of this book!

Magnus’ narration reached a new level of sarcastic in this book which I really appreciated because ya know, the more sass the better.

The diverse representation in this series is just so amazing. Sam’s Muslim faith is handled very respectfully and I have never before seen a book feature Ramadan before, so it was very interesting to see her faith integrated into the storyline for the book, as obviously quests are very draining, and fasting can present an additional obstacle to that. I obviously can’t attest to how accurate the rep was, not being Muslim myself, but there was nothing that I could see that was glaringly problematic (if you are a Muslim, feel free to correct me). Hearth is deaf and uses ASL to communicate. Alex is obviously gender fluid, & TJ & Blitz are black. Riordan has got so much better at including diversity in his books since the initial Percy Jackson books and it always makes me very happy to see such a wide array of different characters portrayed in a middle grade book.

There is a small amount of romance in this book, not very much, but I was very happy to see the Magnus/Alex relationship finally come to fruition in this book! I mean it was hinted at very heavily in the last book that Magnus had a crush on Alex and it was nice to see that finally come to fruition. I also loved that Riordan included a scene of them at the end where it shows Magnus kissing Alex whilst Alex is identifying as a guy, Magnus says and I quote:

Alex is male right now. I have just been kissed by a dude. How do I feel about that?

I have just been kissed by Alex Fierro. I am absolutely great with that

This entire part just made me squeal, I was slightly worried that Rick Riordan would go down the path of having Magnus only be interested in Alex when Alex was identifying as a girl, so it was great to have this scene confirming that Magnus is interested in Alex no matter what gender Alex is identifying as, it also pretty much confirms that Magnus is pansexual, which yay awesome!

I wish that Blitz and Hearth had been confirmed canonically gay though, that was a bit of a disappointment to me as I felt like Rick Riordan had been hinting at it for the past two books and it would have been nice to have the same on page confirmation for them as we had for Magnus’ pansexuality. It just seemed like such heavy hinting for something that never actually came to fruition. I hope that if he does another Magnus Chase series in the future, then this is actually confirmed.

The UK finally appeared in a Rick Riordan book! This probably got me happier than it should have, and they’re only there for like two chapters, but I can finally say that a Rick Riordan adventure took place (if only for a little bit) in my home country and that is very cool! There was also a little bit that took place in Norway, a country I’ve never actually seen in a book I’ve read before, so that was pretty awesome.

There was a dragon! (That is totally not the most important part of that section, Hearth gets closure with his dad and it’s sad and kind of beautiful, but you know, I’m dragon obsessed so of course that was the bit I got excited about).

I feel like I must be the last person on the planet not to know that a group of crows is called a murder? I told my friends this and they were like “Duh you didn’t know that?” so clearly I have been out of the loop on that one. Still I think it’s pretty awesome!

I thought the final fight with Loki was a little bit too easy? Like yeah, it’s beautiful that Magnus said all that wonderful stuff about his friends and it was a very moving sequence, but I was expect the final showdown to be slightly more dramatic! It is kind of fitting with his character though, he’s not a fighter, he’s a healer and a team player, so it did make sense that that was how he defeated Loki, it was just different to what I was expecting!

Chocolate tug of war sounds absolutely amazing (tug of war over a chocolate lake) and I really want to try it!

I felt like the ending was a little anticlimactic? And that it was more there to set up the next Trials of Apollo book than close this one, which I didn’t like, Magnus and co. deserve their own proper ending. It just felt like everything wound down a bit too quickly and the last four chapters or so were just filler.

Overall, I did enjoy this book, but it wasn’t quite as action packed as I was expecting. It was great to see the development of the other characters from Floor 19 and see Magnus and Alex finally come to fruition but I was a little disappointed with the resolution of the Loki storyline. Still, it was exactly what I needed at the time, a light, fun filled story, so for that I am grateful and I hope that Riordan returns to these characters at some point, because after three books, it’s safe to say I’ve fallen in love with them!

My Rating: 3.5/5

I don’t know what I’ll be reviewing next as I’m reading 3 books at the moment and I don’t know which one I’ll finish first, so I guess it will be a surprise!