July Wrap Up

This was a good month for me, hence the big July Wrap Up. I missed out one of the books on the list but added an extra two on. I can’t laugh at that effort. It has been a busy couple of weeks as the final countdown to the wedding comes extremely close.

A Court of Mist and Fury

July Wrap UpA Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
five-stars
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #2
Genres: YA
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

This was one that I had started the month before, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s the sequel to A Court of Thorns and Roses and I have to say its so much better. The characters are deeper, the story is darker and the ending is impeccable. This is my favourite on my July Wrap Up. Read my full review here.

The Song of Achilles

July Wrap UpThe Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
two-stars
Genres: Historical Fiction
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. By all rights their paths should never cross, but Achilles takes the shamed prince as his friend, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine their bond blossoms into something deeper - despite the displeasure of Achilles' mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But then word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus journeys with Achilles to Troy, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

Profoundly moving and breathtakingly original, this rendering of the epic Trojan War is a dazzling feat of the imagination, a devastating love story, and an almighty battle between gods and kings, peace and glory, immortal fame and the human heart.

This book disappointed me. There were so many great things said about this books but it turned out to be awful. I hated the story and the characters. The story felt rushed and the ending is badly written and rushed. I wrote an entire review about all the problems here.

The Queen of the Tearling

July Wrap UpThe Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
two-stars
Series: The Queen of the Tearling #1
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Published by Harper

An untested young princess must claim her throne, learn to become a queen, and combat a malevolent sorceress in an epic battle between light and darkness in this spectacular debut—the first novel in a trilogy.

Young Kelsea Raleigh was raised in hiding after the death of her mother, Queen Elyssa, far from the intrigues of the royal Keep and in the care of two devoted servants who pledged their lives to protect her. Growing up in a cottage deep in the woods, Kelsea knows little of her kingdom's haunted past . . . or that its fate will soon rest in her hands.

Long ago, Kelsea's forefathers sailed away from a decaying world to establish a new land free of modern technology. Three hundred years later, this feudal society has divided into three fearful nations who pay duties to a fourth: the powerful Mortmesne, ruled by the cunning Red Queen. Now, on Kelsea's nineteenth birthday, the tattered remnants of the Queen's Guard—loyal soldiers who protect the throne—have appeared to escort the princess on a perilous journey to the capital to ascend to her rightful place as the new Queen of the Tearling.

Though born of royal blood and in possession of the Tear sapphire, a jewel of immense power and magic, Kelsea has never felt more uncertain of her ability to rule. But the shocking evil she discovers in the heart of her realm will precipitate an act of immense daring, throwing the entire kingdom into turmoil—and unleashing the Red Queen's vengeance. A cabal of enemies with an array of deadly weapons, from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic, plots to destroy her. But Kelsea is growing in strength and stealth, her steely resolve earning her loyal allies, including the Queen's Guard, led by the enigmatic Lazarus, and the intriguing outlaw known simply as "the Fetch."

Kelsea's quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun. Riddled with mysteries, betrayals, and treacherous battles, Kelsea's journey is a trial by fire that will either forge a legend . . . or destroy her.

This was another disappointment. It was ranted and raved about. I found flat and completely underwhelming. The characters weren’t well formed and the plot had holes. In I thought the fact the entire thing felt rushed and disjointed. There was a lot that happened and not a lot was explained. Read the review here.

Red Rising

July Wrap UpRed Rising by Pierce Brown
five-stars
Series: Red Rising #1
Also in this series: Golden Son
Genres: Fantasy
Published by Del Rey (Random House)

"I live for the dream that my children will be born free," she says. "That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them."

"I live for you," I say sadly.

Eo kisses my cheek. "Then you must live for more."

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 livable 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 civilization 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.

This was a reread on my July Wrap Up. I love this book. I love it the first time I read it and I loved it a little bit more. The characters and story were completely original and well rounded. There’s blood and gore and battle plans. There is nothing more you could ask from a book. I adore the way this book leads you in and keeps you hooked.

Golden Son

July Wrap UpGolden Son by Pierce Brown
four-stars
Series: Red Rising #2
Also in this series: Red Rising
Genres: Fantasy
Published by Del Rey

As a Red, Darrow grew up working the mines deep beneath the surface of Mars, enduring backbreaking labor while dreaming of the better future he was building for his descendants. But the Society he faithfully served was built on lies. Darrow’s kind have been betrayed and denied by their elitist masters, the Golds—and their only path to liberation is revolution. And so Darrow sacrifices himself in the name of the greater good for which Eo, his true love and inspiration, laid down her own life. He becomes a Gold, infiltrating their privileged realm so that he can destroy it from within.

A lamb among wolves in a cruel world, Darrow finds friendship, respect, and even love—but also the wrath of powerful rivals. To wage and win the war that will change humankind’s destiny, Darrow must confront the treachery arrayed against him, overcome his all-too-human desire for retribution—and strive not for violent revolt but a hopeful rebirth. Though the road ahead is fraught with danger and deceit, Darrow must choose to follow Eo’s principles of love and justice to free his people.

He must live for more.

The sequel to Red Rising. This one I found was a little harder to get through. There was a lot more politics and less fighting. I found it hard to keep a track of which family was allied to each other. Saying that it was still a joy to read and the twists and turns were intense.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

July Wrap UpHarry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2 by John Tiffany, J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne
four-stars
Series: Harry Potter #8
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Published by Arthur A. Levine Books

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

This was a last minute purchase and read. The book was released today and picked it up at a midnight release. The eighth story in the Harry Potter series, it was the perfect sequel to the series that stole my heart. The one thing to remember is that it is purely visual and that you shouldn’t write the story off because of it. Read my full review here.

So there’s another month gone. Look out for the remaining reviews and my TBR post coming up in the next couple days.

What did you read this month? Anything you think I might like? Let me know in the comments!

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