Friday, 16 October 2015

A Rebirth of Sorts (& a Goodbye)

 
I've been falling out of love with blogging.
 
There. I said it.
 
I've been blogging for YEARS. YEARS. And I just don't have any time (or motivation/passion) in my life right now for it.

I've just started university, I have a job, I'm turning 18 in under a month and I just can't right now.

I'm not waving goodbye for ever. I'm just going to wave goodbye for a little while (I'm not ready to let blogging go completely). I'm not the same Rachel that started Booktastic Reviews.
 
But when I'm ready to return, starting afresh simply seems like the right thing to do. So, everybody, let me introduce you to Literary Adventures.

I hope you'll still be here when I make my return.
 
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Review: Lost on Mars

Author: Paul Magrs
Edition: Firefly eARC
Released: 14th May 2015
Series: Lost on Mars #1
Pages: 336 approx.
Links: Goodreads | Author's Blog | Buy the book!

With the scale and scope of the great science fiction epics, Lost on Mars tells the story of Lora and her family, settlers on the red planet struggling to survive in incredible circumstances. The family clings to life on a smallholding, surviving storms and sinister rumours of people disappearing – until one night Lora sees the Dancers. When her father and grandmother disappear, Lora and her family are driven out to seek a new life across the plains. But none of them are ready for what they find – the beautiful, dangerous City Inside.

I'm not 100% sure of my feelings for this book so I'm going to have to break it down into my favourite things and my not-so-favourite things.

The Highlights
  • I loved the fact it was set on Mars - it just made it that little bit more unique.
  • I quite liked the main character, Lora. She was a great lead for the novel and fit into the storyline very well. I also really liked Peter's character, who we met later on. I'm quite intrigued as to what role he'll end up playing in future books and what he'll bring to the storyline.
  • I also really enjoyed the fact that there was so much mystery surrounding everything - even having finished the book, nothing is clear to me! I'm just left with the gut feeling that something isn't right and the world Lora lives in is mucked up.
  • The world was, undeniably, very complex.
  • You can also see how the author has written Doctor Who books because there was a general foreign, alien feel to the book - which I rather enjoyed!
  • **AN UPDATED ADDITIONAL HIGHLIGHT** It's thought-provoking - I finished it this morning and all I've been doing since is mulling it all over. It gets in your head.
The Lowlights
  • It didn't feel like that much actually happened overall in the novel, and some parts seemed to drag. It took me longer to get through than a lot of books I read - though I wouldn't say at any point was it bad.
  • I wasn't overly attached to any of the other characters we were stuck with for a majority of the novel, aside from Lora and Peter and her Da.
To conclude, I did really enjoy this book - I'm just unsure at the minute as to the extent of my enjoyment. I've not quite decided whether I'll pick up the sequel yet but I may just end up doing so because I need answers badly!

**UPDATE** The more I think about the book, the more I think I've enjoyed it. Strange, maybe, but I'm going to roll with it.

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Review: The Golden Specific (The Mapmakers Trilogy #2)

Author: S.E. Grove
Edition: Viking ARC
Released: 14th July 2015
Series: The Mapmakers Trilogy #2
Pages: 528 approx.
Links: Goodreads | Author's Website | Buy the book!

**MINOR SPOILERS IN SYNOPSIS BUT SPOILER FREE REVIEW**

It is the summer of 1892, one year since Sophia Tims and her friend Theo embarked upon the dangerous adventure that rewrote the map of the world. Since their return home to Boston, she has continued searching for clues to her parents’ disappearance, combing archives and libraries, grasping at even the most slender leads. Theo has apprenticed himself to an explorer in order to follow those leads across the country—but one after another proves to be a dead end.

Then Sophia discovers that a crucial piece of the puzzle exists in a foreign Age. At the same time, Theo discovers that his old life outside the law threatens to destroy the new one he has built with Sophia and her uncle Shadrack. What he and Sophia do not know is that their separate discoveries are intertwined, and that one remarkable person is part of both.

There is a city that holds all of the answers—but it cannot be found on any map. Surrounded by plague, it can only be reached by a journey through darkness and chaos, which is at the same time the plague’s cure:
The Golden Specific.

After having loved the first book in this series with all my heart and soul, I was very excited to receive the sequel at the beginning of this year (YES, I read it that long ago and am only getting around to reviewing it now *le sigh*). It ended up being another great instalment that has only deepened my love for the world S.E. Grove has created.

Even though I didn't love it as much as I did the first one, I was still completely enthralled in the world building. I simply can't get over just how complex and utterly fantastic it is. It's just so damn interesting and I HAVE NO CLUE AS TO HOW S.E. GROVE MANAGED TO COME UP WITH IT! I loved that we continued meeting new characters as well and how different sub-plots were introduced. And that magical quality was still weaved into each page.

However, I did find it confusing at times simply because of how complex the whole story is in itself and even though it felt like a lot happened in this book just like the first, there just wasn't enough tied up from the previous book for my liking. However, there's only one more book coming out now in the series and I'm sure that'll do the job just fine!

Overall, another highly enjoyable and enthralling edition to The Mapmakers Trilogy. I'm really surprised it isn't more popular!

FOUR TOADSTOOLS TO THE GOLDEN SPECIFIC!
Huge thanks to the author and publishers for sending this to me! :D

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Friday, 16 October 2015

A Rebirth of Sorts (& a Goodbye)

 
I've been falling out of love with blogging.
 
There. I said it.
 
I've been blogging for YEARS. YEARS. And I just don't have any time (or motivation/passion) in my life right now for it.

I've just started university, I have a job, I'm turning 18 in under a month and I just can't right now.

I'm not waving goodbye for ever. I'm just going to wave goodbye for a little while (I'm not ready to let blogging go completely). I'm not the same Rachel that started Booktastic Reviews.
 
But when I'm ready to return, starting afresh simply seems like the right thing to do. So, everybody, let me introduce you to Literary Adventures.

I hope you'll still be here when I make my return.
 
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Review: Lost on Mars

Author: Paul Magrs
Edition: Firefly eARC
Released: 14th May 2015
Series: Lost on Mars #1
Pages: 336 approx.
Links: Goodreads | Author's Blog | Buy the book!

With the scale and scope of the great science fiction epics, Lost on Mars tells the story of Lora and her family, settlers on the red planet struggling to survive in incredible circumstances. The family clings to life on a smallholding, surviving storms and sinister rumours of people disappearing – until one night Lora sees the Dancers. When her father and grandmother disappear, Lora and her family are driven out to seek a new life across the plains. But none of them are ready for what they find – the beautiful, dangerous City Inside.

I'm not 100% sure of my feelings for this book so I'm going to have to break it down into my favourite things and my not-so-favourite things.

The Highlights
  • I loved the fact it was set on Mars - it just made it that little bit more unique.
  • I quite liked the main character, Lora. She was a great lead for the novel and fit into the storyline very well. I also really liked Peter's character, who we met later on. I'm quite intrigued as to what role he'll end up playing in future books and what he'll bring to the storyline.
  • I also really enjoyed the fact that there was so much mystery surrounding everything - even having finished the book, nothing is clear to me! I'm just left with the gut feeling that something isn't right and the world Lora lives in is mucked up.
  • The world was, undeniably, very complex.
  • You can also see how the author has written Doctor Who books because there was a general foreign, alien feel to the book - which I rather enjoyed!
  • **AN UPDATED ADDITIONAL HIGHLIGHT** It's thought-provoking - I finished it this morning and all I've been doing since is mulling it all over. It gets in your head.
The Lowlights
  • It didn't feel like that much actually happened overall in the novel, and some parts seemed to drag. It took me longer to get through than a lot of books I read - though I wouldn't say at any point was it bad.
  • I wasn't overly attached to any of the other characters we were stuck with for a majority of the novel, aside from Lora and Peter and her Da.
To conclude, I did really enjoy this book - I'm just unsure at the minute as to the extent of my enjoyment. I've not quite decided whether I'll pick up the sequel yet but I may just end up doing so because I need answers badly!

**UPDATE** The more I think about the book, the more I think I've enjoyed it. Strange, maybe, but I'm going to roll with it.

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Review: The Golden Specific (The Mapmakers Trilogy #2)

Author: S.E. Grove
Edition: Viking ARC
Released: 14th July 2015
Series: The Mapmakers Trilogy #2
Pages: 528 approx.
Links: Goodreads | Author's Website | Buy the book!

**MINOR SPOILERS IN SYNOPSIS BUT SPOILER FREE REVIEW**

It is the summer of 1892, one year since Sophia Tims and her friend Theo embarked upon the dangerous adventure that rewrote the map of the world. Since their return home to Boston, she has continued searching for clues to her parents’ disappearance, combing archives and libraries, grasping at even the most slender leads. Theo has apprenticed himself to an explorer in order to follow those leads across the country—but one after another proves to be a dead end.

Then Sophia discovers that a crucial piece of the puzzle exists in a foreign Age. At the same time, Theo discovers that his old life outside the law threatens to destroy the new one he has built with Sophia and her uncle Shadrack. What he and Sophia do not know is that their separate discoveries are intertwined, and that one remarkable person is part of both.

There is a city that holds all of the answers—but it cannot be found on any map. Surrounded by plague, it can only be reached by a journey through darkness and chaos, which is at the same time the plague’s cure:
The Golden Specific.

After having loved the first book in this series with all my heart and soul, I was very excited to receive the sequel at the beginning of this year (YES, I read it that long ago and am only getting around to reviewing it now *le sigh*). It ended up being another great instalment that has only deepened my love for the world S.E. Grove has created.

Even though I didn't love it as much as I did the first one, I was still completely enthralled in the world building. I simply can't get over just how complex and utterly fantastic it is. It's just so damn interesting and I HAVE NO CLUE AS TO HOW S.E. GROVE MANAGED TO COME UP WITH IT! I loved that we continued meeting new characters as well and how different sub-plots were introduced. And that magical quality was still weaved into each page.

However, I did find it confusing at times simply because of how complex the whole story is in itself and even though it felt like a lot happened in this book just like the first, there just wasn't enough tied up from the previous book for my liking. However, there's only one more book coming out now in the series and I'm sure that'll do the job just fine!

Overall, another highly enjoyable and enthralling edition to The Mapmakers Trilogy. I'm really surprised it isn't more popular!

FOUR TOADSTOOLS TO THE GOLDEN SPECIFIC!
Huge thanks to the author and publishers for sending this to me! :D

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo