Book Review – Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

34443972Book: Wonder Woman: Warbringer

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Format: Paperback

Rating: 5/5

Review: This book is to do with Diana, who is an Amazon born from dirt on the island of Themyscira to the queen, so she is a princess. In this book, she is a teenager and so are the mortals/humans she meets. It’s from a third person perspective and gets focalised around not only Diana, but from the main mortal in this book, Alia. It revolves around Alia being a descendant of Helen of Troy and being a ‘warbringer’, which means she is dangerous. They meet because of a tragedy and Diana must make the moral decision of letting a mortal human live or die, unaware of what Alia is. Both Alia and Diana are characters that can relate to each other as they both feel as if they are outsiders (Diana because she didn’t earn her right to be on the island like her warrior ‘sisters’, and Alia because of what she has discovered of her own past as well as her Race, as she is black) and a huge part of Diana in this book is that she wants to prove herself to her ‘sisters’ and to her new friends, she wants to be a hero and save the day. And because of the relation to Helen of Troy, a lot of this book revolved around Greek Mythology and Greek Gods, but it also mixes with science. The book is also based around modern day, which is different to the film starring Gal Galdot, as that was set around WW1. The characters in this book have such variety, with the main people being people of colour and one even being LGBT, it’s very interesting to have that variety and they’re all very well written. The plot twists in this book were incredible and I couldn’t believe some of it, and the character development of Alia and Diana was amazing to see, I found myself really rooting for them! In all, this book is action-packed, well written, interesting, fun and has a beautifully sweet ending. I highly recommend this book, especially if you are a fan of Wonder Woman or just DC in general.

-Laura

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Book Review – Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran

7954376Book: Cleopatra’s Daughter

Author: Michelle Moran

Format: Paperback

Rating: 4/5

Review: This book is from the perspective of Kleopatra Selene, one of the three children of Queen Kleopatra/Cleopatra and Marc Antony. The beginning revolves around the defeat of Egypt by Octavian, and her and her twin brother Alexander and their little brother are taken to Rome. There’s a strong theme of family and it does contain the historically accurate suicides of her parents and although she tries not to mention them much because of the pain it causes her, her parents are clearly never forgotten. This book is easy to understand, even if you have little knowledge of that period like me, although this means I am not completely sure of the historical accuracy, although, at the end of the book, Michelle Moran has included a historical note which contains some information on how she developed the personalities of the characters, and how she mixed fact with fiction. The novel contains some mature themes of death and ‘romance’ so that is something to look out for, but as well we see these children develop into adults and even when they are young (12) they are still very mature for their age, which is a demonstration of their education. There are themes of jealousy in some places but also a huge mention of love in both a family and romantic sense and the story contains so much hope you really feel for these characters. Selene (as she is known in the book) has this huge love of architecture and this means that because it’s all from her perspective, you get beautiful descriptions of the buildings in Egypt and Rome. There is tension and emotion and it’s so beautiful and I really did enjoy this book and it ended in a perfect place. Michelle Moran also includes a small section on what happened after the book with the characters which I would assume is historically accurate from what we can gather from that time. Overall, if you are a lover of Egypt, Rome or general history, I really recommend this book, although something about it just wasn’t 5 stars for me but I can’t think what.

-Laura

Book Review – Victoria by Daisy Goodwin

30516970Book: Victoria

Author: Daisy Goodwin

Format: Paperback

Rating: 5/5

Review: This book is a dramatisation of the early reign of Queen Victoria. It was written alongside the ITV Show starring Jenna Coleman (and Tom Hughes as Prince Albert), so it is a mix of fact and fiction, although I am unsure as to how accurate it is, as I don’t know much about Victoria. It’s written in third-person, so we not only gather some of the thoughts of the Queen herself but other characters, such as Lord Melbourne, Sir John Conroy, Prince Albert and Leopold. We get to know how the Queen is easily influenced by Melbourne in the beginning and we see the hints of a relationship which cannot be and both of them understand this. We also see the change in the relationship between Victoria and her mother, the Duchess of Kent once Victoria becomes more comfortable and confident as queen. Although this book is written alongside the series, it does not end where the end of series one does, although it is fairly close. The book ends in a good place but I wish Daisy Goodwin continued it up until the point where the series ends, or I at least wish she would continue writing the books to go alongside the TV series. The last quarter-or-so of the book really focuses on Victoria’s family wanting her to get married and introducing her/reintroducing her to potential suitors such as Prince Albert (her cousin). She does initially explain to multiple people that she wants to be like her predecessor, Queen Elizabeth I and remain unmarried (as Elizabeth I was known as ‘The Virgin Queen’) but of course, as we know from real history, she develops a strong love for Albert and that is where the book ends. Overall I think that the book was so brilliantly and beautifully written and I really wish Daisy Goodwin wrote more for Victoria and I am a big fan of the series as well and the book and show match up pretty well! I highly recommend this book and the TV Series, as Jenna Coleman portrays Victoria beautifully and you can really tell that she is with Tom Hughes in real life as there is such an amazing chemistry on screen like there was between the real Victoria & Albert.

-Laura

Book Review – The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

17465450Book: The Husband’s Secret

Author: Liane Moriarty

Format: Paperback

Rating: 4/5

Review: This book revolves around a secret that Cecilia Fitzpatrick discovers about her husband John-Paul from years ago. It affects multiple people within the book so she’s going through this moral debate of does she tell or does she not? It could wreck her life but the lives of her family members and others. It’s from a third person perspective with slight focalisation from the characters. We get focalised writing by 3 characters, Cecilia, Rachel and Tess. All separate yet somehow linked through this story. At first, I had no idea how the characters linked and I didn’t fully understand the point of these 3 different characters, but as the book went on I began to understand why, and it was very cleverly done. It’s a full adult genre book and contains a theme of sex and contains some swearing, and I haven’t really fully delved into adult books, I’ve always kind of stayed with young-adult fiction so this was very different yet exciting for me to read. I did find it a bit slow at first so it took me a very long time to read but after about the halfway point, I started to pick up the pace a little. I did find some bits a little boring but I liked the addition of an obsession with history, particularly with Cecilia’s family & the Berlin wall. Overall it was a fairly interesting book and I liked the 3-way perspectives and the links between characters, it was very emotional in a way as all the characters really do seem driven by emotion, and I liked the writing style but for me it just wasn’t a 5-star book because I found the first quarter to half a little dull but it did definitely get more interesting as I progressed through the novel.

-Laura

My Introduction to Harley Quinn

3470329-harley-quinn-female-villians-2439836-259-337Harley Quinn, also known as Dr Harleen Frances Quinzel is definitely one of my new favourite fictional characters.

My first full introduction to her was when she was portrayed by Margot Robbie in the ‘Suicide Squad’ film. Since then I have read a full comic bind up of hers (DC Comics Collection Knock Knock Jokes & Preludes) and seen a few bits and pieces from other comics on the internet. I have also seen a few episodes of the cartoons with her in and I absolutely love her. I love the multiple styles that she has and her silly behaviour.

As we all know, she’s not had the best relationship with the Joker, and her relationship is very abusive and I’ve seen many complaints about this, but when you think about it properly, do you really expect the Joker to treat anyone right? They’re both completely and utterly insane, even if the feelings are there, Harley will go back because she’s crazy and crazy in love with him and the Joker will continue to treat her how he does because he’s completely mad as well! I’d be shocked if anyone takes their relationship seriously and continues to complain honestly. It’s fictional, people will not take them as ‘relationship goals’ and want a relationship like that. It’s common sense surely?

official-dc-comics-harley-quinn-diamonds-print-wallet-purseAnyway. I will admit that I am beginning to develop a want for all things Harley. The purse I use on a daily basis is actually an official DC Comics Harley Quinn purse! I also have the build a bear of her (and the Joker) and an itty bitty. But I want to start collecting the comics. I know I want the Bombshell ones, as I have heard good things about it and there are other Harley comics that I want as well, but I just don’t know where to start! If anyone has advice on where to begin with just Harley, please let me know as a comment.

Overall, my introduction to Harley Quinn has not involved much, but I really enjoy her character and I want to learn more and read/watch more to do with her. I’d like to also know other people’s views on Harley’s character.

-Laura

Book Review – Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

18741152Book: Anna and the French Kiss

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Format: Paperback

Rating: 4/5

Review: This book is about 17-year-old Anna who is an American. She’s sent to an American school in France by her parents (mainly her father) with very little choice. While there, she makes friends, especially with a boy named St. Clair. Immediately we know who the love interest is, so we expect there to be some sparks between her and her love interest. The book is from the point-of-view of Anna, and even contains little email sections, including from her friends back in America. The book is full of teenage drama and does deal with some serious family issues (very serious topics) and does contain some swearing as well as a little bit of drinking (including being drunk & hangovers). There are so many hints that the characters have feelings for each other and of course, there are obstacles that get in the way but it’s nicely done. I can be a bit picky with romance books at the time but this is one I genuinely enjoyed, especially as I read the majority of it out in my garden, very fitting for the end of summer! Overall, I really did like this book and I hope to eventually continue on with Stephanie Perkins’ work as I love her writing style. I did actually think she was British because of how well she writes in British characters, but apparently, she’s American! I do highly recommend this book and I’d love to know other opinions too.

-Laura

Book Review – World War Z by Max Brooks

17993060Book: World War Z

Author: Max Brooks

Format: Paperback

Rating: 2/5

Review: This book is an account of the Zombie War and is written as if it was a non-fiction book. It contains the different perspectives of a variety of people all over the world, so there is a variety of views of what happened during this war. It was apparently written to maintain the human factor of war (emotions) and seemed a bit like a Q&A sorta thing. It’s quite political in some places and can also be a bit gory with some bad language so I will warn you of that. I personally did not like this book and didn’t even finish it, but I read enough to gather an opinion on it. I think it put me in a slight reading slump which is really not good and to me, it was just so jumpy. Because it is an account of after the war, we already know that the war ended and people survived but the book is a discovery of how, but because of it being an account of it from after the war has ended, there is no tension which I think it needed. No characters seem even slightly important so there is no-one to gain a connection with, there isn’t exactly much exciting action either because it all happened in their past. This definitely was not the sort of thing I enjoy and if you don’t like this sort of fiction written in the way of non-fiction and as an account then you won’t really like this I don’t think. I gave it a good go but I just couldn’t bring myself to finish it and I can’t even remember how far through I got. I would love to know other people’s opinions though so please feel free to tell me what you thought of this book.

-Laura