Review

Book Review – Marrying Mr Valentine by Laura Barnard

Name: Marrying Mr Valentine

Author: Laura Barnard

Publication Date: 22nd January 2018

Format: eBook (Sent by the author)

Goodreads Link: Here

Review: I received this book for free from the author, but all thoughts are my own. This book is about a wedding planner named Nadine, and she meets with this couple to help them plan their wedding with one month to go! Yet, she is drawn to the groom, Mr Valentine and she has to decide between staying professional and ignoring her feelings, or risking everything she’s worked so hard for. This is from the first person perspective of Nadine, and actually before I go into much more about this, I want to warn you all, if you’re uncomfortable with sexual scenes or bad language, you won’t like this. I’m fine with swearing but sometimes I find reading sexual scenes slightly uncomfortable for some reason, but I kind of ignored that because other than that I did really enjoy this book. Nadine is an interesting character, she’s hardworking, very caring and rarely does things for her, she is ALWAYS putting others before herself. She’s a strong character due to what she has gone through in her life, yet she is so supportive of her own friends and family and even people who are pretty much strangers to her. So when she finally decides to do something for herself, it doesn’t always go to plan. I felt so bad for her at so many points in this book, and as I don’t want to give spoilers, I won’t go into it but wow I couldn’t imagine going through what she has. I did really enjoy this book, I thought Nadine was quite funny at times and I did enjoy reading from her perspective. I enjoyed the plot, a mixture of emotional, sweet and funny. I am kind of ignoring the sex scenes in this as I am not used to reading that sort of thing, and my main focuses are the plot and writing style. This book is PERFECT for Valentines day and if you like romance books, I recommend this, and it is a quick read! If I had been able to just read for one full day I think I would have finished this a lot quicker, but I had university work to do. I am over the moon though that I managed to finish this before Valentine’s Day, as this book was finished February 1st! If you’ve read this, please let me know your thoughts, and a huge thank you to Laura for sending me this for review!

Rating: 4/5

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Book Review – Assassin’s Creed Origins: Desert Oath by Oliver Bowden

Name: Assassin’s Creed Origins: Desert Oath

Author: Oliver Bowden

Publication Date: 2nd November 2017

Format: Paperback

Goodreads Link: Here

Review: Set in 70BCE in Egypt, a killer stalks the land in order to eradicate the last members and the bloodline of an ancient order called the Medjay. But in peaceful Siwa, the town’s protector leaves suddenly and his teenage son Bayek soon discovers his purpose and goes out to discover more about it and about the Medjay and his own destiny. This book is based around the Assassin’s Creed Origins game, and although I have never played it, I do enjoy the concept and books of Assassin’s Creed. I have read Renaissance before, and this is in theory the prequel to it, so I decided to start with this before attempting to complete the series (including rereading Renaissance). This book switches points of view a fair bit, one minute it is first person and we are reading it from the view of Bayek, the next it is in the third person and we’re somewhere else. I think this would annoy some people but I actually enjoyed it. I think that for this book it is very important to have the sections involving Bayek to be from his perspective as it enhances the story if we know what he’s going through and his thoughts and feelings on the entire thing. Yet, we wouldn’t understand the book and the story as well if it was only from his perspective. Having this third-person viewpoint when discussing the other characters in chapters where Bayek is not present helped us gather more understanding of why certain events occurred, we gathered more information about certain characters, and we knew about things that we wouldn’t have known about if the entire novel had been from Bayek’s perspective. I thought this book was really well-written, the plot was action-packed and just overall it was an enjoyable read, especially if you are a fan of the Assassin’s Creed series. One friend even told me that after he read Renaissance, he felt as if he understood the plot of the first game way better than he did through actually playing the game, and I think that says a lot about Oliver Bowden’s writing and how closely he would have worked with Ubisoft to produce these books. I am awful at Assassin’s Creed type games, so I tend to stick with the books and I am really glad they exist for each game, as I feel like I’m not missing out. I have no idea if this book in particular is actually relevant to the plot of Assassin’s Creed Origins, but either way it’s an interesting story to read maybe alongside the game, but it’s also an action-packed book to read even if you don’t play the games but are interested in the concepts. I will warn you that there is a lot of violence in these books, but I think that is to be expected. Overall, I loved this book, it kept my interest, I think it was well-written, it felt educational even though it’s based off of a video game and it was just a great book. Like I said before, if you are a fan of the Assassin’s Creed series of games then you’ll definitely be interested in giving these books a go, and I’d definitely recommend this one!

Rating: 5/5

Book Review – Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

39339994Name: Norse Mythology

Author: Neil Gaiman

Publication Date: 6th March 2018 (7th Feb 2017 originally)

Format: Paperback

Goodreads Link: Here

Review: I was first introduced to the world of Norse Mythology when I became a Marvel fan. Thor and Loki have been two of my favourite characters in the MCU for years, but I realised I didn’t know too much about the original characters, not the Marvel versions. I knew a few bits and pieces because of the internet, but when I saw that Neil Gaiman (an author I had heard so many good things about) had come out with a book to do with these characters and others, I knew I had to read it. I was kindly given the paperback edition of this book by my wonderful boyfriend for Christmas, and decided it had to be my first read of 2019. I started this on new years day and finished it on the 6th. I found this book to be interesting & informative. It begins with Neil Gaiman himself talking about how he came to know the characters, and then begins mini stories (which I guess could be classed as chapters as they seem to be in a chronological order). Each one taught me more about Norse mythology, I learnt about Gods I had never heard of before, and I learnt more about the personalities of Odin, Thor & Loki outside of the MCU, and they’re a lot darker. The stories are all well written, both informative and entertaining, and I think this is the sort of book you could get through quite quickly, or even choose to dip in and out of because the chapters to me are basically short stories. If you are at all interested in Norse Mythology, or are a fan of Thor, Loki, Odin etc that you’ve seen in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) then I’d definitely check out this book to learn more about the Gods outside of that.

Rating: 5/5

Book Review – Margaret Tudor: The Life of Henry VIII’s Sister by Melanie Clegg

38507404Name: Margaret Tudor: The Life of Henry VIII’s Sister

Author: Melanie Clegg

Publication Date: 30th January 2019

Format: eBook (ARC)

Goodreads Link: Here

Review: I received this book for free on Negalley, but all thoughts are my own. I tend to read and research a lot about the Tudor family as I find the past of the monarchy interesting, with the Tudors and Queen Victoria being my favourites to learn about, but I have never read much about Margaret Tudor, and knew pretty much nothing about her except that she was the older sister of Henry VIII. She seemed to be a strong-willed woman, and this book really helped me learn a lot about her. The book is separated into different chapters that bunch together certain parts of her life. It goes into her childhood, her life as the wife of James IV of Scotland, and how she was treated after his death, including her other marriages. I learnt from this that she was not treated in the best way by the majority of her family (and husbands), but she remained strong & determined to do what is best for her and her children, but also try to be as happy as possible. Melanie Clegg’s writing was engaging, and although it took me a while to get through this due to not having much time to read, I was always itching to continue reading. Overall, I did really enjoy this book and feel like I have learnt a lot about Margaret Tudor, and I highly recommend this book to Tudor/history enthusiasts.

Rating: 4/5

Review – Pokeball Plus (For Nintendo Switch)

A few days ago I got the Pokeball Plus to go along with Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee for the Nintendo Switch. When I first heard about it, I found the price point of around £49.99 (according to Argos) a bit steep! However, the more I read about it and the more I even used it after buying it, the more I began to understand the price.

The first thing to mention is that yes, it is a controller! You go through the game using the joystick, pressing it in for ‘a’, pressing the top for ‘b’ and shaking it for ‘y’. You only play the game using one joy-con anyway, so using the Pokeball instead means you’re not missing out on much, other than the home & screenshot buttons, but I always had the home-button one connected anyway! It also has a hidden section in the back so you can charge it, and it charges via USB-C, like other switch accessories. It does make noise and has vibrations in it too, so it makes it more fun to play with in game!

If you buy the Pokeball Plus new, you get a Level 1 Mew! You connect the Pokeball to your Switch & go to communications on the Let’s Go menu, and from there you’re able to collect your Mew. It’s a fun little bonus for purchasing the Pokeball, but I don’t actually know if you can get Mew in the game normally.

I also learnt that the Pokeball Plus can connect to your phone if you play Pokemon Go, and it works by letting you know when a pokemon is nearby. You press the joystick and it’ll either glow green or red, depending on whether you caught the pokemon or not. It’s an interesting little addition to it, I wasn’t expecting it to be able to connect to your phone too!

You can also use it to help train your pokemon from the Let’s Go games! It works by allowing you to ‘take your pokemon on a stroll’, meaning you send a pokemon to it, and the pedometer inside counts your steps, and you can also shake it or play with the joystick to ‘play’ with the pokemon inside. It makes noises during the playing, and when you connect it back to your game and finish your ‘stroll’, you get experience which levels up that particular pokemon! It’s a great addition, as I find it quite difficult to level up in the game just by battling trainers & catching pokemon, I miss battling wild pokemon.

 

Now we’ve finished discussing what the Pokeball Plus can do, it’s time to get into my thoughts about it! I actually think it’s a great little addition to the game, and makes levelling up pokemon more fun. It’s a simple little controller that’s kinda a novelty but it’s enjoyable and I actually find it more comfortable to play with compared to the joy-cons and actually find it easier to catch pokemon using it! The price can vary between £40-£50 new depending on where you’re shopping, but I actually think it’s worth the price. It’s definitely designed for smaller hands, like for children or women (so I’m safe with my girly hands!) so older men or just people with bigger hands may find it slightly uncomfortable, but it is still fine to use, according to my boyfriend who has also tried using it. I definitely recommend it, and I hope they allow it to be used for future pokemon games.

 

Laura