Posted in Fashionably Late Reviews :)

‘Night Study’ by Maria V Snyder, and why you should read it

I mean, if you’re not already on this band wagon… WHY THE HELL NOT?

Everyone has their reasons, sure. Mine staple is usually as good as any; there are so many books in the world that I’m always going to be ‘behind’ on something.

But seriously dudes. This is one series you need to give a fair chance. It’s freakin’ timeless. My feelings for this series can be summed up thusly:

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Continue reading “‘Night Study’ by Maria V Snyder, and why you should read it”

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Posted in Chit Chat, Fashionably Late Reviews :)

Reasons why the Study Series by Maria V Snyder is like Game of Thrones… But better!

If you haven’t read Maria Snyder’s Study Series yet then SHAME ON YOU! I can’t recommend it enough. Especially to all you YA fantasy lovers. Perhaps I’m a little biased since this was the series that got me back into reading alllll those years ago. And Valek was my first proper book boyfriend. Le sigh. Continue reading “Reasons why the Study Series by Maria V Snyder is like Game of Thrones… But better!”

Posted in Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Best Books of 2015

This wasn’t easy- trying to whittle it down to just ten? I put a constraint on it; they all have to be 2015 releases, or gawd I would have been here through New Year trying to decide.

So here goes, my top ten! In no particular order… (quotes taken from my reviews of the titles, click the links to read them in full)

Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday – Best Books of 2015”

Posted in Chit Chat

Meeting Maria V Snyder at MIRA Ink (PART TWO)

Here we go. The part you actually wanted to read. But in case you missed it, here’s part one.

Floating somewhere between really tired and really excited, the adrenaline and the nerves.. I was overwhelmed to say the least.

I’ve never attended an event like this before and so I had no idea what to expect.

We were taken to the room where it was all happening and.. oh my gosh. She was there. Right there.

I totally seized.

It’s strange, isn’t it? This is the person who has written stories that have literally taken over a part of your life. Stories that have changed you, somehow, or made you look at something differently. Stories that have made your heart beat faster, your heart seize, stop, burst. Toe curling. Stomach clenching. The woman who created your first book boyfriend. The woman who, with the power of her words, took you to a different world and held you there. Time and time again.

How the heck are you supposed to act cool? If you know the answer to this, then pray tell. Because I tried, and I failed.

I loved how relaxed the whole evening was. We chatted with Maria and with each other whilst having (forced) food and drink. HA! I was far to wired to eat or drink anything and it wasn’t until someone physically put a cup in my hand that I managed to sip some orange juice.

Maria spoke to us about everything and anything. We talked about her cat, Valek, whom she got on Velentine’s Day one year.. but who will only respond to ‘kitty’. Now imagine Valek in the books, doing that too. Ha ha!

I met (and clung to) Amy, a fellow blogger and writer:

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And I was asking her if she had seen the US cover for Shadow Study. I was saying how I liked it because it was more like the older covers for Poison Study, but it was a bit too ‘dressy’. Later, Maria herself was saying how those older Poison Study covers has a truer representation of Yelena. ‘This is Yelena’ she said, holding a copy of it.

And I have to agree. It is. It totally is. (I put a picture of that particular cover in Part One).

MIRA Ink had prepared a goody bag for us. It was like freakin’ Christmas! It included a copy of Shadow Study which Maria then signed for us.

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I love that she tries to personalise her signings a little. It does make you feel special.

Here’s the thing. I had a question for Maria. I was prepped…

But I lost my bottle.

I know. I suck.

It was a geeky MA student question too, about the choice to use both first and third person in Shadow Study. But only because someone had told me to never do this because it doesn’t work. Well, bud, I was gonna prove them wrong.

I had a long journey home, so I didn’t stay until the end. I left with Maddie and Bee who kindly took my picture next to the WALL O’ BOOKS on the way out.

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20150325_215725I was determined not to look in my goody bag until I got back to Paddington. My train wasn’t until 23:45, so I had some time to kill.

There was some real cute things inside (I cracked. I was on the tube. And I cracked)

– Three books (including Shadow Study)
– An easter egg (yum!)
– A note book
– Purple nail varnish
– Promo postcard

I LOVE SWAG! Ha ha.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I arrived back at Paddington and got myself some foods before boarding the sleeper train. The dork in me loved that the engine had ‘Pendennis Castle’ on it. A proper cornish choo choo!

I didn’t have a cabin, just a seat. And I was all settled in… And then we had to get off. The dead man’s lever wasn’t working so they had to switch the front with the back.. or something.

This took AGES!

I don’t want to bore you, but I spent a long time staring at a table in the First Class Lounge (yep, they let us run riot in there as compensation.. and I helped myself to the pop) and once we were eventually on our way, I had seriously had enough. When I finally got back to my house (after driving from the station with bleary eyes and  a can of Relentless) the birds were tweeting and the sun was coming up.

Tired. Achey. But would I do it all over again? HELL YES! It was a great experience and an absolute dream to meet Maria and visit the MIRA Ink offices! So much fun. I got to meet some really cool blogger peeps too.

 

Posted in Chit Chat

Meeting Maria V Snyder at Mira Ink (PART ONE)

A Bit of Back Story

It’s one of those moments that I never imagined would happen.

So for this post at least, indulge me, let me back track a bit:

Poison Study was the book that I picked up on a whim. I liked the cover (yep, covers count for a lot in this house) and the blurb was interesting.

I hadn’t really been reading much, at all, and I hadn’t bought many books, at all. But this one spoke to me.

And it spoke good. I started reading it and just KNEW it was going to be the perfect ‘book-to-reader’ match.

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Yelena Zaltana is on kick ass heroine. She’s not perfect, but that’s what makes her so. You know? And I’m gonna make a confession here: Valek was my first, and only, book boyfriend! I’ve had some other characters in other books come close.. but none have had the same effect Valek had, and still does!

Needless to say, I have since gobbled up every other book Maria Snyder has written. I’m still one book away from finishing the ‘Healer’ series, and then I’ll be all caught up! Fo sho! (I’m kinda savouring it… Stretching out the anticipation! HA!)

How Come You Were In London?

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I know, I know. This country bumpkin got an invite from Mira Ink and got her sorry little Devon self on a train.

Maria is currently touring her newest title Shadow Study in the UK.

See now, I thought Yelena and Valek’s story was finished. But we, the stalwart obsessive psycho fans, kept asking for more, and the love of her, she delivered!

Shadow Study picks up after the Glass series has finished, with cameos and special mentions of other beloved characters including Kade and Opal et al. Janco even gets his own POV, which is pretty boss. Click here to read my review of Shadow Study.

The Journey

Hang on, hang on. I’ll get to the bits I know you REALLY came to read in a minute.

I was totally psyched about the trip. I was reading at an event the night before and got in quite late, but I was still awake long before my alarm went off. I was too excited!

After a mad dash to the supermarket with my dad, I set off in my car. It takes roughly 45 minutes to drive to the station… and then I had a meltdown.

I’m not one that gets ruffled easily. But after driving around the station’s THREE car parks and finding no spaces, I was starting to lose my cool. In fact, I was on the phone to my dad, wound up like a coil, cursing the train company, the car park, the poor car owners. The pigeons. No one was safe from my ire.

My dad tried directing me to a car park just up the road, but like hell could I find it.

Luckily, as I pulled back into the station, I spotted someone leaving. PHEW!

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The train – 3 hours. No delays. In fact, it arrived at Paddington a little earlier than planned… because it forgot to stop at Slough. Ooops! Also, I nearly finished the book I was reading (see pic) and decided to stop, worried I’d have nothing to read later.

The tube – I could have got a connecting train from Reading to Richmond but there wasn’t one that left late enough for me to get home, so Paddington and the Underground it was. I LOVE the Underground. I keep waiting for the novelty to wear off, but it doesn’t. I think it’s because I drive EVERYWHERE at home, I have to. So just hopping on and off a train is great! And ticket scanners… So much fun! (It’s the little things in life, eh?)

Mira Ink offices – I’d not been to Richmond before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Thank goodness there was a McDonalds.. not to eat.. but for the loo! I couldn’t find the loo in Paddington station (I have since.. duh. So obvious!) and I was desperate!

Mira Ink itself was easy to find. I spied a couple of lost looking bloggers while I was quickly phoning home, to say I got there ok. I feel a bit bad for not calling out.. but then, if you guys weren’t bloggers.. you’d think I was crazy. Soz. Xx

Oh man, the office itself. THE OFFICE! I’ve never been inside a publisher’s office so I was excited on a whole new level..

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So, I’d arrived. I had my name badge. I was smiling like the awkward dork that I am at the other people (trying not to make it obvious as I squint at their name badges because I am TERRIBLE with names).

And then the lovely Cara takes us upstairs…

To be continued, because I’m gonna need a whole post to talk about how wonderful Maria was, and all the blogger peebles I met.

 

Posted in Fashionably Late Reviews :)

ARC: Shadow Study by Maria V Snyder

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Shadow Study by Maria V Snyder (Jan/Feb 2015) received with much thanks from the publishers via NetGalley

Holy hell. Where do I begin? Seriously. This book is one of those that I waited with baited breath to see if I was approved. And then when I was I was scared to start it!

I mean, let’s look at this way: This series was what got me back into reading again. And this was a huge thing. It effectively changed my life.

So coming back to these characters after so long was like returning home. It felt so good.

We’re given three POVs in Shadow Study:

Yelena – Is the same plucky character I remembered. She’s a fierce, yet sensitive, person. And I loved that both of these sides were truly tested in this book. The only POV in the first person and I like that, it gives me a certain connection to her. Having the other two tell their POV in the third person gives a certain degree of separation which is healthy. If it were all in the first person I think it would become too claustrophobic.

I also found it really sweet, and strangely moving, that Yelena is the same age as me in this book. *wells up*

Valek – Oh Valek. My first book boyfriend. I shall love him until my last, dying breath. He does not disappoint here. I think what’s really interesting, and so touching, is seeing how Yelena has changed him. I wanted to hug him (ok, if I’m honest, I wanted to do more than just hug him.. but I’ll settle..) Whenever he adds ‘love’ on the end of a sentence, I swoon. Hard.

Janco – He’s like the comic relief. Whenever we’re seeing things from his POV the writing comes alive with real wit and spark and that’s so much fun.

 

As per usual the plot is thick and twisty and pings off in directions you couldn’t have predicted.

…even if I did predict that one thing happening. Yeah, you know the one. *waggles eyebrows*

I was on that sucker from the first few pages and I had to wait through nearly the whole book to have my theory validated. But still.. *hi five*

Anyone that has been a fan of the Yelena/Valek ship (I SHIP THEM SO HARD) will love this book. Equally, anyone that has enjoyed the Glass series, or any of Snyder’s other works, will also enjoy this. We have cameos from Opal et al. which was nice.

This book was a real dream. An easy 5 stars, but I need the next book like yesterday!