T5W – Least Favorite Book in My Favorite Series

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It’s Top 5 Wednesday, a meme hosted by booktuber Lainey aka gingereadslainey for which you can join on the Goodreads page here. Today is all about that one book in the series that just didn’t feel right. Maybe it was too long, maybe the story didn’t develop right or maybe nothing happened at all. Let’s see which ones were the black sheep in the series for me!

The Magicians from The Magicians

Okay, labeling this series as one of my favourites is a little weird. However, it did stick with me and I still come to think of parts of it every now and then. The TV show probably helps with that I guess. That first book in the series though … I swear, if I hadn’t bought the whole book box, I am not sure I would have wanted to continue with it. The other books were way better though and I came to weirdly appreciate some of the characters. Eliot remains to be my favourite though.

Lola and the Boy Next Door from Anna and the French Kiss

Lola … sure, Cricket was a darling, but Lola was annoying me so much. I get that she is eccentric and didn’t want to hide who she truly is and I would never discourage anyone from doing that, but there is such a thing as too much. And unfortunately, her personality was just that for me at times. Nonetheless, I LOVE that series and her book too. Just not as much as the others. How couldn’t I love something set in San Francisco?

Glass Sword from Red Queen

Ugh, that book was a headache. I was so in love with Red Queen and in comparison this book was just a struggle. Which I don’t understand! Why did it drag so much? Why was it so repetitive? And I stand by the opinion that a map would have maybe made this book better. Just saying! But I haven’t read the whole series yet, so I am still hoping that the others are better.

Kingdom of the Golden Dragon from Eagle and Jaguar

Im Reich des Goldenen Drachen (Eagle and Jaguar, #2)

Oh my stars, did I love this series! Couldn’t get enough of the first book and then Kingdom of the Golden Dragon was presented to me. There was a cover change, my suspicions immediately grew. What was this madness? Then I read the book and I still enjoyed it, but there was a new but temporary POV and it took up way too much page time. Would have loved to stick with the main characters instead. And I depicted the German cover here, just so you know why I was put off a little …

Inkblood from Inkworld

Apparently I have a thing against second books. It’s just that Inkheart was nearly perfectand Inkblood made things unnecessarily weird and complicated in some parts. I was of course happy that the story continued, but let’s just say it wasn’t as good as the first book, especially due to the torture of my beloved Dustfinger, which should be forbidden anyway.

 

I didn’t mention any of my favourite series such as The Infernal Devices, Red Rising or Shatter Me, simply because I couldn’t decide which book I liked the least. Yes, that can happen! They’ve just become one big glob of awesomeness in my heart! Which books were your least favourite in a series? Tell me all about it!

T5W – Fictional Items I Want

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It’s Top 5 Wednesday, a meme hosted by booktuber Lainey aka gingereadslainey for which you can join on the Goodreads page here. I’ve been pretty lazy with TTT, but somehow finding 5 things is just way easier than 10. So, this week we are going to talk a little about Fictional Items I Want!

Willstones (Worldwalker series)

Bonding with your willstone sounds kind of painful to be honest, but then you have that external brain. Something that channels your powers, memorises everything for you and lets you share mindspeak, memories and feelings with other people. I have to say that seems kind of worth it for me, at least in some instances. And I am greedy, I don’t want just one stone too.

Stele (Shadowhunter series)

I guess I am not too keen on getting burnt by a crystal or something, but the runes look so cool and in some instances I feel like a Stele could be priceless. Wanna be invisible? Sure! Soundless? Of course! There’s so many useful things to do with it!

Josh’s comic (Isla and the Happily Ever After)

With Cristina reading the series, it just reminded me of how much I want someone to make Josh’s comic for real! That totally counts as a fictional item, right?

Magical Button (The Magicians Series)

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A button that can virtually take you anywhere, to any world possible? You just have to find it! Sounds like it would be the gateway to an adventure of a lifetime. (And yes, I am ignoring the danger of maybe never finding back home again)

Sonic Screwdriver (Doctor Who)

Why only stick to books, huh? I would love to have a sonic screwdriver, preferably one that also works on wood.

What are some items you would truly want to have in real life? Tell me all about it in the comments and don’t hesitate to leave a link to your T5W as well!

The Magicians (TV Review)

I did something stupid and watched the special preview of The Magicians and as expected I loved it and now I am angry with myself for having to wait so incredibly long. I will only roughly mention what happened, because I don’t want to spoil anyone, but I cannot help needing to talk about it.

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For all of you who still don’t know, I’ve read the Magicians trilogy by Lev Grossman this year and it’s left quite the impression on me. I already did a little trailer talk for the show, but I honestly have to say that I am relieved that I actually loved it as much as I did in the end! The series is about Quentin Coldwater, a guy who never felt like he belonged until he got invited to study at Brakebills University for Magic. In a way it’s Narnia with a dash of Harry Potter but for grown-ups (and I really mean that last part!).

The pacing in the first book was a little strange by rushing through Quentin’s education and now the show definitely isn’t wasting time either. I think it’s even more extreme than the book in some ways, but to go into detail would mean that I have to spoil you for the premiere and I don’t want to do that. Somehow they have managed to stay very true to the story and change almost everything at the same time. They’ve stayed faithful with so many details, but then they just up and went to change the timeline, names, the whole story of some characters. It’s odd at first, but because they’ve done it in such a great way, it simply works!

Another thing I have to commend Syfy for is the casting! Okay, not everyone looks the way they did in the book (I’m looking at you Penny!), but I think they made the perfect choice anyway. Jason Ralph as Quentin is this cute dork and just so much more likable than his book-version. My favourite character, Elliot, looks exactly the way I pictured him and Hale Appleman gives him exactly the right attitude. And then Julia! Stella Maeve seriously knows how to portray her despair! I could swoon over the rest of the cast just as much, but maybe you should just take a look at yourself.

The first episode pulled you right in, was funny, intriguing, extreme and fast paced. It left with a huge cliffhanger so I am happy to hear that the actual Premiere on January 8, 2016 will be a double-episode. As an enthusiast of the books, I have to say that the show gave me everything I wanted and so much more! I hope you’ll give it a try in 2016 so we can all gush together! Did anyone else watch the Special Preview?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Want To See As TV Shows

It’s Tuesday and that means it’s time for the original weekly meme Top Ten Tuesday created by The Broke and the BookishIf you want to join into the fun, just head over to her website and check out the theme of the week. Since we all get a FREEBIE this week, I chose to do “Books I Want To See As TV Shows“. It’s common knowledge that I love all things TV (even more than watching movies most of the time), so you’re going to get a list of books that I’d like to see as a TV show (some of those will actually be happening!)

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1. Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi

Tahereh announced on a BookTube videoShatter Me (Shatter Me, #1) that the series has been optioned for TV and I just got SO excited! I am cautiously optimistic that it will happen and keep thinking about who may be cast for some of the characters (I might do a post for that soon!). I loved that world so much and I think I would’ve been sad if they just pushed all the content in 3 or 4 movies, this way they can go on even beyond the ending of the books.

2. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

I actually liked the movie, even though it wasn’t like the books. I thought the casting was really good, but hey, it got picked up by Netflix and they have an amazing track record with their original content (still not over the awesomeness that is Sense8)! With more than 13 books out already, this could definitely be a show for the long-run.

3. Rebel Belle Series by Rachel Hawkins

Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle, #1)To my own shame I have to admit that I still haven’t read Miss Mayhem, but superheroes are really in right now and I consider Harper Price somewhat of a heroine. She has superpowers/super-strenght at least. Then it’s all in a High School setting – I can see it!

4. The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare

This is another show that’s actually happening under the title “Shadowhunters”. Since the movie was somewhat of a flop (mostly due to seriously bad casting in my opinion), I am glad it gets a do-over on TV. Also, I am totally on board with the casting this time around (except for Kat McNamara as Clary … sorry, I am still hesitant about that one). But I finally want a real trailer now!!!

5. Avalon High by Meg Cabot

Avalon HighThere’s actually a movie for this as well I think, but it was a Disney-channel movie and therefore … well, disney-fied (watch the Trailer for that here). It just looked ridiculous but I love the Arthurian theme of the book and I think it would work very well as a TV show where the story can be stretched out. The book would obviously only serve for one Season, but I bet they could come up with other mystical stuff to do afterwards.

6. Anna and the French Kiss Series by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)Can you imagine it? Every book would be a season and after Season 3/Isla everyone would want more and then Stephanie Perkins would be forced to right more books in that universe and I would be beyond happy! Okay, so maybe I just want more books, but I still think it would be a really funny and sweet show.

7. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

FangirlI imagine this as a show where not a lot would actually happen, but you just sort of see what Cath is doing all day long with some flashes of her fanfiction in between. Episodes would probably only be like 25 minutes long, but still, the show would go on forever, because people can just relate to her and her geek life so much.

8. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

My Life Next DoorIn my opinion we would see so much more of the actual life next door if it were a TV show. Also, there is surely a lot of drama they could come up with over the seasons and we could just switch the focus to a different sibling every season and watch as they grow up!

9. The Beautiful Dead by Eden Maguire

Jonas (Beautiful Dead, #1)I could see this being a lot like the teenage version of Ghost Whisperer.

10. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night CircusAs much as I am rooting for the movie to come out (it has been optioned after all), I don’t think that one movie could ever be enough. There are so many different places in the circus itself that I would like to see, that I doubt they could fit them all in 2 hours. They’d have to scratch a lot and I don’t want that. When it comes to the Night Circus I can be really greedy! It’s just so magical!

Honourable mentions

  • The Magicians by Lev Grossman (also actually happening!)
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (but only as a mini-series)
  • Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

So, what do you think? If any of those shows would really happen, I SO want to do the casting. That would be amazing! Have you read some of the books as well and do you share my vision? Would you rather have movies for some of those books or no adaptation at all? What are some books you would like to see as a TV show?

The Magician’s Land Book Review

The Magician’s Land is the conclusion to the Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman (soon to be seen on Syfy as a TV show). If you missed it, you should check out my reviews of book 1: The Magicians and book 2: The Magician King. Beware of Spoilers ahead!

23398891Cast out of Fillory, Quentin Coldwater returns to the place his story began, the Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic. All too soon, however, his past comes looking for him, and Quentin sets out to face his fears and put things right—or die trying. Filled with riveting battle scenes as well as intriguing new characters and the return of beloved favorites, The Magician’s Land brings Grossman’s epic tale to its magnificent conclusion.
(source: Goodreads)

Grossman broke a little with tradition on this one and didn’t split it into four parts. I kind of missed it, but the flow was still pretty nice. It still switched between POVs though, namely the one of Quentin, the people in Fillory and new addition Plum. Also, there were a couple of chapters that were a story within the story and I quite enjoyed how everything just seemed to come together in the end. It was one of those everything and everyone is connected in some way.

So, Quentin really grew into himself and by now I actually cared about him and even liked him, which was just extremely difficult in the beginning. I am so glad he finally did get his Discipline, even though Minor Mendings seems pretty underwhelming at first. I love that they brought back Alice and that she and Q didn’t just go back to how everything was before – they actually have to start over which seems realistic after what they went through. A lot of the characters are still pretty crazy (especially Janet), but not everything is doom and gloom like it was in the Magicians. In hindsight, I have the feeling that the first book is not the best representation of the series and with its weird pacing and mood it probably put off a lot of readers from continuing with the trilogy.

It wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t show you the map of this book as well (unfortunately I didn’t find it coloured anywhere like the others were):

magician land

Fazit: 3.7/5 stars. It was funny and a great conclusion to the series. However, I am still not sure I would want to revisit it because it’s not one of my favourites.

In the end, my personal ranking of the books would be as followed:

  1. The Magician King
  2. The Magician’s Land
  3. The Magicians

Another book to scratch off my September TBR. What are your thoughts? Have you read the series as well?

The Magician King Book Review

I’ve done it! I’ve finally continued with the Magician Trilogy by Lev Grossman and can cross of the first book from my September TBR, namely the second book in the series: The Magician King. Despite my worries, I actually enjoyed this book a lot more than the first part! So, since I already reviewed the the first book The Magicians spoiler-free (click here to read it), this review will obviously contain Spoilers!!

10819920Quentin Coldwater should be happy. He escaped a miserable Brooklyn childhood, matriculated at a secret college for magic, and graduated to discover that Fillory—a fictional utopia—was actually real. But even as a Fillorian king, Quentin finds little peace. His old restlessness returns, and he longs for the thrills a heroic quest can bring.
Accompanied by his oldest friend, Julia, Quentin sets off—only to somehow wind up back in the real world and not in Fillory, as they’d hoped. As the pair struggle to find their way back to their lost kingdom, Quentin is forced to rely on Julia’s illicitly learned sorcery as they face a sinister threat in a world very far from the beloved fantasy novels of their youth.
(source: Goodreads)

As I mentioned above, I liked this book better than the first one. The characters were a little less miserable or at least slowly figuring out what makes them happy. Also, the pacing wasn’t as terribly off, even though the structure of this book was very similar to the first one, separating it in 4 major parts as well.

Part 1: The gang (Eliot, Janet, Quentin and Julia) have ruled in Fillory for a while now and Q is getting restless. It’s time for an adventure.

Part 2: Q messed up, because his quest only brought him and Julia back to earth and that’s the last place they want to be. With the unexpected help of Josh and an Australian girl named Poppy they manage to get back to Fillory.

Part 3: A year has passed since Q and Julia left Fillory and Eliot took on what should have been Q’s real quest all along. He wants to be a hero, unintentionally ends up in the destroyed Neitherlands, but actually finds out what the quest to find the 7 golden keys is really about.

Part 4: Having all the keys, the gang saves the day by keeping magic from getting extinct. But Quentin has to pay the ultimate price for being the hero – never being able to return to Fillory while leaving all his friends behind.

The Magician King offered a detailed account of what happened to Julia while Quentin was in Brakebills and I have to say that I could’ve easily done without some of the chapters. I get that it was important for her overall journey, to really understand how the events of the book and her change came about, but I am not one to dwell in the past (at least not in books). Often I just wanted to keep reading about what happened in the present, but the Julia-chapters were strategically positioned to be in between cliffhangers. It’s not that her story wasn’t interesting, I just wish her chapters were even more succinct and on point. (even though I will give them that they were shorter than normal chapters) I guess I just really didn’t like to read the rape-scene towards the end …

This time around there were a lot of characters I would’ve liked to hear more about. I was really glad that Q took Benedict on the journey and even more devastated when he died. I think that character would have had so much more potential and then they just had to leave him behind in the Underworld. Also, for some weird reason I wanted Q to take the children with him (Eleanor and Thomas) even though that would’ve been a terrible idea. Questing is no place for kids! Still, I have hopes of seeing Eleanor again in the story and poor Thomas should get to go on an adventure as well!

There is another map in the book, I am glad they keep putting those in! (As I said, maps are always a plus!!)

magician king

So, ultimately there was a lot more excitement and action in The Magician King and I started to like Quentin a little better. In the end I just felt really sorry for him and it actually made me want to continue reading the series, which I am going to do right now.

Fazit: 3.8/5 stars. I am slowly warming up to Quentin and now I want to know how his story ends!

P.S. I have a hard time imagining any of the content from Book 2 in the upcoming Magicians TV show …

September 2015 TBR

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I always have a hard time choosing books to read during … well, during any month really. On the one hand, my shelves are overflowing as it is and I have not read all of the books I already own. But to be honest, I often just don’t feel like reading them. And on the other hand, I want to read a ton of new books, but getting the original editions and not the translated ones takes time since they are barely ever available or on stock. So, I am super proud to actually have a pretty decent September TBR for you. Take a look!

  • The Magician King and the Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman
    This is kind of a no-brainer since those are Book 2 and 3 in the Magicians trilogy and I promised to finish it.
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
    I visited an English bookstore in Vienna and everything was soooo expensive. And then I saw them: various classics from the Word Cloud collection. I love those editions so much and I really had to restrain myself from buying them all. I ended up with Frankenstein and am quite happy about that. The books are bound in some sort of soft leather and have sentences from the book on the cover, formed in a word cloud using different fonts. I LOVE it!
  • Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines
    I am sure I am going to need a bit of a more light-hearted book when I’m done with the Magicians, so I thought this one would be quite nice. It seems like a sweet book about teens with problems, but the normal and not the magical kind.
  • The Next Together by Lauren James
    Incarnation love story and gorgeous cover? Count me in! I think it’s part of a trilogy, so I hope it doesn’t have a terrible cliffhanger ending, but I am excited about this book.

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As always click on the book covers to be redirected to Goodreads for more information! What are you reading this September?