To celebrate the release of the Strange the Dreamer paperback, I’m sharing my review of the book!
Strange the Dreamer is a masterpiece through and through. It’s beautifully constructed and the setting and characters are so vivid and intoxicating. It’s the story of Sarai and Laslo. She is a magical being who resides in the lost city of Weep, and he is a librarian on an expedition to rediscover Weep.
The whole book is a slow-burn, gradually introducing you to this new world. But it has all the familiar Lani Taylor traits you’ve come to love if you’ve read her Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. There’s magic, mystery, and fairytales. But rather than being super plot driven, it’s a character study. The story of a blossoming relationship between these two unlikelies. The scenes when Sarai and Laslo are connected are so atmospheric and heart-warming, I wanted to stay with them forever. Additionally, as much as I loved the primary characters, the secondary ones are also something special. You feel connected to all of them, and I would read a companion novel about every single one!
But, there’s a twist. An excruciating one that had me reeling for the next book, like, right now. (Luckily, we’ve not long to wait, as Muse of Nightmares comes out 2nd October.) Strange the Dreamer has to be one of my all-time favourite fantasy novels, and I really can’t wait to be immersed in this world once again.
Buy on Amazon |Pre-order Muse of Nightmares
*Note: We received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Because we’re just going to be shouting about how incredible this book was from now until the end of time, we thought instead of writing a review that would be 100% incoherent, we’d shuffle our thoughts into a Reasons To Read Invictus. So, without further ado, let’s get into it!
Invictus is heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat fast, but at the same time it has slow moments for you to savour things like the tentative conversations between the couples. There was not one moment where I thought, ‘this needs to speed up’ or ‘wait, I’ve lost what’s happening.’ It’s literally crafted to perfection so you’ll never want to put it down!
- FOUND FAMILIES
If you’re a fan of The Heroes of Olympus series, or Six of Crows, basically anything where a group of kids have to come together and save the world/steal some stuff, then you’re going to love this book. Invictus has the wholesomeness of the Percy Jackson series and wicked sense of the Grishaverse. With some strong Firefly and Doctor Who vibes as well, but that just comes with the sci-fi territory. (Side-note for other influences: the recent Star Trek films. The prologue is very Star Trek opening realness, and I was living for it.)
- MIND BOGGLING REVEALS
OH MAN. The twists and turns in this story were off the scale good. Like, I didn’t see any of them coming. It’s really not something you can put together yourself, and even when I thought I had a one-up on the characters, I really didn’t. I’d like to think than Ryan thought of the ways a reader could construe things and then was like ‘haha nope! They’re not going to guess this!‘
There are two main romances. You’d got Far and Priya, and Imogen and Gram. The first are the most true-love destiny pairing you’ve read since Percy and Annabeth. They communicate and it’s pretty glorious. And even though they’re young, they’re really serious about their feelings which is so joyful to read. As for Imogen and Gram, they don’t communicate and that’s the best thing too. Like, unrequited love that isn’t actually unrequited has got to be everyone’s favourite relationship dynamic ever right? It’s like love/hate but with more angst and emotional tension rather than sexual tension. Basically, it pulls on your heart strings and turned me into a puddle of love and tears. The romances aren’t over done, they’re secondary to the action plot, but they’re pivotal to the adventure so, sign me up!
- ACCOMPLISHED WRITING
It literally blows my mind that Ryan Graudin came up with both Wolf By Wolf (a stunningly original idea) and Invictus. Seriously, one person should not be allowed to be this clever at plotting books. Everything I’ve read by Ryan has been different, but all her books have the same tone and beautiful crafting. I need Ryan to run a webinar on plotting, for sure!
Also, thought we’d give a shoutout to our friends Carys, Kate and Lily who we buddy read this book with. It was super fun to discuss it with them, so maybe another pro of this book is that it’s great for a book club pick – there’s a lot of talk about!
So, obviously, Invictus is getting 5 stars from us! I so wish this was the first in a larger series, but it’s also such a rewarding standalone (and you don’t get many sic-fi ones!) that it’s perfect on it’s own! We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
This is undoubtedly one of the best books I’ve read this year. Although ‘None of the Above’ isn’t an own voices intersex story, Gregorio is a medical professional who has dealt with intersex patients and the amount of research and sensitivity reading that has gone into this book shows in the way it’s informative, sensitive and, most importantly, a delight to read.
Continue reading “Review: None Of The Above by I. W. Gregorio”
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, LGBT+
Published by: Usborne
I was so desperate to read this book and I have been ever since it came out, but it was just one of those things where it was on a deal at Waterstones (buy one get one half price) and there wasn’t another book that I wanted! By the time there was If I Was Your Girl had been taken out of the offer, and I resolved that I’d have to find it in a library somewhere. THEN the next round of Zoella’s Book Club was announced and you’ll never guess which was the first book on the list?! And because I bought it when it was the featured book, it was half price! So sometimes waiting for the deals really does pay off! So, I’ve been hyped about this book for a really long time and I’m so happy I’ve finally got to read it because I LOVED it.
Continue reading “Review: If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo”
Front Lines by Michael Grant
Genre: Alternate History, War
Published by: Electric Monkey
Series: Silver Stars (#2)
Historical reimagining of what it would’ve been like if women had been allowed to fight in World War II? Where do I sign up? Not for the war (that would be my worst nightmare and this book pretty much solidified that!) but for this sweet piece of fiction. I picked up Front Lines from my local library, and, my goodness, am I glad I did. (It also came highly recommended from my friend Amy who is a HUGE Michael Grant fan.) I had zero expectations because I’ve never read anything by this author but the concept made me think of one of my fave movies ‘A League of Their Own’, a true story about women’s baseball during the war.
Continue reading “Review: Front Lines by Michael Grant”
Soundless by Richelle Mead
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Published by: Razorbill
Soundless has received a lot of mixed reviews, mostly because people were surprised that it’s a fantasy novel and yet it’s only 260-something pages. At first I was hesitant to pick it up, because I have similar tastes to those that said they didn’t enjoy it, but when I found Soundless in my local library, I couldn’t resist. From this I’ve leaned that we shouldn’t be surprised just because one book doesn’t fit our conventions of the genre, because, for me, Soundless was refreshing and completely beautiful! I LOVED IT!
Continue reading “Review: Soundless by Richelle Mead”
Tonight The Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales
Genre: Contemporary, Once Upon A Road Trip
Published by: Macmillan Children
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon
It’s not often that we get a story as beautiful as the cover, and Tonight The Streets Are Ours is a perfect example of the cover doing the story justice! This was one of the stand-out reads of the year for me, it was so carefully crafted and made me think about how I treat others, it also has the perfect “imagine a person as an actual person” storyline that I’m such a sucker for. Other books with this theme include Dash And Lily’s Book Of Dares and the obvious Paper Towns.
Continue reading “Review: Tonight The Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales”
Fire Colour One by Jenny Valentine
Published by: HarperCollins
Format: ARC E-Book
Where to Find: Goodreads | Author | Amazon
The main plot point is Iris, the protagonist, discovering the existence of her dying father and getting to know him during his final breaths. It’s a basic concept, but was a refreshing story about family – love ’em, or hate ’em, we’ve all got them. The story was so fleshed out with back story, and context of the painting being discussed, I was never bored while reading. In fact, I read the first 60% in an hour, it was so addictive and fast paced. Continue reading “Review: Fire Colour One by Jenny Valentine”
Remix by Non Pratt
Genre: Contemporary, Friendship
Published by: Walker Books
Where to Find: Goodreads | Author | Amazon
I LOVED THIS BOOK. I think that’s the most important thing to begin with. Even though this is a five star book, I did have a few problems with ‘Remix’, but loved it so unconditionally (like a baby?) I could look past some of the things that were uncomfortable to read. SO, let’s begin a list of things I love about this book, shall we? Continue reading “Review: Remix by Non Pratt”
Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Genre: LGBT+, Contemporary, Romance
Published by: Penguin
Where to Find: Goodreads | Author | Amazon
A while ago, I picked up this book because it had an interesting cover, an interesting blurb, and BookTube couldn’t stop talking about it. I was in the mood for a contemporary romance, and choosing Simon’s story was the best decision ever. Here are a few reasons to love this book, because, as you can see, my rating wasn’t less than perfect! Continue reading “Review: Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli”