Saturday 8 April 2023

Book Musings - Eight by Samer Rabadi

Image and Blurb taken from Goodreads

Title : Eight
Author : Samer Rabadi
Series : Eight #1
Genre : LitRPG, Fantasy, Young Adult
Read date : January 20, 2023 - January 24, 2023
Source : Kindle Unlimited

Blurb :

Life’s tough when you’re trapped in an eight-year-old body on another world.

His name is Eight. Not really, but that’s what the System decided after a slip of the tongue. One moment, he was stepping out the office door on the way home, and the next waking up on a hillside below a town wall. Oh, and the gate guard drove him off, because he thought Eight was a monster.

What’s a boy to do in a world full of magic and so many, many hungry creatures searching for their next meal? Well, there’s an old man inside that body, and he'll use everything he’s learned in his sixty-four years to survive. Starting a fire? Sure. Crafting a spear? Check. Defending the cave he calls home? Also check, a big one.

There are allies too, but not the kind you’d expect.

Eight is a LitRPG novel of magical survival—of discovery, bushcraft, and creatures weird and wonderful.

My Musings :

How many times have I said not to judge a book by its cover? I am such a hypocrite because that's what I did with this one.. Fate kept throwing it in my face but did I listen? Noooooo! I kept disregarding it purely because it depicted a kid on the cover. What an idiot! I didn't even glance at the precis before I threw it on my never going to read list until I heard about it from a couple of friends. Then I scurried back to see what it was all about. I am still kicking myself for not picking it up earlier.

The cover clearly undermines the story. If you can get over it and take the plunge, you will not regret it if you like the usual elements of LitRPG like the main lead dying and his spirit transferring into another body in a completely different world with fantastical creatures.

I was skeptical at the beginning because of such a young protagonist. It was a needless fear that it would not be entertaining. The monologue of Eight and his amusing quips kept me going despite the slow meandering path the plot was taking in the first half of the book. I even thought of skimming the pages but the slice of life accounting helped in adding the details to introduce the world Eight was in. The way he uses his past life knowledge reminded me of the Swiss Family Robinson. This was an account of survival albeit in a strange but wonderful world of new dangers!

I really loved the world the author has built with the new creatures. For once I was glad that he didn't give the instantaneous language learner to Eight! The way he has to learn the language is fun and engaging, in my view. By far, my favourite part is meeting Ikfael and the uekisheile. They give life to the book in a way that I am looking forward to more of their shenanigans than Eight's in the future! I hope Billisha and Aluali also get more scope in the sequel. I want to see how their story pans out. 

The end had me craving to continue the series ASAP and I was delighted that the book#2 was already available. Woe to me if I had to wait! Let's see if the author can keep me sated in the future books!

My one line review : An engaging and promising story of survival in a world with fantastical creatures!

My rating : 4.5/5

My re read factor : 3/5


Sunday 2 April 2023

Book Musings - Love, Comment, Subscribe by Cathy Yardley

Image taken from Goodreads

Title : Love, Comment, Subscribe
Author : Cathy Yardley
Series : Ponto Beach Reunion #1
Genre : Romance, Chicklit
Read date : January 7, 2023 - January 8, 2023
Source : Kindle Unlimited

Blurb :

Back in high school, Lily Wang wanted to be popular, but she considered herself lucky to be part of a tight group of oddballs and honors students called the Nerd Herd. Now, at twenty-eight, she feels like she’s finally on the cusp of succeeding as a beauty influencer—if she can hit five million subscribers, brands will take notice and she could get her own makeup line.

Fellow Nerd Herd alum Tobin Bui has had a lot of success as a YouTube gamer. But the road to online stardom has been rocky. First, he disappointed his parents by dropping out of college, and now, after years of pranks, skits, and playthroughs, he’s struggling to come up with new content to satisfy his ever-growing fan base. His agents say he needs cross-audience appeal, a new twist.

When Nerd Herd frenemy Lily approaches Tobin about teaming up to do a video to bolster her brand and reinvigorate his, he agrees. But when their first collab video goes viral, their relationship heats up too. With the whole internet watching, will these two former misfits finally realize they’re perfect together?

Book Musings :

Is it any surprise that I picked up a romance as the year's second read? NOPE! Whoever knows me knows that romance is my second most favourite genre. I came across Love, Comment, Subscribe on Kindle while perusing for a good romantic book. I promptly picked it up since the synopsis sounded fun and I needed it after the thriller I had just finished.

Frenemies to lovers is one of the tropes I relish reading. Come on guys! Isn't it a very thin line between love and hate and this absolutely proves it without any issue every time. I was particularly thrilled to see a non mainstream pairing of characters. Frankly I was tired of the same repetitive protagonists. It was refreshing to read about different nationalities and career choices. I had a blast reading about it all. What I didn't enjoy was the slow burn. I agree the story was cute but so predictable and the pacing was not up to my speed. 

Character-wise, I felt Lily was the perfect foil for Tobin. It was like the author segregated their opposite traits and planned them to fit each other like a puzzle. It was entertaining and boring in turns. It has all the components of a good romance but the base barely held the story together. There should be a spark to generate fire among and with the characters which was sorely missing. Though it is a pretty decent read, it lacked the oomph I love in a solid romance. In short, it was an okay one time read at the end of it.

My one line review : Pretty decent story but sorely lacking the oomph of a great romance

My rating : 3/5

My reread factor : 2/5

Sunday 5 March 2023

Book Musings - No Safe Place by Patricia Gibney


(Book Cover from Goodreads)

Title : No Safe Place
Author : Patricia Gibney
Series : D.I. Lottie Parker #4
Genre : Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Source : Netgalley (past)
Dates read : 3 Jan to 4 Jan, 2023

Book Blurb ( from Goodreads ) :

There's nothing more dangerous than a familiar face...

As funeral mourners stand in silence at Ragmullin cemetery, a deafening cry cuts through the air. Lying crumpled at the bottom of an open grave is the bloodied body of a young woman, and Detective Lottie Parker is called in to investigate.

Knowing the body can’t have been there long, Lottie wonders if it could be Elizabeth Bryne, a young woman who vanished without trace just days earlier. And with a new boss who seems to have it in for her, Lottie is under pressure to solve both cases quickly.

As two more women go missing from Ragmullin, Lottie and her team fear there is a serial killer on the loose. And the disappearances are strikingly similar to a cold case from ten years earlier. Could history be repeating itself?

As journalists begin to interfere with Lottie’s investigation, she fears the killer is about to strike again. Lottie is in a race against time to find the missing women, but the killer is closer than she thinks. Could Lottie be his next target?

Book Musings :

I don't even know where to start! I am lamenting the fact that I always seem to start a mystery/thriller series NOT with the first book. I really need to give a serious talking-to to my brain! Ms Brain, kindly choose the first book please

I am a visual person so you can easily guess how my eyes went to this book. The colour scheme of the cover is attractive and taking the title into consideration, you can know how and why I was jumping all over it. I actually expected it to be a very dark book with a serial killer and all. In that aspect I was disappointed! Very much so!

The downside of jumping headlong into a new series midway is that I go in blind regarding the characters. Reading this book made me feel that they had lots of flaws and drama in their lives. Yeah, that added a personal touch to the narration but still it had me thinking that Lottie especially was rather focused on her life than the case. She was easily distracted from her job sometimes. I liked Boyd being in the center and the background constantly. The characters were real and flawed while the writing had me racing through the chapters easily. 

I was coming out of a reading slump (of a couple of years) when I read this. I am glad because temporarily it had me enjoying reading again. The plot had its holes and I felt it could have been solved sooner than it was. Always look to the people already in the scene is the point of view I took away from it. All in all, it was an enjoyable read!

I actually received this book on Netgalley for free (past) for reviewing purposes. The thoughts are my own. I have received no other compensation. 

My one line review : Enjoyable mystery thriller with real characters with flaws!

My rating : 3.5/5

My reread factor : 2/5


Thursday 10 November 2022

Book Musings - Apparently, I'm the Infamous Earl's Legendary Bride by Alexia S Praks


Name : Apparently, I'm the Infamous Earl's Legendary Bride 
Author : Alexia S Praks
Genre : Fantasy Romance
Date read : 18, October 2022
Source : Bought on Amazon

Blurb ( taken from Goodreads ) :

What’s a girl to do when she finds herself in a medieval-like world of magic and monsters and is forced to wed an infamous earl? Marries the hunky warrior, of course! Plus saves his citizens, feeds them delectable food, and builds a grand kingdom in the process.

Quinn Chen has her life planned out after university graduation—working in one of the biggest medical research companies and then maybe dating again after a bad breakup. The only problem is on the day of her graduation, she is hit by a truck and wakes up to find herself as eighteen-year-old Quinn Fairchild in a war-torn medieval-like fantastical world full of magic and monsters and is forced to become a bride to an infamous, ruthless, cold-blooded warrior of an earl.

Swept not only into the isolated, strangely beautiful, lush land of Norsewood, but the powerful arms of the piercing blue-eyed Lord Aldric Templeton, Quinn—armed with blessings—must navigate her way through poverty-stricken, dangerous medieval life with a modern mindset and maybe even teach her gorgeous golden-haired husband, who is both kind and gentle and nothing like the merciless character that rumors imply, that having a girl from another world as a bride isn’t so bad after all.

Apparently, I’m the Infamous Earl’s Legendary Bride is a romantic fantasy series featuring a vivacious heroine with a determination to change and improve the lives of civilians in a medieval-like, war-torn world with the use of her modern knowledge and her magic and a hunky hero hell-bent on protecting his land and people and claiming his bride’s love.

This series contains romance, magic, kingdom building, and food and cooking. Oh, and enough steam to fog up the other world’s medieval-era glass window in later books as the story progresses.

Note: A kingdom-building fantasy series involves the protagonist/s working on building and managing their own village, town, city, nation, or even empire and gathering citizens and subordinates. 

Book Musings :

Oh my.. Oh my... the blurb is so perfect! After nearly 2 years of almost no new books read, I was salivating to read this one just because it mentioned kingdom building and well, look at the synopses! What can I say.. except it sounded like a perfect mix of fantasy and romance, two of my favourite genres. 

The beginning was fine but thereafter I got disappointed. Firstly I believe it could have been edited better. Phrases used and repetition got me cringing at times. Secondly I was so disappointed with the way the story went. It was too simple and too overpowered characters with absolutely no layers to them. It felt like a sentence was made into a chapter or an entire chapter was finished in one line. I had seen both happening in this book. 

It was a fluffy quick roll-through-the-words read. I don't think I will continue the series. If there had been more intricacies in the plot and action, my reaction would have been the opposite especially since the author mentions LitRPG in the book!

My one line review : A fluffy quick roll with too simple plot and no action.

My rating : 2.5/5

My reread factor : 1/5