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My favourite books of 2016!

Well, 2016 is finally gone. Thank goodness! What a terrible, terrible year. 2016 was probably the worst reading year I have ever had (and the worst year in general?), I had a pretty terrible time last year, and I just couldn’t focus on reading because too much other crap was going on and distracting me with it’s awfulness. But I’ve decided that 2017 will be better (it better be or I WILL become an evil supervillain scientist and destroy the world with a super-mega death ray or something). Anyway… I decided to just do five of my favourite books of the year, and I doubt any of them will be a surprise…. but they are all books released in 2016. Yay. These are in no particular order, except for number 1 which was my favourite, because these books were all phenomenal. 1 – Morning Star by Pierce Brown (review) 2 – Nevernight by Jay Kristoff (review) 3 – A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (review) 4 – Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas …

Book Review – Goldenhand by Garth Nix

Hello, everyone! So amid my flurry of writing job applications, I managed to squeeze in reading the latest installment in one of my FAVOURITE series. Goldenhand is the fifth book in this super awesome series. As normal, with this being a later book in the series, I want to avoid any spoilers of any of the books but you can go read my review on the first book, Sabriel, to find out more about the series, but in a few words it’s about: Magic, Necromancy (both good and bad), bells, and talking animals! I really enjoyed this installment, although Sabriel does still remain my favourite of the series. We get to revisit some of our favourite characters in this book (although perhaps not a much of the talking animals as I would have liked), as well as meeting a new POV character. Some parts of the romance in the book felt just a little too rushed, and just a little out of character (but that could just be my non-romantic cold, cold heart). Unfortunately, this was …

Halloween Reads!

Happy Halloween! So I am a lover of horror fiction! (I even helped write a horror novel which you can find here – but warning it’s super bloody – and it’s sequel, which I co-authored and had a bigger part in writing here ). Anyway… shameless self-promotion over, here are my top Halloween reads! The literary horror – The Lesser Dead by Christopher Buehlman Yeah… I know, I talk about this book a lot, but that’s because it’s definitely one of my absolute favourites! A vampire who was turned as a 14 year old boy, tries to stop a group of crazy vampire children from ruining everyone’s fun. A vampire tale with a very Fitzgerald/Salinger-esque vibe; what more could you want? Review The spooky-but-not-scary horror – The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman This tale about the undead residences of a graveyard raising a toddler after his family is killed is super fun! And you know Neil Gaiman is always worth your time! The actually-really-super-creepy horror book – Birdbox by Josh Malerman Another one I talk about ALL THE …

Book Review: GEMINA by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Hello, everyone! Today I will be reviewing on of my most anticipated reads of the entire year and perhaps ever. Gemina is the second book in the Illuminae Files series, and you can check out my (extremely eloquent) review of the first book, Illuminae here. Yeah… you could say I’m a fan of this series. So let’s get on with the review. What it’s about? Um… I’m not going to tell you. firstly, because it’s a sequel and I don’t want to give any spoilers for the first book. Secondly, this series is one where you absolutely want to go in completely blind, just trust me. Just know that it’s Sci-Fi, it’s YA, it’s absolutely hilarious, it’s got amazingly creative formatting (it’s all documents and chat logs etc.), there’s spaceships. Just read it okay? Promise? Good. What I thought: I think the best response to this is just an eternal standing ovation. It just deserves applause FOREVER. After a massive reading slump, I sat down and read this in a single sitting. This only arrived Friday …

Throne of Glass Colouring Book

Thank you to Bloomsbury Australia for sending me this awesome colouring book! So, I’m definitely late to the adult colouring book thing, but when this arrived in the mail, I literally sat there for hours colouring in while watching stuff on Youtube. I’m one of those people who can’t just sit and watch something, I always need to be doing something at the same time (but it usually means I get distracted from what I’m watching), so this was perfect. Although, it turns out I’m pretty terrible at colouring (staying inside the lines is HARD!). I really think more book series need colouring books, because I love being able to see other people’s interpretations of what characters and settings look like. There are pictures of lots of different characters in the book, and I was obviously super excited to see some of Manon and Abraxos in there. So, do you guys like colouring books? What other books would you love to see colouring books of? Find it at Amazon or The Book Depository Publisher: Bloomsbury Australia …

Book Review – Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

First off, a big congratulations to ME because I submitted my PhD thesis this week! After four-years slaving away over a hot monkey brain (not really!) it’s finally done! YAY FOR ME!!! Anyway… Empire of Storms…(Come for the review, stay for my self-congratulations!) So as with most sequels, I won’t be giving out any spoilers for any of the other books in this series in this review, but I will STRONGLY encourage you to go read the first book, because this series is still A-M-A-Z-I-N-G-! This is now the fifth book in this series (if you don’t count the book of prequel short stories) and this series is still awesome. Firstly, we are introduced to lots of new exciting places in this instalment of the series, which was pretty cool. Like always there is plenty of our plucky young protagonist setting everything on fire (both figuratively and literally), and there are LOTS of ships in this book (both figuratively and literally – lots of fun, romantic times on the high seas to be had by …

The evil scientist trope, why it’s doing real world damage to scientists, and why authors need to stop.

I may be a book blogger by night, but by day I spend my time as a scientist, specifically a tumour immunologist. You may assume that due to my vocation, scientific inaccuracies in books would drive me crazy. Mostly, they don’t (Okay, sometimes they do, but within reason), but the one type of inaccuracy that I have thoroughly reached my tolerance level for is the portray of scientists as amoral, ethically bankrupt, animal-torturing jerkfaces. You may think Why does it matter? It’s only fiction! or even, well yeah, scientists are amoral, ethically bankrupt, animal-torturing jerkfaces, but the problem is that it’s completely untrue, and this fictional view of scientists does shape peoples’ opinions of science and scientists in the real world. Well, today, gentle book lovers, I’m going to tell you a little bit about what it’s like to actually be a scientist. And I can tell you, it’s very different to how it’s portrayed in books (there’s generally a lot more crying). This will also be pretty specific to medical science, as that’s what I am …

Book Review – Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Thank you so much to Harper Voyager AU for sending me a copy of this amazing book for review. This review is actually quite hard to write, without raving madly about specific aspects of the book and ruining everything for everyone, but I shall try! What’s it about: Based a a world with three suns, where darkness only falls once every three years, a young girl’s father is killed, she decides to attend a secret school for assassins to get revenge with her awesome shadow-controlling powers. What I thought: It’s one of my favourites of the year. This book is just so damn good. I wish I had never read it so I could read it again for the first time. The stuff I loved: The world-building is phenomenal and unique. The characters are awesome. Every single one. Even the ones I hated. The story is awesome. It’s hilarious. There are footnotes throughout the book that are so clever and hilarious. There was one in particular that made me spit my tea all over the …

Books and Tea – ACOTAR!

Hello everyone, I’m sorry I’ve been a bit absent, but my thesis submission is looming (Due on the 1st of September, but I’m off to the International Congress of Immunology conference next week -terrible timing). During the plane rides I hope to finish Nevernight (which, so far, is insanely awesome), and I’ll be posting that while I’m away (wifi permitting), so stay tuned for that! I also wanted to take far more photos for today, but my thesis is taking up most of my time (urgh!), and I have a clinical trial meeting in about an hour, so I just snapped a few photos (forgive me?). But now, to some tea pairing! Feyre Archeron  – Blooming Tea This beautiful jasmine tea is a work of art, which continues to awe everyone who encounters it. This tea starts off as a simple ball of tea, but once it’s steeped it unfurls to reveal a beautiful bouquet of flowers. The fact that the beautiful florals manage to hold themselves together is pretty impressive.(Unfortunately, I seem to have run …

Books and Tea (where I match Throne of Glass ladies to types of tea!)

I am an obsessive tea drinker, with a tea obsession that has on more than one occasion been described as a little bit excessive. And because tea goes so well with reading, I decided to match up the ladies from the Throne of Glass series with some teas that I think are perfect for them. Throne of Glass Tea pairings Caelena Sardothien from The Throne of Glass – Marron Chocolat Marron Chocolat is, to me, the perfect tea for Caelena. The strong full-bodied black base flavoured with bittersweet chocolate and sweetened with candied chestnuts suits both her strength and insatiable sweet tooth. Caelena would sip this while curled up by the fire with a piece of chocolate cake. Flavour profile: sweet, creamy, nutty   Manon Blackbeak – Snow Dragon Jasmine Probably my favourite green tea, this jasmine tea is incredibly fragrant and has an otherworldly depth and a sense of mystery. It conjures up feelings of solitude and jasmine flowers in winter. And also dragons. Flavour profile: Floral, fresh, vegetal   Nehemia Ytger – Tie Guan Yin (Iron Goddess) Earthy …