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Book Review: The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

Book 1 in the Daevabad Trilogy

Published in 2018 by HarperCollins Australia 

526 pages

2 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Sypnosis:

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles. 


But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass?a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound. 

In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences. 

After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for . . . 

My Review:

I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins Australia in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my thoughts on the book itself. 

Now, over at Bookstagram, I had seen this book floating around, and I must say it is something that intrigued me, so when I was offered a chance to review this piece, I was excited. 

However, my experience reading this one was not as nearky enjoyable as I hoped; whilst the writing was at times, gloriously vivid, there were times when I felt like the characters and their interactions got bogged down in the description of what was going on, rather than show what was happening. I also felt like there was too much world and word building; I honestly felt like the author was trying to do too much as once; and I confess I definitely got overwhelmed trying to keep up with the plot, the characters, the settings and the story. 

Although there were fleeting moments when I did enjoy the characters interactions, these were minimal, purely because I felt like amist the plot, the characters didn’t have room to grow, both on me and as themselves. I found their conversation to be repetitive and their interactions to be borderline immature at times, not to mention unrealistic. I mean, when Dara and Nahari met, you could tell what was coming, and honestly some of their dialogue made me cringe! And when plot twists came about, they were so random and sudden; they made no sense! Therefore I couldn’t allow myself to get caught up in the magic that was this book, purely because I felt like it was lacking…

I’ll leave it there, thank you to Eliza Auld over at Harper Collins Australia for organising a review copy. 

Happy reading,

Brooklyn. 

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Book Review: Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp (Spoilers)

Published by SouceFire Books in 2018

348 pages 

1 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis:

Best friends Corey and Kyra were inseparable in their snow-covered town of Lost Creek, Alaska. When Corey moves away, she makes Kyra promise to stay strong during the long, dark winter, and wait for her return.

Just days before Corey is to return home to visit, Kyra dies. Corey is devastated―and confused. The entire Lost community speaks in hushed tones about the town’s lost daughter, saying her death was meant to be. And they push Corey away like she’s a stranger.

Corey knows something is wrong. With every hour, her suspicion grows. Lost is keeping secrets―chilling secrets. But piecing together the truth about what happened to her best friend may prove as difficult as lighting the sky in an Alaskan winter.

Let’s talk about the plot:

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, this does not affect my thoughts on this book whatsoever.

I confess, I was intrigued by the plot, I was expecting to be haunted and chilled, and I felt this would be a good mystery, I mean don’t get me wrong, it had potential, but in its entirety, the plot felt like it was a never ending cycle of repetition.

It started with Cory finding out about her best friend’s death, and trying to get justice for her friend and have her remembered as she should be, not as the ridiculous town of Lost would remember her.

I say ridiculous, because it felt like Lost was a cult town, they all believed Kyra’s death had been something she prophesied through her art, and rather than help her, they accepted it. So we then have Cory being angry at the town, which is fair enough, but honestly…nothing came of it? And what did happen made no sense 🤔 like, when Kyra’s dad tried to kill Cory, because she took her best friend’s possessions that Kyra would’ve wanted her to have? 

Lets talk about the characters:

Kyra: I felt like she was misunderstood by the people of Lost, it was sad getting to read exceprts of unsent letters to Cory and their flashback scenes honestly had me feeling annoyed and pitiful, I wanted to knock some sense into the people of Lost for not seeing Kyra as she is, for glossing over her illness – I mean, her parents wouldn’t even let her take her medication! Both her mother and father angered me to the core, I mean they were so blind and clearly they didn’t care about Kyra, even if they claimed to love her. 

Cory was the main narrator of the story, I felt sad for her, having lost her dearest friend’s, but honestly her narration was so repetitive! The whole book felt like it was her fury at Lost, which I could understand, but honestly. 

Let’s talk about the writing:

I wasn’t a fan of the writing at all, it was so choppy, the sentences were short and there was no realism. It just felt like things were there and happening, and aside from Kyra’s bipolar, which I felt was hardly conveyed, and Cory describing herself as asexual, I felt like I couldn’t get attatched to the characters.

I’ll leave it there. Thanks again to Harriet McInerney for the review copy.

Happy reading 😀