Friday, 30 October 2015

The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J Maas

Celaena Sardothien owes her reputation to Arobynn Hamel. He gave her a home at the Assassins' Guild and taught her the skills she needed to survive.

Arobynn's enemies stretch far and wide - from Adarlan's rooftops and its filthy dens, to remote islands and hostile deserts. Celaena is duty-bound to hunt them down. But behind her assignments lies a dark truth that will seal her fate - and cut her heart in two forever...

Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine and find out how the legend begins in the five page-turning prequel novellas to the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series.


Bringing together all five short stories set before Throne of Glass, what I especially wanted and loved about this book was the insight into Celaena's background.

Celaena has always been a fascinating character but seeing where she came from, her relationship with Arobynn and the rest of the assassins, built up her character and also explained a lot of her actions in the main series. Especially her relationship with Sam; complex to say the least, the way things were handled and how they were perceived by Celaena made her who she is in the main books. It also completely broke my heart - I knew what was coming by the end but it didn't make it any easier to read!

The other big thing I noticed in these stories was Celaena's relationship with Arobynn; we've always known they were close, she idolised him and he literally saved her life. But seeing them in action, in conversation, before all the nastiness broke things between them, was unnerving. It was then that I was even more glad to know what happens to him in Queen of Shadows

Published 13th March 2014 by Bloomsbury Childrens Books.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O'Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. Now that the world knows of her ability to "read" objects, and therefore, read the past, she has become a media darling, earning the title, "America's Sweetheart Seer." But not everyone is so accepting of the Diviners' abilities...

Meanwhile, mysterious deaths have been turning up in the city, victims of an unknown sleeping sickness. Can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld and catch a killer?


Second in The Diviners series, we learn more about Evie's story alongside many other characters. At over 600 pages, book two is as much as a beast to read as the first one but luckily just as easy to get into. Yeah, all the flitting between characters and story lines was still confusing but more of them tied together which is satisfying. 

So we still follow Evie and her cohorts around, but not so much from Jericho this time, which is sad because I like him, more Sam, more Henry, plus new character Ling. As Memphis has started dating Theta, we hear more from them too, as well as both of their background. All these characters should feel completely random but as it turns out they are all connected through this unknown Diviner power, and learned how and to what degree was like solving a mystery.

Speaking of Diviner power, there is a dangerous new ghost on the loose, spreading dreams that suck you in and don't let you wake up. This so-called sleeping sickness is claiming lives and apparently started in Chinatown. Bray does another great job of showing the era, along with another side of New York City's underbelly, this time in the form of racism. With all the fear, people was scared and taking it out on the city's immigrants. 

Maybe not as enthralling as book one but still a mighty read with grit, romance and danger. Some secrets are still unsolved and I know that Bray can deliver a great story and hopefully some answers with book three.

Published 25th August 2015 by Atom.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. 

Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more. In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.


I love a good forbidden romance! And while this was romantic and gripping and very easy to read, it didn't quite sweep me off my feet.

I wasn't all too sure about Brittany. She obviously took after her mother in her need to protect her image; Brittany doesn't want anyone at school to know about her slightly-psychotic mother or her disabled sister. But I spend a lot of the book unable to see why she would care beyond vanity and that kind of made me not like her. Just at times; when she opens up to Alex, she was lovely because she was more real. Alex was pretty cool though. Terrifying but inside his head, seeing his family and his heart, it was clear he was doing the best he could with what he had. As part of the local gang, he was violent and threatening, and it was interesting to see the inner workings of a street gang. 

As they get closer, they break down the stereotypes and get to know each other as real people. It was sweet and dramatic, although parts could have been written better. Maybe it's because it reminded me of Pushing The Limits, which is one of my favourite books, and it didn't quite meet that high expectation.

Published 29th April 2010 by Simon and Schuster.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

The Winner's Curse and The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love.

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. 

Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined. 

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.


Kestrel is the general's daughter and she definitely inherited his strategic mind! She doesn't however have the stomach for bloodshed and so is trying to avoid joining the army. Arin was a pretty interesting character, especially opposite Kestrel. From the other side of the social world, he's Herrani, one of the conquered people and so has been sold into slavery. But not all is at it seems and it turns out Arin also has a pretty clever mind and is part of the underground revolution.

While I did really like the story and the characters, I didn't believe Kestrel and Arin's love. I'm not sure what it was, I just didn't see them together. There was a great world set up, with social difficulties and class systems, and a lovely slow build up that let you explore the characters motivations, but the romance was meh. 

Lady Kestrel's engagement to Valoria's crown prince calls for great celebration: balls and performances, fireworks and revelry. But to Kestrel it means a cage of her own making. Embedded in the imperial court as a spy, she lives and breathes deceit and cannot confide in the one person she really longs to trust ...

While Arin fights to keep his country's freedom from the hands of his enemy, he suspects that Kestrel knows more than she shows. As Kestrel comes closer to uncovering a shocking secret, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth.

Lies will come undone, and Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them in this second book in the breathtaking Winner's trilogy.


In book two, there are lots more secrets and political moves, as well as more detail about the development of the world and the war. There was also a different dynamic between Kestrel and Arin, as they have been forced apart.

Both Kestrel and Arin are confused over how things have ended up - even though Kestrel chose to save Arin at the end of the first book, she did it through lying and manipulation. Plus she didn't actually tell Arin her plan so he thinks she has rejected him! Seriously, the lengths Kestrel goes to in order to protect him, even though it hurts him, is frustrating and sweet.

There was also added drama and intrigue with Kestrel's new place in the palace; getting to know the prince and the emperor up close with a little bit terrifying! The emperor really lived up to his reputation of being manipulative and scary!

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Weekly Highlights: the 'Birthday' edition



Weekly Highlights is a feature borrowed from Faye of A Daydreamer's Thoughts, where I get to highlight my posts of the week, show you my new books and talk about bookish things!

It's my birthday! Well, it was on Friday and while I am getting older, I'm getting more sensible presents like baking equipment but I did get a few books and DVD's and money to buy more books and DVD's! 


On The Blog
Review of The Secret Fire by CJ Daugherty and Carina Rozenfeld (4 stars)
Review of Red Queen by Victorian Aveyard (4.5 stars)
Review of Undone by Cat Clarke (4 stars)
Review of PS I Still Love You by Jenny Han (3 stars)
Review of Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman (3 stars)

Currently Reading
Just started The Assassin's Blade and I am so excited to learn more about Celaena! Details below.

On My Bookshelf
Severed Heads, Broken Hearts by Robin Schneider
Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them - a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His own tragedy waited until he had everything to lose - in one night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra's knee, his athletic career, and his perfect life.

No longer part of the popular crowd, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters Cassidy Thorpe. Intelligent, effortless and wonderfully weird, she is unlike anyone Ezra's ever met before. Together they discover flash mobs, buried treasure, secret movie screenings and a poodle with a questionable history.


But as Ezra dives into new friendships and new love, he is forced to ask: if you've managed to survive disaster, what happens when it strikes again?


A bit of an impulse buy, it was just 99p on kindle ebooks and I wanted to see what the fuss was about.

Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard
I was brave
She was reckless
We were trouble


Best friends Caddy and Rosie are inseparable. Their differences have brought them closer, but as she turns sixteen Caddy begins to wish she could be a bit more like Rosie – confident, funny and interesting. Then Suzanne comes into their lives: beautiful, damaged, exciting and mysterious, and things get a whole lot more complicated. As Suzanne’s past is revealed and her present begins to unravel, Caddy begins to see how much fun a little trouble can be. But the course of both friendship and recovery is rougher than either girl realises, and Caddy is about to learn that downward spirals have a momentum of their own.
 

This sounds brilliant and it's already got a lot of buzz online. Thank you Netgalley!

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Simon Snow just wants to relax and savour his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he'll be safe. Simon can't even enjoy the fact that his room-mate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can't stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you're the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savour anything.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you'd expect from a Rainbow Rowell story - but far, far more monsters.


A birthday present to myself! No explanation needed, really.

The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J Maas
Celaena Sardothien owes her reputation to Arobynn Hamel. He gave her a home at the Assassins' Guild and taught her the skills she needed to survive.

Arobynn's enemies stretch far and wide - from Adarlan's rooftops and its filthy dens, to remote islands and hostile deserts. Celaena is duty-bound to hunt them down. But behind her assignments lies a dark truth that will seal her fate - and cut her heart in two forever...

Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine and find out how the legend begins in the five page-turning prequel novellas to the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series.



The Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price.

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.


And finally, I have the best fiancĂ© ever! He got me Sarah J Maas books to complete my collection along with two Disney DVD's.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman

Something is wrong in Aquae Sulis, Bath’s secret mirror city.
The new season is starting and the Master of Ceremonies is missing. Max, an Arbiter of the Split Worlds Treaty, is assigned with the task of finding him with no one to help but a dislocated soul and a mad sorcerer.

There is a witness but his memories have been bound by magical chains only the enemy can break. A rebellious woman trying to escape her family may prove to be the ally Max needs.

But can she be trusted? And why does she want to give up eternal youth and the life of privilege she’s been born into?


First in the series, sets everything up but leaves just enough untied for me to wonder what happens next. It was set on the premise that there is a magic underworld, mirrored on the normal world - much like in The Name of the Blade series by the way. There were gargoyles, fairies, curses, fancy parties and all that. The fairies of this world were proper Fae, which I loved. It gave it a darker undertone and a dangerous threat.

There were a lot of characters at play: Max is one of the law-keepers and attempting to find the reason for the Master's disappearance; Sam is a Mundane caught in the middle; Will is part of another prominent family trying to keep their power. Most of all, I adored Cathy. By getting to know her as she gets kidnapped back into the Nether, we see the old-fashioned underworld for what it is: magical, yes, but so unfair. It was like it was stuck in the Victorian period, where women like Cathy were married off to broker contracts, where they had no power, tied into corsets and mind-numbing social functions. I completely empathised with Cathy, to say the least. 

I liked the general set up but it was surprisingly complicated, with several story lines to follow, not to mention an entire world's history and politics to learn. Good story but very long-winded and complex.

Published 5th March 2013 by Angry Robot. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

P.S I Still Love You by Jenny Han

Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?


This is the sequel to To All The Boys I Loved Before, which I really enjoyed. This one: not so much. Which is a shame because I was really looking forward to it. I'm not entirely sure it was one thing, more like a few little niggles that added up.

We pick up where we left off after the first book, with Lara Jean and Peter deciding to try dating for real. But things are more complicated with real feelings involved, plus Peter's ex-girlfriend isn't keeping her distance. All of this is making Lara Jean nervous and paranoid.

About half way through, Lara Jean really began to annoy me. Not entirely sure why but once the thought was in my head, I couldn't get rid of it. Maybe it was her paranoia, her fake-chirpy attitude, I don't know but I couldn't shake it. More to the point, why is the synopsis talking about a boy from her past returning when he doesn't actually turn up until the last 100 or so pages? And even then, not much drama comes up, not more than there already was anyway. It felt really badly paced because of this and the ending seemed quite rushed.

I did still like this, it was pure fluffy romance but little niggles stopped me from enjoying it like the first book. The pace and the sudden annoyance of the protagonist was most of it but I did like the slow development of Lara Jean and Peter's relationship and the work they had to do towards it. I also liked to see more of the family's Korean background and the relationship between the three sisters. All in all, a bit of disappointment but good portrayal of the work needed for a healthy relationship.

Published 26th May 2015 by Scholastic Press. 

Monday, 12 October 2015

Undone by Cat Clarke

Jem Halliday is in love with her gay best friend. Not exactly ideal, but she's learning to live with it. 

Then the unspeakable happens. Kai is outed online ... and he kills himself. 

Jem knows nothing she can say or do will bring him back. But she wants to know who was responsible. And she wants to take them down. 


Another quick review because honestly, what else can I say beyond: Cat Clarke has once again broken me.

Ever since they first met when they were tiny, Jem has been in love with Kai. He means the world to her and she would do anything to protect him. So when a video of him doing unspeakably private things to a guy he likes and he kills himself, Jem is beyond devastated. She vows to get revenge on the people who hurt him.

With letters spurring her on from Kai, to be opened once a month, Jem is pushed out of her comfort zone and infiltrates the popular group to get to the truth. I think there were two main layers to this book: Jem's love for Kai and her need for revenge, and also Jem losing herself to her new life. Jem's grief was so tangible, I think that's what made her voice feel so authentic; she was literally lost without Kai and she couldn't bring herself to live without him. But as she found herself in this new group, her feelings for them, especially Lucas as her boyfriend and Sasha as her friend, confused things and her mission blurred. All this showed was that people aren't who they appear to be. 

Finally, what I especially loved was that it wasn't just an exploration of grief and loss, but also anxiety, sexuality and insecurity. Jem got her first boyfriend and also had sex but what I adored was that she had a sex drive! Yes, girls want sex too! She also got a good girlfriend in Sasha and talked style, make-up, body issues and all that jazz. 

And then of course that ending had to mess everything up and I was a mix of near-tears and confusion! 

Published 20th December 2012 by Quercus.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The poverty-stricken Reds are commoners, living in the shadow of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from the Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Then Mare finds herself working at the Silver palace, in the midst of those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.


I know most people have probably already read this, it hit the blogosphere quite hard when it first came out earlier in the year and now I finally know why! Because it was incredible! Everything from the world building to the diversity of the characters was amazing to read about.

I'm sure anything I talk about now has already been said so this is going to be short. First I want to talk about the world; the set up with the division of power is a fairly typical thing of dystopian fiction but what Aveyard did with the colour of blood and the power, both literal and social, was a fresh spin. Speaking of power,  the Queen could give Levana from The Lunar Chronicles a run for her money for best villain! She was so cruel and diabolical, she made me want to throw the book away!

Mare was a fantastic heroine. She wasn't all that smart or that tough but she wanted to do what she could to protect and provide for her family. So when a fluke of a chance came along, she took it and was immediately lost to a power struggle. What I loved was the peek inside the Silver world; Mare saw it wasn't just Silver versus Red, there was a whole complex hierarchy within. And of course that meant that nothing was simple as black and white, good and evil, there was a real struggle for doing the right thing. I am of course speaking of the prince brother Cal and Maven. I thought I knew where I stood and then I didn't, then I really didn't! Just... gah, that ending! The next book can't come quickly enough!

Published 12th February 2015 by Orion. 

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

The Secret Fire by CJ Daugherty and Carina Rozenfeld

French teen Sacha Winters can't die. He can throw himself off a roof, be stabbed, even shot, and he will always survive. Until the day when history and ancient enmities dictate that he must die. Worse still, his death will trigger something awful. Something deadly. And that day is closing in.

Taylor Montclair is a normal English girl, hanging out with her friends and studying for exams, until she starts shorting out the lights with her brain. She’s also the only person on earth who can save Sacha.

There’s only one problem: the two of them have never met. They live hundreds of miles apart and powerful forces will stop at nothing to keep them apart.

They have eight weeks to find each other.

Will they survive long enough to save the world?


I have been looking forward to this for a while. I adored CJ's Night School series so I was really excited to see what she came up with next, and this was just fantastic! A mix of old school magic and paranormal weirdness, two teens in different countries get caught up in an ancient curse with no idea how to stop it.

There was quite a slow build up but it worked, I liked the way we got to know Taylor and Sacha individually before putting them together. And the way the magical element was just slipped in there really worked, it wasn't much of a surprise because we'd already seen some weird stuff but still it seemed plausible. 

Dual perspective written by two different authors - it doesn't come up very often and I really liked it, both voices sounded very authentic and the French side was really cool, both the language and the setting. It all worked very well together, blending seamlessly and jumping between England and France, between Taylor and Sacha, as pieces fitted together and the overall plot took shape.

I really liked this book - it was fun, dramatic and incredibly exciting. While it solved some mysteries, there was a great ending to keep the level of drama for the next book and I for one am really looking forward to it! I think we're on to a winner here!

Published 10th September 2015 by Atom. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Weekly Highlights: the 'October TBR' edition



Weekly Highlights is a feature borrowed from Faye of A Daydreamer's Thoughts, where I get to highlight my posts of the week, show you my new books and talk about bookish things!

It is October, the month of proper autumnal weather, Halloween and most importantly: my birthday! Other than that, I think it'll be a month of working and snuggling under a blanket reading. Although at the moment, it's still pretty warm and it's throwing me off!


On The Blog
Review of Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine (4 stars)
Review of Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas (5 stars)
Review of Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson (4 stars)
Review of Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (5 stars)

Currently Reading
Between Two Thorns by Emma Newton - I'm working through my kindle back catalogue and was feeling like something magical in the run up to Halloween. 

On My Bookshelf
Hello, Goodbye and Everything In Between by Jennifer E Smith
One night. A life-changing decision. And a list...

Of course Clare made a list. She creates lists for everything. That's just how she is. But tonight is Clare and Aidan's last night before college and this list will decide their future, together or apart.

It takes them on a rollercoaster ride through their past - from the first hello in science class to the first conversation at a pizza joint, their first kiss at the beach and their first dance in a darkened gymnasium - all the way up to tonight.

A night of laughs, fresh hurts, last-minute kisses and an inevitable goodbye. But will it be goodbye forever or goodbye for now?


I was finally approved for Jennifer E Smith's new book! Thank you Headline and Netgalley!


Did I Mention I Love You? by Estelle Maskame
When sixteen-year-old Eden Munro agrees to spend the summer with her estranged father in the beachfront city of Santa Monica, California, she has no idea what she’s letting herself in for. Eden's parents are divorced and have gone their separate ways, and now her father has a brand new family. For Eden, this means she's about to meet three new step-brothers. The eldest of the three is Tyler Bruce, a troubled teenager with a short temper and a huge ego. Complete polar opposites, Eden quickly finds herself thrust into a world full of new experiences as Tyler's group of friends take her under their wing. But the one thing she just can't understand is Tyler, and the more she presses to figure out the truth about him, the more she finds herself falling for the one person she shouldn't – her step-brother.

Throw in Tyler's clingy girlfriend and a guy who has his eyes set on Eden, and there's secrets, lies and a whole lot of drama. But how can Eden keep her feelings under control? And can she ever work out the truth about Tyler?


After hearing so much good stuff about this, I found another edition going on Netgalley and snatched it up! Can't wait to read it!

The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski
Lady Kestrel's engagement to Valoria's crown prince calls for great celebration: balls and performances, fireworks and revelry. But to Kestrel it means a cage of her own making. Embedded in the imperial court as a spy, she lives and breathes deceit and cannot confide in the one person she really longs to trust ...

While Arin fights to keep his country's freedom from the hands of his enemy, he suspects that Kestrel knows more than she shows. As Kestrel comes closer to uncovering a shocking secret, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth.

Lies will come undone, and Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them in this second book in the breathtaking Winner's trilogy.
 


Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. 

Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more. In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.


And these two are from work/ the library. I'm beginning to feel like it's a bad thing I work in the library but oh well! Really looking forward to both of them.

October TBR
Apart from the new books above, which I definitely will be reading asap, I'm currently working through my old ebooks. You know the one's that have been sat there for a year or two - yeah, I'm finally reading them! Then, halfway through the month, it's my birthday and I am planning on receiving/spending money on lots of books!

Friday, 2 October 2015

Marvel Graphic Novels

Recently I've been on a bit of a Marvel binge. While I may have some issues with the movies (queue feminist angry rant about Natasha not having her own movie and only being a pick-me-up for Bruce's issues in AoU) but I do still love them, all action packed and gun slinging, and I wanted to learn more about the canon universe. 

So first I read Civil War in preparation for the movie, which I thought was really cool. Set quite far through the MU timeline, it tells of the increasingly tense war between Captain America and Iron Man over the announcement of tagging all superhuman and mutant people. After what he went through with Ultron, Tony is all for being controlled and governed but Steve of course thinks it is beyond totalitarian and against basic human rights. The fight pulled in all the superheroes, most of whom I recognised but a few I had to look up and escalated badly until something insane happened. Reading this gave me a better appreciation for the movies as well as more background and forethought before the movie comes out next year. 


I also read The Scarlet Witch which is a set of solo stories after she parted ways from the Avengers. I didn't like this one as much, it was too far away in the timeline from anything I recognised but it did give me some insight into the character plus some cool cameos from Doctor Strange. 

Next up was Thor, volumes 1 and 2, set after the events of Civil War and Ragnarok (which I haven't read but it's the next Thor movie I believe). So I was a little out of sorts with a few things I didn't understand but the basic knowledge was there, like how Doctor Donald Blake was Thor's mortal disguise and Loki's habit for making mischief. Plus this was not an origin story so there was already knowledge and some interaction with the Avengers and Tony and everyone. As Thor tries to rebuild Asgard, he encounters a couple of issues with getting the souls of his friends back from the unwitting humans housing them. Yeah, it was that kind of story! I do really like Thor and adored hearing more from him and his story and home.

The main thing I realised while reading these: the movies missed out so much! Don't get me wrong, the films do the graphic novels justice but just like with any adaptation, things get skipped over or re-done. And as per usual, the original comics have much more in-depth background and development and I loved that. 

And finally: Avengers Disassembled! The world has had enough of superheroes and their habit of destroying everything while trying to save them. The return of a fellow Avenger long assumed dead really throws the team off, only made worse by a weird supernatural force making Tony, She-Hulk and Vision act bizarre. For the most part, it was all action and not really necessary to have read the previous comics. Two things I loved the best: the look back at the teams greatest moments and 'old with the old, in with the new' approach to set up the New Avengers - which I am extremely excited about by the way!