Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Three Musketeers (Alexandre Dumas)

Rating: 3 Pfoten

”All for one, one for all.”

I honestly don’t even know where to start with my review of “The Three Musketeers” because the book was so very different to what I expected it to be. When we watch the movies, the three musketeers and d’Artagnan are always made out to be those honourable and noble heroes that save the day and serve their country and whilst the latter description is true, I can’t really say that the former one is as well. Or more directly, there is barely anything noble or honourable about them aside of the fact that they always feel offended in their honour and therefore get into plenty of trouble and fights. There I said it. Am I already drawing a pack with pitchforks? Well, I’m sorry, but it won’t get any better. XD

”Never fear quarrels, but seek adventures. I have taught you how to handle a sword; you have thews of iron, a wrist of steel. Fight on all occasions. Fight the more for duels being forbidden, since consequently there is twice as much courage in fighting. I have nothing to give you, my son, but fifteen crowns, my horse, and the counsel you have just heard.”

Considering that’s the advice d’Artagnan’s father gave him before he went out to “seek adventures” I’m not surprised he spent about 75% of the book getting himself in life threatening situations and drew problems like a dungheap draws flies. Me being salty? Oh boy, I barely even started. You might continue to read my review or if you love this book with all your heart like about 76% of goodreads seems to do (I actually recalculated that, I’m noting but thorough), just stop reading and abort this mission. Fair warning. I won’t blame you. ;-P

”People, in general,” he said, “only ask advice not to follow it; or if they do follow it, it is for the sake of having someone to blame for having given it.”

Athos was a clever one, you might head his advice or blame me for not taking my warning seriously. Whatever floats your boat. I’ll just continue saying my piece. I know this book is beloved by so many and I’d be lying if I’d say I didn’t enjoy some parts of it. I did. It wasn’t all bad, but it wasn’t all good either and I’m too much of a 21st century person to let some things slide. So this said let’s get down to business.

”What have I to fear,” replied d’Artagnan, “as long as I shall have the luck to enjoy the favour of their Majesties?”
“Everything, believe me. The cardinal is not the man to forget a mystification until he has settled account with the mystifier; and the mystifier appears to me to have the air of being a certain young Gascon of my acquaintance.”

I think by now everyone knows about the main plot of “The Three Musketeers”. A young Gascon named d’Artagnan arrives in Paris to become a Musketeer in the King’s service. But right after he arrives he already offends 3 musketeers and challenges all of them to a duel that is interrupted by the Cardinal’s men. The four men bond over their mutual adversaries and become friends that help the Queen regain her diamond ear studs she gave to her English lover Buckingham before she has to wear them on a ball. Another one of the Cardinals malicious schemes against the queen is thwarted and the three musketeers saved the day. So far so good. What’s interesting is that this only makes about 200 pages of this 560+ pages book. Where all the movies usually end the actual book continues for 350 more pages. So what happens in those pages?!

”Capital! Adieu, Chevalier.”
“Adieu, Countess.”
“Commend me to the cardinal.”
“Commend me to Satan.”
Milady and Rochefort exchanged a smile and separated.

Enter Milady one of the Cardinal’s most trusted and valuable assets. Truth be told, for me Milady was probably the most interesting character in the entire book because she was multi-layered, cunning, as beautiful as resourceful and had absolutely no scruples to do what she had to do in order to get what she wanted. We love a woman that is manipulative af. *lol* Honestly, the way she cheated her way through this book was really admirable and I had to grin when she spent about 6 chapters seducing a man by claiming she was a Protestant only to “convert” to being a Catholic as soon as it served her purpose.

”Who – – I?” cried Milady; “I a Protestant? Oh, no! I call to witness the God who hears us, that on the contrary I am a fervent Catholic!”

Fervent Catholic? Yeah, bet Felton turned in his gave when he heard that coming from her lips. *shakes head* Yet despite being one of the most intelligent pieces on the board she still seemed to be very naïve when it came to certain things. I mean how did she even mistake d’Artagnan for her lover? (Not one of d’Artagnan’s best moments btw. He basically raped an unknowing and averse woman. If she’d known it was d’Artagnan she would have never even considered to sleep with him. But it was dark. Oh what a plot device. Seriously, Dumas, are you kidding me?!) Which brings me right to d’Artagnan and the three musketeers.

”D’Artagnan and Athos put themselves into saddle with their companions, and all four set forward; Athos upon a horse he owed to a woman, Aramis on a horse he owed to his mistress, Porthos on a horse he owed his procurator’s wife, and d’Artagnan on a horse he owed to his good fortune – the best mistress possible.”

I think that sentence and short description is the “four musketeers” in a nutshell and I can’t really say that I’m a huge fan of them. I used to love Aramis the most and I think of all of them he’s still my favourite because he might have the same flaws as the others but he is more or less tame in comparison to them. Yes, he has an affair with a woman even though he wants to become a priest but him yielding to this temptation only makes him more human. Plus he isn’t as hot-headed as the others. Still, when it comes down to it I can’t really be a fan of either of them because I just can’t condone their actions.

I mean they basically only drink, gamble and fight their way through the entire book. They have affairs with married women, can’t seem to be able to hold on to a single coin and treat their hosts as well as their servants poorly. I honestly don’t get why their servants stuck with them because they didn’t get paid for most of the book. Either the musketeers were too stupid to keep money and gave it away like it was nothing (and this even though they were always broke) or they gambled with the little they had and lost it again. Well, and if their servants demanded pay they just hit them and the thing was settled. Talk about real role-models right there. I stopped counting the moments I rolled my eyes or facepalmed myself. Also d’Artagnan literally falls in love with every woman that’s pretty and talks to him and they all suffer because of it. One way or another giving d’Artagnan their affection never ends well. XD If you’re a woman you better stay away from that young Gascon, he’s trouble. 😉

”Take my wealth, my fortune, my glory, all the days I have to live, for such an instant, for a night like that. For that night, madame, that night you loved me, I will swear it.”

As for the other players in the game. I think there wasn’t enough of the cardinal and we barely found out anything about him. Lord de Winter was okay, I suppose? Buckingham was probably the only truly honourable man in the entire story which is almost comical because him being an English man automatically makes him the enemy of France and therefore of the musketeers. Yet his love and devotion to the Queen was unyielding and he didn’t even think of another woman like a certain someone *cough* d’Artagnan *cough* who changed them like his underwear. Yes, I just said that. You can quote me if you want to. I stand by it. *lol*

I personally think that Milady was the most intriguing character of the entire book, yet at the same time, she was limited by being a woman. No matter how cunning or cruel she was, she could only move in certain patterns and the fact she even got arrested speaks volumes about how women were treated back then. This is a theme that’s running like a thread through the entire book, while the men have all the opportunity in the world and never have to fear any consequences, the same can’t be said for the women in the story. Well, and the way it all ends? Let’s just say the only woman that comes out of it in a good way is actually the Queen and she’s the Queen so I think that says A LOT.


All told, I came out of “The Three Musketeers” feeling quite disenchanted. The heroes I loved as a kid aren’t the heroes I read about. In the movies they were honourable and courageous, fighting against everything that was thrown their way and charmed their way into the beds of their love interests. In the book we get to see an entirely different side of them and I guess that only proves that Hollywood knew what it was doing when it adapted the book into a movie. XD I never thought I’d say this but I think I’ll stick with the movies this time around. I know “The Three Musketeers” is a classic and beloved by many. It has its merits and interesting, whimsical and funny parts, I’ll give you that, but it ultimately wasn’t for me.

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Love Hypothesis (Ali Hazelwood)

Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 4 on My Book List 2023

”Kiss Dude, on the other hand, was standing right in front of her, lips parted, chest rising and a weird light flickering in his eyes, which was exactly when it dawned on her, the enormity of what she had just done. Of who she had just –“

This book was so much fun! Was it realistic? Nope. Did Olive get in a lot of funny and extremely crazy situations while fake dating Adam? You bet! *lol* Honestly, if you don’t overthink the beginning of the book (namely Olive kissing a random person she didn’t even look at just because she wanted to make her friend Anh believe that she was dating someone) and just go with the flow you’ll have a really good time with this one. XD I hear everyone who gave this story a one star rating but I think what we often forget these days is that not every book needs to be completely realistic and accurate in its representation. Sometimes you just need to read a book for the fun of it without overthinking things and digging too deep.

So yes, I could address the hinted at aro/ace rep that never got explored and just hung in the air and I could talk about Olive being a tiny, tiny fairy and Adam being one hell of a huge specimen of a man (of which we are reminded constantly) or about how much I dislike the miscommunication trope in books. But no. I won’t talk about things like that because all I wanted from this book was enjoyment and sometimes that means to leave your rationality and intellect at the door and to dive right into the fun instead. So that’s exactly what I did and I regret nothing. 😉

”Where were you born?” she asked.
“Is this another one of your green card marriage interview questions?”

For me “The Love Hypothesis” was a nice change to my usual reads because for once I didn’t read something serious and just decided to go for something light that was easy to read. And let me tell you, Ali Hazelwood totally delivers on that front and I can see why so many people love her books. Plus it was nice to see a representation of women in STEM because there are still too few and it’s good that Ali gave them a voice with her books. Also the romance between Adam and Olive had me laughing so much. Those two have great chemistry and I loved their easy banter and the way they didn’t hold back whenever they spoke with each other. They tested the waters, got to know each other and started a solid friendship before anything else happened. Something that is very important and isn’t explored often enough in romances if you ask me. I think to get to know the person you like is such an integral part of dating because if you are attracted to someone you usually want to know things about them too. That is, of course, if you’re looking for something solid. If you just want to scratch an itch and don’t want a relationship those rules don’t apply. Obviously.

”Or, you could stay mad, and we could go to your lab and throw test tubes full of toxic reagents at each other until the pain of third-degree burns overrides your shitty mood? Sounds like fun, no?”
He looked away and rolled his eyes, but she could see it in the curve of his cheeks that he was amused.

Anyway! What I wanted to say is that it was nice to see them have their coffee dates and trying to gauge the other’s personality. You might say they both were workaholics and didn’t have anything in common, but I think their passion for their work was actually one of the major things they HAD in common. As was their sarcasm and their protectiveness of each other and their close friends. Which brings me right to their besties! I absolutely loved Holden Rodrigues, Malcolm and Anh. Those three were great friends and I was very glad Olive and Adam had them because without them they probably would have never even realized that they weren’t fake dating anymore, but real dating instead. *lol* Also can we appreciate that scene when Anh and Malcom are upset on Olive’s behalf and so angry they cry? It was such a good friendship representation because if someone hurts your bestie and the people you love, you hurt too and that scene really hit hard for me.

”And if this guy is going to take you away from me and to Boston for an entire year, I want to make sure that he deserves you.” She winked. “Consider my presence the equivalent of a father cleaning his rifle in front of his daughter’s boyfriend before prom.”
“Aww, Daddy.”

The romance is the focus of the book, though and I personally enjoyed that part a lot. As always I liked the little moments and gestures more than I did the big ones and the “Comfy Lap Scene” as well as the “Snack” one can live in my head rent free. Truth be told, their consent when it came to THAT one particular scene was sexier than everything else that happened in the chapter. *lol* I blame my demi behind for this and I’m perfectly fine with it. XD

”I want to. I said I did.”
His throat bobbed. “It doesn’t matter, what you said. You can always change your mind.”

Adam could be a cruel tutor and teacher but he was always very respectful and friendly to Olive and this was super sweet. The people we love bring out the best in us and you could totally see this with Adam and Olive. I really liked that he appreciated her work and didn’t just see her as a woman in STEM but also as someone equal with a bright mind and great ideas. She didn’t have to be someone else around him and could just be herself because he took her the way she was. I think this was also the thing that drew him towards Olive in the first place. They both got each other without having to explain everything and Olive was probably one of the few people that realized he wasn’t mean to his students because he wanted to be. He was just a very fact oriented person and if someone did something wrong he didn’t hesitate to point it out. Sure, he could have been a little bit more empathetic and sensitive with his students but I also got where he was coming from.

”It hit her then what was so special about Adam. That no matter his reputation, or how rocky their first meeting, since the very beginning, Olive had felt that he was on her side. Over and over, and in ways that she could never have anticipated, he had made her feel unjudged. Less alone.”

For me Adam Carlsen was a great love interest and I could understand why Olive fell for him so hard. He might have had his flaws but at the end of the day he was a good and decent person (unlike someone else I won’t mention here and who became the “Persona non grata” of this book for me).

She grinned. “Then maybe I should stick around. Just, you know, to save the department from your terrible moods?”
He glanced at the picture of the failed Western blot in her hand. “Well, it doesn’t look like you’re going to graduate anytime soon.”
She half laughed, half gasped. “Oh my God. Did you just-?”


All things considered, I loved this book and had a blast reading about Olive’s antics. I mean the situations she got herself into? Hilarious! So yeah, if you want to have a good time and read a romance that is entertaining and can be read quickly you definitely should go for this one. It’s fun, it’s amusing and it’s short-lived. If you’re looking for all of those qualities in a book, search no more, because you’ve found it.

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Becky Chambers)

Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 30 on My Book List 2021

”All you can do, Rosemary – all any of us can do – is work to be something positive instead. That is a choice that every sapient must make every day of their life. The universe is what we make of it. It’s up to you to decide what part you will play. And what I see in you is a woman who has a clear idea of what she wants to be.”

Picture yourself in winter, it’s cold outside and little snowflakes are falling down to the ground, you don’t want to go outside because it’s way nicer at home and you take your biggest and warmest blanket to make yourself a human burrito. Maybe there’s a fresh cup of tea or coffee right next to you and you don’t even want to move an inch. Well, do it, but only to pick up “The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet” and then just snuggle back into your warm nest. XD Why did I give you this visual? Because this is the perfect story for cold winter days like the one I just described. This book is slow-paced, it’s cosy and full of love and has an amazing found family trope. It’s not very action packed but that’s okay, because if you want to read this book you’re looking for comfort sci-fi and “The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet” certainly delivers on that front.

”I don’t know. Maybe it’s just different for us. We’re different species, after all.” She paused. “Or maybe because I never thought to ask anyone what you’re asking. I never thought of fear as something that can go away. It just is. It reminds me that I want to stay alive. That doesn’t strike me as a bad thing.“

I really loved to get to know all the different members of the crew and the species they interact with. Also to hear about the cities and planets they went to was extremely interesting. Well, at least for me it was. I’m both, a Warsie as well as a Trekkie and to read about all those aliens, how they look like, what their culture is like and how they communicate with each other had me glued to the pages. I gotta give it to Becky Chambers, her imagination is amazing. To think of so many alien species and to make them come alive is a true talent and Becky obviously has it. No matter if it were the Toremi, Sianat, Grum, Aandrisk or Aeluons, the way they came to life in my imagination was truly awesome. Of course there were humans too and the majority of the Wayfarer, the ship on which the story takes place, is actually human.

”As they did so, they thought of the concept of purpose. Dr Chef’s purpose was to heal and nourish. Ashby’s purpose was to bind his crew together. Accepting the Wane ran contrary to those purposes. For them, accepting the death of a crew member was difficult. Ohan hoped they knew how much the effort was appreciated.”

Which brings me right to the members of the crew that all have their own troubles and personal problems, but still stick together and get through everything like only family can do. No matter how different they are – and they are very different, not only optically but also personality-wise – they always find a way to communicate and to solve their differences. I tried to find out who my favourite crew member would be but quite honestly I can’t decide. They were all great in their own way and the only reason I didn’t feel as close to Ohan or Corbin was the mere fact that their characters were written that way. Corbin is a grumpy algaeist that mostly sticks to his lab and Ohan is a Sianat Pair and goes by they/them pronouns because he’s sharing a body with a parasite. Yeah, I know alone this is kinda mind-blowing and don’t even get me started on how they look like, because my brain still has difficulties to wrap itself around that description. I guess the same can be said for Sissix the Aandrisk which I always kinda imagined like a crocodile or dinosaur with feathers and Dr Chef the cook and doctor of the crew whose looks are so beyond my imagination that I can’t even fathom his appearance. *lol*

”No one else was hurt. The ambi, the food, none of that mattered. They were things, and things could be replaced. His crew couldn’t be. The relief he’d felt upon learning he was the only one who’d wound up in the med bay topped anything that the painkillers could give.”

The humans on the ship are at least as interesting as the aliens, though and I really liked Rosemary, Kizzy and Jenks! I swear the friendship between them was amazing and Ashby Santoso as their captain. Seriously! I loved Ashby! That man is amazing and watches out for every single member of his crew. I’m not surprised he went for a relationship with a woman from another species, because that man doesn’t have a single malicious bone in his entire body and is the most open-minded, tolerant and nourishing person ever. I’m not surprised he considered Sissix to be his best friend, because those two worked so well together. And this is one of the best parts of this book, the friendships and relationships between the crew members. During the book we get an inter-species relationship of two women, Ashby himself is with an alien woman, Jenks is in love with the AI and Ohan is going by they/them pronouns so wow, talk about diversity and inclusion! XD I swear, the relationship between Jenks and Lovey was the sweetest thing and I totally shipped them together. Ahh who would have thought that a human and an AI would work so well together?! ❤

„The date on that directory. That’s the day I installed you.
Because I’ve loved you since then.“

My heart!!! T_T  But that’s not all, as I said the friendships are very special as well and Kizzy and Jenks were the most wholesome found family besties you could wish for. The way they understood each other and supported each other in difficult situations was giving me all the bitter-sweet and comfy feels and I really want to read more about them and see them all happy.

”I was a happy kid, and I couldn’t ask for better parents. But I was still jealous of the kids who had siblings. I grew up, and then you came along.” She looked up at him, and smiled. “And for the first time ever, I didn’t want a brother any more, because I finally had one.”

Unfortunately I don’t know if happiness is something they’ll be able to experience after the ending of the first book. Yes, I know I said that this is mostly a slow-paced and calm book at the beginning of my review, but it still has its suspenseful moments and there were some scenes that hit hard and changed those characters in ways they never would have been able to anticipate. Cryptic much? Well, yeah, but you have to deal with it because I won’t spoil anything. What I can say is that this book is legit about a crew on a space ship that makes tunnels to get to other planets, so of course there is some action going to happen along the way. To make worm-holes can be a dangerous business and since you’re playing with the space-time continuum there is always the possibility that things can go sideways. Or that the shit will hit the fan, especially when you don’t know if the alien species that just joined your alliance is actually friendly towards their new allies.


I never anticipated that I’d enjoy this story so much but the slow-pacing and focus on the different characters, their interactions and their relationships totally persuaded me and I ultimately ended up loving this book. To read about different planets and aliens, to get to know their culture and to find out how they think and feel, it was amazing! It’s kinda weird to say that this was comforting, because usually “comforting” isn’t the first word I think about when it comes to sci-fi, but it’s honestly the only one I can come up with when I think about “The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet”. Becky Chambers created a sci-fi world that is weirdly comforting and I don’t know about you, but I will take it. Sci-fi comfort reads, apparently that’s my new thing. 😉

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Diviners (Libba Bray)

Rating: 4 Pfoten

”We are the Diviners. We have been and we will be. It is a power that comes from the great energy of the land and its people, a realm shared for a spell, for as long as is needed. We see the dead. We speak to restless spirits. We walk in dreams. We read meaning from every held thing. The future unfolds for us like the navigator’s map, showing seas we have yet to travel.”

Before I picked up this book I already heard so much about “The Diviners” but I never truly did some research and only knew what was written on the blurb. So I basically went into this blind and I don’t regret anything! This was such a fun book to read and definitely way more eerie than I bargained for. I honestly didn’t expect it to be so dark and atmospheric but I’m very happy the book turned out to be this way. Sometimes you just gotta read a creepy book and this time around it was “The Diviners” for me.

There is no greater power on this earth than story.” Will paced the length of the room. “People think boundaries and borders build nations. Nonsense – words do. Beliefs, declarations, constitutions – words. Stories. Myths. Lies. Promises. History.”

So what exactly is “The Diviners” about?! Well, it’s a book about a girl named Evie O’Neill who can read objects. After doing this drunk at a party with a rather interesting outcome, she’s exiled and sent to her Uncle Will in New York City. Of course Evie is ecstatic to be sent to New York because in the 1920s it was THE place to be. Evie is looking forward to a lot of parties, speakeasies, flirting, dancing and spending time with her best friend Mabel. But then a murderer is on the loose and her Uncle who runs the museum of occult is asked to help with the investigation. At first he doesn’t want Evie to help with her special abilities, but the more and more people die, the more desperate they become to reveal the identity of the killer, especially once it becomes clear that the murderer is no ordinary man…

Evie leaped up from her seat and pounded a fist on the table. She’d had it with Will’s reluctance. They’d tried it his way, and all they had to show for it was another dead body. “It’s too dangerous not to at least try!”
Jericho looked to Sam, who shrugged. “Don’t look at me. I don’t know from nothing.” Sam said.
“There’s a killer out there and we have to stop him, any way we can,” Evie pleaded. “Please.”

I swear this was such a wild ride. Whenever the murderer appeared on page I had to read the chapter during the day because it was just too damn scary. Honestly, this man gave me the creeps and to find out about his history was at least as horrible as to see how he killed his victims. *shudders* Victoria and I both agreed that this story was a lot more eerie and nightmarish than we initially anticipated, but that still didn’t stop us from reading the book! XD I have to admit that I had a little bit of trouble to understand the 1920s lingo because there were some words I never even heard before. It was an interesting challenge to figure out their meaning or to look them up, though. And as you all know I love myself a good challenge every once in a while. *lol*

Uncle Will frowned. “Didn’t they teach you how to go about research in that school of yours?”
“No. But I can recite “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” while making martinis.”
“I weep for the future.”
“That’s where the martinis come in.”

Another thing I really enjoyed were the characters and their easy banter. No matter if it was Evie and her Uncle Will or Evie and Sam, the characters all had some spunk and their dynamics and interactions were a lot of fun to read about. One of my favourite pairings was definitely Sam Lloyd and Evie because those two didn’t give each other an inch and were always at each other’s throat. And of course I absolutely enjoyed watching them trade barbs! They had a lot of potential to become one of my favourite enemies-to-lovers couple but unfortunately not a lot happened. >_< Well, the book clearly was no romance so I suppose I’ll have to be okay with that.

”You can’t blame a fella for kissing the prettiest girl in New York, can you, sister?” Sam’s grin was anything but apologetic.
Evie brought up her knee quickly and decisively, and he dropped to the floor like a grain sack. “You can’t blame a girl for her quick reflexes now, can you, pal?”

Evie replied with an eye-roll. “Do you think you can manage to not steal anything while I’m gone?”
”The only thing I’m trying to steal is your heart, doll.” Sam smirked.
“You’re not that talented a thief, Sam Lloyd.”

Do you see what I mean?! *lol* This said, Theta and Henry were my favourite side-characters and I can’t wait to find out more about them in book two. I’m sure they will have a bigger part in that one and because of that I’ll probably enjoy it more?! Not that I didn’t enjoy “The Diviners” but Evie could be a very self-centred and egoistic narrator at times, so it was hard to feel some sympathy for her when she did something stupid that hurt her friends feelings. As for Mabel and Jericho. They were both pretty bland characters and while I believe that there is more to Mabel and that we’ll see her shine in one of the later books I don’t think the same can be said about Jericho. His character totally didn’t persuade me. I don’t know why but I just didn’t get warm with him and he felt too distant. I honestly have no idea what Mabel and Evie saw in him. In my opinion Evie and Sam clearly had more chemistry than Evie and Jericho and I’m definitely Team Sam. 😉

”Perhaps Mabel was right, and she was selfish. But what was the point of living so quietly you made no noise at all? “Oh Evie, you’re too much,” people said, and it wasn’t complimentary. Yes, she was too much. She felt like too much inside all the time.
So why wasn’t she ever enough?

I really enjoyed “The Diviners” and for me it was a fast and intriguing read. The eerie atmosphere and the murder mystery kept me glued to the pages and the fact that I was extremely creeped out by the murderer only added to my enjoyment. If there were two things I didn’t like about the book then it was Evie’s egoism which sometimes made her an immature and vexing narrator and the fact that there were so many Diviners in the story. I mean at some point I actually asked Victoria if everyone would turn out to be one in the end. *lol* The sudden frequency of appearing Diviners just felt a little bit off and unrealistic to me. All told, I had a good time reading the first book of this series and Victoria and I already decided that we’ll go for another buddy read of book two this year.

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Hidden Oracle (Rick Riordan)

Rating: 5 Pfoten

”The only thing I knew for certain: my punishment was unfair. Zeus needed someone to blame, so of course he’d picked the handsomest, most talented, most popular god in the pantheon: me.”

I can’t believe how we got from this Apollo at the beginning to the Apollo at the end of the book. But then again, there was always good in him. It was just buried underneath his huge ego. *lol* I guess in some way I’m very thankful Zeus decided to kick Apollo out of Olympus, because it didn’t just give us an entirely new series that plays in the Percy Jackson universe but also helps us to understand how Apollo (and most of the gods) think about demi-gods and humankind in general. It’s nice to have a gods POV for a change and it definitely made for good entertainment. The interesting thing about Apollo is that he’s a really witty and hilarious character but at the same time there is some depth to him we didn’t get with a lot of the other heroes in the PJ universe. Sure, they all have their troubled pasts, some more than others, but at the end of the day they are all teenagers that learn to find themselves and to pave their own way.

”I wanted to say: You remind me of someone. But I didn’t dare open that line of conversation. Only two mortals ever had broken my heart. Even after so many centuries, I couldn’t think of her, couldn’t say her name without falling into despair.”

Apollo is entirely different to the demi-gods because he was around for thousands of years and despite being one of the powerful gods, he has loved and lost already. He’s a grown-up stuck in the body of a powerless teen and for the first time ever since he came into being he’s forced to realize what it truly means to be human and what it entails. Obviously to have no eight-pack abs and to have horrible acne! *lol* I had a good laugh about that one because I’m sure every teenager can relate to those “horrors” Apollo spoke about. ;-P If you take away his narcissism, egoism, good looks and high-handedness all that’s left is his true self, though. And this is exactly what happens in the book. Apollo is forced to accept his new reality and it allows him to shine and to show that underneath it all he’s actually a pretty decent human being.

”Then it occurred to me how many times I had asked for sacrifices, how many heroes I had sent to their deaths. Had they been any less noble and courageous than these [redacted]? Yet I had felt no remorse when I sent them off on deadly tasks. I had used them and discarded them, laid waste to their lives to build my own glory. I was no less of a monster than …”

Yes, I’m trying my best to keep this review spoiler free so you’ll have to live with “redacted” quotes. *lol* Anyway! What I really liked about “The Hidden Oracle” were the interactions between Apollo and all his children. Well, truth be told, not only his children but their friends as well. He’s a very kind soul and some sort of father figure that adopts everyone no matter how much they annoy him and this is extremely wholesome and endearing. I loved that he knew all of his children by name and also remembered their mothers and fathers.

”Thank you,” I managed.
I could not add my children. It didn’t seem right. These demigods were my protectors and my family, but for the present I could not think of myself as their father. A father should do more – a father should give more to his children than he takes. I have to admit that this was a novel idea for me. It made me feel even worse than before.

His developing friendship with Meg was so nice to watch and it always got me when he thought about his children and how he should have done more for them. He’s probably the only god who knows all his children’s names (except of Zeus, Hades and Poseidon, but if you only have one kid that’s not really a challenge. XD) yet he still wanted to do better. Apollo truly cares about his kids and if they get into trouble there’s nothing he wouldn’t do in order to save them. And this even in his powerless human form. And it’s the same for his children. They’d do anything to help their father as well and if that isn’t a good and nourishing foundation for love and trust then I don’t know.

The curse of the River Styx could kill me in its slow cancerous way, or Zeus could strike me down. But my oath to save Meg McCaffrey had to come first.
I turned my face to the sky. “If you want to punish me, Father, be my guest, but have the courage to hurt me directly, not my mortal companion. BE A MAN!”

The defiance!!! *lol* It reminded me of Percy and it’s no wonder those two worked so well together. Seriously their conversations gave me life and some part of me hopes for more cameos of Percy just to see him banter with Apollo. I guess it’s safe to say that all of the demi-gods have a difficult relationship with their godly parents but Apollo is a god (or was until this book) and obviously has a more than just complicated relationship with his father Zeus as well. I wonder if Zeus will learn something from this too and I genuinely hope he does because Apollo deserves to have a father that cares about him too.

”Nosoi?” Percy planted his feet in a fighting stance. “You know, I keep thinking, I have now killed every single thing in Greek mythology. But the list never seems to end.”
“You haven’t killed me yet,” I noted.
“Don’t tempt me.”

Moreover he has loved and lost and his pride cost him dearly in the past. According to Apollo there were only two people he truly loved and they are a constant in the entire book. He still thinks about them and they are always on his mind, their ghosts accompanying him wherever he goes. His grief is deep and I felt really sorry for him whenever he was reminded of them. Also because I just need to say it: Apollo is a bisexual disaster and I LOVE him for it! The way he handles sexuality and how it’s no big deal for him. A true icon! I wish everyone’s parents would be as accepting and open-minded as Apollo and I loved that he kinda shipped his own son with his boyfriend. XD That’s such a rare thing to witness, but if anyone would do it, it would be Apollo, of course. 😉

Will changed his surgical gloves and glared at the woods. “We will find them. We have to.”
Nico di Angelo gave him a flask. “Drink. Right now, this is where you need to be.”

Which brings me right to one of the most important things about “The Hidden Oracle” and technically it’s no spoiler because if you read the book it’s already mentioned about 25-30% into it. My Solangelo ship finally sailed and I’m not mad about it!! <333 What I’m MAD about though, is that it happened so fast and that we never found out what exactly happened! Like the last time I checked Will and Nico weren’t a thing at the end of “The Blood of Olympus” and now they are together?!! AHHHHH!!! My shipper heart is happy and not happy at the same time! Like: How dare you Uncle Rick? How dare you to throw this ship at us without any explanation of how it all happened?!! We didn’t even get a first time of holding hands or their first kiss. Like NO! Can we please at least hear about their story and how they became a couple?! T_T It feels like I missed out on 30 minutes of a fast-paced movie! *lol*

Will turned to me. “I apologize for my boyfriend.”
Nico rolled his eyes. “Could you not-“
“Would you prefer special guy?” Will asked. “Or significant other?”
“Significant annoyance, in your case,” Nico grumbled.
“Oh, I’ll get you for that.”

Still, I loved those two and their gentle gestures. They care about each other so much and the way they watch out for each other and take care of each other was so beautiful I melted. They are the epitome of the “Grump and Sunshine” trope and had me smiling whenever they were on page. Despite Nico’s grumpy attitude it’s more than just obvious that he loves to be Will’s boyfriend and adores him. I can’t wait to see more of their interactions and I hope they’ll be a big part of the next book too. I mean Will is Apollo’s son and the healer of the camp, it would make sense if he and Nico would go on a quest with Apollo, right?! Nico is still one of my favourite PJ characters ever and I’m absolutely in love with Will Solace. His slightly bossy and no-nonsense personality gets me every single time. <333

”You guys go,” Will told me. “The chariot is only designed for three, and after that shadow-travel Nico is going to pass out any second.”
“No, I’m not,” Nico complained, then passed out.
Will caught him in a fireman’s lift and took him away. “Good luck! I’m going to get the Lord of Darkness here some Gatorade!”

Ahh you just gotta love Will. XD He’ll become one of the best healers ever and Apollo is already very proud of him. =) This said I absolutely loved “The Hidden Oracle” and had an amazing time. I read this book in a couple of days and for me this is actually pretty fast. It usually takes me weeks to finish a story but this time around I just couldn’t put it down. Apollo as a character is extremely intriguing and I love the more serious vibe of this series. Don’t get me wrong, Apollo is one of the most hilarious characters ever, but he also has a very earnest side and the mixture of both of his sides worked more than just well for me. Plus his character growth after the first book is already palpable and I can’t wait to see how much more he’s going to change throughout the series.

”Apollo,” Chiron said, “you must do this. You are the lord of archery and illness.”
“I’m not lord of anything!” I wailed. “I’m a stupid ugly mortal teenager! I’m nobody!”

All told “The Hidden Oracle” was exactly the kind of book I wanted to read and had everything I hoped for and even more. Apollo’s development and character arc is done so well and Meg is a more than just interesting and complex side-kick. Fingers crossed we’ll see more of her and Peaches in the next book. I’m ready to pick up “The Dark Prophecy”! Let’s hope I’ll get hold of a library copy soon! ;-P

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Final Empire (Brandon Sanderson)


Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 22 on My Book List 2020

”His anger was quiet, not as fierce as it had been the night he’d killed Lord Tresting. But he felt it still, felt it in the itch of his scars and in the remembered screams of the woman he loved. As far as Kelsier was concerned, any man who upheld the Final Empire also forfeited his right to live.”

So I think I’ll be one of the few unpopular opinions when it comes to this book and that’s okay, because to every pro there also needs to be a contra and I guess this time around I’ll be that voice. Not that “The Final Empire” wasn’t a good book, it was actually pretty good, but it also wasn’t exactly what I expected after I went into this series. With all those raging reviews about the amazing world-building and magic system and the talk about a Kelsier and Vin – the strong heroine – my expectations didn’t quite match with what I actually got.

”Plots behind plots, plans beyond plans.
There was always another secret.”

The world-building was quite interesting and I liked the idea of the Lord Ruler winning the war and therefore being their new leader who suppresses the masses. By now it’s not an entirely new concept though because a lot of dystopian books start with the baddies at the pulse of power and with rebels overthrowing them. Still, the world was very vivid and described in detail and it was easy to get lost in it and the mist. (pun totally intended) As for the magic system, I personally wouldn’t say that it’s some sort of magic system. I know lots of people say Allomancy is one of the best magic systems they have ever read about but in a strict sense and from my point of view it’s rather some sort of science instead? I mean we have 10 metals and the elusive 11th metal no one is sure even exists and if it does what it’s supposed to do. The pushing and pulling of the metals, the way Kelsier described Allomancy and taught Vin about it. It sounded more like they have supernatural abilities that are fuelled by the different metals and because of that it didn’t really feel like a magic system to me. Because when I think of magic it’s of the not tangible kind of sort and comes from within the people without having to use any devices to fuel it. To be honest I think for me this book falls more into the category of superheroes and powers. Considering all the other reviewers that talk about Allomancy as a magic-system I’m probably the odd duck, though. I suppose you could start an entire discussion about this, but I’ll just leave it at that and say for me it’s super powers fuelled by metals and science. 😉

Kell leaned forward again. “But, you weren’t born an aristocrat. You’re not noble, Vin. You don’t have to play by their rules – and that makes you even more powerful.”

Vin, Kelsier and all the other characters in the book are definitely a class of their own as well. *lol* I liked the easy banter and how we got to know a couple of personal things about all the different characters. Unfortunately I ended this book feeling not really close to or attached to any of the characters. I don’t know how to express it but to me it felt like Sanderson kept a lot of the characters on a need-to-know-basis. You just get the bits and pieces that are necessary to move the plot along and the rest of it is kept in the dark and whilst this was probably intended as a plot device to keep the reader in suspense it just didn’t work in my case. Because I DO like to get to know the characters I read about and I want them to be multi-layered and complex and to have an interesting background story. I want to understand why they act the way they do, what moves them, which motives they have and how they feel. There were so many characters Dox, Ham, Marsh, Sazed, Breeze, Spook, Elend etc. and even after reading 647 pages the only character I got a good grasp of was Vin. And this only because we see everything from her point of view. Kelsier, his entire background story and his time in the pits is still a mystery to me and I don’t think this will change anytime soon.

”You know,” he said, “it amazes me sometimes that we even try. With everything they’ve done to us – the deaths, the tortures, the agonies – you’d think that we would just give up on things like hope and love. But we don’t.”

I wish we would have gotten so much more about all of the characters, but I guess I’ll have to be content with what I got and see if there will be more in the second book. Two of my favourite characters were definitely Elend and Sazed and they made the bunch of characters even more interesting. Also Elend is truly precious and I wish we would have gotten more of him. I mean his relationship with his father is quite horrible but aside from superficial glimpses we never dove any deeper into their conflict. When I read a 600+ book I usually talk about the individual characters but as I already said, after reading “The Final Empire” I feel like I don’t know any of them nearly enough to write a good analysis about them. Except of probably Vin. She was a special brand of heroine for sure and I really liked that she started out as a street gang member and then became so much more. At the beginning of the book she’s shy, timid and distrustful, but the more she gets to know Kell and his crew the more she becomes strong and independent. The relationship between Kelsier and Vin was actually done pretty nicely and I liked the father/daughter vibe they gave off whenever they were together on page.

”Kelsier,” Vin said quietly. “He’s a good man, isn’t he?”
Sazed smiled. “A very good man, Mistress. One of the best I’ve known.”
Vin nodded slightly. “A good man…” she said softly. “I don’t think I’ve ever known one of those before.”

Another thing I really liked about the book was the heist element and all the intrigues, schemes and plot twists. There were a lot of things I didn’t see coming and it was interesting to see how the crew went about the nearly impossible task of overthrowing the Final Empire. They set themselves a goal that was almost unfeasible but they still worked around all the bumps in the road and made it work somehow. No matter what happened there was always a plan B, another route to go or like Kelsier thought: “Plots behind plots, plans beyond plans.” In some way Kell’s masterplan and his mind kinda reminded me of Kaz Brekker and of course I enjoyed that immensely. 😉

”There was a grim mirth about them – as if they understood that they had a better chance of making the sun rise at night than they did of overthrowing the Final Empire. Yet, they were still going to try.”

“The Final Empire” was different than I expected it to be and because of the complex world-building it actually took me quite some time to get into the story. It’s been a while I last read epic fantasy and at the beginning of the book there was a lot of name-dropping and lots of explanations about the world, the social classes and Allomancy. Once you get over that and the story actually starts to move along it was very easy to follow Vin’s journey, though. There weren’t a lot of action scenes but the ones we got were all great and it was fun to read them. I really just wish that the characters would have been more developed. Still, after the ending I really want to know what happens next and maybe Sanderson will dig deeper into the characters and their background stories in the next books. Guess the only way to find out is by picking up “The Well of Ascension” soon. 😉

”… he smiled because that was what he did. That was how he proved to the Lord Ruler – and to himself – that he wasn’t beaten.
No, he wasn’t going to walk away. He wasn’t finished yet. Not by far.”

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Midnight Library (Matt Haig)

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Rating: 3 Pfoten

Book 34 of My Book List 2022

”Between life and death there is a library,” she said. “And within that library, the shelves go on for ever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be different if you had made other choices… Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?”

And this is basically already the short summary of “The Midnight Library”. The concept of the book is easily told and it’s not hard to follow Nora Seed’s journey and to get lost in all those different lives she chooses for herself. At the beginning of the book Nora is going through a strong depression and nothing seems to make sense anymore, so she chooses the only logical option for herself and tries to end her life which ultimately causes her to end up in the Midnight Library. In there she finds Mrs Elm, a librarian that was kind to her when she was a kid and that helped her through some tough times.

”You don’t have to understand life. You just have to live it.”

So Nora is leaving her “root-life” behind and trying out new and different lives for herself. What if she would have married her ex-boyfriend? What if she would have become a swimmer? Said yes to the music deal her former band was so close to finalize? Every choice alters her path and brings forth a different life but are those lives any better than the one she just left? Will she be happy in them, will she live longer? I really enjoyed how Matt Haig played with all those possibilities and let Nora explore her different lives. Some of them were over pretty fast, in others she stayed a little longer and took her time to find out more about herself. I personally would find it pretty jarring to jump from one life to the next, always knowing that this wasn’t my “root-life” and that I might be stealing the life of another me. If that makes sense?! Also the moment Nora feels disappointment in the life she’s currently living she’s automatically kicked out of it and ends up back in the library.

”Want,” she told her, in a measured tone, “is an interesting word. It means lack. Sometimes if we fill that lack with something else the original want disappears entirely. Maybe you have a lack problem rather than a want problem. Maybe there is a life that you really want to live.”

At first Nora is pretty certain that she doesn’t want to live in any of the lives that are available to her, but the more time she spends in them, the more intrigued she becomes. Could there be a life she actually wants to live? The problem is there are just too many options and in every single one of them her choices have an effect on the people she loves as well. It’s not just her life she’d choose, she’d also make a choice for the people she loves and cares about which ultimately leads to an ethical dilemma. If your own happiness would mean that someone you love would suffer, would you still go for it?

„To be a human was to continually dumb the world down into an understandable story that keeps things simple.“

To be honest this was one of the most fascinating things about the book. As someone who’s currently studying psychology it was extremely interesting to read about all those philosophical approaches and psychological theories. I don’t know if Matt Haig has a psychological background but the way he wrote about those things made me curious about the author behind the book. Nora obviously had a philosophical background so maybe he just did his research? It would be really interesting to know. (Psychology and philosophy are mostly studied to together, just to clarify that here.) Anyway, let’s get back on track. 😉

”Every second of every day we are entering a new universe. And we spend so much time wishing our lives were different, comparing ourselves to other people and to other versions of ourselves, when really most lives contain degrees of good and degrees of bad.“

To watch Nora go from one life to the next, always searching but never finding what she wanted to. To see her come to terms with some of the decisions she made, to follow her journey of figuring out what she wants from life and what is truly important. To see how her regrets got less and less. It inevitably causes you think about your own life choices and if you’re happy with them. And this is – if you ask me – exactly the point of this book. “The Midnight Library” is supposed to make you think, to force you to look at your own life and to consider if you’re happy, if you would do anything differently, if you have need for action to live exactly the kind of life you want to live. It’s not a fast paced book; it’s actually rather gentle while it leads you to come to your own conclusions and it’s definitely a book that makes you think.

“The only way to learn is to live.“

All things considered, “The Midnight Library” was an interesting and fascinating journey through all the different lives of Nora Seed. It’s a thought-provoking and very philosophical book and due to that it might not be for everyone. Considering the book tackled such a deep topic, it kind of lacked a little bit of depth for me though. It felt like a lot of the things that happened were only discussed on the surface and handled superficially. Still, if you’re interested in philosophy and psychology, if you like to think outside of the box, if you’re open-minded and enjoy reflecting on your decisions, then this book will most likely be the right choice for you. As for the question if Nora found THE perfect life for herself? Well, I won’t spoil anything. If you really want to know you’ll have to pick up the book and find out for yourself. ;-P

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Extraordinaries (T.J. Klune)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

„Nicky, no.“
“Nicky, yes.”

If I had to sum up the entire book with just one quote it definitely would be the one above, because it’s so accurate and describes the vibe and energy of “The Extraordinaries” so well. I mean the entire book lives of Nicky trying to become an Extraoridinary and his friends trying to keep him out of trouble during this endeavour. And let me tell you this: It was hilarious to read this book! I so rarely laugh when I read a story because I usually tend to read about more serious topics and have a deep love for morally grey and problematic broken boys. So I guess it’s safe to say that my books are mostly pretty sad, thought-provoking and tough to read.

“The Extraordinaries” however had me gasping for air and wheezing from laughter. Seriously at some parts my hubby gave me a raised eyebrow because I was chuckling so hard he couldn’t help but wonder about my reactions. But honestly, I just couldn’t with Nicky and his antics! That boy was so, so, so damn funny and I loved to explore that side of T.J. Klune’s books. “The House in the Cerulean Sea” already hinted at Klune’s great humour but it excels in this series and takes it to an entirely different level. I legit laughed tears!

Despite all those hilarious scenes Klune still managed to bring in his typical brand of serious topics and thought-provoking issues and I really love this about his books. No matter how funny they are, they always have a solid core and it wasn’t any different with “The Extraordinaries”. The plot might have been less intense than the story line of “The House in the Cerulean Sea”, this doesn’t mean that it wasn’t fun to read about Nicky and his friends, though. I really loved them all and I can’t wait to dive into my character section! I have lots of things to discuss so come along for the ride! ;-P


Welcome to Nova City! One of the few cities that actually has two Extraordinaries fighting against each other! To live here can be dangerous and there might lurk spoilers at every corner. I wouldn’t count on Shadow Star or Pyro Storm to save you so if you can’t handle spoilers you better leave our nice city asap! Consider yourself warned!


”His dad had been a cop for longer than Nick was alive and had instilled in him a sense of duty. Of honor. You protected those who needed it. And not that Gibby needed it, exactly, but the principle was the same.”

Oh, Nicky! Where do I even start with him? *lol* That boy is chaos walking on two legs and I loved him so much for it! Like, he has a heart of gold and all the right intentions but the way he goes about reaching his goal to become an Extraordinary… it was so. I have no words. Nicky is such a chaotic, precious, endearing, naive, reckless, fierce, oblivious and iconic character! Honestly, I’d love to be friends with him just to see what he’s going to do next. Haha! AND to try to save him from himself because boy, does he need it. XD I’m just glad he already has Gibby, Jazz and Seth. Also I totally liked how Klune tackled the ADHD and grief rep through Nicky’s character. I don’t have ADHD so I don’t know if this rep was accurate but the way he described how Nicky felt was very understandable and I got a good impression of how it might feel to have ADHD. So for me it was a good rep. As for the grief rep: Amazingly done! And this says a person who just recently got a degree as a grief counsellor. Nicky’s grief after losing his mother, him missing her and trying to fill that void that was left after she died. It was on point and I really felt for him and his dad. I always like it when grief is explored in books and Klune definitely knows what he’s writing about. Kinda makes me wonder if he experienced grief like this too or if he’s just amazing at doing research. Either way Nicky’s character was so realistic and multi-layered that I couldn’t help but be charmed by him. I love Nicky and I really hope to see lots of fluff for him in the next book. He deserves it!

”But that doesn’t mean you still can’t be a good person, right? Just because you did something wrong doesn’t mean that’s who you are. And even if you keep doing the wrong thing, you can still be saved. Maybe they just need someone to listen to them, to hear the storm in their heads.”

”I can do this,” he told her. “You don’t have to help me if you don’t want to. And that’s okay. But I can be more than I am. I can become something better. Something more.”
She looked troubled. “Why do you have to be an Extraordinary to be better? Why can’t you just be extraordinary with what you already have?”

„It was the look. Like Nick had spoken too much. Or had gone too far. Or had said something so stupid and crazy and out there that it was impossible to understand how such words could have come out of a normal, sane person. Yeah, Nick had gotten that look from many, many people in his life, but never from those he loved.
Until today.
Dad. Seth. The two people he counted on most.“

”There were days when everything felt like it was dialed up to eleven, and he didn’t know how to stop it, no matter how hard he tried. For the most part, he’d accepted that some people were born to be Extraordinaries, and some people were born to be medicated so they didn’t spin out of control. Fair? Not really, but Nick was learning that his brain could do things that others couldn’t. In a way, he had his own superpower, even if it was called a disorder.”


”It’s not a game,” Seth snapped, slamming his hands on the table. Nick struggled not to move away. “And even when you try your hardest to do good, there are always going to be people suspicious of your motives. Wondering what you’re really trying to do. And it doesn’t help that there’s going to be some jerk who appears out of nowhere and thinks he’s your archnemesis, and does his best to make everything worse.”

I think the first thing I have to say about Seth is that he is so damn PRECIOUS I can’t even!!! The way he was looking after Nicky and tried to help Owen even though he basically did everything possible in order to antagonize him. And then the entire world thinking that he’s the baddie in this story?! My poor, poor baby! I gotta be honest here: I always knew that Pyro Storm and Shadow Star were Seth and Owen. I mean it was so obvious! How couldn’t Nicky see that? *lol* The plot twist however kinda threw me, because just like I was supposed to I actually thought that Seth is Shadow Star. So kudos to T.J. Klune for misleading me like that. Also I can’t believe Seth just watched Nicky moon over Shadow Star for so long and even helped him with his fanfic?! Like OMG! That man is so altruistic and good! Still, in retrospective it was extremely hilarious to think of all those tidbits when Nicky admired Pyro Storms thighs in his fanfic. Haha! I can’t wait to see in which kind of direction the second book will go with him.

Nicky & his dad:

Nick barely stopped himself from throwing his fork at Dad’s head. “Why are you like this?”
Dad grinned at him. “Because your adolescent angst brings me joy as a parent.”

THOSE TWO!!! I swear their father-son relationship gave me life! *LOL* I burst into laughter whenever they were on page together and I had chuckle attacks that just wouldn’t stop and lasted for minutes! Minutes! Their interactions were so hilarious, yet extremely wholesome at the same time. You could see how much they loved each other and how hard Nicky’s dad tried to be a good parent for him. His job as a cop didn’t make it easy to be there for him but he really did everything possible to make it work. Also Nicky seemed to be a pretty challenging son at times (alone the things he did in this book. *lol*) and it couldn’t have been easy to raise a child alone after his mother died. After all his dad had lost his wife too, so he wasn’t only grieving as well but also had the responsibility for a young child that depended on him. If you ask me Nicky’s dad is a hero! Truth be told, I so rarely read about good parent-children relationships in YA books and books in general so this was amazing and I was a happy camper. Nicky’s dad tried, he really did and that’s more than most of the parents in other books do. Most of the time they are just standing on the sidelines and not even an active part of the story. In Klune’s books they always play an important part for the MCs though and I just love this! Can’t wait to see more of their hilarious interactions in the next book, now that Nicky and Seth are a thing it will be fun to watch them. But I’m not gonna lie, I’m also worried because sooner or later Nicky will find out that his father didn’t just lie to him but also suppressed his superpowers and I’m really afraid of how this will turn out. It’s such a breach of trust that it will be more than just tough to swallow. T_T His dad might have the best intentions but still…

”I’m sorry I’m such a disappointment to you,” Nick said bitterly, wiping his eyes.
“Dammit, kid. First it was Owen, and I let it go. And then it’s this – this Shadow Star, and this weird obsession you have with him. I just don’t – why do you have to be this way? Why do you have to be the way you are?”
Nick knew the power of words. He knew that sometimes when they landed, they exploded with the force of a carelessly tossed grenade.

„Nick knew his dad loved him, and oh, did he love him fiercely in return. When Before became After, when he went from two parents to only having one, he’d become almost obsessive about keeping his dad safe and healthy and whole. Losing one had almost destroyed him. Losing another would finish the job.“

”Yes, Dad, oh my – I mean no, I’m not having sex, why would you even say that?”
“If it were with a girl, I’d be telling you the same thing. Wrap it, Nicky. Always wrap it before you stick it anywhere.“ He tilted his head and squinted at his only son. “Or if it’s stuck in you. It don’t matter to me one way or another. What’s that called? Bottoming?”

Nicky & Seth:

”Sometimes, Seth worried too much about nothing at all, and it frustrated Nick to no end, because it meant there was something making Seth feel bad that Nick couldn’t tear apart with his bare hands.”

I’ve rarely seen such a love disaster! *LMAO* But boy did it entertain me! I just couldn’t with them! Nicky’s brain is so hilarious when he’s flustered and I can’t believe he didn’t realize Seth’s love for him. That boy would have done anything for him and vice versa. The way they both watched out for each other and how their world seemed to revolve around each other! HOW COULDN’T THEY SEE IT?! I think everyone in the book already knew and yet Nicky was so damn oblivious. Haha! It takes a special brand of obliviousness not to realize how besotted Seth was with Nick so I was extremely frustrated with our adorable moron! *lol* And I have to give special thanks to Bob Gray here because without him spelling it out for Nicky that boy probably would have never gotten it! XD Still not over Bromeo and Dudeliet! I laughed so much I cried tears. ARGH! My babies were so awkward but bless them and their feelings for each other. Their relationship only started at the ending of “The Extraordinaries” though so I’m ready to see how they are going to act in “Flash Fire”. Some part of me is secretly hoping for even more cringy moments because I just love them too much. T_T

”Seth was what he needed, though, and he’d been late, but then the door had burst open, and he’d stood there, cheeks flushed, chest heaving, eyes wide as he searched the living room until he found Nick. Nick made a wounded sound, wanting to get to Seth as soon as possible, but unable to move his arms.
Seth knew, though.
Somehow, he’d gotten Nick upstairs and put him to bed, climbing in behind him and curling around him protectively. Nick remembered thinking that he was safe, then. He was safe, and though everything Before would now be After, Seth was there with him.”

”And then the most extraordinary thing happened, something that caused all Nick’s thoughts to come to a screeching halt.
Seth leaned down and kissed his cheek. Nick felt the quick, hot pulse of breath against his skin, the scrape of lips and then- He turned slowly to look up at Seth.
Seth, who looked horrified by what he’d just done. “I- uh- Holy crap, I’ve got to go.”

Nick stared at him in horror. “That’s not going to happen. I’m going to be with Seth forever.”
Bob’s lips twitched. “How… expected. And if he said the same to you?”
Nick blushed furiously. “I. Um. That would be. Neat?”
“Oh, so I guess the fact that he’s in love with you would –“
“Robert Gray!”

”O … kay,” Seth said. “Thanks. I think.”
Nick nodded so hard, he felt bones crack. That probably wasn’t good. “Yep. Just looking out for my best bud. My bro. My brotato chip. My pot-broast. We’re just Bromeo and Dudeliet.” Nick actively forced his mouth shut before he could make things worse.

Jazz & Gibby:

”Now, here’s how this is going to go,” Jazz said, apparently able to ignore the fact that everyone in the cafeteria was staring at her. You didn’t mess with Jasmine Kensington, especially not during lunch. And if you did, you certainly didn’t insult her friends at the same time. “You’re going to apologize. And after you apologize, I will let you go. If any of that sounds too much for you, we’ll see how far your fingers can bend before they snap.”

Gosh, I loved those two so much! ❤ First of all I’ve to point out how nice it is to see an f/f couple as side-characters that actually are an ACTUAL part of the plot. I’m so tired of authors using LGBTQIA+ quota side characters to be able to claim that their books are diverse. *looking at a very particular author here* So to have Gibby and Jazz in this book was so refreshing and extremely satisfying. They are real characters that have their quirks and own thoughts and I lived and breathed for it. Plus their relationship dynamic was amazing. They weren’t just a great couple but also always there for Nicky and I really appreciated this. Also Jazz is such a badass! How could you not love that girl? I can understand why Gibby fell so hard for her because this girl is a freaking QUEEN!!! <333 The way she handled this tragic loser at lunch break? Well, Gibby wasn’t the only one who felt some heat. Okay, let’s stop here before it gets uncomfortable. Haha!

„Aside from the emotional trauma that will probably rear its head when I’m thirty-seven and working at my cubicle in a dead-end job that I hate, just fine,” Nick babbled, unsure why the words coming out of his mouth were the ones his brain deemed necessary to speak out loud.
„I’m fine,“ Gibby said mildly. „Any trauma I might have had is being washed away by the tragic comedy occuring right in front of me.“

Nick shrugged. “A lot beat up.” He swallowed thickly, trying to stay in control. “I didn’t mean to leave.”
“I don’t think anyone’s mad at you for that,” Gibby said. “And if they are, they’ll have to get through Jazz and me first.”
“I can beat up men twice my size,” Jazz said. “I got your back. And your front.”

Owen & Nicky:

”Who punched you?”
Owen smirked at him. “Careful, Nicky. You’re beginning to sound like you care, and we can’t have that, can we? I already broke your heart once. Don’t think we need to do it again.”

Okay, Owen was an ass in many ways but he still was a very intriguing boy and I found it so interesting how Klune played with his character. When you read about Owen in his real life you automatically know that he’s the baddie but as an Extraordinary you thought he was the hero? That was such a good plot twist and I can’t help but admire Klune for what he did there. Good vs. bad and bad vs. good. So well-done. Owen’s relationship with Nicky is pretty fascinating as well and I’m fairly certain that Owen actually loves Nicky in his own weird and twisted way. I mean he wanted him to become an Extraordinary and tried to help him with reaching his goal and I doubt he did it out of pure malice. No, Owen is more complex than that and there are more ulterior motives at work. Very curious where his story will head.

Owen threw his head back and laughed. “Oh, Nicky. Never change. I’m sure it was painfully awkward and so, so sweet. But why in the hell would you want to be an Extraordinary? It seems like such a big responsibility.” He reached out and traced his finger along the back of Nick’s hand. “Think you could handle it?”

I loved this book so much and after reading my second T.J. Klune book I can say that he’s becoming one of my favourite authors pretty fast. At this point I’ll just auto-buy every Klune book ever and be happy with it because I know he won’t disappoint. “The Extraordinaries” was an extremely hilarious book that still didn’t shy away from serious topics and themes. For me Klune is legit one of the best authors out there and the fact his books always have wholesome friendships and relationships only makes me love them even more. Not to mention a really healthy dose of LGBTQIA+ reps which I’m always so grateful for. Highly recommended if you want to have a good laugh! I can’t wait to pick up “Flash Fire” next year!

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The House in the Cerulean Sea (T.J. Klune)


Rating: 5 Pfoten

„They don’t see the children,“ she said. „Not for who they are, only for what they’re capable of.“
“They should be given a chance, as all children should. What hope would they have to be adapted if they’re treated as something to be feared?”

To say “The House in the Cerulean Sea” is hard to review would be an understatement because I’ve thought about writing this review for months, yet I’m still not able to come up with a good way to talk about this marvellous book. How to write about it? How to convey all the feelings I had while I read it? Well, I might just start at the beginning and take it from there and hopefully to write this down will help me to figure things out. Sometimes the beginning is the hardest part. 😉

”They fear what they don’t understand. And that fear turns to hate for reasons I’m sure even they can’t begin to comprehend. And since they don’t understand the children, since they fear them, they hate them. This can’t be the first time you’ve heard of this. It happens everywhere.”

This all out of the way, I’m probably the last person on earth who read this book so I won’t waste a lot of time by speaking about the plot. I guess by now everybody and their grandma knows that “The House in the Cerulean Sea” is about a social worker named Linus Baker who is sent to an orphanage on an island that is taking care of children with magical abilities. His company (DICOMY) sent him there in order to find out if the children on the island are dangerous and if the orphanage needs to be closed. So much for the storyline and what the book is about.  Well, this doesn’t sound all too spectacular, right? Wrong. The story might be pretty unspectacular but believe me the implementation of it is not. There are so many important themes packed into this 400 pages book, it’s really hard to talk about them all. I’m going to try to touch as many subjects as possible but I’m sure no matter how hard I try, I won’t be able to do this book justice so please bear with me. I touched a lot of topics when I did my vlives though so if you’re interested I’ll put the links down below so that you can watch them after reading this review. 😉

”And so when faced with a perceived threat, and even though everything felt topsy-turvy, Linus did the only thing he could: He moved to protect the children.”

Okay, so first things first: This was actually the first TJ Klune book I ever read and I was totally blown away by Klune’s writing style and the way he tackles important topics. It was really easy to get caught up in the flow of the book and to follow Linus’ journey. The thing about Linus is that he might work for DICOMY and follow the rules but he still managed to keep his compassion. He moved within the rules of his company, but he never lost himself. He had a purpose and he wanted to fulfil it so he didn’t just blindly follow the rules but also thought about the consequences of his actions. Honestly, Linus was such an intriguing and honest character and I really loved to get to know him better. DICOMY the company he works for? I hated it with a fierce passion and alone the slogans caused me to get goose bumps. I mean “A Quiet child is a healthy child.” or “We’re the happiest when we listen to those in charge”?! *shudders* DICOMY was extremely totalitarian and of course being the rebel that I am I just couldn’t with this company. I couldn’t help but wonder how Linus was able to work at DICOMY for so long though and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that he probably wanted to make a difference from the inside. Unfortunately his boss Ms. Jenkins as well as Extremely Upper Management made it really hard to bring about that change. Truth be told, even Linus neighbour Mrs. Klapper was horrible and if you ask me he lived in an extremely toxic environment before he went to the island.

He took the offered hand in his own. The skin was cool and dry, and as the fingers wrapped around his own, Linus felt a little curl of warmth in the back of his mind. “It’s a pleasure to meet you,” Mr. Parnassus said. “Regardless of the reason you’re here.”

Which leads me right to the orphanage on the island: I adored all the children so much!! They were all different and each and every single one of them had a distinct voice. I think Klune did an amazing job at describing them and their differences. Those children didn’t just look like children and had their own voice, they all acted like children too and I absolutely loved this about the book. It’s not easy to find a realistic child representation in a book but Klune did it with a lot of passion and a good eye on the details. Even the way they spoke was typical for children and that made me feel like they were actual people. The logic of children is a lot different than those of adults and to see this reflected in the story added such a nice touch and made me enjoy it even more.

She cocked her head at him. “But what about your cat? Don’t you want to find her before she gets eaten and all that’s left is her tail because it’s too fluffy to choke down?”

”When she handed over the bowl, he thanked her quietly before heading toward the table. The others cheered at the sight of him, scooting over to make room. He sat next to Lucy, putting an arm over his shoulders and pulling him close. Lucy laughed and looked up at him, eyes bright. Sal’s arm stayed right where it was as they ate.”

Seriously, I love those children with all my heart and would defend them with my life and I’d do the very same for Linus, Ms. Chapelwhite and Arthur as well. Ms. Chapelwhite had a heart of gold and Arthur. Arthur is the best thing that could have ever happened to those kids! He loves them fiercely and like a father and he did such an awesome job at raising them and supporting them in every way he could. Arthur is incredible and I don’t have enough words to describe the kind of beautiful person that he is. I’m a parent myself and to see how Arthur accepted his children and how he responded to their individual needs and gave them a nourishing environment that was able to catch them whenever they struggled. Ahhh! My heart is so full just thinking of Arthur. <333 Legit the most wholesome and amazing person ever! I adore him so much, you have no idea!

„Hope?“ Linus said stupidly.
“Hope,” Mr. Parnassus repeated. “Because that is what we must give him, what we must give all of them. Hope and guidance and a place to call their own, a home where they can be who they are without fear of repercussion.”

”And I know sometimes you see things when you close your eyes that no one should ever see. But there is good in you, Lucifer, overwhelmingly so. I know there is. You are special. You are important. Not just to the others. But to me. There has never been anyone like you before, and I see you for all that you are, and all the things you aren’t. Come home. All I want you to do is come home.”

The relationship between Arthur and his charges is legit one of the most wholesome things I ever had the pleasure to read about and I probably could go on and on, filling this review with remarkable and brilliant quotes. Not that Linus’s relationship with them isn’t at least as beneficial as Arthur’s. I loved how Linus came to the island, not only afraid of the children but also trying to keep his distance and objectivity, just to be won over by them with every passing day. The kids were so sceptical at first as well and didn’t want Linus to snoop around their home, but the more time they spent in each other’s company the more they began to trust each other and this was such a beautiful thing to read about! I think most of my favourite scenes were with the kids and Linus, because it might have been gentle and brief moments but they were incredibly beautiful and heart-warming at the same time. So precious and important for him and the kids. T_T No matter if it was Phee, Chauncey, Lucy, Sal, Talia or Theodore, they all formed a deep connection with Linus and I was so there for it.

Linus shook his head. “I could never be mad at you. Not for this. If I sound angry, it’s at this … this man, not you.”
“Oh. Because you like me, huh?”
Yes. God help him, yes. Very much so. All of them, really. „Something like that.“

”Did he tell you that?”
“No. I don’t think he’s allowed. But we know. We all know. Just like we know what you both did when you left the other day. He’s one of us. Just like you.”
„I’m afraid I don’t have magic.“
„You do, Mr. Baker. Arthur told me that there can be magic in the ordinary.“

My heart!! Seriously, I’m going through all the feels again while writing this review, but I need to get it out of my system so I’ll keep on writing and talk about the last thing I need to speak about when it comes to this lovely book: The relationship between Arthur and Linus! ❤ I swear, those two killed me! If you like a slow-burn then this book is definitely for you, because it mostly focuses on the kids but there are also a couple of sweet and gentle moments between Linus and Arthur and I lived and breathed for them. Their affection for each other is so subtle and cute I soaked up every moment between them like a rare sunray on a rainy day.

„I meant what I said.“ Arthur’s voice was hushed.
“Liking you the way you are. I don’t know that I’ve ever thought that more about anyone I’ve ever met.” Linus gripped the door knob. “That’s … thank you. That’s very kind of you to say. Good night, Arthur.” Arthur chuckled. “Good night, Linus.” And with that, Linus fled the bedroom.

”They listen to every single thing you say. They look to you because you are their family. You are their –“ He stopped, breathing heavily. He shouldn’t say it. It wasn’t right. None of this was. It wasn’t – “You are their father, Arthur. You said you love them more than life itself. You have to know they feel the same about you. Of course they do. How can they not? Look at you. Look at what you’ve made here. You are a fire, and they need to know how you burn. Not only because of who you are, but because of what they have made you into.”

I probably could go on and on about “The House in the Cerulean Sea” but I think I’ll draw the line here before my review gets out of control. XD There are still so many things I would have liked to talk about but I’m afraid if I do you’ll never hear the end of it so this is where I write down my final thoughts and hope that it will be enough.


“The House in the Cerulean Sea” was definitely one of the most wholesome and precious books I ever read and this despite the fact that it tackles so many serious topics. No matter if it’s xenophobia, prejudices, abuse or fascism Klune tackles it all with a fierce determination that’s not only unique but also demanding. He challenges his characters to do the right thing, to look at situations from a different angle and to follow their own heart and he does it with so much finesse and care that it’s difficult to pinpoint when their change actually began. Well done, Mr. Klune! Well done! This might have been my first TJ Klune book, but it definitely won’t be the last. 😉

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky (Mackenzi Lee)

Rating: 4 Pfoten

”Someday, you little twat, I’d tell him, it’s going to be more. It’s going to be better, and so will you. Where we start doesn’t have to be where we end up.”

This might have been a very short novella but it was so good and kinda heart-breaking but also very hopeful?! I really loved to be back in the Montague sibling’s world and it was so good to see more of Percy and Monty. This story played right after the events of the first book and we got a brief glimpse at their lives on the island. They are still waiting for the ships departure and Felicity as well as Scipio’s crew are a part of this short story as well. As for what it is about:

”It’s only been a month.”
“Only?” She arches an eyebrow. My regret that I even toed this subject with her intensifies. “I expected that once you and Percy were in agreement about living in sin, you would lean hard into it.”

Haha! Yeah it’s basically about Monty and Percy finally going for the huge task of spending a night together. Seriously, Felicity’s and Monty’s conversations always give me life and those two siblings are just hilarious. It’s kinda sweet to see that despite them being super awkward around each other when it comes to the topic of love, they still find a way to talk about it anyway. Neither Felicity nor Monty are keen on exploring that topic with anyone, but their sibling bond is strong enough to be able to talk about it together. And this was extremely heart-warming and wholesome to see. =)

”I was almost always with someone because I was bored and hated myself, and it was something to do that wasn’t thinking about either of those things. I’ve never been with anyone because I loved them and wanted something more together. So this has never required any sort of emotional component, and I don’t know how to do that. I don’t even know if I can. Maybe I’m too far gone.”

But oh, Monty’s trauma runs so deep it was really sad to hear him speak about his feelings and initial motivations for sexual encounters. T_T I could understand why he felt nervous about spending a night with Percy and it made me very sad to hear him talk about himself. For someone who always came across as extremely confident there are a lot of hidden wounds our poor boy has to heal. I still haven’t read the last book but I’m kinda afraid I will come to dislike their father even more. And I already hate him with the fierce fires of hell for everything he did to Monty! *GRRR*

”You don’t owe me sex. You don’t owe me anything. I’m with you because I want to be. And if we’re together, it’ll be because we both want to be. And we are going to London together because we want to. And it’s going to be a disaster. But that’s all right, because we’ll have each other, and there’s no one on this goddamn planet I’d rather be a disaster with than you.”

I’m just glad Percy and Monty are so close they can talk about everything because boy, for a minute there I was really worried about how things would develop. *lol* It’s so rare to find a relationship like the one of those two and it was so, so, so good to finally have two YA characters that actually TALK about their problems and don’t fall for the typical miscommunication trope. Honestly, it was very refreshing to see how they solved their troubles. And the way Monty feels about Percy!? It was so beautiful I almost cried! I really wish we would have gotten Percy’s POV too but I suppose you can’t have everything. XD

”I want to breathe him, let him fill up my chest until my ribs strain and I break open like ripe fruit beneath a paring knife. I would be raw. I would freckle and blister in the sun. I would teach my body to regrow my heart each time I gave it to him, over and over and over again. Heart after heart after heart – every one of them his.”

We did get a little bit more about Scipio though and I swear this man is my hero! Why can’t the world have more Scipios? I absolutely adore this man and the way he talks to Monty! I wish Monty would have had him as a father instead of the vile and cruel creature that actually fathered him. But then again I guess that Scipio is more of a father to Monty and Felicity than their real father ever was. He is accepting and kind and he has his heart at the right place. Get yourself a Scipio and his crew to support you! ❤

I laugh – one short, humorless burst. “What would I have said – could you vacate the apartments for a while so Percy and I can engage in illegal activities?”
“Not illegal.”
“They are where I come from.” I shake my head, staring down at my feet. “I couldn’t have. I’ve been struck too many times.”
“Then maybe I should have said it to you sooner – you needn’t hide around us,” he says. “I’m sorry you ever felt you had to. And that the world makes you feel as though you have to.” I finally mange to look up at him, and he smiles. I almost start to cry.

This said I really enjoyed this short story and I loved to be back in their world! It was so good to see more of Monty and Percy and to find out how they eventually ended up in London in book two. “The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky” was the little puzzle piece I needed in order to fill in the blanks and to go happily into book 3! If it’s not already on my TBR I’ll place it there for 2023! 😉
All told, I can recommend reading this novella because it ultimately will end up giving you all the warm and wholesome vibes you wanted to get after finishing book one.