Reviews & Ramblings

Review: The Morning Flower by Amanda Hocking

Published by PanMacmillan 11th August, 2020.

The plot thickens as we dive back into Pan and Ulla’s adventures in The Morning Flower. Pages filled with complex characters, picturesque landscapes and questionable bars all lead Ulla and Pan back to Merellä, back to where it all began.

The Morning Flower takes off exactly where The Lost City ends. Making it easy to go between the two books. The Morning Flower does feel more urgent, there are more things being revealed, more characters playing big roles and more twists being taken.

Once again we see Ulla and Pan setting off on a new adventure. And although it makes for a great story, it feels surreal. How they, as well as Dagny and Elof, can simply take off from work. Drop all commitments and leave on a wild goose chase across the world.

The pacing of The Omte Origins feels a bit off. Through both books it is slow and deliberate, even in times of high action. It makes the pages turn slowly and makes it read slowly. It doesn’t take away from the plot, but it does take away from the feel of the book itself.

Ulla and Pan, I just wish Ulla wasn’t so sensible. She has feelings for Pan but won’t act on them because she plans to leave Merellä, but he is clearly perfect for her. Enter Jem-Kruk, he is smarmy and flirty and chiselled and I am not here for a love triangle thank you very much. Its Pan or its nothing.

The Morning Flower sees Ulla finally get some answers about who she truly is. But in a cruel twist she is left with more questions than answers.

Well written and engaging from beginning to end, The Morning Flower was a great follow up book to The Lost City and I can’t wait for book 3!

Thank you to PanMacmillan for sending me a review copy. All thoughts are my own.

Reviews & Ramblings

Review & Ramblings: The Lost City by Amanda Hocking

Published 7 July 2020 by PanMacmillan Australia

Synopsis:

Nestled against the coast lies a forested kingdom filled with wonder and secrets.

Ulla Tulin was abandoned as a baby and raised amongst the Kanin, like many half-blood trolls. And though she was hidden because of her heritage, she never forgot her origins. So when Ulla is hired by an institution that helps those like her, she is delighted.

She teams up with handsom Pan Soriano, a half-human researcher. However, their efforts to find her family are blocked when it seems Ulla has royal connections. They think helping amnesiac Eliana, with her own unique gift, may be more successful. But as Ulla and Pan dig deeper, they find someone will do anything to keep these mysteries hidden.

Review:

I am excited to be returning to the world of the Trylle Series. Trylle was my first series from Amanda Hocking, so there is quite a bit of nostalgia surrounding it for me.

From the opening page, The Lost City is easy to read and engaging. With just enough back story woven in for it to flow easily. The characters are fantastic, complex with their own back stories being smoothely integrated into the book.

Towards the middle of the book, there is a lull where nothing is happening, just Ulla going to her internship and nothing is really progressing. I get that in real life people go to work and its boring, but this lull really takes away from the overall feel of the book. Yes it may be important in that this is where Pan and Ulla are establishing their friendship and we are learning about them as characters. But it isn’t adding anything to the book.

The addition of Eliana’s story line adds excitement to this book. It adds the action that it was missing. Eliana is such an intriguing chatacter, also a little frustrating but interesting none-the-less. She feels mysterious and adds a flare of unknown to the book.

The ending was fast paced and action packed, leaving me yearning for the next book, for Pan and Ulla’s adventure. As always Hocking has written something dreamy and fantastical that lives alongside our world. It makes you wonder if they are real.

If you loved the Trylle and Kanin series from Amanda Hocking, you definitely need to pick up The Lost City and dive into learning about the Omte.

Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan Australia for sending me a copy of this book.

All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Reviews & Ramblings

Review & Ramblings: Tim & Tigon by Tim Cope

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Tim & Tigon by Tim Cope

4/5 Stars

Publishes 10 September by PanMacmillan Australia

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Tim & Tigon, is not my usual type of read. When I read non-fiction, I tend to go for crime or historical types, but I am so glad that the team at Macmillan sent me a review copy. Not only did I devour it, but it was amazing to see another part of the world, that doesn’t get a lot of coverage.

Tim & Tigon is the tale of a man and his dog, trekking from Mongolia thorugh to Hungary. I believe it has been adapted to suit younger readers, and Tim’s full, adult targeted novel On the Trail of Genghis Kahn, can be found HERE. That being said, I cannot reccommend this book, highly enough. Even though it is aimed for younger readers, the story remains inspiring and in some parts, down-right terrifying.

Armed with “only two shirts, two pairs of trousers and a couple of pairs of underwear”, Tim set out for his three year long, journey. We see Tim go from a young boy seeking adventure, inexperienced in horse riding, in survival skills and didn’t know the language, into a nomad, fluent in the language of horses and the locals. We see him form amazing bonds with his animals, especially Tigon and the incouragable Ogonyok.

This book, for me, is not just about the journey, it is about the relationships that Tim made along the way. About the people that he got to meet, living in the secluded parts of the world. The customs and cultures he got to partake in, as a travellign nomad. These amazing, isolated people would take him in, feed him and his animals, when they, themselves would have hardly enough food for their families. It shows the quality of them as a people, of what is important.

I am struggling writing this review, not becaue I didn’t enjoy it, but because it is a non-fiction, recount of someones life experience, and who am I to descern if that is worth reading or not? But what I will say is that, Tim & Tigon is written so well that you want to keep reading. The words flow fluently, as well as being an experienced traveller, Tim Cope is also a fantastic author. You are immediately immersed into the world of Mongolia and through to Hungary, Cope doesn’t fail to show you the world as he sees it. From the scenery to the people, to the animals. Nothing is left out. This book carries an incredible sense of authenticity, it makes you feel  like you are there too.

I remember my heart breaking for Tim, many times while he was on his journey, I don’t know how he found the strength to say goodbye to his horses, to know he had to trade them to make sure he survived. To having to camp on his own in the middle of nowhere, often getting no sleep in order to protect himself and his animals. Tim shows tremendous courage and bravery, something I could never do on my own. This book shows just what humans are capeable of doing, if they set their mind to it.

If you are an adventurer, or someone who wishes they could travel, then this is the book for you. It is filled with so much culture and forgotten customs that you will be amazed at how different, isolated parts of the worl work. An incredible tale of friendship, loyalty and discovering yourself.

Finally, I just want to say, Thank you so much to Clare, and the amazing team at PanMacMillan Australia, for sending me a review copy of this amazing book. I am always so humbled when I receive a review copy and am so incredibly greatful for the opportunity.