Book Review: ‘The Evaporation of Sofi Snow’ by Mary Weber

Posted in Book Reviews
on May 31, 2017

Dear Reader,

I have not read sci-fi for a very long time and after reading a lot of fantasy lately, I was quietly surprised when I was approached to do a review of this Mary Weber novel. So thank you for the chance to read this novel and my review is below.

  • The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber
  • Kindle Edition – 342 pages 
  • Release Date: 6th June 2017
  • Published by: Thomas Nelson
  • ISBN: 0718080904
  •  Goodreads page for the novel here

Blurb:

‘Ever since the Delonese ice-planet arrived eleven years ago, Sofi’s dreams have been vivid. Alien. In a system where Earth’s corporations rule in place of governments and the humanoid race orbiting the moon are allies, her only constant has been her younger brother, Shilo. As an online gamer, Sofi battles behind the scenes of Earth’s Fantasy Fighting arena where Shilo is forced to compete in a mix of real and virtual blood sport. But when a bomb takes out a quarter of the arena, Sofi’s the only one who believes Shilo survived. She has dreams of him. And she’s convinced he’s been taken to the ice-planet.

Except no one but ambassadors are allowed there.

For Miguel, Earth’s charming young playboy, the games are of a different sort. As Ambassador to the Delonese, his career has been built on trading secrets and seduction. Until the Fantasy Fight’s bomb goes off. Now the tables have turned and he’s a target for blackmail. The game is simple: Help the blackmailers, or lose more than anyone can fathom, or Earth can afford’ – [blurb from Goodreads]


My Review:

I feel, after reading this novel, it was a little bit like marmite. The novel felt it was shifted into two books and just after completing it, I am still not sure how I feel about it. I keep blaming it mainly on the fact I’ve not read sci-fi for a while and my go to is usually fantasy.

This dystopian novel provides a bleak and dreary view of the future of the world. After being desolated by war, Earth needs an alien species help to unite and save its people. And, after their help, humanity is now living within this species shadows.

The population is split into corporations, similar to Divergent, and each member is allowed to play the annual Fantasy Fighting Games, to became a dignified celebrity. The game itself is part-online and part-reality and the main competitors that are followed are Shilo and Sofi.

The point to plot changed completely when the novel went from what I assumed was going to be about the Games to what I can only describe as a bit of plot chaos. I felt like the author knew which direction she wanted to go but it just wasn’t reiterated to the reader. And even though I tried to love it, I struggled.

I would recommend this book if you really like your dystopian novels however I just felt it wasn’t for me, especially with the plot twists. But I can guarantee you will fall in love with the main character, Sofi because she really was kick-ass.


If you have any questions or would like to contact me please email me at imogen.thompson96@gmail.com or leave a comment below.

Love,

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Book Review: ‘The Bear and the Nightingale’ by Katherine Arden

Posted in Book Reviews
on May 29, 2017

Dear Reader,

After seeing this book fly around the bookstagram community, it certainly tempted me. And it was just my luck to find the hardcover staring straight at me, at my local library. As, after realising my bank balance can’t sustain my appetite for books I have decidedly gone and started taking out books and ordering them in (alongside buying). I highly suggest this for any budding book reviewer as it really does help and it is certainly rewarding when you find beautiful hardcovers such as this.

  • The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
  • Hardback – 328 pages 
  • Release Date: 12th January 2017
  • Published by: Ebury Press
  • ISBN: 178503104X
  •  Goodreads page for the novel here

Blurb:

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.- [blurb from Goodreads]


My Review:

The first thing that drew me to this book was that it was promising Russian fairytales and I am a huge fan of these, alongside Russian fables. The fact that this was also Katherine Arden’s debut novel had be fawning over the blurb and the beautiful cover. You can really tell her imagination has been enchanted by these classic tales also. The novel is really well written for an adult fairytale and has some excellent characters. Obviously the wild and untamed Vasya was my favourite.

Another thing that really pleasantly surprised me was the fact that Arden has really encompassed religion into this novel. A theme which I didn’t think would be as prominent as it was. This really gives way to an intriguing plot and I loved the way in which certain character reacted (or didn’t!) to this theme. Another point I really loved was the massive emphasis on family, especially the brothers and sisters of Vasya. There is a huge sense of the strong bond between family and this is really shown at certain points of the novel.

Photo of book taken from my bookstagram.

The only thing I didn’t particularly like was the treatment of women and the perspective of them by certain characters. I get Arden is trying to stick to the time period but I felt certain things were exaggerated when they didn’t have to be especially the fact that women are only meant to bear children. Maybe this is because I’m so strongly against this view that it got under my skin? Who knows. Afterall, it is set in Medieval Russia.

To conclude, this novel is really something else and I will be delighted to read more about Vasya in the sequel. I thank bookstagram once again for showing me beautiful novels.And, I was honestly devastated when I came to the end of the beautiful realised world that Arden had created.

SIDE NOTE: I do realise some people do skip the author’s note (something I see as sacrilege) but the end note was really lovely by Arden. It explained that she mixed the Russian words with English in an attempt to transliterate aiming to retain Russian roots and for English readers to be able to pronounce. I have to say a strong point of the novel was how enchanting all the names of the characters to even objects were so really interested in this point.


If you have any questions or would like to contact me please email me at imogen.thompson96@gmail.com or leave a comment below.

Love,

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