Book Review | City of Shattered Light, Claire Winn

Goodreads Blurb:

As darkness closes in on the city of shattered light, an heiress and an outlaw must decide whether to fend for themselves or fight for each other.

As heiress to a powerful tech empire, seventeen-year-old Asa Almeida strives to prove she’s more than her manipulative father’s shadow. But when he uploads her rebellious sister’s mind to an experimental brain, Asa will do anything to save her sister from reprogramming—including fleeing her predetermined future with her sister’s digitized mind in tow. With a bounty on her head and a rogue A.I. hunting her, Asa’s getaway ship crash-lands in the worst possible place: the neon-drenched outlaw paradise, Requiem.

Gun-slinging smuggler Riven Hawthorne is determined to claw her way up Requiem’s underworld hierarchy. A runaway rich girl is exactly the bounty Riven needs—until a nasty computer virus spreads in Asa’s wake, causing a citywide blackout and tech quarantine. To get the payout for Asa and save Requiem from the monster in its circuits, Riven must team up with her captive.

Riven breaks skulls the way Asa breaks circuits, but their opponent is unlike anything they’ve ever seen. The A.I. exploits the girls’ darkest memories and deepest secrets, threatening to shatter the fragile alliance they’re both depending on. As one of Requiem’s 154-hour nights grows darker, the girls must decide whether to fend for themselves or fight for each other before Riven’s city and Asa’s sister are snuffed out forever.

My Thoughts:

I picked this one up mostly because of the cover. Two badass ladies, what more could I want? Once I’d read the blurb I was sure I had to read it!

The pacing and writing of this novel was wonderfully done. I was invested from the first few pages. Both in the characters and their story. I really loved the dual narration from the main characters Asa and Riven, it made their dynamic a lot more interesting. I loved the snark and humour in the dialogue – both spoken, and internal from the narrators.

With this novel, Winn has created a vivid world for her characters to navigate through. I loved the atmosphere of Requiem with it’s dark and gritty atmosphere – especially with it lit up with the neon lights of that tech focused world. I especially liked seeing Requiem from Asa’s (the runaway’s) point of view, while she feels out of place, Riven thrives – and slowly, Asa starts to feel the same. Asa’s character development is something that I hope is explored further if a sequel is written.

I loved getting to know the characters in this book. They all had really interesting backstories which added to the mysteries. One thing I did find was that the two main characters seemed a lot more fleshed out than the others on the team, even though the other team members had just as much of a role to play as the two main characters Asa and Riven. I understand that as main characters, and the narrators if the story, Asa and Riven are bound to have a bit more too them, but not at the expense of other characters. Especially when they are all so wonderful. This is in no way a hard criticism of the characters and the way they were written, this just made it a little difficult for me to connect with them, though it in no way lessened my ability to get emotionally invested in the whole rag tag team. I am really looking forward to seeing more of the characters in future novels in this series.

One of my favourite parts within this novel is the sibling dynamics of various kinds that are displayed with different characters. The caring or protective aspects were really sweet to read which I loved. What I think I liked most though was the more chaotic energy that Asa and her sister emulated with their interactions. This was similar with Riven and her crew, which made this such a fun novel to read. The sort of “this idea is crazy but it’s your idea so I’ll do it anyway” energy that only siblings or really close friends can truly have. This really added to the whole found family feel of this novel.

I recommend this to lovers of the sci-fi genre who don’t want something too intense but still want it to be cleverly plotted and fast paced. If you’re looking for something with great characters, a well crafted plot, and plenty of found family/sibling dynamics then this is for you!

Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for sending me this free eARC (eAdvanced Reader Copy), I am leaving this review voluntarily. This title was published 19th October 2021.

Film Review – The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

the secret life of walter mitty

There was something about this film that made me a little wary that it could be a bit a of a flop. To say I was blown away is an understatement. Firstly there was the performance from Ben Stiller as Walter Mitty, I never truly liked him as an actor though maybe it was just the roles I’ve seen him in, however this film completely changed my view. He really managed to tap into my heart – and as cheesy as it sounds – showed me something about how trusting in myself and my instincts, thus pushing my boundaries can help me to grow as a person because of it.

The opening scene gives you an idea of what Mitty’s life is like, the stark white walls and complete silence show the normality in his life, also the concept that he tends to day dream, creating scenarios that bring excitement into his life. This goes on right up until he is really traveling and the wonder and beauty takes the place of his dreams. Starting with the loss of Negative 25 which was said to be the best of the photos sent for Time magazines last issue, brings Walter Mitty close to losing his job, thus he set’s out to find the photographer, using the three clearest Negatives as clues. The sub plot of his love for a coworker, could make his expedition an act to impress, but Stiller’s direction and acting makes Mitty’s journey much more proving to himself that he could do something with his life other than just develop photo’s.

Something which adds to the beauty of this film is the incredible scenery, wide shots of long sweeping landscapes, snow capped mountains and rolling seas. The gorgeous soundtrack which accompanies this film is just as inspiring as the film itself, and is one which I will buy and be listening to for quite a while.

In all honesty I am finding it difficult to get over how beautiful and inspiring The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was. It was sensational and basically I recommend you see this, I really do! I would most definitely see this movie again if given the chance.

Thanks for reading,
Anna x

Book Review: Is It Just Me, Miranda Hart

is it just me

Goodreads Blurb:

Well hello to you dear browser. Now I have your attention it would be rude if I didn’t tell you a little about my literary feast. So, here is the thing: is it just me or does anyone else find that adulthood offers no refuge from the unexpected horrors, peculiar lack of physical coordination and sometimes unexplained nudity, that accompanied childhood and adolescence?
Does everybody struggle with the hazards that accompany, say, sitting elegantly on a bar stool; using chopsticks; pretending to understand the bank crisis; pedicures – surely it’s plain wrong for a stranger to fondle your feet? Or is it just me?
I am proud to say I have a wealth of awkward experiences – from school days to life as an office temp – and here I offer my 18-year-old self (and I hope you too dear reader) some much needed caution and guidance on how to navigate life’s rocky path.
Because frankly where is the manual? The much needed manual to life. Well, fret not, for this is my attempt at one and let’s call it, because it’s fun, a Miran-ual. I thank you.

My Thoughts:

I’m not usually one to read autobiographies, so I was a little unsure of whether or not I would enjoy this but from the first line I was hooked and knew the book would be an amazing read. However I could never have known how much, in a literal sense, this novel and also Miranda Hart would change my life: Miranda Hart is my hero.

Absolutely hilarious, with an insight into her life from her younger self, or ‘little Miranda’ as she calls her, gives the writing an entertaining twist. One of the funniest novels I have read in a long while; and when I got to the end I was left wanting more because ‘Is It Just Me?’ isn’t just a story about Miranda’s life and achievements, it is a help and a motivation for women to look at who they are and feel content.

And this is where Miranda is the perfect role model for young girls, because basically she isn’t perfect, well no one is, but to me she is the image of what I hope to be. She is crazy, clumsy and has a habit of getting into embarrassing situations which I can relate to…very much so! But she doesn’t let societies view of perfection get her down, and I love her for that.

So I recommend this to anyone who wants not just a good laugh, but also a read that will lift you and your ability to see good in yourself up. After reading this my mum noticed a change in the way that I talked about myself and the way that I acted around other people. I was more relaxed and didn’t seem to mind whenever I tripped over something, and I have also, and please don’t judge me, but I have started apologising to inanimate objects after tripping over them. I am very sure that they appreciate that though!

Thanks for dropping by and happy reading! Such fun!
Anna x