Monday, 30 January 2017

Trapped in Silver [Book Review]

 Hello there!

Title: Trapped in Silver
Author: Emily Sowden
Publisher: Oftomes Publishing
Published Date: 7th February 2017
Rating: 3 stars

*Thank you to the publisher for the review copy*


Synopsis: Courage comes from a shadowed place in our hearts; a blurred line that straddles love and sheer stupidity.

To seventeen-year-old Ava, wild woodcats, hungry stragglers, and simple-minded townsfolk are the evils she’s grown accustomed to. But when Ethan, an unusual man with eyes of smoke and fire opal, enters her world she quickly understands that there are worse things out there than drunken men and carnivorous forest creatures. She’s a specialised liar and a hell of a fighter, but against a group of animalistic men called Berserkers she struggles to survive the encounter as the desperate swing of a dagger is all it takes to change her life for good.

Half-dead and hunted by the Berserker’s leader when he forms a monstrous obsession with her, Ava escapes his pursuit in an unfamiliar land full of impossible creatures, unlikely allies, and the man she doesn’t know whether to kiss or kill. 

But after dreadful news of her missing brother surfaces, Ava becomes more involved in the centuries-long war and begins to unravel the reasons behind her relentless nightmares, discovering truths long-buried in a violent history of love, loss and betrayal.


Review: Emily Sowden’s Trapped in Silver is another Oftomes novel I wanted to give a go and try to read. I love a good fantasy, so when the synopsis mentioned being sucked into a world of different creatures and discovering past truths, I was already intrigued!

This story has a very slow and steady pace. There is never anything that goes too fast that you won’t be able to understand it in the end. I really liked that it was so steady, and it never dragged – which I was worried it would. I also really liked that we got to see quite a bit of Ava’s normal life before she gets dragged into something new.

I was a little at odds with the point of view switching. There are only ever two points of view, so it never gets confusing. But we switch to Ethan’s point of view about three times for only two short pages each time. I felt like it was kind of unnecessary and if we had the entire novel from Ava’s point of view, we wouldn’t be missing out on much either. But it didn’t disturb from the experience of reading this book.

The world building was done in a lot of detail and had to be my favourite thing about the novel. I loved seeing how everything worked. And we didn’t just get detail about the monsters, but also the flora and the fauna. The author really made sure we would understand everything.

One downside of the novel was that I didn’t really feel anything in particular for any of the characters. It wasn’t that they were badly developed or written, they just failed to capture my emotion in the way I usually would’ve liked. There was a romance between the protagonist and a love romance, but it was just alright. Not heart capturing or anything in particular.

I also felt like the ending was a little rushed. Towards the end of the book we have a lot of tension and rising action… all leading toward the climax. But when we get there, everything goes so fast and it’s all over in a couple of pages. Then the book just… ended! That was one point where I wished the author had taken a little more of her time.

All in all, it was a decent, good read. I really liked exploring the world and getting to see the story unfold. The author really knows how to pay attention to detail. I just wish things went a bit slower at the end, and the emotions dug a little bit deeper. 


Gif Summary:


Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

Olivia’s Question: If you could live in any world, which would you chose?

Olivia-Savannah x 

Saturday, 28 January 2017

My Hoarding Catastrophe ~ Quirky Quirks

Hi guys!

My Hoarding Catastrophe is my monthly book haul here on Olivia's Catastrophe. And I am SO excited to show you this haul. Want to know why?

Because you are in stall for the smallest haul I have probably EVER had on my blog. The highlight - I didn't spend a single dime on a book this month. Hehehe :3

(Psst... this is not my Christmas haul though. I'm a month behind with book hauls so you'll be seeing any new books from Christmas in the next haul.)

Physical Books: 

If there was ever a bookish goddess (or something along the lines of that...) she was certainly smiling down on me! Because I won an epic giveaway from Quirk Books, the publishing company, and won $250 worth of their books. This is what I got:

Pride and Prejudice Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith
Miss Peregine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs 
Miss Peregine's Journal for Peculiar Children 
Pride and Prejudcie and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After by Steve Hockensmith
My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
Horrorstor: A Novel by Grady Hendrix
William Shakespeare's Star Wars by Ian Doescher
William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back by Ian Doescher
William Shakespeare's The Jedi Doth Return by Ian Doescher
Dracula's Heir by Sam Stall 
The Crimes of Dr. Watson by Duane Swiercynzski
The Geek's Guide to Dating by Eric Smith

For Review: What treachery is this? I only accepted one e-copy for review. I promised myself I would be reading less ebooks and more of my physical TBR this year, so I'm sticking to that resolution :)

Freeks by Amanda Hocking

Olivia's Question: What new books have you bought/acquired recently?

Olivia-Savannah x

Thursday, 26 January 2017

The Sky and The Sea [Book Review]

Hello there!

Title: The Sky and the Sea
Author: Kevin J. Johnson
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Published Date: 22nd July 2013
Rating: 2 stars

*Thank you to the author for the review copy*


Synopsis: "Back to the sea," someone said, and many agreed, so they went. Forsaking the land, they stepped cautiously into the waters, like newborns opening their eyes to peer at the world for the first time. What they found was a world that itself, seemed to be alive--shifting and swaying like some gigantic animal. And it was here they found their new home among the rocks and coral, the fish and fauna. Flowing through the water's veins, they quickly became woven into the sea's intricate pattern. But they never forgot those who had stayed behind. And they longed, one day, to be with them.


Review: The Sky and the Sea is a collection of mostly poetry and a few short stories which I flew through. It took me under half an hour to consume the whole thing, which was very fast. So here are my thoughts…

When I started off with the reading, I got very excited. The first poem was very good, and it was moving and deep. I was so satisfied that the rest of the poems would be this way as well. But after that first one, it got a little… juvenile and young in the writing style. The poems weren’t as good quality as the first one, and I quickly understood why the author chose to put that one first. I think the writing needs a bit more refining, and some of the poems seemed to have little… point?

However, the author’s use of rhyme was always good. His short stories were mostly good, although there were only two or three – far too few for me to really consider this collection a collection of poetry and short stories. I wanted there to be more stories in order for me to truly think of it in this way.

I think the theme of it being about the sky and sea was prominent in most poems… but the author strays from it from time to time. I mean, there was a poem about popcorn and watching movies! I wondered how that fit in with anything at all, but to each their own…

I felt like there needed to be more a conclusive end to the collection as a whole.

I did have some favourites. IMperfect was the first poem and it was incredibly well done. If a Tree Falls… was also meaningful, and Floating on Ashes and Cinders was beautifully written. My favourite short story had to be The Great Philosopher. I loved it, until the end. Because I was tracking a deeper meaning to the story but then the end kinda ruined that. But the beginning was really good.

All in all, I just don’t think this collection was one for me…


Gif Summary:


Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

Olivia’s Question: What’s your favourite poem?

Olivia-Savannah x

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Hermoine is my Archenemy, and Other Reasons I Don't Like Harry Potter

The world of Harry Potter... a difficult one to fall into. 

I don't know what it is with me, but I just can't fall in love with the books or movies the way I want to. I've read the first three, watched the first two movies. I cannot tell you how many times I had to watch the second movie because I kept on falling asleep throughout it. And when it comes to the books, I have to confess: sometimes I even enjoy the fact that I dislike them. archenemy arch enemy 

I'm always predicting the endings to the plot lines. I despise characters everyone seems to like (yes you, Hermoine) and when everyone is fangirling, I simply sit there and try to remember the characters names so I can feel involved.

BUT. As much as I don't like the stories themselves, I do absolutely adore the world. The magic, the wands, Hogwarts... I can't help but think it would be such a wonderful place to live. It seems like there would be endless places to go, things to see, spells to try. So much trouble to get up to, so much fun to have. As much as I am not a fangirl, I also really do like the merchandise. Like this necklace. It's gorgeous, and I really like the Deathly Hallows symbol. Even though I have no idea what it's about, as I haven't read that far (if I ever will.)

I also really like the idea of the houses. I took the test about a year ago, under the pressure of a very Harry Potter obsessed best friend of mine. I ended up a Ravenclaw, but I wasn't surprised. Many fans have told me that I was one before the test. And I sort of like the idea of that too. Because as far as I remember, any mentions of students from Ravenclaw so far have included them carrying books, studying, or generally being productive. Mostly I like the bookish part.

All in all, I want to say kudos to J.K. Rowling. Maybe I don't like your books - and that's no offense to her. I'm sure she doesn't even care, when she has millions of people who do love them. But she has managed to create this world, change so many people's worlds and really have an affect on them with her stories. As someone who likes to write and is aspiring to be an author herself, it's pretty much the dream any author could wish for. So, J.K. Rowling, I'm just letting you know you're goals :D

If you want this necklace or some other cool fandom-y stuff, make sure to check out Inspire Fandom.

Olivia's Question: Which house were you sorted into?

Olivia-Savannah x

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Blood Red, Snow White [Book Review]

Hello there!

Title: Blood Red, Snow White
Author: Marcus Sedgwick
Publisher: Orion Children’s Books
Published Date: 1st July 2007
Rating: 3 Stars

*Thanks to the publisher for the review copy*


Synopsis: Russia wakes from a long sleep and marches to St Petersburg to claim her birthright. Her awakening will mark the end for the Romanovs, and the dawn of a new era that changed the world. Arthur Ransome, a journalist and writer, was part of it all. He left his family in England and fell in love with Russia and a Russian woman. This is his story.


Review: I was highly anticipating Blood Red, Snow White because it was going to be the first Sedgwick novel that I’d ever read. He is an author I am constantly hearing about, so I was very excited to read this book. And although I did enjoy it, I didn’t love it as much as I truly wanted to.

This novel is told in a fairytale writing style. In the beginning, I was in awe of it. I thought it added a sense of magic to the entire story, and it worked well with the symbolism that was in place for the Russian Revolution. But as the whole novel continued on, this writing style seemed a little annoying, and the too short chapters became frustrating. I just wanted it to be written a normal writing style and get on with the story. And sure enough, the further into the novel I got, the more the writing style seemed to fade away, almost as if the author was done with that illusion too.

The plot was decently good. It was grounded in the history of the Russian revolution, and then in the world war that followed it. Arthur is a journalist who gets caught up in the political and violent Russia which he has fallen in love with. We get to see a lot of horrors unveiling, but the author keeps us slightly distant from them as he is keeping this a friendly novel than one full of graphics to scare away young readers. I liked the plot well enough.

The characters were decent. We have Arthur, our passionate and slightly clueless main character. He has a child and a wife who he has left behind in England, and then he falls in love with Eva in Russia. Of course, romance in Russia is hard because there are sides, and Eva and him are on different ones. Also, Arthur does love his daughter, although he doesn’t love Ivy anymore. He struggles between the family man and wanting to be with the one he really loves. Although there wasn’t a character I disliked, I didn’t really feel that invested in any of the other characters either.

When it comes down to this novel, I did like it, but I didn’t have a sense of depth when reading this novel. I didn’t care about it enough to love it particularly well. I fell in love with the cover, but that’s as far as my emotions go for the novel itself.


Gif Summary:


Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

Olivia’s Question: What’s your favourite fairytale?

Olivia-Savannah x

Friday, 20 January 2017

The Rhine Valley [My Travels]

Hi everyone! Good morning :3

My travels is a series here on Olivia's Catastrophe where I talk about the places I have been to, and what they were like. I want you all to come on my trips with me!

This post is going to be about our trip to Germany in the summer of 2016. We went to Efe, which is also known as the Rhine Valley. It was absolutely beautiful there We stayed in a little apartment kind of house, surrounded by all this greenery and nature. In fact, everywhere we went, we were surrounded by blue skies and lovely green. It was absolutely beautiful.

At one point in our trip we decided we would do a little hike, and walk. My younger sister is in a wheelchair, so when it got to the muddy parts it required a bit more arm strength than I think us girls expected. It was tough going and we didn't complete the trail (we double backed at one point.) It was fun, but very very exhausting as well. My family aren't the type to usually go on hikes when it comes to holidays as well, so this was something new to us!

We also went to a castle. It's kind of tradition in my family that whenever we go on a holiday altogether, that we do stop by some sort of castle. This one was nice, pretty quiet, and we could climb a lot and take nice pictures from a high up place. I enjoyed it. :3

We took a day trip to Cologne as well, so we could see some of the sights there. I really loved discovering the cathedral and everything it had in store for us. It was absolutely breath taking. The stain glass windows were gorgeous, the floor artwork had me wanting to take pictures every time I took a single step, and it was just... it was just so lovely and magnificent! If you go to Cologne, make sure you stop by there!

 Of course, that wasn't the only thing we did in Cologne. We wandered around and admired the view. We managed to find a bridge with locks, and if you know me, you know how much I love the idea of leaving locks on bridges as memories. So I took quite a few photos there as well. 

There were also quite a few trips to eat out. So of my favourites included a smoked salmon and egg bagel which I loved, and some pork which I had for dinner one day. Food always makes me happy :3

We visited a zoo, and I have to admit - not all the owls looked very happy to be there. There were museum trips, boat rides and even a beach trip. (Fun fact: even though I look happy in that beach picture, it is actually freezing...)

That's all I have to say about my trip in Germany with the family! It was a lot of fun :3 Even though we have been to Germany a few times because it's so close to the Netherlands, we'd never been to this place before and it was so nice to explore. Thanks for joining me by reading this blog post!

If you want to follow my travels and stories as they happen to me, then all you need to do is add me on snapchat. Just steal my code from down below:

New Video! My video review of The Tunnel by Helene Louard!

Olivia's Question: Have you ever been to Germany before? Would you like to go?

Olivia-Savannah x