2021 Wrap Up: Stats, Charts and Reflections + 2022 Goals

It’s new year’s eve you guys! Wow it feels surreal saying that.

It’s scary how “next year” has become “tomorrow”. You know the feeling where you can actually feel time rushing past you? Pretty much like a passing metro right in front of you. And the kind that is accompanied by a blast of air that leaves you sputtering and trying to keep your hair out of your mouth. Ok i spoiled the metaphor didn’t I?

Anyway. Being the opportunist I am, let me grab this opportunity by the toes and reflect on my reading and blogging this year. So keep aside that biology assignment (which the school felt essential to give RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF WINTER BREAK, why?) and settle down to read this chaotic post. Also, this is my first time wrapping up the entire year, so while i’m obviously very excited, this post is longer than I expected it to be. Like much longer. But hopefully you’ll not doze off in the middle (remember that bio assignment? yeah we cannot have you sleeping while precious time runs out) since I’ve tried my best to keep things interesting with lots of cute ‘lil graphics and with all that said and done let’s start right away!

Reading Stats

Books Read: 71 || Pages Read: 26662 || Average book length: 375 pages

Best Book(s) Of The Year: Six Of Crows duology
Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)
Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)
Worst Book Of The Year: The Young Elites
The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1)
Most Read Author(s) Of The Year: Leigh Bardugo and TJ Klune
Leigh Bardugo
T.J. Klune
Book Genres

Not surprisingly, fantasy has dominated my reading (imagine little knights and fairies and goblins from the fantasy kingdom charging forward with swords and chasing away the other genres)

I’m honestly disappointed that I hardly read any historical fiction this year. It is one of my favourite genres, but I guess I didn’t find many historical books that sounded particularly intriguing to me, so please, hit me with recs in the comments!

What’s new is that started reading YA contemporaries! I mean, this happened pretty late into the year, like my first one was Perfect On Paper in the month of October. One small step for most of the bookish community, a giant leap for Rachel. (who, btw formerly couldn’t understand why on earth people would choose high school drama over dragons and magic. but she has evolved. congratulations and happy realization to her. and now third person is getting weird so she is going to stop)

Book Formats

This too is hardly surprising. Since my neighbourhood library shut down and then moved to a new location (thank you Covid), I’ve been reading mostly on my Kindle (which has proved such a boon in these trying times). Not that I don’t have a lot of unread physical books sitting on my shelves; it’s just that I haven’t been prioritizing them over others. Guess I need to do that in 2022.

But I started reading audiobooks for a change! Its basically reading without having to use your hands and eyes and that honestly makes it so much easier for someone having a chaotic life (like me, obviously). I also live under the illusion that listening to murder mysteries and horror books makes them less scary than reading them on page, but i’m pretty sure that’s delusional so let’s not go there i’ve embarassed myself enough.

Series / Standalones / ARCs

Till last year, I was a huge series person but now I’m just intimidated by them so I stick to standalones and duologies. And even those 29 books that are mentioned as part of series in the graph are mostly the first books of a trilogy or something, and in most cases I never read the sequels. Like the Gilded Wolves trilogy for instance. I really enjoyed the first book, it was even on my top 10, but for some reason I keep putting off reading the sequel? Idk I feel like I’ve lost commitment to anything more than a duology.

Authors

I mean, since 2021 was the first year I actually became part of the bookish community, I discovered loads and loads of new fantastic authors and books I’d never heard about earlier. Yay to that.

Blog Stats

Posts Published: 85 || Views: 7678 || Visitors: 3291 || Likes Received: 2575 || Comments Received: 1079

Post Categories

So here I’ve analysed the different categories of posts I published in 2021, and i’ve mentioned my favourite posts from each category as well as a few lines reacting to the number of posts in each category I wrote this year. (wow that did not make sense at all)

Book / ARC Reviews

Quite understandably, book reviews make up a significant population of posts on my blog. I feel like I’ve really REALLY improved in writing book reviews (i’m not bragging, you just haven’t seen my very early reviews lol) over time.
I and my friend April also started the hype-o-meter series, which is basically reviewing popular books in a way that deems them worthy (or not) of the hype they get.

My favourite book review posts: The Ones We’re Meant To Find by Joan He || We Are Not Free by Traci Chee || We Hunt The Flame by Hafsah Faizal

Discussion Posts

I have a confession to make. Idontlikewritingdiscussionsanymorehelp *ahem* What I meant was that for some reason I don’t enjoy writing discussion posts these days (yes i know that’s unforgivable, it’s the worst form of betrayal to the book blogging community, it’s treason it’s-) and when I do, they don’t really turn out that great so yeah that’s why there weren’t many discussion posts this year.

My favourite discussion post: Appreciation For Book Bloggers

Lists / Recommendations

These consist of themed book recs, and lists of certain types of books or characters. I like how short and to the point these kinds of posts usually are (please ignore the fact that i gush about nearly the same books in every recommendation post). I’d definitely like to increase the number of this category of posts next year.

My favourite list/recommendation posts: My Top 10 Reads Of 2021! || 8 Diverse Books I Loved, And 8 That Are On My TBR! || My Worst Reads Of 2021!

Random (aka weird) bookish stuff

Aha! Undoubtedly my favourite type of posts to write. I mean, yeah you have to sacrifice a few brain cells, but no big deal. These posts that honestly come out of nowhere can be found aplenty on my blog, especially in these last few months of 2021. We have every level of weirdness here. Comparing books to road trips when they have nothing in common (or do they?)? Check. Trying to relate quotes from books to real life? Check. Choosing books to throw at someone’s face? Also check.

My favourite “random bookish stuff” posts: Books As Road Trips || Books I’d Use As Weapons // aka books i’d throw at jesper if i was david

Look out for more of these posts in 2022!!

TBRs & Wrap-Ups

While I stopped making monthly tbrs a while back, I still love writing monthly wrap-ups! It is a fact well known that the wrap-ups on this blog always start with weird bird facts (also that is getting just a tiny bit old, so wait and watch in 2022 *wink wink*) so that’s a special feature.

My favourite wrap-up post: September Wrap-Up // ft. more diverse reads and lots of blog hopping!

Tags & Awards

While I was absolutely going crazy with tags and awards last year, this year i hardly did any of them. And the ones I did do were the generic ones like the mid year freakout, the end of the year etc etc. Sure, tags are great for a rainy day when I do not have a single post idea in mind, but I tend to not use them much for regular days when I already have posts planned. But. I do have a few very fun tags sitting in my drafts at the moment, so look out for those in the coming weeks!

My favourite “tags / awards” post: The Christmas Song Book Tag || The End Of The Year Book Tag

Read more historical fiction. As I mentioned earlier, though I thoroughly enjoy historical fiction, for some reason I haven’t been reading much of it. So prioritizing historical fics on my tbr is something I hope to do tomorrow next year.

Shorten that physical tbr. Those unread books will collect dust on my shelves no longer. (Let’s ignore the fact that I lost all control and ordered a lot of books recently for some reason so more pretty copies are on their way to me while I procrastinate reading the ones I already have.)

Catch up on arcs and arc reviews. Apparently I have no self control and went on a requesting spree on Edelweiss. Plus when authors contacted me to review their books, guess what I did? I said yes, of course. So I’m slowly wading through the pile of arcs and an even bigger pile of pending reviews.

Follow up on series. At least, the ones whose first books I enjoyed. Because I’m internally dying to know what happens.

Work on my WIP. I realize I never announced over here that I. AM. WRITING. A. BOOK! I mean, it’s less a book than a jumble of words right now, but that’s exactly why I want to give it some more time and effort. And also don’t get too excited because there’s basically no plot yet. We’re thriving on vibes.

Who was your most read author this year? Any historical fiction recs for me? What are some of your goals for 2022?(which, let me very unhelpfully remind you, is not more than a few hours away) Chat with me in the comments, goodbye and happy new year everyone!

~ Rachel

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My Top 10 Reads Of 2021! // in which i run out of words to describe these books

Ho Ho Ho! (ok my Santa imitation needs work)

Merry Christmas to all humans and elves alike! Let there be cheer! And presents! (you’ll never guess what i got! but maybe in another post) And candy! And more candy!

What better occasion than Christmas to flaunt my favourites (aka my obsessions) of this year? I read a total of 70 books in 2021, but only some of them are truly special to me. I’ve chosen the 10 books I liked the best (+ some honourable mentions of course), books that own my heart and soul, books I’ll never stop recommending till the day I die (atleast i’ll get prizes for the drama? no?)

I have also done the heart-wrenching task of actually ranking these books (believe me, it only looks easy) however I’d also like to mention that all of them have an equal place in my heart, but some more equal than the others (yes that was an Animal Farm reference). To keep the suspense rolling, we’ll go in reverse order; that means we’ll start off from number 10 all the way to number 1 (with #1 being like the best book of the year), and NOW I’M SO EXCITED I CAN’T WAIT ANYMORE LET’S STA–

~ #10 The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Choksi ~

“’You and your secrets.
‘Secrets keep my hair lustrous,’ said Severin, running his hand through his curls.”

I’d been hearing about this all over the bookish community, and though I read so many mixed opinions, one thing that I found common in all the reviews was the comparison to six of crows. Obviously, I knew I had to give this a try. And I wasn’t disappointed. Sure, it was a lot like the soc duology, but it put a different twist into everything. And not to forget, the author is an indian (like me!) and believe me the desi vibes were up to the mark (“laila-majnun”? i’m dying) and of course I adored the moral greyness (is that even a word?) of the characters. The banter was *chef’s kiss* and don’t even get me started on the found family.

~ #9 Not My Problem by Ciara Smyth ~

“I dug deep down into my empathy store and found a dried-up old raisin.”

To say that this book made me laugh would be an understatement. It had me snorting and chuckling and giggling (in the most embarrassing way) and basically a lot of people around me thought I’d finally lost it so there’s that. There was Aideen, aka the best narrator ever. There was the perfectly accurate description of students in a high school. And then there was Meabh. Sweet, perfect Meabh in whom I saw so much of myself that I think the author somehow based her off my personality. But. The whole point of those graphics were to stop me from boring you to death with essays, so we stop here.

Why I picked this up: It’s no coincidence that I started reading this a couple of days after reading Anoushka’s review! I was feeling the contemporary vibes anyway, so after reading her review I was sure I needed this!

~ #8 We Are Not Free by Traci Chee ~

“Is this what life is like? People coming together and drifting apart, coming together and drifting apart, over and over until there’s no one left?”

The award for “Most Tears Of The Year” (yes I just made that up) goes to We Are Not Free by Traci Chee! 14 POVs brought out the individuality of each character beautifully, and while this was not my first Traci Chee book, it was definitely the most impactful. And I’m sure it will also leave a lasting impact on you (and those poor tissues that’ll get wet in the process)

Why I picked it up: I decided to give this a try after reading Cherelle’s review!

~ #7 Supernova by Merissa Meyer ~

“Some people were always meant to be heroes.
Just like some people were always meant to be villains.”

Superheroes. And supervillains. But not the cheesy kind, I promise.

The third and final book in the Renegades trilogy, Supernova was the best of the lot. It was filled to the brim with action and anguish and secrets and I couldn’t have hoped for a better ending.

Why I picked it up: It was because of April’s review of the Renegades trilogy that I decided to read it. (though April, I do realize that you liked the first two books better?? but anyway.)

~ #6 Sands Of Arawiya Duology by Hafsah Faizal ~

A thousand leagues and a thousand sands. For you, a thousand times I would defy the sun.

I swear there’s some sorcery involved here because Faizal straight off picked all my favourite tropes, topped it with mind-blowing writing and humour, and named the result the Sands Of Arawiya duology. That’s how good this book is.

If you’re curious about the tropes in question, we had enemies to lovers, knife to throat, slow burn and plenty of witty banter. Still need convincing? Read the epic showdown of WHTF against the hype-o-meter!

Why I picked it up: I read Cherry’s and Kaya’s reviews, and it was then I knew that I needed to read this duology!

~ #5 Aurora Cycle duology by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff ~

“He asks for nothing, this boy. No favor. No quarter. He lives every moment of his life is pain, but still, he lives it. And he stands, where others would have long ago fallen.”

Full of complex and well-developed characters, found family vibes, and cool spaceships, the Aurora Cycle duology (now a trilogy) has to be one of the best space operas I’ve ever read! And WOULD YOU LOOK AT THOSE COVERS??

Why I picked it up: Madeline convinced me to pick up this one through her constant ramblings about this series on her blog! Ashmita also recommended this to me!

~ #4 These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong ~

“You know me. Running around. Living life. Committing arson.”

Ok this was another one of those instances where I got carried away by the hype and am glad I was. Because #ownvoices historical fiction! set in asia! blood feuds! morally grey characters! badass girl and soft boy! enemies to lovers at it’s finest! and whatever else I mentioned in the graphic of course, but tell me, do you still need a reason to go bury your nose in These Violent Delights right now?

~ #3 Rule Of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo ~

“The world might crumble, but Nikolai Lantsov would be holding up the ceiling with one hand and plucking a speck of dirt from his lapel with the other when it all went to ruin”

I’ll have you know that this was the book that pushed These Violent Delights out of the top 3 at the very last moment. I finished reading the duology (but I put only rule of wolves here because i found it even better than king of scars) just yesterday evening, it doesn’t get any more last-minute than that. Also please do understand that because of the reason stated above, my feelings for this one are very fresh. So. ASJHDFHFGSJK MISS BARDUGO YOU DID IT AGAIN I LOVED THIS SO SO MUCH IT’S BRILLIANT. And did I mention I’m obsessed with Zoya and Nikolai’s characters? And the Six of Crows references were EVERYTHING.

~ #2 House In The Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune ~

“Sometimes, he thought to himself in a house in a cerulean sea, you were able to choose the life you wanted. And if you were of the lucky sort, sometimes that life chose you back.

With dry sarcastic humour, out of the world character development and found family vibes, The House In The Cerulean Sea is in short, AWESOME. It will tug at all your heartstrings (note the use of “will”) and make you laugh and cry and then smile through watery eyes and much more including staring at the wall trying to process how a book can be so beautiful.

~ #1 Six Of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo ~

““Greed is your god, Kaz.”
He almost laughed at that. “No, Inej. Greed bows to me. It is my servant and my lever.”

At this point, I am 200% sure this doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone, given the amount of SoC references there are in my posts. And there have also been posts specifically dedicated to this duology (apart from the review), the latest being Books I’d Use As Weapons // aka books i’d throw at jesper if i was david.
I am wholly and truly OBSESSED with everything that has to do with this duology. I don’t even have words (turns out, i do) to describe the sheer PERFECTION this duology is – it’s captivating, it’s brilliant, it’s… perfect. (yeah I’m running out of synonyms here)

Why I picked it up: Well because it is so massively hyped and everyone was raving about it. But I first came to know about it from Cherelle’s blog last year, so shout-out to her!

A quick little vote of thanks before we move one- THANK YOU Anoushka, Cherelle, April, Cherry, Kaya, Madeline and Ashmita for recommending these fantastic reads to me because it’s very likely i never would have read these without your persuasion!

I had to include an Honourable Mentions section because I am afraid of the wrath of the bookish gods even though these books couldn’t make it to my top 10 because of ~competition~, nevertheless they cannot be left out as they were also absolutely amazing books that deserve all the love they can get.

Cemetery Boys
Perfect on Paper

Soo I feel like I’m supposed to make an eloquent speech at the end of this post so here goes *ahem * GO READ ALL OF THESE BECAUSE TRUST ME, YOU NEED THESE IN YOUR LIFE OKAY?! Ok not quite the eloquence I was hoping for but it gets the point across.

How was your Christmas? Candy? Gifts?? Which were your best reads in 2021? Have you read any of mine? Thoughts?
Oh and before you go, let’s scream it together – NO MOURNERS, NO FUNERALS!!

~ Rachel

Six Of Crows Quotes As Real Life Moments!

You know a book was truly unforgettable when it persists in Rachel’s memory (who doesn’t remember what she ate this morning) after nearly 4 months of her having read it. The constant reading of memes and quotes and the S&B show were quite helpful too. Therefore I present to you SoC nostalgia because I am evil that way quotes from Six Of Crows and Crooked Kingdom as moments in my life!

“Fear is a phoenix. You can watch it burn a thousand times and still it will return.”

I have probably given about a million speeches in front of small, medium, large, huge, and extremely huge (ugh why do I sound like I am naming dress sizes) audiences but my knees still shake and there is always a slight quiver in my voice when I start speaking on any kind of raised platform with hundreds of people staring at me. Stage fright on an epic level, right? And then after the speech, every single time, I get that smug feeling which says that this will be the last time said phoenix attacks me. And every single time, that feeling is wrong.

“Better terrible truths than kind lies.”

Me to my friends/classmates in any group project/literally anything else that they are making extremely ~mediocre~ : No. I hate this. This is not acceptable at all.

My mom/teacher: *insert admonishing tone* Rachel! Don’t be so insensitive!! You’re discouraging them.

Me: *deadpan* Better terrible truths than kind lies.

My Aries self is one with this quote. Period.

“Always hit where the mark isn’t looking”

“Who’s Mark?” asked Wylan.”

Me when I (very rarely, I assure you) zone out during my online classes and the teacher asks me a question. Different context, same energy.

Brick by brick, I will destroy you.

Lower the intensity please, but this is me to every fictional villain who hurts/tries to hurt my precious favourite characters. Grit teeth, clenched fists, totally in character.

“Would it kill him to smile every once in a while?” Jesper asked.
“Very possibly.”

Me when I am trying to keep a straight face in my online classes when some of the hilarious SoC memes I read a day back make a dramatic entry into my helpless mind. Seriously, very bad timing.

“Do not be afraid. Fear is how they control you.”

“They” being most teachers who take often take sadistic pleasure in describing how extremely difficult the examination paper is going to be. So, to all my fellow sufferers students – do not be afraid. You know why, right?

“You’re our chemist, Wylan,” said Nina hopefully. “What do you think?”
Wylan shrugged. “Maybe. Not all poisons have an antidote.”
Jesper snorted. “That’s why we call him Wylan Van Sunshine.”

I feel sorry for Wylan because I get this so much myself. Why is it that I come off as pessimistic when I am only trying to be practical? Like isn’t it a good thing to take all the ways something good go wrong into consideration? Just me? Umm okay, I’ll show myself out.

No Mourners. No Funerals.

This will be future me to myself when I finally muster enough courage to reread the Six Of Crows duology which I know will wreck me all over again.

Do you remember any quote-worthy moments of your life? Share them with me in the comments!

The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag 2021

Is it weird that ever since I became a blogger, I’ve wanted to do the Mid Year Freak Out Tag without knowing what exactly it is? Yes, definitely weird🙃 But now that has changed since I did my homework and read lots of Mid Year Freak Out posts by other bloggers from previous years.

True to the name of this post, I am freaking out. Like seriously, when did time sprout wings? Just yesterday I was getting tired of the new year wishes and memes, and we are halfway through already? Whoa.

Till 25th June, I’ve read 37 books and a total of 14348 pages which are both mind blowing, when compared to previous years (I didn’t track my reading before this year, but I know I got nowhere close to these figures). I am doing quite good on my goodreads goal of 65 books, considering that I am 6 books ahead of schedule. Without further ado, let’s start with the tag!

Best Books So Far In 2021

Surprise surprise! Six Of Crows and The House In The Cerulean Sea. Linked below are my reviews for the same.

Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo | Book Review || Book Review: The House In The Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

Best Sequels In 2021

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)

Supernova was by far the best book in the Renegades trilogy! Read my review here

I love the Aurora Cycle series with all my heart, but somehow Aurora Burning was even better than Aurora Rising! Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff | Review

Crooked Kingdom does not need any explanation as to why I am willing to die over it. Period.

New Releases I Want To Read

There are SO many of them, but I’ll go with the top 3.

The Ones We're Meant to Find

The Immortal Game

Amari and the Night Brothers (Supernatural Investigations, #1)

Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half Of 2021

Aurora's End (The Aurora Cycle, #3)

Definitely Aurora’s End, the final book in the Aurora Cycle duology-soon-to-be-a-trilogy. After THAT cliffhanger in Aurora Burning (which is THE worst cliffhanger in the history of cliffhangers, if I do say so myself) I can’t wait to see how this turns out. (Also, can we please scream about THAT GORGEOUS COVER?!)

Biggest Disappointment of 2021

The Infinity Courts (The Infinity Courts, #1)

There have been quite a few books that did not live up to my expectations, but the one that hurt the most has to be The Infinity Courts. I rated it 1.5 stars. Shocking, isn’t it? What’s more is that this book had so much potential with such a cool concept *cue the sighing and head shaking* Read my review here.

Biggest Surprises Of 2021

Malamander and Book Scavenger. Both these lovely books reminded me why I love middle grade so much. Linked below are my reviews!

Book Review: Malamander by Thomas Taylor || Book Scavenger by Jennifer Bertman || Mini-review, some art, and a little “book scavenger” game of my own!

Favourite New Authors

Well, Leigh Bardugo and Marissa Meyer probably?

Book That Made You Cry

The House In The Cerulean Sea all the way. It takes a lot for a book to make me cry, and this one had it all and much more.

Book That Made You Happy

Is it cheating if I say The House In The Cerulean Sea again? Because yes, this book gave me ALL the feels. I laughed, I cried, I smiled through my tears.

Most Beautiful Books You Got In 2021

These were both part of my birthday book haul. I am currently reading The Girl Who Drank The Moon.

Books You Need To Read By The End Of 2021

A Dark and Hollow Star (A Dark and Hollow Star, #1)
The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1)
Sweet & Bitter Magic
King of Scars (King of Scars, #1)
The Gilded Ones (Deathless, #1)
These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights, #1)
It Ends in Fire
The Ones We're Meant to Find
Legendborn (Legendborn, #1)
The Immortal Game

I just picked some books from the top of my head, and though I definitely want to read these books asap, they are in no way the only books I want to read this year. Also if you’ve read any of these, I’d love to hear your opinion!

Which are your best reads of 2021 so far? What are some new releases that you haven’t read yet but want to? Let me know in the comments, and feel free to link your mid year freak out post if you’ve made one!

Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo | Book Review

Synopsis

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .

A convict with a thirst for revenge

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager

A runaway with a privileged past

A spy known as the Wraith

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes

Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

Rating

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

(5 out of 5 stars)

Review (non-spoiler)

Wow wow wow! Six Of Crows was every bit as fantastic as I had expected it to be. It makes me wonder, have I already read one of my favourite books of 2021?

I have plenty to say about 3 star and 4 star books (you might have noticed that in my previous reviews😁) but with 5 star reads…I am speechless. But I will still try my best to convince you to pick up this novel through my review.

Six Of Crows was fast-paced right from the beginning. Usually, YA novels start off slow, so this was a surprise. There were no introductions to the characters and to the world, and though all the names and the different groups were a lot to take in in the first chapter, everything was explained later on, through each character’s thoughts and memories.

That brings us to the other unique thing about this book. It had multiple POVs, around 7, which is a lot more than usual YA novels. I feel like this brought out each character’s feelings really beautifully, allowing us to familiarize ourselves with not just the main character, but the others as well. This is one major reason why this book gets 5 stars from me.

Then the action. Six Of Crows made me realize that I love books where things, you know, happen, like, all the time. In this book I felt like there was an action sequence and a climax in each and every chapter, leaving absolutely zero chances for any kind of boredom.

This book hardly had any of the cliche tropes -most books that I come across nowadays have, for instance, the main character was not a teenage girl who suddenly discovers she has magical powers. I mean, I do like those typical kind of books (I love KOTLC, so….) but Six Of Crows was a nice change, you know? All the characters were morally grey, I think, that really added to the book.

Favourite Quotes

“You haven’t been arrested since you were fourteen, and since I know you are not an honest man any more than you were an honest boy, I can only assume you have the quality I most need in a criminal: You don’t get caught.

“Kaz leaned back. “What’s the easiest way to steal a man’s wallet?”

“Knife to the throat?” asked Inej.

“Gun to the back?” said Jesper.

“Poison in his cup?” suggested Nina.

“You’re all horrible,” said Matthias.”

Jesper could never tell how much of what Kaz got away with was smarts and planning and how much was dumb luck.

Jesper knocked his head against the hull and cast his eyes heavenward. “Fine. But if Pekka Rollins kills us all, I’m going to get Wylan’s ghost to teach my ghost how to play the flute just so that I can annoy the hell out of your ghost.”

Brekker’s lips quirked. “I’ll just hire Matthias’ ghost to kick your ghost’s ass.”

“My ghost won’t associate with your ghost,” Matthias said primly, and then wondered if the sea air was rotting his brain.”

Rambling/Ranting

Alright, I showed a lot of restraint in the ‘review’ section by writing everything very formally and spoiler-free. But now I want to shout my heart out to the people who have read this book, which is why I present to you, my ‘ramblings’ section. This is going to be very much spoiler-y, so if you’ve not read the book, I’d suggest you go read it, and then later come back to this section.

First of all, Kaz. HOW CAN SOMEONE BE SO SMART? I really admire him for his foresight, I really really do (too many reallys?!). The decoy boat (remember? Ferolind, I think the name was) seriously blew my mind. And that was just the beginning of his amazing planning. I wish I could see his ‘scheming face’ as Inej, Jesper and later Wylan, call it. But when he’s so smart, WHY DIDN’T HE KILL OFF PEKKA ROLLINS IN THE CELL IN THE ICE COURT? (You can’t fool me Kaz, I know you easily could have killed him then and there). He would have got his revenge, and the crew would have one less problem to deal with. That just shows over-confidence, doesn’t it? Like he knows for sure that he would have another chance, and then he would kill him as he pleases. Maybe if he would have killed him, he wouldn’t have got that money from Pekka, but there are plenty of ways to earn that much money in Ketterdam, especially if you’re willing to sell your Crow Club shares, am I right Kaz?

I was beginning to like Inej, but I can’t help being cross about her attitude to Kaz. He is trying, isn’t he? She should understand how hard it is for him.

The one character of the crew that I didn’t care for was Nina. Wasn’t she too showy, and just unbearable, or am I the only one biased against her because of what she did to Matthias? But after finishing the book, I *may* have some respect for her, but only because she took the jurda parem to save the others.

The scientist had been dead all this while?! Serious dampener. It would have been so much more satisfying if after all that effort, they had actually found him.

How did Leigh Bardugo do it? The ending was not a cliffhanger, but was still very much a cliffhanger. Know what I mean? Anyway, I think I have shouted and screamed my heart out a bit too much, thanks for listening!

We have reached the end of this long post. Thanks for staying put. My final say on this book is Pick. It. Up. Right. Now.

And on that very *non-threatening* note, let’s conclude. Oh, and before you go, let’s say it together: NO MOURNERS, NO FUNERALS!