Catherine House Review

*A few spoilers below*

Catherine House is a school of higher learning like no other. Hidden deep in the woods of rural Pennsylvania, this crucible of reformist liberal arts study with its experimental curriculum, wildly selective admissions policy, and formidable endowment, has produced some of the world’s best minds: prize-winning authors, artists, inventors, Supreme Court justices, presidents. For those lucky few selected, tuition, room, and board are free. But acceptance comes with a price. Students are required to give the House three years—summers included—completely removed from the outside world. Family, friends, television, music, even their clothing must be left behind. In return, the school promises its graduates a future of sublime power and prestige, and that they can become anything or anyone they desire.

I liked seeing Ines’s growth over the three years at the Catherine House. I was invested in her right from the star, She was quite a refreshing character and seemed really unpredictable and effervescent. I love that she didn’t just blindly accept what was going on at Catherine House and over the years her queries still persisted.

I really loved that we got to learn a lot about some of the other students at the school as well. After Baby I didn’t think that Ines would be able to connect with anyone but I really appreciated her friend group and how they all looked out for each other. Sure the environment wasn’t particularly healthy but I thought they all coped pretty well under the circumstances.

I feel like there was a steady build up of tension and anticipation throughout the course of the storyline. Even though this was a relatively short book there were many different twists and turns that kept me guessing and wanting to read more. The twist with Theo was a nice surprise, I didn’t see that coming at all. I thought it was a little problematic that Ines was willing to go into this whole relationship with him just to break into the lab but in the end it seems like their goals were quite similar in a way. I had him pegged as a nice guy and to have that thrown in my face was fun!

I honestly didn’t know what was happening for the majority of the book in terms of what was actually happening at the school, I was kind of just along for the ride. The whole concept of the plasma and all the scientific explanations behind it went right over my head. That was the one thing I felt pulled me out of the story a little. I guess I just wasn’t interested in any explanations I as just here for the journey of this cultish school.

⭐️3/5 stars This was strange…

✨Witchlands Series Reread✨

I have to admit I am only about 10% of the way into Truthwitch at the moment. I am currently in a little bit of a reading slump but I am going to persist and hopefully have this book complete by the end of this week! I am soooooo happy to be back in this world and reacquainting myself with all the characters. I absolutely love Safi and Iseult and their loyalty and companionship they have found with each other. Once again I found there was a little bit of an info dump right at the start and it was a little jarring to get into but I am excited to see this tale unfold once again!

When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain Review

I really enjoyed this!

The cleric Chih finds themself and their companions at the mercy of a band of fierce tigers who ache with hunger. To stay alive until the mammoths can save them, Chih must unwind the intricate, layered story of the tiger and her scholar lover—a woman of courage, intelligence, and beauty—and discover how truth can survive becoming history.

We learn so much more about Chih in this book without having to go into minute details about them particularly. It’s more so the way they react to situations or how much they rely on Almost Brilliant’s companionship. The stoicism when they had to tell the story to the tiger’s even though they were frightened really conveyed their character to me.

Si-Yu was a quirky character. I liked that we got to learn more about the different kinds of people in this world and how they differ from the previous book. I would of liked to have learnt more about the Mammoth corp and the history of their family but alas this was a novella and there is only so much information we are going to be given about each character.

What really captivated me was the tigers, I was very much interested and intrigued by them from the start. The fact that they can shapeshift into humans, yet they are still considered tigers. The way Chih had to negotiate with them in order to not be eaten and the way they interjected throughout the course of the tale because Chih had it wrong. How Chih had to reiterate that this was only the way they had been told the tale and to ask the tigers to correct it.

The one qualm I have is that the writing style is a little hard to get into. It’s kind of structured in a way that you really have to pay attention at all times and take in what is being said. It’s quite a lyrical and descriptive style and isn’t something I am able to just pick up straight away I have to kind of ease myself into it. And being that this is so short the books halfway done by the time I’m situated.

⭐️3/5 stars I was invested, definitely unlike anything I’ve read before!

🍂 Autumn TBR 🍂

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is once again our seasonal TBR. Here in Australia we are going into Autumn so these are the ten books that are currently the highest on my TBR that I am hopefully going to prioritise in the next 3 months!

My Autumn TBR consists of:

Chain of Gold & Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare

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Jade City by Fonda Lee

The Wicker King by K. Ancrum

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin

The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks

All the Tides of Fate by Adalyn Grace

Shadowcaster by Cinda Williams Chima

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

Tome Topple Round 14 TBR

It’s time for another round of the Tome Topple Readathon which is hosted by Thoughts on Tomes from Booktube, for her announcement video click HERE! This is kind of a tentative TBR and hopefully I will be able to get through a lot of long books in the upcoming weeks!

My TBR for Tome Topple Round 14 is:

Tome on TBR the longest & Tome in a genre you don’t usually read – The Seven 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Tome You Started in another Round – The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks

Tome in a series you haven’t read in a while – Shadowcaster by Cinda Williams Chima

Read 1 tome – The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

Seasonally coloured tome – Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

Tome with the most pages – Heart of Flames by Nicki Pau Preto

Tome by a BIPOC author – The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter