What did I read this month,? Well, I’m glad you asked, imaginary-other-half-of-this-conversation…
An Ember in the Ashes (Ember #1) by Sabaa Tahir 🌟🌟🌟🌟
This is the start of a YA fantasy series that follows Laia, a Scholar slave under Martial rule, and Elias, a mask, one of the deadliest Martial warriors. I picked this up on a whim about two years ago, and it took me completely by surprise as I ended up adoring everything about it. Even as I read the same story for a third time, I just fall in love with it even more, and just want to know everything, I’m talking prequels, sequels, and everything in between. The dual perspective narration creates interwoven layers of plot that mesh beautifully together, along with Tahir’s gorgeous writing. After this one book, she was and still is an auto-buy author, and I am just biding my time until the third instalment.
Northern Lights (His Dark Materials #1) by Phillip Pullman 🌟🌟🌟
As I mentioned when I hauled this trilogy, I wanted to get to it as soon as possible, and here I am, actually reading it. I guess miracles do happen. His Dark Materials is a middle-grade trilogy sent in an urban-fantasy version of late Victorian London, at least that was the vibe I got. We follow Lyra, and her daemon (a physical manifestation of the soul), as they investigate the disappearances of some of the other children of Oxford. This is a brilliant rich world, inhabited by compelling characters, both good and bad. I’d also recommend the audio book, read by Pullman, with voice actors for the other characters.
Turtles All The Way Down by John Green 🐢🐢🐢🐢
It has been a hot minute since I last read a John Green book, and I’ve kind of missed it, because I really enjoyed Turtles All The Way Down. I read the whole thing in one day, partially because it was really short (less than 300 pages) but partially because it was fascinating. Reminiscent of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, and Patrick Ness’ The Rest of Us Just Live Here, Green manages to give you a starkly honest glimpse of what it’s like to have to deal with mental illness, specifically ODC, on a daily basis. Aza’s story is complete, yet incomplete, perfect, yet imperfect, as Green draws to a close, his best written work yet.
A Torch Against the Night (Ember #2) by Sabaa Tahir 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
There are some books, few and far between, that give me butterlies when I’m reading them, and A Torch Against the Night is one of those books. This book expands so much in terms of the world, the mythology and character death, but at the same time keeping you focused on one central goal. Tahir has weaved the different stands of her story together expertly, feeding you the info you need to know incredibly subtly. A Torch Against the Night makes the previous book look slow in comparison, as we travel three alternating POV chapters. As you can guess, I am very eager to get my hands of the next book, and I can only hope that this world keeps on growing.
When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare 🌟🌟🌟
Even though I love to be able to ship couples, I don’t really read a lot of the romance genre, and, I think, this is my first historical-romance. When a Scot Ties the Knot is the story of Maddie, who invents a sweetheart to avoid her debutante season in London. This seems like a great plan, until her sweetheart shows up at her door years later, apparently someone has been receiving her letters. As you can imagine this was a lot of fun, which is probably the key word here. The writing was fine, the characters were fine, and while it’s probably not going to stay with you, it was an enjoyable couple of hours.
The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials #2) by Philip Pullman 🌟🌟🌟
I’m not sure how I feel about this book, mainly because I found it hard to get through. In the second book of the His Dark Materials trilogy, we begin with a brand new character, Will, who lives in a world just like out own, and it’s a long time until we meet up with the characters, and plot from the previous book. It has been a long time since I’ve felt second-book-syndrom, but I think this is one of those books. The plot is just very overly-compex, where it doesn’t need to be. I’m not saying this was a bad book, but I’m not going to be rushing to re-read it, and I had a lot more fun in the first one. I guess only time will tell how I feel at the end of the trilogy.
On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts by Thomas de Quincey 🌟🌟🌟
This is another of the Penguin Little Black Classics series, and consists of a statical essay regarding the public enjoyment of murder. As I’ve mentioned before I love the murder mystery genre, and Orwell’s essay of a similar nature, and I did find this an interesting take on the concept of the disconnect between the public and violence. However, I have to admit that a lot of it just went over my head, particularly the first half which is I found quite heavy. It took me a while to get used to this philosophy-heavy discussion, and by the time I did, the fifty pages were up.
A decent month overall, of course there were things that I wished I had finished, but I’m ahead on my reading goal, just in time for NaNoWriMo next month, so, what more could I ask for.
Have you read any of these book and what did you think of them? What’s the best book you read in October? Have you read any Phillip Pullman books, and do you like them?
Thanks for reading!