Welcome to my February wrap-up, where I’m really impressed with how well I did given that it was the shortest month of the year.
King of Scars (Nikolai Duology #1) by Leigh Bardugo
I’ve always said that I’m torn when it comes to Leigh Bardugo, since I adore the Six of Crows duology, but not the Grisha trilogy, and unfortunately this book fell into that latter categoy. To be honest the plot is non-existent until at least the halfway point, where one appears out of nowhere, and then by the last page, where you’re forced to commit to the next book through the sudden appearance of another character. It is saved somewhat by Nikolai and Zoya being pleasures to read about, but it wasn’t enough to carry 500 pages. It wasn’t that it was a bad book, but in comparison to SoC it was disappointing.
Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices #3) by Cassie Clare
Another day. Another disappointing highly anticipated book. This book, at 900 pages, is too long. There, I said it. It felt like Clare brainstormed possible plots, and just decided to use every single one of them. It’s a wonder she had anything to use for the future books. Also, far too many POVs. But, it was a Shadowhunter book, and I did enjoy myself. There were so many moments that I was on the verge of crying, most of which were family moments. The most interesting part of the plot was grieving for the death from the previous book, and no matter how many problems I had with this book, I’m sure I’ll be onboard for the next series.
Star Wars: Bloodline by Claudia Grey
Bloodline is part of the Star Wars canon, and takes place before the rise of the New Order, i.e. The Force Awakens, following Leia. The book itself was fine, and the characterisation, both of characters we already know, and new characters, was the best part. However, while the plot had it’s moments, it spend so much time focused on politics that it fell into being more reminiscent of The Phantom Menace than anything else. It did remind me why I like reading the Star Wars books, so I would be interested in reading more, and if you’re looking to fill in some gaps between the OG trilogy and the new one, then this might be what you’re looking for.
Steelheart (Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson
Let’s just get this out of the way, right off the bat, shall we? I really, really, did not like this book. If I hadn’t been reading it for a read-a-thon, with the knowledge that it should be a quick read, then I probable would have DNF-ed it. So what didn’t I like? Well, I did like the protagonist, who was supposedly eighteen, but felt like a honry twelve year old. I didn’t like the romance, which was so forced, and so cringeworthy the dialogue made me want to throw up (and I say this as someone who loves romance). I didn’t like the plot, which was tragically two-dimensional, when I know that Sanderson can do better. Would not recommend to anyone who likes Sanderson, sci-fi, superheroes, or good books.
A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Shwab
After so may disappointing/ average reads I was desperate for a good one, but how to guarantee brilliance? By re-reading an old favourite. I also took the opportunity to read day lovely American collector’s edition, which had some extras in the back, which I loved. This was my third read, and I talk about Schwab enough for you to know that I adore her books, but something did strike me on this read that I hadn’t really noticed before. The narrative structure is a thing of absolute beauty. I’ve got a sort-of review in the works where I can talk about this more, but keep an eye out next time you re-read this book, because it deserves a next time.
Heiress Without a Cause (Muses of Mayfair #1) by Sara Ramsey
Unsurprisingly, judging by the cover, this is a romance novel and it was perfectly fine. The plot follows Lady Madeline, who moonlights as an actress, and the recently returned Rake, Ferguson, Duke of somewhere. The romance was decent, but there wasn’t enough drama, which is surprisingly in a plot that supposedly has plenty of secrets. Somehow I never really felt like there was any danger, or maybe that the stakes were never high enough, for me to worry about the couple. I like a heaping of angst with my romances, and this barely has a sprinkle, so it just wasn’t quite my cup of tea. Still, worth a read if you’re in the mood for an adult romance, and not too picky.
Skyward by Brandon Sanderson
This was just the sci-fi novel that I wanted it to be, and all those glowing reviews are well deserved. After Steelheart, my faith in Brandon Sanderson has been restored, and I might even be ready to continue with the Stormlight Archives. That’s not to say that it was a perfect book, and I still believe that Sanderson’s first person narration is not as strong as his third person narration. Spensa’s a strong character, but sometimes you can just feel Sanderson fall out of her narration, and this also became a problem toward the final battle, where he’s forced to dip into an alternate POV. Overall, I loved Skyward, and cannot wait to recommend it to everyone!
Rogue One; A Star Wars Story by Alexander Freed, read by Jonathan Davis
This is the second time reading, or to put it more accurately, listening to Rogue One, and it has to be one of my favourite audiobooks. If you don’t know, Davis reads it, alongside music and special effects, that really immerse the listener, more so than your average audiobook. However, it isn’t just a great audiobook, it’s also my favourite story from the Star Wars world, of the ones I’ve experienced. Jyn’s growth as a character is amazing, and the layers built up by different POVs, such as Cassian, and Krennic, to name but a few, create such a complex narrative. I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of this one, long may the legacy of Rogue One prevail.
I also re-read Rebecca, and Wide Sargasso Sea, and read Beloved for my Spectral Femininities class, and Evelina, Caleb Williams, and The Wild Irish Girl for my Narrative and Nation class.
In terms of ratings, it wasn’t the best month, but it was nice to clear a bunch of my TBR.
What did you read this month? Did we read any of the same books? What’s your favourite sci-fi?
Thanks for reading!