It’s time for another wrap up post! I think I actually set a new record for myself. I read eight books this month, and normally I struggle to read three. I even read a bigger book of 800 pages! There was also definitely a theme to my reading… Four books were science fiction!
Ash Princess – Laura Sebastian ★★★☆☆
I started the month with Ash Princess. I got the book at my local library. Our YA section is actually really well stocked, so that’s really exciting! The prompt seemed really interesting to me, and I was entertained throughout most of the book. I did think the plot moved a little slow at times though. I know a third book is coming up early next year, so I will probably head over to the library soon to get the second book.
We Hunt the Flame – Hafsah Faizal ★★★★☆
So I’ve seen here and there that people either really liked this book, or truly didn’t. I will admit, it is somewhat cookie-cutter YA fantasy. However, I am a very simple person: if I’m excited about reading the book and entertained throughout the entire thing, I’ll give a good review. I think there’s another important point to this book though, and that is that all cultural influences are entirely non-Western. A lot of YA fantasies I’ve read in the past focus on fictional lands, but clearly have a Western background. There are hardly any YA books that focus entirely on Middle Eastern and/or Arabian cultures and influences. It’s very nice that more YA books are being published that focus on an entirely different part of the world. I think this is actually a great book to read if you’re only just starting to read YA fantasy.
The Priory of the Orange Tree – Samantha Shannon ★★★★☆
So this is the big book I managed to read this month. To be honest, before this one I think the biggest book I read was Kingdom of Ash.. In February. Anyway, I really enjoyed this book! I normally have a hard time staying interested in bigger adult fantasy books, but I had no problems here. Also it has dragons! I loved Shannon’s take on how these dragons lived and functioned, and the history of the world was very interesting. However, I did think the ending was a little anti-climatic. I expected more of the final battle, since there was such a long build-up to the return of “The Nameless One.”
These Broken Stars – Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner ★★★☆☆
This is more like a 3.5 for me. I liked the book, but I was frustrated by the whole “not talking for the sake of plot” thing that came up now and then. There was also some questions I had that were left unanswered. Especially since the next book focuses on a set of different characters. This book also came from the library, so I’ll get the next book in the series soon!
Gemina and Obsidio – Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman ★★★★★
I’ve already said most of what I wanted to say about Gemina and Obsidio in my last post, so I’m not going to go into this mini review too much. I really love this series and I’m glad I finally picked it up. It’s super different from anything else I’ve read, for obvious reasons, and the series really put me into a sci-fi mood for the rest of the week.
Skyward – Brandon Sanderson – ★★★★☆
So it’s no secret that I love any Brandon Sanderson book ever written, and this book was no exception. It took me a bit to get used to the characters because Spensa is, well, weird. I know that’s the point, but it still takes getting some used to. Anyone who has already had the book will remember her dramatic sayings about war and vengeance, and it reminded me strongly of someone, but I couldn’t put my finger on it for the longest time.. Until I remembered! Any Avatar: the last airbender fans out there? Remember that episode when Zuko, Azula and Co. go on a mini vacation and Azula is trying very hard to be nice? That’s what those little sayings reminded me off!
Anyway, I really liked the character development here. Spensa starts off so confident, and quickly learns that her world isn’t as black and white as she first thought. I also heavily relate to M-bot, because I too love mushrooms and would rather collect them than fight a war. I also liked that there wasn’t a focus on romance; that was very refreshing.
All in all, this book is Top Gun + space, which I both love, so this book was perfect for me!
City of Ghosts – Victoria Schwab ★★★☆☆
This one is also more 3.5 stars for me. I always find it a little hard to fairly review middle grade literature because, well, I’m old. I really liked this book though! It’s short and sweet. Well, more spooky than sweet, but you know what I mean. I did think the buildup to the actual plot took a little long. But I liked the characters and I especially like that this series will take place in multiple cities. I can’t wait for the next book!
As a p.s., Victoria Schwab will come to the Washington Book Festival as part of her Tunnel of Bones tour, so uh… guess who’s going?