Hello, it’s me.
I was wondering if after all these months you’d like to read
What I’ve been up to.
To explain why I’ve been silent,
And humbly beg your forgiveness.
(Okay that’s as far as I got, but I felt channeling Adele was appropriate here)
So, as you may have noticed, I’ve been rather silent for the past two months (or so), which is largely due to the fact that I was gallivanting around Northern Italy, excavating a Bronze-Age cave as part of my bachelor’s degree. I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to keep up with blogging during that time, but I only realised last week that I hadn’t actually explained my absence, so I’m here to apologise for randomly disappearing on you guys.
During July and August I read a total of 14 books (not bad all things considered) with 4 rereads, 7 books being 2016 releases, and 3 books released prior to 2014.
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes: I like to think of myself as a seasoned veteran when it comes to high fantasy, at least enough to be able to mostly predict where the plot is going most of the time. However, with Falling Kingdoms, I kept being blindsided by all the twists and turns, which was an entirely new experience for me. The book was a bit slow in the beginning, which was understandable given how much it had to set up, but it picked up fairly quickly and maintained that pace until the very end. I never felt bored while reading this, and I’m kind of disappointed at myself that I haven’t already read the rest of the series.
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi: You’re ever in that situation where you can’t wait for a book to come out and then, once it’s out, just never get around to reading it? Well that’s what happened with The Star-Touched Queen until my sister read it and gently
forced pushed me to read it, which I now thank her for. This wasn’t at all what I was expecting, but I loved, loved, loved it, and have since pretty much shoved it in all of my friends’ faces because everyone should read this book. It’s magical, beautiful, and everything I never knew I needed out of a romance (because that’s all it is).
The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye: While Evelyn Skye certainly has potential as a writer, The Crown’s Game was a disappointing debut. I had two glaring problems with it:
- The blurb greatly exaggerated what was, essentially, a beauty pageant about who could make St. Petersburg prettier. Where are my magical, potentially lethal, duals??
- The love triangle. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate it purely because it’s a love triangle, but rather how completely forced one side of it felt. I’ll even go as far as to argue that Twilight did a better job in that regard, actually…
And I Darken by Kiersten White: From the writing to the plot and characters, White does an excellent job of portraying the brutality of Vlad the Impaler as a woman without cheapening either the character or the historical figure, since Lada’s ruthlessness is complimented and held in check by Radu’s sweeter but much more calculating temperament. While the first book spends most of its length setting things up (there are very few scenes of pure action), I fully stand by it because getting Lada and Radu’s backstory made them a whole lot more likeable. And I Darken is absolutely one of my favourite books of 2016 and I can’t wait for the sequel!
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas: Beauty and the Beast was never my favourite fairy tale so ACoTaR, while well written, wasn’t anything too special but ACoMaF completely blew me away. I don’t want to spoil anything for either book in the series but I cannot recommend this one enough.
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab: I knew I was going to like This Savage Song since Schwab is one of my favourite authors, but I didn’t expect to like it quite this much. When I dived into it, I thought it was going to, at least, be similar to the usual YA post-apocalyptic novel, and I have rarely been happier to be proven wrong. The characters, the writing, the plot, it’s all really great, and, honestly speaking, I can’t think of any complaints right now.
All For The Game 2 & 3 by Nora Sakavic: I read The Raven King and The King’s Men one after the other and I really wish I’d done this with the entire series. The series itself is really something, I’ve never read anything similar before and I was utterly unprepared for pretty much the whole thing. As far as individual books go, I feel like The Raven King felt a lot like a filler for the most part (I’ve even read reviews of people who skipped it entirely and still enjoyed the series), while The King’s Men was my favourite in the series for its character development and how well it tied up the plot and various subplots going on.
- the plot is literally all over the place, the different timelines make little to no sense at all (I will never not laugh at The Blood Ball and Voldemort Day, never) and the whole point of that scene in book 5 where the time-turners are destroyed was to avoid the giant plot holes they create, so why are they central to The Cursed Child?
- Are you trying to tell me that Cedric ‘I tried to stop a match that I’d clearly won because I didn’t win it fair’-‘I helped Krum after he crucioed me’-‘I argued with Harry for forty-one lines because I thought he deserved to take the cup’ Diggory would’ve joined Voldemort because he was bitter?! Did any of the authors actually read the original series????
- On that note: Are you also trying to tell me that Harry ‘I grew up in an abusive family’Potter would ever, ever, tell Albus he wished he weren’t his father??? And that Hermione ‘I solved hard-ass puzzles in my 1st year’ Granger would make that exact same mistake and just hide important/dangerous artefacts behind a riddle??? Are any of the characters actually in character?? At all??
- The lowkey incest between Hermione and Albus while he’s distracting her. What in the actual fuck was that?!
- The queerbaiting. This is what I’m most mad about because, had the main characters been a boy and a girl, there is no doubt, none whatsoever, they wouldn’t have ended up together. Snape even likened Scorpius’ feelings towards Albus as his own towards Lily, and you expect me to believe that he’ll just turn around and ask Rose out because heterosexuality?? Get that shit out of my face.
The CC has some redeeming aspects to it such as the Slytherin redemption arc, Scorpius’character, Harry and Draco being friends, and it would be a terrific crack!fic (minus the queerbaiting), but I refuse to accept it’s actually canon.
New Pompeii by Daniel Godfrey: New Pompeii is incredibly interesting in that it brings together sci-fi and historical settings in a masterful way (something which I’d never read before) but, because of this, it fell short in certain aspects. The set-up took too long, the plot still wasn’t fully explained at the end, and certain parts felt awfully rushed. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I feel like there were glaring inaccuracies in regards to how the Pompeiian characters acted and reacted to everything going on.
The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan: This was a reread for me, prompted mainly by the fact that I kept seeing Solangelo on tumblr and wanted to reread Nico’s progression through the series because I was starting to confuse fanon and canon. I still love the series, although I did notice a few weaknesses this time around, particularly in The Lost Hero and The Mark of Athena. This was more of a comfort read because I didn’t feel like reading anything particularly new while I was digging, but didn’t want to slip into a reading slump.
So that’s that for July and August! What did you read during your summer? What did you do during your summer?? Help me catch up on what I missed!