Hi guys, it is once again time to talk about the books I read in the month. I had a pretty good reading month in September, both in terms of quality and quantity. I read 12 books this month, none of which I rated lower than 3 stars. It makes me hope I will have at least the majority of the books on my bookshelves read by the end of the year, but we will see :). I have very little self control when it comes to books, so even though I am on a bit of a book buying ban I am sure new books will find there way to my bookshelf :). Before I start any books I read on my kindle, I have provided a photo of the cover which is sourced from Goodreads. Onto the books.
A Mortal Song / Megan Crewe ★★★
*I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
While I did end up quite liking this book, I definitely had a few issues with it. So I will start with the stuff I enjoyed. Firstly I appreciated the premise of this book – it is a kind of role reversal of the trope of the main character finding out they are part of a mythical race and must save the day. In this book the main character has been living as this magical being but she finds out that she is actually a human. This is quite a common trope and I liked the concept of this switch. Generally I thought the characters were good, but I would have liked a bit more depth to all of them. They all felt a little bit flat for me. I loved the setting and culture included in this book – it’s characters are all Japanese and it is set in Tokyo. I have not been exposed to this kind of setting much before, especially in terms of fantasy, so I very much enjoyed it in this book. The magic system was also quite well developed. Now onto things I didn’t like. The romance was the biggest issue I had with this book. I just did not like it. There is a vague love triangle, but the main character (Sora) is honest with her feelings so it doesn’t last long, which is probably the only good thing about it. I didn’t care about the romance or the two guys. I felt that it was more of necessity of having romance to the story than any actual feelings between the characters. It just did not work for me, and would have been better without it in my opinion. Another thing I didn’t like was the ending. I felt that it was kind of anticlimactic and happened too fast. It was built up to be this epic show down with this bad guy and it did not work out that way. Overall I liked it but I didn’t love it.
Authority / Jeff Vandermeer ★★★
This was a great second instalment to the Southern Reach trilogy, however it did drag in places for me. The middle in particular dragged for me. I think it is safe to say that it was a little to long – it is quite a repetitive, slow moving plot and that gets a little frustrating. What is really great about this trilogy so far is the vagueness of it, as well as the creepiness. I would normally be frustrated by the vagueness of these books but it is actually quite intriguing. The last section of the book is definitely the best and it leaves on an intriguing note. I am looking forward to reading the third and final book.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone / Laini Taylor ★★★
I have been debating whether or not to read this trilogy for a while now, so this month I finally decided to give it a go. To be honest, I don’t really know how I feel about it. Firstly, I loved the setting. I have actually been to Prague twice in my life and I absolutely adore it, so of course I am going to love a book set there. However I just wasn’t completely invested in the characters or plot. I thought the plot was kind of predictable, and while I liked the characters I just didn’t feel fully connected to their story. A big issue for me was that it was a little too romance focused and that there is a bit of insta-love. I have a little inkling that there may be a love triangle – not a full blown one but one of the men involved is going to be very jealous and I can already tell I am not a fan. Anyway, overall I liked this, but I wasn’t blown away by it. I will continue on with this trilogy at some point, but it probably won’t be high up on my tbr pile.
Out / Natsuo Kirino ★★★
I have been meaning to try out more translated fiction, and I have had this on my shelf for a while now. This is a very dark book, as well as being creepy and suspenseful. It is definitely not for the faint hearted – a lot of messed up stuff goes on in this book. Having said that, it is very well written and I found it to be engaging throughout. I have to admit that I was perhaps a little disappointed with the direction of the ending. I would say more but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, as I think this book is one you should read blind, if that makes sense. The characters are extremely well written, and I found the relationships to be really interesting, especially the relationships between the female characters. It was such an interesting look into human nature and what can lead people to take extreme measures. The tension was done very well. Overall I would recommend it, if you are looking for a dark crime thriller. I am definitely interested to read more by this author. A full review will be up on my blog soon.
Siege of Macindaw / John Flanagan ★★★★
This is the sixth book in the Ranger’s Apprentice series. I have very much enjoyed all of the books in the series so far. The characters and plot continue to be engaging, as well as entertaining. However I will say that the writing did get a little bit repetitive at times and I found that I was quite aware this time around that this series is aimed for younger readers. Having said that, this book and the series, is a very fun and enjoyable read. They are easy, quick books that are a lot of fun to read. I will be continuing on with the series.
Traitor’s Blade / Sebastien de Castell ★★★★
This is the first book in the Greatcoat’s series. I want to say a quick thanks to Sam (Sam’s Nonsense) for bringing this book to my attention. Sam basically described it as the Three Musketeers and The Lies of Locke Lamora and I would totally agree with that. I ended up really enjoying this book, as I expected when I heard that description – it is full of adventure, humour and plot twists. Having said that, I did have a few issues with it. Firstly the vagueness of the task set by the King kind of baffled me a bit. The constant attempt of humour, while generally enjoyable, did get a bit tiring at times. Especially as the author seemed to sacrifice character depth for the attempt of humour sometimes. The world building could have done with more detail. I would have loved to know more about the history and politics of this world, but perhaps there will be more in the next books in this series. I also found the coincidences of the plot a little too much at times. Overall though I did really enjoy it and I am excited to see how it continues in the next book.
Miller’s Dance / Winston Graham ★★★★
The ninth book in the Poldark series, this was once again a very enjoyable read. The characterisation continues to be done well, and I love the long character arc we get with this series. All of the characters are interesting and flawed, which makes it such a great read. The plot continues to be engaging, as well as entertaining. I personally find these to be quite easy and quick reads that I just very much enjoy. To be honest I don’t have a lot to say about it, other than that I continue to enjoy this series and I would definitely recommend it.
Rebecca / Daphne du Maurier ★★★★
I have to admit that I found this a little slow to start. The main character I found to be a little flat initially and I found the descriptive writing style a bit tricky to get into. Having said that, after around 100 pages I was invested in the plot. I ended up quite enjoying the writing style and I thought of build up of suspense and mystery was done very well. I loved the mystery of it – the vagueness of the characters makes this a quite interesting read, as we are not given a huge deal of details. We have to navigate this book questioning everyone and everything, which creates a great reading experience . The characters turned out to all be interesting, in their own way – Rebecca is especially intriguing. It is a great example of gothic literature. Overall I very much enjoyed this and I am interested to try out more from this author.
The Mayor of Casterbridge / Thomas Hardy ★★★★
My aunt lent me her copy after finding out I loved Far From the Madding Crowd (also by Hardy), and I think I am going to have to get my own copy to add to my collection as I very much enjoyed it. Once again the detail in the writing makes the book a pleasure to read. I can sometimes find very descriptive writing style a bit too much for me, and it can bog me down a bit, but I don’t have that issue with Hardy’s writing. The character studies within this book are really quite interesting – Hardy creates these complex and flawed characters that are a pleasure to read about. It is not the most joyful read and it is quite slow, but it is well written and engaging. I will definitely be trying out more from Hardy. I may try out Tess of the D’ Urbervilles next, but I hear that it’ pretty depressing so I’ll have to mentally prepare for that.
The Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince / Robin Hobb ★★★★
As always Hobb is a wonderful writer. This is an interesting look into the history of the Farseer line and it was great to see the connections to other books – as the Prince is mentioned in Fool’s Errand also by Hobb. The characters are well written, the plot is engaging and it has made me even more excited to continue on with Hobb’s books. Quick thanks to the lovely Karina (Blog and Twitter) for suggesting I read this before starting the Tawny man trilogy – good call :).
Fool’s Errand / Robin Hobb ★★★★
As I mentioned above, Hobb is a wonderful writer and it was so good to be back with these familiar characters. I found that it was perhaps a little slow to start, but Hobb does an amazing job at keeping you engaged even in the slower moments. The development of Fitz is just wonderful to see throughout these books – Hobb is amazing at writing and developing characters. The worldbuilding was detailed and interesting, the characters and relationships are complex and the plot is amazing. I don’t ever really cry at books, but this was the closet I have ever come. If you haven’t read these books by Robin Hobb, you need to try them out, especially if you love fantasy. I am both nervous and excited to continue with this trilogy – I don’t know if my emotions are ready :).
Goldenhand / Garth Nix ★★★★★
I have a full review of this so I am going to try and keep this brief. This book was probably my most anticipated book of this year and it did not disappoint. There were a few small issues, such as slow pacing, but generally my reading experience was very enjoyable. It was wonderful to be back with the characters we know and love from the original trilogy, as well as some new characters.
In terms of my October TBR, I am keeping it pretty relaxed. I will definitely be reading The Magicians by Lev Grossman, as I am buddy reading it with Karina. My classic pick for this month will be The Ladies Paradise by Emile Zola, and I would also love to get to Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas. Other books I would like to get to include The Promise of Child by Tom Toner (Netgalley digital copy), The Golden Fool by Robin Hobb, Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn, Eagles at War by Ben Kane, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mendel (kindle) and the Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham. I am perhaps being a bit ambitious but I hope I can get to at least the majority of these books.
All in all I had a good read month and I have now completed my Goodreads challenge of 100 books as well. So I’m pretty happy with that. Let me know if you have read any of these and/or your favourite book you read in September. I hope you are having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.