July Wrap Up and August TBR

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s the end of the month, which means its time for another monthly wrap up post. I lowered my Goodreads reading goal this month to 80 books as I don’t think I’ll be able to read 100 this year. It was nice to go from being behind my goal to being ahead of it. Anyway I’ve read 6 books this month, none of which is rated under 3 stars. I’m also starting to get back into the flow of blogging after my holiday :). Let’s get started.

 

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Redemption’s Blade / Adrian Tchaikovsky / ★★★
*I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
What first drew me to this book is that it is set in the aftermath of the big event. So often we see the build up and the resolution right after but we never see what happens after. In this book we see the aftermath of such an event. I really liked this aspect of the book. The characters are quite well written, if a little flat, and I loved the diversity of the world. Throughout the 500 pages, we get to see a wide variety of races as well as reading about different areas of the world. Plot-wise this book is quite light and for me it lacked cohesion at times, but for the most part I found it to be an enjoyable read. Overall I enjoyed this book but I didn’t love it. I would recommend checking it out though, as it is an enjoyable read with an interesting premise.

 

The Clan of the Cave Bear / book 1 of the Children’s Earth series / Jean M. Auel / ★★★
This is a historical fiction book set during the Ice Age. I really liked this setting, as I’ve never read anything like this before. One of my main issues with this book was repetition. There is a lot of it throughout the 500 pages and it gets a little frustrating. At times there was also terms used that I doubt would have been used, or even known, in that time. For example at one point Auel talks about dehydration and hypothermia, but these are clearly medical terms from the modern day and wouldn’t have been used back then. I also got a frustrated at the main villains hatred of the main character – there seemed to be very little reason behind it. One last thing that bugged me a little was Ayla (the main character) and her ability to do just about anything. It’s one of those main characters who is seemingly perfect, if that makes sense. Despite all of these things, I did still enjoy this book. The plot is good, if a little slow at times and generally the characters were well written. If you enjoy historical fiction and/or are interested in this time period, then I would recommend checking this book out.

 

Crazy Rich Asians / Kevin Kwan / ★★★.5
If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you’ll probably realise that this book isn’t the type of book I’d normally read and you’d be right. I picked this up on a bit of a whim, after seeing the trailer for the film, and I actually ended really enjoying it. It’s a little silly and over the top, but it was just the light, fun read that I needed at the time.

 

Soul of the World / book 1 of the Ascension Cycle / David Mealing / ★★★★
*I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
This was such a good book. I had it on my radar, and then on my kindle, for quite a while before actually reading. I have a full review of this coming soon, so I’m not going into detail right now. Overall I loved this book and would recommend checking it out, especially if you enjoy epic fantasy.

 

Assassin’s Fate / book 3 of the Fitz and the Fool trilogy / Robin Hobb / ★★★★
I’ve now completed the Realm of the Elderlings series. I thought this was a fantastic conclusion to this series. I mean it’s Robin Hobb, so you know it’s going to be good. My only minor issue was that it was a little repetitive at times but overall this book was fantastic. If you’ve enjoyed her other books, then you enjoy this too and if you haven’t pick up Hobb’s books yet then I highly recommend you do.

 

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The Hyena and the Hawk / book 3 of the Echoes of the Fall trilogy / Adrian Tchaikovsky / ★★★★
This was one of my most anticipated books of this year and it didn’t disappoint. I loved the direction of the plot and thought this was a fantastic conclusion to this trilogy. Once again the writing is great and I don’t want to put the book down once I’ve started it.  I loved being back with these characters and their development in this final book was so well done. Basically I really enjoyed this book. I’m planning on writing a full review so this is all I’ll say about this book for now.

 

 

I’m currently reading Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore. I’m about 100 pages in and I’m liking it so far. In terms of my August TBR, there are a few books I’d like to get to including Iron Gold by Pierce Brown, The Queen of Sorrow by Sarah Beth Durst, The Ice by Laline Paull and Lamentation by C. J. Sansom. I may get distracted by other books though :). There are few book releases in August too. What was your favourite book in July? Have you read any of these books? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

 

June Wrap Up and July TBR

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s the end of the month which means it’s time for another monthly wrap up and TBR. I had a pretty good reading month and I managed to finally read a book that’s been sitting on my shelf for quite a long time now. Sorry my wrap up is a little bit late but I was away for some of June and didn’t have the time to get it up earlier. Let’s get started.

 

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Jade City / book 1 of the Green Bone Saga / Fonda Lee / 
I had high hopes for this one but unfortunately it didn’t work for me. I am planning on posting a full review for this book so I’m going to keep this brief. Basically I wasn’t invested in the story, I had a few issues with the characters and the pacing was uneven at times. I will go into more detail in the full review so keep an eye out for that.

 

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The Book of M / Peng Shepherd / ★★★ 
*I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
First off I love the concept of this book. Basically people start losing their shadows and then their memories, but nobody knows why. This is such an intriguing premise. I thought the world building was well done and I liked the diverse cast of characters. Throughout the book we switch between four perspectives, all of which were well written and engaging. My main issue with this was the pacing. It felt quite uneven at times, especially in the middle section, and so it dragged for me a little bit. The middle section also suffers from some repetition. Overall I thought this was a great book with an intriguing premise. If you looking for a unique, post-apocalyptic read then I would recommend checking this out.

 

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The Blind Assassin / Margaret Atwood / ★★★
I’ve had this on my bookshelf for quite a long time now, so I’m pretty happy to have finally read it. It took me a while to get into this one, as I was a little bored and felt disconnected from the characters, but after roughly 150 pages I was more invested. Other than Iris and Laura, the other characters felt a little flat and to be honest I wasn’t the biggest fan of any of them, but it was still an engaging read. Atwood is a fantastic writer and I cannot wait to read more of her books.

 

The Snack Thief / book 3 of the Montalbano series / Andrea Camilleri / ★★★
This was another fantastic instalment to this series. I actually read this while on holiday in Sicily, which is where it’s set, so that was pretty cool. I find these books to be so enjoyable to read and I love Montalbano as the protagonist. The TV series is also really good.

 

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Tyrant’s Throne / book 4 of the Greatcoats series / Sebastien de Castell / ★★★
I’ve been meaning to finish off this series for a while now. I thought this was a fantastic conclusion to this four book series. I love the characters and their relationships – the banter between the main characters is great. As with the previous three books, the plot is compelling and I loved the progression of it. There are just so many good things about this series. If you are looking for a new fantasy series to read, then I highly recommend checking this one out.

 

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Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit / book 1 of the Moribito series / Nahoko Uehashi / ★★★
If you follow my blog then you will know that I read The Beast Player by the same author last month and absolutely loved it, so I immediately wanted to read more from this author. This was a fantastic book. I would say that this is definitely aimed at younger readers, but I think it can be enjoyed by a range of ages and people. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and I loved the protagonist, Balsa. She is such a strong female protagonist and I cannot wait to read more of her story. I also loved that this story has very little romance in it – I find it so refreshing. The world building is another strength of this book and the action scenes are fantastic. Basically I loved this book and I cannot wait to read the sequel. I highly recommend checking out this book and author.

 

Wrath of Empire / book 2 of the Gods of Blood and Powder trilogy / Brian McClellan / ★★★
I loved this book – it was so good! I’m going to be posting a full review of this one, so I’m going to keep this brief. This was a fantastic sequel and it makes me so excited for the third book to be released. The plot was compelling, the character development was great and I loved seeing more of this world. I highly recommend checking this series out.

 

So that’s all the books I read in June. I am currently reading Redemption’s Blade by Adrian Tchaikovsky. I have quite a few books I want to get to in July. These include The Hyena and the Hawk by Adrian Tchaikovsky, Assassin’s Fate by Robin Hobb, Circe by Madeleine Miller and The Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore. There are plenty more books on my TBR but I think I’ll leave it at that for now. What was your favourite book you read in June? My favourite book was definitely Wrath of Empire. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

May Wrap Up

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s the end of the month so it’s time to talk about all the books I’ve read. One of the books I read this month went straight onto my favourite list. I read a total of 8 books in May, which I am pretty happy with. Let’s get started.

 

Children of Blood and Bone / Legacy of Orïsha trilogy / Tomi Adeyemi / ★★
I had heard a lot of good things about this book but unfortunately it didn’t work for me. I’m planning to write a full review on this one, so expect that sometime in June or July. For now I’ll just say that I didn’t connect with the characters, disliked the romance and I wasn’t invested in the story. If you are a big fan of YA fantasy then I think you’ll enjoy this but it didn’t work for me personally.

 

 

Gather the Daughters / Jennie Melamed / ★★★
This one is quite a hard one to review and rate. Overall I thought this was a good book and it got me thinking but there were a few issues I had with it. This book is pretty dark and unsettling as it follows four young girls living in a secluded cult-like society. One of my main issues in the book is the ending. I don’t want to spoil anything but it was felt very unsatisfactory to me. In some ways I wondered at the point of this book. Yes it does get you to think about these things but it doesn’t come up with any solution and there’s no resolution at the end. The characters were quite well written, if a little flat and the writing was good.

 

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Caligula / Simon Turney / ★★★.5
*I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
Based around the life of the third Roman emperor, Caligula, this was a fascinating read. I know next to nothing about this period of history so it’s a good thing that this book doesn’t require any prior knowledge. Although it is quite a slow read, I found it to be engaging throughout and never felt that it dragged. The politics and intrigue are so well done. I liked that fact that this is told from one of the sisters of Caligula – it provides an interesting perspective. The book was well written and I found it easy to get into the flow of the story. Overall I enjoyed this historical fiction very much and would recommend it, especially if you are interested in the time period.

 

The Moonstone / Wilkie Collins / ★★★★
This book is generally recognised as the first detective novel. I have to admit that I struggled initially to get into this book, but after a while I settled into the flow of the story. I didn’t find it to be the most compelling story, although I did enjoy seeing how it all unfolded. It dragged a little in certain places which made it quite a slow read for me. Overall I enjoyed this one but I would say I liked The Woman in White a little more.

 

Neverwhere / Neil Gaiman / ★★★★
I have heard so many good things about this author so I thought it was about time I tried one of his books. I really enjoyed this book. I wasn’t sure what to start with so I picked this one up on a bit of a whim. It was a entertaining and enjoyable read with a great cast of characters and a good story. I loved the villains, Mr Croup and Mr Vandemar – they were really quite creepy. Overall this was a very enjoyable read and I definitely plan on checking out more books by this author.

 

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Charmcaster / book 3 in the Spellslinger series / Sebastien de Castell / ★★★★
Since I’ve got a full review of this one coming next month, I’m going to be brief here. Basically I loved it. I thought this was a great instalment to this series and I cannot wait it see how things progress in the next books. Highly recommend.

 

Heartstone / book 5 of the Shardlake series / C. J. Sansom / ★★★★
This was another fantastic instalment to this series. Once again the plot was compelling, the writing is great and I loved being back with these characters. I really enjoy these books and I was so excited to see that there is a new book in this series being released later this year. If you enjoy historical fiction mixed with mysteries then I highly recommend checking this series out. I’m looking forward to continuing with the next book in the series.

 

 

The Beast Player /  Nahoko Uehashi / Translator: Cathy Hirano / ★★★★★
I loved this book. Seriously, it is so good. I have a full review of this coming, so I’ll keep this short. Originally written in Japanese, this is a fantastic fantasy book. The writing is great, there’s a wonderful cast of characters and the plot is compelling. I cannot say enough good things about this book. I highly recommend checking it out.

 

I am currently reading Wrath of the Empire by Brian McClellan, which is the second book in the Gods of Powder and Blood trilogy. I’m a couple hundred pages in so far and loving it. In terms of my June TBR I haven’t really set myself one. I’m just going to read what I feel like at the time. I do have a holiday coming up so I will be posting a TBR for that. Have you read any of these books? What was your favourite book in May? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

April Wrap Up and May TBR

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s the end of the month which means it’s time for another monthly wrap up post. I read 5 books and I’m about half way through another book right now. April was my birthday month so I got more books to add to my TBR and I got to see Hamilton in London, so I had a pretty good month. Let’s get started.

 

The Poppy War / book 1 of a trilogy / R. F. Kuang / ★★
This was one of my anticipated releases of this year but it didn’t quite work for me. I have a full review coming soon so I’m not going to go into too much detail. Basically I wasn’t invested in the characters or the plot, although I enjoyed the military aspect and the world.

 

Blood of Assassins / book 2 of the Wounded Kingdom series / R. J. Barker / ★★★
I have a full review of this up so I’m not going to go into too much detail here. Overall I thought this was a good continuation of this series, although I did find the main character to be quite frustrating. I enjoyed the plot and it’s well written. If you enjoy fantasy with assassins then this series is worth checking out.

 

The Wolves of Winter / Tyrell Johnson / ★★★.5
* I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
This is set in Canada after a nuclear war and the fast spread of disease and follows a small group of people trying to survive. I didn’t really know what to expect when I started this as I knew very little about it but I ended up really quite enjoying it. It is a little predictable and I found the main character a tad frustrating at times but overall I enjoyed this book. I have to admit that it took me a little while to get into it but after a couple of chapters I was hooked. The author does a wonderful job at creating a suspenseful atmosphere that builds throughout the book. I think the frequent use of profanity may be a little off putting for some, so that may be something to be aware of. This book is also not for the faint hearted as it deals with violence and sexual assault. The characters are well written and the world building is good. It is a little ambiguous but I think that lends itself to the mystery of the book.

 

Fool’s Quest / book 2 in the Fitz and the Fool trilogy / Robin Hobb / ★★★★
I don’t have much to say about this book; it’s by Hobb so of course it was fantastic. I am both excited and nervous to finally be completing this series. If you enjoy fantasy books then you need to check out Robin Hobb.

 

Revelation / book 4 in the Shardlake series / C. J. Sansom / ★★★★★
I’ve enjoyed every book in this series so it was no surprise to me that I enjoyed this instalment. I think this is probably my favourite book of the series so far. As with the previous books the writing is great and I loved the story of this instalment. It was great to be back with these characters too. I am excited to continue on with this series. If you enjoy historical fiction books then I highly recommend checking this series out.

 

 

That’s all I read last month. I’m not setting myself any TBR for May, although I do want to finish The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. What was your favourite read from April? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

March Wrap Up and April TBR

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s time for another monthly wrap. I read six books this month, all of which I rated four stars, so it was a pretty good reading month. In other news it was also a great month because I passed my driving test. I drove for the first time on my own too, which was pretty weird but also great. Anyway I’m going to start my wrap up now.

 

The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future / Victor Cha / ★★★★
 This was an interesting non-fiction book about North Korea and my first non-fiction read of this year. I find this region of the world fascinating but I don’t know a lot about it. This was an engaging read, although some things definitely went over my head a bit. Despite this I think this was written in quite an accessible way and it provides a wide range of information about this region.

 

The Dragon Queen / William Andrews / 
I thought this was a fantastic book. From the very beginning I was invested in the story and found it easy to settle into the flow of the writing. This book is split into two perspectives; first we follow a US diplomat in the present day and then we also follow the story of a queen of Korea during the 1800’s. Although I enjoyed both of the perspectives, I did find Ja-young’s more compelling. I loved reading about this time period as I didn’t know a lot about it and I found it really interesting to read about. I definitely plan to find out more about this time period and queen. The characters are all well written and complex, and the relationships between the characters were well developed. The plot is compelling throughout, which made this quite a quick read for me because I was so absorbed in the story. Once I’d started reading I didn’t want to put it down. Overall this was a great read and I would highly recommend checking it out, especially if you enjoy historical fiction.

 

 

 

The Wolf / Leo Carew / ★★★★
*I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
This was a fantastic introduction to this new epic historical fantasy. Once I’d started reading I was hooked and didn’t want to put this book down. The plot is compelling throughout, with some great action scenes and political intrigue. There is a great cast of characters, although I did want to see more women in this book. The characters are very well written though, and there are so many great characters that I want to see more from. Unfortunately I thought the world building was a bit lacking. I wanted to know more about the land in which these characters live and more of the history of the world. In terms of the writing, in general it was good, but perhaps a little too heavy on descriptions at times and repetitive. I have to admit to skim reading some sections of this book due to this. Overall I very much enjoyed this book and would highly recommend checking it out. I will definitely be checking out the next book in this series. I will have a full review up soon.

 

An Echo Of Things To Come / James Islington / ★★★★
I have a full review of this scheduled for next month so I’ll keep this brief. I thought this was a fantastic sequel. It was great to be back with these characters and I really enjoyed where the plot was taken. At times the pacing is quite slow, but I still found it to be a compelling read. The world building is great and I loved the way it was expanded in this sequel. Overall I really enjoyed this book and I can’t wait to see how things conclude in the third and final book.

 

River of Stars / Guy Gavriel Kay / ★★★★
This is the second book in the Under Heaven duology. Kay is fast becoming a new favourite author of mine. I definitely didn’t love this quite as much as I loved Under Heaven but it was still fantastic. It took me a little while to get into this one, although I loved the setting straight away. There are a lot of characters to keep track of so you need to be paying attention to fully grasp what is happening with each character. Speaking of the characters though, they are all incredibly well written. The world building is fantastic and I love Kay’s writing style. Overall I loved this book and I cannot wait to read more from this author.

 

Fool’s Assassin / book 1 of the Fitz and the Fool trilogy / Robin Hobb / 
 Obviously this was fantastic. It was so good to be back in this world and with these characters. The pacing of this book is quite slow, but the writing is so good that it is still an engaging read.  As with all other Hobb books I’ve read, the characters are so well written and the world building is fantastic. I can’t say enough good things about this author and series of books. I am very excited to continue on with this trilogy.

 

This month I’m not going to set myself a TBR. I’m just going to read what I want to read at the time. Right now I am reading Revelation by C. J. Sansom, which is the fourth book in the Shardlake series. What was your favourite read in March? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

February Wrap Up and March TBR

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It is the end of the month which means its time for another reading wrap up. I’ve read 4 books this month and I stopped reading one book. Other than reading, I have been loving watching the Winter Olympics. Anyway, let’s get started.

 

The Fifth Season / book 1 of the Broken Earth trilogy / N. K. Jemisin / DNF
Unfortunately, this book just didn’t work for me, so I stopped reading after roughly 120 pages. The main issue I had was with the writing. I really like the concept of this book and the world building I read was great, but I struggled with the writing. I just couldn’t get into the flow of the story. This one wasn’t for me, but don’t let that put you off as it’s got a lot of great reviews. I seem to be in the minority here.

 

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Shroud of Eternity / book 2 in the Nicci Chronicles / Terry Goodkind / ★★★
To be honest, I didn’t enjoy this as much as the first book, but I still thought it was a good book. I don’t know why but I found myself more aware of the writing while reading this sequel and the repetitive nature of the writing annoyed me a little bit. The plot had potential but I felt it was a little lacking and there wasn’t enough character development. Despite this I did still enjoy reading this book and I’ve also learnt that this isn’t a duology as I thought. I have more thoughts for this book so a full review will be up soon.

 

Elysium Fire / book 2 of the Prefect Dreyfus Emergency series / Alastair Reynolds / ★★★.5
* I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
I had no idea that this was part of a series when I requested it, but I still ended up enjoying this book. I think I would have benefited from reading the first book, however it’s not completely necessary – some things may have just gone over my head a bit. I thought the plot was compelling, the characters are well written and it was easy to settle into the flow of the writing. I find that I really enjoy sci-fi crime stories so this was an enjoyable read for me. Reynold’s does a great job of creating tension that builds throughout the book. Overall I thought this was a great read and I am definitely interested in checking out other books by this author.

 

Jade Dragon Mountain / book 1 of the Li Du Novels / Elsa Hart / ★★★.5
I really enjoyed this book. The setting was what drew me to this book in the first place and it didn’t disappoint. The mystery was well written and I liked that it’s left to the reader to try and figure things out until it’s resolved at the end. I like mystery books that allow the reader to come to their own conclusions. One thing that did frustrate me though, was the villain in the ending. He basically admits everything and doesn’t seem at all bothered that he’s been caught… to me that doesn’t make sense. I never quite understand villains who confess to everything and tells everyone their evil plan, but maybe that’s just me. I still really enjoyed this book and I am interested in reading it’s sequel.

 

The Good People / Hannah Kent / ★★★.5
This is a historical fiction book set in Ireland in 1825.  I thought the plot was compelling, the writing was great and the characters were complex and flawed. This is the second book I’ve read by this author and I have to say she writes very atmospheric books. In this book Kent does a great job at creating an atmosphere of unease that grows toward the end of the book. It is quite a bleak story and the pacing is quite slow, because we are more focused on the characters and their development. Overall I thought this was a great book and would definitely recommend, especially if you enjoy historical fiction. If you enjoyed her other book, Burial Rites, then I think you will enjoy this book too.

 

Sovereign / book 3 of the Cromwell series / C. J. Sansom / ★★★★
This was a fantastic instalment to this series and it was great to be back with these characters. Sansom has once again written a compelling story and a mystery that will keep you guessing until the end. The character development through this book was great to see and I can’t wait to see how things progress in the next books. Basically this book was just as fantastic as the first two and I am excited to get to the three other books in this series.

 

The Initiate Brother and Gatherer of Clouds / Initiate Brother duology / Sean Russell / ★★★★
This was a fantastic fantasy duology with great characters, a compelling plot and an intriguing world. One of my favourite things about this duology is the political intrigue. Personally I love fantasy with political intrigue and this book does it so well. It is so interesting to see the inner workings of this world and how each of the characters interact with each other. Russell has done a great job at creating intricate story-lines and threading them all together. The world is wonderfully realised and it was so interesting to see the different cultures and beliefs. Overall I thought this was a fantastic duology and I would highly recommend it, especially if you enjoy political intrigue alongside fantasy.

 

I am currently reading Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb, which is the first book in the Fitz and the Fool trilogy. In terms of my TBR for March, I think I’ll continue on with the Shardlake series by C. J. Sansom and I want to read Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. Other than that I’ll just see what I feel like reading at the time. I may try to get some rereading done in March, because there are quite a few books that I want to revisit. What was your favourite book you read in February? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

January Wrap Up and February TBR

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s time for my first wrap up of the year. I read 7 books this month, one of which is my first 5 star read of the year. I started this year off with some fantastic books. I can’t believe that in a few weeks I will have been blogging for two years. It’s gone by pretty fast. Anyway let’s get started with my mini reviews.

 

Spiderlight / Adrian Tchaikovsky / ★★★
Although I kind of got the feeling that this started off in the middle of a story, I thought this was a great book. The story starts off very quickly and I almost felt that it was missing part of the story, but after the first chapter I had settled into the flow of the plot. This is a classic fantasy quest story, where the characters are given a task and we follow them as the complete said task. The characters were well written, the plot was engaging and the writing was easy to get into, although the dialogue can be a little clunky. Overall a good book that was a quick and entertaining read.

 

Dune: Messiah / Frank Herbert / ★★★
I definitely didn’t love this as much as the first book, Dune, but it was still a good book. I enjoyed being back in this world. As with Dune this book was a little dated but I found it easy to get into the flow of the story and the plot was engaging. This sequel just didn’t captivate me like the first book did. Overall I’m glad I read it and I thought it was a good book, but I didn’t love it as much as Dune.

 

Black Wolves / Kate Elliott / book 1 of Black Wolves series / ★★★
This one was a bit mixed for me. There were some things that I really enjoyed and other things that just didn’t work for me. Firstly, I think the setting was great and I really like the idea of the reeves. The politics and intrigue throughout the book was good. There are some really interesting characters in this book, although keeping track of all the characters was initially a bit confusing. The time jump at the beginning of the book threw me a little but after a few chapters I adjusted to it. Another issue I had was that I felt that it was too long. There were a few scenes that seemed unnecessary and it bogged down the narrative. It sometimes felt like there was too much going on and it needed some focus. The pacing was a little uneven at times too. It took me quite some time to get invested in this book; it wasn’t until over 200 pages in that I felt that I had finally started to get into it. Overall this was a good introduction to this series but I didn’t love it as much as I wanted to. At the moment I am planning to continue with this series.

 

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo / Stieg Larsson / book 1 in the Millennium trilogy / ★★★★
I’ve been to start this series for a while now and I finally decided to pick it up this month. I thought it was fantastic. It is definitely quite a dark and disturbing book but the plot is so compelling and the atmosphere of suspense is so well done. The characters are wonderfully complex and flawed, and although this author is new to me I found it easy to get into the flow of the writing. The mystery elements were also really well done and I was constantly wondering how it was going to unfold. As I’ve said, I thought this was a fantastic book and I will definitely be continuing on with this trilogy.

 

Pachinko / Min Jin Lee / ★★★★
Not only did I find this to be a fantastic book, but it was also very interesting. I don’t know a lot about the history of this area of the world so it was fascinating to me to read about it. Although I can sometimes find shifts in time a little jarring, I didn’t really have that issue with this book. It may be something to be aware of though, as most chapters will move forward at least a couple of years. The characters are all very well written, but the wide span of years means that you never really feel fully attached to any of them. Personally I didn’t mind this, because I thought the backdrop was so interesting and the characters are all still complex and flawed. I thought the writing was great and I found it so easy to become immersed in the story. Overall I really enjoyed this book and I would highly recommend checking this book out, especially if you enjoy historical fiction.

 

The Bitter Twins / Jen Williams / book 2 of the Winnowing Flame trilogy / ★★★★
This is one of my most anticipated book releases of this year and I am happy to say it does not disappoint. I thought this was a fantastic sequel and it was great to be back in this world. I probably should have reread the first book before reading this as I was a little foggy on the details, but after a couple of chapters I was fully immersed in the world again. As with the first book, the writing is great, the story is compelling and the characters are well written. I will have a full review closer to the release date so keep an eye out for that.

 

Under Heaven / Guy Gavriel Kay / ★★★★★
I’ve had my eye on this book for a while now and I am so happy that I finally picked this up. As you can see from the rating this is my first five star book of the year. I thought it was fantastic. The plot is compelling, the writing is great and the world building is so well done. From the very beginning I was immersed in the characters and the world. The politics and intrigue in this book are fantastic. I personally love fantasy with intrigue and it is one of the strengths of this book. You never really know where peoples loyalties lie and so you are constantly wondering what each character will do next. Basically I absolutely loved this book and I would highly recommend checking it out. I will definitely be reading more by this author. I am planning to write a full review of this one too.

 

I’ve not really thought about what I want to read next so I don’t have a set TBR for February. I’m just going to read what I feel like at the time. I am currently reading Sovereign by C. J. Sansom, which is the third book in the Cromwell series. My favourite book of the month was definitely Under Heaven. What was the best book you read in January? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa