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

 

 

December Wrap Up and January TBR

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s time for the last wrap up of 2017. This month I read a lot of great books which is a pretty good way to end this reading year.

 

Monstress Vol 1: Awakening  Marjorie M. Liu (writer) & Sana Takeda (artist) / ★★★
While I did end up enjoying this graphic novel, I did also have some issues with it. Firstly, let’s talk about the positives. I loved the art style and the premise is an interesting one. I thought the main character was intriguing and I’m definitely interested to see more of her. My favourite characters were probably Kippa and Master Ren, though. I think the depth of the characters is a little lacking as we don’t know a lot about any of them but perhaps that will come in later volumes. Some of the artwork of Maiko with the monster on her arm really reminded me of Ashitaka from the Studio Ghibli film, Princess Mononoke, when he’s cursed. Anyway let’s talk about some of the issues I had. I thought that the world building was quite lacking. Perhaps it’s to keep the mysterious aspect of it all but I wanted more explanations of things, like the world and the mask. I also felt that the plot was kind of confusing at times so it was a little tricky to keep up with it. Another thing to be aware of is the level of violence and gore in this graphic novel. If you are not a fan of blood and gore then I would probably miss this one out. Overall I thought this was good but I didn’t love it as much as I wanted to. I will probably be checking out the second volume at some point.

 

The Night Without Stars / Peter F. Hamilton / ★★★★
This is the second and final book in the Chronicle of the Fallers duology. I was initially a bit worried that it has been a while since I read the first book but I actually found it quite easy to get back into the flow of the story. As with the first book, the plot is compelling and the world is an interesting one.  I think the plot did drag a little at times but these sections never lasted for long. We see some familiar characters as well as meeting some new ones. I found that all of the characters are well written, although some were a little lacking in depth. Overall I thought this was a fantastic continuation of this series and I would highly recommend checking it out.

 

The Makioka Sisters / Jun’ichirō Tanizaki / ★★★★
I’ve had this on my shelf for quite some time now so I’m glad that I finally picked it up. This book was originally written in Japanese and my edition was translated by  Edward G. Seidensticker. I thought this was a fantastic book. It was definitely quite slow at times but the insight into Japanese culture at the time and an insight into the dynamics of the Makioka family. The writing was easy to get into and you become quickly invested in the story. The characters are definitely a strength of this book. I really enjoyed seeing them progress through the 500 page book. Overall I thought this was a great read and I would recommend checking it out.

 

A Natural History of Dragons / Marie Brennan / ★★★★
This is the first book in the Lady Trent series. I have to admit that I’ve been debating on whether to read this series for quite a while now and I finally decided to try it out this month. From the beginning I found the story to be compelling, despite being quite different to a lot of fantasy I’ve read. The characters were well written and the writing is good. Basically I really enjoyed this book and a full review will be posted in January.

 

The Tropic of Serpents / Marie Brennan / ★★★★
This is the second book in the Lady Trent series. I thought this was a fantastic continuation from the first book and it was great to be back in this world. Once again it was an easy and enjoyable read; I may have even enjoyed this one slightly more than the first book. It was great to be back with these characters and I enjoyed meeting the new ones too. I will be continuing on with this series, although I haven’t got my hands on the next book yet.

 

Tales from Watership Down / Richard Adams / ★★★★
Watership Down is one of my all time favourite books so of course I enjoyed this short story collection. I love the writing, the stories are compelling and it was great to be back with familiar characters. Basically I really enjoyed this book and it kind of makes me want to reread Watership Down.

 

Death’s Mistress / Terry Goodkind / ★★★★
I picked this one up on a bit of a whim in a bookshop and I am glad that I did as I really enjoyed this book. Now this follows a character that is first introduced in another series by this author which I have not read but I didn’t have any issues getting into the flow of the story. The writing is easy to get into, the plot is compelling and the characters are well written. The second book is set to be released in January and I will definitely be checking it out. I will have a full review of this up at some point.

 

The Girl in the Tower / Katherine Arden / ★★★★★
Since this is not being released for a few weeks and I’m doing a full review closer to the release date, I’m not going to say much about this book yet. All I’m going to say is that I thought it was fantastic and I definitely recommend checking this series.

 

I had a pretty great reading month in December and I just about managed to complete my Goodreads reading goal of 100 books. In terms of my January TBR I’m going to keep it simple and just read what I want to at the time, although I do plan to read Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. That’s it for my 2017 wrap ups – hopefully I’ll have another great reading year in 2018. What was your favourite book in December? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

November Wrap Up & December TBR

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s time for another monthly wrap up. I had a pretty good reading month in terms of quantity and quality – I read eight books. I’m glad to be back in a reading mood again. Let’s get started.

 

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Forest of a Thousand Lanterns / Julie C. Dao / ★★
This book just didn’t work for me. I’m always up for trying East Asian inspired fantasy books but unfortunately I didn’t like this one. The main issue I had was the main character, Xifeng. I found her to be quite inconsistent at times and kind of frustrating. I know that you’re not really supposed to like her anyway but I just really wasn’t a fan and the girl on girl hate is a pet peeve of mine. The story was alright, although it seemed a little to neat and easy for the main character to get what she wants. The writing is good but it doesn’t really make up for the fact that I didn’t find the story very compelling. Overall this was a disappointment for me. It reinforces the fact that I’m not the biggest fan of YA fantasy at the moment.

 

Age of Assassin / R. J. Barker / ★★★
While I did enjoy this one, I didn’t love it. Probably somewhere between a 2.5 and 3 star rating. I thought the writing was good and it flowed nicely, but I found the plot to be a little lacking. To me it didn’t fully translate into a compelling story and there were a few times it dragged a little bit. It was still good for the most part. The characters are good, if a little lacking in depth and development. I don’t really know what else to say other than this one didn’t fully work for me. I probably won’t be continuing on with this series.

 

The Power / Naomi Alderman / ★★★
This one is quite a tricky one to rate. I think the concept of the book is great but it never translated into a compelling story to me. I can’t quite put my finger on why that is but that’s what I thought once I’d finished. The writing is good and this book is definitely full of interesting ideas, but there were times that I felt it was a little underdeveloped in some ways. I have mixed feelings on this book and I don’t really know what else to say. I would still recommend reading this but I definitely didn’t love it as much as I thought I would.

 

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The Book of Atrix Wolfe / Patricia A. McKillip / ★★★
I’ve been meaning to read more from this author since reading and loving Forgotten Beasts of Eld, so I decided to pick this one up on a bit of a whim. Her writing is great; I find it so easy to become immersed in her worlds and stories. This book was not an exception, although I didn’t love the plot as much as the previous book I’ve read by her. That’s not to say that the plot of this book wasn’t good though – I did still enjoy it. Overall I thought this was a great book and I’m definitely interested in reading more from this author.

 

The Black Tides of Heaven  and The Red Threads of Fortune / JY Yang / ★★★
I have a full review of this, so I’m not going to go into too much detail. I thought that both of these novellas were great, although lacking a little bit in the world building. The writing is good, the characters are well written and the world is an interesting one. If you’re a fan of fantasy then I would recommend checking these out if you’re interested by them.

 

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To Capture What We Cannot Keep / Beatrice Colin / ★★★.5
This is definitely quite a romance heavy historical fiction but I actually quite enjoyed it. The main thing I enjoyed about this book is that it is set during the construction of the Eiffel Tower – I think this is a great setting. Although it is quite romance heavy, I thought it was done well and it was an enjoyable story to read. I found this to be a quick and easy read, although it is quite a slow burner. If you’re looking for some new historical fiction to try out then I’d recommend checking this out.

 

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The Big Four / Agatha Christie / ★★★.5
It’s kind of funny that this is my fourth Christie book I’ve read considering the title. Anyway this was another great Poirot story with a compelling mystery. I’ve not been reading them in any kind of order but I haven’t been having any trouble reading them like that. Each has a separate mystery. I really enjoyed the story of this one and I find these Poirot mysteries to be so enjoyable to read. I don’t really have anything else to say about these – I’ve enjoyed all the Poirot books I’ve read so far.

 

The Book of Dust / Philip Pullman / ★★★★
This was probably my most anticipated book of this year and it did not disappoint. I was both nervous and excited about the possibility of this book, but it was great to be back in this world. It is quite a slow burning story, however I was never bored or felt that it dragged in any way. Basically I loved it and I’m very excited for the next book in this trilogy.

 

In terms of my December TBR I’m going to keep to simple and not pick a load of books to read as I haven’t really been sticking my TBRs recently. I would love to get to The Makioka Sister by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki – I said I’d pick it up in November but that didn’t happen. Other than that I’m just going to read what I want at the time. What books do you want to get to by the end of the year? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

October Wrap Up and November TBR

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s time to talk about all the books I read in October… When I say all, I actually only mean 3 books. I had a bit of a slow reading month but I’m pretty pleased that I managed to read some books.

 

The Loving Cup / Winston Graham / ★★★
This was another good book in this series, but it did fall a little flat for me. Maybe because it’s been a while since I read the last book, so it took me a little while to work what was going on again. It was still good though and I will definitely be continuing on with this series.

 

1984 / George Orwell / ★★★.5
I think this is quite a hard one to rate. I thought that the writing was great and the flow of it made it quite easy to become absorbed. The world building was fantastic; you really feel the oppressive nature of this world. It is also definitely a thought provoking book, although perhaps a little dated now. It did drag a little bit at times but it didn’t really affect my reading experience.  I’ve been meaning to read this for ages now, so I’m glad that I’ve finally gotten around to reading it. Overall I thought this was a great book and I would recommend reading it.

 

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Time of Dread / John Gwynne / ★★★.5
*I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
I’ve been aware of this author’s other series for a while, so when I saw he was coming out with a new series I thought I’d give it a go. I thought this was a great introduction to this trilogy, although it did take me a little while to get into (mainly due to my reading slump). I think one of the main strengths of this book were the range of characters; all of which were well written and engaging. This is a book with multiple perspectives, so if that’s not your thing than it’s probably something to be aware of going in, but I thought it was done well. Each perspective was distinctive and compelling. Overall I thought this was great. I will have a full review up closer to the release date (January 11th).

 

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Shadowblack / Sebastien de Castell / ★★★★
*I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
I thought this was a great continuation of this series. I find this series is so enjoyable and fun to read. Although it did take me a little while to get into (due to the reading slump), I thought the plot was compelling and it was great to be back with these characters. I especially enjoy the character of Reichis. If you’re looking for a new entertaining fantasy series to read, I definitely recommend checking these books out. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

 

Mistress of the Empire / Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts / ★★★★
This was a fantastic ending to this trilogy. I was in a bit of a reading slump when I started reading this but after around 100 pages I was hooked. It was so good to be back with these characters and in this world. I think Mara is such a great female protagonist and is one of my favourite things about this trilogy. I also really enjoyed the scope of it – throughout the trilogy we see years of the characters lives and so we really see them grow. The writing is good, the plot is compelling and the characters are so well written. Overall I think this was a fantastic trilogy and I highly recommend checking it out.
I am currently reading The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman, so I will definitely be finishing that soon. In November I would also love to read Monstress: Vol 1 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda. Other books I want to get to include The Power by Naomi Alderman, Good People by Hannah Kent and The Makioka Sisters by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki. I think I’m coming out of my reading slump so I hope to read more next month. What was your favourite book you read this month? Mine was definitely Mistress of the Empire. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

September Wrap Up and October TBR

Hi guys it’s time to wrap up another month of reading. I thought I hadn’t read much this month but it turns out I still managed to read 5 books so I’m pretty happy with that. At one point I thought it was only going to be two books. Anyway I’ve read some great books this month – none of the books are rated under 3 stars. I’ve just not had a huge amount of motivation to read so I’m super happy with the 5 books I’ve read. Let’s get started with my mini reviews.

 

Queen of Fire / Raven Shadow trilogy – book 3 / Anthony Ryan / 
This was a good conclusion to this trilogy, but I have to admit that the second and third book were a little disappointing when compared with the first book. This one was definitely an improvement from the second book though. Although overall I thought this was a compelling read, there were definitely times it dragged. I think the trilogy as a whole could probably have been shortened a bit. It was great to be back with these characters though. Overall I enjoyed this trilogy but for me the first book was the strongest. I can’t say for sure why the other books weren’t quite as compelling. I would still recommend checking these books out.

 

 

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Spellslinger / Spellslinger series – book 1 / Sebastien de Castell / ★.5
I thought this was a great introduction to this series. I definitely didn’t love it quite as much as the first book in his other series but it was still really good. The world of this book is an interesting and it’s well thought out too, as is the magic system. It’s also quite funny at times. The characters are fleshed out, the plot is compelling and the writing is easy to get into. I will definitely be checking out the second book in this series.

 

Blood of Dragons / Robin Hobb / 
It’s a Robin Hobb book so of course this was great. I thought this was such a good conclusion to this series and I think that each character thread was really well done. I was completely invested in the characters and we get to learn even more about the world too. Basically these are fantastic books and I highly recommend checking them out. I would say that this is probably the weakest of the Realm of the Elderling series so far but it is still great.

 

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Artemis / Andy Weir / 
*I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
While I enjoyed Weir’s other book, I definitely didn’t love it quite as much as everyone else seemed to so I was interested to see he was releasing a new book. I thought this was such a great read.  This book is set to be released November 14th and I will have more to say closer to that release date.

 

Tess of the D’Ubervilles / Thomas Hardy / 
This was my classic pick of the month and it was pretty heartbreaking. As with the two other Hardy books I’ve read this was very well written and does a great job of transporting you into the landscape. It is also quite interesting as it really showcases the place women had in society at that time and the rigid morals applied to them. In that sense it is quite a frustrating read because we can’t understand why Tess does certain things but it was a very different time back then. It is a pretty depressing story, which will definitely not be to everyone’s tastes. This isn’t really a book you enjoy as it is a tragic tale but I think it is worth a read nonetheless.

 

I am also almost finished with The Loving Cup by Winston Graham, which is the 10th book in the Poldark series. In terms of my October TBR I’ve set myself a few books that I hope to get to. My classic pick for October is 1984 by George Orwell but I would also quite like to get to The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. The other books I would like to get to are Mistress of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts, The Power by Naomi Alderman, the Good People by Hannah Kent, Sovereign by C. J. Sansom and maybe The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin. I probably won’t get to all of those but I’m hoping it will happen anyway :). What was your favourite book this month? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

August Wrap Up and September TBR

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. I am pretty happy that it’s now going into the autumn months as autumn/winter are my favourite seasons :). Anyway I read 6 books this month, which isn’t that much compared to previous months. I didn’t have a lot of motivation to read this month, so I’m pretty happy that I still read 6 books.  As always I have linked each book to Wordery using my affiliate link, so you can get yourself a copy of any of these books if you want to. Let’s get started with my mini reviews.

 

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Stranger of Tempest / Tom Lloyd / ★★
This was very much a case of it’s not you, it’s me. It had a lot of potential but I personally felt it fell a little flat. My only small complaint was that the characters lacked some depth and the pacing wasn’t quite right. The plot felt a little aimless at times and the pacing suffered a little bit. Apart from that, this was a good book, but I just never got invested in it. If you like fantasy and the synopsis interests you I would still recommend checking it out. I have a full review of this coming soon.

 

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Child of the Prophecy / Juliet Marillier / ★★★
Of course the writing was fantastic. If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll know that I discovered Marillier this year and I think her writing is great. I do think that this was the weakest of the Sevenwaters trilogy so far. To be entirely honest I wasn’t a huge fan of the main character, Fainine – I found her quite frustrating a lot of the time. In my opinion there were also a few holes in the plot and I just didn’t find it as compelling as the previous two. Overall still a good book but definitely not my favourite.

 

A Pale View of Hills / Kazuo Ishiguro / ★★★
I’m a big fan of this author and I’ve been meaning to check out his debut book for a while now. As with his other books, memory plays a part in this book and there is an unreliable narrator. I found this to be a very intriguing story. This is definitely one of those books you will pick up more from rereading it. I will say that this is quite a vague book in some ways, so if you are a fan of straightforward plots and neatly solved mysteries than this may not be for you. You are given the bare bones of plot and it is up to you interpret the events of the book. Of course the writing is great and the characters are well written. I have enjoyed everything I’ve read from Ishiguro, so I would definitely recommend checking him out.

 

Germinal / Emile Zola / ★★★★
This is definitely not an easy read, in terms of the conditions of the characters during a miners’ strike – there is a lot of suffering and hardship in this book. It is a very interesting read, but it is very grim. The writing is fantastic, although there are quite a lot of long descriptions. It did take me some time to read it but it is quite dense and long (not in a bad way though). It did also take me some time to get used to all of the characters and to remember who’s who. I don’t have alot more to say about this. I would highly recommend reading it.

 

Empress of Bright Moon / Weina dai Randal / ★★★★
This is the second and final book in the Empress of Bright Moon duology. I thought this was a fantastic conclusion and it has definitely made me want to check out more historical fiction set in Ancient China. I found these books so easy to get into and as they are compelling they are quite quick reads. Basically I really enjoyed this book and the duology as a whole. I highly recommend checking this out, especially if you enjoy historical fiction.

 

Servant of the Empire / Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts / ★★★★
This is the second book in the Empire trilogy. I’m going to start this review by saying that this trilogy is fast becoming a new favourite of mine. As with the first book, this was very compelling.  Even though my copy was around 820 pages I flew through this book because I wanted to know what was going to happen next. Once again the politics and intrigue were a highlight of this book. This is not an action packed fantasy book, but if you enjoy intrigue than you need to check out this trilogy. It is so good. I am very excited to read the third and final book. Clearly I would highly recommend this book, especially if you like your fantasy books filled with intrigue.

 

I’ve decided I’m not going to set myself a TBR for September. I’m just going to read what I want to at the time. I am currently reading Artemis by Andy Weir, which I am liking so far.  Other than that I’m not really sure – I have quite a few books on my TBR :). What was your favourite book in August? Mine was definitely Servant of the Empire. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

July Wrap Up and August TBR

Hi guys, it’s time for another wrap up. I’ve had a pretty good reading month. I read 10 books – only one of those was under a 3 star rating and I had a 5 star read this month too. I’m also pretty happy that I am now on track for my Goodreads challenge. At the time of writing this, I am 5 books ahead of schedule so that’s good :). Anyway, I don’t think I have anything else to report to you guys, so I’m just going to start with my mini reviews.

 

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The Tiger’s Daughter / K. Arsrenault Riveria / 
* I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
I will update this mini review closer to the release date, but basically this one didn’t work for me. It does have a lot of good reviews on Goodreads though.

 

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn / Mark Twain / 
I realised when I was about 100 pages in that I should have read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer before reading this. You can still read it but things are mentioned that presumably happen in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer so for a full understanding it’s probably best to read them in chronological order – Sawyer first, than Finn. Anyway it took me quite some time to get into this – mainly due to the writing style and dialect. It’s also written in quite an episodic way, so if that’s not your thing than I would avoid this book. It was a good story of friendship, although some things that happened seemed a little over the top. I felt that I appreciated this book more than I actually enjoyed this, if that makes sense. Overall I thought this was a good book but I won’t be adding it to my list of favourite classics.

 

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Betrayal / Fiona Mcintosh /
This is the first book in the Trinity trilogy. This one is a bit of a tricky one to rate because although I did end up enjoying it, I did also have quite a few issues with it. I’ll start with some positives – I thought this was a good introduction to this trilogy, the characters were a little cliched but they were pretty well written, the plot is engaging and compelling and the writing is quite easy to get into, although clunky at times. You can tell that this was her first book, but I didn’t dislike the writing. Now onto some negatives – it contains the extremely overused (at this point) trope of ‘The One’/’The Chosen One’. I don’t mind this if it is done well but I think in this book I think it didn’t quite work. This was mainly due to Tor’s development of his powers – one chapter he’s discovering that he has magic, and then after a couple of chapters he seems to be in full control of his powers with little to no training… what? How can he suddenly be so adept at magic? I just didn’t make sense to me. For me the character development was also lacking. Don’t get me wrong we do get development we just don’t see it. Five years past at some point in the book so we don’t get to see how the characters develop into adults, if that makes sense. I wanted more depth from the characters too – I felt what we got from them was quite surface level. One thing I really didn’t like was the girl on girl hate for no obvious reason other than they are female – not a fan of that at all. The plot probably could have been shorter. Other than that, it was a good read, but as you can see it wasn’t without flaws.

 

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street / Natasha Pulley / 
This was a good debut novel but I also feel it had a lot of potential that wasn’t fully used. At times it felt quite confusing and although the characters are quite well written they lacked some depth. The plot is pretty vague as well, so if you like very structured, plot driven books than this probably isn’t for you. The concept is an interesting one and is one of the main strengths of this book  – I want a Katsu for myself :). I did find it a bit odd that no one ever seemed to really react to the fantastical elements – they just kind of accepted it, which didn’t seem to completely match with the setting. I enjoyed the setting of this book and I thought the atmosphere was done quite well. Overall I enjoyed this book but I think it could have been even better. I would still recommend checking this out, especially if you are a fan of magical realism.

 

The Sound of Waves / Yukio Mishima / 
This is basically the story of a young fisherman and a young woman who fall in love but are separated by their class. Now I’m not normally one for romance books but this one worked quite well (maybe because it’s pretty short).  This is a classic look into the trials of love.  The main thing I enjoyed about this book was the descriptions of life on this small rural island. The details in this book are fantastic and create such an amazing look into their lives. Overall I thought this was a great book and I’m definitely interested in reading more from this author.
City of Dragons / Robin Hobb / ★.5
This is the third book in the Rain Wild Chronicles. This was a good continuation of this series but in my opinion it is probably the weakest of the books so far. Hobb is still a fantastic writer though and it was still a great book.

 

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Eagles in the Storm / Ben Kane / 
* I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
The third and final book in the Eagles of Rome trilogy. With this book, the trilogy ended fantastically. You can clearly see the research the author has undertaken to create an authentic feel to these books. The characters are well written, the plot is compelling and the writing is easy to get into. If you are interested in this time period and/or love historical fiction then you should definitely check this trilogy out.

 

Kings of the Wyld / Nicholas Eames / 
This is the first book in the Band series. I had seen this around quite a bit and a friend of mine recommended it to me, so I decided to pick it up. I thought this was a very enjoyable read, although the ending could have been done better. The characters are well written, the plot is engaging and the writing is easy to get into. I think Moog and Kit were my favourite characters in this book. Some of the humour wasn’t to my taste but that’s just personal preference and it didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment. I will say that I wanted more from the ending. It’s built up so much throughout the book that it was a little anti-climatic when you got it the end. I also felt that it was a little confusing about what happened to certain characters. Overall this was a very entertaining book and I would recommend it, especially if you enjoy fantasy. I definitely plan on checking out the next books in this series whenever they come out.

 

A Tale for the Time Being / Ruth Ozeki / 
I’ve had this on my TBR for quite some time now, so I’m very happy that I’ve finally picked it up. I thought this was a fantastic book. I definitely found Nao’s narrative more compelling than Ruth’s, but both perspectives are equally important and I understand why they are both used. I also found Ruth a little frustrating at times. I didn’t find that it detracted from the story though, as all of the characters are very well written. The writing was great and easy to get into. I definitely recommend checking this book out, especially if you are interested in aspect of Japanese culture. I plan to check out her other books too. Trigger warning for suicide and bullying.

 

Accusations / Bandi / 
This book is very interesting, as well as being pretty scary. It is a collection of stories that have been smuggled out of North Korea. If you are unfamiliar, North Korea has a terrifying regime that doesn’t particularly care about human rights – that’s putting it very briefly, there is a lot more to it than that but otherwise we’d be here all day. I personally find this area of the world fascinating so I thought this book was fantastic and is well worth a read.

 

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In terms of my August TBR I have a few books that I want to get to. There are also two readathons that I am thinking of taking part of – Tome Topple readathon (4th-17th) and Bout of Books readathon (21st-27th) so look out for there separate TBR posts. I definitely want to read Servant of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts – I’m think of reading this over the Tome topple readathon. My classic pick of the month is going to be Germinal by Emile Zola. Other books I’m thinking about trying to get to include A Pale View of Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro, The Loving Cup by Winston Graham, Empress of the Bright Moon by Weina dai Randel, The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen and The Reluctant Queen by Sarah Beth Durst. There are just so many books I want to read :). Hopefully I’ll at least get to some of these.

 

How was your reading month? What was your favourite book of the month? I’d love to know. In unrelated news, I am getting quite excited that it is getting closer to autumn and winter now! I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa