August Book Reviews

It’s September which means it’s spring! Thank goodness. I’ve had less time to get anything done over the past few months thanks to ferrying my eldest child to and from school (he normally rides his bike but that’s not possible with a broken leg) and to have X-rays and doctors appointments. The cast finally came off after ten weeks, and he’s now been given the all clear to return to normal activities after sixteen weeks – hooray! But now my daughter has broken her pinky finger, so the appointments continue – boo!

My house is inching closer to being finished. I am currently organising to have new carpet put in upstairs and some plumbing done to finish off the main bathroom. Then it’s on to painting the outside of the house. Aiming for an October completion date, so long as the weather plays nice.

In general, because I am usually spent at the end of the day and I’m sleeping in later in the morning, I haven’t been writing much. I have been re-filling my creative well and catching up on my all-time favourite trilogies/sagas instead, after I discovered that listening to audiobooks while I paint is an awesome way to multitask. Though I will say that, for me, some sci-fi/fantasy books are probably better off being read in traditional form so I can absorb the information better.

Here’s what I read/listened to in July/August:

Ancilliary Justice (Imperial Radch #1) by Ann Leckie

On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest. Once, she was the Justice of Toren – a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy. Now, an act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with one fragile human body, unanswered questions, and a burning desire for vengeance. 

Short Review: A slow beginning with a lot of character development and world building. It took me a while to work out the Justice of Toren was in multiple bodies/places at once, and the reference to all sexes as ‘she’ and interesting concept. The main character of Breq is one you want to get to know and understand, and the plot is both clever and intriguing.

Dark Age (Red Rising Saga #5) by Pierce Brown

For a decade Darrow led a revolution against the corrupt color-coded Society. Now, outlawed by the very Republic he founded, he wages a rogue war on Mercury in hopes that he can still salvage the dream of Eo. But as he leaves death and destruction in his wake, is he still the hero who broke the chains? Or will another legend rise to take his place?

Short Review: A whopping book at over 700 pages long, which I read in a few short days. Pierce has created some fantastic great new villians in Dark Age to go along with some already familiar ones. Some of my favourite characters didn’t appear enough for my liking, but I found others I didn’t enjoy as much in Iron Gold had a bit more substance to them in Dark Age. As always, a complex plot covering an entire solar system with plenty of hard hitting themes and twists to keep me up late at night.

This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone 

Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandant finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading. And thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents hellbent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. Now, what began as a taunt, a battlefield boast, grows into something more. Except discovery of their bond would be death for each of them. There’s still a war going on, after all. And someone has to win that war. That’s how war works. Right? 

Short Review: I listened to this book in a single session. I loved the way the letters changed from taunting one another in the beginning and all the way through their friendship. There were clever ways of revealing each of the two warring factions and the worlds they inhabit, and the ending was both unexpected and superb. Great science fiction read.

Darkdawn (The Nevernight Chronicle #3) by Jay Kristoff

Mia Corvere, gladiatii, escaped slave and infamous assassin, is on the run. Pursued by Blades of the Red Church and soldiers of the Luminatii legion, she may never escape the City of Bridges and Bones alive. Beneath the city, a dark secret awaits. Together with her lover Ashlinn, brother Jonnen and a mysterious benefactor returned from beyond the veil of death, she must undertake a perilous journey across the Republic, seeking the final answer to the riddle of her life.

Short Review: I have been waiting impatiently for this book. I loved where the story left off in Godsgrave and I needed to know what happened to Mia. For me, Darkdawn is definitely the weakest book in the triology. Mia’s need for revenge drove the previous two stories, but this time it takes a backseat to her desire to protect the people she loves. In most situations she is reacting to the situation at hand, rather than driving the story forward. Having said that, Mia proves she is the Queen of Shadows in one of the most spectacular kick-ass scenes I’ve read all year. Overall though, I may have been expecting too much of Darkdawn, because I ended up disappointed.

I have a big pile of books still waiting to be read. More reviews to come at the end of September. Hopefully I remember to update the blog 😉