June Update & Book Reviews

I have had an eventful couple of months which is why my blog has been so quiet. My husband had an ultramarathon in the Flinders Ranges in South Australia, which you can read here if you are into race reports. Not long after we returned, my eldest child broke his leg, so we’ve had lots of hospital/doctors visits. He is still in a full cast, but will have it cut down below the knee next week which should make getting around a little easier. My daughter had her first cheerleading competition with her new team and in a new uniform. So sparkly! And finally, house renovations are continuing at full steam. Painting will be taking up a fair chunk of my time over the next few weeks, and then I can get new carpet put in upstairs. Yay!

Despite the added drama to our schedule, I managed to squeeze some reading in amongst all of the above. Australian Authors have kept my reading spark active.

Eight Lives by Susan Hurley
Former refugee David Tran becomes the Golden Boy of Australian medical research and invents a drug that could transform immunology. Eight volunteers are recruited for the first human trial, a crucial step on the path to global fame for David and windfall gains for his investors. But when David dies in baffling circumstances, motives are put under the microscope.

Eight Lives is slow to start but picks up towards the end of the book, and gives a really good insight into the commercialisation aspects of immunology and medicine in general. There are multiple character viewpoints, some of which are more engaging than others. The science was reasonably clear and well explained, and I appreciated how different characters viewed it and tried to explain it differently. The author sets up the different stories threads and weaves them altogether to give a very satisfactory ending.

Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman
The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch… And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman never fail to disappoint. Told from multiple POVs, with plenty of wit and humour, Aurora Rising was another excellent YA sci-fi novel and my favourite read from the past couple of months.

Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody
In a world struggling back from the brink of apocalypse, life is harsh. And for Elspeth Gordie, it is also dangerous. That’s because Elspeth has a secret: she is a Misfit, born with mysterious mental abilities that she must keep hidden under threat of death. And her worries only multiply when she is exiled to the mountain compound known as Obernewtyn, where—for all her talents—Elspeth may finally and truly be out of her depth. Then she learns she’s not the only one concealing secrets at Obernewtyn.

I’ve heard good things about Obernewtyn for years, but never got around to reading it. During a recent trip to my favourite second hand book, I found it a little battered but definitely readable. The story has fared well over time. A land of magic following nuclear war – it’s everything I look for in a novel. My only complaint is the few stilted sections of dialogue and jarring paragraphs which seem to time jump or skip. Otherwise, I enjoyed it.

★ ★ ★

I used to be one of those people who had to finish a book no matter what. I don’t know if I’m no longer as patient as I used to be, or the fact that there are so many other books I want to read on my TBR list, but I find myself disengaged more often and giving up. It happened a few times this month, and I am currently reading another which I am about to put back on the shelf, which is disappointing. But I do have plenty of new books still to read, so hopefully I’ll be back again with more reviews next month.

One Comment

  1. I hear you with the disappointing books. I was watching a YouTube the other day from Daniel Green, who puts out a ridiculous amount of reviews. The key to his prolific reading is being able to put down a book if it doesn’t engage him, usually about a third of the way through. I need to work on that talent.

    I like how you arranged your TBR pile by the color of the cover! I’ve only read “Vicious” by V.E. Schwab, but I loved it, and hear great things about “A Darker Shade of Magic.”

    I’ve been meaning to read anything by Ursula K. LeGuin for a while now. I hope you enjoy it. I’ve got to make that a goal befre the end of the year.

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