Tag Archives: crooked kingdom

December Reading Wrap-Up

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I’m a little early with this December reading recap, but I’ll be out of town for New Years’ and am trying to get a jump on my blog posting before I leave. In December, I managed to read three of the four books from my Tome Topple Readathon TBR list (which I totally failed at reading in November) and also read a bunch of very popular books, with varied results. There are technically three days left in December, but it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to finish another book before then–I’m right at the beginning of The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell, which is a very long book, and I’m listening to Lab Girl by Hope Jahren very, very slowly. I’m also re-reading Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Mist and Fury, which is a very wintery read.

Total books read in December: 6

#readmyowndamnbooks: 5

Audiobooks: 0 (I wasn’t in an audiobook mood! Although I did start one audiobook, Lab Girl by Hope Jahren)

Book Riot Read Harder Challenge tasks completed: 1

✓ 5. Read a middle-grade novel
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1) by Catherynne M. Valente The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers, #2)Crooked Kingdom by Leigh BardugoGemina by Amie KaufmanThe Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own M... by Catherynne M. Valente

A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers (4.25 stars) – this was a wonderful story about two people discovering who they are: an AI who is given her own body for the first time, and a girl born in a world that only wants to use her as a slave. Like Becky Chambers’ previous book, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, the themes here are universal and well-portrayed, and although I did think it was really good, it didn’t quite live up to its predecessor. I’m absolutely planning to continue with the series; according to Goodreads, Chambers has a third book set in this universe coming out in 2017.

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (4.25 stars) – So, I loved Six of Crows, and this book was one of the books I was most excited about reading this year. Maybe that was why I was underwhelmed with the first half of the book; things were seeming forced (especially dialogue and character interactions, which was really disappointing) and things just didn’t feel quite right. But! It got wayyyy better in the second half when the action really ramped up and things started feeling back to the awesomeness that I remember from the first book. The ending was very, very satisfying in pretty much every way. It’s sad that this is only a duology, but honestly things ended on such a perfect note that I’m glad there were only two books.

Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman (4 stars) – The sequel to Illuminae, the ridiculously exciting unconventionally formatted science fiction book that I devoured during Dewey’s. I’ve been so pleasantly surprised by this series. Gemina, like Illuminae, was very suspenseful and a quick read, but I actually really preferred the two main characters of this book to the main characters of Illuminae–especially Nik, our new male main character, who is a good-hearted guy who happens to be part of an organized crime family. On a space station.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente (4 stars) – this was a really lovely middle-grade book about a girl named September who travels to Fairyland and discovers that things aren’t quite what she had expected. She befriends a wyvern and goes on a quest, which gets more complicated after the evil ruler of Fairyland gets involved. I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed this; it’s very well-written and has a good amount of originality. I wish I had younger siblings or cousins that I could pass this along to; I’d definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a middle-grade read for anyone.

The Final Empire by Brandon SandersonA Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)

Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (3 stars) – I was not a big fan of this book. I know that a lot of people really love it, and it wasn’t that I thought it was terrible, but it was just…not great. There were so many way-too-convenient plot twists and tropes galore; I can be OK with either of these things in fantasy if the writing is really good, but unfortunately, it really wasn’t. I’m not saying this book was bad; the premise was interesting and there were some fun moments, but overall it wasn’t unique enough for me.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab (3 stars) – This book was okay…I’d say it was a pretty solid 3-star read, but I’m not sure why it gets so much hype. I did like the concept of multiple Londons; I found the power-hungry White London especially interesting, and I liked Prince Rhy, who seemed by far like the most interesting character. Unfortunately, neither of these really got enough page time for me, and I found the two main characters’ actions to be really frustrating for the majority of the novel. I did like Kell, the main character, but for someone who’s supposed to be a super-powerful magician, he sure forgot to actually use his magic pretty often. Lila really grew on me by the end of the book, but it definitely took awhile. I probably won’t be continuing with this series.

October TBR

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So, in October I’d like to get a lot of Halloween-themed reading done, in the spirit of the RIP reading challenge, but I might get derailed due to new releases. Don’t get me wrong–I think Leigh Bardugo’s Crooked Kingdom and Ilona Andrews’s Magic Binds might fit in fairly well with the challenge (I guess you could call them both dark fantasy? Although with Kate Daniels that might be stretching it a bit), but I feel like to fully appreciate the new release of next-in-series books in two of my favorite series, I need to go back and do some re-reading of previous installments, and that could slow me down in terms of devouring new content. In September, I feel like re-reading the majority of N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season really helped me appreciate The Obelisk Gate more; I feel like this is true for a lot of new releases, as it’s hard for me to pick up right where I left off when the previous book was released a full year ago. In particular, I really want to finish my re-read Six of Crows; I’ve actually been meaning to re-read it ever since I finished it last October because I was so in love with the characters and the heist plot, but then I sort of forgot about my re-reading game plan until literally the day of Crooked Kingdom‘s release.  I also need to reread the most recent Kate Daniels book, Magic Shifts, to make sure that I’m all caught up before I dive into Magic Binds.

So, yes, that’s lots of re-reading to get done (especially since my progress on Six of Crows is super minimal so far, oops), and I think my re-reading will be battling with my new reads for most of the month. The other thing that could throw off my October TBR is the fact that Dewey’s Readathon comes back on October 22nd! I love participating in the 24-hour readathon and am planning on saving at least one of my new releases to enjoy on that day.

The VegetarianCrooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)Magic Binds (Kate Daniels, #9)The Daylight Gate

Here’s what I’m planning on reading in October, ranked from most to least likely to read:

The Vegetarian by Han Kang – I’m currently reading and really enjoying this very dark short novel.

The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson – I fell in love with Winterson’s writing when I read The Passion earlier this year, and I’m very excited to check out this short historical fiction novel focused on witches.

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo – I just need to finish my reread of Six of Crows!

Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews – ditto, except with Magic Shifts! The problem is that Magic Shifts was my least favorite book in the series, by far, so I’m not super psyched for the reread.

Deathless (Leningrad Diptych, #1)Let the Right One InBird BoxForest of Memory

Bird Box by Josh Malerman – I’m currently listening to this on audiobook and doing so very slowly, in part because the book tends to freak me out if I listen to it while driving alone at night and in part because I’m not loving it. It definitely fits the October vibe, though.

Forest of Memory by Mary Robinette Kowal – I’m probably going to read this novella during Dewey’s.

Let the Right One In by John Adjvide Lindqvist – I bought this book when I was in New Orleans for a conference last October, and have been planning it for an October read for basically a year. I do love vampires, so I’m hoping this one works for me.

Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente – I’m so intrigued by this book and by Valente as an author, but I’m skeptical about my ability to finish all these books in one month. We’ll see!

Sorcerer to the Crown (Sorcerer Royal, #1)In a Dark, Dark Wood

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware – I’m on the wait list for this audiobook, and if I ever finish Bird Box, this will be my next audio pick for October.

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho – this book is on my must-read in 2016 list, but I’m thinking it probably won’t happen in October unless I finish a bunch of Halloweenish reads early on. Most likely, though, it’s going to end up on my November TBR as well.

 

What are you all planning to read this month? Anyone planning on reading some seasonal Halloween-ish books? Let me know in the comments!

 

September Book Haul, Part 2

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Yes, lots of book buying went down in September. And I don’t regret it for a second, because these books all look awesome. I’m looking forward to a super bookish fall and winter curled up with a hot drink and a good book.

So here’s the second half of my book haul:

The Vegetarian by Han Kang – I had no idea this book was so short (less than 200 pages!) and I have a feeling I’m really going to like it. It’s supposedly dark, surreal, and told from multiple perspectives–all things I enjoy in a book.

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi – I mean, I’m not NOT going to buy a new Tahereh Mafi book. That’s just how it is. Although I do hope she returns to YA soon, and the brief hint that she posted on Twitter about her newest project sounds AMAZING.

Gutshot by Amelia Gray – this is a dark short story collection that I know very little about; I think the stories have a lot of grotesque/horror elements, and I’ve heard it’s a bit disturbing. It’s a very short collection, and I’m wondering if I might be in the right mood for it in October.

A Guide to Being Born by Ramona Ausubel – another short story collection with an awesome cover. I read some extremely positive reviews about this themed collection, which is, according to Goodreads, “organized around the stages of life—love, conception, gestation, birth—and the transformations that happen as people experience deeply altering life events, falling in love, becoming parents, looking toward the end of life.”

The Last Illusion by Porochista Khakpour – I remembered reading about this book on The Millions’ anticipated books list one year, but I haven’t seen it much on any blogs or on Bookstagram. It’s about an albino Iranian boy who is kept in a cage by his mother for most of his childhood and communicates  like a bird. He’s later released and brought to New York City but has difficulty adapting to living as a human; it’s supposed to be good but very, very sad.

What is Not Yours is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi – I’ve previously read Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi, and I thought that her writing style was really incredible. I’ve only heard good things about her short story collection, which focuses on the concept of keys. Plus, I just love short stories.

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell – I think I’m going to really, really enjoy this one, especially since I love reading really long books in the winter. I thought that Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas was intricate and well-thought-out, and that his writing strength was really proven by inhabiting so many very disparate characters in different places and times. I believe that this one has a similar style, but I’ve been trying not to read too much about the plot, since I feel like this kind of book is best if you know very little going in.

The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips – this author is getting comparisons to Haruki Murakami and Margaret Atwood (!) for this short novel about a woman inputting numbers into a database at her job for an unknown purpose; apparently it gets much weirder from there.

Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews – this is the penultimate book in the Kate Daniels series, which is by far the best UF series I have encountered and has some of the most lovable and memorable characters from any series I’ve ever read. And I’ll freak out if anything bad happens to them in this book. I’m telling you right now, if anyone dies I’m just going to pretend it didn’t happen. Honestly, I’m sort of nervous to read this one–it might be all buildup to the final showdown that I think we all know is coming in the final volume. Or it could be great! In either case, it’s going to seem make the wait for book 10 seem unbearable.

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo – AHHHH FINALLY. I don’t even want to read this because it’s only a duology and after I finish, this series will be over.

And apparently I forgot The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin in my last book haul! My review for that book will be up in my September reading wrap-up post (hopefully tomorrow).

 

What books did you all pick up in September? Which of these should I pick up first? Let me know!