Hi guys, it’s time for my monthly wrap up. We are now going into a new year and I hope it will start out well for you all. I am actually quite looking forward to what this year has in store – 2016 was an alright year for me but I hope the year ahead is better. I had a pretty good reading month. I read nine books, none of which were under a three star rating.
The Smoke Hunter / ★★★
*I received a copy of this from bookbridgr in exchange for an honest review*
This was a quick, easy, and entertaining read but it was a lot more chick lit than I expected – I have to admit this meant I was a little disappointed with it. Although the story was pretty implausible and predictable, it was still enjoyable to read. The romance was fine, if a little cheesy and I really liked the setting. It is a decent debut novel, but it is definitely not perfect. If you like Lara Croft, Indianna Jones and are looking for a light and entertaining book, then check this out
The Sentinel Mage / Emily Gee / ★★★
This was a solid first book in this trilogy – I didn’t know a lot about it before reading it but I ended up quite enjoying it. For the most part, it is pretty predictable and it is nothing new in terms of the fantasy genre, however I still found it to be an engaging and enjoyable read. So if you are looking for new and unique fantasy books, then this probably isn’t for you, especially if you are bored of the traditional fantasy tropes etc. It was an easy and quick read that has a magic system that I liked. There could have been more character development but perhaps that will happen more in the next two books. The women especially, I wanted more depth from them. The romance was entirely predictable and kind of frustrating, but I suspected that would be the case going into it. Overall I liked it, but it wasn’t perfect – I am interested in continuing with this trilogy though
The Slow Regard of Silent Things / Patrick Rothfuss / ★★★★
This was a beautifully written and illustrated novella about one of my favourite characters in the Kingkiller Chronicles – Auri. Not alot really happens as it is literally about a week in her life, but if you find her character interesting then this is well worth a read. I don’t have alot more to say, other than that I enjoyed it.
The Mysterious Affair At Styles / Agatha Christie / ★★★★
This was my second book by Agatha Christie and I will definitely be reading more. I really enjoy the way it is written – the reader is given accounts and evidence throughout and it’s up to you to see if you work out who did it. I wasn’t right in the end with this one, as there were quite a few red herrings. I like Poirot as a character – it is enjoyable to see his work process. The writing is easy to get into and the plot is engaging throughout. Overall I really enjoyed this book.
The Bear and the Nightingale / Katharine Arden / ★★★★
I requested this from Ebury publishing and they very kindly sent a copy my way, so thank you to Ebury. I very much enjoyed this book – I think this is a great winter read, where you can just get cosy in front of a fire and read. Although I don’t know a lot about Russian folklore, I imagine that Katharine Arden did a lot of research to create such a perfectly intricate and well written world. The atmosphere feels so true and genuine. The plot is engaging and enjoyable throughout, although it is a little slow at times. To be honest, I haven’t read a lot of fairy tale books but I loved that aspect of this book. If you love fairy tale books then you need to check this book out. The characters are all well written and I loved the main character, Vasya. Overall I loved this book, however I am a little disappointed now that I have learnt that this is the first book in a trilogy – I think this made a wonderful standalone and I was wonder why everything has to be made into a trilogy now. Having said that, I will continue on with this trilogy as I did love this book.
The Wall of Storms / Ken Liu / ★★★★.5
This was a fantastic sequel to Grace of Kings. The intricacies and detail in this world is amazing, however this also means that it is quite a slow read, as a lot of information is given. The pacing was also abit uneven at times. The politics were interesting, although some may find that these sections drag. The excessive use of flashbacks was a little jarring at times, as it disrupted the flow of the story. Personally I am not a fan of flashbacks anyway, so they rarely work for me. It was wonderful to be back with these characters, although it did take me a little while to understand who was who again. If you are not a fan of books with a lot of characters, then this series is not for you. The character development was well done, although I do question some of their decisions. I am a little heartbroken at what happens to some of the characters. The ending was good, but I don’t fully understand it. Overall this was an amazing continuation for this series and I look forward to the next book whenever that is released
Middlemarch / George Eliot / ★★★★★
I have been putting off this book for quite some time now, as it is huge, but last month I finally decided to pick it up and I managed to finish it this month. It was a wonderful read. I definitely think it is quite dense and you need to take you time with it, but it is well worth a read. I am hoping to rewatch the BBC adaptation again and see what I think now I have read the book.
The Song Rising / Samantha Shannon / ★★★★★
Wow, this was a fantastic continuation of this series. It is one of my favourite series at the moment and this book did not disappoint. I am so lucky to be a Bone Season Advocate as I received an early copy to read – it is not being released until March. If you love this series, then you will love this book. If you haven’t read it then you should definitely check it out. I will have a full review closer to its release day.
In terms of my January TBR, I think I am going to keep it pretty simple and just read what I feel like at the time. Hopefully this will mean I get quite a few of my books read as I want to make sure to read all the books I have on my shelves now at the start of the year by the end of the year. There are three books that I am currently thinking I would like to get to – Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeline Thien and Breath of Earth by Beth Cato, but this may change. I have included a picture of most of my tbr books so you guys can see what I am dealing with :). Before I go I just wanted to quickly mention that I am going to be trying out different ways to take photos so please bear with me and let me know what you think. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.