I feel quite late with this post, but I allowed myself to fully relax on vacation last week and not worry about the blog, so I’m not letting myself feel guilty. A week in the NH mountains with my best friend was exactly what I needed to power down and gain inspiration. (We also had a photo shoot and she took some pictures for the blog; she’s an amazing photographer, and I can’t wait to share them with you! Please take a look at her other photography here and here.)
I didn’t quite get the reading done this month that I’d hoped for, but I’m also back on track with my 2017 reading goal, and I stretched a bit beyond my comfort zone…
Rise of Empire
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up the second book to the Riyria Revelations series. The first book had been a quick, enjoyable enough read, but there was no aching desire to finish the book until the very end and the characters had remained disconnected to the point it put me off. But I wanted to give the series a fair chance, and I’m glad I did.
Rise of Empire turned out to be a much better story than the first. I feel as though the author began to get comfortable with both his characters and writing in general. Providing information and back story that was severely lacking in the first, this book delved deeper into each character, satisfying a thirst for development without revealing too much. The interaction between the two main characters was a delight and what I’d been hoping for but didn’t see in the first. The stories (each book contains two parts, originally published as separate ebooks) also flowed together smoothly. There were some slow moments that had me yawning, which accounts for a half star rating drop, but I’m anxious now to continue on with these characters.
Goodreads Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Crown of Midnight
I’d been debating for a while whether or not to continue on with the Throne of Glass series, but I believe I’m committed now.
The first two-thirds of the book were entertaining enough, but slightly repetitive in action and, despite flying through the book, became a bit boring, but then that last third hit. Things got real. Secrets unfolded. Conflict kicked up a notch. The cliffhanger at the end sets up the rest of the series, and I can finally see where the storyline is headed, and I’m hooked.
In similar fashion to the first book, Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight was a fast read hurtling towards high fantasy that provided a break from reading anything too heavy and just provided hours of pleasurable reading (I read this book in two days, and would’ve read it faster had I been less busy).
Goodreads Rating: 3.25-3.5/5 stars
The Queen’s Poisoner, Kingfountain Series Book One (Audiobook)
The Queen’s Poisoner was a book flitting about Booktube for years, a YA fantasy that I figured would make a fun read and not much else. I found the audiobook version, and wanting to give my allergy-laden eyes a break from screens and any other form of concentration, I decided to give it a try. To my surprise, I found myself sucked into the story, intrigued mostly by the characters. The two main characters are eight year olds, and I was pleased at the author’s ability to write authentic, strong child characters that had me totally invested. The one lacking detail was world-building, but I have a feeling this will improve in the following books.
The audiobook was over 10 hours, which would usually take me at least a week to complete; I finished it within a couple of days, choosing to spend all my reading time with on this book rather than going back and forth with a physical read. It was read by Kate Rudd from Brilliance Audio. I think she did an excellent job, especially with making the children sound young but not baby-ish or whiny, though her male voices are not always my cup of tea.
Goodreads Rating: 4/5 stars
The Thief’s Daughter, Kingfountain Series Book Two (Audiobook)
I couldn’t resist continuing on with the Kingfountain series after listening to The Queen’s Poisoner and began it the moment I finished book one.
I was underwhelmed by this book compared to the first, though that’s not to say it was bad; it had some great character moments, but I found the first half of the book to be slow and a bit boring. It picked up pace, however, and the last few chapters of the book left me anxious to continue on with this slowly darkening tale.
Goodreads Rating: 3.5/5 stars
A Monster Calls
I bow down to my favorite book of 2017 so far. Whatever took me so long to pick up this book and read it? My life was lacking before, and now my heart lies shattered throughout the pages of this beautiful story. This was a quick read which can easily be read in a day, even an afternoon, but keep a box of tissues handy. Seriously, right next to your bed. It’s not fun having to run to the bathroom at midnight when you’ve just finished the book to grab some tissues, trying to keep your sobbing quiet so as not to wake up the entire house.
If you haven’t read this yet, whether that be because you’ve been non-committal or simply haven’t heard of it, go buy or borrow or rent a copy and sit yourself down. You’ll be engrossed within seconds, if not immediately by the words then the beautiful, dark illustrations.
Goodreads rating: 5/5 stars