Wrap-up: May 2012

Ever since I got my Kobo (thank you, my love!) I have been reading a lot more and a lot faster than normally. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I picked a font type that is really easy on the eyes or if it’s due to the fact that I have all my books with me all the time. But I’ve read about 10 books a month this year, which is quite much for me. May, however, was not so busy book-wise. I have been working more than usually (I got promoted, yay) and Skyrim has been eating a large chunk of my time as well. So, including one graphic novel, that makes…

books read: 9

THE BEST:

Terry Pratchett – The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents 8,5/10

An excellent read that shows just how versatile Pratchett really is. A novel aimed at a younger audience does everything a novel should do. It’s entertaining, suspenseful, the characters are adorable and while there’s a lot of them, they each have their own personality. The plot is funny and charming and utterly gripping. It takes place on Discworld but can be read as a standalone. Even though I really hope, I’ll get to see more of Maurice, the thinking cat who remains wonderfullly cat-like.

N.K. Jemisin – The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms 8/10

While there are some debut novel flaws in this book, I enjoyed the fresh and new take on fantasy. Gods are prisoners in human bodies, controlled by the ruling family of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. Yeine is drawn into court intrigue after her mother dies and tries to unravel the mysteries of the past as well as to save her own life. If that means helping the Gods then that’s what she’ll do. Beautifully written story with one of the most alluring characters I’ve read in a long time. The ending was a bit predictable and strange but I look forward to the second volume in the trilogy.

Chris Wooding – Retribution Falls 7/10

A fun, steampunky adventure ride on the Ketty Jay, an airship with a notorious captain and a crew that banters and bickers as much as the Serenity’s. If you’re looking for a few hours of unadulterated fun, with action around every corner, gunfights, golems and pirates, you’ve come to the right place. Lovable characters, a highly interesting world and a plot that will keep you up at night won my heart. And I want more Ketty Jay.

Delia Sherman – The Freedom Maze 7/10

This Nebula-winning young adult novel convinced me on some levels, while disappointing on others. The writing is beautiful, the characters believable. But the author seems to have bitten off more than she could chew. There are simply to many characters that are too vaguely described to keep track of them all. The plot and themes of this novel are wonderful and I liked the mysterious and never quite explained sort of magic going on in this time-travel story where a white girl from the 1960ies gets mistaken for a slave and sees first-hand what it’s like to have worked for white people on a plantation.
THE WORST:

Aimée Carter – The Goddess Test  1,5/10

Horrible, just horrible. Doing everything wrong that can be done wrong. The so-called new take on the Perseophe myth simply doesn’t happen. The Goddess Test is hidden in meaningless plot with the protagonist wearing pretty dresses, eating yummy food. No romance, no emotions, boring and badly written. Chuckable.

Myra McEntire – Hourglass 2,5/10

Very close to being complete rubbish but the readability saved the rating a bit. A time-travel romance without any actual time-travel and with a very bad romance. People in this book are perfect, beautiful and muscular. And that’s reason enough to fall in love, right? Wrong. Logical inconsistencies aside, this was a very quick read but if you want time-travel romance for young adults, may I point you in the direction of the Ruby Red Trilogy by Kerstin Gier?

THE REST:

Veronica Roth – Insurgent 6,5/10

Hard as it must be to write a good follow-up to Divergent, Veronica Roth’s second novel suffers from middle-book-of-a-trilogy syndrome. The plot is kind of all over the place and while it does pick up pace in the second half of the novel, it’s nowhere near as good as its predecessor. I loved Tris’ character development but really, this story could have been told in one chapter. The cliffhanger at the end is mean and doesn’t really surprise anyone who has spent some time thinking about this strange society.

Stive Niles and Greg Ruth – Freaks of the Heartland 6,5/10

A sinister, dark graphic novel about small-minded people and children who take fate into their own hands. Very well done, beautiful art, a gripping story. The ending felt a bit hurried but I’d recommend it for a quick graphic novel fix.

Robin McKinley – Beauty 3,5/10

The Walt Disney version of Beauty and the Beast gone boring. McKinley’s writing style is appropriately fairy tale-like but the plot drags and the character development wasn’t understandable for me. The ending comes to quickly and there is simply not enough new ideas to qualify this as a fairy tale retelling. I was disappointed but the author will get a second chance.

STARTED IN MAY:

Guy Gavriel Kay – Tigana

So far quite wonderful. I find myself wanting to go back to the book whenever I don’t have time to read. That’s a sure sign for a potential favourite.

Rowena Cory Daniells – Besieged

It was the cover art that got me but one chapter into the story I quite like it. Let’s see where it leads…

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