This month was full of witches. One of my reading resolutions for 2013 was “to read more Discworld”, a goal that was much more easily achieved than I thought. I am in love with Discworld and don’t intend to stop reading these books until I’ve finished all of them.
Two other major things this month were the Bout of Books read-a-thon and the theme of the month – Plants vs. Zombies – in the German book forum where I hang out pretty much every day. Witches, zombies, time-travelling serial killers, and the latest Gentleman Bastard adventure… what more can a book worm really want?
Books read: 7
Pages read: 3049
Series started: Gentleman Bastard
Series continued: Discworld
Series finished: –
Terry Pratchett – Witches Abroad 8/10
I have yet to read a bad Witches novel. But Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax travelling was a particularly joyful adventure. Throw some fairytales into that mix and you have a hilarious book. It is both think-y and funny and progresses the overall Witches storyline. I’m glad I still have a few novels with Granny Weatherwax ahead of me. Discworld just wouldn’t be the same without her.
Terry Pratchett – Maskerade 8/10
Opera on Discworld. You look at the cover and know this is going to be a blast. Granny and Nanny travel to Ankh-Morpork to convince the young witch Agnes Nitt to join their mini-coven. But Agnes wants to be an opera singer – a career choice that seems to require beauty rather than talent. And what with the Opera Ghost killing people, there are bigger things to worry about than being a good soprano. Having never been a big fan of Magrat Garlick, I was delighted to get to know Agnes (Perdita) Nitt whose practicality and self-doubt make her incredibly endearing.
Lauren Beukes – The Shining Girls 8/10
My first Lauren Beukes really got me in the mood to read more by her. A time travelling serial killer, one of his victims survives and tries to hunt him down. There was not a single chapter out of place, not a word too much, and not a boring moment in sight. Beukes’ writing is strong and atmospheric, I loved the “visits” to different times of the 20th century and I now understand why the author is nominated for so many awards and gets so much (well-deserved) recognition.
Scott Lynch – The Republic of Thieves 8/10
Locke Lamora is back! It would have been very hard for Scott Lynch to disappoint me with this book. I was so eager to return to that universe that the plot was secondary. Until it happened, that is. My big, big disappointment lies with Sabetha, a character that we have been waiting for since book one. Other than her as a person and her alleged romance with Locke, this book was just as thrilling, funny, clever, and mind-blowing as its predecessors. Read it.
Courtney Summers – This is Not a Test 5,5/10
It wasn’t a bad book at all but it was definitely my least favorite this month. After a very strong beginning and a solid middle part, the story becomes boring and drags to a disappointing ending. Sloane Price wanted to kill herself but then the zombie apocalypse got in the way. Hidden away at her old school with five other teenagers, she must try to do what she desereratley wanted to avoid: survive.
I was far more interested in the back stories than the plot in the present. Sloane was the only three-dimensional character and – like I said – the ending was very anticlimactic and felt like a cop-out.
Mira Grant – Feed 7/10
It was the 48% mark that turned this book around for me. In the beginning, there were simply too many info-dumps for me. They slowed the plot almost to a standstill every few pages and it was hard for me to detect any kind of conflict or drive. However, at that almost-middle-point, things happen and the book becomes sooo good. From then on, I couldn’t put it down. There have been discussion about the ending but I found it perfect. Yep, this is a series I’ll continue reading. More news than zombies but, hey, Mira Grant does a great job of mixing the two and I’m in for the ride.
Terry Pratchett – Wyrd Sisters 6,5/10
The weakest Witches novel I have read so far (given that I remember almost nothing about Equal Rites, I might have liked it even less) but still a good read. My biggest problem was that I didn’t like many of the characters, so I was left with “only” Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax to root for. Magrat has grown on me a lot since this novel but in Wyrd Sisters, I found her more annoying than likable. I did love the spin on Macbeth however and as a true Discworld fan, you can’t miss any of the Witches books.
Following me into September:
- Mark Z. Danielewski – House of Leaves
This one is a handful. If you ever see a copy at the bookstore, pick it up and flick through it. Different font types, a massive amount of footnotes, crossed-out words in different colors, writing that goes diagonally across the page all sorts of other shenanigans… There is a story, though and at 100 pages, I really like it.
- Terry Pratchett – Lords and Ladies
To nobody’s surprise, I am reading the next Witches novel. The wizards also make an appearance here and even though I’ve never liked them very much, this is one of the best Witches books so far. My review can be expected very soon.