My pretty consistent schedule of posting reviews has been interrupted lately, not because I haven’t been reading but because spring is here and with it nice weather, outdoorsy things, meeting with friends, getting exercise in the fresh air and all that good stuff. So I have read less than in the first three months of 2019 but I have by no means stopped. Reviews are in the making, I’m catching up on some Hugo reading (more on that later) and generally enjoying hobbies other than reading. I will try to post one review per week again soon, but for now, the sunshine and my new running pants pretty much own me.
I only finished one recently that I haven’t told you about yet. It is The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson – a wonderful, mythical, and powerful story about Fatima, a young courtesan in soon-to-be-conquered Spain, and her best friend Hassan, who has a magical gift with mapmaking. There are djinn and mythical tales, islands that don’t exist, the Spanish Inquisition, love and betrayal – and despite that it’s a very quiet book that touched me more with the character development than with action. I loved it to pieces and highly recommend it to!
I am being a good girl and reading one book for my Retellings Challenge, one book for the Hugo Awards and one simply because it’s long overdue and I finally want to read everyone’s thoughts on it without fear of spoilers.
Brianna R. Shrum’s Never Never retells the Peter Pan story from the point of view of Captain Hook. We meet young James when he is still a boy, spirited away to Neverland by Peter Pan himself. Unable to find his own way back home, James grows into the Captain Hook we all know. I enjoy the writing style but I’m almost three quarters done with this book and there still isn’t much of a plot. In a retelling, I always hope for a little something more than just the story I already know. It’s an okay read so far and I honestly doubt the ending will surprise me, but we’ll see.
As she is nominated for the Not-a-Hugo Award for Best New Writer, I am finally reading The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty. Now this book is a total hit so far. I am still very confused about djinn politics and social structures, but I love all the characters, I want to learn so much more about this world, and there hasn’t been a single page that wasn’t exciting in a way. I’m glad I’m reading this although it will make my choice on the ballot much harder.
My third book – and one that will likely be with me for a while longer – is Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson. As you may know, I like “reading” his books (whenever possible) in Graphic Audio format. Which is why I wait almost a year until after publication to finally read the latest book in the Stormlight Archive. It’s another great one but I’m sure Sanderson kept the best, most epic bits for last. I am almost halfway through this book but half a book with Sanderson is two novels for other writers.. so it will take me a bit longer to finish this.
I don’t have any particular plans, but I do want to keep up my Hugo reading. I nominated my favorite books of 2018, the finalists have been announced, so now I have lists of stuff I still need to read and watch in order to make an informed decision once voting time arrives.
Either I’ll go with Becky Chambers’ Record of a Spaceborn Few next or Yoon Ha Lee’s Raven Stratagem – the third book in that trilogy is nominated but I have only read the first, so I need to catch up quickly.
For the Lodestar nominees (the newish YA Not-a-Hugo), I’m really looking forward to Tess of the Road. I have only read one of the nominated works which makes me rather anxious. Then again, having too many great books lined up is not really something I should complain about.
And just so I don’t lose sight of books for the Retellings Challenge, I may finally start Circe by Madeline Miller or finish the Winternight Trilogy with Katherine Arden’s The Winter of the Witch.