October 5, 2015 by rachelcmann
I’m restructuring this a little bit so that the books I like and recommend are at the top.
Read and Recommend!
Authority: A Novel (The Southern Reach Trilogy) – Jeff Vandermeer – I cannot properly express how much this series gives me the heebie-jeebies. But in a good way? In the second book we pick up essentially where the first book left off, but from an entirely different point of view. Where before we were with one of the expeditioners, we are now with someone who works for the government(?) in control of the project. Except that he is new too and during the course of him trying to figure out WTF is happening…spooky sh*t happens!
Armada: A Novel – Ernest Cline – I didn’t even know that the author of one of my all time favorite books (Ready Player One) had another book out, so I was delighted to see this in a bookstore. The clerk warned me to not expect it to be like RP1, and they are definitely set in a different universe, but I actually found the themes and style to be very similar. I enjoyed it immensely, but not as much as RP1 and I’m having a hard time putting my finger on why. I think a part of it was that Armada did not feel as fresh and inventive, I didn’t root for the character as much and it was a bit predictable. I think if Armada came first people would have loved it and then been over the moon about RP1 but since the order is reverse Armada is a bit of a sophomore slump. So separate the two, if you can, and enjoy Armada for what it is, rather than what it isn’t.
Unbound (Magic Ex Libris) – Jim Hines – I enjoyed the first books in this series so much that I was shocked when I started this book and had a hard time getting into it. For starters the early recap exposition was completely unfamiliar and I wondered if I had missed a book. While I used to enjoy the self-deprecating internal monologue of the main character, he’s starting to wear on my nerves a bit.
Angel’s Ink: The Asylum Tales – Jocelynn Drake – Now this was an interesting book! Super unique mythology, engaging action and interesting characters. The whole world is different from ours, there are not-so-benevolent wizard overlords and/or angels? I got confused on that part but I think they’re the same thing. The main guy is a tattoo artist and he can imbue a tattoo with magic through potions. He’s got a lot going on though, really everyone in the book does. I’m doing a pretty terrible job of describing the book but I recommend it!
Knightley Academy – Violet Haberdasher – What an enjoyable story! It definitely has elements of Harry Potter and other underdog stories but the writing style is fresh and the story has a pretty significant twist. A young orphan servant is unexpectedly allowed to take a notoriously difficult exam to be admitted to the prestigious Knightley Academy. Usually reserved for young men of the nobility, Henry is one a few ‘commoner’ students allowed to attend as an experiment. Things go predictably awry with bullies but there are even darker forces at work. This just delighted me.
Greywalker (Greywalker, Book 1) – Kat Richardson – These are interesting, I like the anti-hero aspect where our protagonist really wants to have nothing to do with everything that’s happening to her. Essentially a woman dies and when she’s resuscitated she can be between reality and the afterlife aka The Grey. She is not excited but sometimes you don’t get a choice.
Poltergeist (Greywalker, Book 2) – Kat Richardson – I read the second one of the series and the reluctant heroine continues her quest to a)master her new skills and b)prevent evil misdoings. These are a fun series if you like your urban sci-fi with some snark. And who doesn’t?
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)– Mindy Kaling – I’m not a big Kaling fan, I don’t like her show but I do like how she has become an icon for calling journalists out on their bullsh*t questions about being success while also being a woman and/or being non-white. Her book is mostly little vignettes and it’s cute but probably only good for those who are fans of her other work.
Coveted– Shawntelle Madison – I will give this book points for originality. It’s rare to read something where the lead character is not the hero, or even particularly well liked. Centered on an outcast werewolf, the story rapidly expands to include other magical creatures, a hot unobtainable ex-boyfriend and pack wars. And while I enjoyed I almost immediately forgot everything about it.
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency – Douglas Adams – After enjoying Hitchhikers last month I thought I would give another Adams title a try. This book really challenged me, most books involving time travel tend to get a bit mind-bendy at one point or another and this is no exception. Really there are still aspects to the plot I don’t totally grasp. So reader beware – this one takes some thought.
The Witch Hunter – Virginia Boecker – This one had a bit of a slow start to be honest, but once the action started happening I got sucked in pretty quickly. A young woman is an elite witch hunter in a kingdom where witches are routinely burned at the stake. But she gets accused of witchcraft and thrown in jail – only to be rescued by the Number One Most Wanted wizard of the realm. Her whole world gets turned upside down, very entertaining.
An Ember in the Ashes – Sabaa Tahir- I barely cracked this but the first page or less was super depressing and sad and I decided I wasn’t in the mood.
The Raven Boys – This might be the second time I’ve picked this up and the second time I’ve put it down. Just right off the bat it’s very whiny and I instantly don’t care about the people in it.