April 4, 2016 by rachelcmann
Hello geeks! Before I dive in I wanted to let you know that I’ve created a book-centric Instagram (IG: readwatchgeek) where I post what I’m currently reading and mini-reviews. Check it out!
On to the books!
Read and Recommend
The Red – Linda Nagata – Ooof this is a good one! While I don’t tend to be that into the military genre there are a few notable exceptions and now this is one of them. In a near future, war is big business and soldiers are outfitted with high-tech exoskeletons and brain implants. One such soldier also has a knack for predicting (and thereby avoiding) danger and this particular skill leads him down an increasingly dangerous and dark path. Definitely worth a read!
Indexing: Reflections – Seanan Maguire – Gosh I love Maguire. Her world building is incredible. This is the second book where our main characters lives are dictated by an omniscient (and not entirely friendly) invisible hand based on the narrative of fairy tales. The main character is “Snow White” and her team includes a “Pied Piper” and “Shoemaker’s Elf” and an “Evil Stepsister.” Just so cool! So imaginative. Love it.
The Darkest Part of the Forest – Holly Black – This book is incredibly hard to describe, and a remarkably thought-provoking read. Essentially about a young girl coming of age in a town that has more than its fair share of Fae, the creatures and humans in this story only skim the surface of a deep well of mythology. I don’t want to give too much away but if you like YA and fantasy and YA that isn’t pandering to the lowest common denominator, check this one out.
Zero World – Jason Hough – There is so much about this book that is cool and unique that I don’t even know where to start. It’s got pieces of The Long Earth and pieces of Dollhouse and for all that it stands alone as something unlike anything else. An assassin who forgets everything about his assignment gets sent on a new mission and it lands him in an entirely new world. And the conspiracies! Oh my goodness! Just read it!
The Veil – Chloe Neill – I was kind of meh about this one. Set in a world where the barrier between Earth and the supernatural was torn down (and humans got their asses kicked) the post-war world includes a concentration camp for magical beings (and humans) and just general human awfulness. But more than that I never connected with the lead character or her motivations.
Size 12 is not Fat – Meg Cabot – I don’t even know how this ended up in my library pile, but it seemed like fun. This mystery series is cute, in a beach read kind of way, but I didn’t love the way it seemed to support body positivity. The title is just the tip of the iceberg and the references to the main characters weight and shape ring false to me. So I won’t be reading any more of these.
Bite Me – Parker Blue – For as much YA as I read, I should not be surprised by the themes/tropes that appear over and over again. But I think I’m always waiting and hoping this one will be one of the special ones that breaks out of the genre mold and is truly worth slogging through the lesser titles. While this isn’t the worst thing I’ve read in the genre (and I’m not even sure it’s supposed to be YA since it’s about a succubus) it’s certainly not trying very hard.
Binge – Tyler Oakley – If you’re a big consumer of pop culture like me, you may know of the YouTuber Tyler Oakley. His book is a memoir of short snippets of his life, the thread being his boisterous personality and incredible work ethic. His stories are often funny and touching, and a great insight into the life of the new celebrity culture we’re in.
Anna Dressed in Blood – Kendare Blake – This book was definitely intriguing. A young man with a mission to dispense with violent ghosts comes up against his toughest foe. A young female ghost who is more and less than she appears. For the first time in his short life he has to depend on others to defeat the true monsters. The individual pieces are familiar but these are twisted together in a new and interesting way.
Twice Bitten – Chloe Neill – More Chicagoland. More vampires high on power and immortality. More awkward situations for our heroine to come into her own vampirehood and accept her power. I’m starting to sense a theme… But you know what, there can’t be enough books where women kick ass and own their femininity while they’re at it.
Chalice – Robin McKinley – This took a while for me to get into the rhythm of as it starts off with a lot of procedural information. McKinley plays fast and loose with time and sequence in this book and at first it’s hard to tell where the present is. All of that said, it’s interesting read and an interesting world.
Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content – Ann Handley – I heard great things about this new content book, but it was so heavily marketing focused that it just missed the mark. I think I was expecting it to be more about authentic writing than writing “content,” which is silly since the word is in the title.
Hunter – Mercedes Lackey – In general, I would say Lackey is the single biggest influence on my love of the scifi/fantasy genre. (Tamora Pierce being a close second) But I find the series she writes outside of Valdemar lacking (probably due to nostalgia)! This series, which I barely even touched the surface of, starts off with a young woman trained to be special in a dystopian world. And I just couldn’t do it! I couldn’t turn off the part of me that wanted the Valdemar world. And to be totally 100% honest I felt a little like Lackey was trying to cash in on the YA dystopia craze caused by The Hunger Games and Divergent. I was disappointed so I just put it down.