What I’ve Read – August 2013

Feed – Mira Grant

I finished this and I’m still not quite sure what I think about it. As I said last month, while I was reading it, it was fine but once I put it down, I wasn’t that interested in picking it up again. I understand that it’s part of a trilogy (because they always are) but I didn’t feel that the story was resolved well enough and the end seemed rushed. I don’t think that I enjoyed enough to read the other books but I’ve said that before and read on so I guess I’ll see how I feel about it in a couple of months.

The False Prince – Jennifer A. Nielsen

I would have loved this far more if I hadn’t already read The Thief.

Far Far Away – Tom McNeal

There are not words to describe how much I loved this. The narration was great and the story did feel like a fairy tale.

Paper Towns – John Green

I’ve had this book for ages and I finally got around to reading it, all in one go on a Saturday. I know that the teenagers in John Green’s books don’t talk like real teenagers or indeed real adults but I love the wordiness of them. This book has the best example of drunk logic, I’ve seen, involving superglueing beer can swords onto hands ‘so no one will steal it’.

The Bane Chronicles 1 to 5 – Cassandra Clare et al

This is a series of short stories about a Magnus Bane, a character from the Mortal Instruments series. There will be about 10 of them I think and they’re being e-published across the year, when I think they’ll be collected into an actual book. They were short, funny and easy to read when I was in a bit of a reading funk. If you’ve enjoyed the TMI books, odds are you’ll enjoy these.

Son of Sobek – Rick Riordan

Clearly short stories were my thing this month! I also read another Percy Jackson book with Luc and Helene, this was his pick for summer reading although I’m surprised he didn’t get around to it sooner! It was very Rick Riordan and I wonder if this is going to be joining up the Percy Jackson and Carter Kane (Greek, Roman and Egyptian mythologies) together in another series of books.

Goddess – Josephine Angelini

I have read the first two of these last year and I said at the time that I would read the third and I did. There are a lot of ‘Twilight-y’ elements in it and this would appeal to fans of those books but Helen is a person in her own right and the most powerful person in this story. All three of these books are like crack and you just don’t want to stop reading them, but like fast food because you see why you shouldn’t of done it after you’ve eaten the fatty deliciousness! Things I liked, it didn’t have a totally happy ending and made a stab at shades of grey, that you can love and forgive someone who doesn’t agree with you, even while you are disagreeing with them and that you can love someone without thinking they’re perfect. I really didn’t like the emphasis on ‘true love forever’ because I don’t especially where teenagers are involved, all of the ‘they’re it for me’ drove me nuts, because eternity is a long time even if we’re supposed to be dealing with mythical love and the Fates. I guess I want to see them in 50 years time, when they’ve been together every day and she’s still all powerful and then what?

Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo

You know what I’d really like? A book that isn’t part of a trilogy or series, I get why it’s done but I’m currently waiting for the end of too many of the suckers. Allegiant, The Bitter Kingdom, Shades of London 3, Shadowscale, the next one in A Song of Fire and Ice (and who know’s when that’s coming!), The Mirror and the Light (and if you haven’t already read Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies – why on earth not?). I would have included Untold but that came out this month. There are just so many stories I am waiting for the end of. Yes, I know that authors owe me nothing and they will get around to it as their real lives, muse and publishing contracts dictate but it’s frustrating. So what did I do, I started another one, which I really enjoyed and I want more, I’m hopeless.

Anyway, the world is a sort of fantasy Russia before the Revolution, the girl is stronger than she thinks and in love with a childhood friend, the friend is mostly not aware and the villain is compelling and villainous. All good stuff.

Siege and Storm – Leigh Bardugo

I still really enjoyed this but for the love of God, with everything that’s at stake why can’t any of the characters actually talk to one another? Half of the issues that Alina and Mal are having could have been solved with conversation. Having said that, Alina’s reasons for not talking are well founded in her character and in the roles that Mal and Alina have played all their lives. I’m anxious to find out how this is going to resolve and I’m not going to find out until next year!

Heroes of Olympus: The Mark of Athena -Rick Riordan

Although the Percy Jackson films aren’t great, I like the books and this one is no different, I read it in a day (during part of that day, a dramatisation of The Aeneid was on the radio which was a little surreal). However, they are great stories and as the characters get older so do the emotions that they deal with. Luc is eagerly awaiting the next one, which is due next month and that’s their strength, kids want to read them and are interested in them.

I read The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia and A Conspiracy of Kings again. I think I was put in mind of them by The False Prince and once you start the first it’s difficult to stop.

I also re-read Unspoken and finished it the day before it’s sequel was published

Untold – Sarah Rees Brennan

I really enjoyed this (except for the end, which I did not enjoy because someone is in a box!) Sarah Rees Brennan always makes me laugh even when I’m anxious for the health and well being of the characters. What I appreciated most was that even though half of the leads in this story are supposed to be powerless, they keep trying and they stand up for themselves and each other. Despite some themes that could be a bit ‘Twilight-y’ and although Jared is seriously screwed up, he  recognises that Kami is her own person and has her own agency.

“I don’t think you’re weak,” Jared said. “I want to guard you because you are important to me. Because you are – God, this is going to sound so stupid, I can never think of a way to say it – you are precious. I can never think of how to describe the value you have to me, because all the words for value suggest that you belong to me, and you don’t”

Angie and Holly have a complicated relationship and but it’s not all about them being gay, it’s about how being open with new people and learning to trust them is hard. So it reflects the themes of the books. I also like Kami turns the boys thinking that ‘two girls together is hot’ on it’s head for them without being too preachy and righteous about it. Basically, I like it a whole lot and I’m going to be recommending it left, right and centre.

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About nicdempsey

Erm...
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