Review: Novice Dragoneer by E.E. Knight (Dragoneer Academy #1)

Image result for ee knight novice dragoneer

goodreads

ARC provided by the publisher (Ace Books) in exchange for an honest review.

Back in the summer, I had a mighty need for something light and above all, nostalgia-inspiring. Something that would give off the same general vibe as the books that first got me into fantasy. Then I saw this. It seemed absolutely perfect – dragons, magic schools, plucky underdog orphan girls, fuck yes, give me all of it. And it delivered on that. If I read this book when I was a kid aroung the time I read Eragon, I’d be singing it nostalgic praises to this day.

There is only one problem that keeps me from enthusiastically recommending it to everyone in sight. A rather large one. It’s simply not that well-written.

Continue reading “Review: Novice Dragoneer by E.E. Knight (Dragoneer Academy #1)”

Review: The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells (The Books of the Raksura #1)

goodreads

My experience with Martha Wells until now hasn’t been the most positive. I have only read The Wizard Hunters, which I found aggressively boring. But after much prodding, I decided to give her books another chance. And luckily, The Cloud Roads was a hit! I couldn’t stop reading. Unique worldbuilding, a broken cinnamon roll of a protagonist, found families…I would have never in a million years called it boring.

Continue reading “Review: The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells (The Books of the Raksura #1)”

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Give Off Autumn Vibes

And it’s time for a Top Ten Tuesday post again! I skipped two weeks – Books I’d Give Different Titles To because I had no idea what to write, Halloween Freebie because I was simply too busy, but I’m back and hopefully able to do it more often.

I really like the idea of this week’s prompt, even if it proved harder than I thought it would be – I know lots of summer books and lots of winter books but few autumn ones.

As usual, listed as I remembered them, in no specific order.

Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Give Off Autumn Vibes”

Review: The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith (Vine Witch #1)

Image result for vine witch

goodreads

ARC received from the publisher (47North) in exchange for an honest review.

In some ways, this is the perfect book to read in autumn. There are witches, there is wine, there are sinister curses, romance…in short, it sounds fantastic. But even though I was suitably enchanted by the atmosphere and the concept in the beginning, the plot did not live up to its promise.

Continue reading “Review: The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith (Vine Witch #1)”

October 2019 Monthly Wrap-Up

covers-2019-october.png

October was an excellent month for both reading and reviewing. Aside from this last week, it was the first time I was able to maintain always having at least one review scheduled and mostly posting three times a week. Considering that I barely managed one, maybe two posts a week before and used to be in an eternal state of massive backlog, I think I can say I’m proud of myself.

It has also been the best month for views, mostly thanks to Keikii, who kindly made me do a guest post on my favourite subgenre: Slice of Life SFF.

I finished:

  • Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (mini review): While I loved Tess of the Road, this wasn’t quite it – I found it very bland, slowly paced, and predictable.
  • In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan: After all Sara’s yelling, I had to give it a try and it did not disappoint. On the surface, it’s a satirical deconstruction of portal fantasy tropes, but with a lot of heart and feelings underneath. Recommended.
  • Library of the Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith (ARC): One of the most highly anticipated releases this year for me. Unfortunately, I ended up struggling. And what’s worse, I can’t even say why.
  • Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popović: First book that made me feel at least halfway represented (set in Montengro, which is…eh, close enough). While it started off incredible, it slowly descended into every YA trope I hate. And the ending was last minute cliffhanger for the sake of cliffhanger bullshit.
  • My Beautiful Life by K.J. Parker (ARC): I usually love K.J. Parker’s short fiction but I just didn’t feel that one. Too much plot for a novella this length, distant narrative style, a few immersion-breaking bits…
  • All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater: Loved it. Quiet, thoughtful magical realism about a family of saints. Lovely prose. Couldn’t be more of a me book if it tried.
  • The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith (ARC): Review yet to be finished, but in short, I have mixed feelings. The atmosphere and setting were wonderful, but it completely lost me on the plot and some…rather clumsily written bits. As in, a character literally says “I am dead” before dropping dead kind of clumsy.

Reviews from my backlog:

  • Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers
  • A mini review post containing reviews for Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon, Half Lost  by Sally Green (DNF), and The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
  • Vita Nostra by Sergey & Maria Dyachenko (reread)
  • The Deep by Rivers Solomon, Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes

Currently reading:

  • The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells, which I’m enjoying very much. A broken cinnamon roll of a protagonist, a fascinating world…whenever I pick it up, I can’t stop. I might finish it later today, or tomorrow at tha very latest.
  • The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon. Perpetually. I should pick it up and finish it soon.

Books read this year: 62 (+ 16 rereads)
r/Fantasy Bingo Challenge progress: 19/25 (76%)

Review: All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

Image result for all the crooked saints book cover

goodreads

A desert is a lot like an ocean, if you replace all of the water with air. It stretches out and out and out in unfathomable distance and, in the absence of sunlight, turns to pure black. Sounds become secrets, impossible to verify as true until the light returns. It is not empty merely because you cannot see all of it. And you know in your heart that it isn’t—that it is the opposite of empty once it is dark, because things that do not like to be watched emerge when all of the light is gone. There is no way to know the shape of them, though, until your hand is on them.

Where do I even begin. This is one of those book that feel practically tailor-made to my preferences. It’s my catnip, pure bait – slow-paced, magical realism kind of deal with lovely prose. It would be more of a surprise if I didn’t love it. I have been warned that the author was seriously ill while writing it, that it’s different, that people generally like it less than the others. And after finishing I’m like, are you kidding? As the book itself says, perfection is an impossibility. But it sure came damn close.

Continue reading “Review: All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater”

Review: My Beautiful Life by K.J. Parker

goodreads

ARC received from the publisher (Subterranean Press) on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve always been interested in reverse stories, where the ending (in this case, the death of the narrator) is known from the start, and then they slowly work its way towards it. Where the question is not what happens as much as how it happens. And I have enjoyed what I read of K.J. Parker so far.

I’ve done some truly appalling things in my life. I’m bitterly ashamed of them now. Saying I did them all for the best—and saying, those things weren’t my idea, other people made me do them, is just as bad; admitting that I’m a spineless coward as well as morally bankrupt. I’m a mess, and no good nohow.

But despite the catchy opening, I was not…quite satisfied with what I got.

Continue reading “Review: My Beautiful Life by K.J. Parker”