November Reading List

As previously discussed, the plan to get through all the books I’ve started hasn’t been going so well, but I have read a fair bit:

Embassytown by China Mieville

If pressed to describe what this book is about, I’d find it difficult. Aliens, language and similes. It’s an odd one – slow to start, but such a well imagined world you don’t really mind – with the action limited mostly to the final third, and a lot of build up to get there. The whole plot revolves round teaching aliens to lie. Which doesn’t sound overly riveting, but there’s something about Mieville’s writing that just leaves you hanging off every word. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

5/5

The Bone Palace by Amanda Downum

Featuring perhaps the strangest love triangle I’ve ever come across, in which a transgender woman is in love with both the prince and his wife. There is pregnancy involved. It’s a bit… mind bending. But great characters and with a dash of vampire killing action thrown into the mix. I like the worlds Downum creates – definitely influenced by eastern culture, with a set up that’s somewhat old-fashioned, but the views and behaviours of the characters are considerably more modern and open minded. A nice antidote to the straight white ye-olde-Englande fantasy steroeotypes.

4/5

Queen of Hearts by Rhys Bowen

Review here.

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

At first I was somewhat sceptical, believing JK Rowling was trying to be grown up by using the C-word a lot. But the characters were unexpected and interesting in the same manner she did so well in Harry Potter, and the queen of the unexpected plot twist strikes again with an ending that you don’t see coming, but makes perfect sense once you get there. A really enjoyable mystery, and I look forwards to reading the next.

4/5

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Despite my reservations about the central romance, I still loved this. A fantastic world that I love to spend time in, with characters that push boundaries and challenge expectations. Which, even when it takes a turn that I personally don’t prefer, I have to applaud for being brave and different and modern and, yes, better in terms of message sent to young people. I’ll just quietly mourn my OTP in the corner, don’t mind me! If you like YA Fantasy, this is a great read, but probably read Fire and Graceling first. Whereas the other two are fairly standalone, I think new readers would struggle starting with this one.

5/5

Otherworld Nights by Kelley Armstrong

Review here.

The 100 by Kass Morgan

This is rubbish, but it’s the entertaining kind of rubbish that you don’t mind reading. Beach read fodder, with fast paced plot, plenty of romance, high concept setting and premise, and lots of scope for further instalments. It wouldn’t break my heart to not find out what happens next, but given that I know Carole Heidi has the next book, I will definitely be reading it!

3.5/5

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

A really good book – loved this. It was intelligent, with a great central conspiracy theory, interesting world set up, slow burn romance between two unlikely characters that made perfect sense once you stopped to think about it. It made me sad that I didn’t have the next book to pick up straight away, which I always think is the best of signs!

5/5

November Reading List

The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks (this is going in my drawer at work, that way I will have to read it, though it’s NaNo, so it’s probably optimistic to think it will be read this month)

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch (I’m trying to clear my shelves a bit to make some more space, this looks short, currently is sitting on top of the other books that have room to go on my shelf ((pet hate, it’s making the cover curl)) so I’m going to read and donate to charity)

Audiobooks:

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (I got this for free a while ago ((legitimately, obviously…)) and figure that a month when I’m not going to be reading a great deal is a good time to stick it on the phone to listen to in the car)

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (Ditto above. Both these books also have the advantage of being dead short. I will be able to listen to both within two weeks of commuting to work.)

And that’s all I’m going to commit to! If I can get more than that read, I will. Starting with any review books that might head my way. But I’m definitely looking at a thinner month this time. 50,000 words to write, after all!

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