2014 – March

March went by so fast! How embarrassing, last month I posted: ‘My now-retired boss has loaned me The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan so I really should read that as quickly as possible…’ – guess how much I’ve read of it since then. Utterly nothing – zilch. Oops.

I’ve also basically failed at my monthly genre challenge – I was supposed to read something science fiction this month, and though the Doctor Who novel could count, the point of my challenge was to clear out some of the novels I’ve been meaning to read for years. I’m part way through ‘Debris by Jo Anderton’ but haven’t given it much attention, just too swamped with a whole lot of nothing much, so… I’ve failed.

Nothing I can do but try harder in April!

Only nine novels read during March. I wasted a lot of time, decided to try to lose a few kgs to get within healthy BMI (then the chorus starts of ‘you don’t need to lose weight!’ which is always nice to hear, but my BMI says otherwise…) and I think that drained a lot of my motivation for pretty much everything, other than tumblr and starting a few new tv shows.

A new Nintendo 3dS game also came out that I’m quite excited for – Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. Not that I’ve managed to play much yet. Another thing to feel guilty about!

Murder of Crows: A Novel of the Others

Murder of Crows (The Others #2) by Anne Bishop was a book I’ve been waiting on for a while, after being taken by surprise by the first – it was so much better than I was expecting, being as biased as I was towards vampires and werewolves novels. This series turns the trope on its head, has such fantastic characters and so many interesting ideas. This novel develops the world so much in very exciting ways, and I can’t wait for the next!

Eleven Doctors, Eleven Stories

11 Doctors, 11 Stories is a collection of Doctor Who short stories, the first being about the First Doctor, the second being of the Second Doctor, and so on and so on. It has fantastic authors such as Patrick Ness and Neil Gaiman, and most are pretty dang good. This was put together for the 50th Anniversary and it’s really something that they can be proud of.

Prisoner of Night and Fog (Prisoner of Night and Fog, #1)

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman is a book reviewed for Hachette, one I’m so glad I requested. Set in the 1930s in Munich, just after World War I (then called The Great War) Germany is in turmoil. Gretchen Müller is a young adult, and a proud member of the National Socialist Party along with the rest of her family. Times are hard, but she is confident that a close family friend will look after them. He’s always been important to them, since the war. Especially since her own father saved the man’s life, by jumping in front of bullets meant for him. Gretchen, his favourite girl – his sunshine – calls him Uncle Dolf. Others call him Adolf Hitler – this was such a fascinating novel, that really captured the awful time they were trapped in, and the realisation of the type of people they were becoming. Highly recommended.

Cracks in the Kingdom (The Colours of Madeleine #2)

The Cracks in the Kingdom (Colours of Madeleine #2) by Jaclyn Moriarty is another long-awaited book that then took me a while to get into – I think it’s just my reading habits now, rather than anything book related. This slump has gone on a while now!

This book quickly gets into something excellent, such a perfect blend of the other world and ours, written in a way that may be hard to get used to at first for some readers, but is well worth giving a darn good try with. The reward is worth it. The prose is lovely.

Landry Park (Landry Park, #1)

Landry Park (Landry Park, #1) by Bethany Hagen was an interesting one. The characters are what drive this novel, and the world fascinated me – I wish this book was longer! A thrilling debut novel by Hagen which will keep her on my scope to see what else she comes out with. A fun, quick read overall.

In Real Life

In Real Life written by Cory Doctorow and Illustrated by Jen Wang is a graphic novel that isn’t counting towards my reading tally, but I wanted to write about it here anyway. What a lovely comic! I adore Wang’s art style, and the storyline was relatable (gaming wise) and important overall, especially for younger readers. Give it a go if you come across it.

The Visitors

The Visitors by Sally Beauman is a historical fiction novel about young Lucy. Recovering from typhoid which managed to take her mother and destroy her father, Lucy and her escort Miss Mack are in Egypt during the time of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb – but it’s the adult world that she and her new friend Frances catch glimpses of.

This is an interesting novel, but it deserves quite a bit of time set aside for it to really concentrate on and appreciate – it’s quite hard to pick up and put down while you’re travelling to or from work, or when you grab a quick bite to eat. It really is worth giving proper time to though, as it’s fantastically well written.

The Wizard’s Promise (The Hanna Duology, #1)

The Wizard’s Promise (Hanna Duology #1) by Cassandra Rose Clarke is by the author of The Assassin’s Curse series, and the excellent stand-alone The Mad Scientist’s Daughter, one of my favourite books of 2013. This book had a lot to live up to, and I admit I was disappointed by the start and how slow it was; it failed to grab me. It then somehow twisted into something really quite excellent without you even realising it, and before you know it you can’t put it down.

I do wonder whether or not the duology couldn’t have been released into one, larger book, that could have possibly had tighter editing, in order to fix the first 30% or so.

Still, a very enjoyable book overall, and I’ll be eager to get the second as I’m sure it’ll take off on the high it leaves you on.

The Lascar's Dagger (The Forsaken Lands, #1)

The Lascar’s Dagger (#1) by Glenda Larke is a book I’ve had on pre-order for over half a year – I was SO eager for this novel. I adore the author – she’s lovely in person also – and her last series Watergivers was one of my favourites of 2009. This didn’t disappoint! Such a great cast of characters, such a detailed fantasy world and I’m already desperate for the second novel. Next year! Can’t wait :D

Should get to reading her backlog of books – I’ve been unable to read them all too fast because I’m weird with things I love too much. I horde them even more. Rarrgh. I should just get on with it and think of it along the lines of then I can re-read them all so much sooner!

The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars, #1)

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars #1) by Rob Thomas is set directly after the recent movie. We see basically everyone, even Weevil and Dick. It’s pretty decent after another slow start, getting established and repeating a bit too much info for those who haven’t seen the movie, I’m guessing. It’s not such a bad thing, though, and it really gets going into something pretty fun and quick to read. I’d highly recommend it to other Veronica Mars fans, but probably not as an introduction to the series.

I can’t wait until the second book!

This One Summer

This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki, Mariko Tamaki is another graphic novel this month, that I didn’t quite like as much as I thought I would, despite the lovely illustrations (which are what kept me reading). The storyline was grim and realistic, things that are important for sure, but just struck me a little cold. It’s told very well, but I suppose I was after something a little happier at the time.

~ ~ ~

So currently I’m still reading Debris (The Veiled Worlds, #1) by Jo Anderton annnnd The Very Best of Tad Williams by (well, big surprise…!) Tad Williams. I really could have finished these two novels during March, but I was just lazy. That’s all I can really say.

For the first week of April I’m away from home, in a conference for one of the judging books things. I’m not sure if this means I’ll get to read more than usual, or if I hardly get any reading done at all.

All I know is I’m taking along The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab, which was gifted to me by the awesome Sam, and I can’t wait to get to the airport so I can start!

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