This month I managed to read 24 novels.
Below I’ll list the novels read for my part in judging the fantasy novel category in the Aurealis Awards which I’m not able to discuss, then below shall carry on as normal for books I’ve read for enjoyment or review.
- Fireborn (Souls of Fire #1) by Keri Arthur
- Afterworld by Lynnette Lounsbury
- The Clueless Dead by Keith Greenwood
- Thorne (The Chronicles of Kaya #2) by Charlotte McConaghy
- Peacemaker (Peacemaker #1) by Marianne de Pierres
- Endsinger (The Lotus War #3) by Jay Kristoff
- The Memory of Death (Death Works Trilogy #4) by Trent Jamieson
- The Shadow Master (Shadow Master #1) by Craig Cormick
- I, Morgana by Felicity Pulman
- Shatterwing (Dragon Wine, #1) by Donna Maree Hanson
- Isis, Vampires and Ghosts – Oh My! (The Other World) by Janis Hill
- The Unbound Man by Matt Karlov
- The Book of Days by K.A. Barker
- Unwrapped Sky (Caeli-Amur #1) by Rjurik Davidson
- The Other Shore by Hoa Pham
- The Last Great Hero by Scott J. Robinson
- Dreamer’s Pool (Blackthorn & Brim #1) by Juliet Marillier
And now, onto the novels read in January!
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki was a book recommended to me by a stranger on Goodreads when I asked for books set in Japan that give a good view of Japanese everyday life. This book is pretty good at that, and also has a kinda magical realism element that I must confess I mostly skim-read. It was good, but I was much more interested in the characters and other elements, rather than those that took this out of a realistic setting.
The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley is a book I should have read as a kid, but, sadly, my childhood had a dire lack of fantasy and science fiction novels, which is such a shame as this would have only been out a few years when I would have been an excellent age for it. That’s not to say it’s damn excellent for anyone of any age – you see the main character from when she’s young until she’s 18 in this volume – just more that it doesn’t have a multitude of swearing or sex, and the violence in it is more of an adventure with dragons than brutal. My review can be found here.
Fearsome Magics, edited by Jonathan Strahan was a book I just couldn’t get through. Although I hate to admit it, it was disappointing. I liked perhaps three or four of the short stories within, and it really was a slug to get through. My review can be found here.
Last Wishes by Victoria Schwab are middle grade fun. I wouldn’t pick these up if I weren’t already a fan of Schwab, determined to read everything she puts out, so I’m glad I have the excuse! These are cute and fun books, full with important messages for young teens and I highly recommend them to those around 12 years old. I’ve ensured they’re on library lists for our local schools (as I work for the Education department) and highly recommend them to all. The other two books deal with having an incredibly ill sibling, the other on coping with bullying, and this one with making the right decisions for yourself – the young girl feels pressured to achieve and be perfect in everything (to get a dancing scholarship, to help her parents who are financially troubled) but it makes her stressed, depressed, and grow to hate dancing which she once loved. These are all important messages, and Schwab handles them all with care and humour.
Skin Deep by Brandon Sanderson is the second in the Legion series, about a man who has a ‘unique mental condition (that) allows him to generate a multitude of personae: hallucinatory entities with a wide variety of personal characteristics and a vast array of highly specialised skills.’ Basically, any information he takes in – even if it’s in audiobook form played at x5 speed, shall be allocated to one of his entities who will then be able to process and use that information, and rely it back to him. This is SUCH an excellent and fun series that it’s close to being my favourite work by Sanderson – which says a lot, seeing what he comes out with. I hope there’s more!
The Evil Overlord (The Lost Shimmaron #3) by Rowena Cory Daniells is another book I’m reading/proofing for interning for FableCroft work and so for now there’s not much else I can say on this – other than you should get it when it comes out! I love Rowena’s work!
Cranky Ladies of History edited by Tehani Wessely & Tansy Rayner Roberts is an anthology of cranky ladies of history – right what it says on the cover! This is an anthology of short stories, mostly historical fiction with a handful that have a few speculative elements also, featuring excellent authors from Australia and elsewhere. This is going to be great for schools as well as adults, and certainly taught me a thing or two about history. You can read my review of it here.