This month I managed to read 4 novels. I never would have guessed I’d have such an appalling month.
As stated in my March post, April was full of travelling, then I also had a week of a fairly intensive course I’m doing for work – this means I haven’t been at work for almost a month which means a lot of catching up the few days I’ve been there in between everything else… so that’s my excuse! Travelling, being ill, stressful course, and catching up at work means I’ve done very little reading.
Other than fanfic, that is. I seem to have fallen down the fanfic black hole of doom, something I haven’t done for years now. Fanfic is so, so good, but so so bad for time management.
Fanfic aside, not reading my usual quota in general feels awful, I’m a lot more stressed without reading, but them I’m also stressed if I read instead of other work I could be doing.
But now, onto the novels read in April!
Backcountry by D. E. McDonald is a novelisation of a movie by the same name – I generally enjoy novelisations if I’ve loved the movie, as it’s a chance to see a few things in a bit more depth. In this case I haven’t seen the film, but I do know the author so I had this one on pre-order. And now I’m never going camping again, and I won’t be seeing the movie so I don’t get nightmares! Even if it is pretty! I’ll go see waterfalls somewhere else, thank you.
The writing was – bias aside – engaging and emotive, and you got an easy sense of the characters early on, and you were able to identify with them easily. Set in Canada, you also get the sense that this could just as well have been set in Australia or Europe somewhere, meaning you put your own images in where you feel this took place.
It’s also a bit terrifying, not just the brutal factor, but the sense of hopelessness of being in a situation you can’t do anything in. So in that way I kinda hesitate recommending it because it’s written so well it’ll freak you out. But on the other hand, you should all read it! My review can be found here.
Breakout by Alisa Kwitney is a novelisation that’s listed as a ‘dramatically different take on Brian Michael Bendis’ blockbuster Avengers comics debut’ – I found this through Tansy’s review on Galactic Suburbia – she’s always excellent if you need recommendations for all things geeky.
This isn’t going to win any awards for great literature, but it could easily win on the ‘fun’ scale – she really captures the characters well, and inserts loads of little geeky references that shows Kwitney knows her stuff. I just wish the cover was better! I certainly wouldn’t have picked it up, and I would have actively avoided it if it weren’t for Tansy’s plug. Seriously, it does a disservice to what is a really quite excellent bit of fun.
Black Powder War by Naomi Novik is the third in the Temeraire series. While I’m loving this series, I also feel I need a bit of a break from it – it’s a good thing Novik has a new novel out so it’s not like I need a break from her writing! I found this one a bit slower than the previous two somehow – I found it a bit more confusing as to what was going on war-wise, probably because my own knowledge of history is truly woeful. At the same time, I’m looking forward to what happens next! I do really love how different each book is from the last, all due to setting.
The Voyage of the Basilisk by Marie Brennan is the third in a series. I love this work – it’s quite similar to Naomi Novik’s work, and a bit like Mary Robinette Kowal’s (in that it all seems to be of the same kinda distant time, with a European edge to it) yet this series to be slightly more strict in its world building and tone – you can almost believe this has all happened and it’s glorious. My review can be found here.
May I don’t think I really have anything on, other than the final week of my course at some stage (it’s a three week course, one week a month!) so now it’s really time to get back on the reading bandwagon. I need it.
Though knitting is also excellent for stress, I’ve found. Unfortunately my hands are really suffering through this illness, and I’m only making things worse by knitting more than two rows in a day. No progress there either!