This month I managed to read 11 novels. Not as many as I would have liked, and a handful of others started but not finished.
But now, onto the novels read in May!
Between Worlds by Martha Wells is a collection of short stories (and longer), set in her Ile-Rien and Cineth Stories. This made me desperate to read the rest of her books, and the lack of ‘read them in this order’ help on her site meant I soon went on to other books instead. Do I read in publishing order? Series order? Grumble. well, truth of the matter is I have way too many books I’m partway into, so really I just felt guilty and read those instead. I WILL however devour them all soon, probably in series order, and hopefully make sense of the timeline in my head. At least there’s another short story collection coming out in June. AND IT’S NEARLY JUNE!
The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines is another one of those wacky fairytale spec fic books that are just a bit cracky but ultimately feel comforting because it’s taking something we know and have been raised on, and taking it to a different place. It’s almost a form of fanfiction – taking characters we’re familiar with and playing around with them or the world. This one works really well, but I’m not sure I’ll continue on with the series. We’ll see.
12 Books You Can’t Miss at BookCon 2015 is a free book available on iBooks in certain countries, containing a few sneak previews. I was in it for the preview of Welcome to Night Vale and it did not disappoint. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell was also interesting, and there were a handful of other titles in here which were Quite Interesting – so get it, if your iTunes has it!
- Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
- Another Day by David Levithan
- Soundless by Richelle Mead
- You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost): A Memoir by Felicia Day
- Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
- I Justine: An Analog Memoir by Justine Ezarik
- The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
- Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor
- Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
- Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer
- Killing Monica by Candace Bushnell
- The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand
Look at that list!
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff was something I was looking forward to. Sadly I’m one who didn’t really enjoy Kristoff’s series for a variety of reasons but I did quite enjoy Kaufman’s series, having been part of the panel which has shortlisted her work for the Aurealis Awards. This, however, was ultimately disappointing. It had bits that grabbed, but not enough to make me flail over the book in any way. It’s really chock full of style, very fancy pages and design throughout, and that ruined the book for me. There didn’t seem to be strong characterisation or plot – it was covered over with a whole lot of pretty. Eh. The file supplied for review was difficult (having to read PDF in a browser on the computer, not able to put it on an eReader or anything) so that might have contributed to not being able to sink into the story… so I’ll give it another go when it comes out.
Abducticon by Alma Alexander is a book recommended to me by Tsana, as it’s pretty perfect for us. A book about being at a con, showcasing the weird characters that are part of that scene, how there’s terrible food, slow lifts and begrudged hotel staff? We know that scene. You can read her review here, it sums up my thoughts better than I could – I’m too sleepy.
You’re Never Weird on the Internet – Almost by Felicia Day is a book I was surprised I devoured so quickly. I enjoy Felicia’s work – I’m not a diehard fan and don’t follow her on everything, but I usually enjoy what she has to say or do when I catch it. Reading this was really interesting, seeing how she was shaped as a child and went on from there. I could identify with her anxiety to a surprising degree, it pointed out instances in my childhood that I still didn’t even realise now were the early stages to my anxiety. I also really loved seeing her bits about WoW which I got into for a few months and how it was all so true! I really recommend this to anyone slightly geeky, whether you’ve seen her work or not – you don’t need to, this is a book for all of us.
The Stranger by Harlan Coben is . You can find my review here. I got into Harlan’s work when I was away from work at a careers convention and no one was coming up to our stall at all (no one wants to be a teacher? Come on!) and I devoured the book in a few hours. His crime is very easily readable, or at least, it was. He seems to be slipping away now, and well, that’s to be expected when you have 40 or 60 books out (or something). This was engaging enough, but certainly had enough instances that were far too cliche or annoying that almost made me stop reading, and eventually I skimmed to the end.
Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Deborah Biancotti and Margo Lanagan is another book that needs a slight disclaimer, as I’m friends with Deb and Margo – spec fic is a small community in Australia, where we go out and have dinner together and I chat knitting with Deborah in Alisa’s craft group. That aside, this was a book that made me not think for an instant that this is something written by people I know – this was a book I couldn’t put down, it’s a book I flailed over to many friends saying why they had to get it as soon as it came out, and I just can’t get enough of. This take superpowers and manages somehow to do something new – how is this possible when there’s SO much superheroes stuff out there at the moment? My full review is here.
Emilie and the Hollow World by Martha Wells is another book I’m reading to desperately try devour everything Wells has out at the moment – it’s slow going. This was quite good, another series that was sadly hit down when Angry Robot played their little publishing games. I like her other series more than this, but this was still pretty damn good. Which just shows how excellent her other writing is.
False Hearts by Laura Lam is a book not out until next year, but Laura asked me if I would like to/be able to beta read and mark typos, formatting things, point out when something isn’t quite clear or is a bit confusing. This is surprisingly hard because you keep enjoying the story too much, and you read too fast to know what happens next and hence sometimes miss a few typos because reading too quick need to know what happens next NO, T! Don’t do that! and so on. I can’t say much about it just yet, but I will say that it’s as brilliant as her previous series. Reading it bit by bit always left me desperate for more, I adored the characters, the tech this new Earth had, and I’ve already given her a list of things I want to see in short stories one day. Demanding? Heck yes I am, when it comes to good reading I’m always desperate for more! I can’t wait for this to come out officially.
Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt is a book where the less said the better. All the low ratings on goodreads sum up this book better than I can be bothered to, and I really should have listened to them. I was hoping for an easy and quick book to read to just relax, but this just made me cringe throughout. Eh.
June I’m off to Continuum in Melbourne for a week, here’s hoping I read more than my last holiday away!