June Round Up
Maybe you’ve noticed that I’ve also been writing a chunk more “article” posts rather than book reviews this month. Whilst I think that book reviews are great, I thought my blog might benefit a lot from some more diverse posts – recommendation lists, posts about blogging and getting/reading ARCs; I’ve definitely enjoyed writing these kinds of posts and they’re a great way to raise awareness about less popular, less mainstream kinds of books! I hope you guys are enjoying the slight shift my blog is going through 🙂
Anyway, onto the books!
Spotlight ARC of the Month:
This was the Hush. Its rain was not water, but shadow: a rain of leftover sorcery
There are two things that I loved about The Hush: first, it’s essentially a group teen heist novel (think more YA Six of Crows), which I didn’t know when I picked it up, and secondly, the idea of the Song, Music, and the Hush is super cool. This book was fantastic and, though it is a standalone, I hope Melki-Wegner returns to write more in this universe.
The man. Chester Hays’ father has gone missing, leaving Chester on the road with his fiddle.
The woman. Susannah is a down-and-out criminal looking for revenge. Nineteen years old with a shock of red hair, a knife in her belt and a crew to command.
The world. Songshapers study Music, when ordinary musical ability and playing becomes magical. The Song threads its way throughout the world, the underlying rhythm of nature, the heartbeat of the universe, and to interfere with it through Music is a crime.
This book has got everything: great characters, a unique form of magic, action, fights, and a compelling plot.
Chester is on the road, searching every town for clues about his father and why he disappeared. But when he’s caught accidentally – and illegally – connecting with the Song as he plays his beloved fiddle, Chester is sentenced to death. Only a licensed Songshaper can bend music to their will. The axe is about to fall . . .
But there is someone else watching Chester. Someone who needs his special talents. Who can use him for their own ends. And who knows the secrets of The Hush, where there is no music, only deadly Echoes who will steal your soul.
Spotlight Read of the Month:
Valkyrie Cain is an older, broken woman. Valkyrie Cain lived for years with prophecies and worlds on her young shoulders and now she just wants to be left alone. I can’t much blame her. Meanwhile, Skulduggery is futilely trying to pretend that nothing is wrong, that a good case will take them back five years to when they were the dream duo, saving the world left and right.
Resurrection manages to balance this rather depressing, but realistic, outlook on Valkyrie and Skulduggery with good, Landy humour. The plot is entirely new, with new characters, rather than trying to rehash old characters and storylines. It’s a great addition to the series. It isn’t as intense and wide-spanning as The Dying of the Light, not having as many links and connections to the other books, but it is fun, clever, and very enjoyable with some new additions to the cast and a great look at how some of the characters have aged.
“Fight them. I’m begging you.”
“I thought you didn’t beg.”
“You’re my exception,” she said. “You always were.”
The skeleton detective is coming back to life… again! It’s the tenth, triumphant novel in the Skulduggery Pleasant series, and it will rearrange your world. Skulduggery and Valkyrie are back in the tenth instalment in the bestselling Skulduggery Pleasant series – an incredible and unexpected treat for the legions of fans around the world.
Dawn Of The Clans, Erin Hunter
Tribute was fun in parts; there was mind magic and thief clans and a little bit of mystery. But there’s also instalove; Aidan and Zara are professing undying love after speaking twice. For about three minutes. Yawn.
* * The One (The Selection #3), Kiera Cass – Review
Whilst I enjoyed The Winner’s Curse, The Winner’s Crime was relatively boring. There’s lots of romantic angst and a load of political manoeuvrings that I didn’t really understand, somehow related to bets made about Kestrel’s wedding dress.
Eddie Ashford failed the first semester of university so he takes up a job working for the Delta Patriot in the tiny town of Kusko in rural Alaska. It’s a coming of age sort of story; whilst I couldn’t stand Eddie I loved the setting.
Eleanor Oliphant is fine, or that’s what she tells herself. She’s got her routine: work, weekends and vodka, talking to Mummy on Wednesdays. Two things happen to change her life. This book is sad and touching and real; it’s about good days and bad days and better days.
* * * * Fallen Flame, J. Miller – Review
Vala was born with charred skin on an island where magic hasn’t existed for almost two hundred years. She serves her prince as a bodyguard, but when an embassy comes from a neighbouring kingdom her life changes. Great main character, magic, and finally some decent, realistic fantasy romance. Great read!
* * * Flame In The Mist, Renee Ahdieh – Review
Very loosely a Mulan retelling in which Mariko is attacked by bandits on her way to marry the second in line to the emperor’s throne. Lost in a creepy forest, Mariko endeavours to infiltrate the Black Clan, who she believes is responsible for her attempted murder. Fun and solid book, downsides include very annoying prose and a weirdly philosophical group of boys.