First proper recap of the year! Balancing reading, working, and writing is proving less challenging now that I’ve also started running (yay treadmill reads).
What I Learned: The Monster Mash
This book was a weird blend of Western and then every monster that I have ever come across. It was so well done that the reader barely even questioned it. Such seamless world-building is so rare and none of it really took the reader out of the book. Definitely a fun read and great craft lesson on creatures.
What I Learned: Character Interests
Read as an ARC received at Bookcon 2016. Came out January 2018. Maya is a teenager who is super into cinema. I went to an event with Samira Ahmed, and she admitted doing loads of research for cinematography. It was so well-integrated and really made Maya personable and such a great protagonist. I never once doubted that she was an expert in her chosen field.
What I Learned: Keeping to a Theme
Read as an ARC from NetGalley. Came out January 2018. Such a delightful collection of short stories enticing the reader to pick a side between robots and fairies. Each story was unique and had a different take on each faction. There was a certain style among the works that could have suggested each work took place in a shared universe. Definitely not a collection to miss.
What I Learned: Getting Better with Distance
This book was difficult for me to get through. I hated the characters through the first half of the book and really liked the narrative in the second half. But the more I think about it, I might have just been a bit petulant. Even though I came to appreciate the layers of detail when it came to the unreliable narration and the villain. It’s one of those reads that gets better with a little time spent in contemplation.
What I Learned: Giving More Space to More Characters
Read as an eARC from NetGalley. Came out December 2017. Since there wasn’t as much establishment of historical alternate universe Russia in the sequel, the characters had more time to breathe and expand. The time line on this book also seemed shorter, not quite following a family and instead focusing on individual journeys. Still plot driven, but the characters really shone in this one.
Reading for 2018 is off to a great stop, but I definitely need to read things that came out before the 2010s.