A pinched nerve for two weeks took me out of commission, but having my boyfriend in town was massively helpful. It also gave me a chance to read some excellent audiobooks, which I will share with you below.
What I Learned: Layering Different Types of Horror
This novel combines two different types of horror: the terror of war and of the fae that haunt the ancient woods. The way the two play with each other in this book is cleverly done, never leaving too long without a moment to scream.
What I Learned: Slowing the Book Down for Better Effect
The pacing in this sequel was much better handled than the first. Legrand slows down the plot to allow for some world-building and for the characters to really take in the dangerous magic and treachery all around them. Plus, I stuck around for the angels, and my lord, is there so much angels in this book.
What I Learned: Pure Joy
The concerts, aliens, and characters leap off the page. There is no part of this book that isn’t just steeped in Eurovision with a spacey aesthetic. It is so much fun, and I cannot recommend it enough for when you just can’t even.
What I Learned: Evolving Main Character
Circe interweaves Miller’s excellent exploration of Greek mythology with a much closer character-driven narrative. The titular character is cast out from her home and develops relationships with both mortals and immortals alike. So much compassion and empathy steeps the narrative, and Circe’s personal development shifts with the narrative in ways that are thoroughly satisfying.
What I Learned: Empathetic Villains
A villain origin story and retelling unlike any I’ve ever read. Of our two narrators, Mina had to be my preferred. Her motivations are completely understandable. When coupled with the circumstances of her life, they make so much sense, and it makes for a compelling narrative when her stepdaughter comes into her life. The two are forced to reckon with their destinies in ways completely befitting the intricate character development.
What I Learned: Nailing a Sequel
I found myself on the edge of my seat from start to finish. Sim created such an intricate world with brilliant magic crafting and delightful characters. The story expands beyond England to India, but the consistency in the narrative is so well done and provides deep character exploration. Highlights for me include Colton’s origin story and Daphne’s relationship with Indian culture in India.
What I Learned: Multinational Cities
Though the narrative takes place in the city of Noor, Azad spares no expense when it comes to describing just how multi-cultural and cosmopolitan the city is. Sitting on the Silk Road, a variety of merchants sell a multitude of wares, serving as a constant reminder that the world is much larger than the tightly woven character story presented here.
Just like last month, Hardcopies and Kindle reads will be featured in a separate post.