Can you believe April is almost over? We’ve enjoyed sharing what we’re reading this month and hearing what you’re enjoying week to week as well. We hope to make this a regular thing, and we’re excited to spread the love of great scifi and fantasy books. Here’s what we’re reading this week!
I’m continuing my reading for the April Lytherus book club with the Shadow Scale audiobook, also by Rachel Harman. In this sequel to Seraphina, she heads out on the road to find others like her. My absolute favorite kind of books are quest books, so I’m thoroughly enjoying Seraphina’s journey. The other half-dragons we’ve encountered are pretty amazing, and I can only imagine how much fun Rachel had thinking up all these different and unique characters. And they really are characters, with their unique quirks and traits.
We are also getting a lot of back story into a seriously creepy character, one that is only mentioned briefly from time to time in the first book. She’s turning into the big baddie of book two. Like everything else in this series, the story is vividly told, and filled with both horror and empathy. I’m not quite done with it, but I can’t wait to see where it goes. The audiobook has the same narrator as book 1, so that’s also been fun, staying with her.
This week I tackled Ken Liu’s GRACE OF KINGS. I admit I’m still about fifty pages from the end, but at this point I feel confident that he would have to do something really spectacular to mess this book up. Epic high fantasy is the genre I love deepest, and a new series never fails to excite me. However, they can sometime require more effort than they’re worth. Large casts roving across sprawling worlds require skillful handling in order for the story to flow. Large amounts of history are generally needed to understand all the stakes and has to be delivered to the reader without compromising the structure. I spend a lot of epic fantasies flipping back and forth trying to keep track of who’s who, where they are, and what they’re trying to achieve. With GRACE OF KINGS I never looked back. This dynastic story grabbed me right out of the gate and never faltered. I knew and cared about each person and learned so much about this new world without ever noticing the information slide into the narrative. I can’t recommended this book highly enough, particularly for fans of Brandon Sanderson’s MISTBORN and Patrick Rothfuss’ KINGKILLER books.
For our last week, I read FAIREST by Marissa Meyer. This book is part of The Lunar Chronicles series, but it’s a prequel to all the other books. For those who don’t know every book in this series is based on a fairytale with a futuristic science-fiction twist, and this one is loosely based on the Evil Queen character from Snow White. The previous books were a very pleasant surprise to me, and I loved each one of them. This one was not different.I have a soft spot for well developed villains. So I had high expectations for a book solely focused on one, and how she became the person she is in the other books. And although this one is smaller than the other novels, it was the perfect size with the perfect amount of information. We had insight on characters that we had merely heard about before, but it explained so much, and it enriched the backstory and motivation of a character that is so important throughout the series. You don’t need to read this book to understand the rest of the plot, but it definitely helps, at least to have a better understanding of Queen Levana.I can’t say much without spoiling the rest of the series. For those who haven’t read it yet and like science-fiction and YA, I definitely recommend the series. For fans of the series who don’t know if they should read this prequel – I say get on it! Marissa Meyer is a great writer, and I can never put her books down. I can barely wait for the last one coming out in November!
- The Girl With All the Gifts, by M.R. Carey
- Fortune’s Pawn, by Rachel Bach
- Ancillary Justice, by Anne Leckie
- The Burning Dark, by Adam Christopher
These are some seriously amazing books. The Girl With All the Gifts has nominated for a slew of awards, and won some too, and a movie is in the works. Ancillary Justice won the Hugo and the Nebula in 2014 for best novel. The other two have high ratings on Goodreads and other accolades.
Thrown in with this pack of awesome is a sweet Brisingr bookmark, complete with Glaedr and a signature by Christopher Paolini:
And for our international friends, my last Brisingr book plate, again signed by Christopher Paolini!
Be sure to enter! We won’t be doing giveaways this big for a while, so this is a great chance to win a stack of new books!