Summer means school holidays and a lot going on. Routines get turned upside down and appropriate bedtimes for children become something mythical; you’re sure they’re supposed to exist, but when you’re only halfway through introducing the kids to T2: Judgment Day at 10pm they’re clearly not going to be sleeping anytime soon.
With all this, I’ve been reading a lot less than usual. I’ve temporarily traded my fave pastime for snatching episodes of Daredevil and Orphan Black in between playing chauffeur and battling the weeds in the backyard. But with an upcoming international trip promising lots of in-transit hanging around, I’ll be back with my head in the words pretty soon.
Recent Reads: Blades and Bolt Cutters…
At the time of last month’s book report I had just started Marissa Meyer’s Cinder, a cyborg Cinderella tale in a futuristic setting. This was a fun read, and the protagonist, grease-stained mechanic Cinder, is my kind of girl. She knows she’s been dealt a bad hand in life, but she keeps her chin up and never backs down. And she’s never, ever afraid to get dirty. The love interest, Prince Kai, is a genuinely nice guy, which is refreshing, since so often it seems like you want to shake the female character and say, “What were you thinking?”
My only quibble with the story is that Meyer gives away her main plot twist far too easily. No spoilers, but by the time I was a quarter-way into the story I had already figured out which way the wind was blowing.
Another book on my list was Throne of Glass, a YA fantasy by Sarah J. Maas. Interestingly enough, this is also based loosely on Cinderella, although this time the protagonist Celaena Sardothien is an assassin, tasked with beating out a number of vicious competitors for the title of King’s Champion.
Celaena’s character was deliciously feral, a little wildcat pacing her gilded cage. There were enough twists and turns to keep me on my feet and Maas does a great job of delicate foreshadowing so that when events take place the reader feels vindicated, rather than led. Good summer fun.
Now reading: Divine magic.
I’ve been too crazy busy to want to invest my mind in something new, so I’ve been re-reading Benedict Jacka’s Alex Verus series in preparation for his upcoming sixth novel, Veiled. Verus is a Diviner, a mage who can walk the paths of the future. Jacka’s work is wonderful, and I just love his main character. If you’re an urban fantasy fan and are into the likes of Harry Dresden, you need to try Jacka.
To Read: Do androids dream of alien war?
The first takes us into Earth’s future, and the race to create a sentient machine. I haven’t had a chance to read any of Stephen’s work yet, so I’m looking forward to this one, his most recent release.
Also hot off the press, The Last War is the first novel in Alex Davis’ Noukari Trilogy, which delves the growing rift among the alien Noukari people as their civilization develops and they discover their telepathic abilities.
For later on in summer, I have a couple of upcoming releases on the horizon. The end of July (for the USA) brings us the concluding title in Joe Abercrombie’s Shattered Sea trilogy, Half a War. The first two were excellent, and I’m excited to see how he’s going to end the trials of Yarvi and co. The other soon-to-be is Benedict Jacka’s aforementioned Veiled, out in August.
A pretty diverse line-up, but hey, it’s summer, and those long nights deserve a veritable fruity cocktail with teeny-weeny umbrella’s worth of words.
So here’s to summer. And tiny umbrellas.