Time for my wrap-up of the last ten books I’ve read. This definitely seems like a better way for me to go about it – although I do need to remember when I hit ten books! Some of these have a much more detailed review, so do check out my full-length thoughts.
Here we go!
City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
This fantasy is unlike anything I’ve read before and I loved it. Based on middle-eastern and Muslim mythology, it is rich in detail and one of the most sumptuous reads this year. The plot is twisting and turning, on the edge of your seat stuff, and all the characters have a good balance of darkness and light and plenty of secrets to keep you guessing. It felt a little confusing at times, trying to keep track of everyone and everything that was happening, but overall an amazing start to this series. I’m really excited to pick up the next book when it comes out in January.
The Fahrenheit Twins by Michel Faber
Full review here. A very strange mix of short stories, some very good, some just too far into the weird for my liking (and that’s saying something!). I may pick up one of his novels in the future, but not rushing.
The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood
Full review here. Not one of her best. I was left very disappointed by this one as it really did take an utterly bizarre turn halfway through, so think I’ll turn back to her older works instead.
Trysting by Emanuelle Pagano
Full review here. Absolutely stunning collection of vignettes/prose poetry/flash fiction. Not for everyone, but I loved it – one of my favourite books of the year!
The Monsters We Deserve by Marcus Sedgewick
I’m still not 100% sure how I feel about this one. I adored the writing. The experimental nature of it; the complexity of how Sedgewick constructs his sentences really builds the tension and the feelings the protagonist has of losing his mind out in the wilderness. The book draws heavily from Frankenstein, which on the one hand works very well, but there were moments towards the last third of the book where the tension seemed to fall away in favour of some not quite clear or resolved moments. Still, fascinating and brilliantly written, so I am definitely going to pick up some more of his work.
And the Ocean was Our Sky by Patrick Ness
Full review here. Gorgeous illustrated novel reversing the story of Moby Dick. Definitely one to think about in these turbulent modern times.
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
The second book in the Grisha trilogy and definitely better than the first. The pacing was significantly better, and we gained a new character who just made the book for me! Sad we didn’t see more of The Darkling, as he has the potential to be a really interesting and complex antagonist, but glad things settled down from the first book. I still think both could have benefited from being a bit longer to really allow Bardugo to get into some of the dynamics, and even stretch her writing muscles more. I’ve heard mixed things about the finale, so we shall see…
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Yes, I have finally read this! I listened to the audiobook narrated by Rosamund Pike and it was the best decision I could have made. Her narration is simply fantastic, and really brings the characters and Austen’s wit to life. It was certainly a lot funnier than I was expecting, and I can see why it is such a favourite with so many people. If you’re daunted by it, I do highly recommend going the audio route.
Red Queen by Christina Henry
The sequel to Alice this was not quite what I was expecting at all. The first book carried a big gothic-horror-steampunk vibe, where as this was much more in the land of Grimm’s fairytales. With that, it felt a little more exposition heavy, and I didn’t feel the connection to the original Alice in Wonderland, which could have been a lot stronger to help with what felt like a slightly looser, less well-constructed plot. Still, I absolutely flew through it and still loved the ride! I’m pretty sure there’s going to be another in this series, which I am really looking forward to, and I have Henry’s other books to keep me going in the meantime.
So there we are! Ten mini reviews to keep you going. Let me know in the comments if you want a fuller review of any I haven’t given long reviews for.