October Reading Round Up
October was a sightly different reading month for me than usual. Other years I’m all ready for Halloween and fill up my reading list with books about monsters, the paranormal, urban fantasy books I’ve been meaning to get to, etc.
That was not the case this year for a couple of reasons.
1) Five of my auto-buy/favorite authors had new releases this month. FIVE. I didn’t even get to read all of them. (Bummer, I know.) If the staff at Barnes & Noble didn’t know me before, they sure do now because I was there at least once a week to pick up a pre-order.
2) I want to become more familiar with recent releases for adult fantasy since…. you know… that’s what I write. So, I went to the library and picked up a few. I only got to one of them, and it took me longer than usual to read. I had to renew the others.
3) KINGDOM OF ASH IS LIFE.
So. Let’s get to it, shall we?
Vengeful* (Villains #2) by VE Schwab
Genre: Adult Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Rating: 5 stars
Quick Summary: A few years after the conclusion of Vicious a new EO wants to take power in Merit.
If it wasn’t for Kingdom of Ash, this book would take the top spot for my favorite of October. Unless something drastic happens, it will definitely make the list of my favorites for 2018. I read Vicious a couple of years ago and it is my favorite VE Schwab book. When I heard she was working on a sequel, I was ridiculously excited!
I loved the new characters/villains introduced in this one, the additional depth we got for the characters we already knew, and it was beautifully crafted. I was able to see the author speak at a local store and it was so awesome to hear her talk about the process of writing this book!
You'll Like This Book If You Also Enjoy: The first book Vicious, super villains, anti-heroes, pissed off women who want to take down the patriarchy, found family
Content Warnings: torture, violence, death (a lot of death), references to sexual assault
The Queens of Innis Lear* by Tessa Gratton
Genre: Adult Fantasy Retelling
Format: Library Hardcover
Rating: 3.5 stars
Quick Summary: A fantasy retelling of King Lear where 3 sisters fight for the crown.
King Lear is one of the Shakespeare plays I’m not familiar with other than it was a tragedy. Which means don’t get attached to anyone since they’ll probably die a terrible terrible death. I debated if I should read a plot synopsis before diving into it. I decided to just read a quick run-down of the premise.
I truly loved the concept for this book. Three women of mixed race who all could take their father’s crown after he dies. The oldest is asexual, a total bad ass, and prepared to take the throne to be king. (Yes, king. Not queen. She won’t take that s***.) The second oldest is happily married and has this super fascinating arrangement to rule at her sister’s side, has great forest/tree magic, but is also dealing with infertility. Then the youngest is close to her father, is super sweet, and is this star priestess person.
The beginning, I loved. I was interested, it pulled me in, I loved the characters. The ending was also great. It wrapped up everything well, it was intriguing, I wanted to keep going and see it all through. But the middle… meh. It was a struggle to keep going. I had a hunch that the end was going to be better, so I continued on. But that middle section definitely brought down my rating. There was so much potential though!
You'll Like This Book If You Also Enjoy: Shakespeare, tragedy and death, stand alone fantasy novels, more pissed off women who want to take down the patriarchy, sisters, star cross lovers
Content Warnings: violence, infertility/miscarriages, a lot of death and blood
What If It’s Us* by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance - M/M relationship
Rating: 4 Stars
Quick Summary: Arthur and Ben randomly meet at a post office in New York then go on a hunt to find each other once again.
I love Becky Albertalli a ridiculous amount. (I’ve read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda at least six times.) As for Adam Silvera, I’ve read some of his books and I really appreciate him and his stories and I’m glad they exist, but they aren’t my favorite. When they teamed up to write a book together, I was cautiously excited.
There was no need for the cautious, apparently.
After how intense some of Queens of Innis Lear was, it was great to have this fun romantic book. A bit predictable, kinda corny, but I like those things. I mean, you don’t read a romantic comedy type of book because you want the end to surprise you, let’s be honest.
You'll Like This Book If You Also Enjoy: romantic comedy, meet cutes, summer romance, M/M relationships, a lot of Hamilton fangirling, NYC
Content Warnings: not a whole lot to be honest with you. There’s some friend fight, a bit of a divorce worry, cheating, homophobia
Kingdom of Ash* (Throne of Glass #7) by Sarah J Maas
Genre: New Adult Fantasy
Rating: 5 Stars
Quick Summary: ITS THE FINAL THRONE OF GLASS BOOK WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED TO KNOW?
Yes. My most anticipated book of 2018. If not for the last several years. It’s actually here and I finished it. My heart… I don’t even have words.
This book was 992 pages.
I cried for 992 pages.
I’m writing this not even 24 hours after completing the last page and I’m almost ready to start crying again. I’ve been wallowing over how the Throne of Glass series is over ever since I put it back on my shelf.
Literally my only complaint is SO MANY BATTLE SCENES. Which, I can’t even complain about because the whole thing takes place during war so… there you go. It’s just that battle scenes aren’t my particular favorite and I have a hard time focusing on them. Beyond that - I LOVED EVERYTHING. This book also had the most “classic epic fantasy” feel out of all of them.
I’m not going to go on much more (I could if I wanted to- trust me!) because if I share anything about this book, it’ll spoil the entire series for those who haven’t read it yet. If you’re a fellow Throne of Glass fan, please feel free to reach out to me and we can talk and fangirl together. As well as cry.
I will say this though: while I’m so sad that this series is over, I’m completely satisfied with how it ended. It was beautiful, and wonderful. My heart is heavy, but it is also full.
You'll Like This Book If You Also Enjoy: Sarah J Maas’ other books, epic fantasy, war stories, bad ass queens, witches, fae, shape shifters, romance, multiple points of view
Content Warnings: on page torture/breaking of bones (this was particularly difficult for me to read), a lot of violence and death, references to past abuse, PTSD, psychological torture/manipulation, loss of loved ones
The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky (Montague Siblings 1.5) by Mackenzi Lee
Genre: Young Adult Historical- M/M Relationship - Short Story/Novelette
Rating: 4 Stars
Quick Summary: We check in on the Montague siblings and friends between The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and The Ladies Guide to Petticoats and Piracy.
This was a freebie for those who pre-ordered The Ladies Guide to Petticoats and Piracy so sadly… I don’t have a link for you all to purchase it yourself. Hopefully it will be available for purchase at some point!
Reading TGTGL was the perfect cure for my “book hangover” after reading Kingdom of Ash. It was fun, light, and I was able to check in on some of these fabulous characters.
You'll Like This Book If You Also Enjoy: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, M/M relationships, navigating a new relationship, historical fiction
Content Warnings: references to homophobia, epilepsy, and past abuse
Kings of the Wyld* (The Band #1) by Nicholas Eames
Format: Library Paperback
Quick Summary: A former band of mercenaries reunite to save the daughter of one of their members.
I feel really bad for this book because it has to follow Kingdom of Ash. Nothing will be able to live up to that. I planned on reading a lighter book, or one of the other new releases that came out in October. However, I already had to renew this book and one other one from the library and I really need to get to it.
I’m not super hopeful about it though, because I was looking on Goodreads and apparently the author claims that the “only” way to get women in the book was to make them antagonists. This produced a lot of eye rolling from me even though he also claims that all of his characters have a lot of bad qualities. After most of the books I just finished are about pissed off women who want to take down the patriarchy… that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. But, I did see that the second book’s main character is a woman so maybe it’s better than I’m anticipating.
Like what you read? Consider buying me a coffee.