Quite often I find that I read a book and don’t know what to say. I mean, I guess I have a few thoughts- but not enough I feel the need to write a review. While I endeavor to do a review whenever possible in order to provide content for this blog, I often don’t feel I have enough material to do a long review.
However, sometimes these are books I might have reviewed book one of, or really enjoyed, so I thought I’d start doing an occasional roundup.
The Bartimaeus Sequence, Jonathan Stroud: ★★★★★
I made a quite note when I read the first book of this, but I’ve since finished the trilogy. These are top tier books and Stroud is a high class writer. The world building is supreme, with bits of humor and horror mixed in. Great characters and a somehow perfectly plot arc across each book and the series. I’d been recommend this book for so long, and even though I read it as an adult it feels like a prized piece of childhood.
The Lost Sisters, Holly Black: ★★★★☆
Taryn gets no respect from Cruel Prince fans. It’s disgusting. She deserves so much more attention and thought as a character, and this little book helps that. It also highlights how bad Carden was in CR 1!
Fleet of Knives, Gareth .L Powell: ★★★★★
The sequel to Embers of War, which I covered on this blog. It’s a great series and this is a installment in it. Can easily be appreciated by people who aren’t space or space opera fans, since the characters at the heart of it are so powerful (most notably the sentient spaceship).
A Court of Thorns and Roses, Sarah J Maas: ☆☆☆☆☆
SJM’s piss poor worldbuilding and writing collide with a boring character everyone else in the book worships to death, and the worst, worst gender roles and concepts known. Readers beware: don’t pick up her books.
Snow, Glass, Apples; Neil Gaiman, Colleen Doran: ★★★★☆
The art in this graphic novel is gorgeous. I wouldn’t say the story is top tier, but I rarely see graphic novels where the story is fantastic anyways. Really pretty story of Snow White, but she’s the evil one.
17776: What football will look like in the future, Jon Bois: ★★★★★
This is a web… comic? Experience? Book? and it’s top tier. It’s probably readable in an hour or two and I highly recommend it. In between absurd comedy about football observed by newly sentient satellites is a strange, yearning far future Earth where no one can die and nothing can change. It makes you think, and makes you sad or not sad. Certainly something.
Hidden Bodies, Caroline Kepnes: ★★★★☆
As quality goes, this book is… off. It’s still a whole ton of fun to read, just as YOU was. Hidden Bodies takes the plot to a few tiers of the more absurd, especially towards the end, but it’s a dark comedy and study of a deeply self obsessed man who can’t quite put together that him being a murderer makes him a bad person. There’s also, for those who know the Netflix series but not the book, a super weird subplot about blowjobs that I just feel I need to mention.
The Time Crocodile, Colin Brake, Doctor Who: ???? stars
This is such a weird choose your own adventure. I don’t think I recoomend it. It’s very short, and you can’t make any choices that really matter since it’s impossible to die. Of the choices you can make, most are nonsense like stepping out of the Tardis first or saying do or don’t have school tomorrow- small things which just determine which path you’re on for which ending. The plot itself involves a crocodile who can travel through time, which is pretty sick. The crocodile is either a crocodile, an alien shapeshifter, an alien transformed into a shapeshifter, or a robot. I love the time crocodile- his name is Tim. E. Crocodile. This book is Doctor Who canon.
Everything About You, Heather Child: ★★★☆☆
This is a near future book that fits right in with Black Mirror. The best thing about it is the world and the technology, all of which is very imaginable. There’s creepy trends in AI and advertising and how the world has changed and yet not changed at all, and that’s fascinating. There’s also a great thesis in here about how we present ourselves online, and what our ‘data self’ is compared to our ‘real self’. The ideas are great, but the plot itself is a bit of a let down and more scattered than I’d like. I’d still recommend this book if it seems interesting though.
Fake Blood, Whitney Gardner: ★★★★★
Probably the best graphic novel I’ve ever read to be honest. This is a middle grade story about a boy who pretends to be a vampire so a girl he likes will pay attention to him, but she’s actually a vampire hunter. Also their teacher is a real vampire, and I have a crush on him? Really funny, heartwarming, cute, weird, everything.
Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase, Jonathan Stroud: ★★★★☆
Stroud is a fantastic writer, especially of creepy, spooky things. I loved the tone and world around this, but it’s a pretty slow start and long book, with a slightly disconnected plotline. Still, I expect I’ll be reading the rest of the series soon-ish.