May Book Review

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It is time for last month’s book overview. Unfortunately, May wasn’t a great reading month for me. I spent time traveling, then spent two weeks being super tired and distracted from my reading game. So there was little time for reading, which is why I only read 3 books. Luckily, I’m still on track with my reading challenge despite that slump. The three books I read were also not the most special. One was a reread and the other two were okay reads, but nothing that made me too excited. Here’s to June being a better reading month!

A.A. Aguirre – Bronze Gods
William Shakespeare – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Victoria Aveyard – Glass Sword

William Shakespeare – A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Enter Hermia and Lysander: to starstruck lovers waiting to elope. Enter Demetrius and Helena: the man supposed to marry Hermia and the woman who loves him. Hermia and Lysander decide to run away, only to get lost in a forest. Helena who know about their scheme, tells Demetrius and they follow Hermia and Lysander into the woods. But in the woods there are fairies and the love between the fairy king and queen is not as strong as before. So Oberon, King of Fairies, instructs his jester Puck, to bewitch his wife so she might realize she does truly love him. Unfortunately Puck makes a mistake and bewitches the wrong man (Lysander). Will the lovers find their true loves?

I reread this play after years. This was on my freshmen reading list for my Modern English Lit course but I hadn’t read it since. As I had a ticket to see the play performed at The Globe in London, I decided to pick it up to familiarize myself with the story once more. The play was amazing and did justice to the original though it was certainly a modern adaptation. The written version is one of the more whimsical of Shakespeare’s plays, calling for song and dance at select intervals and plenty of comic relief through a subplot that takes center stage at the end. I enjoyed this much more than I had anticipated.

Victoria Aveyard – Glass Sword

After a chance escape from Archeon, Mare Barrow has joined the Scarlet Guard to fight for their cause. Her goal is to pick up Newbloods like herself to hopefully collect and army to defeat Maven once and for all. But she has to be quick as Maven is hunting them down as well. But as luck would have it, Maven chooses not to kill any Newbloods he finds, but rather imprisons them. A grand battle to free bought Newbloods and opposing Silvers alike ensues, which is not the only battle going on in this story. Because Mare has her own battle to fight beyond the cause: namely who to trust.

Red Queen was a ravishing read and I was hoping this one would be as good. I found this lacked a little bit of steam and I skimmed over some of the more introspective parts. Mare just can’t seem to make up her mind. Where in the first book that made her a likeable character, here it just makes her downright annoying. It makes her an unreliable narrator as she says she will never trust so-and-so on one page, only to put her complete trust or promise her undying love for that same person just a few chapters later. The story line is thus fickle at best. The plot isn’t helped by a lull in the middle where all that is going on is picking up newbloods and training them. There are a few action scenes early on in the book, but most of the action is saved for the last few chapters.  The ending however, was quite unexpected and I am curious what happens next.

A.A. Aguirre – Bronze Gods

When a House scion is murdered by a strange device and possibly magic, CID officers Mikani and Ritsuko are left with a case that could mean the end of their careers. Having been partners for 3 years, they have settled into a routine that is comfortable and easily understood by both. Where Mikani has the ability to sense people’s moods and memories, Ritsuko is meticulous and organized. He is hindered by his ability’s splitting headaches. She is hindered by the backward ways of her time. But as they close in on the killer, their relationship becomes closer as well.

The blurb on the back of this book promised an exciting read that would fuse magic, detective work with a steampunk Victorian setting. My first steampunk read, I felt a little underwhelmed. The setting was cool, but terribly underplayed by a plot that kept getting muddled by personal entendres, relationship woes and unnecessary monologues. The POV also changed constantly, which added another layer that I felt distracted from the plot and the possibly great world building. Because the setting sounded great, but due to all these sidetracks, little could be brought to the imagination of the reader. In short, a so-so read, with a mediocre plot and fairly likable characters, but not enticing enough to warrant continuing this series.

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