Combined book review (March 2017)

Combined book review (March 2017)

I’m still on that reading train. This month I read another 5 books. I made good progress on some YA fantasy series that I’ve been reading. And to keep up with my promise to myself to read more non-fiction, I also managed to squeeze in two of those reads. This month started with a lackluster read, but I also read some books that I thought very well my time. Here’s what I read in the month of March.

combined book review march 2017 kings cage siege and storm grisha red queen talk like ted bedlam cress lunar chronicles

Marissa Meyer – Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3)
Catharine Arnold – Bedlam
Carmine Gallo – Talk Like Ted
Leigh Bardugo – Siege and Storm (Grisha #2)
Victoria Aveyard – King’s Cage (Red Queen #3)

Before I dive into the reviews, I’d like to point out that I have altered my star rating on Goodreads for American Gods. I rated it 4 stars after finishing it, but since the story is still with some 4 weeks later, means it had to be bumped up a notch. I don’t give 5 star ratings often, but when a book slips into your subconscious and has you revisit the story when you find your mind aimlessly wandering, then you know it’s a good one. So a 5 star rating it is.

Victoria Aveyard – King’s Cage (Red Queen #3)

combined book review march 2017 kings cage siege and storm grisha red queen talk like ted bedlam cress lunar chronicles

King’ Case continues to follow Mare after she has been captured by Maven. In the mean time the Scarlet Guard is trying to find ways to free her while mourning the loss of Mare’s brother. Maven ends up being a lot more evil and calculating than anyone could have counted on, while his brother Cal lives a life in exhile. The courts of Norta are restless and have some schemes up their sleeves.

I couldn’t really give a coherent synopsis on this one. It tries to do too much while not enough is going on plotwise. For 2/3 of the book, we follow Mare in captivity, which means she’s not up to much. The shift in perspective is therefore a pleasant change of pace, but the different point of views aren’t always coherent with the rest of the story. This truly is a filler book that sets up a lot of plot lines and puzzles that are hopefully solved in the next and final book in the series. But no, this book left me frustrated (also due to the writing style that suddenly became increasingly cringeworthy due to the slowpaced plot) and disinterested.

Marissa Meyer – Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3)

combined book review march 2017 kings cage siege and storm grisha red queen talk like ted bedlam cress lunar chronicles

As Cinder has had another narrow escape, she is now trailing the globe in her space ship with an increasingly expanding band of misfits. There is the Lunar ex-soldier, the convicted deserter and the farm girl with the red hair. When they reactivate the D-Comm chip found in Emperor’s Kai’s android Nansi, they get in touch with Cress, who’s been stuck in a satellite for years. In an attempt to rescue the girl, they become split up and it takes all their efforts to not only get back together but also to overthrow Queen Levana’s plans for dominating earth.

The second book in the series was a bit of a drag. I felt the plot was too muddled as there were too many new characters and it just didn’t do much for the plot. This time round, I quite liked where the story was going. The characters and world building felt more well-rounded. This series is still filled with some much too convenient twists and turns for my liking, but so far I’m enjoying it and want to continue the series.

Carmine Gallo – Talk Like Ted

combined book review march 2017 kings cage siege and storm grisha red queen talk like ted bedlam cress lunar chronicles

Presentations & public speaking are no one’s favorite thing to do. That is why Carmine Gallo picked apart the brains behind some of the most successful TED talks. In this book, he goes over interviews and video analyses to teach you the best tricks in the trade. The goal is to become a better public speaker as a result.

The best description for this book is: boring. There are too many anecdotes and filler pages in this book to really make it interesting. You really have to dig through this to find the nuggets of information that might actually be helpful and then they hand them to you in a very short summary at the end of every chapter. Rather than a book, the content that matters in this book would fit onto 1 A4. The rest is superfluous and distracts from what the book is trying to do.

Leigh Bardugo – Siege and Storm (Grisha #2)

combined book review march 2017 kings cage siege and storm grisha red queen talk like ted bedlam cress lunar chronicles

In Siege & Storm, Alina and Mal have just narrowly escaped the Darkling on the Shadow Fold. When they think they are safe, they are captured and placed on the ship of the notorious privateer Sturmhond. Searching for the next amplifier aboard a ship where nothing ends up being what it seems, Alina and Mal’s friendship is put to the test. At the same time, the creepy Apparat has devised a sacred cult around the Sun Summoner. Now a living Saint, as well as a Grisha with powers without her own comprehension, Alina must find out how much she is willing to do for power and love.

Another surprising read. I found the first book in this series quite lackluster. Too much instalove and pining for a love that could never work. This book is so much better. Rather than focused on the relationships, the story now focuses on Alina adjusting to live as one of the most powerful Grisha ever lived. Enter Sturmhond who is an overall entertaining character that adds some pizzazz to the narrative and you have one very enjoyable read.

Catharine Arnold – Bedlam

combined book review march 2017 kings cage siege and storm grisha red queen talk like ted bedlam cress lunar chronicles

Bethlem or Bedlam hospital is a London institute that has been around for centuries. Trailing the history of dealing with mental illness through the ages, as well as the history of especially Bedlam hospital, this book gives a thorough, yet none too dull account of the perception of the mentally ill. From simply throwing people in a cesspit that is teeming with whores, thieves and drunk under a corrupt keeper, to a renowned and sometimes also very notorious institute that would be one of the most important hospitals for the ‘insane’ in Victorian times. Bedlam has seen it all and this books tells that story.

I spotted this book in my local bookstore and I was intrigued. Apparently there is an entire series: I also own the one on London and crime and London and vice. This was a thoroughly enjoyable read. It’s a history book so it’s not incredibly fast paced. I could have done without some of the long-winding passages on the building of some of the different Bedlam hospitals, but I liked how this fused the boring with the interesting. It gives a good overview of how much the perceptions of mental illness has changed and the line of treatment to boot. I found the subject matter weirdly fascinating and that is what kept me reading most of all.

What books have you been reading lately?

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “Combined book review (March 2017)

    1. I usually wait until the series has finished before I start it. 😉 But it would be worth picking it up again. I am almost finished with book 3 and I think I love this one even more than the 2nd one. This series simply gets better by the book.

      1. Ok now I definitely need to get back to it!
        I’ve got more like that too, I got sick of waiting a year or more for a sequel and then having to reread the last book etc

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s