May was another good reading month. I finished my 4th and final book of the month pretty much on the dot right on the 31st. And yes, I say 4, because I did read 4 books, but the 4th physical copy of the first book I read last month is now lent out. But that doesn’t mean I can’t review it of course!
I was very much in a fantasy/ sci-fi mood this month and so there isn’t all that much variety here. I’ve really been feeling stand alone reads or books that I don’t have the completed series of or series that have been going for a while that I am pretty much caught up with. For some reason, I am not feeling starting a new series at all currently. But enough of the update. Here are the books I read in May and what I thought of them.
Ben Aaronovitch – The Hanging Tree
Peter Grant is back! But so is his big nemesis: The Faceless Man. When Lady Tyburn’s daughter is caught up in a drug induced death, Peter and the Folly are inevitably made part of the investigation. In the mean time, Peter and Nightingale find out more about where the Faceless Man learnt his magic and as the plot thickens the question is: will the Faceless Man finally show his face?
This latest installment of the Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch was another thrill to read. I am still loving the mix of magic and fantasy with history/ mythology and just plain old action/ thriller/ detective work. These books are fast paced, packed with humor and I love the diversity of the characters. Bonus points for all the marvelous references to London: if you know the city just a little bit, you will get even more out of these books.
Ernest Cline – Ready Player One
Wade lives in the year 2044. A time in which OASIS, a virtual world is the only escape humans have on earth after a massive climate and economic catastrophe. When the illustrious creator of this virtual world leaves behind a golden egg upon his death a frenzied competition arises. Because whoever finds this egg does not only win the entire multi-billion fortune, they also gain control of OASIS. Wade spends his time as a sole hunter of the egg and by chance figures out the first clue. From that moment he is catapulted to world fame and suddenly everybody wants to know him or kill him.
I had heard great things about this book, but that I would like it as much as I did I hadn’t expected. This book is a celebration of nerd culture and if you know your video games and 80s movies this book is a joy to read. It also tackles a few grander issues, which I appreciated. To me, this book read like a video game. Rather than wanting to keep on playing to complete another level, I wanted to keep on reading to finish another chapter. Addictive, fast paced read, that was far more engaging than I had expected.
Heidi Heilig – The Girl from Everywhere
Nix Song knows no other life than on board the ship of her father who is a Navigator. Not only does she traverse the vast ocean, she also traverses time boundaries using maps that have captured far flung places in times past, present and future. All the while her father tries to find the map that will reunite him with his long lost love: Nix’ mother. So when a promise of a new map arises he naturally chases this. Nix in the mean time becomes exceedingly worried. Unsure of what will happen when her father finds the right map (would she still exist?), Nix doesn’t just navigate the seas with her father but also her feelings for two potential love interests.
While the premise of this book: time travel, pirates, and excitement sounded promising, I found this to be an incredible bore. Nix is an annoying character who struggles with her feelings towards her dead, best friend and potential boyfriend only because she makes herself a plain actor in their lives, rather than taking actions upon herself. I had expected a strong female lead in this book, but I found Nix fickle and incredibly self-entitled. And that was the focus of the book, not the exciting pirate, time travel bits. Those elements of the book only happened a handful of times, which made this book more of a romance filled with teenage angst than an exciting book about what happens if you meddle with time.
Marissa Meyer – Winter (Lunar Chronicles)
Orbiting in space, Kai is still held prisoner aboard the Rampion by Cinder and her band of mismatched helpers: Cress, Captain Thornton, Iko and Wolf. Scarlet is still held captive on Luna, with her only companion being the slightly insane princess Winter, while Levana is trying to continue her war on earth. All in a day’s work. As Kai is returned to earth, Cinder plans to start a revolution to reclaim the throne have started to take shape. Can she beat her aunt to save her friends, earth and the people of Luna?
This last installment in the Lunar Chronicles was a good read, be it a little bit too long. It is one of those final books in a series that tries to leave no loose ends, resulting in a massive 800+ page book that isn’t always engaging. The plot keeps twisting and turning for no reason, just so no characters are left behind. This sometimes makes the book a tad confusing, unbelievable and quite boring. It was still a fast paced read that was overall quite fun, but this plot could also have been told in about half the pages.
What did you read this month?