May was for Middle Grade… and turned out to be a great reading month for me. I read 21 books, 20 of which middle grade/children’s books, for a total of somehow exactly 6000 pages.
The one book that wasn’t children’s fiction was The Mask of a Thousand Tears, which I read together with The Husband. I did Not like it. You can find my review for it over here, or check out The Husband’s review over here…
Speaking of The Husband, I read one of his Warhammer books: Attack of the Necron by Cavan Scott. Although a fun scifi adventure story, it missed depth and heart for me. You can find my review over here.
Another book that I enjoyed but didn’t quite do it for me is Dragons at Crumbling Castle: and other tales by Terry Pratchett. These stories are the first thing the author wrote, and you feel it. Some of them are great… and some just aren’t. He also starts the book off with saying that they aren’t all that good. I am still happy I read this, if only to see how much Pratchett has grown as an author.
I made a list at the start of the year of 30 books I ‘have’ to read in 2020, and Impyrium was on that list as part of the 10 highest rated books on my tbr. I can see why… but I can’t say I share that opinion. It read like a fairly standard, epic, adult fantasy to me (minus the optional sex and graphic violence). And that was my main problem. It was very dense, slow and heavy on politics. There is more to writing a middle grade book than just making the main characters 12 ish years old. I don’t know. You can see my full review here.
Another book that was on the list because of its high rating is The Girl Who Speaks Bear. And I fully share this rating. We follow Yanka who is slowly turning into a bear. She goes into the forest to find answers, and discovers the truth behind local folklore tales (which I thought to recognize as being an adaptation of a Grimm fairytale). It is a beautiful story about friendship and family, and finding ones place in the world.
Another book from the list, this one for having been on my ‘need to read asap’ list for way too long: The Search for Wondla. And I had a great time with it! I wrote a full review for it so please check that out.
I also picked up a few picture books, and was very impressed by them. I dedicated a whole post to them, including samples of the beautiful art inside, so please have a look at that.
I listened to the audiobooks of books 2, 3 and 4 in The Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley. This series is so much fun! These two sisters and their grandmother help to solve crimes, whilst also looking for their parents. All in a world filled with fairy tale characters (but also characters from folklore and almost every (children’s) classic). It deals with some pretty big topics, but remains such easy and just fun reads. I wrote a review for the second book The Unusual Suspects, and book three The Problem Child.
Another series I continued is The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell. I enjoyed both of these (though I preferred book three. This might be because of the brilliantly narrated audiobook though), and wrote a review for Twice Magic.
I finished the Dreamsnatcher series by Abi Elphinstone (book two was also on ‘the list’ for being highest rated), and LOVED it. This is definitely a darker middle grade series, and Abi Will hurt you. You can find my review for The Shadow Keeper over here.
I absolutely adore the Cogheart Adventures by Peter Bunzl, and the fourth book Shadowsea was no exception. It had a few flaws, but still I had a brilliant time with it. Again, I wrote a review.
Another series I caught up with is Pages & Co, by reading Tilly and the Lost Fairytales. If you like books about books, check out this series. And you can find my full review for this book over here.
But I also started a new series with A Place Called Perfect. This is a creepy story full of atmosphere, and really just a Perfect read. I own a physical copy of the second book so will definitely continue the series soon. And please check out my full review for this book over here.
And last but definitely not least: The Ship of Shadows by Maria Kuzniar. All you need to know is female pirates on a magical ship. A multicultural, diverse, and talented group of ladies goes on an epic adventure. There is treasure, there are cannonfights, the Kraken is released, there are ghosts, there is rum. There is also cake. And friendship, family and dreams. I received this book through Netgalley, and my full review on it will be posted closer to its release date.
So that was May, what about June? I have a lot of Victorian/Steampunk/Sherlock Holmes books on my owned-tbr, and on the list. So I will be trying to pick up some of those.
I might also take a break from posting… I have been wanting to take a break from ‘the internet’ for a while now, and with no readathons I am participating in coming in the next 3 weeks I feel that time is now. The main reason for this break is mental health issues. I have some posts scheduled already, and if I feel like writing something I will… but don’t hold your breath. Writing this post was already a struggle (hence why it is late and I talked about 21 books in 800 words…), and I don’t want to do these if it doens’t bring me joy.
Hoping you are well,