And so goes yet another month the Husband and I spent sitting at home. Our lockdown has been extended again, meaning we are have been jobless for 3 months now. This feeling is made even weirder by the fact that I had my 10 year work anniversary last Monday. So we went to the zoo with some donuts just to have a stroll around and catch up a bit with the few zookeepers, gardeners and technical staff that are still working. Having only seen each other since Christmas, it was ever so nice to see a friendly face again. We also finally got our water issues fixed, and for the first time in 3 years we had a nice shower. Next problem: our car has been standing still for months now as well, so we need to get someone over to reboot it (and hope the accu doesn’t need replacing). And that is all the excitement we had this month… so plenty of time to read for me. And so I did… I only picked up two Marvel comics, so they won’t get their separate post this month. I have posted a few reviews, and have got another few lined up for upcoming releases. Anyway, here are the 21 books I read in the month of February:
is a book I requested from Netgalley purely based on its cover. And I gave up on it about 20% in. I just couldn’t get through it. I didn’t know what was going on, didn’t care for the characters and the writing style just made it a whole lot worse. It is written with heavy hints to old English, and have Very long sentances. It was also very flat and monotonous. The exciting bits had exactly the same tone and energy as the ‘boring’ bits. When I saw in other reviews that you need to read at least 60% to get a vague idea of what is going on, I decided it wasn’t worth my time. The Unfinished Land Two Star
Going into the Infinity Blade books I wasn’t aware that they are set between games… which does explain a lot as to why I didn’t like them. They don’t start at the start, nor end at the end. The characters weren’t very well developed and the humour felt very forced to me (then again, the later is an issue I have more often with Sanderson books). There were some clever jokes/situations nodding towards it being a game (respawning, side characters who can only do a very set amount of things, safety questions), but none of these really pulled through (like Redshirts), making them miss their mark for me. And then in the second book we follow a second plot line making it all Way more scifi… which could have been interesting, but I didn’t care for it. I listened to these on audiobook, and the narrator does do a brilliant job. Three Star
Last month I started the New Avengers series, and this month I continued it with volumes 5 and 6. Vol five is set during the Civil War events, and it was a bit of a mess. Every issue focused on a different characters, some were great, others not at all. This definitely should have been read alongside other series featuring this event, though if you have seen the movie you have enough of an understanding of what is going on. However, things happen between then and the 6th volume which made me feel kinda lost (spidey has switched sides, Doctor Strange and Iron Fist have joined the party, Cap is dead…) which will always be a problem when reading things from such a vast universe. This volume focused on Maya Lopez, who I have started to really like. Although someone else now put on the costume of Ronin, I do hope she gets it back (although I am aware that this other character showed up as Ronin in the movie and will stay in this costume in the coming future, which I Am excited for). I might take a break from this series for now, although I am enjoying it okay, I am getting a bit tired of all the ass shots the ladies get.
is a nonfiction book I picked up on audible for free, and I did think it was very interesting. It talks about why the pirates arose, the world politics involved in it all, a bunch of myths were busted, and it even touches on books like Robinson Crusoe and Treasure Island. Colin Woodard is clearly very passionate on the topic and it is very impressive how he managed to pull this book together with the few (unbiased) source material there is. The only reason this didn’t get a higher rating from me is very personal… I am very bad with names, and all of it just got a bit too much for me. There is a Lot of information in here and I just got lost at times. For something completely different: The Republic of Pirates is a middle grade book about a group of kids on a polar expedition. I can see why many people love this series, but for me it was just too silly. I also was a bit disappointed with the plot, and the reveal of of MC’s past was very unsatisfactory. I will continue the series, but it is definitely something I will have to be in the mood for. The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club is the sequel in a pied piper retelling, with dragons (and griffins, obviously). This book has been pushed back quite a bit, but in January it finally came out. And it was okay… It definitely feels like a middle book in that it doesn’t really have it’s own plot line. The last third was really strong, but everything before that was a bit of a mess, tying up a whole lot of plot lines from the first book which lead to a whole bunch of events that didn’t feel connected. A Vanishing of Griffins
Next up are two books I received through Netgalley. tells about a woman in 1791 who sells women poisons to get rid of their abusive/cheating husbands. I really liked this part of the book, but sadly it was brought down a second plot line set in present times. I just didn’t care for this part of the book at all and I wish it had been left out. My full review will come up later this week. The Lost Apothecary may have been a better book for me if I had picked it up at another time. In the next section you will see that I read another Middle Grade, historical mystery with a famous author as the main character… and the Jane Austen book just was not as good as Aggie. The book starts with Jane trying to prove that there isn’t a ghost at the abbey (an almost impossible task), and the actual mystery only starts 60% into the book. I also am a bit disappointed with the resolution of the mystery. Jane herself has been written well though, and it certainly is a fun read. This comes closer to a 3.5-4* book, but I cannot rate it equal as Aggie Morton, so a 3* it is. Jane Austen Investigates Four Star
I have been picking up a lot of middle grade… follows a girl and her father, the only two people on Bear Island. This book is mainly centered around the friendship between the girl and the polar bear which got stuck on the island, but through that it shines a light on climate change and (plastic) pollution. You have to suspend your belief in certain aspects, but at the same time it is very factual (in an accessible way) about climate change and I feel will do a wonderful job of getting its target audience involved into wanting to save the polar bears. The Last Bear was quite the surprise to me… in that it was a lot creepier and darker than I had expected. It is set in a world where the Enemy has drowned the world. The Enemy can ‘possess’, and gains power in exchange for granting their wishes. And the Inquisition think they have found the current vessel, and are determined to destroy him. The Enemy is a great villain. He is cunning and manipulative, and knows exactly what heartstrings to pull in his host to get what he wants. A very atmospheric and dark read, and the sequel is coming out very soon. Orphans of the Tide is a mystery novel set around Christmas, following Aggie Morton and Hector Perot solving murder, a robbery And a kidnapping. And the mystery is a genuinely good one. The author hasn’t dumbed things down for its target audience… we see the corpse, the blood, the violence, complicated characters and an intricate plot. And the atmosphere is great too; it really gave me Agatha Christie vibes. My only complaint is that it took almost 100 pages for the mystery aspect to get started, and there seems to be some editing error with when certain things are revealed (unrelated to the plot, it is purely character development… I expect the reveal was moved, so the characters were already talking about it while they shouldn’t know about it yet). Apart from that, it was a great read. Peril at Owl Park is a very funny book that doesn’t take itself serious whatsoever, which you really need to be in the mood for. But if you are, it is a brilliant read. Mort is the only pacifist on Brutalia, and has been made the royal executioner. I have written a full review for this, which will be going up tomorrow. Mort the Meek
and Confronting the Invisible are the last two Carlyle & West Victorian Mysteries, and I had a fun time with them. The focus has shifted away from Dr Carlyle to Matthew and Adelaide and their new life together. I had some annoyances with them, but overall I really liked them and am sad that the series is now finished. I wrote full reviews for both of these books, so feel free to check those out. My next Discworl read, Death Among the Nightingales took us to Not Australia. Although I really liked the setting and ideas, I am just not a fan of Rincewind and the Wizards. So not my favourite at all, but still a good book. Next up is The Last Continent, which is a true crime book I originally got through Netgalley but ended up listening to the audiobook for (I find listening to non-fiction works better for me). And I found it very intriguing. I do have to say I was unfamiliar with the Lindbergh baby case before this, so I cannot say how much new information it would give for others. I am glad I read it though. A Talent to Deceive You can find my full review for it cover here. Another book I got through Netgalley and then didn’t read for a while is by Bridget Collins. This was a weird book for me in that it was full of things that would usually not be my thing or even turn me off… and yet in this one I really liked it. The Betrayals I also already posted a full review for this one which you can check out over here. Five Star
is the eight book in the Alex Verus series, and once again it was great. Jacka doesn’t make it easy on his characters, and he has managed to create a very complex world… in which it isn’t always clear which side is good and which is bad. So if you are on the lookout for a good urban fantasy series, give this one a try (the 12th and last book is coming out later this year). Bound was on my TBR as one of the highest rated books, and I can certainly see why. I listened to this on audio, narrated by David Nott himself as he tells about his job as a surgeon and his experience as a volunteer helping civilians affected by several wars. If you are very squeamish you might want to give this a pass, because he does go into detail about his surgeries and the (often grueling) wounds his patients have. He manages to make this very understandable whilst also using technical terms. This man is a hero. Although I can imagine it feels amazing to help these people and save so many lives, the things he witnesses and experiences are shocking and must leave some sort of trauma. David has had so many close calls to being killed and/or tortured. When you see colleagues disappear or get beheaded, it must be so scary to realize this could have been you. And still he chooses to go back every time. If you are looking for a great audiobook, Please give this one a go. War doctor
And those were all the books I read in February. We starting March off with at least two weeks of lockdown, so plenty of time to read. I have already read 46 books so far this year though, so part of me want to take it easy for a bit. I guess we will see what I feel like. I will continue the Alex Verus series, and my Discworld reread will bring my first unread book so that is exciting. I don’t have any unread Netgalley books on my shelfs that have a release date in March or early April, so I would like to focus a bit on sequels. I am busy with about 40 series, so plenty to choose from.
Hoping you are well,