And that was May. This month got be busier at the vaccination centre, and then the zoo opened up again as well so I got a bit overwhelmed. I read a lot less than last months, but am fairly happy with the things I did read. And I read more than I hauled so that is a win as well. I joined in with Desertathon, but kinda let go of the Desert aspect of it… oops.
I didn’t get far into Featherweight at all. The writing style really didn’t work for me, so after about 30 pages I put it down again. I didn’t read nearly enough to say anything more about this one. It may have been a great story, I will never know.
I got through the first lockdown by playing all the Assasin’s Creed games I could get my hands on for PS3. They really helped me get through those months, so when I saw The Ming Storm on Netgalley I got very excited. I think I should have stuck with the games though. This isn’t necessarily the book’s fault though. I always struggle to get into books that give us a lot of action scenes before giving us time to get to know and care for the characters involved in the fighting for their lives. In this case the writing itself also didn’t really work for me (I don’t know if Leisheng directly wrote this in English, or if was the translation that wasn’t great). Again, there wasn’t anything wrong with it, yet failed to draw me in and keep me engaged. It was a struggle to read… so I decided to DNF it.
I continued my Witcher read with Season of Storms, and cannot say I was too impressed by it. I definitely liked parts of it (the monster fighting parts that is), but most of it wasn’t for me. My main issue is that Geralt seems to have made it his mission to sleep with every sorceress he comes across. I mean, good for him (and her, apparently he is pretty good in bed), but I don’t need to read about that, nor does it make me like him all that much. The overall plot of this book also completely failed to intrigue me. I am glad I read this before any of the main books (instead of in publication order), at least I know things will go up from here.
These two books weren’t bad whatsoever, but I expected a lot more from them. The characters in This Savage Song paled in comparison to those in Vicious, and the atmosphere was nowhere near as immersive as those in her Cassidy Blake series. Next to that, YA school settings aren’t my thing in general so they have to be really good to not annoy me. It was fine, and I really appreciate the lack of romance. But I don’t think I’ll be reading the sequel. I listened to the audiobook of The One and Only Bob because Danny DeVito narrates it. That was great. Apart from that, this book didn’t need to exist at all. The plot is a mess, the logic far fetched at times, and where Ivan made me feel all the feels, this one only just entertained me. Midnight at Malabar House is a historical mystery set in 1950 Bombay. Although the scene of post-colonial and all the politics and racism that was involved in that was very interesting, and the mystery itself wasn’t too bad either, I didn’t like the main character. Persis Wadia is the first female police detective… and that is as far as her personality goes. She is always stern and serious and always busy with work and proving she is the best. She is never kind or cracks a smile. I really failed to care for her because of this. So yeah, it was fine but not great. I quite enjoyed The Castle in the Air… when I turned my mind of and just read this as a fairy tale kind of story. Yet I couldn’t help cringe at the ‘lets put the villain up with my FAT cousins’ and ‘I’m angry at you because you didn’t try to rape me therefore you don’t find me attractive’ (and that is ignoring the multiple wives and getting married at first sight/being forced into marriage).
My Discworld (re)read has brought me to a new to me book: The Truth. Although a murder mystery, we don’t closely follow the Watch. Instead we see the start of something new, The Times. I loved seeing some of my favourite characters through a fresh pair of eyes, and the wit was per usual spot on. Not quite a favourite but certainly a Great read.
I picked up the audiobook of The Frangipani Tree Mystery because the fourth book in this series made it to the CWA Historical Dagger longlist. The book follows a SuLin in 1930s Singapore solving the mystery surrounding the death of the Governor’s daughter. The audiobook is narrated by Crystal Yu, and although a great choice, I did have to get used to the accent (which is definitely on me and English not being my first language). This was a great mystery in an interesting setting showing some of the ugly sides of colonialism (without being moralising and judgemental). I am very excited to continue this series.
Last year I picked up a graphic novel about Nellie Bly. Although I didn’t enjoy the novel itself, it did get me intrigued regarding Nellie. So when Following Nellie Bly showed up on Netgalley I Had to read it. This book tells us about how in 1889 Nellie travelled around the world in 72 days on her own with barely any luggage (in a time when a woman couldn’t even cross the city unchaparoned), and the author recreating her journey. Brown is a journalist herself, and she can definitely write. This was not the best book to read right at the time when I need to reschedule my holiday plans though… I constantly found myself looking up pictures from all the places the ladies visited and now I Really want to go on vacation already. Apart from that, this is a great book about an incredible woman.
The Girls who Stepped out of Line is a nonfiction book filled with amazing women and their actions during WWII. We are introduced to 15 ladies who all in some way contributed to the war effort… be it as a pilot, a spy, a member of the resistance, smuggling for jewish refugees, making maps, or sorting out the mess that was the postal services. It was very well written, with the chapters being just the perfect length. And it is shocking how long it took for these women to get the recognition they deserved. This was a great and truly inspirational read. Although including mostly American woman, at least one Dutch lady got her story told and just… wow. These are some strong women.
Nolyn is the first book in the new series of Michael J Sullivan, set about 800 years after the Legends of the First Empire series. Which brings me directly to my only issue with this book. I always find that Sullivan relies a bit too heavily on pulling on our heartstrings. In the First Empire series he did that with too many emotional farewells. In this one, he relies too heavily on nostalgia. For the first book in a new series that you are supposed to be able to read on its own… you cannot read this on its own. Almost all of the characters are from or related to characters from Legends of the First Empire, and the plot also ties directly into the events of that series. This is more of a spin-off, or even a sequel in his previous series. That is not to say it isn’t a good book though. It was a great read actually, and with its almost 500 pages I still read it all in a single day. It feels like an epic read, but on a smaller scale with less characters and politics which was great. Morals and actions are questioned. There are some Amazing fight scenes. We get inside the head of a young woman who has lost her mind, which was incredibly well written. Great read.
When I saw The Lights of Prague on Netgalley I was sold by the gorgeous cover. Also, our honeymoon was in Prague so I do have a weak for that city. And it didn’t disappoint. We follow two main characters, Domek and Ora. Domek is a lamplighter, who keeps the streets safe at night. Basically, he is a monster hunter. And most of the monsters are based on Slavic mythology and lore, which I found great. Ora is a pijavica (a kind of vampire) who doesn’t drink human blood. When the pijavica seem to have found a cure for their weaknesses, making them almost impossible to kill, Domek and Ora each go on their own hunt for clues, untill their paths collide. The atmopshere in this book was great, the plot intriguing and the characters realistic. The two POVs and the miscommunications did lead to some moments of frustration for me, but that really is my only dislike in this book. In general I just had a Lot of fun with this read.
I listened to the audiobook of Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls, and it was a whole lot of fun. When Cece’s sister gets kidnapped by a criatura, she has to become a bruja to save her. Brujas however capture and enslave criaturas, and Cece’s kindness makes her struggle on this journey. The setting and atmopshere of this book was superb, and the friendships absolutely amazing. Just such a fun and lovely read about finding strenght in kindness.
I had no five star reads this month 😦 Better luck in June I guess…
So that was May. What about June? I am doing Another readathon. I am once again partaking in the Clear Ur Shit Readathon, in which you basically just read the books you own and don’t get any new ones (otherwise you DIE). I am very excited to be doing this readathon again, just because I love the Narrator so much. I will be very busy again with work though, and we might adopt a cat later this week so he/she might take up a lot of my time as well 😀
Hoping you are well,