Wrap Up: November 2018 or Genre Fiction is the best

I had a pretty horrific month, personally. But my reading recovered from the abysmal month that was October, which is at least something; within 10 days I had read as much as I had read in the whole month before.

Books I read in November:

  1. The Outcast Hour ed. by Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin: 3 out of 5 stars
  2. Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson: 4 out of 5 stars
  3. Vengeful (Villains #2) by V. E. Schwab: 4 out of 5 stars
  4. Binti (Binti #1) by Nnedi Okorafor: 2 out of 5 stars
  5. Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy #1) by Ilona Andrews: 4 out of 5 stars
  6. White Hot (Hidden Legacy #2) by Ilona Andrews: 4,5 out of 5 stars
  7. Wild Fire (Hidden Legacy #3) by Ilona Andrews: 4 out of 5 stars
  8. Broken Magic (Chronicles of Amicae #1) by Mirah Bolender: 3 out of 5 stars
  9. The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein: 4 out of 5 stars
  10. Be With Me Always by Randon Billings Noble: 3,5 out of 5 stars
  11. Sadie by Courtney Summers: 4 out of 5 stars

Favourite of the Month:

Continue reading “Wrap Up: November 2018 or Genre Fiction is the best”

Review: Vengeful (Villains #2) by V. E. Schwab

40139338Verdict: Glorious.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Genre: Science Fiction

Published by Titan Books, September 25, 2018

Find it on Goodreads.

Eli Ever and Victor Vale were only medical students when their mutual discovery that near-death experiences can, under the right conditions, manifest extraordinary abilities.

They were best friends, and rivals, and then enemies. They were dead, then alive, and then—Eli killed Victor, once and for all.

Or so he thought—but Sydney Clarke felt otherwise, and used her own superpower to tip the scales. Now, a trio hides in the shadows, while another takes advantages of post-death life to take over the city of Merit.

If there can be life after death—will there be calm after vengeance, or will chaos rule?

I adored this, thankfully. I had been looking forward to this book ever since it was announced ages ago because Vicious is by far my favourite book Schwab has written. This seems like a series she has written for herself as a reader and it shows, there is just something gleefully, unapologetically Schwab here, that I for one happen to adore (and I am obviously not alone in this).

This series is set in a world where specific near-death experiences lead to people becoming super-powered. The first book follows two former friends (Eli Ever and Victor Vale) with super powers as they plot and set their powers and other people’s powers against each other. This book follows directly after the ending of the first one. Again the book is told unchronologically and leads towards an inevitably and action-packed conclusion. Unchronological storytelling is one of my very favourite things in books, so I was always going to enjoy this.

I had an incredible amount of fun reading this. I do think that sometimes the characters do not feel like real people, which in the end I did not mind because it fits the overall mood of this book. Especially the two newly introduced female characters are over the top in the best way possible. Marcella’s behaviour in particular filled me with giddy glee and I loved the way she chews the scenes – I could practically see her every move. I am often a fan of over-powered women in my speculative fiction and her and her unapologetic egotism just really tickled me.

I also have some theories and therefore really hope that there will be further installments of this series to prove me right. I find the world Schwab has created here wonderful and there is so much potential for further stories set in it. She left just enough loose ends to make me hope for more and resolved enough for this book to stand on its own.

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I read this as part of Sci-Fi Month: you can find further information and other people participating here.

Friday Reads: I am not really reading.

I am still not really reading so I did the obvious thing and started two more books today. That brings the number of books I am currently reading to seven. I always read a few books at the same time but a number this high is usually an indication that something isn’t quite working. I don’t have any proper plans for the weekend, so hopefully I’ll get back into the groove. Until then, here are the books I am currently reading, how far into them I am, and a few thoughts.

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

I heard a ridiculous amount of great things about this book and it is super readable. But it is also very very long. I am currently on page 231 of 714. I am enjoying it a lot but I just wish the main character wouldn’t talk about his penis so much.

The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty

I have been reading this for what feels like forever. I am only on page 217 of 526 and I have not made any headway in days. Told from dual perspectives, I am only enjoying one of them. Whenever we switch to the other viewpoint, I bail. I do want to finish it but I do struggle.

Heavy by Kiese Laymon

This is brilliant. But also really dark. I am on page 48 of 240. I do think that this will be a five star read for me but I need to be in the right head space to read it. But it’s brilliant! If you like memoirs you definitely should pick it up.

Vengeful (Villains #2) by V. E. Schwab

I have a difficult relationship with Schwab: I like her books but often don’t love them. and I haven’t finished a single of her series. (I cannot STAND Lila Bard, which is why I still haven’t read the last of the Shades of Magic series) I did absolutely adore Vicious though and have eagerly awaited the sequel for years. I am super enjoying it – but it is also super long. I am on page 230 of 575. This is a fairly quick read though and I will hopefully finish this during the next few days.

Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson

I was looking for a nice and easy audiobook to listen to on my way to work – and I love memoirs narrated by the authors and have a soft spot for celebrity memoirs (there, I said it). I have only ever seen Mathilda once, but I do like Mara Wilson on twitter. Her book is really warm and lovely and her voice is super soothing. I am around 2 hours from the end; which means that I should finish it next week (I only walk 15 minutes to and from work).

The Outcast Hour ed. by Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin

I really enjoyed another anthology the authors edited last year – and sometimes when I am slumpy, reading short stories really helps. I also need to make headway in my newly acquired pile of NetGalley arcs that I amassed over the last few months. I have read the first three stories and I do like the mix of tones. The first story was fairly creepy though – so maybe reading it at nighttime, alone in my house, was not the best idea ever.

Sadie by Courtney Summers

I have heard nothing but good things about this book and especially the audiobook. I figured I should give it a go. Thrillery type, podcasty audiobooks sounds just perfect for my reading mood. I have only listened to the first hour and so far I am really enjoying the full cast production a lot.

How is your reading going? Do you also tend to start too many books when you don’t really feel like reading?

Most Anticipated Books of 2018 (so far)

I have seen a couple of blogposts and Youtube videos floating around where people talk about their Most Anticipated Books of 2018. This coming year feels like the first year where I actually have a few books I am looking forward to reading. Normally I have maybe a handful books I know will come out soonish but currently I spend so much time looking at books that I have a proper list to share. The list is ordered by publication date and I have tried to write one or two sentences explaining why I want to read each book. The links lead to the goodreads pages.

McGOWAN_BRAVE_HC_TEST2.inddBRAVE by Rose McGowan

January 30th, HarperOne

There is no way I am not reading this. I love memoirs written by women and this sounds timely and important.

 

35840657Heart Berries by Terese Mailhot

February 6th, Counterpoint Press

A memoir? Written by a woman? Who grew up on a Native American Reservation? Blurbed by Lidia Yuknavitch and Roxane Gay? There is no way I am not reading this.

35892355Folk by Zoe Gilbert

February 8th, Bloomsbury Press

These interconnected short stories set on an island and playing with myth and fairy tales sound right up my alley. The cover is also absolutely stunning.

35412372Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi

February 13th, Grove Press

I am currently reading this and it is blowing my mind (which is why I am including this). This heartbreaking story of mental illness is approached differently to what I have read before and I have already so many thoughts.

36262478The Sea Beast Takes a Lover by Michael Andreasen

March 8th, Head of Zeus

Fantastical short stories that play on fairy tales – yes, still exactly my cuppa. In fact I have included this in my five star prediction post.

 

35068524Not that bad edited by Roxane Gay

May 1st, Harper Perennial

It is no secret how much I admire Roxane Gay and her thoughts. While this anthology of first person essays written about rape and rape culture will for sure make me angry and sad, it sounds important.

35448496The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh

May 31st, Hamish Hamilton

The blurb is vague but sounded intriguing and the cover is just absolutely stunning. This sounds like an introspective, feminist work with maybe a speculative element and I am so here for that.

Florida 36098092by Lauren Groff

June 5th, Riverhead

I adored Fates and Furies, and I love short story collections, this was a no brainer, really.

 

Lies Sleeping (Peter Grant #7) by Ben Aaronovitch

June, Gollancz

This is one of the very few series I keep up with. I just love Ben Aaronovitch’s brand of urban fantasy and I cannot wait for this.

36896898Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

July 10th, Del Rey

I really enjoyed Uprooted and this sounds similar (in a good way). I like fairy tale retellings so very much and Naomi Novik manages to hit the language just perfectly.

32600407Sick by Porochista Khakpour

August 8th, Harper Perennial

This memoir about Porochista Khakpour’s struggle with illness sounds right up my alley. I am very much in the mood for non fiction lately and I wish I could read this already.

The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

August 14th, Del Rey

It is the last part of the brilliant Winternight trilogy. Do I really have to say more?

Vengeful (Villains #2) by V. E. Schwab

September 25th, Tor

Vicious is my favourite of V. E. Schwab’s books. I just adored it so much and I just cannot wait to read the next book in a series that I did not know would be a series.

 

 

What are your most anticipated books for the upcoming months? Let me know because obviously my TBR is not big enough already.