Friday, 29 May 2015

May Reading Round-Up

The Shadow Cabinet (Shades of London, #3)

I loved the first two books in Maureen Johnson's Shades of London series, and I couldn't wait to get into the third. I loved the characters, the witty dialogue and the spooky ghosts, and the plot kept me on the edge of my seat. I honestly couldn't predict how things would turn out!

Starborn


This debut epic fantasy caught my attention because of the premise. There are a few familiar tropes, like a protagonist with a "different" magical gift and visions, but the approach to magic is unique and interesting. The setting and magic system are definitely the strongest aspects, and the author builds an interesting world.

Rogue (Talon #2)

I was a little disappointed in the first book in Julie Kagawa's new series, but I loved the dragon mythology enough to give the second instalment a try. Rogue is a big improvement on the first book, far more action-packed and exciting. From the first page, the pace is relentles. Garret's sentenced to execution for betraying the Order of St George and sparing Ember's life, so she and the rogue dragon, Riley, plan to rescue him. We get the addition of Dante's POV, Ember's brother, as well as flashbacks to Riley's time as an agent for Talon. With the set-up out of the way, the story races along, with that addictive quality of Kagawa's writing. I'm invested in this series now, and interested to see where it leads!


The Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight, #1)

I love stories which combine magic and modernity, and I was swept up in the compelling world of the Avicen and the Drakharin. I absolutely adored all the characters. Echo is a strong heroine, a pickpocket human adopted by the Avicen, a race of feathered immortals at war with the part-dragon Drakharin.We're also introduced to Caius, the Dragon Prince on the enemy's side who just wants the fighting to end, his bloodthirsty sister, and his loyal companion Dorian. The side characters are all given enough development that we're rooting for their unlikely alliance when circumstances drive them to join forces to find the mythical firebird and bring an end to the fighting.

The sense of setting is strong, and Melissa Grey builds up a vivid picture of a world within our own which is entirely convincing - just like the best modern fantasy there is. With that having been said, I noticed some fairly significant similarities with another YA urban fantasy series, though the writing and characterisation are good enough for me to overlook it.

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)

I'm a fan of Sarah J. Maas's Throne of Glass series, and I was excited to read ACOTR! I admit I don't always like fairytale retellings if they stay too close to the original. Luckily, this wasn't the case with ACOTR, in which Maas creates a stunning new world populated by three-dimensional characters and some genuinely terrifying villains. The opening is action-packed, but as I'm not a huge fan of romance-centric plots, I felt the pace lagged a bit in places until the 2/3 mark, when all hell broke loose. From then on, I was riveted! Feyre is a great heroine, strong yet vulnerable amongst the dangerous faeries. The worldbuilding is vivid and when the overarching conflict comes in, the pace is relentless. An engrossing dark fairytale with excellent characterisation!

Avalon (Avalon, #1)

Wow! I was in the mood for some space sci-fi, and Avalon's been on my TBR list for a while. The first in Mindee Arnett's YA SF duology gripped me from the first chapter! A fabulous twisty adventure which kept me hooked from beginning to end.

End of Days (Penryn & the End of Days, #3)

I've been waiting for the conclusion to Susan Ee's epic Angelfall series for what feels like forever, and the finale was just as good as I hoped. I'm sad it's over!

An Ember in the Ashes

There was a lot of hype surrounding this book, but it's definitely well-deserved. I was completely sucked into the compelling, brutal world of the story. The characters are all fleshed-out and have their own motivations. The pace is pulse-pounding, and the plot grabbed me and didn't let go until the final page. It's rare I'm so completely swept away by a book, but I need a sequel!

2 comments:

  1. Looks like a lot of great reads...and you've been busy!

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  2. I actually love retellings, so I'm really excited to read A Court of Thorns and Roses! And I cannot wait to finally read End of Days. I picked up The Girl at Midnight, but I'd actually assumed it was a Cinderella retelling just from the title, so I haven't gotten into it yet because I was initially disappointed. I'm thinking I'll read that this week.

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