Books, glorious books…

In the brief interlude between the MA dissertation deadline and the PhD start date, I’ve been gorging myself on fiction. PhD induction was today so reading-for-fun may take a backseat again. I’m aware many of the ratings are high so this makes me seem easily pleased but I’d counter that I’m pretty adept at choosing books I predict I’ll like!

Book: “The accident season”
Author: Moïra Fowley-Doyle
Source: Waterville Libeary, Hampshire Library Service
Rating: 💖💖💖🖤🖤
Plot: Cara’s family suffer from an annual, month-long accident season which cannot be avoided. Why?
Positives: supernatural tone, unusual premise
Negatives: resolution predictability, unnecessary romance

Book: “The One”
Author: John Marrs
Source: Kindle, Amazon
Rating: 💖💖💖💖🖤
Plot: a DNA test can reveal your soul-mate. What are the consequences when your match isn’t straight forward?
Positives: blending of SciFi and crime, multiple narratives
Negatives: rushed ending for several protagonists, police officer choices seemed implausible or unlikely

Book: “The Testaments”
Author: Margaret Atwood
Source: hardback, Amazon pre-order
Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖
Plot: the collapse of Gilead, 16 years after Offred’s story comes to an end
Positives: multiple narratives, complex ethics, some back-story
Negatives: potentially confusing (in parts) to those unfamiliar with HBO series, too short!

Book: “Elantris”
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Source: audiobook, Audible
Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖
Plot: a cursed city, religious colonisation and the demise of magic explosively meet in a tale of politics, strategy and the human condition
Positives: scope (worlds and politics), well explored rational vs. spiritual ethics, multiple plotlines, original
Negatives: one protagonist’s preoccupation with romance

Book: “Nevernight”
Author: Jay Kristoff
Source: Kindle, Amazon
Rating: 💖💖💖💖🖤
Plot: Mia attends assassin school to avenge her family and must face her many demons (but not a YA book)
Positives: character development, syntactical style (not to everyone’s taste), brilliant librarian, description
Negatives: sex that didn’t seem to add anything

Book: “A good girl’s guide to murder”
Author: Holly Jackson
Source: paperback, Tesco (impulse purchase)
Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖
Plot: Pippa uses the EPQ (extended project qualification) during her A Levels to investigate a murder from 5 years ago
Positives: epistolary (including transcripts, notes, scanned images), twisty enough that the outcome isn’t predictable, characters are believable
Negatives: protagonist makes some leaps and assumptions which could have been better explored

Book: “Black Narcissus”
Author: Rumer Godden
Source: audiobook, Audible (Bookclub choice)
Rating: 🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤
Plot: as far as I can tell, a group of nuns travel to the Himalayas to convert and educate the locals
Positives: …
Negatives: so racist it made me too uncomfortable to finish

Book: “Successor’s Promise” (Millennium’s Rule, Book 3)
Author: Trudi Cannavan
Source: audiobook, Audible
Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖
Plot: The worlds reel following the demise of the Raen whilst Rielle and Tyen struggle with their own responsibilities to Qall and Vellab
Positives: detailed character development, new worlds, complex ideology
Negatives: Qall is annoying (whining teen!)