(5/5 stars) I’m not sure where I heard of Akata Witch; it was probably one of my podcasts. I was just excited to read a fantasy novel based on a magic system from a non-European mythology. I did not know it was a YA novel, though, and I was very delightfully surprised by what I found.
The story structure and plot aren’t exceptionally different from other stories of this sort: a young outsider learns that she has a destiny and finds camaraderie in a community of other outcasts. But the characters are fun and interesting. The culture is lush and fascinating. And the magic system is scary and fascinating. Overall, I really enjoyed this book quite a lot.
Summary: (3/5 stars) I thoroughly enjoyed the first of the Tufa novels, but even though this book had a lot of the same color and tone of the first book, it didn’t manage to recapture the magic. I think it’s probably because the main character is different and the overarching conflict between the two fairy families doesn’t expand in a very satisfying way. I think there are five of these books and I’ll keep reading, but now without the same anticipation.
(4/5 stars) This is a contemporary-era fantasy novel set in the mountains of eastern Tennessee. The Hyatt family starts seeing death omens just as their daughter arrives home, injured from a tour of duty in Iraq. The magic in this book is mysterious and subtle and explained only very slowly. I really enjoyed the fact that the stakes in the book are really personal unlike in epic fantasy books. And, of course, I also enjoyed the multi-faceted portrayal of southern culture. I’ll definitely pick up the second book in this series soon.
(Overall 2/5 stars) This is a young adult epic fantasy series that I foolishly bought all at the same time. I don’t remember why it was recommended to me nor why I listened to that recommendation. I think I bought them all at once because they were relatively inexpensive and they seemed like good books to listen to while feeding the baby at 3am.
Bottom line: the first and third books are OK. The second one is awful. I would put these books right alongside the Shadowhunter series and the Twilight series in terms of quality. Utterly skippable, in my opinion, so I 100% expect my daughter to find them in my Kindle library when she reaches a suitable age and proclaim them as her favorites.
Quick book reviews for:
– American Craftsmen by Tom Doyle
– Jade City by Fonda Lee
– Feminist Fight Club: An Office Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace
– Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-to Book
– Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
I was traveling for business for about a week recently and fell behind in my book reviews. Sorry!! So, here are a bunch of quick reviews of books I’ve read recently. I’ll try to avoid spoilers, but I can’t make any promises.
Altered Carbon by Richard K Morgan
Shadow Ops: Control Point by Myke Cole
The Feminist’s Guide to Raising a Little Princess: How to Raise a Girl Who’s Authentic, Joyful, and Fearless–Even If She Refuses to Wear Anything But a Pink Tutu by Devorah Blachor
Pacific Fire by Greg Van Eekhout
The Power by Naomi Alderman
American Housewife by Helen Ellis
Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships by Tristan Taormino
Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
(3 of 5 stars) I picked this one up after reading the description of it from Stephen King himself in On Writing. The basic idea was to create a sympathetic political assassin. The thing is: a lot of King’s descriptions of the politician reminded me a lot of today’s political climate and Trump. Trump is no where NEAR as evil as the politician in this book, but there were aspects of his campaign that reminded me of Trump. So, I wanted to see how he told this story. His approach is interesting, but I found it ultimately dissatisfying. I understand that this book is a character study, but the ending still felt rushed and wasn’t a sufficient pay off for everything I’d invested in the book up to that point.
(4 of 5 stars) I picked this one up because it’s the Sword & Laser Book of the Month and because I was in the mood for an urban fantasy. I was so tickled to discover that not only does this book have an interesting magic system, but it’s also a heist novel. Even if it’s slightly cliched at points, it’s lightweight, fast paced, and very fun. Recommended reading for the beach, pool, or if you’re up late trying to keep a fussy baby sleeping.
I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the previous two. A big part of the sense of wonder and discovery from those book is lost as the characters deal with all the problems that have popped up. There’s some weird character stuff going on in this one and ultimately I didn’t really enjoy the heroes as much as I did in the previous books… except for Lift. She is always awesome.