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A Stack of Books, Part 13

Looking back over the last few months and scanning my history, I realized I haven’t updated my reading list since August. Wowzers! What’s sad is that I’ve only got a handful of books to show for these past four months. (Albeit they were a pretty chaotic four months for me, so I can’t complain?)

Reviewing these reviews, I noticed a trend of books that aren’t exactly my usual walk in the alley, which I find so interesting – because I didn’t do it on purpose. But most of them were thoroughly enjoyed.

So, what have I been reading all summer? Let’s take a look!

The True Prince ─ If you enjoy Shakespearean plays and historical fiction, this book has your name all over it. Truth be told, I’ve never read any Shakespeare, and historical fiction isn’t my favorite cup of tea, but I picked this book up because I was fascinated by the aspect of the Renaissance Theater in London, and it was a fun romp of a story, too, with great characters and a tangled mystery full of mischievous thieves, court intrigue, and old Welsh ‘magic’. It’s a story of rivalry and friendship, honor and justice, and finding your identity through all the change that comes with growing up.

Who Runs From Heaven? ─ This is a short anthology of sci-fi stories, and the main reason I picked it up was because of the cover. Honestly, the cover was the best part. I didn’t particularly enjoy any of the stories, for various reasons between plot/purpose and execution. Since the post-apocalyptic vibe isn’t particularly my favorite, I can’t be too hard, but they don’t make me want more. Overall it was pretty ‘meh’.

Brand of Light — This is one of those books that I never would have picked up had it not been so heavily recommended by my community of writers and readers. It’s a Romeo and Juliet meets Star Wars space opera meets medieval fantasy. It’s also one of those books you need to devote some time to— at least for me. When I first cracked it open in the swing of summer, I only had time for tidbits, and I got so confused with all the high-fantasy, space, and military terminology that I struggled to get into it. The writing style is also far more clipped than I’m accustomed to. I wasn’t in love through the first-ish third. I essentially gave up for a couple months. Then summer wound down and I had more time to actually sink in to the story. And plunged. I devoured more than half of what was left in one sitting, took care of the rest in another. Picked up the lingo and got used to the writing— which works well for the story. I’ve never been a big fan of sci-fi and its kin, but this was exciting. I’ve never been a fan of romance (as many of you may have already caught on to?), but this was acceptable. Clean, at the very least. The story hardly ever slows down, the stakes high and ever-escalating, full of intergalactic chases, espionage, sabotage, BOUNTY HUNTERS. Who doesn’t love a good bounty hunter? It’s got the heart and heartache, made me positively guffaw, and had me jumping in my seat. I couldn’t read fast enough.

Orphan’s Song — I’ve had this book on my TBR list for years. I know that’s a recurring trend, but this is one of those books that I’ve been actively thinking about and keening for the entire time. So I finally bought it. Finally read it. And am so, so glad I did. What a treasure this book is, this story is building into. The characters are amazing; Birdie so compassionate, strong and determined even through her weaknesses. Ky so noble despite his upbringing. And Amos . . . Amos is complex, deep and wide. I loved him before he ever opened his gobswaggling mouth, and learned so much about what makes him weak and what makes him strong as the story unfolded. And what a story! Filled with adventure! Kidnapping! Griffons! Pirates! Explosions! And let’s not forget the talking cats and singing swords. From page one I settled into this book like a warm blanket, and I’m only sorry that it was over so quickly. Good news is, there’s two more books! Positively stoked to continue the adventure!

Heroics for Beginners — Next to fantastical stories of epic proportion, humor is one of my top favorite things to read. Parodies. Satires. A touch of whimsy. Done well, these stories bring me a lot of pleasure. This book is a parodical-ish version of the Fantasy Hero Trope. With an extra dose of ridiculous thrown in because, why not? It was clever and witty, with enough mystery and suspense to give it a backbone. I wouldn’t call it clean (what with a romance driving the hero), but it wasn’t erotic by any means. Overall, I rather enjoyed it after a long stretch of intense books.

What about you? What have you been reading lately? Have you read any of these? What did you think? Do you find any of these titles interesting? Which ones?

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