What I Read: January 2017

I was feeling a little intimidated by my Goodreads goal of 60 books this year, but now I’m feeling like I undershot… it’s all my Kindle’s fault!  It just makes it so easy to read books!  So, guys, I read 15 books last month…

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I’m going to group these & point to some reviews I’ve already done to make this a little more manageable!

The Kingfountain Series by Jeff Wheeler

This trilogy was on sale on Kindle in December, and it was on my to-read list, so I went for it.  I really enjoyed the whole series!  The first book in the series, The Queen’s Poisoner, follows 8-year-old Owen as he’s taken from his home to become a ward of the King Severn Argentine at Kingfountain.  There, he meets Ankarette, the poisoner serving the dowager queen who lives in sanctuary.  She teaches him about trust, strategy, and how to use his magical ability as one of the Fountain-blessed.  The next book, The Thief’s Daughter, takes place 10 years in the future, with Owen and his childhood companion Evie firmly in love.  Their loyalty to the king leads them to another country to solidify a marriage alliance for Evie.  Etayne, the king’s poisoner, joins them for their journey.  The King’s Traitor serves as the exciting conclusion, with more magic and a sweet touch of romance.  I highly recommend this whole series!

A Hidden Witch by Deborah Geary

I read A Modern Witch, the first in this series in December and liked it, despite it being a little fluffy.  A Hidden Witch is the next in the series, and was available through Kindle’s lending library for Prime users.  I must say, I’m glad I didn’t pay for this book.  Though I liked reading the characters again, and the premise of this book is fine.  Nell, a spellcoding witch, has programmed a spell to pull witches with undiscovered powers into her chat room.  When she pulls Elorie, the sadly non-magical niece of Nova Scotia witch matriarch Moira, they learn there is an undiscovered kind of magic.  When it turns out to be “internet magic,” it’s a little too much of an eye roll for me.

Black Moon by Romina Russell

I LOVE the Zodiac series!  This is one of the only physical books I read this month, and I went out of my way to buy the physical book instead of putting this on my Kindle.  This is the third of four (that I can tell) but it doesn’t feel like one of those stuck-in-the-middle installments… if anything, it’s predecessor Wandering Star might have.  Black Moon is engaging with satisfying twists.  While our main character, Rho, gets a little annoying again with her love triangle, but she has grown a bit, especially in terms of navigating this political climate.  I’m still so enthralled with this world.  There is a big reveal that I won’t give away, but there’s still a cliffhanger ending!  Just read these books, guys!

The Young Elites and The Rose Society by Marie Lu

Thanks to the Boston Public Library’s ebook program, I’ve been able to dig into a lot of books I’ve been meaning to read.  (It’s also why I read Insurgent this month too!)  Young Elites is much darker than I expected, and I quite like that!  The world created is dark and dirty, but beautiful… like, ancient Roman-esque.  All the names are pleasingly Italian.  I do think The Young Elites was better than The Rose Society, just because the initial shock of the ending.  Both end in a utter destruction and devastation.  What really intrigues me is the main character, Adelina.  In her, there is an inner struggle with the whispers which drive her to do cruel things.  She’s not an objectively good character despite being the protagonist.  I’m eager to see how this turns out!

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke.

I usually read books before watching the movie/TV adaption, but this wasn’t the case for Strange & Norell.  I loved this miniseries, and decided to try to audiobook because it was really long and would keep me busy for a while.  After 28 hours of the audiobook (I started in October), I finally switched to reading the physical book and was much happier.  This is a tome, guys!  There are a lot of footnotes and a lot of tangents.  The beginning is slow, but the story is so, so good!  If you’re not an ambitious reader, the miniseries might be a better way to go, but this is truly a fantastic novel that I do recommend you read!

Gem: The Definitive Visual Guide (Smithsonian)

This is a weird one… this is a coffee table book.  Not many people would read a coffee table book cover to cover, but I just couldn’t put this one down!  My fiancé always teases me for my love of gems and minerals– “rocks: the exhibit!” he mocked as I dragged him through case after case of loose stones at Chicago’s Field Museum.  I found this book for 50% off at Barnes & Noble, took it home, and promptly read it in its entirety.  I loved it!  But I wanted more.

Now onto ARCs… I’ve been granted some advanced reader copies by publishers in exchange for reviews.  This has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life.  This month, I read five and am split– 2 were excellent (The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco, which I did a full review of on the blog & The Inconceivable Life of Quinn by Marianna Baer), 2 were terrible, and 1 was okay.  You can read my reviews of these on my Goodreads!

 So I’ve made a big dent in my 2017 goal and you know I won’t just stop there!

What have you been reading lately?

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