I absolutely love Lauren James’s The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, so I was naturally thrilled to pick up a copy of her latest book, The Starlight Watchmaker. A novella from Barrington Stoke, a publisher that focuses on readable books for dyslexic and reluctant young readers, I couldn’t wait to get my paws on this little book. I did enjoy it, but I found that I couldn’t quite turn off my detail-obsessed adult sci-fi brain!
Sorcerer to the Crown is a book that has been on my radar for years, but I never picked up for whatever reason. After meeting Zen at the MCM Comic Con Blogger Brunch and being totally charmed by her, I decided to pick up the audiobook. I’m so glad I did! Sorcerer to the Crown is the perfectly whimsical historical fantasy for a rainy day.
Much to my surprise, I have been reading and loving a number of novellas this year. While it is not a format I usually gravitate toward, I am finding myself loving these shorter tales. However, I do sometimes feel that novellas deserve to be full-length novels, and this was the case with Silver in the Wood.
The Calculating Stars seems to be the book that everyone is talking about in the sci-fi world. The winner of the Nebula Award, and probably the winner of many more awards this year, it sounded like the perfect book for me. Lady astronauts, an alternate version of the 1950’s, and smashing the patriarchy with science? Sounds like a brilliant book, right? However, this turned out to be one of the biggest disappointments of the year for me. I'm afraid this will be a very unpopular opinion, as this book is so beloved by the science fiction community.
You all know how passionately I love Becky Chambers’ books -- she’s one of my favourite authors and consistently puts out incredible stories. When her next release was announced, I was initially a little disappointed that To Be Taught, If Fortunate wasn’t going to be a continuation of her Wayfarers books. However I completely trust Becky to give me the gorgeous, quiet stories I crave. My faith in Becky Chambers remains -- To Be Taught, If Fortunate is the beautiful, gentle tale of human exploration that I never knew I needed.
I’m very vocal about the fact that The Poppy War was my favourite book of 2018, so I was naturally extremely excited to dive into The Dragon Republic as soon as I could, but I was a little nervous. The second book in a trilogy is a difficult one to pull off, as it deals with the exciting aftermath of the first book and must set up the conclusion of the series. In addition, an author's second book, especially following a splashy debut like The Poppy War, is a notoriously difficult one to write. Despite all of this, I am so pleased to say that The Dragon Republic is a fantastic sequel to an amazing debut novel.
I was captivated by the cover of Rogerson’s debut, An Enchantment of Ravens, but was ultimately lukewarm on the book itself. Despite this, I perked up when I heard about the release of Sorcery of Thorns. Not only does Sorcery have a great cover as well, it sounded like my exact cup of tea where Enchantment did not -- who doesn’t love sword-weilding librarians, sentient grimoires, and sassy magicians? I’m so pleased to say that I really, really enjoyed Sorcery of Thorns and am so happy I gave her writing another chance.