Friday, May 1, 2020

April Wrap-Up 2020

Look what I did - I read some books in April! Ok, who's really surprised by that? Continue reading to see my thoughts on what I read and what I'd recommend!

I read 8 books this month - a pretty good month if you ask me. I helped that I pounded though a few novels in a really short amount of time by basically doing nothing else for an evening but read. Ah the best feeling! See what I thought of the books I read this month below!

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer | 5*
*sigh* This BOOK! Amazing. Simply beautiful and intriguing and well written. See my review on Goodreads for my full thoughts.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas | 5*
I did this as a read-along with my friend Corrine (@winnieswhimsy on IG). Wow, what an awesome, epic story! We ended up watching the movie after this as well and I'm shocked by how much was changed/taken out from the book. I'm so happy I read it - even happy I did the unabridged version LOL.

The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant | 3-3.5*
I received and early copy of this from the publishers on NetGalley. This one releases June 2nd but you can pre-order now!

I did enjoy this "Les Mis meets Jungle Book/Six of Crows" styled book though I'd say I am coming to realize I'm not a huge fan of Les Mis retellings (please don't hate me). I enjoyed the journey the character went on, but I felt confused for great swaths of time.

First of all, there are some major time-passes areas between sections and, maybe it's just me, but I never seem to pay attention to the dates on those things because there's usually 50+ pages between sections and I never remember what the previous one was. So something like 2 years will have passed and I'll have no clue which means it takes me twice as long to catch up to where I'm at in the story.

Another thing that bothered me about this book was the lack of...dare I call it "character depth"? I'm not sure if that's accurate, but I felt as if many of the characters were surface level with a few depth points but no actual, real, depth to them. We're kept as outsiders for most of the book and I don't think I ever really connected deeply with the main character.

Lastly, and this could just be me, but there was a love square (or something) and I just was not there for it. I don't even think that's a spoiler because almost nothing happens there (and perhaps it will) but it only sufficed to confuse me and make me not care about any of the guys.

I will say the world was fun and unique. I enjoyed the odd "Miracle Court" and the different variations they had. I kind of got a small "Bone Season" vibes from it. I like the setting and the variations of where the MC went and what she experienced. I just wish it had been more cohesive. Not such a sprawling story but one where I could have truly got invested in a few of the characters.

Thanks to the publisher for an early copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer | 5*
Can you tell I have a thing for Kemmerer's writing? Yep, yet another amazing book by someone who is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors! I enjoyed this one but maybe not quite as much as Letters mostly due to the massive struggle these characters went through. Let me put it this way: it was 100% worth it to read it, but at the time (up until maybe 50% for me) I was struggling right along with the characters and I think looking back, where there end TOTALLY justified the means, I just feel gutted. That's not to say it was a bad gutting (hehe) just an emotional one. I would still fully recommend this to anyone!
! Some language

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle | 4*
Well I've had 3 different versions of this book so it was high time I read it! I got the ARC and wasn't able to get to it before my finished copy arrived and THEN I got an ALC (Advance Listening Copy) from Librio.Fm so I decided to do the audiobook (because we all know Emilie loves a good audiobook!).
! Some language and depictions of adult situations

Dune by Frank Herbert | 5*
Wow wow wow. Why didn't I read this ages ago? Okay, so it's a classic science fiction book and I absolutely HAD to read it. I did end up audiobooking it but it really enjoyed the cast of characters and felt so immersed in it! I think it would have taken me longer if I were reading it for sure since it's a dense book full of a beautifully imagined world with intriguing characters. If you like sci-fi I highly recomend!

Hard Wired by Len Vlahos | 3.5* 
Out July 7th but up for pre-order.
So...this book was very intriguing The cover gives you some idea of what you're expecting and I think I knew a little going in what the book was about. It's set up into 3 (I think? maybe it's 4...) sections and follows a "boy who might not be human". Too read that (from the books description) kind of gives it away and it is what it is, but I found the concept to be interesting. Won't say that I exactly loved all of it - I enjoyed some parts where the boy - Quinn - was able to create his own view of humanity really. But I think the struggle was in the movement of the story. It was a sprawling timeline and necessary to give you a full image of what Quinn goes through, but part of me felt like the end was a bit of a letdown?

I have a hard time fully giving my opinion on it though. If you like stories of AI becoming cognizant you might really enjoy this one and the story Quinn lives out. In other ways you may, like me, find a lot of it hard to believe? Then again, it's a story so suspend some of your imagination :)

Thanks to the publisher for an early copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

All Systems Red by Martha Wells | 5*

Murderbot! Murderbot! Murderbot! Ok, I LOVED this book ('er novella)!!! Wow! So I read this in maybe 3 or 4 hours (or less I can't remember) and its as just excellent. Wells has a fantastic ability to be able to draw out the depth of Murderbot despite the fact that 'its' just a SecUnit doing its job. The fact that it loves media is the icing on the cake (Sanctuary Moon, anyone?). I think it's stories like this that make me love sci-fi even more - because there is a world of technology that can be useful but there has to be a, dare I say lovable?, character in order to make it all gel. I have already started the next novella in the series and will be reading them ALL in quick succession.

If you love sci-fi, dry humor, and a non-traditional main character with some action and the sci-fi elements we've all come too love...the Murderbot diaries are for YOU!

!There is language in this one

I received a free copy of this novella from the publisher (Tor) during a promotion they had via their newsletter. All opinions expressed are my own. 

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