Welcome to my monthly recap! This is where I’ll be going over what I read this month, the books I didn’t finish, and what reviews you can expect to see in February.
Karin Lowachee’s Warchild was one of the best books I read in 2016. In fact, it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read, period. So I did the obvious thing and went to see what else she’s written. The Gaslight Dogs is the first in a planned fantasy series, about two cultures coming into conflict. One is clearly inspired by the Inuit and another by Western civilization. While I think the premise is fascinating, I only made it thirty pages in. And it was a struggle to read those thirty pages! I felt like I was trudging through molasses. I would not have guessed that this was by the same author as one of my favorite books.
Game of Shadows is a Celtic mythology inspired fantasy novel that comes out this February. I made it maybe fourteen percent in? It just wasn’t impressing me and I couldn’t find the will to stick with it. I felt like it wasn’t bringing anything new to the table. The protagonist is a fairly typical teenage boy, crushing on the school popular girl who’s of course dating the local bully. But our average teen protagonist is secretly the heir to a fantasy kingdom and is whisked away for an adventure! I was hoping things would get better once the narrative moved to the fantasy setting, but I was still feeling like struggling to connect with it.
I read the first fifty pages of Redwood and Wildfire by Andrea Hairston. I had previously enjoyed her novel Will Do Magic for Small Change, and I found out that Redwood and Wildfire was a prequel of sorts. Unfortunately, the first fifty pages didn’t grab me. Presumably at some point the book will have more of a plot, but I didn’t feel like waiting around. Plus, I already knew that two characters got together and I found the age gap between them creepy. She’s sixteen and he’s twenty-three and already been married. Hopefully she’s older when they actually get together, but it was still freaking me out.
I finished scheduling January’s post almost two week’s before the end of the month, so there’s quite a lot on tap for February!
I already have reviews of In Calabria by Peter S. Beagle, Of Sorrow and Such by Angela Slatter, Iron Cast by Destiny Soria, Dreadnought by April Daniels and the anthology Love Beyond Body, Space and Time written and scheduled for posting. Reviews of Gilded Cage by Vic James, Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Passing Strange by Ellen Klages and Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver are currently in progress and will be posted sometime February. I’m also currently reading The Witch Who Came in from the Cold from Serial Box.
I also have some books that I haven’t started yet but am planing on reviewing in February. I have several ARCs I need to read and review, including The Voices of Martyrs by Maurice Broaddus, The Blazing Star by Imani Josey, and Infernal Parade by Clive Barker. I’ve also put in library requests for three more books: Ink by Sabrina Vourvoulias, Kynship by Daniel Heath Justice, and Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History. And on top of all that I’d like to get around to some print books that have been languishing in the TBR for a while. In particular, I’m going to try to get to The Root by Na’amen Gobert Tilahun, a promising new urban fantasy I missed out on in 2016.
I am also pleased to announce that this month will bring an interview with Kameron Hurley!
Reviews from January:
Rosewater by Tade Thompson
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
The Lost Child of Lychford by Paul Cornell
The Ships of Air by Martha Wells
The Facefaker’s Game by Chandler J. Birch
One Good Dragon Deserves Another by Rachel Aaron
The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley
Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire
3 1/2 stars
Ida by Alison Evans
Dark Beyond the Stars edited by David Gatwood
Crossroads of Canopy by Thoraiya Dyer
Envy of Angels by Matt Wallace
2 1/2 stars
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey
Grudgebearer by J.F. Lewis
That’s about it for me. What are some great books you read in January? Are there any books you’re excited to read in February?