Monthly Recap March 2017

Welcome to my March recap! As usual, I’ll be going over the books I quit partway through, the reviews I published this month, what I’ll be reading and reviewing next month, and what my non-review posts this month were. Additionally, I’ll be checking in on where I’m at with my reading goals for the year.

25324111I read about a third of And I Darken by Kiersten White before I decided to quit. I didn’t really know what I was getting into when I started the book. At some point while reading, I looked it up and found out it was a historical fiction where Vlad the Impaler was re-imagined as female. It’s an interesting concept, but I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had more familiarity with the history behind it. As is, it was hard for me to tell how the author’s vision stayed with and departed from actual historical events.

I already have reviews of The Edge of the Abyss by Emily Skrutskie, The Last Witness by K.J. Parker, The Root by Na’amen Gobert Tilahun, Final Girls by Mira Grant, City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig, Fire Boy by Sami Shah, A Shadow in Summer by Daniel Abraham and Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller written and scheduled.

I am currently working on reviews of This Other World by A.C. Buchanan, A Tyranny of Queens by Foz Meadows, Fourth World by Lyssa Chiavari, and Hidden Warrior by Lynn Flewelling.

Most of my reading this month will be a frantic effort to get through the books I took with me to college, since I really hate the idea of bringing unread books all the way there and then all the way back, still unread. If I manage to read them before I head back, then I can only bring back the ones I liked enough to reread, which will save me some room while packing.

Some of the books I have to read include Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold, Red Country by Joe Ambercrombie, Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey, Daughters of Isis by Joyce A. Tyldesley, The Thorn of Dentonhill by Ryon Marshell Maresca, King’s Dragon by Kate Elliott, Windswept by Adam Rakunas, The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes, and Wolfblade by Jennifer Fallon. I have no idea which of these I’ll actually end up reading, but you can expect reviews of at least some of them in April or May. Have you read any of these? Which would you recommend?

April will also bring an interview with RoAnna Sylver, author of Chameleon Moon and The Lifeline Signal! I had tons of fun with this interview, and I really hope you check it out.

There may be a couple more interviews coming up, but I don’t want to say any more until all the details are hammered out. Just keep an eye out for surprises!

In 2017, I want to read 50 books written by POC authors and 50 books with LGBTQIAP+ lead characters. To be on track with these goals, I should have read roughly 12 books for each challenge.

For the POC authors goal, I’ve only read 10 this quarter. I’m behind, but not so badly behind that I can’t catch up later this year. For these books, check my “Diversiverse” tag.

For the LGBTQIAP+ books goal, I’m on track. I’ve read twelve this quarter! For these books, check my “LGBTQIA” tag.

There’s a lag between the time I finish reading a book and the time the review is posted, so many of the books I read for these goals still have their reviews to come.

Reviews from March:

4 stars

Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson

Island of Exiles by Erica Cameron

Brother’s Ruin by Emma Newman

The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories

The Seventh Bride by T. Kingfisher

3 1/2 stars

The Voices of Martyrs by Maurice Broaddus

The Lifeline Signal by RoAnna Sylver

Sunset Mantle by Alter. S. Reiss

3 stars

Brimstone by Cherie Priest

Lotus Blue by Cat Sparks

I’ve continued to write for Her Campus. This month my only piece has been “The Flawed Women of Lifetime’s UnREAL,” a television show I binge watched back in February.

My other non-review posts have all been here at the Illustrated Page.

“March 2017 SFF Short Fiction Reading Part I” and “March 2017 SFF Short Fiction Reading Part II” are round ups of some of the amazing short stories and novelettes I’ve read this month.

“Late Spring 2017 SFF Releases” lists some books coming out in April and May that I’m excited for.

In honor of Women’s History month, I created a series of posts focusing on women who write science fiction and fantasy.

“The SFF Female Author Project: Week One”

  • N.K. Jemisin
  • S.L. Huang
  • Robin McKinley
  • Lynn Flewelling

“The SFF Female Author Project: Week Two”

  • Karin Lowachee
  • Martha Wells
  • Michelle West/Michelle Sagara
  • Susana Clark
  • Intisar Khanani
  • Claire North/Kate Griffin
  • Diana Wynne Jones

“The SFF Female Author Project: Week Three”

  • Robin Hobb
  • Octavia Butler
  • Emma Newman
  • Cornelia Funke
  • Alyssa Wong
  • Ellen Kushner
  • Maggie Stiefvater

“The SFF Female Author Project: Week Four”

  • Kameron Hurley
  • Leigh Bardugo
  • Nnedi Okorafor
  • Emma Bull
  • Noriko Ogiwara
  • Catherynne M. Valente
  • Kat Howard

“The SFF Female Author Project: Week Five”

  • Tenea D. Johnson
  • Corinne Duyvis
  • Aliette de Bodard
  • Ann Leckie
  • Diane Duane
  • Elizabeth Bear

That about wraps up March! Are you excited for any of the reviews I’ve got coming down the line? What books are you reading this April?


13 Comments Add yours

  1. Tammy says:

    Wow, I would give anything to have that much of a review backlog! I’m looking forward to many of your reviews, especially Final Girls and City of Miracles.

    1. It’s rather crazy how much of a backlog there is! I may end up posting more frequently than my usual every other day.

  2. Pyo says:

    In a bout of absurd logic I’m mostly curious about the City of Miracles review, mainly because I’m sulking over the premise and most likely won’t read it myself.

    No idea what I’ll read this month. I’m kinda in the mood for urban fantasy, but after spending a few minutes sorting out everything that mentions “sexy vampires” or “irresistible demons” and so on I’ll probably end up reading some random weird thing nobody else reads. Like usual.

    1. I talked about City of Miracles a ton already on my LibraryThing journal. Since the site has spoiler tags, I can go into more detail about things than I did in my rview –

      Urban fantasy… have you read The Rook by Daniel O’Malley? Any of the Kate Daniels books by Ilona Andrews? Sunshine by Robin McKinley? A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin? Borderline by Mishell Baker? Those are some of my favorites.

      1. Pyo says:

        Ah, that discussion pretty much covers all the reasons CoM isn’t high on my reading list. Well, plus I just have a dislike of changing protagonists, no matter the precise reason. Don’t really know why, it just makes me lose interest somehow.

        The Rook is probably my favorite UF novel, great book, even if I wasn’t nearly so happy with the sequel (still not bad, but…). Borderline and sequel are pretty great, too, yeah. I really hope there’ll be more of that. Matthew Stevens I somehow couldn’t get into and Sunshine wasn’t really my cup o tea. And Kate Daniels is the type of UF I stay away from, along with, err, Mercy Thompson and Jane Yellowrock and whoever else those heroines are (lumping them all together is probably a bit rude to the authors, but gotta thin the herd somehow).

        Might stretch the genre boundaries a bit and go for something by Elizabeth Watasin. They seem fun enough, but somehow I always ended up reading something else instead so far.

  3. I loved your SFF Female Author project – are you doing the Worlds Without End Women in Genre Fiction challenge? Basically your lists were perfect for my use, because the challenge calls for reading new-to-you authors and it was helpful knowing which books are good jumping on points.

    1. Oh thank you! I’m happy to know it was helpful. I did the Worlds Without End Women in Genre Fiction challenge last year, but this year I’m doing there LGBTQ books one instead. I might jump into the Women in Genre Fiction challenge later on, but I don’t usually have trouble with reading new-to-me female authors. So far I’ve read fourteen in 2017.

      1. This is my third or fourth year doing the WiGF challenge but there are still a few “big name” women authors I have not had the pleasure of reading yet. My problem I have is finding my books on their database. So far I’ve read 12 new-to-me female authors for the year but I can only count 4 of 5 on the site :\

      2. Oh same! I’ve had that problem with both the WiGF challenge and the LGBTQ challenge. I’ve read like 13 LGBTQ books this year, and only three of them are in their database. And since they don’t add self published books, there’s some that I’m never going to be able to count towards the challenge.

  4. I selfishly want you to read Leviathan Wakes next! I’ve been thinking about reading it but I want some second opinions before I do. Meanwhile, I am gazing wishfully at a whole bunch of books that have come out yet but my library hasn’t gotten them in. Phantom Pains and Edge of the Abyss are both tempting me EVER so much.

    1. I think the Goodreads SFF group was talking about doing a read along for Leviathan Wakes? IDK if it’s actually happening or not. Anyway, I’m planning on joining in if it is happening.

  5. Sia says:

    I think Paladin is the weakest of the Chalion novels, but it’s still a lot of fun. King’s Dragon – the whole Crown of Stars series – has some of the most incredible worldbuilding ever, but I had to force my way through the first book. The rest of the series made me glad I did, though.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what you thought of Girl From Everywhere and Shadow in Summer!

    1. Oh wow, that’s good to know about King’s Dragon. I’m fifty pages in right now and feeling a bit “meh” about it. Mostly that nothing about it feels really new – it’s the same sort of tropes I see in most “traditional” fantasy novels. I’ll give it at least a bit longer though.

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