2019 · Long post · Wrap ups

March Wrap-Up and Mini-Reviews

I finished a series this month…

I managed 5 books this month and DNF’d my first book of the year. According to my TBR for March I did what I wanted; I slowed down. I didn’t read everything on my TBR but I made some indents in what I did read. And I ended up selecting A Darker Shade of Magic from my series options.


But first,

Let’s hold me accountable.

I have two goals this year which involve acquiring books;

  1. only buy two books a month,
  2. only request two ARCs a month.

Rules: For buying books it only for books I, personally, spend money on including subscription boxes (one per box), but it excludes my audible membership and all free books and gifts. For the ARC’s I’ve focused on my request-button-pressing and not getting the requests approved because you don’t know if it will be approved, nor do you know when it will be approved. Therefore, only two request-clicks per month.

I will have this on my wrap-ups every month.

Before we delve into the book I read this year let’s check if I stuck to my goals:

  • Only buy two books a month: 
    • Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh (yes I’ve already read it, reviewed it, but I loved it and want my own beautiful copy 😁 )
    • Finding Home by Vicki Alayne Bradley
    • Iron and Smoke by Brandon Nolta

Available credit from last month; 4

Total credit transferred to next month; 3

  • Only request two ARC’s: 
    1. Breaking the Lore by Andy Redsmith
    2. Deathless by Peter Newman

Available credits from last month; 1

Total credit transferred to next month; 1


Now let’s get back to the books I’ve read and have a deeper look a look at them.


The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tocholke

ARC – NetGalley

DNF

A retelling of Beowulf with women in the role.

The premise was good. But I only managed to read 31%. This book really pissed me off. Hear me out.

I don’t mind authors taking inspiration from other cultures including my own. I don’t own my own and I don’t have copyright to it. I like it went my culture/language/reference pops up in books. I’m usually like “yeah mate that’s me!!”. For example in Six of Crows, some drinks “brennvin” which in Norwegian is homebrewed spirits and in the book was a strong brown liquid (which it usually is in real life too). First time I heard that I burst out laughing! It was so funny and random. I like it when there is something that an author can take and make their own, within reason. A handful of references is a good amount. If the references are mixed with other cultural references from other countries adding to the mix, it’s even better.

The Boneless Mercies have elements of Norwegian language, place names, and people names. It is the only country/culture/language there are references too which makes it stick out more. The use of these names are either taken directly or changed with one syllable, eg Vorse in the book is Norse in real life, and Obin in the book is Odin in real life. The author didn’t make these named her own. it was too obvious and there was too many of these and one every single page. There was constant reference to Viking culture with longboats, attacks on Elshland (similar to England), eating mushrooms before a fight to become “berserk” which Vikings did do. There is a constant use of Norwegian names for people and places eg Finnmark used for a place name, its actually a country name of the most northern county, Aarne used as a male name, its actually a male name and spelt Arne, same with Trigve -> Trygve, and Else, Lars, Embla, etc. I can go on, but I won’t. This flow of Norwegian from a non-Norwegian author without hardly any effort at making it their own just feels cheap to me. There was so much of it, it really pissed me off and I had to DNF it.

Story-wise I have no idea what was happening as my judgement was clouded by the language use and I will not make any comments on it. It would be unfair for me to judge the quality of the story itself.

I know this is harsh – but I feel it was done with poor taste.


A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab

Physical book – owned

The Story:

Book 2 in A Darker Shade Of Magic series. It starts straight after book one and focuses on Red London and a magical duelling game.

My Opinion:

I love the game aspect and meeting the new characters. I hear a lot of disappointment for others about this instalment so I didn’t have high hopes going into it. Which might have saved it, but I also truly love magic games and really enjoyed this book. Also, I really like Delilah as a character.


The Gutter Prayer by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan

ARC – NetGalley

The Story:

A band of misfits finds themselves accidentally in the middle of a magical war and has to pick a side before the side is picked for them.

My Opinion:

I had this book on my most anticipated under-hyped book of 2019. I did a full review here, but in short, I found this story to very original but not perfect.


The Rise And Fall Of The Dinosaurs by Steve Brusatte

Audiobook – Library

4.5 stars

The Story:

A non-fiction of the authors rises to palaeontology professorship and his view on the rise and fall of the dinosaurs.

My Opinion:

As a Geologist who studied vertebrate palaeontology, I loved this audiobook. It was narrated by someone who sounded a lot like the person narrating Kaz from Six of Crows. It was so similar I had to check him up. It’s not the same, but I did enjoy the feeling of having Kaz narrate to me about dinosaurs 😂


A Conjuring Of Light by V. E. Schwab

Physical book – Owned

The Story:

The last book in A Darker Shade of Magic Series by V. E. Schwab. It continues straight after book 2 and provided a finale for the troubles.

My Opinion:

I enjoyed this book a lot, but I felt the hype around it increased my expectations too far. It unfortunately had the opposite effect of A Gathering Of Shadows. But I still enjoyed it and I loved that royal ship!! I would totally ship them off! 🥰 So cute!! 🥰 Also really enjoyed the ending of this series as a whole. Well done!

I can now tick this series off my list.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Audiobook – Owned

The Story:

The first book in the Grishaverse trilogy. Alina Starkov has never been anything special until one day when her convoy gets attacked by shadow creatures. As she protects her best friend from the enemies a dormant power escapes her touch and saves them all. Suddenly revealing herself not only to others but herself she is whisked away to starts training in a camp where she doesn’t belong nor fit in. No only that but their leader, the Darkling, takes a fancy to her, but is he really as good as they all think he is?

My Opinion:

I really enjoyed this book. It was fun and fast and dramatic. I don’t fully understand people obsession with the Darkling yet, but I’m sure that will come in the later books. So far I like Mal. I also really like the magic system and Alina’s power. I’m exited for the next book in the series.


Have you read any of these? What was your favourite read of March?

Until next time; happy reading!

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