September was an okay reading month. I read 4 and a half full length novels and 3 comic books/graphic novels in September. Some of these books got 4 stars while some got as low as 2 stars. Most favorite book read in September has to be Heartless (if I do not count rereads).
The novels that I read were –
- Heartless by Marissa Meyer – 4 stars –
Loved loved loved this book! It was such an amazing retelling of my most favorite portal fantasy – Alice in Wonderland. This is also the best audiobook I have ever listened to. The narrator did a great job of changing voices. I was never confused with the characters as she had a distinctive voice for every single character in the book. My favorites were Cheshire cat and Caterpillar – she was perfect with those voiceovers.
The story was equally interesting and whimsical. It was written in the same style that Lewis Carroll wrote Alice in Wonderland in. Every single character from the wonderland makes an appearance in this book including Mad hatter (before he became mad), Jabberwock and the dormouse. The story starts with Catherine Pinketon who wants to open a bakery very badly with her friend and ends with her becoming the cruel Queen of Hearts. The title of this book makes lots of sense once you read the climax of this book. Some scenes like the one with the bottle that says “Drink Me” were done so well and reminded me so much of the original novel.
My only problem with this book was that the last 20% of the book dragged on a bit. It could have ended sooner since it was quite apparent how it was going to end so it got little boring because of that. Some unnecessary scenes could have been edited out making the book shorter.
But otherwise, this is a great retelling and I will definitely read it again after rereading Alice in Wonderland.
- Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo – 2.5 stars –
I went into this book with very high expectations considering the author’s popularity. The first quarter of the book was great and I liked the storyline. Story seemed much better than the movie and then it took a bad turn once Diana enters the world of man. It became a typical YA contemporary novel with a road trip thrown in and few hot looking guys and pretty okay girls falling for these guys. Focus of the story was on Alia.
Where is Diana? She is just one of these teenage girls crushing on a hot guy. It did not even feel like a Wonder Woman novel to me. Too many YA tropes and it got boring after a while as there was no action and just some gossip and banter amongst friends – secret crushes revealed, locker room stories being exchanged. I expected much more from this novel. After a point, I wanted to DNF this book as it got really boring and I wasn’t feeling like reading it at all. I skimmed through the last 25% of the book and realized I had made right guesses about the ending after all. So nothing too shocking or amazing happens at the end.
I am disappointed and will wait for a more adult version of the Wonder Woman. Meanwhile, the comic books will do as they are not this silly.
Unless you are a huge fan of YA contemporary, give this book a miss.
- Harry Potter and the cursed child by Jack Thorne, J.K. Rowling and John Tiffany – 4.5 stars –
This was a reread. I enjoyed rereading this Harry Potter book even after hearing so many bad reviews about this book. Even though people pointed out flaws in this story, I had fun reading it again. This time, I did feel few scenes were not explained well – like how can transfiguration transform one person into another so easily? If it was that easy, people can impersonate anybody anytime they wanted. Some of the magic elements were conveniently introduced just to drive the plot. But I still loved this story and meeting all my favorite characters again. I wish Weasley family had somehow made an appearance in this book for a scene. That would have made it even more amazing. Anyway, I wanted to read this book again as my first read was done in a hurry since I could not contain my excitement. My original review of this book – Link.
- Black Powder War by Naomi Novik – 2 stars –
I found this part really boring. Nothing was interesting – neither the plot nor the characters. There were fewer dragons in this one. Also Temeraire was hardly there since the plot revolved around some conspiracy where Lawrence was not being given the dragon eggs that he was supposed to have picked from Istanbul. I didn’t enjoy my audiobook experience and my mind kept wandering, even though the narrator is same. I am abandoning this series as the story isn’t that interesting anymore.
- Theft of Swords part 1 by Michael J. Sullivan – 4.5 stars –
This is a fun sword and sorcery series which resembles Lord of the rings a lot. If you like LOTR, do give this a try. The story is fast paced, action packed with lots of twists and witty dialogues. The two main protagonists Hadrian and Royce are great and I love Hadrian a lot. I tried picking many dark fantasies this year but I did not get pulled into any of them. But I was hooked right from the first chapter of this book as the author does not spend 100s of pages for world building. The story picks up right from the first chapter. I love this series a lot. I am planning to complete this series by the end of this year, if possible.
The graphic novels/comics that I read were –
- I hate fairyland vol. 1 by Skottie Young – 3 stars –
It was very funny though some parts were little silly. The main protagonist enters fairyland (similar to how Alice enters Wonderland) and she is stuck there forever until she finds the key, which she is unable to find. So after searching for the key for 27 yrs, she is frustrated and starts hating fairyland. She then turns into a psychopath killing everyone she meets. Some scenes are gory and someone dies in every single page but the ending was absolutely hilarious. Because of the ending, I want to read the next part to see what happens. I liked it since I am a big fan of portal fantasy like Alice in Wonderland.
- I hate fairyland vol. 2 by Skottie Young – 2 stars –
Gertrude wants to get back home and she is still stuck in fairyland (after like 30 yrs). She is trying everything possible to get back home. This volume was even more silly compared to the first volume. Also it was pretty boring and not that funny. It is funny in parts but the story as such isn’t strong. The main character is interesting with her psychopath attitude. Just like Happy enters fairyland in the previous volume, a boy dressed as a dragon enters fairyland in this volume.
The artwork is really good especially the point where we see the art style switching to video game format. I was quite impressed with the artwork.
- Sculptor by Scott McCloud – 3.5 stars –
I loved Understanding comics and that was the reason for picking this book with such excitement. I finally got around to this book after owning it for a long time. The artwork was absolutely stunning. This book is worth just for the artwork. But I wasn’t too impressed with the story. It was too emotional sometimes and I wasn’t a fan of the main protagonists – David and Meg. The story dragged a bit in the middle where it got little boring. Too many side characters and scenes which did not add much value to the story. The second half of the book was more interesting compared to the slow first half. Loved the way it ended though and it was a very touching story. A solid one time read.
David, an unsuccessful sculptor, makes a deal with his grandfather who happens to be death himself that he would have the power to sculpt any artwork in minutes but he will die after 200 days (so in exchange for his life). It’s all about David finding love and then grief and using his power before he dies.
My TBR for October looks like this –
I am currently reading part 2 of Theft of Swords, Phasma and Dracula. I wanted to read Dracula in October (because of Halloween) so I am finally reading this book. I also have The woman in white for Halloween, which I will read only if I have enough time. I have read 50% of Astrophysics for people in a hurry so I will finish that book this month. I am not sure if I will be able to pick up The fifth season this month.
I enjoyed the first vol of Fairyland as well. Unfortunately haven’t yet otten around to reading 2. Glad the artwork is great though. I’ve heard great things about Jemisin, hope you enjoy it.
For what it’s worth, I was horribly bored through most of Black Powder War, but Empire of Ivory (the next book) was possibly my favourite of the series (tied with with Throne of Jade) and book 5 was really good too (huge emotional rollercoaster!) – but I’m pretending books 6-9 don’t exist – they made me quite ranty.
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Oh so the series does get better after the boring third book? I should then try to continue with the series and give the 4th and 5th ones a try. Thanks Imyril.
Yeah Jemisin is really famous of late. Need to read something by her soon.
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Heartless seems like an interesting book that i could explore sometime in the future. I remember reading Alice in Wonderland a long time ago, but am clueless about the story now. Maybe I can read that also once again 🙂 BTW, I feel all books ought to be shorter.
Yeah Heartless was very funny and interesting – a very light read and nothing serious happens in the book, just like Alice in Wonderland. I agree, shorter books are better.
I loved Wondar Woman. Both the movie and the book.
Glad to know you liked the movie and book SG. I watched the movie again few times as it is now one of my favorites. 🙂
Sorry for the typo. Wonder.