August was a hectic month as I just came back from my vacation and also attended Worldcon. Because of this, I could not read much. I finished 3 books and most part of the 4th book in august. As you can see, all the 4 books that I read in August belonged to fantasy genre. I am in a major fantasy mood lately and have been only picking up fantasies.
Here are the books that I read in august –
Soulless by Gail Carriger
– 4 stars –
When I started reading this book, I didn’t expect to like it. I had no idea about the premise other than the main protagonist being soulless. All the other creatures and humans in this world have souls. But the book turned to be extremely humorous and interesting. Like the blurb says, it reminded me of Jane Austen (worried mother of a spinster who is smart and silly sisters) and P G Wodehouse (butlers and witty sentences). This is probably the first urban fantasy that I actually liked. It had feminist themes too and the setting was equally interesting – Victorian London where vampires and werewolves have been integrated into the society. The book however read more like a book from romance or erotic genre since most part of the book focused on Alexia’s romance with a werewolf. Even though I am not a fan of books from romance genre, I found this book interesting and there is a small mystery element in this book too, which I was able to guess correctly right at the beginning of the book. I will probably continue with this series and also checkout this author’s other series.
The Fifth season by N. K. Jemisin
– 3 stars –
I had DNFed this book 3 times in the past. This time I was determined to finish it. I have mixed feelings about this book. I loved the world building and magic system a lot so I enjoyed reading pages where there were descriptions about the world. But in other places which dealt with characterization, I got bored. I disliked all the characters and couldn’t relate to anything that any of these characters were feeling. I disliked the threesome and yucky sexual content. Also the book just circled back to where it started. Nothing really happened in this book. You just learnt the back story of Essun and that she seeks to take revenge. There was no story at all. I feel it definitely did not deserve the Hugo and is overhyped for no reason.
What I really did not understand was that a person who didn’t care for children is now trying to seek revenge for her child’s death. Really?! And that is the complete storyline of book one. First 150 pages and last 100 pages bored me to death. The book was mildly interesting in the middle portion but after that ending, I feel cheated. I am not sure if I want to read the next book in the series.
To those who have read this series, does the story get better in the later books?
The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang
– 3.5 stars –
This is a Chinese inspired fantasy which is about this girl Rin who wants to join a military training academy, just to avoid getting married. The first half of the book until Rin joins Cike was worth 5 stars. After Altan became her commander, the book got extremely boring and the story went to hell. The war scenes were great but the characters became whiny and annoying. Especially Altan with his need for vengeance and Rin who was conflicted about whether to fight or flee. I think the author lost it and didn’t know how to wrap up the story at the end. But the first half was totally worth it. I loved military training school setting and Rin during her training days, along with the eccentric masters at the academy.
Like some other reviews have mentioned, Rin’s characterization was pretty inconsistent. I liked Rin in the first half of the book but hated her in the other half. There was no military strategy or surprise elements in this novel. The author did not take me by surprise even once, which made it pretty dull as the novel progressed. The only good thing was that it had NO romance between any of the characters, which was sorta refreshing.
Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
– 5 stars –
I will write a detailed review about this book soon. But it has now entered my all time favorite books list. It was magical and amazing. It is about teenagers in Mexico who are able to do magic using music.
Poppy War was huge and I spent most part of this month reading that humongous book. Hoping that September will be a better month for me in terms of reading.
So what did you read last month and what are you planning this month?