It’s been almost a month since I had one of these posts go up, but I’m back at it today. I’m running a little behind, but I was also in a massive slump, so these are from the end of September to early October. But without further ado, let’s jump into them!
Daughter of the Moon Goddess (The Celestial Kingdom Duology #1) by Sue Lynn Tan
I went into this book with extremely high expectations. For one, that cover is absolutely stunning and so I hoped it’d be just as beautiful inside. I’d also only heard good things from other people who had read it. Sadly, this wasn’t for me. I enjoyed Tan’s writing style—it’s lyrical in places, and she has really created an interesting and beautiful world in here. But I struggled a lot with the characters and some of the major plot points. The protagonist, Xingyin, is a bit of a Mary Sue in my eyes—she has two men fall in love with her and she breezes through some of the challenges sent her way far too easily. I started to get annoyed with her pretty early on. This is definitely a romance heavy fantasy, which I usually like—I don’t even mind love triangles if they’re done well, but these just didn’t feel that convincing to me. I think the thing will love triangles is that there’s usually the actual love interest and then the other one that’s just sort of there, and that’s exactly how this one felt for me. I don’t plan on reading the second book, even though this is only a duopoly, but I’d consider reading from Tan again.
Frostheart (Frostheart #1) by Jamie Littler
I’ve been in a pretty big fantasy slump this month, but it turns out all I need was a middle-grade fantasy to remind me why I love the genre so much. I read this entire thing in the space of a few hours and it was just the perfect thing. I loved all of the characters in this, but I think Captain Nuk and Toby have a special place in my heart—what can I say? They’re just adorable. I love the whole found family trope, especially in middle-grade, so this was just wonderful. I also really enjoyed the world and the plot—it’s all just a lot of fun. I adored the illustrations—I love when middle-grade books include them, it just adds so much to the story, especially when the story world is different from ours. I enjoyed this book so much that I’m actually struggling to put it into words beyond just gushing. Anyway, I’m so excited to get to the next books in the series!
A Lady’s Guide To Fortune-Hunting by Sophie Irwin
I haven’t been reading a lot of historical romance this year, but this one immediately grabbed my eye, and I had to pick it up. I wish I’d waited a little for reviews because I don’t know that I would’ve bought this then. There’s nothing wrong with this book, but it feels very much like a modern Austen, and I love Austen, but that wasn’t what I was looking for. It’s funny, maybe even a little outlandish in parts, but it was enjoyable enough. However, it’s very light on the romance—that’s very little mutual pining or build-up, and when it did hit the romantic parts, I felt a little like, ‘oh, that’s all of it?”. My favourite thing about historical romance is that build-up, that mutual pining in that sort of enclosed, claustrophobic society and without that, this didn’t really have anything to grab me.
Vespertine (Vespertine #1) by Margaret Rogerson
This was the September pick for the Last To Read Book Club which is the book club I hosted with two of my besties, Lana and Mel. Honestly, this is one of my favourites that we’ve read for the book club so far and we’ve been going for over a year now. I loved the creepy atmosphere in this one, even though, at the start, I was a little worried that I specifically wouldn’t like that part of this because I’m a scaredy cat. It’s unsettling for sure, but it’s not too intense, so I really enjoyed it. The whole story was really interesting to me, and I found myself completely sucked into the characters’ lives—there were a few people that I really hope we get to see again because I want to know where their stories will go. Honestly, I was really unsure about this one when it was first suggested, but now I am so glad that we picked this one up!
Demons Do It Better (Hidden Species #1) by Louisa Masters
With every new monster-ish romance I read, I just fall more and more in love with the genre, and this one was no different. I picked up a copy for myself last weekend at Books In-Sight and immediately started it once I got home. I absolutely loved it. For one, it was kind of adorable—I thought it would definitely be more smutty, but I just loved how sweet it was. The relationships between all of the characters are just so fun to read about, and I loved every single one of them. I also really, really enjoyed this world. It reminds me a bit of Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series—it’s very different, but it just has that kind of vibe. I cannot wait to see where the rest of the books in this series are going to take me and where the world and characters are going to go from here. I’ll also definitely be checking out some of Louisa Masters’ other paranormal romance series over the next few months.
Have you read any of these? Are any on your TBR?