It’s finally time to talk about my next lot of five most recent reads. I’ve been reading a decent amount lately but it just took me a little bit of time to put this one together. But the main thing is we’re here and I’ve got a nice little mix of books to talk about—a couple of rereads, a DNF, and some 2022 releases I missed out on. Let’s get into it.
Rhapsodic (The Bargainer #1) by Laura Thalassa
This was my first reread of the year. Late December I organised a little readalong of this series running from January to April, so I picked this one up in late Jan. This was the only book in the series that I read and that was back in September of 2021 during which I just wasn’t writing reviews or updating Goodreads so I don’t remember exactly what I thought of this. This time around I just had a lot of fun reading. I love how surprisingly sweet the romance is in this otherwise reasonably dark book—Callie and Des are just precious. There were definitely a couple of things I didn’t love about it though, particularly the jumping between the two timelines. My copy is one of the indie versions and there’s just not much to differnate between the two, it might be completely different in the new traditionally published version. As I said, I haven’t read the other books in the series before so I’m really looking forward to getting to them over the next few weeks.
The Witch King (The Witch King #1) by H.E Edgmon
This was my first DNF of the year. The sequel, The Fae Keeper, was meant to be the January read for the Last to Read book club, which I co-host with two of my best friends. I think it took me about a month to get through 150 pages, and after that, I just decided to DNF it. I had really hoped that I would like this, but it just wasn’t for me. For one, I’m not really into fae stories—there are a couple I like, but on the whole, I just don’t gel with those kinds of stories. This one also has a strange writing style—it’s kind of a lot, and people in the book club were saying it took a bit to get used to. I guess I just couldn’t get used it and decided to just return it to the library rather than trying to push on with it. I’d consider maybe trying something from Edgmon in the future, but probably not this one again. I don’t give any of my DNFs star ratings.
How Not To Drown In A Glass of Water by Angie Cruz
This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2022, but my library hold just didn’t come in time for me to read it last year. So of course when it did come through in January I had to read it almost immediately. I’ve really enjoyed all of Angie Cruz’s books in the past so I was excited for this. I’m honestly still not sure where I would place it in my rankings of her books—I feel like I might have to reread some of the others to compare. This is definitely told in an interesting way. I loved the inclusion of different forms, reports and etc. I loved how we only really got to hear Cara’s voice and the narrow style of narrative that created, it definitely kept me reading especially when this isn’t my usual type of book. It’s one of those reads where nothing really happens, but Angie Cruz manages to pull it off beautifully.
Earth’s End (Air Awakens #3) by Elise Kova
Then we come back to rereading with this one. I’ve been working on rereading this series for over a year now and it’s just not been very high up on my list of priorities until now. I need to read book five before the end of this month so I’ve got to get my butt into gear. So when I read this back in 2016 I absolutely loved it, gave it five stars and everything. This time? I absolutely hated it. I still really enjoyed books one and two when I read them so I think this was something to do with my mood or just that the plot elements weren’t as exciting to me as they were in 2016. I was bored by the plot and even the characters had start to lose their shine for me. I mentioned in that 2016 review that I didn’t trust Aldrik, well 2023 Ely straight up hates him. I think he’s the absolute worst and I’m kind of disappointed that this is what we’ve got. I honestly remember nothing about book four, but I’m hoping to finish that in the next week so it’ll probably be in my next round of reviews. Let’s hope I enjoy it more than this one.
Babel, Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution by R.F Kuang
I have a confession to make. When this was first announced, I wasn’t ever considering picking it up. I have Kuang’s Poppy War series on my I’ll get to you one day TBR so I figured I’d probably do that and if I enjoyed it I might swing back around to this. Then as I started seeing it around more and more and saw it nominated for the Goodreads Choice Awards, I figured I’d pop it on hold at the library and when it came in in like six months time, I’d try it. It took about three months in the end, which honestly isn’t too bad. I was feeling a little more excited about it by that point, but by the time I actually started, I knew I was going to love it. And I did. I loved the slowness of the whole thing—the way that Kuang builds this world and makes it feel so real is incredible. Honestly, I don’t know the last fantasy book that felt this real. About halfway through reading this I was talking to some friends about how I hoped something would happen—I was loving the slow pace but I was kind of worried that would lose its novelty. Don’t get me wrong, I loved everything that ended up happening but I realise now that I probably would’ve willing read 500 pages of absolutely nothing but the characters going about their lives at Babel. I loved the whole translation aspect—that was so fascinating and unique. I’d love to know how Kuang came up with the idea and how much research she had to do with it because it just felt so perfectly fleshed-out.I was a little disappointed in the ending, which is the only thing keeping this from being a 5 star for me, I was just expecting a little more. Honestly, I was expecting to have my heart torn out and when that didn’t happen I was a little shocked and disappointed. It was still an absolutely fantastic read and I’m probably not going to shut up about it for the rest of the year.
And that’s it for today. Have you read any of these? What have you been reading lately?