Here we are with another round of my most recent reads. I’m still running a little behind with these, and with posting in general—there’s been a lot going on and I’m struggling to focus on writing posts. Hopefully that’ll pick up next week but for now, let’s get into the books.
Grimspace (Sirantha Jax #1) by Ann Aguirre
I’d gone on a whole little spiel here about being so excited to meet Aguirre at RARE Melbourne, but it was announced while I was writing this post that she had to cancel due to poor health. I’m gutted I won’t get the chance to meet her, but grateful that I had discovered this book through the event nonetheless. I found this one secondhand last May and had just been waiting for time to read it, and that time was now. Right from the very first chapter, I knew I would enjoy this. I don’t read sci-fi, but this immediately grabbed me, and I was desperate to learn more about the characters. Our lead, Sirantha Jax, is pretty damn cool but I was already a little in love with the mysterious March. Honestly, all of the characters in this are fantastic, and I love the way they play off one another. That kind of group dynamic is one of my favourite things to see in books, and I just loved the banter of this group. I really liked the plot as well—the world is really interesting, and I’m excited to see where it’ll continue. I’ve ordered the rest of the books in the series, and I think I will have a really fun time reading them.
Water’s Wrath (Air Awakens #4) by Elise Kova
I’m so happy to say I’ve finally finished rereading this series, and I’ve started book five for the first time. It’s been a journey. I didn’t enjoy book three, and honestly, I didn’t love this one either. I loved them the first time around, but this time I’m just a different reader. This was better than the second—there’s definitely more of a plot in this one, and it just flows better, but it still didn’t live up to my memory. I’m mostly reading this for the side characters this time around. Vhal is alright, even if she makes some stupid decisions, but I really don’t like Aldrik this time around. He bores me to death, and I wish we had someone more exciting for the love interest. That’s not to mention the fact he’s an absolute dick most of the time and not in fun or interesting way. I honestly think I could turn this into a PowerPoint presentation about why he’s the worst. Anyway, in my original review, I talked about the fact this made me sob, and it’s strange to compare how bland I felt this time around. I won’t lie, though; there’s one particular that still makes me a little sad. I actually posted my review for book five a few days ago, you can see that here.
The Baker’s Guide To Risky Rituals (Sweet Pea #1) by Kathryn Moon
I dedicated a lot of time in February to deciding which Kathryn Moon books I was actually going to order from BABE, but the reviews are going to ended up being kind of staggered throughout the year because of different projects. This was actually the first one of hers that I read so it seemed like a good one to talk about first. I picked this one up because it seemed less intimidating that some of her others to me—it’s a small town, witches coven/group of demons romance and that sounded fun. It definitely is fun—I really enjoyed both the coven of witches and their friendships, but also the dynamic between the demons and how the two group interacted. I think the only thing is that it’s sort of an ensemble cast—the book mostly follows Josie (the aforementioned baker) and Bell (a demon king) but there’s also occasionally a chapter from one of the other characters. It can get a little confusing with all that going on, and honestly, I didn’t really care about those budding romances yet—I wanted to hear about Josie and Bell first and then move onto the others. I’ll probably end up continuing the series, but we’ll see when I actually get the time.
A Kingdom of Stars and Shadows (Stars and Shadows #1) by Holly Renee
This was another read for BABE and one that I pretty much immediately knew that I was going to order. For one, the covers of this series are absolutely gorgeous and I couldn’t resist them. But also this kind of fantasy story where a girl is betrothed to a prince but falls for his brother is one of my absolute favourite tropes. I just love that kind of thing and this one certainly didn’t disappoint. I absolutely loved Evren and his cocky but sweet personality. He’s exactly the kind of love interest that I want to see in a story like this. It’s also just full of fun, smutty goodness and that was exactly what I was in the mood to read when I picked this up. I’ll definitely be ordering the rest of the series from BABE and I’m really interested to see where it is going to go from here. I’m hoping we get to learn a little bit more about the world because there were some interesting little tidbits in here that would be fun to see developed.
Sabrina and Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine
I had this feeling before picking up this book that I was really going to enjoy Fajardo-Anstine’s writing. I don’t really know where that idea came from, but it turns out I was right. I don’t usually read short story collections these days—I don’t find them engaging most of the time, but I did really enjoy this one. Fajardo-Anstine has a really beautiful, lyrical way of writing and I felt for the characters in these different stories even after only spending a few pages with them. As with every short story collection, there were a few pieces that stood out and a few I just didn’t gel with but overall, I was really impressed by this collection. I’m hoping sometime in the next few months that I’ll be able to pick up Fajardo-Anstine 2022 release, Woman of Light, because it sounds absolutely fantastic.