Fantasy

Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

Sal is a thief who decides to audition to be a member of The Left Hand, who are the Queen’s personal assassins. The problem: the audition is basically a fight to the death with the other auditioners, who are all professionals with a lot more experience (and privilege) than Sal. At this point, I probably would have written the story off as a generic YA fantasy (which it kind of is), except for one thing – Sal is genderfluid.
I enjoyed reading this, but it was also forgettable in a way – as many have pointed out, the plot is similar to The Hunger Games and the Throne of Glass books. Unfortunately, the writing isn’t as strong as Suzanne Collins’, and it isn’t as catchy/easy-to-read as Sarah J. Maas’. The court politics is intriguing but hasn’t been fleshed out to my satisfaction (maybe in future volumes?), so in the end I only had Sal to keep me interested. Sal isn’t much, but it helps that the other characters are mostly known by their audition numbers (Sal is 23), so knowing Sal’s real name puts them ahead of everyone else in terms of being memorable.
Verdict: I really wouldn’t have read this if it wasn’t for wanting to read a genderfluid character, and I think if I hadn’t read it, I wouldn’t have missed it, it’s so generic. However, since I did read it – I do like all the bits where Sal outwits the other contestants, and am interested in their backstory enough that I may read the next book. Someday.
Comics · Fantasy · Science Fiction

Miles Morales: Spider-Man by Jason Reynolds

I was really looking forward to this book when it was first announced, because I’m a huge Miles Morales fan and Jason Reynolds is high on my “want to read” list. Not to mention that this would be the first story featuring Miles written by a black author.

 

For those unfamiliar with Miles: originally from the Ultimate universe, Miles is a black/Puerto Rican American teen who became Spider-Man after Peter Parker’s death. His comics were the only Ultimate universe comics I read, and after the Secret Wars event he was “moved” to the main Marvel universe. By the way: Aaron Davis, the character played by Donald Glover in Spider-Man: Homecoming, is Miles’ uncle!

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Contemporary · Fantasy

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

“No matter how we choose to live, we both die at the end.”

 

I don’t know how to write about this, or any of the previous Adam Silvera books. I just realised this as I have gotten over my reading slump but still can’t start on writing this post, and when I went to check what I wrote about his previous books… it turned out that I skipped them.

When More Happy Than Not was released, it was on my must-read list because it was queer YA speculative fiction, which is still SO VERY RARE. I never saw Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, nor will I ever see it (I don’t think I can take something that depressing), especially after reading More Happy Than Not. It was good, really good, but also made me cry buckets – at one point I had to put the book away for a day or so, because it triggered a panic attack. Then I read History Is All You Left Me, which is almost better, and even more depressing, especially in the wake of my sister’s death. And now, a book with a pretty cute cover saying They Both Die at the End. Continue reading “They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera”

Fantasy · Romance

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

While I’ve been somewhat interested in this book from the get-go, it took me so long to read because of a few negative reviews. I wasn’t thinking that I would never read it, but at the same time I never put this title – and later, this trilogy – higher up my priority list. There are so many books to read, after all. But then I started reading other series I’ve been putting off, like the Lunar Chronicles and the Raven Cycle, and I loved both so much, that I began to think I should start on the Grisha trilogy. Then Six of Crows was published and I got hooked on that particular duology, because I love heist stories and I love tricksters and I love good ensemble casts (and I love Jesper/Wylan!)

It was only when I heard that The Language of Thorns was to be published that I finally decided to get Shadow and Bone in audiobook, and try it that way. Continue reading “Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo”

DWJ ReRead · Fantasy · Short Story

“What the Cat Told Me” by Diana Wynne Jones

I am a cat. I am a cat like anything. Keep stroking me. I came in here because I knew you were good at stroking. But put your knees together so I can sit properly, front paws under. That’s better. Now keep stroking, don’t forget to rub my ears, and I will purr and tell.
– “What the Cat Told Me”, Diana Wynne Jones

 

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