March Reading Wrap Up

Thankfully March got off to a slightly better start for me, and while my mental and physical health still kind of sucked, I managed to get much more done. Which is a real relief for me because I was falling quite far behind on my goodreads goal, and it was starting to stress me out. As you’ll see, I more than made up for my lack of reading in the first two months of the year by reading 14 books! I was a little shocked by that number.

Windwitch (UK)

Windwitch – by Susan Dennard

Sometimes our enemies become our only allies

The Windwitch Prince Merik is presumed dead, following a lethal explosion. He’s left scarred but alive and determined to expose his sister’s treachery. Yet on reaching the royal capital, he’s shocked to find it crowded with refugees fleeing conflict. Merik haunts the streets, fighting for the weak. This leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.

Hunted by the Cleaved, Iseult is struggling to stay free while she searches for her friend Safi. When the Bloodwitch Aeduan corners Iseult first, she offers him a deal: she’ll return what was stolen from him, if he locates the Truthwitch. Yet unknown to Iseult, there’s a bounty on her head – and Aeduan intends to claim it.

After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. They find themselves amongst pirates, where a misstep could mean death. And the bandits’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.

I enjoyed this even more the second time around, I can’t believe how many important details and plot points I had forgotten. This has only renewed my love and excitement for this series and it’s characters. I cannot recommend it enough. I’m so very glad a decided to take the time to reread it before continuing on with the rest of the series.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza

The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza – by Shawn David Hutchinson

Sixteen-year-old Elena Mendoza is the product of a virgin birth.

This can be scientifically explained (it’s called parthenogenesis), but what can’t be explained is how Elena is able to heal Freddie, the girl she’s had a crush on for years, from a gunshot wound in a Starbucks parking lot. Or why the boy who shot Freddie, David Combs, disappeared from the same parking lot minutes later after getting sucked up into the clouds. What also can’t be explained are the talking girl on the front of a tampon box, or the reasons that David Combs shot Freddie in the first place.

As more unbelievable things occur, and Elena continues to perform miracles, the only remaining explanation is the least logical of all—that the world is actually coming to an end, and Elena is possibly the only one who can do something about it.

This book has been on my TBR for a really long time, and this month I impulsively decided to pick up the audiobook. It was such a good decision, I really enjoyed it. I didn’t know exactly what to expect and had a pleasant surprise. The blurb makes this book sound incredibly kooky, and while it is, that doesn’t mean it shy’s away from deeper topics. For a book with a pretty fantastical premise, this book reads more like a contemporary for the most part, I really like the way the concept was woven into a very real world.

Rating: 4 stars

Sightwitch

Sightwitch – by Susan Dennard

Before Safi and Iseult battled a Bloodwitch…

Before Merik returned from the dead…

Ryber Fortiza was a Sightwitch Sister at a secluded convent, waiting to be called by her goddess into the depths of the mountain. There she would receive the gift of foretelling. But when that call never comes, Ryber finds herself the only Sister without the Sight.

Years pass and Ryber’s misfit pain becomes a dull ache, until one day, Sisters who already possess the Sight are summoned into the mountain, never to return. Soon enough, Ryber is the only Sister left. Now, it is up to her to save her Sisters, though she does not have the Sight—and though she does not know what might await her inside the mountain.

On her journey underground, she encounters a young captain named Kullen Ikray, who has no memory of who he is or how he got there. Together, the two journey ever deeper in search of answers, their road filled with horrors, and what they find at the end of that road will alter the fate of the Witchlands forever.

Set a year before Truthwitch, Sightwitch is a companion novella that also serves as a set up to Bloodwitch, as well as an expansion of the Witchlands world.

I expected to enjoy this book, but I ended up loving it way more than I thought possible. I highly recommend this series, and if you’re planning on reading it, please know that this novella should not be skipped. So much important information is revealed here, it’s not an overstatement to say that this book was a complete game changer.

My Review

Rating: 5 Stars

a girl called shameless

A Girl Called Shameless – by Laura Steven

Funnier. Ruder. Angrier. Izzy O’Neill is back in the hilarious sequel to The Exact Opposite of Okay. 

It’s been two months since a leaked explicit photo got Izzy involved in a political sex scandal – and the aftershock is far from over. The Bitches Bite Back movement is gathering momentum as a forum for teenage feminists, and when a girl at another school has a sex tape shared online, once again Izzy leads the charge against the slut-shamer. This time she wants to change the state law on revenge porn. 

Izzy and her best friend Ajita are as hilarious as ever, using comedy to fight back against whatever the world throws at them, but Izzy is still reeling from her slut-shaming ordeal, feeling angry beyond belief and wondering – can they really make a change?

As one of my most anticipated releases for 2019, my expectations and hopes for this book were very high. I was not disappointed. I loved this book so much! Honestly it made me feel all the things the first book did and more. It’s laugh out loud funny, it made me rage, it made me cry, and honestly, I think it made me feel everything in-between. This book covers such important topics, and it’s handled so well.

Rating: 5 Stars

rivers-of-london

Rivers of London – by Ben Aaronovitch

Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he’ll face is a paper cut. But Peter’s prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter’s ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny. Now, as a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic.

Yes, I last reread this book only a few months back, but these audio-books are so easy to listen to, and I don’t see myself ever tiring of them.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Rivers of London - Black Mould

Rivers of London: Black Mould (Graphic Novel volume 3)

TAKING NO SHIITAKE!

From the million-selling River of London novel and graphic novel series by cult writer Ben Aaronovitch comes an all-new tale of supernatural suspense and good-old-fashioned London policing!

Peter Grant is a cop and part-time wizard investigating London’s ‘Falcon’ crimes–those that are outside the realms of normal criminal investigations–and more into the realms of trolls under bridges, cursed crime scenes, and the ghosts of monsters past. 

Peter never saw himself in pest control–but that’s exactly where he finds himself when a killer, sentient, living fungus goes on a rampage of vengeance using its victims’ worst fears against them!

I’ve been wanting to get caught up on the Rivers of London graphic novels for some time now, and this month I got started. Black Mould was a really entertaining story that fit really well within the established world from the books. Also, it was nice to finally understand the references to the mould from the books.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Moon over Soho

Moon over Soho – by Ben Aaronovitch

The song. That’s what London constable and sorcerer’s apprentice Peter Grant first notices when he examines the corpse of Cyrus Wilkins, part-time jazz drummer and full-time accountant, who dropped dead of a heart attack while playing a gig at Soho’s 606 Club. The notes of the old jazz standard are rising from the body—a sure sign that something about the man’s death was not at all natural but instead supernatural.

Body and soul. They’re also what Peter will risk as he investigates a pattern of similar deaths in and around Soho. With the help of his superior officer, Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, the last registered wizard in England, and the assistance of beautiful jazz aficionado Simone Fitzwilliam, Peter will uncover a deadly magical menace—one that leads right to his own doorstep and to the squandered promise of a young jazz musician: a talented trumpet player named Richard “Lord” Grant—otherwise known as Peter’s dear old dad.

Not much to say here, these audio books are just so easy to listen too, and I hate working in the quiet. Plus, Jazz Vampires, these books are always interesting.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Rivers of London - Cry Fox

Rivers of London: Cry Fox (Graphic Novel volume 5)

Always outnumbered, always outfoxed!

Child kidnapping is already an appalling crime, but in the latest case for Detective Constable Peter Grant–newly promoted in the ranks of London’s Metropolitan Police, but with a lot still to learn about wizarding–things take a truly dark turn when the victims become prey in a homicidal hunt that Grant and the members of the Folly must stop!

This was another great Rivers of London Graphic Novel. They really do capture all the things I love about the books perfectly. What I loved about this one was how much the story focused on Abigail, who is definitely one of my favourite characters from the series.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Truly Devious – by Maureen Johnson

Truly Devious

Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place” he said, “where learning is a game.”

Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym, Truly Devious. It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.

True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder.

This book has revived my love for a good murder mystery story. I’m delighted to say that this book kept me guessing right up to the end and had me desperate for the next book, which thankfully I had already ordered, and was already on the way to me. Still, even waiting a few days to find out what happens next is not fun. I don’t know how I’m going to manage the wait for the third book.

Rating: 4 Stars

The Ancient Magus Bride - vol 10

The Ancient Magus Bride: volume 10 – by Kore Yamazaki

HIGHER LEARNING

Now that Cartaphilus has chosen to enter a long slumber, peace has finally returned to the little cottage west of London. But it’s not long before a message arrives for Chise: an invitation to join the college, a society of alchemists. Deep beneath the British Library, the curtain rises on a new story set on a new stage. There, human children learn, think, and grow…but what of those who are inhuman?

I was so excited to dive into this volume because it marks the beginning of a new story arc, and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next for the characters. I was not disappointed as I get the feeling that this college arc will do much to expand the world, and take the characters to some interesting places. This first volume did a great job of setting things up, and I couldn’t put it down from start to finish.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Whispers Underground

Whispers Underground – by Ben Aaronovitch

‘Come Monday I get to do some proper policing. Person Unknown has been stabbed to death on the tracks at Baker Street tube. Magic may have been involved.’

Person Unknown turns out to be the son of a US senator and before you can say ‘International incident’, FBI agent Kimberley Reynolds is on DC Grant’s case.

And down in the dark, in the tunnels of London’s Underground, the buried rivers, the Victorian sewers, there are whispers of vengeance from beyond the grave.

DC Grant’s latest case is about to come off the rails…

This has to be one of my favourite books to reread, there’s so much interesting stuff going on, and it contains some highly amusing scenes. I don’t even think it was a conscious decision to listen to this after Moon Over Soho, I just found myself listening to it.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Broken Homes

Broken Homes – by Ben Aaronovitch

A mutilated body in Crawley. Another killer on the loose. The prime suspect is one Robert Weil; an associate of the twisted magician known as the Faceless Man? Or just a common or garden serial killer?

Before PC Peter Grant can get his head round the case a town planner going under a tube train and a stolen grimoire are adding to his case-load.

So far so London.

But then Peter gets word of something very odd happening in Elephant and Castle, on a housing estate designed by a nutter, built by charlatans and inhabited by the truly desperate.

Is there a connection?

And if there is, why oh why did it have to be South of the River?

So much happens in this one, and I notice something new every time I revisit it. At this point I’d just accepted that I’m rereading the series yet again.

Rating: 4 Stars

Foxglove Summer

Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch

In the fifth of his bestselling series Ben Aaronovitch takes Peter Grant out of whatever comfort zone he might have found and takes him out of London – to a small village in Herefordshire where the local police are reluctant to admit that there might be a supernatural element to the disappearance of some local children. But while you can take the London copper out of London you can’t take the London out of the copper.

Travelling west with Beverley Brook, Peter soon finds himself caught up in a deep mystery and having to tackle local cops and local gods. And what’s more all the shops are closed by 4pm …

Another one of my favourites, I know this one so well at this point, but I couldn’t just skip it, since I seem to be reread in the series, less than two months after finishing my last reread. Honestly, if you haven’t read this series yet, I really recommend you do!

Rating: 5 Stars

An Enchantment of Ravens

An Enchantment of Ravens – by Margaret Rogerson

A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

I really liked this book. The writing was so beautifully descriptive, I loved the world building, and the characters were so interesting.  These are the dark and twisty fae I love to read about. I really enjoyed all the rules they have to follow. Honestly, there was a lot that I liked about this book, not least the fact that I couldn’t seem to put it down. I’ll definitely be looking to read more by this author in the future.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Want to chat, about books or anything else, here are some other places you can find me:

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