Quite frankly, my reading this year has been pretty poor. I aimed for 150 novels (I don’t include shorts, novellas need to be over 150 pages, and I don’t include manga/graphic novels either) and I had to revise down to my usual 104 for the year. Even so, I’m well behind where I should be up to.
Thankfully I’ve recently had a run of excellent books.
The Darwin Elevator by Jason M. Hough is the first in a trilogy. The cover caught my eye on NetGalley, and when I looked it up to see if I should read it one of the first things that caught my eye (as it’s in the first line of the description) is that it’s set in the fairly tiny ‘city’ where I’ve always lived – a place other Australians have even said – non jokingly – ‘where is it?’ thinking it’s not even in the country. (The amount of times I’ve had someone down south inspect my license and then say ‘Sorry, we need an Australian one…’)… ANYHOW. The amount of mentions we get even in Australia is limited, let alone elsewhere. I contacted the author who states he’s never been here, and simply looked up on a map for somewhere close to the equator, and went with us for the double-meaning of the name. Excellent.
Well, he does a damn good job. Every reference within is an actual place – Nightcliff, Millner, and their ship is called Melville which is a nearby island. It’s well written and features some of the best action I’ve read as far as I can remember. If you like science well done, pick this one up.
A Trifle Dead by Livia Day is another Australian-set novel, by the author Tansy Rayner-Roberts who lives in Tasmania, also where this novel is set. The novel is witty and simply a pleasure to read.
My weakness really is descriptions of food. They were a favourite in Harry Potter and I wish I liked the food mentioned in The Lies of Locke Lamora (darn pears, why don’t I like pears!) but in this novel, they really shine.
This is about a young adult – Tabitha – daughter to a policeman which means the whole force keeps an eye on her at all times, which is sometimes sweet, usually annoying, but almost okay when one of them is quite cute. Though in a range of funky characters and a good ol’ murder mystery where Tabitha is so real and sassy, and you have such an enjoyable book that’s simply fun. Well written – I mean, have you read Tansy’s Creature Court series? No? Well, you have another three books to add to your to-read pile then, don’t you?
Go on now, hustle.
Vicious by V. E. Schwab is another NetGalley discovery – the first 100 pages were available as a preview, to which I thought well, what’s the harm, at least it’ll be easy to review.
Eight pages in, and I’d practically quoted half to my long-suffering partner (known as Adder online) and work friend Kane. It’s witty. It’s clever with the words – almost saying half of the truth to let you figure out the rest, such as saying the girl was short and hadn’t grown an inch since she’d died, yet here she was, helping him to a spot of grave-digging. What?
It’s a super-hero/villain thing, two ferociously clever young men in university, but it’s science-fiction rather than fantasy.
And the author is just 26. She’s living my dream life. A writer – and a smashingly awesome author – and the same age. Goodness. What I would give.
The Death of the Necromancer by Martha Wells is a book I discovered through a friend on Goodreads liking someone elses review of this book, where they summed it up by saying: ‘It’s The Lies of Locke Lamora meets Sherlock Holmes‘. Pretty much my two favourite things in the world, so how could I do anything but get it straight away, even though I was at work, and start it in my lunch break.
I’m not that far in, but so far, my goodness. The description is lovely. The world-building electric and lush and you have such a sense of the characters so quickly.
I’m desperate for more time for this. I judge the Aurealis Awards however, and that opened today, so I need to finish my final review book (mentioned first in this post) so I’m ready for that… but this is the first on my books-for-enjoyment list, and I’ll be reading snatches and bits every moment I get possible.
Finally, The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith. I’m one of those who hadn’t even heard of this book until this morning, when it was leaked that this is actually a pseudonym for J. K. Rowling. It may interest you to know that Robert means famous, and Galbraith, in gaelic, means stranger. Clever.
Amazon reviewers have said it’s so well written that surely it’ll turn out someone famous wrote it. Only two days ago Hank Green of the vlogbrothers begged her to write another book. Then it turns out, back in April when this was published, she already had. Clever clogs.
I quite enjoyed The Casual Vacancy. No, that’s a lie. I find it hard to enjoy books that are bleak and miserable. But I do think that the kind of life portrayed within was accurate, horrendously sad, and needs more publicity. I was so thankful for my own life after I’d read it.
I’ll be reading this one, too, as soon as I possibly can.