Some solid reads this month! It seems like I didn’t read all that much, but I also blame the couple doorstops that I read as well.
What I’ve been reading lately
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir: I’ve enjoyed Weir’s other books, so I was excited about this one. We follow Ryland Grace, a man on a suicide mission to help save Earth from a Sun-eating (literally) little microbe by traveling to a nearby system that isn’t be effected by Astrophage. But he is doing it alone because his crewmates died en-route (they were placed in comas to survive the journey) and he can barely remember his name. But there is an unexpected ally in this fight that might save everyone. The story jumps back and forth from present time in the ship back to when Grace was back on Earth and everyone was attempting to prepare for Project Hail Mary. We slowly piece the story together as he remembers more and more. Like other Weir’s books, be ready for a lot of science and nerdery. But it doesn’t overwhelm the story. Grace is a solid narrator, but he can get a little annoying at times. By far the best part of the book is Rocky. Hands down. I don’t want to say much more about that, just read it!
4.5 out of 5 stars
The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons: I’ve had this on my bookshelf for quite awhile and finally picked it up. The story follows Kihrin, who finds out he is actually a bastard of a royal house. Instead of awesome, he quickly finds he is practically a prisoner. While that might be the basis of the story, it is much more than that. Because Kihrin isn’t just a bastard, there is much more to him. Told from 3 different time frames and jumping around, it can get confusing at times because the same people are in all 3 frames. And toward the end, the 3 frames kind of come together into one time. The magic in this series is super interesting and definitely integral to it. There are two defined sides, but is it really good guys vs. the bad guys? That is up to interpretation it seems. This is a great fantasy book, but be ready to use your brain, because you certainly have to really pay attention here.
4 out of 5 stars
The Name of All Things by Jenn Lyons: This book starts up right after TRoK, but this book isn’t about Kihrin, its about Janel. Told in a similar fashion, with a “current” timeframe that is usually just a quick interlude and then we hear Janel’s story that was happening at the same time as Kihrin’s in TRoK. This book isn’t going to lay it out for what the goals and the objectives of the characters. For me, that is part of the allure. This is especially true when you are really not sure who is the “good guys” and who is the “bad guys.” I like it. Does it take getting used to? Yes. But I enjoy books that make me think.
4 out of 5 stars
The Unbroken by C.L. Clark: This was a solid book, but there was something missing for me. Set in a world where an empire continues to expand their borders, the princess, Luca, is sent to quell a potential rebellion in a desert region. She has to succeed in order to get her uncle off of her throne. Along with her, conscripts that were taken by the empire as children and raised to be a part of the army, are sent along, including Touraine. She and the other conscripts are “returning home” even though for many it doesn’t feel like it. Treated as “other” by both sides, where will their loyalty, specifically Touraine, go? The story centers around Luca and Touraine. Their interactions and decisions will decide the fate of a nation and empire. I think for me it was the magic that just didn’t work in this one. It seemed a bit of an add on and while important, the importance wasn’t really explained, besides IT’S MAGIC. The pacing was a little off too for me. At times it was really slow and then it was almost frenetic, not in a good way.
3.5 out of 5 stars