Hi friends! October was a slower reading month for me. I blame it on my vacation to Hilton Head. While I got some major reading in on the plane, I didn’t touch a book while there. But 4 books isn’t a bad rate, so I’ll take it!
What I’ve been reading lately
The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson: I read this book back in January 2016 and it was a top book for that year. I decided to re-read it with book 2 coming out. I’m glad I did because, wowza, I forgot just how good of a book it is. This is a geopolitical fantasy that follows Baru, a savant that is pulled from a “backwater” country to be raised into the Masquerade (the sprawling empire). We see her grow up and receive her first assignment, Imperial Accountant on Aurdwynn, a place no has been able to rule. There, so has to figure out how to bring the country completely under the foot of the Empire. But Baru as secrets, many of them. Who’s side is she really on? This book tackles betrayals, colonialism, homophobia, and power. Really, it is all about power. This is ridiculously good and I recommend it to everyone.
5 out 5 stars
The Monster Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson: Monster picks up right after Traitor, so you really need to read book 1 first (but you can read Traitor as a stand alone!). Baru is now in the power circles that she desired. But was it really worth it? Throughout the book, Baru struggles with guilt and keeping the path open to her end game. Similar themes are tackled again in this book, but not as deep as book one. While the issues are still there, it doesn’t seem as visceral to Baru now that she has risen so high. There are also additional POV’s that really show us how others see Baru which helps round her character out. I will say this doesn’t quite live up to Traitor, but that would be a hard level to achieve. It definitely feels like a middle book, but that doesn’t make it bad. It is very good. But it is dark, even darker than book one in all honesty. I most definitely recommend this series, but maybe wait until the other books are published before picking up book 2. But please, read Traitor, like yesterday!
4.5 out 5 stars
House of Gold by Natasha Solomons: Set just before the start of WWI and then throughout the war, this slow moving (in a good way!) book follows a leading Jewish family entrenched in banking. The main character is Greta, who is being sent from her home in Austria to marry a distant cousin in London. Along with Greta, we also get POVs from her brother (Otto) and few other characters. In the first half(ish) part of the book, we get to see the opulence and the political reach of the Goldbaum family. As the war begins and the family communication is severed between the east and west family branches, we see how the war changed everyone’s lives. The entire Goldbaum family is looked at askance, either because they are rich and Jewish or living in the wrong country (Greta). While some of the book deals with the mundaneness of life, like Greta building a garden, it really allows you a view of the time and how quickly the tides can turn against people. The description of the war from both sides was fascinating. And while it is set mainly in Europe, we also get to see how America is pulled into WWI in a way I had never really thought about. If you enjoy richly descriptive historical fiction with great characters, pick up House of Gold.
4 out 5 stars
c/o First to Read and Netgalley
The Point by John Dixon: Meh, I wasn’t really impressed with this book. A military sci-fi thriller (per the description) with a hard lean to young adult, it was just a little flat for me. Scarlett is a rebellious thrill-seeking teenager that has a secret. After an incident, she is recruited into a secret unit at West Point for “post humans” aka people with superpowers. There is a lot of woe is me and people doing super power things and all of a sudden, BAM. Bad guy comes in and only Scarlett can save the day. It just wasn’t very believable. I know, I know, this is about young adults with superpowers, but the storyline just felt off and full of holes. I really wouldn’t recommend this one.
2.5 out 5 stars
What have you been reading lately?
Linking up: Jana Says