Reading Lately: May 2019 Edition

Hi friends! Back at it with book reviews. May was a good month, with 7 books read. I feel like I’m back on my normal pace again, even ahead of schedule.

Book reviews of The Novice, The Inquisition, The Battlemage by Taran Matharu; The Shadow Glass by Rin Chupeco; Star Marque Rising by Shami Stovall; Drive by Daniel H. Pink. | Puppies & Pretties

What I’ve been reading lately

The Novice by Taran Matharu: Fletcher is a blacksmith’s apprentice to his “adopted” father (he was found outside the town as a baby). After meeting a soldier from the front lines, Fletcher finds out he can summon demons from another world. An incident happens putting him on the run and he ends up at the academy that trains summoners for the war against orcs. There he has to navigate school, figure out who to trust, and as a commoner, be on guard against the nobles that don’t think commoner’s should be allowed. He finds himself right in the middle of power plays and we get to follow along. Fletcher is an interesting character and there are some great secondary characters. Plus demons! That might be my favorite part, just trying to picture what all of the different demons look like.
4 out 5 stars

The Inquisition by Taran Matharu: The incident that made Fletcher run from his home has come back to haunt him and he sits in prison. He is put on trial, where his birth parents are revealed. But even with that shocking revelation, he doesn’t have a chance to think much of it, as he and the other students from the academy are being sent deep into orc territory on a mission. Even bigger, the entire thing will be watched by all of the country through crystals to see if humans, elves, and dwarves can work together and Fletcher’s team is right in the middle. They not only have to complete the mission, but staying alive might be harder than they think with some internal power struggles still happening on the human side. Still a fun book, but it misses something that book 1 had. I’m not sure I can place what it is, maybe just the second-book curse.
3 out 5 stars

The Battlemage by Taran Matharu: After the mission in book 2, Fletcher and his friends are now trying to survive in the world where demons usually live, a place where humans rarely go. But they have to go forward, because behind them are the orcs. After surviving the ether, Fletcher has to lead a small group of people to re-settle his ancestral homeland and guard a pass between human and orc land. And then there is the big battle between orcs and all the other races. Can Fletcher and his friends make one last stand? I think this book was the weakest of the trilogy, only because it felt like 3 different books. The first part involved them being in the ether and surviving. But there was a huge turtle demon, so that totally saves that section. Then there is the part that Fletcher grows into his role as a lord as the resettle his lands and drill soldiers to guard a pass. And then there is the final section that is the battle with the orcs. The final section felt a little rushed, but the ending was satisfying. If you are looking for a fun YA fantasy trilogy, look no further.
3 out 5 stars

The Shadow Glass by Rin Chupeco: The final book in the trilogy, I really wish I had re-read the first two books. But I had forgotten I had I even requested this book from the library until I got the notice. So it took me awhile to get back into the world, especially because it switches back and forth between two timelines. But I still loved reading the ending of Tea’s story and found it enjoyable. I would recommend this series (starts with The Bone Witch), but be sure to read it close together! If I ever get through my ridiculous TBR, I want to re-read the entire trilogy.
4 out of 5 stars

Star Marque Rising by Shami Stovall: Meh, I really didn’t enjoy this one. This is a space opera where there is a genetic hierarchy with superhumans on top, regular humans next, and defects (humans with genetic issues) at the very bottom. Clevon is a genetically modified human, a slight oddity as he wasn’t “made” for anything specific, but uses his skills in shady ways. He is picked up by Endellion, a captain of a ship of mercenaries and given the choice between going to prison or joining her. She has big plans, like becoming a planet governor, something a human hasn’t done since superhumans won the war and she needs Clevon’s skills. It became obvious to me that Endellion was ruthless and would do anything to get what she wanted. But all the people around her just adored her and wanted to be along for the ride to the top. Clevon has to decide if he is willing to do anything to get what she (Endellion) wants or if his moral compass is actually there. I like Clevon’s character, but I just couldn’t stand Endellion and her shady-ness that was so obvious. Hard pass for me on this one.
2 out 5 stars
c/o Netgalley

The Queen’s Wing by Jessica Thorne: I have no idea why I requested this on Netgalley, considering it is labeled as a romantic fantasy. But I did and it wasn’t too bad. Bel is a lower level noble with her heart set on being a pilot like her mother. But an attack on the royal family leaves Bel’s father on the throne and her being swept into a political marriage on a world far away. We follow her as she navigates a new court, her feelings for her guard/friend and soon-to-be husband and the threat of another nation that wants to take over the galaxy. I enjoyed Bel’s character, even though she rubbed me the wrong way when she was all “I’m a terrible person blah blah blah.” Now, I get having bad feelings about yourself, but Bel took it to the extreme at times. Throw in a love triangle that makes her pretty much feel all those bad feelings, and I get annoyed. But, the world building is fascinating and the combination of technology and magic is pretty fantastic.
3 out 5 stars
c/o Netgalley

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink: I’ve been reading this book forever for work. As in, I started it last summer. But I would only pick it up when I had a few minutes here and there. It’s an interesting book, describing how people are motivated. I enjoyed reading it, but it could probably be much shorter, as it describes the same things over and over again. And considering that I read this in very small chucks, that is saying something.
3 out of 5 stars

What have you been reading lately?

Linking up: Jana Says