Reading Lately: March 2021 Edition

This has been a bit of an off month of reading for me. A couple books just weren’t that great, so I kind of had to force myself to pick them up. Hoping my next few reads are better!

Reading Lately: March 2021 Edition | Book reviews of The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman; Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft; The Faithless Hawk by Margaret Owen; The Black Coast by Mike Brooks | Puppies & Pretties

What I’ve been reading latley

The Black Coast by Mike Brooks: This is a solid start to a series. I’ll caveat that with there are many disparate story lines to keep track of. But there is a main one that we follow, Daimon and Saana. Daimon is the adopted son of a sar (nobility). Saana is the chief of a clan of Tjakorsha (normally known as raiders). But Saana and her clan are running from something much worse that has taken over the Tjakorsha and are just looking for a place to settle. Daimon and Saana must work together to try to get their disparate cultures to work together so they can all survive. The additional POVs that are in the book seem to be more of a setup for the rest of the series, and are in other parts of the world. They were interesting to help with world building, but it was a little jarring going from chapters of Daimon and Saana to the princess playing the role of crime boss. This book does a fantastic job of creating multiple cultures and how they clash. From the people of Black Keep and the Tjakorsha, but also the ultra-poor and rich of a far-flung city. It explores relationships, identity and character development. I can’t wait to see where this series goes.
4 out of 5 stars
c/o Netgalley

The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman: I usually wait a bit to write my reviews, but I’m making an exception for this one. I almost DNF’ed this several times, but I’m not a quitter. It had so much potential. Set in a world where the afterlife has been taken over by an AI (like a Suri), humans are fighting to take the afterlife back from the AI leaders and their followers, the Residents. We follow Nami, as she dies, goes to the afterlife only to find herself thrust into a war. What follows is hearing Nami have inner dialogue that is the same every single chapter. And worrying about her sister that is still living, even though humans are suffering literally right in front of her. BUT SHE WANTS PEACE. The humans use Nami to spy on the Residents because her one superpower (everyone can do cool stuff in the afterlife) is the ability to look just like a Resident. Of course her soft heart makes her think that everyone can be saved and just live in harmony together. I found her quite annoying. There was a pretty solid twist towards the end that made me think it was worth it to stick this book out. But nope, it was then twisted back again and it lost any credibility for me. This is a hard pass for me.
1 out of 5 stars
c/o Netgalley

Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft: Meh, I thought I would like this book more than I did. But the enemy to lover cliche made me just not like it. Wren is an illegitimate relative of the Queen, and tries to find a place for herself within the military as a healer (she has strong healing magic) and the approval of the Queen. But when her soft heart leads to a big mistake, she is thrown out of the military. When a letter from a lord from a neighboring country asks her to come to his castle to heal someone, she jumps at the chance. But what she finds in the castle is far more nefarious than she expects. She ends up having to try and heal her country’s biggest enemy. They go round and round and then realize that the enemy isn’t each other, it is someone else, and they might be closer than they realize. (dun dun dun). I think for me, this book tried to do too much. murder mystery, gothic setting, magic, war. All the things. And it just felt forced together and didn’t flow well.
2 out of 5 stars
c/o Netgalley

The Faithless Hawk by Margaret Owen: This book was fine. I didn’t have super high expectations, but I liked the first book enough that I decided to borrow this one from the library. I’d say it is a pretty standard YA fantasy book. There wasn’t anything that made me throw it across the room, but also didn’t amaze me either. I did appreciate the cat in this one, even if his name is ridiculous. The magic was interesting as well.
3 out of 5 stars