Reading Lately: January 2022 Edition

First reviews of the new year! It has been a good month for reading, even if a few books were duds.

Reading Lately: January 2022 Edition | Book reviews of Cytonic by Brandon Sanderson; The Unspoken Name and The Thousand Eyes by A.K. Larkwood; The Deepest Blue by Sarah Beth Durst; Sisters of the Vast Black and Sisters of the Forsaken Stars by Lina Rather; A Study of Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas | Puppies & Pretties

The Deepest Blue by Sarah Beth Durst: This is the second SBD book I’ve read recently. And she might be moving into my favorite author list. This one is set in a world where some women have the ability to control spirits that would really like to destroy the world (and humans with it). But the island of Belene tests any woman with power on an small island for a month with only their wits and magic to survive and any that to will become heirs to the queen. Mayara and others sent to the island want to see things change and we follow then trying to survive all while attempting to turn tradition on its head. Lovely characters, good world building and fantastic magic are all things you get with this book.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood: I’ve had this book on my to-read list for awhile and then I got the second book from Netgalley, so it was finally time. I was not impressed. Csorwe is a Chosen Bride of the Unspoken One god, so she is destined to be sacrificed at the age of 14. But then Sethennai swoops into her life and gives her another option. He trains her to be his sword hand. As she grows into an adult, Csorwe realizes maybe life isn’t with Sethennai isn’t all it is cracked up to be. But gods have long memories and always try to claim what is theirs. I really liked the premise and for the most part, the plot of this book. But the characters are a real drag. Most of them are just so flat and I just didn’t care what happened to them.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

The Thousand Eyes by A.K. Larkwood: Honestly, if I hadn’t gotten this one from Netgalley, I wouldn’t have read it. Book 1 was a total disappointment for me. I will say this book was a little better. The characters were slightly less one dimensional. The gods take more of a front seat in this one, and it was interesting to see the interactions between the gods and mortals, especially Shuthmili and her goddess. But I really can’t recommend this series.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
c/o Netgalley

A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas: This is an audiobook that I’ve been listening to for almost a year (oops). I’m not the greatest with audiobooks, and this one didn’t keep me all that interested. Not that it was a bad book, it was fine, but listening to it made my mind wander. Charlotte is a genius stuck in a world where women should just be pretty. She takes on the assumed name of Sherlock Holmes to help solve some mysterious deaths. Like I said, interesting premise, but just not my cup of tea.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Sisters of the Vast Black by Lina Rather: This book (er, novella) was the surprise of the month for me. It really impressed me. Usually novellas end up being a little flat because only so much can happen in a shortened format. But this one, dang. Humans have spread throughout the universe and we follow the sisters of the Order of Saint Rita in their living ship that has imprinted with another living ship and wants to breed. And then they receive a distress call from a planet that they recently visited. What comes next is the potential start of a galactic war with the Sisters at the forefront, especially when the past of the Reverend Mother comes to the forefront. This really is a fantastic book, it has interesting characters, fascinating world building with a dash of politicking.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Sisters of the Forsaken Stars by Lina Rather: I was excited to read the second novella in this series since I loved Sisters of the Vast Black, but this one didn’t live up to expectations. It wasn’t bad, but it felt more like a typical novella where everything was more surface level. The sisters are trying to figure out their place in the universe after the events of book 1. But those events eventually catch up to them and they have to turn and face it in an effort to keep war at bay. I think this one tried to do too much in the varying story lines, which left it rushed and flat. Still an enjoyable novella though.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
c/o Netgalley

Cytonic by Brandon Sanderson: Man, I love this series. I mean, I love anything that Sanderson writes, but this one has a special place. This one follows Spensa as she grows and learns more about be cytonic and all that she can do. Plus we see and hear more about the Delvers and what they are. While not as action-packed as previous books, this one really allows Spensa to grow as a character and does a deep dive into the history and the “why” of what has brought the world to where it is now.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars