It’s kinda hard to believe it’s September already. I know this kind of thing is often said as the year goes on but it seems like the summer has flown by! August was a pretty productive reading wise so let’s get into those reads!
The Traitor and the Tunnel by Y.S. Lee
This is book 3 in this series following Mary Quinn, a spy in Victorian London. This time seems Mary posing as a servant in Buckingham Place, trying to find a thief. But a greater story unravels and Mary must investigate. I love these books, they’re fun and Mary is a great lead character. There’s one more book in this series which I’m looking foward to picking up some time soon.
Poison City by Paul Crilley
Poison City is the first in an urban fantasy series set in South Africa. Gideon Tau is a supernatural investigator in the Delphic Division. His job involves vampires, angels, fae and demons. Gideon’s life has gone off the rails since the death of his child Cally, he’s obsessed with finding her killer. He finally stumbles across a lead but he must decide whether to get vengence or help save the world. I loved this book, it was very witty and I really enjoyed the setting in South Africa. I did a full review post last month which you can check out here if you want to know more. [NetGalley]
The Trespasser by Tana French
If you’ve ever read this blog before then you’ll know I’m a BIG Tana French fan. Her series is called The Dublin Murder Squad and it centres around a fictional murder squad department, with each book having a different character at the centre of the story. None of the books spoil each other so you can read in whichever order you’d like but I’d recommend reading it in order as you get a small introduction to the narrator of each book from the previous book. This book centres around Detective Antoinette Conway, who we last saw in The Secret Place. I’m purposely saying much about this book right now as I’m going to do a full review later this month! But I will say I LOVED it. [NetGalley]
Saga Volume Six by Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan
Volume 6 in the Saga graphic novels. I’m still enjoying this but I didn’t love this as much as the first few books. I can barely remember what was in this book. I feel like there was a lot of filler in this book but I will still pick up the next volume or so as I’m interested in seeing how this series wraps up.
Lumberjanes Volume One by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters and Brooke A. Allen
Lumberjanes Issue One was the very first thing I read this year in January. I really liked the issue so I was keen to pick up the first volume. I finally got around to it in August! Lumberjanes is set in at a summer camp and centres around 5 friends. They encounter supernatural beings and other strange things and have lots of fun and adventures together. It’s a kick ass series that is funny and sweet at times. It would be great for younger readers too.
Lumberjanes Volume Two by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters, Brooke A. Allen and Maarta Laiho
I enjoyed volume two as much as volume one, maybe even more so because I had a better grip of the characters! I love the friendship between the girls and this made me laugh out loud at times with the little details.
The Little Village Bakery by Tilly Tennant
I wanted a light summery book to read and this cover spoke to me! Plus Sharon over at Behind Green Eyes had read it in June and enjoyed it so I decided to give it a go. Millie has decided to buy the old Honeybourne Bakery though after getting there she discovers there's a lot more work needed before she can open up shop. She makes friends with Jasmine, who lives with her husband and triplets, as well as Jasmine's handsome brother Dylan and his friend Spencer. But Millie is running from something and has a secret she doesn't want her new friends to find out. This was a quick light read with some darker themes that were handled well. Honeybourne is a quaint location where everyone knows each others business. While I did enjoy it, I was a bit disappointed it took so long in the story for the bakery to be finished and set up but I do look forward to reading the second book [NetGalley]
End of Watch by Stephen King
Final book in the Bill Hodges trilogy. I won’t say too much about the plot as it might spoil the first book but I was a touch disappointed with this one. Part of the reason I LOVED the first book was because it was good detective book and I loved the characters. Book two was good, it was a bit different as our main characters didn’t come into it til half way through but it was still a good thriller. This book brought a supernatural element into it and it kinda ruined it all for me. It might have been good as an idea on its own as a stand alone but I felt like it ruined the feel of the series. I was reluctant to pick this up and considered not finishing it but I wanted closure on the series. It’s not a bad book or story, but I just felt like it was out of place.
Return to the Little French Guesthouse by Helen Pollard
I read the first in this series in April and was very happy to discover then that the next one was out in August. In the first book Emmy is on holiday at this guesthouse when her boyfriend runs off with the owner’s wife! Emmy stays behind to help the owner Rupert run the place. What I really liked about this being a sequel is that it picks up right after the last book, with only a gap of 2 or 3 weeks. I really enjoy all the characters and their relationships with each other, it was nice to see Emmy being so happy with her life and her relationship with Alain. The setting is beautiful, I can just imagine the beautiful French countryside when reading this and I really want to visit a real life La Cour des Roses! [NetGalley]
Scarlett Epstein Hates it Here by Anna Breslaw
This is another book that interested me after seeing Sharon from Behind Green Eyes talking about it! Scarlett loves the TV show Lycanthrope High and is incredibly popular online as a fanfiction writer. Scarlett is devastated when the show is cancelled but still wants to continue writing. She starts to write her own story, a thin-veiled account based on her friend Avery, Avery’s mean older sister Ashley and Scarlett’s crush Gideon. I liked this story, Scarlett was interesting and the book looked at some interesting themes such as being poor and feeling like an outsider. I loved Scarlett’s relationship with her eldery neighbour Ruth. We get snippets of the fanfiction throughout the book and overall the book reminded me of Fangirl mixed with Harriet the Spy. I felt it read a bit younger than Fangirl but not in a bad way. The fanfiction in this was better than in Fangirl though, I wasn’t a massive fan of it. This is a solid YA book that’s a fast read and centres around a character who is slightly different than the polished popular girls in some YA books.
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Prior to reading this book, the only thing I ever heard about it is it’s about an ex boyfriend and girlfriend who are both on different ships and the book is done in the form of messages to each other and files and documents. But there’s more to it than that! I thought they were alone in the spaceships but in fact they’re not. The book starts off on a distant planet with an illegal mine. When a big rival corporation attacks the planet the inhabitants flee, including Kady and Erza who have just ended their relationship earlier that day. They end up on different rescue ships and along with a third rescue ship, they all try and escape the attack. But there’s secrets aboard all these ships including a mystery virus and an onboard computer gone haywire. Kady and Erza are forced to try and help each other despite the fact that when they left the planet they were barely even talking. The book is told through a stack of hacked documents such as videos, military files, IMs and interviews, which makes the layout really cool. There was a few twists that made me gasp outloud and despute the size of the book (almost 600 pages) it reads pretty fast due to the unique layout. Can’t wait to get my hands on Gemina soon!
Dead Man’s Blues by Ray Celestin
Ray Celestin’s first book was The Axeman’s Jazz, which I actually have a copy of but haven’t gotten around to reading yet. I saw the description of this book though and really wanted to give it a go. Set in 1928 in Chicago, we follow three different story lines. Michael and Ida are detectives at Pinkerton’s who are investigating the disapperance of an heiress after her distraught mother comes to them worried. Jacob is a crime scene photographer who wants to crack the case of a white gangster found murdered in a black neighbourhood. And Dante has been called back to Chicago from New York by Al Capone himself, who has tasked him to looking into a batch of bad booze which could have dire consequences for Dante. The story switches between these three story lines as it unravels and weaves together. I loved this book, it was so well thought out and researched. The twists and turns were great, I didn’t see where this book was going until it started to come together at the end. The atmosphere was fantastic, jazz Prohibition era Chicago with gangsters, music, speakeasies and booze spilling off the pages into my head so vividly. The book reminded me a lot of One Summer by Bill Bryson about the summer in America in 1927. A lot of the characters in Bryson’s book pop up as cameos in this book and it just added to the excitement and authenticity of the story. In fact, Celestin mentions Bryson’s book in the notes at the end of the book and it was such a delight to see this novel mix together so well with a non-fiction account of the time, it really tickled me! I really enjoyed the main characters in this book too. I found out after that some are in The Axeman’s Jazz so I probably should have read that book first but I don’t feel like that book was spoiled by Dead Man’s Blues. I’m actually now really excitement to pick up The Axeman’s Jazz, as well as the other books to come out after this. One of my favourites so far of this year. [NetGalley]
Lumberjanes Volume Three by Noelle Stevenson, Shannon Watters, Maarta Laiho, Carolyn Nowak, Aubrey Aiese, Brittany Williams, Aimee Fleck, Faith Erin Hicks, Rebecca Tobin, Felicia Choo and T. Zysk
Volume Three of Lumberjanes. While I liked this I didn’t like it as much as the first two. This is partly because the group is split in this book and the two storylines were a bit weak. It lacked cohesion. There is also spme new illustrators which took me a bit of time to get used to. When I first started reading I noticed the style had changed at times, which bugged me at first but then I kinda like how there was a difference. It wasn’t a massive change but still enough to notice. I will continue reading but I hope the girls are all together in the next one! They are so much fun when together.
Number of Books Read- 13
Ratio fiction to non-fiction- 13:0
Number of eBooks- 5 (Poison City, The Trespasser, The Little Village Bakery, Return to the Little French Guesthouse and Dead Man’s Blues)
Number of Books Borrowed from Library- 8 (The Traitor and the Tunnel, Saga Volume 6, Lumberjanes 1-3, End of Watch, Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here and Illuminae)
I’m happy enough with my August reads! I’ve now read over 100 titles this year, which has me feeling good and bad. The number is satisfying no doubt but I know it’s high because I’ve been reading so many graphic novels. I haven’t felt like picking up non-fiction in a while and I’m hoping to rectify this in the upcoming months.