A mini confession: I read a lot. I’ve already finished 9 books since the start of the year. One of my resolutions was to spend less time reading, but that hasn’t worked out so well yet. Partly due to my Netgalley commitments, but also because it has been very wet and cold here in the Pacific Northwest and I like nothing better than to curl up with a good book in front of the fire on a rainy day. But it also occurred to me, that part of my time issue is that I feel that I need to write a review every time I finish a book. But these reviews take time, and I think that is what I need to cut back on a little bit. So with that in mind I decided I would do some mini-reviews on some of the books I read, especially if they are popular books that have a gazillion reviews on Goodreads already. I don’t know how often I’ll do this, but probably once a month, or whenever I have at least 4 books to write about. I’ve linked the tiles of the books to their Goodreads page for the summaries so you can see other reviews.
The Hummingbird Heart By A.G. Howard
This book doesn’t have a gazillion reviews yet, but it made it onto my mini-review list mostly because I was a tad disappointed in it. As always A.G. Howard has written a lush and beautiful story with great descriptions and a swoon worthy romance. But the thing that I loved about the first book was the ghost. Now I wasn’t expecting a rehash of a ghost romance, but I wanted the ghost to have a more important role in the story throughout. Her role was important at the end, but she doesn’t show up until about a third of the way in then she disappears until the last 100 pages or so. The whole book was all about Willow and Julian and their romance. Which was fine, again a beautiful love story and well written, but the summary promised a ghost story which this was not. Also, Willow annoyed me a bit, she is a little bit whiney and flighty for my taste. But, I loved little Newton, I thought he was adorable and I loved the way that both Julian and Willow would risk everything for him. On the whole it is a beautiful and sweeping romance that is written in such a way that you feel as if you are a part of the story, I just wanted more ghost.
One of Us Is Lying by Karen Mcmanus
I listened to the audio book for this one and I highly recommend it. The four readers; Kim Guest as Bronwyn, Macleod Andrews as Cooper, Shannon McManus as Addy and Robbie Daymond as Nate, do a suburb job and really make the story come alive. The mystery is well crafted, for the longest time I had three scenarios worked out as to what really happened, and kept switching between them as the story went on, but I was still surprised by some of the elements and twists of the story. I liked all of the main four, but I think I liked Nate the most. He was just so sweet even when he acted the bad boy, and his back story was just so sad. Cooper was also a sweetie and even though I guessed his secret pretty early I still felt bad for him with how it was revealed. I mostly felt bad for Abby, she was in such a bad relationship with a complete control freak, but she was the one that really came out stronger by the end of the book. Her boyfriend Jake, was a total ass, hated him on site and just couldn’t figure out why she was with him, but I have know a few girls like her in bad relationships and it really takes something horrible for them to finally wake up and see them for who they are. Bronwyn was sort of just eh, for me. Her relationship with Nate was sweet, but there were times when I just didn’t care about her part of the story. I wanted her to be stronger too and figure out what was really going on. Overall I really loved the story and it kept me pretty riveted. It is hard to believe that this was a debut, and I will definitely keep an eye out for more from this author.
The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan
This is the third book in the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series and I still have to say that it just doesn’t do it for me. I can’t quite figure out why, but I just don’t find myself engaging in the story and caring that much about the characters. I also have found the books to be a bit too long. There is just too much trying to cram in extra Norse mythology, that I found it a bit tedious. It seemed like every god Magnus runs into, needed their backstory told and some wrong that Loki did to them. It just got to be too much. I listened to the audio book again, and this was a different reader than the first two books. Michael Crouch does a good enough job, especially with voices and accents, but there still was very little connection to the audience. I can’t tell for sure if this is the last book, I think there is more to come at some point from the ending, but I think I might be done with it. I do like the way that Rick Riordan is beginning to weave the different stories together and I still hope to see a book where all the different characters and mythologies come together.
The Graces by Laure Eve
I just finished this and I am so disappointed that I can’t pick up the next one yet. I was all set to run out the door to the closest book store and buy it, but nope not till September? At least that is what Amazon is saying, argh! This book was quite amazing and not like what I expected or like anything else I’ve read recently. I still can’t decide if I like River or not. She is such an interesting character and a somewhat unreliable narrator. She lies to herself and to every one around her, so it is hard to get a handle on who she really is, although if you are paying attention there are hints of what she is capable of. The three Graces, Thalia, Fenrin and Summer also kept a lot of secrets and were not very trustworthy. But what a family history and totally interesting characters. There were times that I really wondered whether or not they were witches or if it was just that River wanted them to be so badly that you just assume they are. Of the three I really liked Summer, although I wondered about her motivation to befriend River at times. There are a few times when the story slows down a bit too much, but the ending certainly makes up for that and keeps you totally riveted until the spectacular ending.
Those are my mini-reviews for this month. I hope you enjoyed them. Have any of you read these and does anyone else feel the same way about the Magnus books? Leave a comment and let me know!