September 2019 Wrap Up

I’m slowly coming out of my reading slump. The past few days, I’ve been reading 100+ pages a day, so I’m pleased. I was still pretty slumpy for most of the month, but I did manage to read 5 books.


The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen

merciful crow

This book was a pleasant surprise for me. I have already reviewed it, so you can check that out for more of my thoughts, but I enjoyed this book. It was exactly what I wanted to read. I was looking for an easy, fun YA to ease me back into reading after my huge slump. And this was exactly that. It wasn’t overly complex, it was fast paced, had adventure, had some cool magic, had some monsters and some corpses. I gave it 3.5 stars. I might even continue with the series. Who knows.

The Knife of Never letting Go by Patrick Ness

knife of never letting go

I’ve been putting this off for ages. I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it. I’m pretty over dystopians, this is quite an old book. But I mentioned in my end of the year TBR post that I would unhaul this if I hadn’t read it by the end of the year. So I decided to pick it up and ended up really enjoying it. I flew through it in a couple of days. It was constant action, it made me feel feels and it’s just great. I shouldn’t have doubted Patrick Ness having read A Monster Calls. 4/5 stars, will be continuing with this.

The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien

fellowship of the ring

I’ve been meaning to re-read this series for a long time and I’m finally doing it. I listened to the audiobook which I really enjoyed. I feel like I wouldn’t have the patience to re-read it as a physical book because I’ve read the series 3 times and it’s not something that you can read quickly because of the writing style. But as an audiobook, I don’t feel like I’m cutting into the time I have to read books on my TBR. 5/5 stars of course and I will be carrying on with the audiobooks soon.

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

obsidio

Finally finished this series. I was somewhat disappointed. It was kind of repetitive and predictable and I didn’t really find myself motivated to read it. I did enjoy it, especially once I got the audiobook and was both reading the book and listening to it. That is definitely what I recommend for this series if you’re able to. Because it’s just such an experience. But I was pretty underwhelmed by it story-wise. I gave it 3.75 stars, though in retrospect that was probably because I really enjoyed the experience of listening to the audio production and seeing the mixed media. It’s just really cool, but I think i reality, it’s closer to 3 stars.

Grief Is the Thing With feathers by Max Porter

grief is the thing with feathers

This was a weird one. I liked it but didn’t love it. I guess it’s hard to love something like this. But it was very weird and confusing at times. It is also very raw. And I feel like that’s an accurate portrayal of grief. Grief is weird and confusing and raw. I ended up giving it 3.5/5 stars.

A Moderate Book Haul

Since my last haul which was in June, I believe, I’ve been pretty reasonable with my book buying. I brought in 6 books, 2 of which are audiobooks, 2 from subscription boxes and two that I bought as physical copies. And of the 6, I’ve already read 2 and am currently reading another 3. So, I haven’t massively added to my TBR these past couple of months, which I’m pleased with because I REALLY want to reduce it to a MAXIMUM of 20 books at least on my physical TBR. I’m not too fussed about my audiobook/ebook TBR, although I don’t want that to get too out of hand either. I currently have 58 books on my physical TBR, so I have some way to go. Anyway, let’s get into the haul.


Audiobooks

Kingdom of Copper by S. A. Chakraborty | The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien

Subscription Box

The Wicked Fox by Kat Cho | The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen

Bought

The Tiger and the Wolf by Adrian Tchaikovsky | Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff

The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen – Book Review

47965261Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Genre: YA, fantasy

Published: 2019

Synopsis: 

A future chieftain
A fugitive prince
A too-cunning bodyguard
And one grumpy gray tabby

Fie abides by one rule: look after your own. As the future chieftain of a shunned caste of mercy-killers, she relies on her wits and bone magic—drawn from the teeth of dead witches—to protect her band. The Crows take more abuse than coin, so when they’re called to collect the royal dead, Fie hopes they’ll find the payout of a lifetime.

When Fie discovers that Crown Prince Jasimir and his crafty bodyguard, Tavin, have faked their deaths to escape the ruthless Queen Rhusana, she’s ready to cut her losses—and perhaps their throats. But Jas offers a deal that she can’t refuse: make sure he lives to see the throne, and he’ll protect the Crows when he reigns.


I picked this up because I’ve been slowly emerging from an awful reading slump and I generally go for YA in these situations, because I usually don’t have very high expectations from them, especially if it’s a debut. I’ve talked about this before. But I was also intrigued by the synopsis. I love me some bone magic. I’m happy to say I enjoyed this maybe more than I thought I would.

The writing is what I saw people have the biggest issue with. It’s a bit unusual, I’ll grant, but I didn’t mind. It was old fashioned. Like, words like ‘betwixt’ and ‘narry’ were used regularly. Also, the verb ‘to rut’ was used for more than just deer. It was a bit off-putting at first, but then I got used to it and it actually added to the whole vibe of the book. So I didn’t mind. It was otherwise a pretty well written book in my opinion.

The characters were okay. I didn’t love them, but I didn’t hate them either. I didn’t even mind the romance (which if you’ve been here for any length of time, you know I usually take issue with YA romances). It was somewhat insta-lovey, but there was at least an attempt to make the characters reasonable. I would have preferred it if they waited until at least the second book to get together at all. But alas, can’t have everything. It’s by no means a compelling romance, but I at least didn’t want to scream in frustration at it. And there was even the occasional chuckle at some of the dialogue. I also thought the dynamics between the other (non-romantically involved characters) was solid. Again, it wasn’t out of this world amazing, but I don’t really have any complaints about them.

I enjoyed the story. I thought it was fast paced and entertaining. It was actiony and I generally enjoy journey stories. I’ve heard people say that it was repetitive and I can see where they’re coming from, but I personally wasn’t bothered by it. It wasn’t so repetitive that it was boring, in my opinion. It wasn’t mind-blowing, or super original, but I found it to be a solid adventure story and I enjoyed it. I also liked the more overarching theme of oppression and the dynamics of a caste system.

My favourite aspect was the world. I thought it was really cool and I’m not sure if I will continue with this series or not, but if I ever do, it’s the world I’m most excited about. I liked the magic system and how it’s ties to the castes. I want to know more about the plague and also about the magic and the castes. Another thing I appreciated was that the diversity wasn’t super forced. I thought it was reasonably well integrated within the story and it didn’t grate and for the most part, I didn’t feel like it was trying to use diversity as a selling point. There was at least 1 character whose sexuality was 100% irrelevant to the story and could have just as well been left out, but I’m going to pick my battles.

Overall, I found it an enjoyable read. As I said, not sure yet whether I will continue with the series, but I did enjoy this one.