Nine books this week – a great improvement on the last two weeks! Three middle grade books, three YA, one poetry, and an audio book. The Princess Saves Herself in This One was technically a reread, but the new edition has so many more poems, so it was almost like a whole new book! Head over to Booktopia if you need any of these for yourself! 🙂
Jake Atlas and the Tomb of the Emerald Snake – Rob Lloyd Jones (2 stars)
I really liked the idea of this book – a whole family robbing graves together. However, it ended up being predominantly about twins Pandora and Jake, and their race to save their parents from the bad guys. There were some really fun parts, but there were also some very boring parts. I think this could be a great introduction to history for reluctant readers, not least because of the cool modern gadgets that sit side-by-side with ancient sites, but I was underwhelmed.
Slaves of the Mastery – William Nicholson (3 stars)
Again, this series was A LOT weirder than I remember it being… But this book had a sacred chicken, and some crazy royalty, plus more than a touch of magic. I’m sad that I somehow ended up with a different edition for Book 2 than I have for Books 1 and 3…
A Whole New World: A Twisted Tale – Liz Braswell (3 stars)
I am generally a total sucker for fairytale retellings, and assumed I would love those based closely on the Disney movies! And it was fun, but not as fantastic as I had thought it might be. The first few chapters were almost identical to the animated film. The ‘twist’ in the tale is that Aladdin never gets to command the genie; the magic lamp goes straight to Jafar. It definitely felt like something major was lacking without the fun, banter-filled friendship between Aladdin and the genie. The story did, however, empower Jasmine by making her the leader of the rebellion – so that was pretty cool. I’m still really interested to get my hands on the other books in this series.
Firesong – William Nicholson (3 stars)
There were a lot of subplots; again, not sure why my 12-year-old self loved this series so much. However, when I reached the ending, I had my heart completely ripped to shreds. It was fun to delve back into a series I had such fond memories of – even if I remain a bit confused, it has inspired my nostalgia. Maybe The Silver Brumby will be next?
The False Princess – Eilis O’Neal (4 stars)
I think that both the title and the cover art are pretty appalling, but this book came highly recommended. It has taken me FOREVER to get around to reading it, but it was fantastic! I loved it! So much royal intrigue, twists and turns throughout, and a fantastic boy to swoon over. Quick and easy, but so worth it.
Frostblood – Elly Blake (4 stars)
This was a fast-paced, easy read, despite being almost 400 pages. Ruby is a Fireblood; she can create and control flame. But in a world of Frostbloods, those who can control ice, she is out of her depth. Especially seeing as the King is trying to kill all of her kind. Which is how she gets locked up, then saved by some monks determined to overthrow the king; all they need is the help of a Fireblood. But things are never that easy… There were a few plot twists I really should have seen coming, but I was pleasantly surprised.
Gemina – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Australian authors) (4 stars)
I listened to this one through Audible. I didn’t enjoy it as much as the Illuminae audiobook, mostly because I really think you miss out on Hannah’s visual diary in the auditory medium (obviously…) However, this series is fantastic in whatever form, and they really have achieved something wonderful with the huge cast and fantastic range of sound effects.
The Princess Saves Herself in This One – Amanda Lovelace (5 stars)
I found so many new things to connect with in this book on my second reading. I want to read it more regularly. It doesn’t take long – maybe this could be a kind of meditation? Just incredible.
Icarus Down – James Bow (2.5 stars)
I thought this book had a lot of potential. It’s a sci-fi, about a society on a planet who only get night once every fourteen months. The sun is intense, and has to be avoided. I really enjoyed the world building. However, the story itself, which is about Simon Daud discovering that his society is founded on a genocide, felt a little bit white savioury. I would really liked to have seen the alien species more fleshed out, instead of having them die off completely the first time we get to glimpse them. But still a very interesting story; some great YA sci-fi!
What did you read this week? Have you read any of these?