Seven books this week! Yay for being back to one per day! The overall favourite this week was City of Brass – it was incredible, with vivid world-building and amazing plot twists! No truly dreadful books this week – The Wrong Girl was a bit trashy, but we all need that sometimes!
All Our Wrong Todays – Elan Mastai (4 stars)
A time travel book! Tom Barren is from a present where humanity thrives in a technology utopia with flying cars, and instant food. Tom has never been able to find his place in this idealistic world, but then he accidentally changes the course of the future when he uses his genius father’s time machine. Suddenly, he is in our present, and his family believe he has had a nervous breakdown and hallucinated his ‘past’. But as his new life just gets better and better, he has a tough decision – does he fix the world for the rest of humanity, or keep it like this just for himself?
I loved the short chapters, especially that which has an entire page of ‘Fuck’, repeated over and over. It was a great time travel story, though the writing style was a bit incongruous – the themes were definitely adult, but the writing felt very immature for the content. I still loved it – it’s time travel; how could I not? The ending was a little strange… (Look away now if you don’t want to be spoiled a little bit!!!) A third present was introduced which was just a bit tooooooo weird for me. But overall, a fab book with fascinating characters and interesting twists and turns!
Moonrise – Sarah Crossan (3 stars)
I loved Sarah Crossan’s One, and was so excited when I found an ARC of her new book. It’s about a teenager, Joe, whose brother is on death row. Ed has been in jail for ten years for allegedly killing a cop, and now his number has come up. As they prepare for his execution, Joe meets with Ed regularly and tries to come to terms with what is happening. Written in poetry, like One, it is a beautiful, heartfelt book. I’m only disappointed that it didn’t discuss much of the aftermath. But that’s probably the point – that you can grieve someone BEFORE the worst happens. How do you reconcile the fact that someone is here today when you know that they won’t be tomorrow? Joe’s voice was lovely, and he was a wonderful character with so much dignity for such an appalling situation.
City of Brass – S. A Chakraborty (5 stars)
Where can I even begin with this absolutely incredible new fantasy? I have always wanted to read more fantasy based around Middle Eastern mythology, but I have been disappointed with most of those I have attempted. BUT CITY OF BRASS BLEW MY FREAKING MIND!!!!! Nahri has never believed in magic even though she has a knack for knowing what ails a person and how to heal them. But she doesn’t always use her powers for good – she’s a con woman too, swindling Ottoman nobles out of their money. And then she accidentally summons a sly, dark and mysterious djinn warrior to her side… Suddenly magic is all too real, and she is led to the mythical city of Daevabad, the home of the djinn. Political rivalries have brought the city to boiling point, and the court is a dangerous place to be. Even the smartest people can find themselves conned.
The twists and turns are absolutely astounding – I didn’t see any of it coming, but it was all AMAZING! That epilogue though! It is such a long wait for the next book (I mean, this one isn’t out until March) and I DON’T KNOW HOW I WILL COPE WITH THAT ENDING!!! The characters are all incredibly strong – there is the slight issue with a little bit of romance between a thousand-year-old djinn and a teenage girl (I have major problems with this fantasy trope), but it’s so good, I got over it! Just WOW. The writing is enchanting, the setting is totally magical and everything about it is just AMAZEBALLS! (Yes, I am using weird words to describe my enthusiasm – that is what this book has done to me!) I don’t want to give anything else away, but YOU NEED THIS BOOK. I’ll shout at you all closer to its release as well. 🙂
Warcross – Marie Lu (3 stars)
I, like many people, find the cover absolutely atrocious… But don’t let it deter you from the story! Marie Lu constructs an interesting world where a video game, which constructs a virtual reality, has a profound impact on the real world. This is Warcross. Emika Chen is poor, struggling to make it from paycheque to paycheque. To make enough money to avoid eviction, she decides to hack into a Warcross tournament. Though she is caught, she is no arrested. Instead, she is recruited to join the competition and act as spy for Warcross’ creator, young billionaire Hideo Tanaka.
The story was intriguing, though some elements were a bit predictable. I also struggled with the similarities I could draw between Hideo Tanaka and Christian Grey… My favourite character was Emika’s team captain (not going to give away even that tiny spoiler though) – I was only disappointed that he didn’t get more screen time. (Page time?) Overall, it was an entertaining read with great world-building, but its predictability and the frustrating characters affected my enjoyment.
The Art of Language Invention – Davids J. Peterson (3 stars)
Written by the genius who invented the Dothraki language for the Game of Thrones television series, The Art of Language Invention was incredibly interesting. There are so many parts to putting together your own language that I just didn’t even consider. The conglang (constructed language) community sounds fascinating. This book explained complex insights thoughtfully and never felt too jargon-heavy nor too patronising. Really interesting read for anyone interested in language!
The Wrong Girl – Zoe Foster Blake (2 stars)
A super easy, mind-numbing read which just didn’t have much substance to it… Having seen bits and pieces of the television show, I assumed the book would have a little more depth, but it just didn’t! I found Lily, the main character, supremely irritating. I also HATED her housemate Simone. The best character by a long shot was Lily’s mum and she only appeared in three scenes! Easy read to cross off my Dymocks101 reading list, but not something I will ever read again…
Super-Proof 2017 – Penguin Teen Australia
A collection of extracts from the books Penguin Teen Australia are most excited about for 2017. I skipped those I had already read in their entirety! My TBR now has a few extra additions – I especially want Now I Rise, the sequel to Kiersten White’s And I Darken!