Moonlake’s Book Discoveries- March 2021

I seem to have mostly split my time between fantasy and mystery this quarter. So I might as well split it by genre in this post so you can only read the relevant genres for you. 

Fantasy 

Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier
I do think this is a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy even though I was expecting the ending to provide more emotional release for the main plot tying the series together. Still, I like that the main mystery this time is not romance-related else there will be too much romance for my taste. I also like the ending for Blackthorn and Grim and the sense of openness for further adventures.

Mastiff by Tamora Pierce
I finally picked up the conclusion to this trilogy starring a character that I’m quite fond of. I find it a satisfying conclusion as far as Beka’s ultimate fate goes.

One thing to note is that I read this series out of order (I read Bloodhound first years ago and then Terrier last year) so this might be why I was not really hit by the twist so much. To be honest, I seem to have no response to the twist whatsoever. Like none. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not.

Watership Down by Richard Adams
Let me start by saying this is actually pushing towards a 4 star for me. I enjoyed the voice- it’s got a kind of children tale ring to it that just makes you relax. And if I read it a bit younger, like in my 20s, I probably would have given it a 4 star. It came to me one day while reading this book that I was very much like a rabbit in my 20s- prone to startle and run.

A good light reading for those who want a break from epic fantasy but still appreciate adventure and thrills now and then.

A Telling of Stars By Caitlin Sweet
This reads a lot of an odyssey of a young girl after severe loss. I like the author’s prose, the dreamy quality of the story that is consistent with my conception of the disorienting effect of sudden, overwhelming grief. I think I am onto reading the other book by this author set in the same world but with another character. Not sure whether this year but it’s on my TBR list.

Nemeton by Christopher Lee
I DNF’ed this in January. I got up to Chap 15 which is roughly the half way mark and then it fizzed out. It’s meant to be an epic and I’m used to epics and their necessary large cast of characters and I’m usually okay if I don’t warm up to characters. But I think my enthusiasm for this book waned because I don’t get enough cohesion between the myriad cast of characters and their storylines, I mean I can see there are different angles to this one story but it’s like from chapter to chapter, I’m just sampling all these myriad sides and no one side actually sticks to me.

Science Fiction

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
I am still reading this. For those not familiar with the book, this is basically comprised of six short stories that are nestled within one another such that story 1 dips into story 2…. into story 6 and then back again all the way to story 1. As of the time of writing, I’m up to story 4 in the first half of the book. So far, I’m liking the way that it moves from one story to the next and the way each story is connected. It doesn’t feel much like a short story collection at all but more like a novel. But as with all other books, I’m going to reserve my judgement until I’ve finished the book. So check back with the June Book Discoveries of this year for a full verdict.

Mystery/Thriller 

The Game by Laurie R. King
Up to maybe half way, I was actually feeling like this book is a letdown, with too slow a pace sacrificed to describing India and the Indian life as travelling magicians. But the story came around nicely. And it got me interested in the book Kim which I had never read before.

Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie
For unknown reason, I’ve been a bit reluctant to pick up the Miss Marple series (even though I remember reading one mystery of her already but that one didn’t really stay in my mind), perhaps due to the influence of Poirot which I never quite liked as a character. Then again, I like Christie’s books because they are more plot-centric than character-centric as a rule. But I’m finding that I actually enjoy Miss Marple more than Poirot. I mean, what’s there not to like about an old woman like that? So yes, I’m pleasantly surprised by this first book of her series.

Other than this observation about the character, though, I would say this is typical solid work from Christie but not above her cut.

As Long as She Lives by Darcy Conroy
A solid work which pace really picks towards the end. I’m a slow to warm up kind of person with characters so while I sometimes like the humour of Cait she mostly remains at arms length.

Published by moonlakeku

intermediate Chinese fantasy writer working on her debut series

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