This post is a continuation from last month’s. Here are the other six (fiction) books I read in the second half of this year:
The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
This is the first of the Magnus Chase books—I found a copy in my local thrift store and had to grab it. I loved Riordan’s Percy Jackson books when I read them about a decade ago, and I figured this series would be just as hilarious. Yes. Yes, it is. With diverse and loveable characters, too. If you love silly, screwball humor and adventure stories and mythology, you can’t go wrong with this series! (But if you’re more into adult than young-adult funny fantasy books, I highly recommend The Plot Bandits series by Katherine Vick!) I quickly bought the two sequels to this book, and you can read what I have to say about the first of them below; I just finished it.
Inker and Crown by Megan O’Russell
I saw this book advertised as “for fans of Six of Crows,” so I decided to check it out. It was good, although not as good as SoC, IMO (or as good as Akithar’s Greatest Trick, which was advertised similarly). But I still enjoyed it quite a bit and would recommend it. It’s a high fantasy set in a city controlled by guilds that are treating the common people poorly. Fed up, certain groups of commoners are ready to revolt and plunge the city into chaos. This book starts a series, and I will probably read the sequels eventually to see what happens. The main characters are likeable and I do want to find out how things turn out for them!
Sabriel by Garth Nix
Deborah loves this series and recommended it to me, so I bought the first three books. I really enjoyed this one and will read the others. I especially liked that there’s a snarky talking cat (who’s not really a cat); and even though the scope isn’t as epic as I thought it would be, and I guessed a certain character’s background, it was still a great story with a cool way of describing death. It’s a river that the main character steps into, and it has nine gates—once you pass the final one, you’re truly gone. I like how the Abhorsen (necromancer, basically, but not the evil kind) rings bells to do magic, like binding monsters that cross over into the living world and sending them back into death.
The Gilded Girl by Alyssa Colman
This is a fantasy retelling of A Little Princess, and I loved it!! When I was a kid, people used to get me books and movies with main characters named Sara(h), and A Little Princess was one of them—the movie directed by Alfonso Cuaron. I adored it. So when I saw this book in the store, on a great sale, I snatched it up. It’s a little bit like Harry Potter, being set at a magical school with rooms that move around, but it’s an all-girls school that prepares “fine young ladies” (read: upper-class only) to kindle their magical powers in the year they turn twelve. That’s when you either keep or lose your magic forever. (And if you’ve seen the Cuaron movie, remember “Kindle My Heart”? This author obviously loved and was inspired by that song, heh.) This book, like Inker and Crown, highlights the unfair treatment of the lower classes, with the main characters seeking justice—something I myself care deeply about. And, like in Sabriel, there’s also a talking cat that isn’t really a cat! Wow, lol, quite a few similarities between the books I’ve read lately. . . .
The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan
The second Magnus Chase book is just as funny as the first! I can’t wait to dive into the third! (But, at the same time, I don’t want to yet, because then the series will be over. . . .) Magnus and crew are commissioned to retrieve the thunder god’s “misplaced” famous weapon, but things are—of course—not as they seem. Riordan’s version of Thor is crazy funny, definitely not the same as Marvel’s! Beware all the fart jokes, LOL. This is definitely my hubby’s type of humor! ;P (Oh, and the goats are hilarious, especially Otis!) My favorite character is Hearthstone the elf, and I’m glad we get to see Alfheim in this book—although Hearth’s dad is the worst, and I want to smack him so hard!! Rune magic is really cool, and I also love the part when Magnus and crew have to compete against the giants in their bowling alley. . . . Okay, I’ll stop yapping about the book now—go read it!
Tokyo Ghoul vol. 1 by Sui Ishida
I love anime and manga, and I found this in a Little Free Library! Imagine finding a Book 1 in the wild—amazing, huh? ;) I was pretty sure a couple of my friends were into this series (both the anime and the manga; and yes, they are) and so I grabbed it. Yay, a quick read to boost my Goodreads count right before the year is over! I really liked this book and will try to read the others if I can get hold of them. It’s a different take on the trope of a normal human being attacked by and then transforming into a monster, and all of the problems and adjustments that entails (like having to hide your new identity from those who want to kill you). Remind you of anything I’ve written?? ;)
Well, that’s the last of the fiction books I’ve read this year (as of the time I typed this). I love talking about what I’ve been reading, and I’m going to keep doing mid-year and end-of-year reading checks here in this blog, so watch for them in June/July and November/December.
Happy (almost) New Year, and happy reading!
P.S. – If you enjoyed these book recommendations, why not sign up for Thinklings’ newsletter? I’m the one who writes it, and Deborah and I have similar (and very excellent ;) taste in books! Most of the recommendations come from her and me.
Sarah Awa lives in Ohio with two hairy guys and writes books about werewolves.