April 2019 Round-Up

april 19.pngAnother month split between London and York, and an even more Frankenstein-ed graphic to boot. Thankfully, my reading experience was so much better this month compared to last (average star rating coming out just under 4 stars). I got to read some of my most anticipated reads of the year, and was not disappointed.

In all, I read 17 books – 4 new releases and 13 backlist books. The number of books read seems to be dropping month by month, which is disappointing, but probably not a bad thing as exams are fast approaching

I took advantage of being in London to attend some book events – Madeline Miller in Conversation, and Queens of Fantasy (Samantha Shannon, Tasha Suri, Zen Cho and Zoë Mariott). Of course, I was a complete numpty and didn’t take pictures, though I did get some books signed.

Favourite New Release

the unbound empireBy a complete mile, THE UNBOUND EMPIRE, by Melissa Caruso, wins this prize. One of my anticipated releases of 2019 AND the finale to a series that is rapidly becoming one of my absolute favourites, I raced through this book in a one sitting. It was so good, I probably couldn’t have put it down if I tried.

I adore this series (first book, THE TETHERED MAGE), and the stakes in this book couldn’t be higher. Not to mention the conclusions to character arcs and their relationships hit in me in the feels (having thrown me through a bus a few times).

Yes, I will keep screaming about these books until the world has read them all.

Favourite Backlist Book

a study in charlotte

I’ve recently gotten into the YA mystery/thriller genre, and A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE, by Brittany Cavallaro, is another book I’ve really enjoyed in the genre. A modern re-imagining/inspired by the original Arthur Conan Doyle books, this book places Holmes and Watson in high school. They’re framed for murders based off the classic stories as they settle into the slightly off-kilter, frictious relationship you’d expect for this iconic duo.  The dynamic between Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes was certainly the highlight.

Most Disappointing Book

the wall of stormsI absolutely adore THE GRACE OF KINGS, but the sequel, THE WALL OF STORMS, by Ken Liu, felt like such a let down. It’s an alright book but just far too long. It’s 800 pages, and feels like a fight to get through them all. I was very close to DNFing several times.

The pace drags in the first act, missing the genius of weaving action and inventions together in the first book. Once the pace finally starts picking up, it does get better (though brace yourselves for an interlude that bogs it right back down again). The invention come into play for the finale, which contains a lot of heartbreak, but the ending should have come earlier. I think the ending is a good 100 pages after the actual climax.

Worst Book I’ve Read

the winner's kissI was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the previous instalments, but THE WINNER’S KISS, by Marie Ruktoski, was a poorly paced finale. Unlike the schemes central to THE WINNER’S CRIME, this book had a middle solely dedicated to the romance where they wandered around wishfully. Apparently, they were at war, but that rarely seemed to intrude on the sluggish, almost dreamlike quality (not in a good way). The clever battle ideas felt… rather ordinary and the secondary tension with their allies didn’t so much as resolve, but we knocked aside and ignored by a terrible decision that no politician or ruler would ever make.

Most Anticipated May Release

lady smokeI’m so excited for LADY SMOKE, by Laura Sebastian. The second book in the Ash Princess trilogy, LADY SMOKE follows Theo as she continues to fight for her country’s freedom. She must navigate the demands of being Queen while her allies want to control her for their own ends and her enemies seek to destroy her.

Yes, I know this book is already published in the US, but the UK release is 2nd May. Plus it’s the only book I have a pre-order for (which arrived early, hence already having a review up).

WHTF_JKT_2p.inddFine, if that’s cheating then: WE HUNT THE FLAME, by Hafsah Faizal. I’ve heard so much about this book from Book Twitter, and it’s already got an impressive, extensive fan base. A lush Arabian epic fantasy, with two leads opposed to each other sounds like my cup of tea… er, hot chocolate (I don’t drink tea).

I’d love to read it but it doesn’t have a UK release day (US release 14th May), as it’s not being published here. I’ve been told the US editions will be available in UK shops, but I haven’t seen any evidence of this from the shops themselves. It’s also not listed on the Book Depository (my go-to for US books).

How did April go for you? What are you looking forwards to next month?

2 thoughts on “April 2019 Round-Up

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