February 2020 Round-Up

title in white in front of books

February has been a bit of an odd month. There have been lots of massive personal highs, including time with family and friends. However, overall I’m feeling very burnt out, and the Easter holidays next month can’t come soon enough.

Uni-wise, the beginning of my week is hectic and exhausting, with no time to do anything outside of lectures. This means my assignments are crammed into the second half of the week and I find myself exhausted so less productive then I should be.

Reading wise, I’ve done really well on the surface (26 books, most of which were backlist). A lot were Middle Grade, and I’m loving discovering new UK/Irish authors. However, near the end of the month, I realised I was struggling to read new releases I’ve been looking forwards too, and had to really step back and consider why. Luckily, working it out meant that I was able to move past that block and pick up lots of new releases and series in the final week!

Best Backlist Book:

there will come a darknessI read an eARC of THERE WILL COME A DARKNESS, by Katy Rose Pool, and wow. This book is everything I love in epic fantasy – prophecy and chosen ones, a rising evil that threatens the expansive world, and multi-POV. It feels like Katy Rose Pool has taken my favourite 1980s fantasies and updated them for the modern day, with a more complex world and characters who are all sorts of shades of grey.

Why am I counting this as a backlist if I read an eARC? It was published last year in the US, but is only getting a UK release this year. If there’s a difference in country release dates, I go with the first as the “actual” release date.

Best New Release:

Cover for DARK SKIES - a sword spearing a book in front of a shield with a running horse motif around the edge against a purple backgroundI was so excited to win an ARC of DARK SKIES, by Danielle L. Jensen, and finally got my head into the right mindset to read this book. It’s the second book in the DARK SHORES series, but actually runs parallel to that story, as it’s from the perspective of two other characters (Lydia and Killian).

It has a more epic fantasy feel than the first book, and I like it just that bit more! Despite the evil god spurring on the attacking army,  the nobles are scrambling for power, which Killian and Lydia get caught up in. I raced through this one, and now really need the next book in the series…

storm from the eastI also managed to sneak my most anticipated February release in, finishing STORM FROM THE EAST, by Joanna Hathaway, last night. OK, I probably finished it in the early hours of this morning, but that still counts!

This is the sequel to DARK OF THE WEST, and it is absolutely stunning. I think I might love it even more than the first book? It is a very brutal look at war, drawing heavily on the loss and inhumanity of the First World War, the death and acts armies and rulers subject civilians too. There are lies and love and so much tension. I have absolutely no idea how things can end well in the final book (next year – NOOOOO!) but it will be an incredible, heart-wrenching book.

Most Surprising Read:

skywardI was utterly blow away by the audiobook of Brandon Sanderson’s SKYWARD, a space battle sci-fi about the survival of the human race trapped on a planet by an unknown alien force. Spensa has lived in the shadow of her fighter-pilot father’s cowardice and fights for a chance to prove herself more than his daughter.

It was such an incredible listen, the first audiobook I’ve really engaged with. The narrator is incredible – bringing alive the action, tension and characters – and the story is an edge-of-your-seat fight for survival that also deeply explores Spensa’s fears of being a coward and proving everyone right about her family. I’m currently listening to the second book and loving it.

Most Anticipated March Release:

hold back the tideMy most anticipated book of the year releases this week and I am SO excited! HOLD BACK THE TIDE, by Melinda Salisbury. I can’t wait for this exploration of disaster capitalism set in the Scottish Highlands as Alva juggles her father (who everyone knows killed her mother) and the unease of the townsfolk who she lives apart from.

I love Mel’s books, the gorgeous writing and the really subtle exploration of themes beneath a captivating plot. The conversation around this book from other UK authors is so complimentary and it’s making me all the impatient to have a copy in my hands! Not to mention the incredibly pretty cover!

How has your February been?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s