Book tag: The Bibliophile’s Night Out

Title in white on book pages

This is an original book tag created by Beth of BooksNest. For the original book tag post, please click here.

I haven’t been tagged, but it looks like a lot of fun – particularly as someone who doesn’t go out so this sounds like a good way for me to plan a night I’d spend in while others are out! Plus, this weekend would be YALC, so I should be out with friends doing all things bookish…

Pre-drinks: A prequel/novella you’ve read

Book cover for FAIREST; title in Gothic grey above a burning mirror with a veiled queen

For this particular prompt I’m going to pick a novella that was also a prequel. While FAIREST, by Marissa Meyer, is technically book 3.5 in the Lunar Chronicles, it’s set before the main series itself, following the backstory of the villain Levana, and how she became the evil queen.

I really liked this look at her life, expanding on all the hints in the main series. It was also a really nice tide-over between the third and fourth books. And yes, this is another series that I have been meaning to re-read for years, but have had so many unreads. One day.

I would have included SIGHTWITCH, by Susan Dennard, in this list, as it is technically a novella and also set before the other book. However SIGHTWITCH really should be book 3 and not an optional read (lest you want to miss half the reveals in BLOODWITCH), so I’m not counting it (just shouting it out, because #SightwitchIsBook3)

The taxi to town: A book about travel

Has a mild panic about this one as I’m interpreting this as a book ABOUT travel means the focus is the travelling, not a book WITH travel.

All that dithering aside, THE LAST VOYAGE OF POE BLYTHE, by Ally Condie, follows Poe on a rather disastrous maiden voyage of her new dredger ship. Pretty much everyone and everything is trying to sabotage her trip in this short but packed dystopia. I loved this book, feeling really different from the big dystopia trilogies with large rebellions and love triangle of the early 2010s. Hopefully it’s a sign that we’ll get more dystopias in the market soon because it’s time for a revival given everything. Just no more love triangles, please.

Trying to find a table: A book you didn’t like to start with, but then ended up loving

It took me two tries to read KINGSHOLD, by D. P. Woolliscroft, for a blog tour. I actually soft DNF’d this one the first time, putting it aside for over a month until I had to read it in order to post.

On the cards, this looked like everything I’d love – a political fantasy about an election. The problem is the start is just so slow. The characters are unconnected for ages, the world very slowly building up before the plot begins. The longer the books goes on, the easier it is to read and I ended up liking it. But it did take a fair bit of time.

First round of drinks: A first book in a series

THIS MORTAL COIL, by Emily Suvada, is a book I utterly adore. It’s a smart sci-fi/dystopia about plagues and gene hacking and evil governments – and it’s now a completed trilogy. I’ve had the finale, THIS VICIOUS CURE, on my shelves for the half year it’s been out, and just not got around to it yet.

As I’ve set myself the incredibly ambitious goal of reading everything off my shelves this summer, I should finally get around to finishing this trilogy (and about a half dozen others!) I’ve actually found reading about pandemics helpful at the moment, so it hopefully will be cathartic?

The dance floor: A book that makes you want to jump up and down with excitement

Book cover for BRIGHT RAVEN SKIES: title in white above a girl in a dress looking over the sea with an orange sky

Easily my most anticipated book of the second half of 2020, BRIGHT RAVEN SKIES, by Kristina Pérez, is the finale to the SWEET BLACK WAVES trilogy. This is a lush retelling of the Tristan and Eseult legend that centres on Eseult’s cousin, Branwen, who falls in love with Tristan – a noble from an enemy kingdom come to win the hand of Eseult for his uncle the king.

Star-crossed lovers, kingdoms at war, and magic potions make this a heartbreaking, thrilling read and I’m not sure I’m ready to find out how it ends. I vaguely know the ending of the general legend (it’s a troubadour tale – there are only so many ways it can end!), but I’ve been careful not to search it up in any detail.

The toilets: A book you wouldn’t touch with a barge pole

Putting aside all the books with authors we’ve been hearing a lot of bad stuff about recently, I have absolutely no interest in reading any more Cassandra Claire books. I somehow dragged myself through THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS in secondary school, but that did not incline me to ever read any more Shadowhunter books. It’s just not me.

The firs to bail: The last book you DNF’d

BROKEN SKY, by L. A. Weatherly, gets the dubious distinction of being the only book I’ve actually DNF’d this year. (There are other books I should have, but didn’t. DNF’ing is still a work in progress for me.)

There will be a proper mini-review in a DNF Round-up at some point this year (read: when I DNF’d enough books to make a full size post), but in short: it was too weird and yet just too too dull. It’s a 1940s dystopia thing, about aerial battles that had no emotion alongside a zodiac-mad villain and a POV who did nothing.

The journey home: A book you can’t really remember the plot of anymore

Hahaha – this could be most books! The downside of reading 200+ books a year is a terrible memory for book plots. There’s just too many to recall so they tend to merge. This is why I re-read so much, though the book tends to come back to me after about 50 pages.

Speaking of which, I cannot remember what happens in THE DEVOURING GRAY, by Christine Lynn Herman. The sequel, THE DECK OF OMENS, is sitting on my shelf right now, so you can bet I will be re-reading THE DEVOURING GRAY in the coming months.

The morning after: A comfort read

Naturally, my favourite book of all time gets to take this spot. THE CROWN OF EMBERS, by Rae Carson, is the second book in the Fire and Thorns trilogy. I can come back to this book again and again and again without getting bored – and have done so in the past!

Political fantasy, rising stakes, incredible romantic tension, guard/princess dynamic that actually acknowledges the power imbalance; this book has everything that I love.

I am tagging anyone who wants to try this! What books would you pick?

3 thoughts on “Book tag: The Bibliophile’s Night Out

  1. I’m with you on Cassandra Clare books. I used to like them a lot and Beth is witness to how fast I initially read those books but ever since the Dark Artifices I’ve completely fallen out with them. I’ll never read another.

    And I know exactly what you mean about the pandemic books. Reading All Fall Down by Sally Nicholls the other day has made me realise I’m the same.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a strange thing, the pandemic books, but alas no one is acquiring them atm, so we’ll get a dearth in the next few years


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