I’ve had a bit of a slow start to August – between a writing deadline and a reading slump I think it was the 7th before I finished a book! However, I’ve made a little bit of progress on my challenge TBR (see here for the introduction post), so here are some quick thoughts on the five books I’ve got to so far:
Adrift in Starlight by Mindi Briar was the first book I picked up. This is a cute, fairly light sci-fi story about a nonbinary courtesan and an asexual archaeologist finding a path outside the ones that other people have allocated them. It does touch on some serious subjects, but on the whole it’s a pretty gentle story about found family and acceptance – I found the plot meandered at times and I really had to push through the middle third of the book, but it’s worth it for the developing relationship and sweet characters. This would be good for fans of Kitra by Gideon Marcus!
After that I tried Among Thieves by MJ Kuhn, but it was a pretty quick DNF for me. I really don’t tend to enjoy gritty worlds, and this one just seemed to be sort of overtly grim (lots of mentions of bodily fluids in the streets, casual violence and slavery, etc). By 20% I still hadn’t really connected with any of the characters, so it wasn’t much fun watching them plot against each other as I had no one to root for. A shame, as I was looking forward to it, but I have so many other books to get on with!
In the mood for something easy to pick up and put down, I went for A Cathedral of Myth and Bone by Kat Howard, which is a collection of short stories. This was fantastic – so many really excellent stories. I’d read a couple before, just dipping into the book for the ones the friend who gave it to me recommended, but on a full read I discovered a lot of other gems. I particularly loved the novella ‘Once, Future’, which was such an interesting take on the power of Arthurian myth, and the very atmospheric ‘Saint’s Tide’.
After that I picked up A Single Thread of Moonlight by Laura Wood, which I’ve been putting in TBRs since December! This was a lovely read, a historical take on Cinderella that felt light and fresh and romantic and interesting. Iris was a really likeable heroine and I enoyed all the character dynamics a lot – I definitely recommend this for fans of more gentle historical romance. It’s YA only in as much as the heroine is 18, but it doesn’t feel out of place for an adult readership either.
And lastly for this fortnight I read A Storm of Sisters by Michelle Harrison, which is another great entry in the adventures of the Widdershins sisters! It was a bit weird to be reading such a wintry book in a heatwave, but it was a nice break from the sunshine! With this series, you’re always going to get a great spooky mystery and some lovely sisterly relationships, and this is no exception.
I’ve also started An Accident of Stars by Fox Meadows, so including that I have seven more books on the list to tackle. Let’s see if this is finally the month I get to them all!