What I Read Last Week

I believe I talked about this before but I have recently discovered I can read paper books without having any blurring of my eyes. I’ve spoken to my eye doctor about this and there is nothing wrong with my eyes he says it’s eye strain and to take frequent breaks. This can be very frustrating when I’m reading on my Kindle and completely immersed in a story and have to stop. Now I can read for as long as I want and it has significantly increased the number of books I’m reading and my enjoyment. 

I thought I would share with you what I read last week and I’m going to include audiobooks as well. It was a pretty productive week and having found a fireplace app on my cable box I can set a very cozy atmosphere that makes reading so much more fun. 

Ok enough of the jibber jabber. Here’s what I read last week.

A Gathering of Shadows by VE Schwab: I really loved this book. This is the second book in the Darker Shades of Magic series and here we follow Kell, Lila, Rhy and Alucard as they participate in a tournament where magic is used in duels that will determine the champion. This tournament includes competitors from other kingdoms in this world and so we meet other people and learn about their cultures. There is a subplot which is setting up for the third book in which Holland is back as King of White London but he is possessed by a god, Osaron, from Black London. The tournament is held but I won’t give away any of the details because it makes for some great reading. There is also some conflict between the King and Kell that leads to a brilliant ending. I won’t say anymore and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. My only complaint is I saw the ending coming but what I loved about the book is the depth of character development. In the first book we met three of the main characters and they were fleshed to the extent that we fell more deeply in love with them even if they were doing some questionable things and making some poor decisions. The author gives us much more time with the characters in this book and we learn about their strengths and, more importantly, their weaknesses. Alucard is introduced in this book and he is a wonderful character. A pirate and a cheerfully dangerous man. He is smart, funny and loyal as well. We also learn he is keeping a secret from his crew which was a total surprise. Over all I give this book a four out of five stars.

Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger: This is a middle school book that is lovely and engrossing. This is the first book in a series that, at this time, has eight books. We meet Sophie who is a twelve year old girl who is telepathic and is struggling to control her power. This has caused her to be withdrawn and without any friends in school. On a field trip to the natural history museum she meets a boy who tells her she isn’t human and is, in fact, an elf and her power is considered normal. He takes her away from the human world and she finds that for the first time since she was five years old she can’t hear other people’s thoughts. I read this book in about 8 hours, spread out over two days, and I think this it is almost as good as the Harry Potter books. My only complaint is the supporting characters, specifically Sophie’s nemesis in school, aren’t as well developed as they could be and but we still enjoy the drama of being a twelve year old in school, albeit a magic school. Give me a magic school and some cool classes and I’m all in. What I loved about this book is the magic system and the world the author creates. There is a mystery that unfolds in a very interesting way that leads to some intense scenes. The author isn’t afraid to have her character’s experience some pretty bad situations and experience intense emotions. I found myself so wrapped up in these that at one point I looked up and thought “wow this is a book in the juvenile section at the library?” All in all I thoroughly enjoyed this book and already have the second book. I give it 4 our of 5 stars.

Hidden by Benedict Jacka (audiobook): This is an adult urban fantasy set in London and is about Alex Verus who is a mage that owns a magic shop. He was once the unwilling apprentice to a dark mage and escaped only to spend most of his youth running away from his master who eventually disappears. Now he is learning how to live life without constantly looking over his shoulder. This is actually the fifth book in the Alex Verus series and I have enjoyed them all immensely. In this book Alex is asked by his apprentice, Luna, to talk with her best friend, Ann, because she decided to leave the light magic’s apprentice program. Doing so means Ann is out in the world without a master and is vulnerable. Dark mages will often abduct apprentices and press them into service, torturing them until they comply. Ann initially rejects Alex’s help but is soon missing and his search for her is the main story. My only complaint about this book is it took a little while for the story to set up. I found myself starting and stopping because I wasn’t engaged. Eventually things get very interesting and intense and I was totally hooked wondering how they were going to get out of a very sticky situation. Oh and there is a bit of a surprise that I didn’t see coming at all. The characters are written so well that they feel like real people struggling not only in their situations but with internal demons and their pasts. The narrator does a brilliant job and I always knew who was speaking and when the situation called for some truly intense emotion moments her didn’t hold back. I also liked the book being set in England because it added a unique flavor and style. I really loved this book just as I’ve loved all the books I’ve read in the series. I give this a five out of five. 

It was a good reading week for me. I found myself getting up early to read because I wanted to spend time with the characters in these books. 

My TBR (to be read) pile for this week includes Keeper of the Lost Cities: Exile (book 2) and A Conjuring of Light (the third book in the Darker Shades of Magic trilogy). I’m also listening to Golden in Death by JD Robb a long running series. This is the 50th book which I’ve been looking forward to for many months. I’ll update you next week. 

As always thank you for visiting and make sure to follow me so you’re notified about new blog posts. 

Have a wonderful week my friends.

Therese

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