What Have I Been Reading?

Over the past couple weeks I’ve gotten a lot of reading done. But considering everything going on in the world right now social distancing lends itself to quiet time. So I thought I would do another post on what I’ve read with my thoughts on each book.

Vengeful by V.E. Schwab: This is book two in the series and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Well was I surprised by the amount of violence in this book. The story is again about our two main protagonists (?) Victor and Eli. In the first book Eli was captured and Victor was killed and now Eli is imprisoned by an organization called EON and Victor has been resurrected by Sydney (no spoiler it happens in the first couple pages) but there is something wrong with him and he is looking for another EO (extraOrdinary) who can fix him. Sydney is feeling extremely guilty and is having nightmares. 

Sydney started dying, but only in her dreams.

The nightmares began when they left Merit. Night after night, she’d close her eyes and find herself back on the frozen lake, the one that had cracked and broken and swallowed her and her sister up three years before.”

I actually started this book and then put it down because I wasn’t in the right place for a dark story. I also considered taking it back to the library and not finishing it but after a few days I felt better and really wanted to know what was going to happen. So if I have one complaint about the book it is just how dark and graphic it really is so buckle up for a heck of a ride. 

What I loved about the book was the story the author puts together. The characters are rich and come alive on the page. Marcella and June are two of my favorites. No spoilers I promise! I am very quickly becoming an avid fan of V.E. Schwab. I give this book 5 out of 5.

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson: This is a young adult sci-fi book which I typically don’t like. I love sci-fi movies and tv shows but just don’t care for it in books. But I heard some really good things about it and so thought I would give it a try. I downloaded the audio book from the library and I will say the narrator did a fantastic job. 

This is the story of a young girl whose father is branded a coward which is considered a crime in their culture. She is therefore also condemned for her father’s sin and is ostracized within the community. She wants to be a pilot like her father and prove to people that she can be more than their low expectations of her.

What I didn’t like about the book is the fact that I’m not a huge fan of Brandon Sanderson and so went into the book with a chip on my shoulder. I will admit it here that I may not like the author but I do like this book. Brandon Sanderson builds a very detailed and vibrant world in which to torture Sensa (protagonist). The character development is fantastic and as she grew so did my love for her. She’s strong, independent and a fighter. That’s what I loved about this book. The author also didn’t overdo the angst and completely eliminated any love interest which, considering the circumstances, was refreshing. I will be reading the next book in the series for sure. I give this book 5 out of 5.

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian is a young adult fantasy novel that takes place in a world where the main character, Theodosia, is being held prisoner by the conquering Kalovaxians who killed her mother, the queen, in front of her. Theodosia can’t even use her real name and is whipped repeatedly by the Kaiser. This is a fantastic book and I can highly recommend the audio book. The narrator brought so much emotion to a very tense story. 

I had a really hard time with the more violent aspects of the story especially one scene (no spoilers) in which Theodosia is held accountable for something and is punished. 

Even thought I do NOT like to read about violence against children I muscled my way through those scenes because the vast majority of the book is excellent. The world is fleshed out and draws you in deeply. The characters struggle and fail and get back up again. The ending of this book is what I wanted from the book Red Queen. I absolutely loved this book and already have the other two books on hold. I give this a big 10 out of 5. Honestly. Read this book.

Veiled by Benedict Jacka: This is an adult urban fantasy and is another in the Alex Verus series. In this book Verus is caught up in the politics of the magical world and it leads to some pretty intense situations. There is some violence but it is tempered somewhat so compared to Vengeful it’s pretty tame.

What I didn’t like about the book was the politics and how confusing it was at times. There are a lot of moving parts and characters that come up from previous books. Thankfully the author does a pretty good job of jogging your memory so the confusion didn’t last very long.

I love this series and especially the audio books. The narrator, Gildart Jackson, does a fantastic job bringing the characters to life and Mr. Jacka has created a world in London that is someplace I want to visit. Less the mages attacking me from all directions please. There is also a lot of very smart and interesting dialog between the characters and the author doesn’t do an info dump. The information comes to you via conversations that take place as part of the situation. I am already listening to the next book in the series. I give this book a 5 out of 5

TBR: I’m currently listening to Burned by Benedict Jacka and it’s started out with a bang. Not literally! I am also reading The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima. This has been on my shelf since Christmas and I finally just put everything else aside so I could start this series. I’m also hoping to start Ice Like Fire which is the second book in the Snow Like Ashes series. I have a lot of books on hold on the Libby app and I’m hoping those come through soon although I do have two audio books from Audible to listen to. They’re just really long and so far a little boring. I’ll write more about those at another time.

So, that’s what I’ve been reading. I’ve been taking advantage of the time at home and I hope all of you are safe and healthy. With this pandemic it’s a scary time but if we come together and make sure those who are most at risk are protected then we’re doing a good thing. Take advantage of social distancing to spend time with your family and to get some reading done. 

Until next time my friends!


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