Hey everyone, and welcome back to the blog! The Fall Into Fantasy Readathon is over – and what a week it was. I was very busy with university and teaching, so I was reading where I could – at home, in the coffee bar, in the library, and even sneakily in the office… Today, I’m going to wrap up my experiences completing the reading challenges that I spoke about in my TBR post!
Been on your TBR too long. For this challenge, I read Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody. This is a YA novel, which I read on my Kindle. I’ve been wanting to read this since it’s release, and I’ve finally done it! This follows Sorina, an illusion worker in a festival freak show. When one of her illusions is murdered, Sorina begins an investigation to find the killer and learn more about herself and her illusions – illusions that should not be able to be murdered… I really enjoyed this debut novel from Amanda Foody – it was a thrilling tale, in a magical world that felt oddly real. I thoroughly enjoyed it, meeting the characters and exploring the world, although at times I struggled to like Sorina and her narration, finding it sometimes odd or out of character. I also found the subplot of a war quite confusing, but I slowly got my head around it. The murder investigation side of things takes us on a journey to new places in the festival and it’ll be no surprise to you that I didn’t guess the killer, although some points seemed a little meh… I did however, enjoy the family dynamics at work here, and there was subtle, but well, written LGBT representation that doesn’t seem like it was written just to make the book seem more diverse. I’d highly recommend this though, and I rated it 4 stars.
Multiple POVs. For this challenge, I read An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. This is another YA novel, which I read on my Kindle. This follows Laia, a Scholar girl, under the rule of the Empire. When her grandparents are killed and her brother hauled off to prison, Laia turns to the underground rebels for help. They promise to help as long as she enters the brutal Blackcliff Academy to spy on the deadly Commandant. Meanwhile at the Academy, one of the greatest soldiers Elias is trying to escape his life. Laia and Elias’ destinies are about to entwine… I loved this so much! The world building with the ruling class and slaves felt realistic, not too over the top, and the writing was fluid. As a multiple POV book (which I’m not normally a fan of), the characters were distinguished from each other and felt very different. Both characters had endearing, interesting developments, even with the addition of romance. The romance subplots I enjoyed, but I’m still not sure who I like with who. The villains were people you love to hate, and I soon became suspicious of several side-characters. The introduction of mythical creatures was handled really well and were a different take on Beasts such as ifrits, which I’ve only really seen in video games. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, and I rated this 5 stars.
A new fantasy. I changed things up with this as I received my hardback copy of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald: Original Screenplay by J. K. Rowling. This is the script for the film, which is in cinemas now. This is the second original screenplay from the series, and follows Newt Scamander and friends as they travel to Paris to unearth Grindelwald’s plans. I did enjoy this, although days later, I can find issues – even simple things like how the layout and cute illustrations just pad out the book to make it seem longer or bigger… It was fun though, and I’d highly recommend seeing the film before going into the screenplay. I think the sound quality is sometimes off in the film and reading the book it makes it clear what the characters are saying or doing. It also makes things all the more surprising for the reveals! In the end, I rated this 4 stars.
So in the end, I only read three books, meaning as a technicality, I failed the readathon! Considering the books I did read though, I’m very happy with what I accomplished, especially considering how busy I’ve been. And that completes my readathon wrap up – I hope you enjoyed the reading challenges if you joined in!