Hello everyone, how are we all today? Welcome to part three of my 2018 recent reads. With the publishing of this post I have read and reviewed 29 books this year. So I am well on my way to reading 50 books in 2018. These last few weeks have seen a slow down in my reading, part one contained eleven books, part two ten, and this recent reads part there is only eight books. I think it’s to do with some travelling and busier weekends now that the sun has started to shine for us.
Black Cats and Butlers (Rose Raventhorpe Investigates, #1) by Janine Beacham **** 4 stars
This is the first of three books in the same series on today’s recent reads list. Yes they are kids books, and no I don’t care. These are the perfect read while I wait for my favourite mystery writers to get their next books to me. These books are ones that I would have liked to have read when I was growing up. I would have loved to go to the library and hunt out the next Rose Raventhorpe tale. Rose Raventhorpe is the daughter of a Lord and Lady, living in Yorke during the Victorian times. When someone close to her is murdered Rose takes it upon herself to hunt down the murderer. She’s helped by a secret society who are known as the guardians of Yorke and what follows is a delightful romp around the cobbled streets of Yorke.
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden *** 3 stars
Fi had been telling me for ages to read this book, so I finally listened! We follow Vasya who lives with her Dad, Stepmother and siblings in the Russian wilderness. Vasya can sense magic and see demons all of which are frowned upon by the church. So in case you couldn’t guess, it’s a Russian folklore/fantasy read with a feminist twist. It took me a little bit of time to get into it, and I wasn’t as obsessed as I had expected to be, but I did enjoy it. I was intrigued by the characters and I do want to read book two soon.
Rubies and Runaways (Rose Raventhorpe Investigates, #2) by Janine Beacham **** 4 stars
Book two in the Rose Raventhorpe series and this time Rose is investigating the kidnap of children from an orphanage. There’s some excellent characters introduced in this story, good and bad. Full of adventure and mystery it was definitely good to be back with Rose and her friends.
The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green **** 4 stars
Having just finished Sally Green’s Half Bad series and loving it, I jumped at the chance to get my hands on an early copy of The Smoke Thieves via NetGalley. The Smoke Thieves is set in a fantasy world of four kingdoms. We follow the individual stories of five teenagers; a princess, a traitor, a thief, a soldier and a demon hunter across these kingdoms. It’s obvious from the start that these five stories will eventually combine, so I spent a lot of the book trying to figure out just how that would happen. I have to admit that I found this quite slow to start, but in the second half things kick off and I found myself hooked in and wanting more. It’s a great start to the series and I’m intrigued to read the next one.
*I received a copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review*
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweer by Jamie Ford ***** 5 stars
This book was sent to me by an Instagram friend as part of a book exchange. She lives in Seattle and wanted to send me her favourite book which happens to be set in her city. The book follows Henry, a Chinese-American boy, and Keiko, a Japanese-American girl, during the internment of WWII. It’s a period of history that I really don’t know much about, but I found it utterly fascinating, and also devastating. If you haven’t read it, run and find a copy now. It’s my favourite book of the year, no contest.
Run Riot by Nikesh Shukla **** 4 stars
I’m a big, big fan of Nikesh Shukla. I devoured The Good Immigrant and I’m patiently waiting for the imminent arrival of The Good Journal later this year. So when I heard that he had written a YA book centred around people living in a block of flats, set in real time and involving teenagers standing up for themselves and their community I was instantly intrigued.
The book starts with friends Hari and Jamal witnessing the murder of a local man, soon Hari and Jamal are on the run from the police alongside Hari’s twin sister Taran, and Jamal’s girlfriend Anna. The book becomes a race to save themselves from their hunters and share what they witnessed with the rest of the world. I raced through this book in just a day and I would happily have read more if it was available.
Hounds and Hauntings (Rose Raventhorpe Investigates, #3) by Janine Beacham *** 3 stars
Rose Raventhorpe again! I picked this up as I couldn’t get into my other book and I knew that I had an hour train journey to get through. Which is the great thing about these books, at 280 pages they are an easy read, and I was over halfway through by the time I reached my destination.
In Hounds and Hauntings we follow Rose as she investigates whether it’s really a ghost dog that is attacking people in the narrow cobbled streets of Yorke. Once again I really enjoyed this story, however it’s only a three stars because there was some bad editing in the book. At the final showdown we suddenly see a character that had previously been confined to a hospital bed. Somehow they made a miraculous recovery for the big explanation before promptly being back in hospital in the next chapter. So yeah, that’s irritating. But other than that, I’m a fan!
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood **** 4 stars
So I completely recognise that this is considered a modern classic which means it’s a little bit of a travesty that I am only now reading it. There’s no excuse as to why it’s taken me so long to pick it up. It just never happened. But when it was book of the month at work I grabbed a copy and then used the latest bank holiday to read it.
And wow is this disturbing?! I mean I knew it would be but knowing it and reading it are two very different things. The Handmaid’s Tale follows Offred and her life as a handmaid in The Republic of Gilead. In this dystopian world handmaid’s have only one purpose, to breed. Offred must supply the Commander and his wife Serena Joy with a child. If she succeeds she will move onto the next Commander, if she fails she will hang on the wall or be pushed out to deal with the radiation clean up. What a choice! This book is devastating and hideous and also utterly unputdownable.
So there you have it, my recent reads from the last four weeks. What have you all been reading recently? Have you read any of the books in this post, if not which ones are you most intrigued by? Don’t forget to join me over on GoodReads if you want a more up to date look at what I am reading.