I’ve made a pretty great start so far this year, reading a total of 7 books and thoroughly enjoying most of them.
Ghostly Echoes – William Ritter – 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
My absolute favourite instalment to the Jackaby series so far. It was so much darker than the previous two novels which I really, really loved. I had chills so many times throughout this book. I think it’s literally the first time I’ve ever been genuinely scared by a vampire whilst reading. They’re usually written as romantic interests these days but this one was very old school and terrifying.
I felt like this was a real character-defining addition to the series and put our much-loved characters in difficult, complex situations. The supernatural/mythological aspects to this instalment in particular are probably my favourite so far for reasons that are very spoilery! And the romance between Abigail and Charlie is just the cutest 😍 They’re one of my absolute favourite fictional couples. But what I love about this series is that the romance is very much a sub-plot and not much focus is given to it, which just makes me treasure the rare, adorable moments they share together even more!
Fun, compelling and character-driven – the perfect series for readers who like to have a lot of fun when they read.
The Whispering Skull – Jonathan Stroud – 🌟🌟🌟🌟.75
Yep, so I’m addicted to this series already. I’m not sure how I managed to get so invested so quickly, but I am in deep. The mystery was a lot more complex than the first instalment of the series and somehow left me even more creeped out and on the edge of my seat. I couldn’t read the last 100 pages quick enough, I was that desperate to consume the story.
I did have to knock a .25 off however because I honestly cannot stand Lucy’s internal misogyny. It drives me up the wall. ‘Oh, look, a girl. I must hate her!’ And the fat-shaming of George also upsets me because I adore George. He’s easily my favourite character and the one I relate to the most what with all his nerdy tendencies for history and research. What’s annoying about these two things is that it’s just so necessary. The books would still be just as perfect without these rude, offensive aspects to them. But Lucy is a really judgmental person in general, so I’ll just try to ignore these things and attempt to see it as just a character flaw. A very big character flaw #problematicfave
Creepy, suspenseful and tons of fun – the perfect series for those who enjoy a decent mystery with lots of ghostly goings-on.
The Young Elites – Marie Lu – 🌟🌟🌟
For some reason, I thought this book would be a dystopian. So I was a tad surprised when I started reading and, to my delight, quickly realised it was a fantasy series. As you can see, I knew next to nothing before going into this book and I came out of it feeling pretty meh about it.
I really enjoyed some aspects to it like Adelina’s dark nature and her thirst for revenge. But that’s all she is – she didn’t have any other personality traits really apart from her constant whining. Adelina should have been the type of character I love but I just didn’t get on with her for some reason which prevented me from being fully absorbed in the story. Also the plot was pretty cliched too. I did really love the villain though. I thought he was perfectly terrifying yet understandable which made him all the more believable. I’ll probably still continue on with this series as I liked where the story was going for the last 10 or so pages and I care enough to see how it all wraps up. But I think I definitely prefer the idea of the novel rather than the execution.
Fast-paced, enjoyable but pretty bog standard – perfect for people starting out with the fantasy genre who also crave a bit of darkness in their reading.
Crimson Bound – Rosamund Hodge – 🌟🌟🌟🌟
I was a huge fan of Cruel Beauty last year so I thought I’d pick up another of Hodge’s novels and I’m really glad that I did. Her writing is just so beautiful and atmospheric. I feel like it definitely won’t be to everyone’s tastes but I’ve just completely fallen in love with her style. It reminds me a little of Laini Taylor’s style of writing – lyrical and effortless. I adored the world in this too. It was imaginative, creepy and unique. And I adored Rachelle – she was the perfect blend of badass and vulnerability and she felt like a fully fleshed out, flawed character. The only thing I wasn’t so keen on was the pacing. The first 200 pages or so flowed well but it did have a bit of a dip towards the middle-end. But the intense ending more than made up for that.
Lyrical, romantic and just a little bit dark – perfect for readers who love strong, realistic female characters with a unique backdrop.
My Lady Jane – Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows – 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5
I was so pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this one! The humour was so my cup of tea. It’s very rare that I find myself laughing out loud whilst reading a book but this had me full-on snorting, it was that funny. Particularly the Shakespeare quotes and the dynamics between Jane and her horse-husband, G, who were the cutest couple, by the way. This is absolutely the perfect kind of romance for me. Sweet, funny, subtle and built on mutual admiration and respect *swoons* The characters in general were wonderfully written. I could easily read much, much more about them. I was also thoroughly impressed by how seamless the story felt, given that it was written by three different authors. The pacing of the novel and the overall flow were spot on. Just the whole idea of it in general I found fascinating – it’s just so imaginative to take such a horrific part of history and turn it into this. I’m definitely going to pretend this is what really happened.
Sharp, witty and fun – perfect for readers who want a little something different.
Gathering Darkness – Morgan Rhodes – 🌟🌟🌟🌟
It’s been a while since I was in this world but I found it just as addicting as the previous two in the series. There’s just something about Rhodes’ writing style that makes me inhale her books from start to finish. And her characters are just as compelling. Gathering Darkness was definitely my favourite from the series so far with all its revelations. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next ones and inhale those ones too!
Dark, gritty and jaw-dropping – perfect for readers who love twisty fantasy plots.
The Nowhere Emporium – Morgan Rhodes Ross MacKenzie – 🌟🌟.75
I did have a fun time whilst reading this and I liked how it reminded me of a cross between Doctor Who and Harry Potter but the characters fell very flat for me and the characters are always the most important thing for my enjoyment of a novel. But it was definitely a fun ride and I thoroughly enjoyed the magical elements of it and the fact that the magic was wholly dependent upon a person’s imagination – that was pretty cool. The plot itself was pretty basic and underdeveloped and there was never a time when a plot point wasn’t completely obvious. I get that it’s a children’s book but I think younger readers are perfectly perceptive and intelligent enough to pick up on subtle hints without the author having to spoon feed the plot to them.
Magical, inventive but very simplistic – perfect for readers who fancy a bit of light, fun reading.
So that’s it for my wrap-up for this month! What was your favourite book that you read in January?