Friday, 31 August 2018

Quickie Reviews

It's that time again to round up all the books I've read but not reviewed. These are a mix of readathon reads and books I picked up for challenges and didn't feel compelled to write full reviews for. Links go to Goodreads for more information.


Angelic: Heirs and Graces is an adorable comic about the genetically engineered animals left behind after a war which destroys the human race. As well as being fun with some of the cutest characters ever, it also looks at themes of patriarchy, behavioural programming and prejudice.

Run, Riot is Nikesh Shukla's first young adult novel, set in a tower block in an un-named UK city (but I think it's Bristol). The action takes place in the 24 hours following the murder of a youth by the police, with a group of friends trying to flee the tower and release the evidence. It tackles themes of gentrification and corruption as well as racism and it was great to see this from a British perspective.


Gods, Monsters and the Lucky Peach by Kelly Robson was my choice for the Popsugar prompt "fruit or vegetable in the title". I liked the idea of a post-apocalyptic world run by the banks where environmentalists time travel to the past. However I found it confusing and a lot was not very well explained; plague babies, fat babies, billable hours and fakes? A third of this novella was dedicated to the team's bid for the project (is the author a project manager by any chance?). The ending was also unfulfilling, not my favourite Tor novella by a long way.

I listened to David Suchet narrate Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile for a book that is also a stage play (Popsugar). It was a bit cheesy with slightly camp voices but I don't mind this for Poirot, they are hardly highly realistic to start with. I did think the socialist character was overly horrible, was Christie a hardened capitalist? With them travelling to Egypt there is some casual racism flung in too.


Paper and Fire is the second book in Rachel Caine's Great Library series. Jess unearths more conspiracies in a bid to rescue one of their own from the clutches of the library. I really like that the library is a corrupt power in these books, but still reminding now and then of its potential to be a power for good. It wasn't as good as the first book but I will continue the series. I'm using this for Popsugar's book involving a bookstore or library.

Affinity by Sarah Waters was my pick for a bestseller from the year I graduated high school (Popsugar). I dislike this prompt muchly, but I did convince myself that this 1999 novel about Victorian prisons and spiritualism would count. The descriptions of life in the women's sections of Millbank Prison were fascinating. It seemed very much like the asylums of the time, when women were locked up for the smallest things. Not my favourite of her books but better than The Paying Guests.


I listed to Barracoon: The Story of the Last Slave by Zora Neale Hurston for Read Harder's posthumous prompt. The short account of Cudjo's life is an important slice of history and Robin Miles' narration is suberb. However this book has so much padding. A dreary 40 minute introduction repeats some of what is in Zora's work and then focuses on accusations of plagurism, not exactly inspiring you to carry on. At the end are also some folk stories as told by Cudjo.

Remember choose your own adventure books? My Lady's Choosing is a choose your own regency romance. It's a bit of fun and tongue-in-cheek, but don't expect anything too amazing from the plots. For my first read through I favoured adventure and ended up with Lady Evangeline. I suspect this might be the best story of the bunch, but I only did one more "adventure" which took me towards the Darcy type character. This one wasn't as good and the characters just felt like they were going through the motions. I would still like to see more of these choose your own adventure books!

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