The last month has been fantastic when it comes to reading; I’ve had a lot of time for books and it has felt fantastic. So far this year I haven’t managed to read anywhere near as much as usual and I really haven’t felt like myself because of it.
I started the month with a novel that I picked up as part of my most recent library haul. I’ve read a couple of Kathy Reichs’ books before; Bones to Ashes follows the Montreal forensic anthropologist as she investigates the disappearance of a childhood friend.
While entertaining enough, Reichs isn’t one of my favourite crime authors as I find her books a bit dry. This one has quite a dark story, involving child pornography and sadistic gangsters, but it wasn’t as engaging as I would have liked.
After reading a great review on another blog, I picked up Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff while at the Metro Centre a few months back. When Kady breaks up with Ezra, she thinks that is as bad as the day can get. Until the remote mining planet they live on is attacked by gunships from a large corporation, and the estranged teens find themselves on board spaceships fleeing for their lives. But when a strange plague breaks out among the fleet, Kady and Ezra are forced to work together to save as many lives as they can.
I’m not always convinced by books that have more than one author, but I actually really enjoyed this one. It’s written in unique style, with the story told through the fleet’s private files, records and transcripts of emails and instant messages. The book itself is artfully put together with artwork on every page and it’s worth buying a paper copy rather than the e-version for this reason.
Always an exciting and fast-paced read, this is the first book in a series I’m looking forward to continuing. My only slight criticism is the obvious Firefly influences, both in some of the slang used like ‘the verse’ and ‘the black’ and the symptoms of the disease as it manifests among the fleet’s crew. I loved Firefly, so it jarred a bit to find some of the things I associate with that world in this story. But it was fun to read some sci-fi, as it isn’t a genre I spend a lot of time with.
Next up are another two crime novels, Dead Men’s Bones and Prayer for the Dead by Scottish author James Oswald. I’m now well into this series, which follows Edinburgh detective Tony McLean as he deals with a range of brutal crimes that always seem to have a supernatural undertone.
The author balances the supernatural elements of the story with the traditional crime side of these stories, so they never feel too outlandish. And McLean is an interesting character: a hard-working detective from a wealthy family, he lost his parents as a child and his fiancée was murdered by a serial killer. As the series progresses, I’d love to see the various cases come together as part of a bigger scheme. With the unusual path the stories always take, it could be possible!
Despite me holding off for years, I’ve finally started to read the Harry Potter novels – and so far I’m loving them! I finished the first four in September, and I’ll write about my reaction in more detail once I’ve completed all seven.
Also this month I started Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, another book from my library haul. I’ve already seen the film adaptation of this novel, which was a solid okay, but I only read the first few chapters of the book before deciding not to finish.
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- Bones to Ashes, by Kathy Reichs
- Illuminae, by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
- Dead Men’s Bones, by James Oswald
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling
- Prayer for the Dead, by James Oswald
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J.K. Rowling
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by J.K. Rowling
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by J.K. Rowling