August Wrap-Up

While last month wasn’t very strong on the speculative fiction front, this month I read nothing else. Some books have links to my reviews, some have mini-reviews right here in the post.

Fantasy / Sci-Fi / Horror

North End - Niskaan putoava taivas
‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King – review here

North End – Niskaan putoava taivas by Laura Lähteenmäki – review here

Forsaken by Jana Oliver – review here

Kadonneet kyyneleet
by Mike Pohjola
First published in 2008

Kadonneet kyyneleet (”Lost Tears”) is a Finnish YA fantasy book. It’s set both in our modern world and in a magical world of flower, tree and mushroom spirits called airis. Depressed teenager Roosa is dealing with her father’s death, her mother’s neglect and her memories of visiting a magical world when she was a kid. Punakaneli is an apple airis who has lived a sheltered life on its island. It needs to leave the island for a mission, where it finds out that the airis people are at war.

The book was a bit uneven – the modern-day depression clashed with the very fairytale-like telling of the airis parts. This might have been the plan of the author, but it could’ve worked better as a whole. I liked the book well enough, though.

(I need to mention that since Finnish doesn’t have a gendered pronoun, I chose to use ‘it’ for Punakaneli, since I don’t know if it is a he or a she, or if the airis are even gendered at all.)

Catching Fire
(The Hunger Games #2)
by Suzanne Collins
First published in 2009

The Capitol isn’t happy about the way Katniss Everdeen survived the Hunger Games, and the President gets personally involved. Katniss continues to be a cool & kick-ass main character, and I just love reading what goes through her head. Her inner monologue is one of the main things why I like these books (and it’s sadly missing in the movie, which I just couldn’t get that into). Suzanne Collins is a compelling writer: the writing flows so well and I just get carried away by the story. I really enjoyed reading this and am looking forward to the third book.

Shades of Milk and Honey
(Glamourist Histories #1)
by Mary Robinette Kowal
First published in 2010

Shades of Milk and Honey is a fantasy book set in an alternate Regency England where magic exists. Jane Ellsworth is a plain looking lady of twenty-eight whose skill with glamour is remarkable. She and her beautiful but less talented sister Melody need to get married, because they can’t inherit their father’s estate.

It is clear that the author loves Jane Austen’s books, and she thanks her in the acknowledgements. Although this is an original piece of fiction and not a retelling, you can definitely guess some of the plot twists if you’ve read your Austen. Some of the character archetypes are also the same, e.g. the overly dramatic mother and the dashing captain.

I wanted to get really drawn in to the book and love it, but ended up just liking it. I don’t really even know why. The characters of Jane, the Dunkirks and especially Mr. Vincent are interesting and likable. The book is charming and definitely worth a read, especially if you love magic and Austen.

Graphic Novels

Read this month’s graphic novel reviews here, including:

  • Anya’s Ghost
  • Runaways vol.4
  • B.P.R.D.: Plague of Frogs vol.1

This post is linked at The Book Rat’s August Rewind/September TBR post.


2 thoughts on “August Wrap-Up

    • I think you should definitely read it! We talked about Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell a bit in one of my “It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?” posts, right? This book isn’t as mind-blowing, but if you love Austen, Regency and magic, you’re bound to find this book charming.

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