April Wrap-Up (2013)

It’s time for the April wrap-up, a bit late. This year I wanted to ”go back to my roots” and read more high fantasy. I also wanted to read more classics – especially speculative fiction ones, ’cause that’s how I roll. So I sort of made a loose pact with myself that I would read one classic and one high fantasy book a month this year, but I’m not being too strict about it and won’t beat myself up if I don’t live up to it.

I use the following light grading system based on the GoodReads one:
1 out of 5 – I didn’t like it: badly written or just got on my nerves
2 out of 5 – It was okay: other people might enjoy it more
3 out of 5 – I liked it: a fun/enjoyable read
4 out of 5 – I really liked it: good characters & plot, maybe some theme that spoke to me
5 out of 5 – It was amazing: I consider it a favorite and will probably re-read at some point

Epic/High Fantasy Read of the Month

A Feast for Crows
A Feast for Crows
(A Song of Ice and Fire #4)
by George R.R. Martin
First published in 2005
From my own bookshelf

The fourth installment in A Song of Ice and Fire series was pretty slow going and didn’t move the plot onward enough. It was clear that the author struggled with this book, and his afterword confirms it. There were still wonderful little things we learned about the characters and their inner thoughts and motivations, but that alone does not a full book make. A Feast for Crows also suffered from the division of characters – the book didn’t feature many of my favorite characters at all. My least favorite of the series so far. 2/5

Classic Read of the Month

The Turn of he Screw
The Turn of the Screw
by Henry James
First published in 1898
From my own bookshelf

My classic choice of the month was this gothic horror classic about a governess plagued with ghosts. It took a while for me to get into the writing; Henry James seemed to like long sentences with lots of commas. I didn’t quite get everything that was happening here, but it seems to be a common problem. There are a lot of interesting theories about this book, though. While it’s not a big book at all, it took a while to read due to the writing style. 2/5

Adult Fantasy & Scifi

Rivers of London
(Peter Grant #1)
by Ben Aaronovitch
First published in 2011
Borrowed from my sister

A nice start to a modern fantasy series about a wizard policeman working in London. I talk more about the book here. 4/5

Teemestarin kirja
by Emmi Itäranta
First published in 2012, to be published in English 2014
Library book

A finnish dystopian about a a tea master in a world running out of water. The world did intrigue me, but I wasn’t that captivated with the characters. At times the writing managed to reach these zen-like moments of calm; especially the tea ceremony scenes made for some lovely reading. I was pleasantly surprised that the ending was completely different from the way I had imagined the story would go. 3/5

(Fever, #2)
by Karen Marie Moning
First published in 2006
Library book

In the adult paranormal romance series “Fever”, MacKayla Lane travels to Ireland to investigate her sister’s murder. She soon finds out that she is a sidhe-seer (i.e. she can see the Fae). I read the first book in November, and wasn’t that into it, but picked this second one up because I craved for something light to read. 2/5

Young Adult Fantasy & Scifi

Jäljellä & Toisaalla
By Salla Simukka
First published in 2012
Library book

This Finnish dystopian duology was a nice read. In the first book, Emmi finds out that almost everyone has disappeared from the world. The second book explains why that was, and what was really going on during Emmi’s adventures. A nice mini-series, but nothing new or groundbreaking for the genre. Jäljellä gets 3/5 and Toisaalla 2/5 stars.

Graphic Novels

Mustasuon mysteeri
by Kati Närhi
First published in 2012
Library book

This Finnish graphic novel is second in a series which tells about an orphan girl named Agnes who lives with her grandmother. I think the book is mainly aimed to tweens and teens? In this second installment, Agnes has to go live in a boarding school for a while. I liked the visual style and the story was a fun & quirky. 3/5


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