Monstrous Little Voices, a short story collection edited by Jonathan Barnes

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I was very intimidated by this book because I never read (or seen) any Shakespeare’s plays. It’s not because I’m a lousy student or anything, it’s just that in France, we don’t study English playwriters that much since we have a good number of excellent ones, like Molière, Racine and Corneille (for example) to study.
Of course, I wasn’t completly ignorant, I knew about Romeo & Juliet and I had heard about Macbeth, Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing but I didn’t really knew those stories.

However, you don’t really need to know Shakespeare to enjoy this book. All the storie are both understandable and enjoyable without knowing the plays they’re referencing. I do think that you’ll get more out of them if you know some of his plays, the ones that are the most important in this short story collection are The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth and Much Ado About Nothing. I’m pretty sure other stories were referenced but I think that I just didn’t recognise them.

Before reading this book, I read some synopses of some of his plays and I think that it was a good idea. So if like me, you know next to nothing about Shakespeare and you want to get the most out of those story, and I would highly recommend Wikipedia or that you watch some videos of Overly Sarcastic Production because her Shakespeare Summarized playlist is awesome!

Now let’s talk about the actual stories! Monstrous Little Voices was overall a great collection of stories, they all are very magical and really intriguing. I really loved two of the novellas and I really disliked only one. As for the other two, I liked them.

Coral Bones by Foz Meadows 5*

This story was terribly clever. It’s definitely my favorite of the whole collection. You could buy the book only for this novella and it would completely be worth it. It’s a mix of The Tempest (it follow Miranda, Prospero’s daughter) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream and it’s full of magic and fairies and it had a great reflexion on genders and representation. The pacing, the writing and the plot were perfect. I have no other words really.
I can sometimes struggle with novellas because I usually find that they are too long short story and they don’t have enough elements to be a novel. Because of that I tend to find them boring.
However, This story wasn’t boring, this story was genius.
It’s almost unfair that Monstrous Little Voices began with it because I expected to love all the other stories as much and I didn’t.

The Course of True Love by Kate Heartfield 4.5*

It was again, an amazing story. It was mainly inspired by A Midsummer Night’s dream. It follows a witch and her quest to find an emprisonned fairy ambassador to prevent a war. It’s a story about love, tolerance, magic and growing old. Heratfield’s prose was lush and flowed very well. Not quite as good as Meadows’ story, but still great.

The Unkindest Cut by Emma Newman 3.5*

This story has a very interesting structure, because, unlike the other stories of this collection, it’s not divided into acts or days. It’s told in one go and I think that it was a great choice. Indeed, I think that it helped keeping “a just” pacing during the whole story.
It follows a girl who learns a prophecy and her actions to prevent it. And you surely know that in Shakespeare’s plays, it doesn’t usually turn well.
I especially like the ending that I didn’t see coming at all! It had elements from The Tempest, Macbeth and probably other plays that I just didn’t get.

Even in the Cannon’s Mouth by Adrian Tchaikovski 1*

I don’t have much to say about this one. It was very confusing, a lot of things felt rushed, it had too many references to too many plays and it turned it, in my opinion at least, in a giant mess towards the end… It’s the only story in this collection that I wouldn’t recommend.

On The Twelth Night by Jonathan Barnes 3*

This story a good way to finish this collection. I didn’t mention this before but all the stories in this are linked and it’s better to read them in order. I don’t want to say much about this story other that it’s told in a second person narrative and the main point of view is from Anne Hathaway (Shakespeare wife). It’s set in an alternate universe where Shakespeare never was a famoust dramaturge and it was very interesting. I struggled a bit with the second person narrative but except that, I think that it was an intriguing story.

 

Overall, I would highly recommend that you give this short story collection a try! 🙂

★★★★

 

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Catch-Up Reviews : Nightmare #37 & #43

Okay so I am way behind on reviews. I am almost done with exams so I’ll try to review pretty quickly most of the things I read this month. I’ll try to do a ‘flash review’ everyday until I managed to catch-up because the amount of things to review is stressing me out.

So for my first round of Catch-Up Review of the month, I’m going to talk about the two issues of Nightmare I read this month pretty briefly. April was a short fiction heavy month for me, I think that I must have read about forty or fifty of them, at this point, I don’t even know anymore… Why is that? Well, when you are in a huge exam period, squeezing two or three stories a day is a good way to relax and it doesn’t much time. Because of that, I discovered some new great magazines of short fiction and the first one of those is Nightmare Magazine.

I never thought of myself as a horror fan because I tend to be scared very easily but still, I discovered that I actually like to be creeped out a little.

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At the beginning of the month, I bought Nightmare’s Queers Destroy Horror special issue which came out in October of last year because earlier this year, I really liked Alyssa Wong’s Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers and I really wanted to read other stories in this issue to see what I’ll think about them.

I won’t talk about all of them because, to be honest, I don’t remember all of them that well so I’ll just mentionned my favorites.

Golden Lips, Red Lips by Matthew Bright is retelling of The Picture of Dorian Gray and I really enjoyed it because it’s set in San Franscisco during the beginnig of the AIDS epidemic. Overall, it was extremely interesting and I really enjoyed both the pacing and the writing style. It also helped that Wilde’s book is one of my favorite book of all time. (4*)

Alien Jane by Kelly Eskridge was just wonderful, it was pretty creepy but at the same time heartwarming towards the end and I was really amazed by this story. It’s set in  a mental hospital but it has none of the horror tropes that we can associate with it and I was extremely grateful for that. (4.5*)

The Lord of Corrosion by Lee Thomas was again an amazing story. This one was extremely creepy, I read this before going to sleep because I am a dummy and I have to say that it wasn’t the best decision of my life. It follows a gay main character who has to raise his adoptive daughter on his own after the death of his partner and he slowly realized that his daughter’s imaginary friend may not be as imaginary as that.  (5*)

Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers by Alyssa Wong was as amazing as a reread as I thought it would be. Now I think that I love this story even more! It follows Jenny, a woman with a strange appetite, she eats thoughts and she especially love dark ones. However one day, she eats the thoughts of a murderer, something that her mother always forbidden her to do. Indeed, now that she has tasted a murderer, she wants more of it which leads her in quest where she’s trying to find worst and worst people to eat it up. This story has been nominated in a couple of awards like the Nebulas and I really hope that it’ll end up in the Hugo shortlist. (4.5*)

This issue being a special issue, it had more stories than usual, I liked them all overall but not enough to talk about all of them in details. I have to quickly mention Dispatches from A Hole in The World by Sunny Moraine that was about the Suicide Year where basically a ton of people ages from 10 to 25 killed themselves on social media. This story was so horrifying it left me completely nauseated however the ending felt completely flat for me. (2.5*)

 

This issue also had really interesting non fiction essay on the difficulties of being queer in a genre where being gay, lesbian, bisexual etc… is usually an aspect that was (and sometimes still is) used to describe “bad people” in stories if not complete monsters and how having main characters in stories being queers can be an obstacle to publication.

Also, this issue had an interestting poetry section, I am not the biggest fan of poetry, at least it’s very rare for me to enjoy poetry written in English (or basically any other language that French) because if it’s hard to understand metaphors in your mother tongue, it’s even more complicated in another one! 😛 However, I found a good majority of the poems good so that’s a plus!

Rating of this issue :

★★★★ 1/2


 

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So because I really enjoyed issue 37, I decided to buy this month issue (which also has a gorgeous cover). I liked issue 43 but it wasn’t as good issue 37 in my opinion. I really enjoyed the first story, the second I liked but the thrid and fourth weren’t for me at all.

Reaper’s Rose – Ian Whates – 4*

Easily my favorite story of the issue, it started of interesting but nothing mindblowing however, the last sentence of the story was just incredibly powerful and I felt like it totally redeemed some of the story’s flaws. It’s a story about an odor that a character smells everytime someone is going to die tragically around him.
I will definitely be looking forward for more Whates stuff in the future!

Deaths Door’s Cafe – Kaaron Warren – 3.5*

It’s about a guy who has cancer in a terminal stage and who’s trying for another chance at life. It was a very solid story, I liked the pacing, the writing and the atmosphere. I wouldn’t mind reading a longer work set in the Deaths Door Café. It was the kind of creepy I like in horror stories which means that it wasn’t scary but it still made me feel uncomfortable. I especially liked the part about the bats.

The Girl Who Escaped From Hell – Rahul Kanakia – 1*

The title is pretty self-explanatory. I didn’t like this story at all, the writing wasn’t particularly good, the story was pretty boring and completely underwhelming and it felt flat at the end. Just not for me at all.

The Grave – P.D. Cacek – 2*

This one was okay, it’s about a woman who finds a grave in the woods close to where she lives and basically the consequences of that. This story started off great, the first few paragraphs were amazing however, it soon became too repetitive  which annoyed me a lot because I felt like Cacek was trying to hard to make her point. This is too bad really because the ending was intriguing and but at this point I felt to disconnected to care…

Rating of this issue :

★★★

Okay, so what was supposed to be a quick review turned into a 1200+ words. I am very bad at the whole “stop rambling” thing. Will I be reading more Nightmare in the future? Yes definitely, I don’t think that I’ll be reading every issue but I think that it is a solid horror/dark fantasy and if you’re intrigued, I would definitely recommend! (You can also read the stories the story for free on the Nightmare magazine website if you don’t want to buy the issues).

 

T5W: Book I’m Intimidated By

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Top 5 Wednesday was created by gingerreadslainey and if you want to know a little bit more about them you can check the Goodreads group here.

Sorry for the lack of reviews recently, I don’t have much time to read because I have lots of exams at the momen and so, even if I’m spending every day in my university library, I can’t read. Yes it’s very frustrating! 😛

Anyway, I’m here to do this week’s topic which is the “top five books I’m intimidated about”. It was pretty easy to choose , I really want to read those books, but I am pretty scared by them. But, one day, I’ll read them. (Probably.)

  • Anathem by Neal Stephenson

I attempted to read this about two months ago and I really struggled with it. However, I really want to try it again because I know that once I get used to the world, I’ll probably really love it.

  • The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien

This book is very intimidated to me, I really don’t know if it’s something I am going to enjoy or not. I really love LoTR and I want to read other things by Tolkien but I know that a lot of LoTR’s fans really struggled so yeah, it’s a book I want to read in my life but maybe not immediately. 😛

  • The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons

I really love Hyperion, I read it two times and it’s one of my favorite books of all time and I don’t know why I haven’t been able to read the freakin’ sequel. Maybe it’s because I’m scared it’s not going to be as good as Hyperion but, I will never know that if I don’t read it. I am going to read it. This year.

(Maybe.)
  • Reaper’s Gale by Steven Erikson

It’s the seventh book in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Erikson and it’s supposed to be the most boring of the whole series and it’s almost 1300 pages. This series is incredibly complex and all the books are huge which is not a great combo (for me at least). I wanted to finish it this year so, I’ll need to read Reaper’s Gale sooner rather than later but, ugh, I know that it is going to take me ages to get through.

  • The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber

The synospis of this book is really intriguing but I’ve heard a lot of mixed things from people I trust… I received this book as a gift from my sister last Christmas so I am definitely going to read it (or at least try). If you read this book, did you like it?

 

What about you? Any intimidating in your TBR? 🙂

Comparative review of The Water Knife & The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

I am going to attempt to do a comparative review of The Water Knife and The Windup Girl both by Paolo Bacigalupi.

I finished The Water Knife toward the end of March, I read it in three days and I really, really enjoyed it. Because of that, I wanted to basically read everything written by Bacigalupi and since I had a copy of The Windup Girl on my Kindle, I decided to start it the same day I finished The Water Knife.

I don’t usually read several books from the same author back to back, it happened recently with Europe in Autumn and Europe at Midnight by Dave Hutchinson but at least they were from the same series. I don’t usually do it because I don’t want to “burn myself out” on series or authors that I like, and I am not going to lie, this is kind of what happened with Bacigalupi.

As I said, I really enjoyed The Water Knife. It had everything I was looking for, and more. I was in the mood for a sci-fi political thriller and it was exactly that. The story is set in the near future where after some geological catastrophes, the access to water is very hard and basically, having water is having power of life and death over other people. This book follows three characters Angel, a man working for the “bad guys”, his job is basically to neutralise and/or kill everyone standing in the path of the corporation is working for. Lucy a Pulitzer winning journalist trying to investigate the murder of one of her very ambitious friend and finally Maria, a 16-ish years old girl who is just trying to survive in a horrible world.

What I liked most about this book definitely were the characters. It could have been easy to just turn Angel in despicable man, Lucy in “a knight” in a shining armor, Maria in a victim. However, all the characters were very complex and it was fascinating to read about them.

The worldbuilding was also great, even if some elements too close to reality were a bit scary.

Overall, it was great book and I would highly recommend it to everyone, I already lent my copy to my father.

So, now let’s talk about The Windup Girl, Bacigalupi’s debut novel and the winner of both the Hugo and the Nebula award.

The Windup Girl is also set in the near future but in Bangkok, Thailand in the aftermath of a bioterrorism attack which destroyed most vegetables as we know them. Basically, in The Water Knife, those who had water were the ones with power, in the Windup Girl, the powerful people are the ones owning seed banks.

The premise was cool but I had two big problems with this book.

First of all, I despised all of the characters. Remember when I said that in The Water Knife, it could have been easy to turn the protagonists into one dimensional characters?

Well, it was the case in The Windup Girl.

The corporate guy was the asshole, the windup girl (an engineered being) was the victim, the soldier was the knight in shining armor and the worker/immigrant was greedy. I don’t mind when characters make mistakes, it’s normal but when they all are acting weird and stupid for 400+, I lose patience.

However, the thing that angered me the most wasn’t the characters, it was Bacigalupi opinions on biological engineering.

What you might don’t know about me is that I am actually studying in a engineering school and I would really like to graduate as a biological engineer. For now, I am more interested biomechanics but who knows, I have time to change my mind and work in the biotechnologis. Anyway, it is made pretty clear that Bacigalupi is against GMOs and more than this completely against GMOs corporation (AgriGen’s clearly representing Monsanto).

I can understand why it is very easy to despise Monsanto, I don’t like them too and I wouldn’t want to work for them, however, I didn’t like how Bacigalupi demonized GMOs in general. Yes, we have to be cautious with them but they are not “all bad”. If you want an example of a “good” GMO, go read this Wikipedia page. I really hate when people turn GMO into Satan, yes we should have seed banks to conserve genetic diversity but, we should also stop saying that GMOs are going to kill the planet, because like all scientifical progress, even if they have downsides, they can be used in a good way.

I am going to stop here because I don’t want to turn this into a huge rant on Gmos but, I really didn’t like Bacigalupi’s opinion on this topic and it made the enjoyment of the book hard for me.

So yeah, if you want to read a Bacigalupi’s book, I would highly recommend The Water Knife which is in my opinion a fantastic book but I would highly recommend that you don’t read read The Windup Girl. 😛

Ratings:

The Water Knife :

★★★★ 1/2

 

The Windup Girl :

★1/2

 

Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente

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“How many beginnings can a story have, Daddy ? “

 

I don’t want to be a writer.

First of all, I am way to damn lazy to be one ; I know that I would not be able to work at home because I would probably spend all my time watching TV shows, reading and eating. However, the main reason I know that I have 95 % chances to never become a writer is this, I just don’t really like writing. I like reviewing books to discuss them but I don’t actually like the process of writing because, I know that it is never going to be good enough . When I write fiction, I feel clumsy and stupid and when I am not thinking « oh lord, you are terrible you should stop », I am thinking « I could be reading right now. » So yeah, my dream job would be reviewing books not writing them. Anyway, all this to say that reading Catherynne M. Valente’s Radiance reminded why I am so insecure about my writing. I won’t speak for all of the books out there but a majority of them are well written, some are very well written but very few are as magnificently and wonderfully crafted as Radiance.

The plot is both easy and hard to describe. It is a story about love. The love of a father for his daughter, the love of old movies, of vintage science fiction, but mostly of Art.

“I entered life as monochromatic as a movie. “

Severin Unck, the daughter of one of the most famous director of the galaxy, Perceval Unck, disappeared during a travel to Venus, home to callowhales, giant creatures whose milk allows humans to live in different planets. She traveled there to film a documentary on a mysterious town that vanished in one night leaving behind a boy.

 “Her name is Severin Unck. She is ten years old. She is talking to her father, Percy.
She is dead. Almost certainly dead. Nearly conclusively dead. She is, at the very least, not answering her telephone. ”

This book is extremely smart and ambitious. It is told in a very interesting way : scripts, diaries entries, advertisement and interviews create a very intriguing mosaique. It is extremely weird at first because, it makes the understanding of what is actually happening pretty hard.

The only thing that kept my interest at first was Valente’s incredible prose. I have to admit that the prologue is one of the best piece of literature I have read in my life. I had to read it out loud to savor every word.

To really appreciate Radiance, you have to take it slow, it took me about a month to read and I’m happy that I did not read it quicker. Still, I think that I missed a lot, Valente made loads of reference to mythology, almost every name, both of characters and locations were picked because of different myths and legends that I mostly didn’t recognize. I think that it would made a great re-read because it will allow me to understand and like this book a lot more.

This book is a genre in itself, it was marketed as a decopunk pulp SF alt-history space opera mystery  and even if I don’t have any ideas of what that means exactly, I would say that it does match the book quite well. The atmosphere of this book was unique to say the least and, even for the first hundred pages, it is a bit hard to believe in such a world where the Moon is the Hollywood industry and where humans managed space travel in the 20’s even if the movies are still silent, but, I don’t exactly know why, it still worked.

It is very difficult for me to rate this book, on several aspect like the worldbuilding, the ideas and the writing, I really want to give this five stars however, even if the structure was interesting, it made the book hard to read and understand and because of that, I would probably give this a 3 or 3,5/5 rating.

If you love whimsical writing, space opera, silent movies and mythology, you should definitely give Radiance a try !

★★★1/2

I received this book from Netgally in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Short Fiction Sunday | Clarkesworld #115

This week’s SFS is going to be a bit different since I read about 16 or 17 short stories and I don’t want to make an overlong and boring post. So this week’s I am going to review issue 115 of Clarkesworld because I just got a subscription to this magazine and this issue was particularly good.

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Cover Art: Robot in Love by Rudy Faber

 

As I said, it was a very strong issue, I disliked onlly one story, one was pretty meh but the other four were very good. What I love about short fiction is that it allows me to discover some new authors without having to commit to a novel. I don’t have much time so short fiction is perfect for me. I know that a lot of readers don’t enjoy this format, I can understand. Before 2014, I had never read any stories, in 2014, I read one, in 2015, I think that I only read three short stories and I don’t know what exactly happened in 2016 but I think that I must have read at least forty and I am now subscribed to a short fiction magazine.

Go figure.

Anyway, I should probably stop rambling now and actually start my review.

Clarkesworld is a short fiction that mostly focuses on science fiction even though sometimes they also publish fantasy. Each issue is divided in three categories, original fiction (where we can find new stories published by the magazine), reprint/classic fiction (where they reprint two stories previously published elsewhere) and non-fiction (where we can find interviews, short essays on different SFF things etc..).

ORIGINAL FICTION

Touring with the Aliens by Carolyn Ives Gilman **

It is story about a woman who has to guide an alien on a USA tour. Not gonna lie, it was my least favorite story of the issue, I’ve heard mixed things about Dark Orbit by Gilman and reading this story did not manage to convince me that I should pick it up. The writing was pretty dry, the characters, one dimensional and it was overall pretty boring. There was some interesting ideas about conciousness but really, it didn’t add anything new to the subject. Also the ending left me a bit angry because the main character does something very, very dumb and selfish at the end and it was extremely frustrating.

Balin by Cheng Quifan *****

I am very bad at giving synopsis in general and it is even worse with short fiction because I don’t want to spoil anything but I would say that it is a story about friendship, family, cultural identity, science, ethics and empathy.

The more I read from Chinese authors, the more I like their perspective on things. They usually have very different views and writing style from Western authors and I really appreciate that. This story was heartbreacking and beautiful and I can’t recommend it enough. If you enjoy Ken Liu’s fiction, you’l probably love this. (It is translated from Chinese by Ken Liu by the way and I feel like it was story that could have been written by him).

The Bridge of Dreams by Gregory Feeley ****

I don’t really know how to rate this one. I wasn’t a huge fan of the actual plot (it’s basically about someone building a bridge between Pluto and one of its moon) but the ideas and concepts were great. It is a reflexion on genders, time and humanity in a Norse mythology/space opera setting. I would be very interesting in reading other things written by him.

The Cedar Gird by Sara Saab ***1/2

This is a story about the consequences of the death of a child in an alien terrorist attack.

It was one of the most surprising story of the bunch. Yes, the pacing wasn’t great and I probably would have liked it more if it had been longer. I can excuse this because it is Saab third published short story and I think that she’ll probably improve a lot in the future. However, I really enjoyed how humans emotions such as grief and pain were portrayed and how believable the characters were. It was a beautiful story with some incredible lines and I really enjoyed it. It is extremely short (less than 5000 words) and as I said it could have been the double.
I am definitely looking forward to other things she’ll put out in the future!

CLASSIC FICTION

Old Friend by Garth Nix **1/2

This is the meh story I was talking about at the beginning, it wasn’t  bad  but it was pretty confusing and didn’t really understand the point it was trying to make (or if it was trying to make one at all). I never read any Nix before so I don’t know if it’s a good sample of his work or not but yeah, I wasn’t the biggest fan. I don’t even really know what it was about. A tree which drinks coffee maybe? Not 100% sure.

Winter’s Wife by Elisabeth Hand *****

I don’t even want to say what it was about because you should read it 😛 but this is set in a small American town but it has magic and Norse mythology in it.

I really enjoyed this one! It grabbed me in like four paragraphs and I couldn’t stop reading. I never heard of Elisabeth Hand before even if she’s apparently pretty well known. This story was originally published in Wizards: Magical Tales From the Masters of Modern Fantasy, edited by Jack Dann and Gardner Dozois in 2007 and Hand wrote four short story collections and a lot of novels.
This story was a fantasy story which is pretty rare for Clarkesworld. I must admit that even though I love fantasy, I much prefer to read fantasy novels than fantasy short stories because I like stories to have a very solid worldbuilding which is not always an easy thing in 10 000 words. This story was amazing though, the atmosphere, the pacing, the ideas, the characters were all fantastic and, I would recommend it to everyone!

NON-FICTION

I don’t have much to say for this category, I skim read Silver Machine: Hawkwind’s Space Rock Journey throughout Science Fiction and Fantasy by Jason Heller because I wasn’t interested at all. The interview of Davin Brin was fairly interesting. I really enjoyed Another Word: Technology Creates a New Golden Age of Speculative Fiction by Margot Atwell even though I didn’t learn anything new but  I don’t really care since I read Clarkesworld for its stories not really for the non-fiction.

 

I would really highly recommend this issue!

★★★★ 1/2

T5W: Rainy Day Reads

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Top 5 Wednesday was created by gingerreadslainey and if you want to know a little bit more about them you can check the Goodreads group here.

This week’s topic is pretty cool! Today we are talking about our favorite rainy days reads so basically the best books to read under a blanket and/or with a hot drink when the weather is ugly.

It’s a pretty funny topic for me because, I just moved and in my new town, the weather is always bad. Seriously in a month, I think that I only had five days without rain. It is raining now by the way. If you want to have a sunny day in France, I would only recommend the south…

Anyway, here are my top 5 rainy day reads !

  • The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

I really love this trilogy and I would recommend it at all time but it would make a great rainy day read. You will be so entranced by the story that you won’t even hear the rain anymore! 😉

  • The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

This is a literary fiction book set in the New Zealand during the gold rush and it is amazing. It’s a 800+ pages book but I couldn’t put it down. I actually read in it when I was in vacation in Spain so not exactly somewhere where the weather is awful but it would make an incredible ‘under the blanket with a mug of tea’ read!

  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

This book has a pretty dark atmosphere and if you’re like me and that you don’t want to read horror because you’re scared of your own shadow but you still want to read a book with a creepy-ish feel to it, I can’t recommend this enough!

I read this very recently and as I said before, it is always raining in my new city so, I basically read this during rainy days and under my blanket and it was perfect, so yeah, it makes an amazing rainy day read. 😛

This is a dark and thrilling read and it is perfect for rainy days. It is basically in the title 😉

 

What about you? Do you have any great rainy day reads to recommend?

March Wrap Up and April Reading Plans

March was a weird month, both in terms of reading and personal life. I read 12 books which is a lot more than I expected to since I’ve been doing a lot of works for school. I have pretty “heavy” days at school (up to 10 hours a day) and I usually need to work at least 2 hours after that to do homeworks which means that I don’t have much time to read at all, so I don’t really know how I managed to read 12 things (plus a bunch of short stories). Oh well, I am not going to complain. Of those books, two were great, two were good and the rest were pretty average hence my average rating of the month : 3.125/5.

 

Books read in March

  • Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon (Outlander #2) ★★
  • Morning Star by Pierce Brown (Red Rising #3) ★★★★
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab (Shades of Magic #1) ★★★
  • The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu ★★★★★
  • Binti by Nnedi Okorafor ★★★
  • Snakewood by Adrian Selby ★★★1/2
  • The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard (Dominion of the Fallen #1) ★★
  • Thor’s Serpent by K.A. Armstrong and M.A. Marr (Blackwell Pages #3) ★★
  • The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi ★★★★1/2 (review to come)
  • Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat (Captive Prince #1) ★★1/2
  • Prince’s Gambit by C.S. Pacat (Captive Prince #2) ★★★
  • Kings Rising C.S. Pacat (Captive Prince #3) ★★★

As you can see I binge read the Captive Prince Trilogy, it was very addictive (I read the whole trilogy in less than 24h since it’s so fast paced and the books are very short), it was a good series, the first book is pretty weird but since everyone kept mentionning that the second one was way better, I decided to continue on and I am happy that I did. I am mentionning this here because I don’t think that I am going to review the trilogy since I don’t that many things to say.

 

Favorite Books of the Month

Without any doubts, The Paper Menagerie & Other Stories by Ken Liu and The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi!

Short Fiction

I read a bunch of short stories and if you are interested, you can check my only Short Fiction Sunday of the month here  🙂

DNF

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The book was pretty good but I wasn’t in the mood for it so I decided to put it aside for a while.

What I would like to read next

I may participate in the Read your E-Reader read-a-thon hosted by the booktube channel Bookworms Buddy because the list of challenges is pretty cool :

1. Read a book of a specific length – 300 or more pages : The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
2. Read a book you got for free : Fire With Fire by  Charles Gannon or Central Station by Lavie Tidhar, I don’t know yet.
3. Read a book you got on loan from your library : I won’t do this challenge because I don’t have access to any library at the moment.
4. Read a book that is first in a series : Clash of Eagles by Alan Smale
5. Read a book that is a sequel : The Last Mortal Bond by Brain Staveley
6. Read a book with a white cover – (representing diamond for the month of April) : Conservations of Shadows by Yoon Ha Lee (It’s a bit of a cheat since I started it back in March but, oh well)
7. Read a book that feels like Spring :  The Alchemy of Chaos by Marshall Ryan Maresca because I also read the first book in this series in spring.
8. Read a book with a first time author for you : The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
9. Read a book that is a stand alone : Clade by James Bradley
10. Read a book you have had over a year :  Since I got my Kindle in September, I am going to read the first book that I bought and that I have not read yet : The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
11. Read a book most recently downloaded : Signal to Noise by Silvia Morreno Garcia
12. Read a book set in another country : Bald New World by Peter Tieryas (it is set in China and America, not France so I am good to go :P)
13. Read a book out of your comfort zone : Monstrous Little Voices by Jonathan Barnes, Adrain Tchaikovski, Emma Newman, Foz Meadows, Kate Heartfield because I never read any Shakespeare and I am a bit afraid to be completely confused since I know next to nothing about him and his plays (except Romeo & Juliet).

 

How was your month? Did you read any great books? I really enjoyed The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi which is a cli-fi (climate fiction) novel, do you have any recommendation of good cli-fi novels? I am in the mood to read all of them right now 😛