Mid-Year Freak Out Tag | 2020

Yesterday was the five year (??) anniversary of this little blog and, being the disorganized blogger that I am, I completely forgot. πŸ˜‚ To celebrate, I wanted to do my overdue yearly favorite tag: the Mid-Year Freak Out Tag! I love this tag but I always forget to do it at the right time, I know August is not really halfway through the year but let’s ignore that! πŸ˜€

How many books have you read this year?

So far, I’ve read 38 things: 26 novels, 9 magazine issues and 3 anthologies. I’m happy with how I balanced reading short and longer works. I used to read either one or the other for weeks without alternating but I’m getting better at it, I have finally found a rhythm that works well!

WHAT IS THE BEST BOOK THAT YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2020?

As usual, it’s impossible for me to choose one book to rule them all so… Here are four books that are going to make my list of favorites this year! πŸ˜€

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE SEQUEL OF THE FIRST HALF OF THE YEAR?

The Ascent to Godhood by JY Yang is a fantastic sequel, I loved everything about it, the narration, the story, the way it gave a lot of background story to the villain of the series. It’s really amazing! I’m sad I read all the novellas in the series. I hope Yang will come back to this world! πŸ™‚

Another favorite sequel would be Hexarchate Stories by Yoon Ha Lee. It’s not really a direct sequel to the Machineries of Empire series since a lot of stories are set before the events of the series. However, the final novella Glass Cannon, is a direct sequel to Revenant Gun and it’s amazing! It felt so good to be back in this world, I love it so much, I hope it’s not the last time I will read about the Hexarchate!

Finally, The Quantum Garden by Derek KΓΌnsken was also a very good sequel to The Quantum Magician. It didn’t have the “wow” factor of the first book but it expanded a lot on the world, it was a ton of fun and I really enjoyed how the time-travel element was incorporated into the story. I recently heard that KΓΌnsken is going to write two more books in this series and I can’t wait! πŸ˜€

IS THERE A NEW RELEASE THAT YOU HAVEN’T READ YET BUT YOU’RE REALLY EXCITED TO?

Too many as always! I haven’t been keeping up with a lot of new releases this year but here are a couple books I really want to read:

I already own copies of all these books so, I will get to them eventually (even if it might not be this year!).

WHAT IS YOUR MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR?

I have two books I cannot wait to read: Phoenix Extravagant by Yoon Ha Lee and The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow. They both sound incredible and *look* at those covers… 😍

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT SO FAR?

Unfortunately, I didn’t have to think about this long: The Monster Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson and Cage of Souls by Adrian Tchaikovsky are my two biggest disappointments of the year… The most disappointing thing about those books is that I really, really thought I was going to love them and… I didn’t.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SURPRISE SO FAR?

The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders and Driftwood by Marie Brennan, I wasn’t expecting to love them as much as I did but, they both blew me away!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE NEW TO YOU OR DEBUT AUTHOR?

Alix E. Harrow was an immediate favorite author, The Ten Thousand Doors of January is a fantastic debut and I cannot wait to devour her future works. I don’t know if I’m ever going to review The Ten Thousand Doors because I loved it so much that I don’t know I could articulate my thoughts about it!

I also have two favorite short fiction authors that I discovered this year: P.H. Lee and Tlotlo Tsamaase. I am planning on doing another Short Fiction Sunday highlighting the best stories I read in 2020 but, if you want your heart to be broken, go read Distant Stars by P.H. Lee and The Thoughtbox by Tlotlo Tsamaase!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FICTIONAL CRUSH FROM THIS YEAR?

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I don’t have fictional crushes but, if I had to choose one, it would be Adem Sadiq from R.W.W. Greene’s The Light Years. He’s a pretty cool dude, very down to earth, competent, grumpy but a real cinnamon roll on the inside and also, he plays guitar!

WHAT IS YOUR NEW FAVOURITE CHARACTER?

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Mahit Dzmare from Arkady Martine’s A Memory Called Empire. She’s brilliant, brave and very bold. I could empathize with her struggles to adapt to a new culture by yourself. I am very excited to read the sequel, A Desolation Called Peace because I want to learn more about her!

A BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY?

I can’t think about a book that made me cry but, I can think about a book that made me very sad: Do you Dream of Terra-Two by Temi Oh. This book is fantastic but I found it hard to read. I’m glad I was able to read and discuss it with the Book Forager, it helped me to sort out the feelings I had about the book. Keep your eyes open for our discussion of this book during Sci-Fi Month!

A BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY?

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I have two books for this category! Let’s start with the book that made me happy because it fulfilled all my nerd’s needs: Machina by Fran Wilde, Malka Older, Martha Wells and Curtis C. Chen. It’s about two companies competing in a challenge that will determine which one is going to be the first to send robots on Mars to terraform the planet. It’s an awesome story: fast-paced, nerdy and it has a bunch of cool characters.

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The other book is The Chase by Elle Kennedy. I ranted about one of Kennedy’s other book, The Deal, a few months ago but, I gave her another chance with The Chase and it was really good! I mean, it was cheesy but I turned off most of my brain cells and I had a great time. It’s not my favorite romance book (the male lead was kind of annoying) but, the female lead was amazing. I giggled a lot while reading and it made me very happy. What more could I ask of it?

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE POST THAT YOU HAVE WRITTEN SO FAR THIS YEAR?

Probably my review of The City in the Middle of the Night. I usually struggle to review books I really liked but I think I managed to do a good job at explaining why it worked so well for me! πŸ˜€

WHAT IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK THAT YOU HAVE BOUGHT?

I don’t read a lot of physical books (I’m an avid eBook reader) but, if I really enjoy a book, I like to buy a physical copy of it to put on my shelve. The most beautiful one I bought this year is The Ascent to Godhood by JY Yang. The cover is stunning and I love the matte feel of it. I can’t wait to buy the other novellas in the series because they’re all gorgeous! 😍

WHAT BOOK DO YOU WANT TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR?

At the beginning of the year, I posted a list of 20 books I would like to read this year. So far, I’ve read 9 of the 20 books and, of course, I would like to read the remaining 11! I don’t know if I’ll get to all of them (probably not) but here are the ones I want to prioritize!

As always, I had so much fun with this tag! πŸ˜€ Have you read any books I mentioned? What did you think of them?

21 thoughts on “Mid-Year Freak Out Tag | 2020

  1. I liked your post – it’s important to look back and remember, otherwise I seem to forget what Iβ€˜ve read and it’s just a constant stream of pages.

    Today is publication of The House of Styx by KΓΌnsken, and I think youβ€˜d enjoy it (review: https://reiszwolf.wordpress.com/2020/05/16/the-house-of-styx-%e2%80%a2-2020-%e2%80%a2-sf-novel-by-derek-kunsken/ )
    Phoenix Extravagant is also a great read.
    Just recently, Iβ€˜ve read and enjoyed Driftwood.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy 5 years! This is so interesting – we seem to read quite similar books, but have very different experiences! My least favourite books of the year are A Memory Called Empire and City in the Middle of the Night πŸ˜… Maybe that means I will love Monster Baru Cormorant (I hope so because I’ve just ordered the whole series)!
    Definitely agree with you on JY Lang and Alix E Harrow though 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jake! πŸ˜€

      Haha, we definitely have different tastes in books but that makes it even more interesting! I’m curious to know why you were disappointed by A Memory Called Empire? I can definitely see why TCITMOTN wouldn’t work for everyone (the pacing, the tone and the characters are definitely peculiar!) but so far, I haven’t heard a single bad thing about Martine’s debut! I personally liked it even if it didn’t blow my socks off. πŸ™‚
      I absolutely love The Traitor Baru Cormorant, which is probably why the sequel disappointed me so much. A lot of the elements I loved in the first book weren’t in the sequel but, I will give the third book a try! I hope the entire trilogy will work for you. πŸ˜€

      I’m happy with have some common ground. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ooh I’m glad you liked the first book, I’m
        aiming to read the trilogy in October so will see how it goes!
        I wrote a review of A Memory – I think I was mostly disappointed that it felt very similar to Ancillary Justice, and I didn’t really buy into the intrigue. It just turned out very differently to what I was expecting.
        Looking forward to see what you read next πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m looking forward to read your thoughts on the series then!
        Oh I see, it definitely has a lot of similar elements to Ancillary Justice, it bothered me a bit at first but I liked the characters and the plot so much that it allowed me to enjoy the book. πŸ™‚
        Thank you, the same goes for me. πŸ˜€

        Like

  3. Happy 5th year! So many of our favorites are similar πŸ˜€
    And I hope you like Phoenix Extravagant, I read it a few months ago and loved it – completely different from Lee’s Hexarchate fiction and yet it reminded me of it because of unexpected details.

    Liked by 1 person

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