Book Review, Fiction

Short Reviews: October 2018

October is here. Month of monsters and scary things. For me the most scary thing is how far behind I am with everything I need to do and how fast the end of the year is hurtling towards us. This being the case, I am posting some short reviews of books I read recently (during this year), but do not have much to say about.  There will be some proper reviews coming up including some ARC reviews. (As soon as I have finished reading them.) Turns out two physical books a month is getting the better of me.  And finding enough time to draw … well, if only there were more hours in a day. Now enough whinging.  Review time.


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The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Darkest Part of the Forest takes place in the ‘Holly Black modern world meets fairy-tale’ setting. It could be seen as a reverse Cruel Prince. This book portrays what happens when a fairy grows up in a human town with human parents. It shares some themes with HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt in the way a small town tolerates a magical or paranormal intrusion by carrying on with the day to day.

The characters are lovely. They do not conform to stereotype fairy-tale cut-outs. A fierce knight who’s a young girl. A prince that is the one who needs saving. All besides the evil king, but you always need an evil fairy monarch in all the best fairy-tales.  Varied myths and legends gets interwoven into the lore of the town and it’s neighbouring enchanted forest. I love the mix of the mundane and the whimsical in general and this book does it really well. It’s a concise story of 336 pages, but it evokes the magical world within the first chapter.

I might even like The Darkest Part of the Forest more than The Cruel Prince, so high praise.


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The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson

This was one of the most chilled and casual murder mysteries I’ve ever read. Right until the three quarter mark where everything became very intense. It is dry humour with a lot of cowboy charm.  The Cold Dish manages to have a lot of realistic and detailed police procedure without it intruding on the plot or the character relationships. Most of the book is following Walt around Wyoming’s Absaroka County, getting to know the people who live there and wondering if they could commit murder. And still it had a shocking end that made satisfyingly sense.


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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Oh my word. This was so sweet and very real. And relatable in a way I did not expect. And reading it gives a warm fussy homely feeling like watching a Christmas movie. But like Christmas movies, I can only handle something this sweet once a year.


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Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Be still my breaking heart. I started this series impressed and interested. By book three I was hooked and crying my eyes out. This is an epic romance with monsters. The monsters are fun, but what really matters is the brilliant love triangle. Yes, you read that right. This is the first triangle that did not make my cringe. Not even a little.

Now, it’s not a perfect book. There are lot of weird things not answered. I’m assuming they might get answered is the rest of the extensive Cassandra Clare oeuvre, but I’ll get there when I get there.

There is the “everyone gets a partner” motif. It’s silly, but done sweetly.

The ending was surprising and then it ended for a couple chapters more. The last one really drained the tears.


 

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