May 2018 Wrap-up

May has brought its share of fun readings and new favourites.

We expect June to be much of the same, and we’re looking forward to sunny days, to read in blooming parks and sandy beaches. Well, not in Australia, I suppose, but flat-earthers tell us it’s not a real place and they’re never wrong about anything.

Here are our May books and the reading plans we will absolutely, definitely, totally follow in June.


cabtwit (1)

Hiu

Urgh. May. That strange month between spring and summer where it’s often not quite hot enough during the day, but too damned warm at night.

At the very least, those warm nights kept me awake long enough to bash out some books. Interestingly, not many of the books I’ve read this month were audiobooks. I’d been delaying my listening in order to pick of a copy of Brian McClellan’s Wrath of Empire though, so perhaps that’s to blame.

The books I read in May were:

  • Death March by Phil Tucker (ebook, ARC): A fantastically fun LitRPG which I tore through in no time at all.
  • Ravencry by Ed McDonald (ebook, ARC): An excellent sequel to McDonald’s debut novel Blackwing. Due for release on June 28th in the UK.
  • Blood of Assassins by R.J. Barker (audiobook/paperback): An enjoyable and heart-wrenching sequel to Barker’s Age of Assassins.
  • Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett (paperback): My first Granny Weatherwax book! Absolutely adored it.
  • Lost Gods by Micah Yongo (ebook, ARC): This was an interesting book, but one that left me with some mixed feelings. My review for this will probably land next week.
  • On the Shoulders of Titans by Andrew Rowe (ebook): Picks up where Sufficiently Advanced Magic left off, and just kept going.
  • The Tombs of Atuan by Ursela Le Guin (hardback): Le Guin’s writing is just gorgeous. Some pretty throught-provoking themes in this book.

Coming up next month, I hope to read:

  • We Ride the Storm by Devin Madson
  • Touch of Iron by Timandra Whitecastle
  • Iron Gold by Pierce Brown (yes I will, shut up)
  • Wrath of Empire by Brian McClellan

Considering personal stuff, June looks to be a hell of a month when it comes to my PhD, with two annual reviews popping up which require accompanying reports and presentations. To be honest, it has been pretty hellish already, but Pirateaba’s glorious little (huge) slice of life webserial The Wandering Inn has been keeping me sane.


Jenia

Jenia

May started off pretty strong for me! …Aaand then I fell behind again as non-fantasy-book stuff caught up with me. (Including a current obsession with the cartoon series Trollhunters, courtesy of visiting my cousin’s 11-year-old kid. Thank you for the distraction from actually important things, child.)

I reviewed:

Both weren’t bad, but I didn’t like them as much as I hoped I would.

I also read:

  • Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier: An interesting combination of “Omg this is amazing!” and “Oh no these are all the worst tropes”.
  • Liveship Traders #1 and #2 by Robin Hobb: Alright, fine, I admit it, if it’s epic fantasy in the style of Robin Hobb it’s amazing and I love it.
  • The Voyage of the Basilisk by Marie Brennan: Continues to be hilarious and great.
  • Sourdough by Robin Sloan: I have to write a review sometime, what a fantastic, quiet, hopeful book.

And two non-SFF books: Penpal by Dathan Auerbach, a horror book that I think works better in its original form of short online stories, and Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty, which was pretty good but not my fave of her books.

For June, I’d like to finish the Liveship Traders trilogy. That’s about my only plan. Work on my MA really kicked in this month and unfortunately that comes first!


Kop

Kopratic

Goodbye, May! I managed to nearly complete my reading goal of getting through my requests (both ones sent to me and ones I requested myself). Only one book didn’t make it. But there’s always June! I also managed to get in a few things I came across that weren’t requests. So in order:

  • The Ventifact Colossus by Dorian Hart (ecopy provided by the author)
    • This was a very good book in the same vein as Michael J. Sullivan’s Riyria books. It’s a light fantasy adventure (though I wouldn’t call it a comedy) centering around a truly ragtag group of protagonists.
  • Ancient Beasts Turned Me Gay – Three Book Collection
    • Yep. I read this.
  • The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French (eARC provided by Crown via NetGalley)
    • Winner of the 2016 SPFBO. Being trad published by Crown mid-June 2018! I still maintain that the description of the hogs matches that of the Bullbo on Twilight Princess. Excellent book. Dark fantasy with a bit of a grimdark atmosphere to the world. (i.e., The grimdark elements are more background material in my opinion.)
  • Apocalypse Nyx by Kameron Hurley (eARC provided by Tachyon via NetGalley)
    • Review to come closer to publication mid-July 2018. However, I just want to say that this novella collection has definitely made me interested in picking up more of Hurley’s work.
  • “By the Horns” by Eli Ellsworth
    • Erotica short story I picked up because the premise sounded incredibly silly. Ended up having pretty good character development and world-building.
  • The Future is Blue by Catherynne M. Valente (eARC provided by Subterranean Press via NetGalley)
    • Short story collection. Very good. Most of the stories have a New Weird/Slice of Life feel to them. There are plots, but the atmosphere/emotions/and characters are much more the focus. Releases late-July 2018.
  • Peril in the Old Country by Sam Hooker (eARC provided by Black Spot Books)
    • Loved this. Funny, engaging, and all around a great time. Follows a man named Sloot Peril as he finds his once routine accountant life completely flipped on its head. Releases early-June 2018.
  • Cyador’s Heirs by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. (review copy provided by Tor)
    • Review to come mid-June. But I really liked this one. Tor provided me with a review copy. Then I went and got myself my own ecopy, physical copy, and audiobook version.
  • By Raven’s Call by J.A. Devenport
    • Review to come soon. Saw this book while looking at the new Kindle Unlimited releases. Thought it sounded interesting. Loved it. Devoured it. 5 star read for me.

In June, I’ll probably read some more books. Hopefully. I’ve got a couple of more NG requests I made during May that have been approved. Other than that, who knows?

 


Sara

Sharade

May has been a quiet month. I have realised in a bit of a panic that my Netgalley ratio was less than optimal, so I tried to prioritise the books I’ve requested. Tried is the operative word here.

The month started with a bang, since I had the pleasure to read an ARC of Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (which will be released on July 12th). I loved it even more than I did Uprooted. The hype was well deserved, and well rewarded.

I also read an advanced copy of Witchmark by C.L Polk (to be released in June 19th), a beautiful Edwardian-inspired debut with a lot of magic and a side of cute romance.

I will remember May as The Month Where Audible Finally Won. I listened to Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner, which was an incredibly fun experience.

In June, I have a reading plan. Yes, for real:

  • City of Lies by Sam Hawke
  • Empire of Silence by Christopher Ruocchio

Both are July releases and both feature among my super-anticipated 2018 debuts. I also have to finish Kayleigh Nicol’s Sorcerous Rivalry, my current read.

Audiobook-wise (yes, because I’m an audiobook person now), Hadrian and Royce took over from Alec and Richard. I’ll be listening to Michael J. Sullivan’s Theft of Swords (the entire Riyria Revelations series have been reviewed by Tam, by the way).


Tam

Tam

I apparently read a lot this month… or perhaps listened a lot is more accurate. 9 books, 7 in audio and 2 in print. Most of the reviews are sitting around on the back-end of the blog half-written and in need of a proofread. I’ve been a bit busy and haven’t really had a chance to sit down and read recently; too much uni stuff going on but that should change soon.

  • The Path of Flames by Phil Tucker – Probably my favourite epic fantasy novel. It was (in my opinion) the perfect balance of character development and action. I really enjoyed this book and plan to binge the rest of the series once I knock out a few of my preplanned reads and review requests.
  • Mort by Terry Pratchett – I was really kind of meh on this one. Much preferred Sir Terry’s other Discworld novels. Something about Mort just didn’t click with me.
  • The Bastard Legion: Friendly Fire by Gavin G. Smith – Review to come for this one, but it was an action-heavy sci-fi which was quite fun.
  • Toric’s Dagger by Jamie Edmundson – A good start to an epic fantasy series. I wasn’t a massive fan of where it finished though. Full review to come soon.
  • A Warden’s Purpose by Jeffrey L. Kohanek – A pretty cool start to an epic fantasy series. Some really cool characters and ideas in this book.
  • The Crown Tower by Michael J. Sullivan – A great start to the Riyria Chronicles series. I really loved seeing Hadrian and Royce’s backstory. Full review to come.
  • The Divine Dungeon Series by Dakota Krout – Yes, all three of them. A great series which I really loved and got through really quickly. LitRPG from the perspective of the killer dungeon. Full review to come.

That’s about it for the month. I’ve got a few in progress at the moment: Lightless by C.A. Higgins, The Ikessar Falcon by K.S. Villoso, and A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers. I’m sure I’ll get these done (and many more) sometime this month.

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