The Fiction Fox
I know: I’ve been absent for a little while again… Despite my best efforts, I was finding myself in an overall slump over the past six or seven weeks, feeling unmotivated and uninspired. As I mentioned in my N.E.W.T.s Wrap-up: I read a total of 10 books in the month of August, yet somehow only one of them stuck out to me as being memorable in the long run. In that sense, although it was quantitively great, qualitatively it felt like a bit of a wasted month, hence why so little reviews in the past few weeks. Thankfully, I feel like things are looking up, as September was in many ways the opposite of August. I only completed 4 books this month (three novels and a short-story collection), but ended up loving all of them. So with a bit more enthusiasm on my part: let’s get into the books I read in August, as all of these are worth your time!
1. Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
At the beginning of this month, I wasn’t feeling my reading too much, so I wanted to pick up something accessible that would still transport me to a different world easily. I decided on some YA-fantasy, in particular one that I had heard quite a lot of good about ever since its release. Sorcery of Thorns didn’t disappoint and delivered exactly what I needed at the moment: accessible writing and a world that was easy enough to get into, yet foreign enough to give me that “reality escape” that can make fantasy so great. This is one I’d recommend if you’re in the market for a “lighter high fantasy” novel, or even as a gateway book for anyone wanting to get into the genre. Full review can be found here
2. Middlegame by Seanan McGuire
Where Sorcery of Thorns was a good gateway fantasy to ease you into the genre, Middlegame was in many ways the exact opposite. This adult fantasy-sci-fi-epic is probably more suited to the fantasy-veterans out there. Not only is it a beast of a book (500+ pages in full size hardcover), Seanan McGuire does not hold your hand when it comes to getting to know this strange and complex world of alchemy she’s created. At first, this can feel like a bit of a puzzle as you navigate this strange labyrinth of a world, yet it’s ultimately so satisfying once the pieces start to fall into place, and made for one of my favourite books of the year so far! The best way I can describe it, is that this book is very “science-focussed”, and at times asks you to put in the same “scientific curiosity” and deduction as the characters do. If the text on the backflap confuses but intrigues you at the same time, and makes you curious to find out more, I highly recommend you give this a try. It might just make your favourite list as well! Full review to come at a later time.
After this beast of a book, I took a small break with a collection of short stories that I’ve been wanting to read for quite some time now. Fen is the debut collection by the author of one of my favourite novels of last year, and explores themes of “people living their everyday routine, with familiar instincts, with sex and desire and wildness that is always close at hand”. Although I wasn’t a fan of every single story, the atmosphere, writing and overall cohesion made for a very strong collection that I highly recommend to anyone interested in the same brand of literary fiction mixed with magical-realism that I enjoy. This collection would be perfect for fans of Kirsty Logan, Anne Valente and Jen Campbell. Full review can be found here
4. Force of Nature by Jane Harper
Although I used to adore thrillers, and almost exclusively read them for a time in my teens, I have drifted away from the genre over the last years a little. Autumn times however, sometimes bring back that craving for them, and Force of Nature was a happy return to my roots in a sense. This ticks all of my boxes for the type of thriller I love: missing-person-mystery, isolation, nature-setting (preferably deep woods) and some deep undercurrent of interpersonal conflicts among the cast that are as terrifying as the forces of nature surrounding them. Full review can be found here
With such a positive month behind me, I got a surge of inspiration and enthusiasm back to create my October TBR. I honestly had to hold back to not overwhelm myself completely by creating a ridiculous TBR that I would feel the need to complete, so I limited myself to 5 “suggestions”. All of these books were mentioned in my Autumn TBR, so you can find a short description there.
- Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray
- Other Words for Smoke by Sarah Marie Griffin
- Things we Say in the Dark by Kirsty Logan
- The God Jar by Phill Featherstone
If you want to keep up to date with my progress throughout the month, you can follow me on Goodreads. Until the next time: happy reading!