Since I don’t always have a full page of thoughts about a book I’ve finished, I like to do a post each month where I share mini reviews of these books. This way I can still share my thoughts about them, without dedicating an entire post to, like, on paragraph. This doesn’t mean that my mini reviews are only for books I didn’t like — quite the contrary! Usually it’s books I read for book club (which I often don’t have much of an opinion about, or obligation to write a full review), or books I LOVED and therefore can’t think coherently enough about to write lots of words. Here’s what I’ve got for books I read in December.
Full Books & Audiobooks
Golden Son (Red Rising #2) by Pierce Brown
I wasn’t even planning to read Golden Son, but when I saw it available on Net Galley, I couldn’t resist. Gorydamnit, you guys, this book. It basically punched me in the chest, grabbed my insides and twisted so hard that it left nothing in the same place when it finally relented. I mean. Damn. The hits don’t stop in this book, and it was intense reading. I have to admit that I almost gave up on it around 20% because I didn’t know if I could take it. But I did, and I enjoyed it in the strange way that pain can sometimes be pleasurable. What I’m saying is that this book delivered, and I liked it more than its predecessor, but it was dark and harsh and the perfect sequel to Red Rising. I’m scared as hell to think about what Morning Star has in store for me, but of course I’m going to read it!
The Amulet of Sleep (Iskìda of the Land of Nurak #1) by Andrea Atzori
This was an impulse request on NetGalley, purely because of the title and cover. OH MAN, you guys, I freaking loved this book so much! It is full of the magic and wonder that I adore in a fantasy story. The world building is rich and deep, the storytelling is smooth and familiar, and the story is fascinating! Each chapter is illustrated in a sort of anime style, which is rare for YA books, but I totally loved it! And it has a charts of all the clans, and a map of Nurak in the back! As soon as I finished this, I went online searching for how to get my hands on the rest of the series, but I suspect that it has yet to be translated to English. Nevertheless, Andrea Atzori now has a HUGE new fan. I will read ANYTHING I can get my hands on from this author!
The Legend of Drizzt: The Collected Stories by R.A. Salvatore [Audiobook]
This was definitely one of the best free audiobooks I’ve ever snatched up. I mean, what fantasy fan DOESN’T know of Drizzt and epic journeys? I really enjoyed this collection of short stories, because it was fun to dive back into different parts of the world and the characters I know and love. Easily, my favorite was “Guenhwyvar,” because I’ve always been so curious about her origins. “Wickless in the Nether” was also a favorites. Most of the narrators ranged from quite satisfactory to absolutely brilliant. I have two complaints, however, that kept this from being a 5-star book. 1: Two of the narrators were… not the best choices. :( And 2: not one of these stories focused on a female character. I had hopes that one of them was going to star Catti-brie, but once again she was just a mention on the way to Drizzt’s victory. =/
Redeemed (House of Night #12) by PC and Kristin Cast
There’s not much I can say here beyond: this is pretty much the ending to the House of Night series that I would have expected. The POV changed quite a lot throughout the book, which actually served it well, because I got to see what was going on with both sides of the crazy showdown. Many circles were made, many dilemmas were had, and many people were killed and/or tortured at the hands of Neferet. Denouements abounded and the bad guys were vanquished (with a bit too much ease, imo). I will say, though, that there is one character I really grew to like, and I was pretty disappointed with the way things ended for her. :P Finally. It is over.
Novellas & Comics
Carnival of Lies (Untamed City #1.5) by Melissa Marr
I was excited to hear that this little novella actually DID come out in December (after hearing her talk about the series at a recent event, I was under the impression that nothing Untamed City-related would be coming anytime soon), so of course I nabbed it! This was the perfect prequel to the series, as far as I’m concerned. I loved getting to see a bit more of the relationship between Aya and Belias before the events in Carnival of Secrets. Surprisingly, I had little trouble slipping back into the story and the world, and I really enjoyed this.
Krampus! by Brian Jones, Illustrated by Dean Kotz
I randomly picked this up on NetGalley because — hello — KRAMPUS! I adore goats and thus I adore the Krampus, so I could not really pass it by. This comic was a pretty cheeky and action-packed story, full of humor and nods to various Christmas traditions and cultures throughout the world. I thought the society of Santas was a great idea, and the way they had to rely on the Krampus to save their butts was awesome. This was a pretty fun little story, if a bit too action-story and less Krampus-awesome for me. Still, I enjoyed it and I’d recommend it to people who want to learn a bit about the Krampus in a fun and colorful way! The illustrations were well-done and quite detailed, so it’s clear this comic was an effort of passion on both of their parts.
House of Night Comic #1 by PC & Kristin Cast, Illustrated by Joelle Jones & Karl Kerschl
Apparently I won this in a giveaway, because it randomly showed up in my mailbox one day. So of course I read it! It’s a bonus story about Zoey when she first gets Marked and moves into the House of Night, and this story told a bit about her and a background story about one of their ancient vampyres, Freya. It was cute and short. The art style was a bit strange, making everyone seem smug and stuck-up, even Nyx, which bothered me. But the coloring was lovely. I do think that anyone who hasn’t read the books (at least the first one) would have a hard time understanding what’s going on in this, though.