Well, y’know… Here’s the part where I pretend to review all the stuff I read last month that didn’t get full reviews. One of these is a reread that I never reviewed the first time around, and a good chunk are novellas. I was considering doing a dual review for the Infinity Blade series, but honestly it was just too problematic so I decided to keep them as minis. Oh well!
Full Books & Audiobooks
The Child Thief by Brom (Reread)
I absolutely loved this book the first time around. It’s one of my all-time favorites, and it’s one of the books I recommend the most, so naturally it was top of my list for Reread Month. (Little did I know how difficult that would turn out to be, but we won’t talk about that here.) This book was just as beautifully written and haunting as I remembered it. Every time I sat down to read it, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. This was satisfying and relieving and awesome. I learned two things from my reread of The Child Thief: 1) I am a die-hard Brom fan, and 2) I am just not cut out for rereading books — not matter how much I loved them the first time! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver
My friend’s grandmother chose this one for book club, and I was keen to read it because I’ve seen the author’s name around a lot. First jarring observation: this book is written in third person present tense, which I really dislike and found awkward at time. The story was okay, and I actually did learn a few interesting things about Cherokee history. I found a lot of the plot to be predictable (not all of it, though), and some of the characters were quite frustrating. It’s one of those stories where I understand that without the stupid decisions the MC makes there would be no story, but that’s kind of what bothers me. Overall: interesting, but I didn’t like it enough to keep my copy (I gave it away).
Novellas & Short Stories
Infinity Blade: Awakening (Infinity Blade #1) by Brandon Sanderson
I have to admit that I bought these two novellas because Brandon Sanderson mentioned that they were one sale — I knew nothing about them. This first part, Awakening, was a really interesting read. I loved the way its fantasy setting felt familiar, but introduced some new ideas. Just like every other Sanderson read, the narration was easy and enjoyable. There was a a great sense of adventure, and even a bit more humor (or at least, a bit more crude-ish humor) in this story than he usually has, but I liked it all. By the end of this novella, I was entranced, and was surprised to discover that it was written as a companion to a video game series! It felt so fully *Sanderson* that I was shocked to realize that it wasn’t all him to begin with! Needless to say, I went straight from this one to the next one, because I was hungry for more.
Infinity Blade: Redemption (Infinity Blade #2) by Brandon Sanderson
Oh my gosh, Redemption was even better than Awakening! This novella does something that just about put me over the moon. Interspersed among the regular chapters of the main fantasy story, there are Deviation chapters that go back to a very distant past (which is, interestingly, actually an imagine future from where I sit right now), and eventually they come together and explain the way things came to be in the “present” of the main story. IT WAS FASCINATING. I love the way the high-tech science of the “past” (OUR future) eventually turned into these mythical, almost magical artifacts in the WAY FUTURE. Definitely one of the coolest things I’ve read in a long time. After this, I was dying to get my hands on the game, only to discover that they’re only available for iOS (pfffft).
The Little Android (Lunar Chronicles #2.5) by Marissa Meyer
When I heard that this novella was coming out, I was super psyched. First of all, it’s part of The Lunar Chronicles, so of course I was dying to read it, but even more importantly was that it’s about Iko! This retelling of The Little Mermaid was just freaking adorable. Marissa Meyer has such a knack for taking fairy tales and spinning them into her own stories in this sci-fi/fantasy futuristic world, while still giving clever and enthusiastic nods to the original stories. This one is no exception, and I found myself admiring Mech6.0’s curiosity, tenacity, and heart from the beginning to the end. I was a little bit confused about the ending, however, which is why I’ve only given this one four stars, but I still really liked it. (And yes, it’s available for free online!)