Book Challenge: April 2016

April saw me reading more of an author I’m slowly but surely becoming obsessed with (who am I kidding I’m already there), as well as a couple of literary classics in prep for a potential book club with friends. As has been the case since the beginning of the year, I continue to find the second books of all the trilogies and series I have read, to be my favorite. I don’t know what that says about me.

The Inheritance Trilogy by N. K. Jemisin (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms: 30th of March-3rd of April, The Broken Kingdoms: 4th of April-6th of April, The Kingdom of Gods: 7th of April-14th of April, The Awakened Kingdom: 14th of April): While the Dreamblood series is less formulaic, N. K. Jemisin outdoes herself once more with the world-building. There is a heavier lean on romance and lust, so be prepared for a lot more heat. All four books are extremely different and can be read as stand-alones, but it’s well worth reading all of them in order. There is also a triptych of short stories set in the same universe, but I’m saving it for later.

The first book is the author’s first published book -so understandably a bit rough around the edges- and should entrance anyone who likes their romantic leads dark and mysterious. It sets the scene and the players. The second book is superbly written (my favorite in the series) down to even the chapter titles. The protagonist is a blind artist who is able to see magic and lives in a city imbued with it. Jemisin handles her point of view with her usual masterful inventiveness. The third book made me squeal with glee when I realized who I’d be taking the journey with, and while it’s a bit uneven and all over the place it somehow fits the character. The last book is more of a short story, but one that shouldn’t be missed. It handles the themes of identity and oppression in a way I don’t always like, but nonetheless appreciated: by flipping the groups of oppressor/oppressed from what we experience in real life. It’s a gem of a story, told by the most adorable of narrators, that I would consider mandatory reading for anyone wanting to learn how to write clearly defined character voices.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll (15th-18th of April and 18th-19th of April respectively): It’s a classic in the sense it has shaped pop culture in ways one could only dream of. The world is so weirdly fantastical that it doesn’t surprise me that everyone has such different takes on what it all means, though I personally prefer to see it as it is: a bizarre series of dreamlike adventures where things are constantly moving but nothing really changes. The illustrations are beautiful and iconic and if you want a hard copy make sure to get one where they are included.

Thanks to three of the books being rather short, I made good headway with the challenge.

Challenge Status: 24/50 books read

I’m currently in the middle of reading The Left Hand of Darkness and it’s taking me forever to finish it, though I’ve been told it picks up and I’m looking forward to its conclusion.

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