Ahem, that was a bit more than a week’s break after Part 1, wasn’t it? Sorry!!
So, here’s what I though of the final 7 books I read back in April.
I will start with my last O.W.L. reads:
Thin Air by Michelle Paver was quite similar to the last Paver book I read (Dark Matter), a chilling ghost story for grown ups, set on a mountain expidition in the 1930s. The creepiest thing was the setting – oh, the people played their part – but the mountain itself was terrifying; The unpredictable weather, the noises, the animals, the birds, the avalanches. I love how Paver does this, it’s totally absorbing and lingers in my mind for days after I finish reading. 4/5*
My one audiobook of the O.W.L.s and oh boy was it hard work! World War Z by Max Brooks is an ‘oral history’ of a zombie apocalypse set in the near future, this was not in your traditional story format and I really struggled with it. It was well-written, full of interesting ideas, and clever plans, but it was also long, and a little confusing. It didn’t follow any specific characters, instead comprising of various snippets/annecdotes from unrelated ‘survivors’ of the apocalypse. I wonder if I had tried to read the physical copy, it would have been easier to digest. But maybe not. I normally like zombie books, but this one wasn’t for me. 3/5*
Two of my favourite O.W.L. reads next – Moonlocket (Cogheart Adventures #2) by Peter Bunzl, and Rivers Of London by Ben Aaronovitch.
I was really looking forward to getting back into the world of Cogheart and I wasn’t disappointed. This second adventure took us underground to the mysterious River Fleet and was full of twists, turns, and danger. I am still in love with grumpy, sarcastic, Malkin the clockwork fox – he’s delightfully miserable and warm-hearted beneath all the grumbling. I heartily recommend this series to everyone over the age of 9 who likes adventures, foxes, flying machines, and mishaps. 5/5*
Rivers Of London has been sat on my shelf looking beautiful since forever. For so long, in fact, that I have managed to acquire almost the entire series already, despite having only read one of the graphic novels… it’s total cover lust and I have no regrets. Especially now I’ve started reading them and realised they’re as good as they look. Irreverant, wry, and witty, they combine police procedural crime with magic and ghosts in a totally logical and matter of fact way that put me vaguely in mind of the Discworld City Watch books as I read. Except it’s set in the more familiar streets of London. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series (and for once I have actually put my money where my mouth is with that statement – I read the second book in May!) 5/5*
How To Stop Time by Matt Haig (and illustrated by Chris Riddell) was a book I was a little aprehensive about picking up. I love Matt Haig’s non-fiction books, but I really struggled with his novel The Humans earlier in the year, and I was afraid that this book, beautiful as it is, was going to go the same way.
I needn’t have worried. How To Stop Time is, in many ways, very similar to The Humans, but the subtle shift of narrative character, from a mathematical, logical perspective to a more emotion-lead one made a world of difference. That simple side-step made something click with me and I understood what it was that made my friends rave about The Humans. This book broke me a bit, it made me think, it made me laugh, cry, and get a bit ragey at humanity. It was brilliant. If you want all that, and are a feelings-y person, I recommend this highly. If you want all that, and are a logic-y person, I highly reccomend The Humans. If you’re somewhere in the middle, you’ll probably like them both! 4.5/5*
I rounded off my O.W.L.s with The Curses by Laure Eve which is the follow up to her novel The Graces. Honestly, this was one of those where I remembered loving the first book but couldn’t actually remember what happened in it. Luckily, as soon as I started reading, everything came flooding back and I fell in love with the world and the characters all over again. I love how all of the characters in this series are flawed. It’s not so much that you don’t know who is good and who is bad, and more that it’s how you look at them that changes. Some of the characters are mean, but do the right thing, and some mean well but go about it all the wrong way. Throw in some magic, both good and evil, a few teenage hormones, and an old family curse that the grown-ups refuse to talk about, and you’ve got yourself a compelling story that you stay up until silly o’clock to finish because you don’t want to put it down! 5/5*
The last book I read in April was a graphic novel that I borrowed from the library (and forgot to take a photo of!). The Eleventh Doctor: The Sapling Volume 3 – Branches by Alex Paknadel & Ian Culbard is the final volume of an adventure of Matt Smith’s generation and, whilst I did enjoy it, it didn’t entirely work as a stand-alone. I got a bit lost trying to piece together the set up for the situation from the implied backstory – unfortunately the library only had Volume 3 so I didn’t have much choice there. It wasn’t my favourite illustration style, but it was quite a compelling story and they captured Matt Smith’s mannerisms beautifully. I gave it 3/5* but it may well have been closer to 4 if I had read the earlier volumes.
Phew! Done! That’s April all caught up on at last – now I can try and keep up in real time.
I can’t imagine I’ll be reading 14 books in a month again until maybe August when I do my N.E.W.T.s, although as I type this I have just finished my fifth audiobook of June… I appear to be having a bit of an audio binge!! (This is not helping me catch up on my physical TBR!)
Linking this post up with MamaMummyMum’s Read With Me linky: