Welcome to the third and final part of my End of Year Wrap Up 2019! Could I have done this all in one or possibly two parts? Yes, yes I could but I didn’t want to for…. reasons* and so you get three parts.
*Fine, those reasons were because I ran out of time while writing part 2 and just decided to split it. Sigh. Not remotely exciting.
Part 1 was all about blogging and Part 2 was about books and my reading stats. Part 3 is moving away from the stats into something more fun – of course, this will depend on your definition of fun.
That’s right, I’m bringing back the end of year (or in this case, beginning of the next year)…
“Oh my god no way, so amazing oh my god”.
That’s what you were saying wasn’t it?
Yep. Thought so.
Enjoy my nonsense!
I don’t often go for apocalyptic thrillers but there was something in the blurb for The Last that really compelled me.
There is something scarily real to this story. I don’t know whether it’s the close to the bone reason behind the end of the world (incompetent president declaring nuclear war on pretty much all countries with their own nuclear weapons) or the post-apocalyptic fallout which felt disturbingly realistic all the way down to the dispensing of justice in a post lawful world.
If you’re writing a story about a band in the sixties then how do you make their music compelling when no one can hear it?
Well somehow, the author of Daisy Jones and the Six makes it happen. The characters aren’t always likable but they feel so human and there’s many astute observations on human behavior that keeps you reading. The cherry on top is the fact that you can feel the music rocking from the page.
If that’s not writing skill, then I don’t know what is.
I am using this award ironically. In The Wicked King we continue the story of human Jude and her desperate struggle to retain the power of the faerie crown that she has won in The Cruel Prince.
You’d think having an identical twin sister in the faerie realm would be a good thing to help with that, wouldn’t’ you?
Jude and Taryn have a deliciously complex sister relationship. They do love each other but after the events of the first book, trust is hard to find. And to be honest, a lack of trust between them is well deserved. They act as mirrors to each other but also serve to remind the reader that there are multiple ways to survive your environment and not all are palatable.
I adored The Binding although I know it was hit and miss for a lot of people. It wasn’t quite what I expected it to be but I really enjoyed what I found.
This is a strangely timeless (but Victorian-esque) version of an alternate England where books are outlawed and being a bookbinder is a skilled and feared occupation. Why? Because books in this world aren’t the scribbling’s of a writer’s fevered imagination.
Bookbinders have the unique ability to draw out memories from people and bind them forever on pages. This has the intended side effect of ridding the person of those memories, at least until the book is destroyed.
For those bookbinders with morals they treat what they do as a sacred and confidential act between themselves and the person they’re binding. For those without…. well, the murky world of selling books for a price or taking memories of the abused at the whim of the abusive are worryingly real.
Technically there is no ‘gang’ in Lore Olympus (which is why I stipulated as such, ahem) but a wonderfully colourful cast of characters that I just had to include. When I say colourful, I’m not even referring to the fact they are genuinely all multi-coloured from blue to pink to purple to gold but to their varied range of personalities and complexities.
When you’re dealing with the gods of Olympus you’re going to get some wild behaviour but this is a story with heart. At its center we have the love story of Hades and Persephone, both of them tentatively exploring their mutual feelings towards the other.
He’s not as expected (a god of the Underworld with a soft spot for rescue dogs) and neither is she (a compassionate and warm goddess of Spring with potential to be so much more).
The rest of the cast don’t exist in isolation and both support the main story but add depth with their own. We get a sex-addicted Zeus who genuinely loves a surprisingly kind Hera, a himbo Hermes, a wonderfully supportive Eros and a possessive Apollo who is due some karma about now.
If we’re sticking with Greek Mythology (and why not? It is awesome) than I’m going to offer up Circe for my Which Witch? award. Witches are my bag baby and as I did this ‘award’ last year I’d like to carry it on for two years in a row.
This is a brilliantly written book which presents us with a feminist retelling of a lesser-known Greek witch. Least favoured daughter of a titan and a nymph and constantly tossed aside by potential romantic partners, Circe eventually discovers her power and comes into her own.
In Greek myth her most famous story is one of villainy where she turns a group of sailors into pigs. Here that tale is presented with a different viewpoint – one of self preservation and revenge. Circe isn’t without her flaws and you don’t always like her harsh point of view or actions but her story draws you in and you find yourself constantly hoping for her triumph.
So here you have it! My nonsense book awards for another year!
As always, let me know your thoughts, feelings and opinions whatever they may be on any or all of the above.
See you soon!