Hey everyone!!! How are you all doing? I’ve been in quite a bit of a reading slump this month, so I never bothered to write any weekly update posts. But I feel like I’m regaining my mojo a bit now, and I thought I will end the month on a high note. So, let me get started with the few books I did manage to finish reading in the past week.
I thought the best way to break my slump was to pick up a short novella and a reread felt like a better option. That’s why I picked this one. I don’t think my thoughts about this novella have changed much since my first read except I upped my rating to a 4. But I do have some things I noticed this time which I seem to have missed before. I really liked how feminist this book is without ever overtly spelling it out. Right from the first moment Guet Imm hexes a customer because he can’t keep his hands to himself, she is a character who exercises her agency and never lets anyone reduce her to her gender. She is smart and resourceful and and when she has ideas, she is bold enough to bring them forth. The author also makes a point to mention how some religious orders are accepting of transgender people but it’s all said in a very matter of fact way, which makes it an integral part of world building without putting emphasis on it. After having read more wuxia novels and watched quite a few cdramas, I think I appreciate this story now much more. I can very much see the Jin Yong Condor Heroes vibes this time and that made for a lovely read.
I usually never even bother reading the summary of a Sigma Force because I will read it anyway, so imagine my surprise when I open it and realize it has a pandemic. I’m actually pretty astonished that this is my third or fourth book with a pandemic and it’s aftermath premise since Covid started and I’m willingly reading them. I’m not gonna talk much about the writing or action because they are always fun to read when written by Rollins and this is no different. I however, liked that the author brought his veterinarian experience into this book which features many many different creatures, both real and genetically different, and it was all quite terrifying to read. The author also throws light on the colonization of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the two wars which devastated it, and how even now, other countries and corporations try to exploit the country for its rich natural resources while its people suffer under the atrocities of warlords, poachers, militias and many more. But the one thing I will take away from this book is how the author manages to describe Mother Nature as a sentient force who won’t always remain silent in the wake of unfathomable destruction, deforestation, pollution and exploitation of natural resources conducted by human beings. We as a species have only been part of this world for a tiny amount of time and when we tip the balance too far, it won’t be surprising if Mother Nature decides to retaliate and wipe us off.
I recently saw a couple of tweets praising this one and I was immediately intrigued. I have so many fantasy arcs but when mood reading strikes, I can’t help it. So here I am after finishing this very uncomfortable and unflinching book set during 1965-66 China. I have to say the writing was very gorgeous without being lyrical, capturing each character’s feelings very deeply and making us feel the emotions. But I think the writing itself had to be beautiful because the story is really an ugly one. The pacing can be a bit slow too, especially in the middle portions because it mostly feels like a slice of story, but I was engrossed enough that I didn’t notice these issues. The author’s meticulous research shows in the way she perfectly captures the ethos of China before the Cultural Revolution and once it begins, the lives of the peasants in remote villages and how removed they are from the kind of lives the elite live in the capital, the veneration of Chairman Mao like a god and how it fuels the survival of the people – it all felt very real and palpable. I think what the author manages to do successfully is show us the ways in which power and manipulation works; how lies and half truths and insinuations are the weapon of the powerful to quash any rebellion against them; and how easy it is to get seduced by proximity to power, expecting that one will get a share in it too. It’s a searing look at how meaningful words like “revolution” and “power of the people” are misused to rile up the ignorant masses – especially young students who are eager to be a part of the fight against the capitalists just like their parents and grandparents were – and become clarion calls for resolving grudges and revenge and power struggles instead.
Yes, I’ve already finished watching Who Rules the World and even wrote a whole post gushing about it and the book on my blog here. But I did watch it all on my laptop pirated. I’ve finally gotten access to a Netflix account, so rewatching it very slowly on the big screen now and absolutely loving the experience.
I have been highly anticipating Heroes because I love Liu Yuning but I only managed to watch one episode. But I guess I’ll let a good number of episodes air and then binge watch. The fight scenes were excellent in episode 1 but it hasn’t completely captured my attention yet.
I also binged this anthology series a couple of days ago and while all the stories weren’t top notch, I thought it was overall a good one.
Not all of these books are on my TBR, but there’s no way I couldn’t share these absolutely stunning covers… I’m very impressed and will definitely atleast try to read them but I’m always swayed by gorgeous covers.
Wyrd and Wonder WrapUp
Can you believe I read only three fantasy in the whole month of May??? Must be one of my worst reading months.. I had such plans when I started and was very excited to be a part of Wyrd and Wonder, but nothing worked out. But thats fine. I enjoyed the three fantasies I managed to read, especially Zachary Ying and also posted quite a bit throughout the month, so overall I am feeling good.
Below are all my non-review fantasy themed posts for Wyrd and Wonder..
It’s a new month starting soon and I’m as always very excited to join a new readathon. You can find all the Dessertathon details by clicking here and sign up here. I’m joining as part of Team Red Velvet Royals and here’s my TBR…
Posts from around the Blogverse
This is actually not a post from last week but I just read it yesterday and I found it so relatable as well as something I needed to read. Do checkout this post called I’VE ACCEPTED THAT PUBLISHERS AREN’T THAT INTERESTED IN BOOK BLOGGERS by Krysta @ Pages Unbound Reviews – Link.
The Architects series by Adrian Tchaikovsky is one on my TBR I really want to get to, so I was definitely excited to read the reviews of Eyes of the Void by Chris @ Biblionerd Reflections and Lorraine @ Geeky Galaxy – Link1, Link2.
It’s been a while since I’ve read a contemporary romance and Book Lovers by Emily Henry is definitely seeming very enticing on my TBR. Always appreciate lovely reviews of it like the ones by Amanda @ Give Me Coffee & Books and Leah @ A Book Shrew – Link1, Link2.
Fanna @ Fanna for Books is an absolutely brilliant writer and I am not surprised that I adored her review of one of my favorite novels, Iron Widow – Link.
This review of Tokyo Dreaming by the wonderful Amanda @ Bookish Brews has convinced me that I need to read this YA contemporary series and I have already started Tokyo Ever After – Link.
I may not have totally enjoyed The Immortal King Rao due to my bad headspace, but I loved reading this very thoughtful review of the book by Vivek @ The Hungry Reader – Link.
The Shadow of the Gods is another book high up on my TBR and I haven’t read it yet, but my very very favorite reviewers Caitlin @ Realms of My Mind and Nils @ The Fantasy Hive are already gushing about it’s sequel, The Hunger of the Gods – Link1, Link2.
Wrath Goddess Sing releases next month and I can’t tell you how eagerly I am awaiting it’s release. So, it was very much fun to read a brilliant review of it by Gabriele @ Queer Bookdom – Link.
And that’s all for my weekly update. How have you all been doing? What lovely books and blogs have you been reading and have you found any new favorites? Any new cdramas to checkout ? Do share all your thoughts in the comments below.