Books Read in May, 2018
Roman Games by Bruce Macbain
The Art of Dejah Thoris and the Worlds of Mars by Various (Artbook)
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
The Delirium Brief by Charles Stross
April, 2018 Reader’s Digest
Updraft by Fran Wilde
April, 2018 Locus
Autonomous by Annalee Newitz
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
The Jewel and Her Lapidary by Fran Wilde
Dark Life by Kat Falls
Rip Tide by Kat Falls
May, 2018 Locus
And those were my reads in the month of May. I managed to read more books than I expected in May, and none of them were re-reads interestingly enough. In addition, I was shocked to see that I'd not read any roleplaying game materials for the month, but that's not surprising given that I was re-reading the adventures that I was running at CanGames so perhaps not really a surprise. A good month of reads with some entertaining and pleasantly surprising books.
The books I enjoyed the most were:
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh - This was a book that I was cautious to read. I love the Arabian Nights stories, and so my expectations on the book were high. Make no mistake, this novel is the story of Scheherazade (called Shahrzad here) and the King (called Khalid). It's definitely a romance novel that doesn't start out that way per sé, and turns into a story that...it's divine. Renee Ahdieh's writing is exquisite in this book. Whether she described luscious palaces, delectable dishes and lavish clothes or a love so palpable that it rips your insides open, devastating truths or heartbreaking choices, she captivates the reader with her prose. I would happily spend more time with the characters of Shahrzad, Khalid, Despina and Jalal, and there's a sequel that I'm rather looking forward to. Highly recommended.
Updraft by Fran Wilde - The first book in the Bone Universe series, and also the first novel by the author, Updraft is one heck of an enjoyable read. The book tells the story of Kirit Densira, a young girl with a rare talent who is raised in a bizarre city - one consisting of towering bone spires where flight is one of the few freedoms and giant, invisible flying squid with glass teeth lurk in the sky. Our heroine, Kirit, is a strong-minded young girl who craves the freedom of flight as a trader between towers, but the revelation that she has the type of voice that can control skymouths make her valuable to a secretive ruling class of the city. Her struggle to make her way in this world where it all seems stacked against her makes for a tense and engaging story. The author's world-building is absolutely brilliant, and there is an array of bizarre cultural, biological and features of this world that make it truly stand out. A truly remarkable first novel, and I'm looking forward to reading the second book, soon. Again, highly recommended.
The Jewel and Her Lapidary by Fran Wilde - This slight book (of around 180 pages) is an engrossing fantasy tale of a kingdom based on magical gemstones that is betrayed from within. A young woman of the royal blood (a "Jewel") finds herself the last heir, presiding over a ruined, conquered land. She and her magical companion (a "Lapidary") must decide how best to cope, for their own benefit, for the kingdom's, all the while temptation and betrayal surrounding them. As different in style and feel from Updraft as it is, this book also has some interesting world-building. A book about love, trust, betrayal, and loyalty, this one bears reading a second or third time. I liked it. A lot.
Overall, I managed to read 10 novels, 0 RPGs and RPG products, 3 magazines, 0 comics, and 0 graphic novels in May. This brings the year total in 2018 to a set of numbers that look like this: 36 books, 10 RPGs and RPG products, 10 magazines, 0 comics, and 2 graphic novels.
Anyway, thoughts and comments are always welcome. :)