“It’s easy to think that nobody could really arrange the world like clockwork.”First line in The Lost Future of Pepperharrow by Natasha Pulley
We’ve finally reached the best month of the year! I love the Christmas feeling of December, but it’s also always a month of stress. I happen to work for the postal service here and we’re preeetty busy for about a month and a half. Like, I’m already constantly exhausted and it’s only getting worse. Just letting you know because it might affect my blogging. I don’t have that much energy left in the evenings, so I’m pretty much only writing posts on the weekends. It’s stressing me out a little bit because there are so many end-of-the-year-posts I want to start working on. And I still want to read other bloggers’ posts. And I also need to read books. And buy Christmas presents. Help.
Oh well, let’s wrap up November first, shall we? Here are the stats:
Well, the amount I read is better than last month even though I’m still not living up to my usual standards. December is probably not going to change that either. In terms of quality, there were some very book good books and some very bad books, which gives me that middle-of-the-road average rating. But that’s all I have to say for now, so let’s jump into the mini-reviews for the month.
The Shadow Rising (Wheel of Time #4)
Author: Robert Jordan
Published: September 15th 1992
Go to Goodreads to read the synopsis of the first book in the series, The Eye of the World.
This felt like a chore to get through. My copy was 1,001 pages long and again I feel like half would have been enough. We spend a lot of time building up to something, and it’s like the characters are going in circles with the only purpose of making this book 1,000 pages long. I had the same criticism of book 3, but at least the pay-off at the end in book 4 was better. Just not enough to overshadow all that meandering.
I will say that I loved the first 200 pages. There were some politics and a feeling that we were dealing with important aspects of the overall plot. Apparently, that was just to trick me into thinking that we were back on track with the good stuff from book 2.
This is a series where I’m really interested in the overall plot and find that incredibly exciting. But when the plot disappears (which it does a lot), it leaves repetitive writing and badly written YA-romances in its wake. I’m not sure it’s worth it anymore.
The Golem and the Jinni
Author: Helene Wecker
Published: April 1st 2013
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Buzzwords: Multi-cultural New York, opposites attract, multiple POVs
Synopsis: Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic, created to be the wife of a man who dies at sea on the voyage from Poland. Chava is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York harbor in 1899.
Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire born in the ancient Syrian desert, trapped in an old copper flask, and released in New York City, though still not entirely free.
Ahmad and Chava become unlikely friends and soul mates with a mystical connection. Marvelous and compulsively readable, Helene Wecker’s debut novel The Golem and the Jinni weaves strands of Yiddish and Middle Eastern literature, historical fiction and magical fable, into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.
This was a very interesting read that mixed historical fiction and fantasy really well. I was particularly intrigued by the Middle Eastern aspect to this book and all the many different characters’ lives we follow. I have a full review for this if you’re interested in more of my thoughts.
The Lost Future of Pepperharrow (The Watchmaker of Filigree Street #2)
Author: Natasha Pulley
Published: February 18th 2020
Genre: Historical Fiction/Magical Realism
Go to Goodreads to read the synopsis of the first book in the series, The Watchmaker of Filigree Street.
It’s very difficult for me to review this book, not only because it’s a sequel but also because I had no idea what was going on for the first 95% of it. And I loved it! The characters I fell in love with in the first book are back, and they’re given even more depth throughout the book. I’m going to miss reading about them so much.
The progression of the plot had me guessing all the way through, and I ran headfirst into all the traps the author has laid out for the reader. I really thought I’d figured stuff out several times until I realized that’s how Pulley writes. And oh how I love her writing style! I don’t think I’ll ever forget this one particular scene where she has spent quite some time making me feel all hopeful and warm after so much misery. I was finally smiling over this book… but then three simple words broke my heart into a thousand pieces. How does one do that?!? I am in awe. I highly recommend this series and this author if you like historical fiction with a twist.
And Robin Hobb has rated this one 5 stars on Goodreads, so maybe that’s a sign I need to read her books.
The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles #2)
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Published: July 15th 2015
Genre: YA Fantasy
Go to Goodreads to read the synopsis for the first book in the series, The Kiss of Deception.
This one was a very big miss for me, and that’s not a good sign for the trilogy overall because I usually love the second book the most. However, this one suffers heavily from middle book syndrome. What was the point of most of this book? I was so bored because we weren’t doing anything! I could tell that the author was trying to fill the book with politicking and world-building, but it was done so poorly that it failed to keep my interest. What I was left with was that awful love triangle drama that so rarely is made intriguing in literature, and that isn’t the case here either.
Also hated the ending.
I’m probably still going to read the final book because the completionist in me says it’s just one more book.
That was all I read in November. Only one more month left of this year that has lasted a decade, and I hope to finish it off reading some good books. Let me know if you’ve read any of these books and what you thought.