Wrap up

December 2021 Reading Wrap-Up

“I could have become a mass murderer after I hacked my govenor module, but then I realized I could access the combined feed of entertainment channels carried on the company satellites.”

First line in All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Happy New Year!! I hope you all had a great New Year’s Eve and are ready to tackle 2022. If you’re not quite ready to face 2022 yet, we can pretend we’re still in 2021 as I look back on my reading in December. And well, if you look at my stats, you can see what kind of month that was for me.

December means work is crazy for me, so I’m not surprised that I didn’t read that many pages. I read a lot of short books which turned out pretty great for me as you can tell by my average rating. However, I did also read some comics this month, which is a totally new thing for me, but I’ve been slightly obsessed since Maria @The Character Study posted a reading guide for Young Avengers. The problem is that I don’t want to add every single issue to my Goodreads or anywhere else because I do like to compare my stats and I feel they’re going to mess with it too much. At this point, I’m tracking comics and books separately until I figure something else out, but I still wanted to let you know that I’ve been reading them.
Last thing I need to say before we get to the reviews is that I read one book in Danish this month, Daniel by Anne Christine Eriksen. I really liked it, gave it 4 stars, but since it isn’t translated, I’m not going to spend any more time on it here. That leaves four reviews for the books I read in December!


Author: Susanna Clarke

Published: September 15th, 2020

Genre: Fantasy

My rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Buzzwords:… I can’t tell you.

My thoughts

I CAN’T SAY ANYTHING! Any way I can think of describing this book will spoil something, so I guess this is a super short review. I just freaking loved it! It was exactly what I’d hoped it would be, weird and atmospheric, and I might have found a new author to add to my list of favorites.

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1)

Author: Martha Wells

Published: May 2nd, 2017

Genre: Science Fiction Novella

My rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Buzzwords: Murderbot as bodyguard, anti-social murderbot, murderbot just wanting to be left alone so it can watch serials

My thoughts

I spontaneously picked it up from my library when I found it on their shelves, mainly because it was short and I’d heard it was funny. And it was, just maybe not as much as I’d hoped. There were a few great one-liners like the first one I included at the start of this post, but I wish the book had leaned into it even more. There were so many other opportunities for that dark humor to be brought forward, but I really enjoyed it every time it was used.

Since this is a novella, there’s not much else I can say about it. I don’t really have anything else to criticize, but also not much else to praise. It was just good.

With Fate Conspire (Onyx Court #4)

Author: Marie Brennan

Published: August 30th, 2011

Genre: Historical Fantasy

My rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

My thoughts

Each book in this series is its very own thing, but this one still stands apart from the others because of some key differences. And I’m unsure how I feel about that. I did quite like the book and felt it was very engaging all the way through despite its slow pace, but I couldn’t help but feel that something was missing. I kind of understand why this choice I’m being very vague about was made but I also thought it was a bit unfortunate for the last book in the series.

As for the rest of the book, I quickly fell in love with the characters so it was a pleasant reading experience overall. We see some different types of characters in this book compared to the others which I thought was a good choice to continue to keep it interesting. There were a few things about the ending that I felt could have been handled better but overall a very satisfying conclusion to the series.

Lioness Rampant (Song of the Lioness #4)

Author: Tamora Pierce

Published: November 30th, 1988

Genre: YA Fantasy

My rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

My thoughts

It was a bit of a slow start but I really liked the second half of this book and how the whole series got wrapped up. It’s difficult to talk about in a non-spoilery manner, but I think Alanna went through some great development here in the last book.

However, there were also two major events in this book that I really didn’t care for, and one of them even made me think that this series should probably have been a duology and not a quartet. I’m not sure the last two books were all that necessary now that I know what they were leading up to. But I did enjoy reading about Alanna.

That was it for December and 2021! I still have no clue how we got here, but I’m excited about starting the new year. I have great books to read and (hopefully) interesting blog posts to share, so I’m determined to make it a good year despite that Thing that just won’t go away.
Anyway, did you read any books in December that made it onto your list of favorites for the year? Piranesi just managed to take the last spot for me which I’m very grateful for. Otherwise, I hope you all have a great 2022 filled with lots of good books!

13 thoughts on “December 2021 Reading Wrap-Up

  1. Aaah, so many 4 star reads!!! so glad you enjoyed most of the books you read!!
    Haha, about half of my top 10 list for the year is mostly occupied by December reads 😂
    Happy new year!! Hope 2022 is amazing for you, and you are able to find lots of new favorite books!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it really was a good month for me! 😁
      And that you read half of your favorite books of the year in December is kind of crazy. Sounds like your December was even better than mine 😄

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I definitely have to get back to Marie Brennan soon, because all these vague hints of yours are driving me insane with curiosity! I need to know what you’re referring to!

    Also, I’ve been dying to hear your full thoughts on the Song of the Lioness quartet, so I’m thrilled I finally got them 🤗 The last book is by far my least favorite in the series, so it was interesting that you seem to like it pretty equally to the rest of them 😉 Though yes, I agree that a majority of the story arc wraps up in book two – which is also why the first two books are the ones I’ve reread most 🥰 The rest does get more important in the rest of Tamora Pierce’s books that are set in this world – one of my favorite parts is seeing how characters develop across the different series – but yeah, for Alanna’s storyline, the last two books might not be completely necessary… I obviously still love them, though!

    Also, happy new year! Hopefully, it will look a bit more like December in terms of the quality of the books you read than the rest of 2021 😁 (Though, of course, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for at least one five-star read in January 🙃)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, it’s really hard to talk about the fourth book in a series without being very vague but if it means you’ll read them soon I’m not too sorry about it 😉

      And I still think the third book about Alanna is my least favorite but this one is also close. I really did not see the point of introducing another love interest for Alanna this late, so I really wished they had just stayed friends. And I would have appreciated a different villain as well. But yeah, had I read these books when I was younger, I probably would have loved them a lot too.

      It’s also looking like a great start to the year already with at least one five-star read, although maybe not the one you’re hoping for (at least not yet) 😉 Will my Goodreads even know how to cope with two five-star reads in a row after so long? 😄

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, there being another love interest was also what bothered me most about Lioness Rampant 🙄 We did not need that! Though, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve also come to appreciate Tamora Pierce straying from the standard “girl falls in love for the first time and then ends up marrying the guy and living happily ever after” plotline, since that really isn’t what you should necessarily expect from real life. It’s kind of refreshing to see a novel show that it’s okay to break up with someone or not be in a committed relationship even if the other person isn’t the most horribly douchy and abusive piece of trash ever… Sometimes, things just don’t work out. Still, that does not change my belief that Alanna and Liam did not need to be a thing!

        I’ll keep my fingers crossed for your Goodreads having to cope, though! 😄

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree it’s nice to see a character not ending up with the first person they fall in love with, but I still felt it was enough that she had George. Her relationship with him was in my opinion enough to get that point across. Pierce could have used the last book to show that it’s alright to be single sometimes, but I also get that these books are old and that’s probably more of a modern opinion 😅

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I felt pretty meh with All Systems Red. The book read more like a blog post and reminded me of a tamer version of Andy Weir. But I heard that the following books are much better, so I’ll probably give the series another go. Thanks for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s kinda good to hear because I also didn’t think my feelings towards it matched all the raving I’ve heard about that series. I’ll continue with it as well and knowing the books are supposed to get better is reassuring.

      Liked by 1 person

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