“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
Buzzwords:… I can’t tell you.
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
Buzzwords: Murderbot as bodyguard, anti-social murderbot, murderbot just wanting to be left alone so it can watch serials
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
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
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!