Reviews

THE MID-YEAR FREAK OUT TAG

In my newly-discovered enjoyment of book-blogging tags, I’ve seen this one pop up on several blogs I follow so I decided to thy my hand at it. After all, every opportunity to talk about books must be enjoyed, right?  😉

 

BEST BOOKS YOU’VE READ SO FAR THIS YEAR

Looking at my five-star ratings, I would have to give this prize to Joe Abercrombie’s First Law trilogy: I’ve come somewhat late to the party with this series, but I’m glad that the publication of the first book in his new saga inspired me to go backwards and enjoy learning about the “roots” of this world and the back story of its characters.

 

BEST SEQUEL YOU’VE READ SO FAR THIS YEAR

 

Since I mostly read SF and Fantasy, I’m going to nominate a best sequel in both genres, and the Oscar goes to…

Gareth Powell’s Fleet of Knives, second volume in his Embers of War saga

John Gwynne’s A Time of Courage, third and final volume in his Of Blood and Bone series

 

NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET BUT WANT TO

There are several of course – you all know the book lover’s lamentation about too many books, too little time, don’t you?  Anyway, just to mention one, I’m looking forward to Jade War, the second book in Fonda Lee’s Green Bone Saga.  It’s been sitting on my TBR for a while now, and it’s starting to look at me with some impatience…

 

MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR

Given my answer to the first question, I’m more than looking forward to Joe Abercrombie’s The Trouble with Peace, the second volume in his new series Age of Madness. Can you blame me?  😉

 

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

This dubious prize goes to Andrew Maine’s The Naturalist: from my fellow bloggers’ review I had come to expect an intriguing thriller but it’s clear that this book was not meant for me – once I started finding some inconsistencies in the story and the characterization I knew that the “magic” was lost and that this book and yours truly were destined to part ways…

 

BIGGEST SURPRISE

The Institute, by Stephen King. I used to be a huge fan of the Master of Horror, but in later years I had been disappointed by some of his works and stopped reading them. When I decided to give this one a chance, on the strength of a very intriguing review from a fellow blogger (what would I do without you guys??), I discovered that the Master still has several aces up his sleeve, and that this book brought back the old enjoyment in his stories.

 

FAVORITE NEW AUTHOR

Vivian Shaw.  I read two of her books in the UF series focused on Dr. Greta Helsing, physician to London’s supernatural creatures, and I enjoyed them immensely: I would never have thought that an author would make me feel sympathy for mummies or ghouls, but Ms. Shaw managed that with very little effort!  🙂

 

NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH

Sorry, I’m too old and crusty for crushes of any kind…

 

NEWEST FAVORITE CHARACTER

Sand dan Glokta, from Joe Abercrombie’s First Law, which gains the third mention in this meme and shows that I might be just a tiny bit obsessed with this world…. Glokta is the opposite of the inspirational character: he’s crippled, embittered and earns his living by being the master torturer for the King’s inquisition, but he’s also gifted with a sarcastic sense of humor and a strong sense of self-mockery that went a long way toward endearing him to me.

 

BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY

I don’t cry easily, so it would be hard to fill this bookish slot, but I can mention a book that held a big – and somewhat unwelcome – surprise for me concerning a particular character: John Scalzi The Last Emperox, the final volume in his Interdepency saga. And no, I was not expecting THAT Mr. Scalzi, not at all…

 

BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY

Network Effect, by Martha Wells, the fifth installment in her Murderbot Diaries: it made me happy because every new story about Murderbot is a joy, and because it was a full-length novel instead of the previous novella-sized works – and of course more Murderbot always gives me a chance to celebrate.

 

FAVORITE BOOK-TO-FILM ADAPTATION

None so far, but hope keeps me going…

 

MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU’VE BOUGHT THIS YEAR

   

Since I read ebooks, I have a chance to look at the actual covers only when search for them online: my e-reader does not do colors… so far, the covers I found more intriguing have been those for Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennet and for Moontangled by Stephanie Burgis.  I love the first because that background fire against the darkness in the foreground is very dramatic, and the second because those gorgeous dresses and the color combination are a feast for the eyes.

 

WHAT BOOKS DO YOU NEED TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR?

Far too many for the time I have, far too many…

 

Join the fun, let’s freak out together! 😀

32 thoughts on “THE MID-YEAR FREAK OUT TAG

  1. I really enjoyed this post. And you have reminded me that I still need to read ‘The Blade Itself’. It has been sitting on my shelf too long, so thanks for the push. Yes, I’m even later to the party. I like what you wrote about the character of Glokta. He sounds very interesting and memorable. And I’m tempted by your comments on King’s recent book. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I did this tag today as well, it’s fun to look back😁 You’re certainly tempting me to finally try Joe Abercrombie! I may even have the first book buried in a pile somewhere…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Joe Abercrombie is one of my absolute favourite authors and I have been woefully lax in reading his newest books of late! Up until the release of A Little Hatred, I had been to every one of his book signings in my city since I was 16! Fifteen long years of obsession… 😂 I will definitely give myself a kick and read his Age of Madness books!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s indeed a fun tag and I look forward to your post!
    Gwynne has quickly become one of my favorite Fantasy authors, and as for Powell, I just finished reading the third book in the Embers of War saga and I can tell you it closes the trilogy in a great way… 🙂

    Like

  5. Definitely love how you ended this tag. It couldn’t be more defeating than to know the number of books we all wish we had already read and loved by now! At least there’s still plenty to look forward too. 😉 Also not surprised to see so much Abercrombie here. Sounds like he’s the author of the year for you this year and I hope I’ll be able to catch up to your reading of his books in the upcoming future! Happy reading, Maddalena! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! And yes, I already have Abercrombie’s stand-alone book in the First Law world lined up: I read Best Served Cold many years ago and I look forward to re-acquainting myself with it, now that I have a better knowledge of the overall background 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I looooove those Vivian Shaw books–so good! I’m glad that you enjoyed them. Looks like you’ve been having a pretty good year in reading so far–and we all have far too many books to read by the end of the year haha. I have fifty-eleven-billion challenges I’m doing and I’m doing pretty bad at all of them haha. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mr Abercrombie made a huge impression on me back when they came out, although I’m not sure I’d be quite so fond of them now as my tastes have shifted significantly. Still, I may be tempted into a reread at some point for the sake of the Bloody-Nine and a certain sardonic torturer…

    Maybe. I’m still not caught up on Murderbot (I’m only two novellas in) so I’ve got a lot fresh reading to do before I consider rereading anything other than a dear favourite 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Murderbot became one of my favorite characters from the very first novella (and for someone who can’t stand the trope of insta-love that’s something! 😀 ) and both the character and the world are expanded from one story to the other: there is some very entertaining reading waiting for you down that road! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hahaha! That image in the beginning! 🤣😍

    Damn! Those books by Joe Abercombie look way too mysterious (and a bit deadly too) to not give them a try!

    I haven’t read a SINGLE book by Stephen King, can you imagine?! 😱 I’ve been meaning to for a YEAR but I just…ahhh! It’s high time I read something by the Master of Horror, as you say! But, I am sorry that The Institute failed to impress you, Mads! It’s always a bummer when a book by our favorite author isn’t up to the mark!

    o.O Strange Practice SEEMS LIKE AN AWESOME READ! 😍😍

    Loved this post so muchh!! ❤️🌻

    Liked by 1 person

  9. On the contrary! The Institute was the book that finally reconnected me with Stephen King’s works, after a decent-but-not-stellar encounter with The Outsider: I’ve gone back on track to the point that I read Mr. Mercedes last week and enjoyed it very much 🙂
    As for Abercrombie, I cannot recommend his books strongly enough – even though there is indeed a lot of death and mayhem in them… 😉

    Like

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