A Long Way To A Small Angry Planet Review

  • Author: Becky Chambers
  • Series: Wayfarers #1
  • Genre: Sci-fi
  • No of pages: 404
  • Dates read: 12.04.19 – 16.04.19
  • Ratings: 5 stars (Favourite)

WOW! I am doing well in April, I have loved every book I have read so far but this book might be my new favourite!

There are so many things about this book that I love!

Overall, the ensemble cast was the best thing about this story. These are a group of individuals that you just so badly want to be friends with. They are all so unique not just in their biology but their personality, their morals, their beliefs. They are incredibly layered characters that are so likeable and well thought out. I tended to prefer the chapters that were just about the crew and their time on the ship to the actual over-arching plot. I loved the developing friendships, relationships and even the moments of anguish. It was such a refreshing story to read.

The main themes of this book include family, friendship but mainly acceptance. I found the theme of acceptance in this book weaved through each chapter. Whether it was about interspecies relationships, LGBT characters, religion etc. All the characters strived for respect and acceptance, not judging a book by its cover. It just put a smile of my face to see LGBT characters accepted whole-heartedly and the characters just moving on but so what, it’s not a big deal. 

War is another huge theme in this book and it is done really well! Probably the best way I have seen war written! Everyone is the victim of war as war leaves no stone unturned and no one person unaffected. Some more than others. CHaracters in this book accept the mistakes and horrors committed by people they know or members of their planet and the focus was on how can we better ourselves and make sure this doesn’t happen again. 

I loved the variety of species and planets. The description of each character and the world building was amazingly detailed. You could truly picture each individual and each location perfectly.

My only criticism is that with their being so many species and planets not enough explanation was given to their history or culture so I got a bit confused on who they were and what they are about which was a bit frustrating but it was only a personal preference that I found at the beginning of the novel. Maybe I was being a bit too impatient.

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August Review

  • Author: Claire North
  • Series: Standalone
  • Genre: Sci-fi/Historical
  • No of pages: 405
  • Date read: 05.04.19 – 11.04.19
  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Challenge: ONTD April Theme “Time Travel”

I have been needing a book like this for so long!

This is my current favourite of 2019!

I read this book for the ONTD book of the month of April. The theme for April was time-travel and I was curious about what I was going to read and saw this book which had been sitting on my TBR for so long and thought, this is the moment!

Overall, Harry is a really intriguing character! We see him over 15 lifetimes and we learn more and more about him as each life passes. We know what makes him tick, what makes him laugh, what makes him cry and he feels like someone you know and understands like a friend as we watch him go on this journey. I really enjoyed his POV.

One of my favourites thing about the plot was the flipping between the current over-arching narrative working alongside the little peeks into important moments in Harry’s other lives. We will have a major plot point occur and followed up by an insight into his childhood from his 4th life and we learn about his relationship with his father. I think the pacing works well, switching between moments of high adrenaline and then moments of calm. I think this kind of narrative is also important to Harry’s character development.

I loved the Cronus Club and all the characters you meet because of the Cronus Club. Especially, all the jokes that members and other Kalacharka make regarding their immortality and constantly going through new cycles of life. I loved the jokes of not wanting to go through puberty again. The Cronus Club as a franchise was really intriguing, I loved learning how they worked and how they communicated with the future and the past.

North’s writing to me was really enjoyable. Her writing sucked me into the point where I couldn’t put the book down. I just wanted to keep on reading!

One thing I would say is there is a lot of science jargon and philosophical debate that is held between two characters of very high intelligence and those scenes would just go way over my head and came across quite dull as I couldn’t understand half of what they said. Chapters would be dedicated to these scientific debates and I got bored of those chapters quite quickly.

To me this was a slow burn of a book, I was always really enjoying it but I never had a moment of a sucker-punch WOW moment. It just grew on me slowly and when I finished it I just sat there and thought that was such a good book! This book was consistent, apart from the science debates, I loved every moment of this book and enjoyed picking back up everytime!

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd Review

  • Author: Agatha Christie
  • Series: Hercule Poirot #4
  • Genre: Murder Mystery
  • No of pages: 304
  • Dates read: 01.04.19 – 04.04.19
  • Rating: 4.5 stars
  • Challenge: 2019 Sequels

There is not much I can say about this book without giving away Christie’s pure genius. So this won’t be that indepth of a review.

The first thing I would say after reading Sophie Hannah’s interpretation of Poirot, in The Monogram Murders, it makes you understand what it was about Christie’s Poirot that is unmatched and can’t be replicated no matter how hard we try. He is a great balance of knowing he is smarter than everyone else but also being humble about it. Being stern but compassionate. This balance is what makes Poirot great! It was great to dive back into the original Poirot.

I loved how everyone was framed as a suspect leaving the reader rather confused and no closer to who the actual murderer is. This also gets dragged out through a lot of the book so as you see the pages get smaller and smaller and you are reaching the end of the novel you are still wondering who it could be.

I really enjoyed the character Caroline Sheppard. I loved her ability to just gossip and not care about the consequences. While this isn’t a trait I would promote, it was very intriguing to read especially her nonchalance over causing trouble in her village. She is the person we would all be when something shocking happens, trying to know every little detail and discussing it with our friends.

One of the things I would say is that the writing is pretty basic, it was not the most exciting writing I have ever read. Thankfully, the plot makes up for the writing as the plot is incredibly masterful, so Christie can get away with the average writing style.

The next book I will be reviewing will be The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North. This book has been on my TBR list for so long and I am so happy I can finally get to this book.

March Wrap Up 2018

Below is a list of the five books I read in March. The photo is missing Thunderhead sadly 😦

Legendary by Stephanie Garber (3 stars)

A great sequel to an amazing debut novel, though not without faults. Garber’s writing was enveloping, she welcomed you back to her world like she welcoming you back home. Yet the strucutre of the plot was a bit lacking at times.

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman (5 stars)

A jaw-dropping sequel! It was so good I have a friend from work picking up the series just so he can read this book. The world building is the standout feature in this story and more so than ever we see our own society reflected in this novel.

The Power by Naomi Alderman (4 stars)

A pre-dystopian novel I didn’t know I needed. The multi-perspective/characters were the highlights of the story. Alot of triggers litter this book, which I list in the review but this is just a warning going into the book.

The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson (3.75 stars)

My very first arc! This was a promising debut and I will definitely pick up the next book she releases. The representation in this book stood out to me alot and I felt it was done really well. The main character was really great and I enjoyed reading her POV.

How to Adult by Stephen Wildish (3 stars)

A satirical non-fiction book I read but I don’t know how to review a book like that so I gave it an average rating. It was very funny and a quick read for March.

The Storm Crow Review

  • Author: Kalyn Josephson
  • Series: The Storm Crow #1
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • No. of pages: 368
  • Dates read: 25.03.19 – 31.03.19
  • Rating: 3.75 stars

I did not expect to live this book as much as I did!

I received this book as an ARC in the Fairyloot December 2018 box and was quite hesitant about it. It didn’t sound like something I would normally pick up.

This book is FULL of representation! First of all, you have this really vast world with each kingdom representing parts of the world we live in this subsequently came with many POC characters. Our protagonist is a woman of colour and she is amazing. She is a really enjoyable character to view the story from. So many characters in this book are POC which is refreshing to read about. 

There are characters who are LGBT and what I liked about this book is that their sexuality wasn’t their defining feature, they are not solely placed in the story to be the gay character. We know these characters initially for their bravery or their kindness or their arrogance and it just so happens that they are gay. They are not this walking stereotype which is brill.

This book is full of powerful women and women in positions of power which is amazing to read about. Most notably the Queen of Illucia, while I hated her for her cruelty I also loved to see a cut-throat character that wasn’t a man but a woman. She was truly terrifying. Kiva was a smart, funny and incredibly powerful woman who was so fun to read about. It was just cool to see these countries run by women.

This book deals with depression and while I wouldn’t consider it the best representation, there are probably better books out there, I thought it was written well without bias and it was good to see the exploration of trauma and depression and the vicious cycle that you go through dealing with it.

The friendship between Kiva and Anthia was amazing! Those girls had each other’s backs through thick and thin and it was great to see these two women stand up and support each other through all the horror they are put through.

Ericen as a character was one that I thought I wouldn’t like. I don’t like characters we are meant to hate initially but then learn to like them later on and forgive them for shitty or selfish decisions but I felt that this was developed well in this story and the author never tried to make us want to forgive him either, he had to own up to his own bad decisions.

A couple of things I wasn’t a massive fan of was…

Caylus was a nice character but to me, he felt quite bland with a lack of personality. I found myself questioning why Anthia liked him as much as she did. Even though he is given a sad backstory I still didn’t find him that interesting.

The writing itself is pretty basic. I enjoyed her setting descriptions and when describing Anthia’s depression but when it came to normal conversations or actions I found the writing to be average. It’s definitely writing anyone could get into but I wanted to see magic within the words.

Finally, it took a while for me to get into the story. It was quite slow-going initially, but it did eventually pick up.

The next book I will be reviewing is The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie! I am a massive Agatha Christie fan. I reviewed her book, Murder on the Links, last year and LOVED IT!