Last November I made a list of 21 books I would like to prioritise in 2021 and essentially this is a look back on that post to see how successful I was. And probably no shock to anyone, I was not successful. I didn’t do too badly but I wasn’t super successful!
If you would like to read the 2021 list beforehand, you can find it here >>>
If you would like to read my new list for 2022, you can find that one here >>>
I am going to categorise this post into 3 parts.
- Books I have read
- Books I haven’t read but still want to
- Books I haven’t read and no longer want to
Books I Have Read
The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
Rating: 5 stars
Thoughts: WHAT AN ENDING. If you follow me on twitter (which you should @indiareadsalot) you will know my profile picture is a photo of me crying having just finished this book! This book was the final novel in the Mistborn trilogy and the first series by Sanderson I had ever read. This book epitomises something I love in series of any kind, which is, when something happens in the final couple of books that was foreshadowed and set up as early as the first book. This happened so many times in this series, the planning and the intricacy of this series and this book in particular was astounding to me! To put into context of how much I enjoyed this series I am currently reading the Wax and Wayne series, I am on book two and have just pre-ordered the 4th book for when it comes out in November as I am that dedicated to him.
Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett
Thoughts: So, sadly this was the book that solidified to me that I would not be continuing my journey with the Discworld series. As much as I liked the ideas and the world as a whole, I just couldn’t connect to the stories. I found the pacing to be slow and it felt like a slog to get through or I would be fully invested in the first half and then would get bored or feel severely underwhelmed in the second half. I have got the companion book which is more just information about the world and the inhabitants rather than an actual novel which I think I might enjoy more.
The Inugami Curse by Seishi Yokomizo
Rating: 3 stars
Thoughts: Not as good as the first novel I read in 2020, The Honjin Murders, but still a good novel. I probably would have rated it higher if it hadn’t been for the fact that I figured out the ending pretty early on.
The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan
Rating: 4 stars
Thoughts: Another great instalment in the series. I am around a quarter of the way into the series now and also loving the TV show adaptation. I enjoyed the world building, the characters, the plot. I loved theorising about the future of the series. I only deducted a star due to the pacing of the novel, which with loads of fantasy novels, was pretty slow.
- The Eye of the World (Book 1)
- The Great Hunt (Book 2)
- The Dragon Reborn (Book 3)
- The Shadow Rising (Book 4)
Lord Edgware Dies by Agatha Christie
Rating: 4 stars
Thoughts: I really enjoyed this novel. There isn’t much to really say as I always feel I regurgitate the same things every time I talk about her books. I love Poirot, the plot and always the twist at the end. It wouldn’t be a Agatha Christie novel without that killer ending. And that was very much the same with this novel.
- The Murder on the Links (Book 2)
- The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Book 4)
- The Mystery of the Blue Train (Book 6)
- Peril at End House (Book 8)
Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
Rating: 4 stars
Thoughts: This took me basically an entire month to get through but I had the best time reading it! I felt the book was structured a lot better than the first novel, there were more developed and layered female characters, great dialogue, great friendships. Also a romance that I was actually super invested in which surprised me. The only reason it was 4 stars instead of 5 was for the same reason The Shadow Rising was 4 stars, the pacing was pretty slow!
The Fall of Babel by Josiah Bancroft
Rating: 5 stars
Thoughts: A great way to end a monumental series in my life! This book was as always filled with beautiful poetic writing, important and impactful messages/themes as well as making me root for characters I never thought I would and overall just making me cry loads about all the amazing characters he has created! I am so sad that this series is over but also so happy to have read it!
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
Rating: 4 stars
Thoughts: This was a book that I heard so many amazing things about on social media for months. I finally decided to give it a go and I am so happy that I did. It took me some time to get into the novel and initially understand what was happening but once I did I was hooked and was devouring every single word. The female characters were POWERFUL and I was here for it!!!
The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang
Rating: 5 stars
Thoughts: Another book that I read due to the hype on social media! This was my first 5 star of 2021! Going into this novel I did some research about China’s history to fully prepare myself and give myself context for the novel. The amount of culture, history and world building that goes into this novel is immense. I was reading a full formed world, there is no vagueness to this story, I enjoyed getting lost in all the details of this world. The world feels rich in history and I just wanted to read and learn more about it. The themes detailed in this book like classism, colourism, drugs, war are written so incredibly well in the most raw and honest way. The way she described about how the system is set up to make people like Rin fail but make them feel like that have a chance to succeed was really really powerful. Ugh! I could go on for ages about this novel. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.
Bullet Train by Kotaro Isaka
Thoughts: This was my first DNF of the year and to be honest I don’t have many thoughts on this novel. I just could not connect to the story.
The Decagon House Murders by Yukito Ayatsuji
Rating: 2.5 stars
Thoughts: I was quite disappointed by this one. I felt like the plot was good but the writing was super un-engaging. By the time it got to the reveal at the end of the novel I had completely lost interest. I put this completely down to the writing.
Descendant of the Crane by Joan He
Rating: 3 stars
Thoughts: Unfortunately I didn’t love this as much as I hoped to. While I really liked the protagonist and the plot I just didn’t love it. That’s all that I can really say about this novel unfortunately.
The Binding by Bridget Collins
Thoughts: There was nothing majorly wrong with this novel but I just couldn’t connect to the story at all. It started off ok but I just didn’t feel the desire to pick it up and continue reading.
The Devil and the Dark Water
Rating: 5 stars
Thoughts: I was anxious going into this book as I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy it as much as I did his debut novel. The characters were really interesting, the plot had me on edge the entire time, the atmosphere was chilling. I read about 60% of the book in one sitting. I didn’t do anything but read it all day I was that invested. I can’t wait to read Turton’s next novel!
Books I Haven’t Read But Still Want To
Jade City by Fonda Lee
Plot: The Kaul family is one of two crime syndicates that control the island of Kekon. It’s the only place in the world that produces rare magical jade, which grants those with the right training and heritage superhuman abilities. The Green Bone clans of honorable jade-wearing warriors once protected the island from foreign invasion–but nowadays, in a bustling post-war metropolis full of fast cars and foreign money, Green Bone families like the Kauls are primarily involved in commerce, construction, and the everyday upkeep of the districts under their protection. When the simmering tension between the Kauls and their greatest rivals erupts into open violence in the streets, the outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones and the future of Kekon itself.
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
Plot: New York, 1899. Two strangers, one destiny. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master, the husband who commissioned her, dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York in 1899. Ahmad is a djinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop. Though he is no longer imprisoned, Ahmad is not entirely free – an unbreakable band of iron binds him to the physical world. The Golem & The Djinni is their magical, unforgettable story; unlikely friends whose tenuous attachment challenges their opposing natures – until the night a terrifying incident drives them back into their separate worlds. But a powerful threat will soon bring Chava and Ahmad together again, challenging their existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice.
The Silence of the Bones by June Hur
Plot: 1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seol is living out the ancient curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Indentured to the police bureau, she’s been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman. As they delve deeper into the dead woman’s secrets, Seol forms an unlikely bond of friendship with the inspector. But her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect, and Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder. But in a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly.
Mrs Death Misses Death by Salena Godden
Plot: Mrs Death has had enough. She is exhausted from spending eternity doing her job and now she seeks someone to unburden her conscience to. Wolf Willeford, a troubled young writer, is well acquainted with death, but until now hadn’t met Death in person – a black, working-class woman who shape-shifts and does her work unseen. Enthralled by her stories, Wolf becomes Mrs Death’s scribe, and begins to write her memoirs. Using their desk as a vessel and conduit, Wolf travels across time and place with Mrs Death to witness deaths of past and present and discuss what the future holds for humanity. As the two reflect on the losses they have experienced – or, in the case of Mrs Death, facilitated – their friendship grows into a surprising affirmation of hope, resilience and love. All the while, despite her world-weariness, Death must continue to hold humans’ fates in her hands, appearing in our lives when we least expect her . . .
Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore
Plot: It’s New Year’s Eve 1982, and Oona Lockhart has her whole life before her. At the stroke of midnight she will turn nineteen, and the year ahead promises to be one of consequence. Should she go to London to study economics, or remain at home in Brooklyn to pursue her passion for music and be with her boyfriend? As the countdown to the New Year begins, Oona faints and awakens thirty-two years in the future in her fifty-one-year-old body. Greeted by a friendly stranger in a beautiful house she’s told is her own, Oona learns that with each passing year she will leap to another age at random. And so begins Oona Out of Order…
Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames
Plot: Clay Cooper and his band were once the best of the best — the meanest, dirtiest, most feared crew of mercenaries this side of the Heartwyld. Their glory days long past, the mercs have grown apart and grown old, fat, drunk – or a combination of the three. Then an ex-bandmate turns up at Clay’s door with a plea for help. His daughter Rose is trapped in a city besieged by an enemy one hundred thousand strong and hungry for blood. Rescuing Rose is the kind of mission that only the very brave or the very stupid would sign up for. It’s time to get the band back together for one last tour across the Wyld.
So, I actually don’t have any series from last year’s list that I don’t want to read. I still want to read all the books I never got round to this year which is good!