There is something about Seanan McGuire’s writing that is both whimsical and compelling. I found myself lost in the story and enraptured by the world of the moors.
Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline. Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter—adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you’ve got. They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices.
Jack and Jill just aren’t my favourite protagonists. They just grated my nerves which makes me unable to connect with them. I mean they were only 12 when they stumbled into the moors and they had to adapt to survive but I just found them both to be unlikeable. It was interesting to see their choices about who they wanted to stay with and how they reacted to each other’s choice and the subsequent way their lives devolved.
There is a discussion to be had about their parents and the dismal childhood they had to endure, being regimented into the roles they deemed where appropriate and being unable to grow, change or evolve out of those roles. They cared more about how they were perceived by their peers rather than catering to their children’s needs first and that really made me dislike them.
These novellas I don’t think are going to gel with me as a reader simply because I need more substance. I want to learn all about the world and find out what actual creatures and monsters inhabit the moors. I want to know how everyone came to be here and the way the Vampires took over. Is there a magic system and how does it work, what is the history? Whereas I think these books are just supposed to touch on the individual characters experiences in their worlds and how it changes them before coming back to the real world where they are supposed to readjust.
Overall it was an interesting reading experience.
⭐️3/5 stars I just want to know more!!
For this weeks Top Ten Tuesday I am going to go with new releases I wish I read from 2020. I did a post not too long ago about five 2020 new releases I wish I had read but there were soooo many more books that were released last year that I really wish I had a chance to get to, so I’ve got 10 more new releases from 2020 that fingers crossed I will get to this year!
Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare
The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi
Lightbringer by Claire LeGrand
The Ravens by Kass Morgan & Danielle Page
Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Vicious Spirits by Kat Cho
The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow
The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson
Ever since Margot was born, it’s been just her and her mother. No answers to Margot’s questions about what came before. No history to hold on to. No relative to speak of. Just the two of them, stuck in their run-down apartment, struggling to get along. But that’s not enough for Margot. She wants family. She wants a past. And she just found the key she needs to get it: A photograph, pointing her to a town called Phalene. Pointing her home. Only, when Margot gets there, it’s not what she bargained for.
I can’t say I was immediately drawn into this book because that was not the case. Margot’s living conditions at the start and her relationship with her mother didn’t really impress on me a need to continue on. The mystery surrounding her family in my opinion didn’t warrant Margot’s actions and running away after speaking to her grandmother for two minutes wasn’t really good enough for me. I did stick it out though and once we get to Phalene things definitely pick up.
Margot’s perspective is a little erratic. Her thoughts spiral a lot and every time she is given new information she doesn’t really let things sink in she just jumps to conclusions that are never correct, because at every turn in this book there was something unexpected popping up. Being on the cusp of knowledge that people are withholding is very frustrating and I could sympathise with Margot on that. It seemed that every person she met knew something about her family that she didn’t but no one would tell her anything, I would probably react in the same way if I was in that situation.
I really liked Tess and Eli, I could see why Tess was integral to the book but Eli’s presence wasn’t really necessary and he didn’t really add anything to the plotline. I wish we could of spent more time with both of them and seen from their perspective what it would of been like living in Phalene under the shadow of Fairfield.
I honestly didn’t predict anything that happened. The plot veered in a very different direction than what I was expecting and those factors definitely brought up my reading experience. I was just starting to get a little bored and then things started to get weird and we started to get answers and I was just left reeling. The premise was highly original and unlike anything I’ve ever read before and the shock factor ending alone was enough to leave me satisfied.
⭐️3/5 stars shocking, twisted, strange!
*DEFINITE SPOILERS BELOW*
In case you didn’t know what this book is about essentially we have a young women in the 1700’s who desperately doesn’t want to be married and forced to stay in her small French town for the rest of her life. So on the night of her wedding she makes a deal with the devil to basically be free and live forever but she is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she ever meets. Until one day 300 years later when she walks into a book store in New York and a man named Henry remembers her.
I have to admit the start of this book was very slow in my opinion and a little hard to get into which did mar my reading experience a little. I wasn’t immediately enthralled like I initally thought I would be which was a touch disappointing but I did overcome it and around the halfway mark I was very much invested and wanted to see how this plays out.
I do love Addie as our main protagonist. We see her growth over the course of the three hundred years she lives and I liked that we get to see her at her lowest points and how she manages to overcome them and reject Luc when he tries to proposition her to give up. She is definitely stubborn and manages to quietly insert herself into history in spite of her curse. I can’t imagine what she would of had to deal with over those three centuries and I can sympathise with her for making that decision at the end.
Henry really didn’t do anything for me the majority of the book to be honest, he was almost too angsty and tortured. As the book progressed and we learnt more about his situation and exactly how long he had I did become a little more attached to him but he just wasn’t my favourite. The relationship between him and Addie was very endearing and I loved how they communicated with each other.
Luc was my favourite character overall for sure. I loved the way he would sweep in and save Addie when she was in the worst situations but would also interrupt her when it was the most inconvenient as well. His relationship with Addie was complicated and the power structure was definitely one sided for a long time but we see Addie step up and take control a few times making the banter between them so entertaining.
Even though this was super hyped I was still surprised with how the story progressed. I was picturing something a little more fluffier but this was anything but. It was a lot darker and tortured than what I expected and I was pleasantly surprised! The structure and prose was beautifully done, the pacing was consistent and the dual timelines kept me invested and eager to find out what was going to happen next.
⭐️4/5 stars worth the hype, highly recommend!
These are the five books from varying genres that I would really like to prioritise and read this year! They have all been on my radar now for a while and I figured it was time I bit the bullet and gave them all a read!
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
Jade City by Fonda Lee
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
Recursion by Blake Crouch