Reading Update 23/04/2021

This blog is just reading updates now. Lol. Because all the books I’ve been reading for the past few months are for reviews I’ll be posting during Wyrd & Wonder, so haven’t had any reviews to post in the meantime. I didn’t think this through, obv. Anyways, it’s a lovely day outside and I want to pour myself a day gin and get out in the garden so, in the interest of saving time, I’m doing away with much of an intro. Queue what I’ve been reading:



Recently Finished: DEAL WITH THE DEVIL by Kit Rocha
Despite what I just said, this book isn’t at all a grimdark Wyrd & Wonder book. It is, in fact, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi erotic romance. Now you may be asking yourself if you’re on the right blog right about now. Quick check of the address bar and yep, you’re in the right place and I have indeed been reading a post-apocalyptic sci-fi erotic romance. Deal with the Devil was nominated for the Best SciFi category in this year’s Subjective Chaos Kind of Awards, which yours truly is judging this year (check out all the other nominees here, it’s quite the selection). I didn’t know it was erotic romance when I started reading, which meant a) I blushed a lot when the raunchy bits unexpectedly exploded onto the page, but also b) I didn’t go into it with any prejudgments I otherwise might have had. Which was good, cos I ended up enjoying this story a fair bit! Probs not ‘Best SciFi’ good in my personal opinion, but an enjoyable and raunchy sci-fi romp that surprised me. I even think I’ll read the sequel when it comes out!

Currently Reading: THE COURT OF BROKEN KNIVES by Anna Smith Spark
This is most definitely a grimdark Wyrd & Wonder read. Such grim. Much dark. It’s a re-read for me, it actually being the first book I read when trying to get a headstart on the project back in December/January time. I was disappointed with it the first time round and wasn’t really all that excited to carry on with the series, but I was persuaded in a Twitter convo to give it another shot. And I’m really glad I did! I’ve got no idea why, but I’m enjoying it quite a lot the second time round, which I find utterly bizarre, and a testament to just how subjective book opinions are when I can enjoy a book I myself found disappointing only four months ago. Mad.

Next Read: SNAKEWOOD by Adrian Selby
Strictly speaking this isn’t really my next read. I’m already halfway through, but put it on hold for a while when I started listening to the audiobook of The Court of Broken Knives, which I’d intended to just listen to at work and read Snakewood in the evenings. But then I got sucked into the audiobook and Snakewood has sadly been left languishing in the meantime. It’s a good book though, a good old grimdark mercenary story, told mostly through the collected letters and statements of a scholar investigating how a legendary mercenary company was betrayed at a place called Snakewood. It’s a bit of a mystery too, cos all the bits I’ve read so far are all about the circumstances leading up to the betrayal, but we don’t get to find out what actually happened until the end (I presume – if we don’t actually get to find out I’ll be foaming haha, but I very much presume that’s gonna be part of the pay off at the end).


Little bit short and sweet for today’s update folks but, as I said, I want my gin and sunshine! What are you reading at the mo? Leave a comment and let’s have a nice bookish chat.

9 thoughts on “Reading Update 23/04/2021

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    1. Hahaaaa I was so shocked! I mean, not like in a prudish way, I just had no idea that’s what I was reading LOL! Good book, maybe I’m an erotica reader now.

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  1. Out of interest, did you read The Court of Broken Knives as audio first time around? It was definitely outside my wheelhouse and I disliked most of the protagonists, but it certainly had a prose style I can see working really well as audio (and I thought it had a great sense of place). I can see that I might respond differently to it if I listened to it rather than eyeballing it (I’m increasingly curious about the difference in how I relate to stories I hear vs eyeball, because it definitely makes a big difference for me).

    I’m back on the Subjective Chaos trail with The Dragon Republic, which has certainly kicked off much grim, such dark 😉 I think it’s helped me get my head around the contrasting tone of Cike cheek – it dives straight in with a bit of reflection on the Cike’s coping mechanisms for the existential horror they face as shamans…

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    1. Yeah I read it both times as audio. To be honest I don’t think I’d have finished it if I’d eyeballed it, it’s just too relentlessly bleak and listening kind of allowed me to zone out a little bit at the times I couldn’t quite take it anymore. Probs not the best selling point for a book really haha. Tbf I think this little update overstates how much I liked it; I was reading one of Orhan’s sections at the time of writing, which were the bits I can claim to have actually found interesting. I couldn’t bring myself to care overmuch about Marith, his ‘I’m just a murderous psychopath’ motivations just weren’t interesting to me.

      All the same, the re-read allowed me to adjust my expectations and kept me interested enough to start book two, which I wouldn’t have done otherwise. Honestly though, I’m just not sure I can hack another book like this, it’s making me feel miserable reading it. And not in the normal way you might not enjoy a book you’re not quite vibing with; it’s just so utterly, relentlessly bleak and there’s not an ounce of goodness in anything and it’s actually depressing me to read. There are some plus points for sure and I can see why some people might really like it, but I’m still very conflicted.

      I’m interested to read The Dragon Republic after also not really vibing with The Poppy War. I’m trying to do a lot of self-reflection about why it felt too YA to me. I question whether there is some unconscious sexism and miscategorisation there, but it is something a fair number of others, including women, said they thought as well.

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      1. Yep, that’s pretty much exactly the reaction I had to Court of Broken Knives – Orhan was bearable (and I liked his sister) but Marith was the star of the show and it was a show I didn’t want to watch 🙂

        I know what you mean. TPW has a straightforward prose style and a young protagonist (not to mention the initial school framing), all of which inevitably feels YA. Thematically, though… eek. I’m curious to see how it develops.

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        1. Yeahhh I’d have loved to have seen more of Selyse! I’m about 2/3 through book 2 now and surprised to say I’m quite into it. Not gonna be one of my fave books ever (it’s just a bit much) but there’s something, I dunno, *interesting* about it. If not as a story, then as a concept. It’s certainly not like any fantasy book I’ve read before, I’ll put it like that.

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            1. I’m planning to start (and maybe finish?) the Godblind trilogy this month and review them for W&W (as well as The Poppy War books) so can compare notes on both those series soon hopefully!

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