Hey! Watcha Readin’: Weekly Reading Update 20/05/2020


Welcome to Wednesday bookwyrms. I’m actually starting to get consistent with these weekly updates now; makes me feel like I’m starting to get the hang of this book blogging thing after…oh, eight months. Anyway, I have quite an eclectic collection this week. Everything I’m reading feels so different from the thing that preceded it. We’ve got a collection of short horror stories; a grand, epic, swashbuckling historical melodrama and a good rock solid epic fantasy. I also just finished AMBERLOUGH, a spy thriller set in an alternate early 20th-century secondary world, so I’m really doing the rounds of the genres at the moment.

Recently Finished: THE GRAND TOUR (A Jackson’s Unreal Circus & Mobile Marmalade Collection) by E. Catherine Tobler
This is an ARC I got from the fine folks at Apex Book Company and although I hadn’t read any of E. Catherine Tobler’s stuff before, I’ve been very impressed with the quality of fiction coming out of Apex, and the premise of this book piqued my interest enough to be very keen on getting an advance copy. I wasn’t disappointed. While somewhat difficult to categorise the collection as a whole, it’s definitely closer to horror than anything else, with a smattering of science fiction thrown in for flavour. As I’ve come to expect and love about the kind of fiction Apex publishes, it wasn’t standard fare; these stories are odd, bordering on the bizarre at times, but very well-written and deeply engaging.

Currently Reading: THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO by Alexandre Dumas
I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned this yet! I actually started reading it at the start of May with my pal El from Ink and Plasma, with the aim of reading a bit every day alongside whatever else we’re reading. Cos folks, this is a loooong book. I’m currently listening to it on audio, cos I often find it easier to digest long books that way, but I’m fairly certain it’s around 1300 pages long. A chonker if ever there was one. If you’re not familiar with this classic story though, I’d really encourage you to overcome the intimidating length and give it a go. It was written in 1844 but still reads incredibly well, and tells the tale of Edmond Dantes, a young ship captain betrayed and wrongfully imprisoned for treason, who seeks the ultimate revenge against those who wronged him.

Next Read: A KING’S BARGAIN by J. D. L. Rosell
I signed up to read this as part of the Storytellers On Tour blog tour for this book. It’s the second tour I’m taking part in alongside them and had a blast last time reading and reviewing the urban fantasy thriller UNDER ORDSHAW by Phil Williams. A KING’S BARGAIN is in the more classic fantasy vein, which I really haven’t read much of for quite some time, so I’m looking forward to getting back to the roots of the genre. A KING’S BARGAIN is the story of Tal Harrenfel, a legendary warrior who, after decades of hunting warlocks, monster and mythical beasts, just wants to settle down. But then he meets Garin, a village boy who wants to make a name for himself, and receives an unexpected visit from a mysterious stranger. Tal and Garin begin a journey across the kingdom, becoming embroiled in the plots of monarchs, on the frontlines of an ancient war, and at the mercy of a fabled sorcerer.

If you want to take part in WWW Wednesday, hosted by Taking on a World of Words, just answer the following questions:

What have you just read?
What are you currently reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Let me know what you’re reading and if you enjoyed this update follow the blog to never miss a post!

Hey! Watcha Readin’: 03/11/19


Happy Sunday booklings! The more discerning among you may have noticed there was no weekly update on Wednesday. That’s because my brain rebelled against the idea of weekly updates in the middle of the week – makes more sense to do it at the end right? So from now on you can look forward to a Hey! Watcha Readin’ post brightening up your Sunday afternoons. Without further ado, here’s what I’ve been reading this week.

Recently Finished: STEEL CROW SAGA by Paul Krueger
I’ve been gushing about this book all week on Twitter. It’s just wonderful and makes me truly hopeful about the future of modern fantasy. Fonda Lee said it’s basically Pokemon combined with Avatar: The Last Airbender and that’s such an apt and perfect description, I hesitate to say anything more. I think Paul Krueger himself even jokingly referred to it as Full Metal Pokemist. It follows four main characters in the aftermath of an anti-colonial war. Each character is from a different nation – some were colonial oppressors, others fighters for liberation and some were both. Each of them has reason to hold long-established grudges against the others, but despite all this STEEL CROW SAGA is a story about acceptance and friendship in a troubling and hostile world, written with nuance and intelligence. I’ll put out a full review this week but honestly, don’t wait til then, just go read this book now.

Currently Reading: NORTHERN LIGHTS by Philip Pullman
THE TV SERIES LOOKS SO EFFING GOOD! I’m re-reading these books purely inspired by the release of the series and I’m so excited to re-live this story I just cant even hngggghhh! His Dark Materials was actually my first fantasy true love as a kid and was my gateway drug to the fantasy genre so they’ll always have a special place in my heart. The scale of these books is so vast that it’s not possible to distil it down for this post, but in simple terms this first book tells the story of a young girl called Lyra, who comes into possession of an alethiometer, a compass-like device that can tell anyone capable of reading it the truth about any question they ask it. What follows is an epic tale of conspiracy, betrayal and armoured freakin’ polar bears! Did I mention how excited I am for the TV series?

Next Read: THE SUBTLE KNIFE by Philip Pullman
This is the second book in the His Dark Materials trilogy, so I can’t discuss it much without being too spoilery. Suffice to say, if you haven’t read these books, they’re a treat. And if you don’t want to jump into them just yet, the TV adaptation of the series starts tonight and it looks stunning.

November Readalong: DRAGONS OF AUTUMN TWILIGHT by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman

Throughout November I’ll also be taking part in a readalong of the classic DRAGONS OF AUTUMN TWILIGHT, the first book in the Dragonlance Chronicles. It’s hosted by Jason from Off The TBR and it’s not too late to join. Hit Jason up on Twitter @jasonats or over on his blog and he’ll add you to our Goodreads group. The more the merrier 🙂

That’s what I’ve got planned this week. Let me know what you’re reading and if you enjoyed this update follow the blog to never miss a post!