Monthly Musings – April 2016
This is a where I look back at what I read (or tried to read) during the past month. I also plan on highlighting my experiences in any book club reads I from the month as well. I will always start with any books I would label as a surprise find/under-read books so if anyone missed my reviews for them, and don’t make it to the end of this post, they’ll be easy to find.
April has flown by. I guess just like all the other months lately. In addition to my reading/blogging you see here at Tenacious Reader as well as The Speculative Herald, I had a couple of other things going on this month. The first is a guest post that ran at Fantasy Cafe (linked below). The other is a post for elsewhere on the inter webs. But I am going to keep the details of that quiet, just in case it doesn’t happen 🙂 I’ve also become a bit more involved at r/fantasy, where I’m a mod now. Still not going to let it take up too much of my time, I have gone down that road before. Just helping when I can how I can. A random observation, since starting Speculative Herald, I have had less posts here on Tenacious Reader, but my number of reviews has not changed and that is always what I have focused most on, so I’ve decided I’m good with that.
Women in SF&F Month Guest Post
I was honored to take part in the Women in SF&F feature at Fantasy Cafe this year. I chose to talk about how important it is to read women authors because it not only supports them, but could in turn also encourage and inspire girls to grow up to write in the genre as well.
Highlighted Read from April
- [4 Apr] Masks and Shadows by Stephanie Burgis ★★★★
- [7 Apr] City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett ★★★½
- [12 Apr] Snakewood by Adrian Selby
- [14 Apr] Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton ★★★★
- [19 Apr] Eleanor by Jason Gurley ★★★★½
- [21 Apr] Fellside by M.R. Carey
- [29 Apr] Scourge of the Betrayer (Bloodsounder's Arc, #1) by Jeff Salyards ★★★★
What I Read This Month
Here’s a rundown of what I read this month (I also marked off my 2016 r/fantasy Bingo squares where I could )
- Eleanor by Jason Gurley (Magical Realism Bingo Spot) This book can be dark and painful at times, but yet it was also beautiful and gives a sense of hope and healing in ways. Not in a “everything will be perfect” kind of way, but in a “this can be survived, things can go on, people can heal” type of way. Very rememberable and emotional.
- Snakewood by Adrian Selby (Dark or Grimdark Bingo Spot)– This is an interesting one. Every once in a while I read a book that I feel I immediately really like the author’s style, yet somehow don’t love the book. That happened with this, and really I think it was the structure of the book paired with the number of characters. If this were a series, I think I probably would have liked it more, but I just felt like there was too much investement in getting up to speed on the story for the level of payback. That said, there are many aspects of Selby’s writing that I really liked. I will definitely read whatever he publishes next.
- The Days of Tao by Wesley Chu – For people that have read all the other Tao books, this is a fun read. Though to be honest, I prefer his full length books to this novella. Some of the college friends of Cameron were also a bit angsty for my taste.
- Fellside by M. R. Carey – This was quite different from The Girl with All the Gifts. Its set in a women’s prison, and none of the characters are particularly “good people”. And at times the book is pretty dark (the protagonist is/was a heroin addict). The fantasy element comes in to play more later in the book and is a bit ghostly. Definitely peaked my interest. Overall haunting and unique and at times, quite grim.
- The Summer Dragon by Todd Lockwood (Protagonist Flies Bingo Spot) – I really enjoyed this. I can’t talk about this book without mentioning the wonderful illustrations (Lockwood is an established illustrator, this is his first book). I loved the main protagonist, really enjoyed the dragons, and found the story engaging and well done. Lockwood does a great job creating visuals with words (as well as pictures).
- Scourge of the Betrayer by Jeff Salyards (2015 Bingo Spot) – This series came highly recommended by a number of people with similar taste to my own. Much like The Black Company by Glenn Cook you just have to keep reading, take the story as it comes and enjoy it along the way. I found this first book to be quite engaging with interesting characters, great wit and plenty of reasons to come back for more.
April Backlist Burndown
This month I finally started the Bloodsounder’s Arc with Scourge of the Betrayer. I’ve had this recommended a number of time and can see why. Even better is I hear the series gets quite a bit stronger after this as well.
Here’s what other people read and burned off their backlist this month! It makes me happy to see other people joining in with this, so thanks to all of you! 🙂 Anyone else that posted a backlist review this month, feel free to link up! Hope to see another great set of books for May.
Looking Forward to May 2016
I still need to pick my Backlist Burndown book for May. I have Written in Red, Magic Bites and bunch of others as possibilities. May wait until its time to read and see what fits my mood (that’s what I normally do, tbh). And here are some of the review books I hope to read next month. I’ve started Children of Earth and Sky and am loving it so far. Also having fun revisiting the First Law world with Sharp Ends.