I’ve been reading more fiction since my last update, and fortunately having better luck with it too – for the most part!
The highlight has been the Clocktaur Wars books by T. Kingfisher – a duology (or one book that got really long so she split it in half, according to the author’s note), I read both The Clockwork Boys and The Wonder Engine. They were excellent. Exciting and engaging, but mostly I just really loved the characters. The story revolves around a suicide mission to an enemy city to try to stop the Clocktaurs, giant magical machines sent to rampage through the landscape. There’s a cranky forger with frequent allergy attacks, a formerly-possessed paladin (but the demon’s dead now) who’s generally tortured and apologetic, a deeply cynical assassin, and a very naive scholar. I’m simplifying this greatly, but trust me when I say they are wonderful. There’s a very satisfying romance, a lot of humor, and some genuinely creepy bits too.
The disappointment of the month was, unfortunately, Heat Wave by T. J. Klune, who has been reliably excellent so far. The third in his Extraordinaries trilogy, it wasn’t bad…but the characters felt less developed than in the first two books, and there was a lot of time given over to deeply awkward conversations. The apparent twist at the end of Book Two turned out not to be what it seemed, and I’m still not sure how I feel about that. I’d been looking forward to this one, so high expectations may have been part of the trouble. I’m glad I read it, but it wasn’t all I hoped for.
Rounding out the month was a very different read, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Evelyn, an aging film star, recounts the secret, true story of her life to Monique, her chosen authorized biographer. It was a bit far-fetched in places, but always engaging.
That covers another month! What have you been reading lately?