packetcat reads 2022 Week 43 – A Magic Steeped in Poison by Judy I. Lin

Pages: 378
Purchased from: Kobo

A nice YA fantasy with a very interesting world and magic system. Its filled with lots of intrigue and there is of course a romance subplot in here. The romance in this one was honestly one of the least interesting things about the narrative and I found myself more interested in all the rest of it. It is not a badly written romance but it does feel very by the numbers.

I am coming to the realization that while a lot of these YA fantasy novels have romance sub-plots in them, very few YA fantasy authors actually do romance well and I usually find myself uninterested in the romance plots as they feel superficial to the rest of the narrative.

Back to the book at hand, I don’t know if I’ll read the second book in the duology but I am glad I read this one at least. cari is now 4/4 for recommendations!

packetcat reads 2022 Week 42 – Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Pages: 472
Purchased from: Kobo

Sometimes a book really loves a particular thing. In this case, this book really loves libraries. And not just libraries but what if the books within them had personalities of their own. The books are people! Well not quite, more like shadows of people.

As a library enjoyer myself, I enjoyed this book quite a bit. The main characters are likable and their interactions are well written and occasionally even a little bit funny. Another excellent recommendation from cari, we are 3/3!

packetcat reads 2022 Week 41 – Spells for Forgetting by Adrienne Young

Pages: 370
Purchased from: Kobo

This book was a recommendation from cari of the cari can read channel; it was recommended as a autumn/fall read. I gotta say this is the first cari recommendation I’ve read and I am super glad I did. The fall vibes are immaculate in this fantasy-thriller joint. I really love the way this author sets the scene for the events of this book, the location is just perfect for a cozy fall read. The yearning between the two main characters is also really well written.

I had a good time and I am going to read more of cari’s recommendations in the future!

packetcat reads 2022 Week 40 – Goliath by Tochi Onyebuchi

Pages: 404
Purchased from: Kobo

From the book’s description on the store page:

A primal biblical epic flung into the future, Goliath weaves together disparate narratives—a space-dweller looking at New Haven, Connecticut as a chance to reconnect with his spiraling lover; a group of laborers attempting to renew the promises of Earth’s crumbling cities; a journalist attempting to capture the violence of the streets; a marshal trying to solve a kidnapping—into a richly urgent mosaic about race, class, gentrification, and who is allowed to be the hero of any history.

This sounds like it will be quite the interesting read in theory but in practice I found the disparate narratives way too…disparate. I found it hard to keep track of all the narratives that the book has. I also found it hard to really connect and follow a character.

I don’t mind a book that has narrative from the perspectives of different characters but in this one there were too many to be manageable for me. This also made it hard for me to focus on the themes that the book is trying to tackle.

This felt more like a collection of short stories that got turned into a perspective switching book and as a result is not good at being either of those things.

packetcat reads 2022 Week 39 – Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao

Pages: 386
Purchased from: Kobo

Sometimes the main themes of the book are not always readily available at the surface but with this particular book, the theme is present all the right from page 1. That theme is anger, anger at the misogynist/sexist society depicted in the book.

The protagonist is angry all the time and its written in a very YA way…i.e in a straightforward way most of the way through. The emotions don’t start to get complicated until 3/4ths of the way through the book.

I am not really a YA enjoyer but I had a reasonably good time with this one. Definitely one of the best YA books I’ve read this week. The other one would be week 20’s We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal.