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  • Writer's pictureNaomi P. Cohen

October Reads Part 2

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young: I love historical fiction/fantasy and I’d seen this book discussed on the social medias. When I spied it on a shelf at the library I snatched it up. It didn’t quite make me useless, but it was a quick read for sure.

It’s light on the fantasy, only hinting that the antagonistic forces are something other than human with not much to back that up. The Viking style setting is fun, although it could’ve been given more depth. A big part of the plot is that these two warring clans meet in a ritualistic battle to fight for their respective god every five years. I never quite got a sense of what the clans do in-between these battles, other than train to keep themselves sharp for the next one. It started out fast and I was hooked into it, needing to know what happens. The plot becomes a little predictable as the story proceeds, but I enjoyed the character interactions. I’ll be sure to pick up this author’s future books as they come out.

The Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve: You guessed it: I picked this book up because of the upcoming movie. It surprised me to learn of this series. When I initially saw the movie ad, I confused it for The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, which already had a movie made of it in 2013 (I hadn’t known that…oops.) An understandable mix up since, besides the titles, they both have an antagonistic character named Valentine. Weird. The stories couldn’t be more different, with The Mortal Instruments being an urban fantasy (if I remember right, it’s been some time) and this tale being set far in the future. Anyway, I googled it and stumbled on this gem of a steampunk series. To the library search engine I went!

This story certainly had more grit than I expected. The writing style is a little rough in places, with change in POV in more than one scene, but the setting and plot are unique. It had me on the edge of my seat, so to speak, until the very end, because I really wasn’t sure how it would end. The closing scenes left me surprised and craving more. I promptly returned to the library engine to order the second one. The setting is very interesting. It gave me some Madmax vibes, with the cities hunting each other for resources. Shrike, one of the antagonists, seemed like he would fit in with one of Miyazaki’s films: Valley of the Wind or Castle in the Sky. I’m not sure if the engines that power the cities and the airships would be considered steampunk. I read that they are, and perhaps it is so. However, the setting seems far removed from the Victorian era, and I don’t think it’s ever specified as steam technology. I’d argue that this could potentially be classified as dieselpunk.

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab: I am always eager to dive into the dark fantasy worlds Victoria Schwab conjures up. This Savage Song left me hungry for more of the tale of August Flynn and Kate Harker. I snatched this up from the local Barnes and Noble and put it ahead of some library books on my pile.

Once again V.E. Schwab made me feel the feels. The conclusion to this duology packed an unexpected emotional punch. Eager to read another of this author’s series!

The Lord of Dreams by C.J. Brightley: Last read of the month! This one is going to be short due to a time crunch. Preparing for NaNoWriMo! This one has been on my list for some time. It has a beautiful cover and I’ve heard good things about it. It’s compared to Labyrinth but the similarity caused raised eyebrows for a chunk of the beginning. As it began to diverge from the plot of Labyrinth it earned my interest and I enjoyed it!

Family Time Reads:

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

One Year Bible: Jeremiah, 1 Timothy, Titus, Psalms, Proverbs

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