January 2021 Wrap-up

Hello you lovely people! It has been a minute since I shared anything on here, but I’ve decided to take it slow this year. It feels more attainable for me to share monthly wrap-ups on here where I can include all the books I have read during the month, with some mini reviews, thoughts and feelings.

So here we go, this is what I read this month:

A Deal with The Elf King by Elise Kova

This was a brilliant start to my 2021 reading year – I devoured the story in a few days and still think about it! It was an easy read with a few predictable plot twists and tropes, but that didn’t stop me giving it a solid 5 stars. I was easily swept along with the narrative and found myself becoming emotionally invested in the characters, including the side characters! The world has so many unexplored facets that demand attention. As does the magic system. While it was initially fairly basic and self explanatory, there are hints are different rituals that allow access to other forms of magic for various species – I’m hoping this is expanded on in upcoming companion novels. If moody rulers and magical healers are your thing – you’ll love this (I’m 100% invested in any story that has a bad-boy exterior king and a healer that softens his heart). Also it’s a Hades/Persephone retelling soooooo…

If you fancy reading it for yourself, you can grab your own copy here – this is an affiliate link that supports local bookshops.

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

This has been on my TBR for as long as there has been teasers for it! It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Kerri Maniscalco (I am obsessed with her Stalking Jack the Ripper series), so I expected great things from this. It is a long slow-burn, but the ending felt a little…… dramatic yet lacking at the same time? I’m still trying to process my emotions on it! I think I was maybe hoping for the lovey-dovey happy ending that I knew was unlikely, but we all secretly wish for. Although the cliff-hanger left me intrigued to pick up the next book (when it FINALLY comes out, cry) and jump right back into the world to get some answers! Again, I enjoyed meeting and learning about the characters through the story and was surprised at some of the twists that were thrown in. Kerri is brilliant at distracting you and leading your imagination in one way, only to completely shock you later on – it’s fantastic and addictive writing. Overall, I gave it a solid 4 stars, but that was only because I feel a little iffy about the ending. It felt like something shifted and I missed it… Maybe I should check back to make sure I didn’t skip a chapter somehow.

If you fancy your own copy, you can grab one here – this is an affiliate link that supports local bookshops.

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

I’ve been eyeing up this book for the longest time, and @lornas_literary_love_story on instagram was kind enough to send her copy to be re-homed with me! It is a relatively short book, at just over 200 pages so I decided to start it right away and just devoured it! Braithwaite has such a unique way of conveying the story and taking us through Korede’s emotions, struggles and dilemmas as she wrestles with the fact that, well… her beloved sister may be a serial killer! It was a refreshing change of pace from my usual fantasy reads and I have given it a solid 3.5 stars! I really love to be immersed in the setting and the world of the stories I read, but I found that there was little emphasis on surroundings more than what was necessary for the storyline. That is appropriate for this book though, given the style that it is written in – it is very much a personal account from Korede’s POV. This close personal approach allows for insights, reflections and character development. It also highlights the tensions but also sheer joy of a sibling bond, which I just loved!

If you fancy trying this one out, you can find a copy here – this is an affiliate link that supports local bookshops.

Viking London by Thomas Williams (Audiobook)

This was fine! I did find myself drifting off away from the narrative occasionally, but that is fairly common in my audiobook experience. As I’ve mainly studied the Vikings as a northern entity (my uni archaeology courses were very ‘Archaeology of the North’ oriented), it was interesting to look at London as it never really cropped up in my studies. I think my favourite part was the assumptions placed around the word ‘Viking’ and the way that was, and largely still is, interpreted throughout history. The social constructs around a word and the meanings of it will always be fascinating to me! I think I rated this as three stars on Goodreads, but as I said… I did drift off a lot, so I’m not sure how accurate that rating is – I think I would like to read a physical copy of this one to compare. I would recommend giving it a go if you are interested in the history of London, or the Vikings more generally – it is certainly a good starting point to fuel your interest.

You can buy yourself a physical copy of this book here – this is an affiliate link that supports local bookshops.

Heartstopper: Vol II by Alice Oseman

Honestly, I love this series! I’m very new to graphic novels but I’m really loving these ones – it’s such a refreshing change of pace and ohmygoshhh, the story is adorable. So heartwarming and endearing and I can’t wait to continue them and follow Nick & Charlie’s story! I believe Vol IV is due out in the summer aaaaand it has been picked up for an adaption on Netflix. Very exciting! I give it all the stars out of five!

You can grab a copy of this adorable story here – this is an affiliate link that supports local bookshops.
If you want to start the series at the beginning, you can buy Vol I here.

Books I have started/am currently reading cause I have no control:
– Further Adventures of a Young Naturalist by David Attenborough
– All The Way of the Flesh by Ambrose Parry (Audiobook)
– Fable by Adrienne Young (e-book)

Books I hope to read in February (though we all know I am useless with TBRs so we’ll see what happens!):
– The Secret History by Donna Tartt
– Scabby Queen by Kirsten Innes
– Hall of Smoke by H.M Long

How has your January been? Please share what you’ve been reading, what you hope to read in Feb and some of your current favourites in the comments!

But for now,

Alison x

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