Recap: August 2016

Whew! OK. Time to wipe the dust off this thing and get back to my habits! Nice habits. I’ve missed them. Let’s recap August!

August was pretty much about wrapping things up where my regular features were concerned. Before I went on my glorious two week holiday, we at SF/F Read Alongs concluded the Read Along for The Republic of Thieves, which was organised and hosted by imyril. You can find our post links and general excitement here.

I also wrapped up the live tweet-alongs and reviews for the third Temeraire book, Black Powder War, and you can find my links to those posts on the Temeraire page of this site.

Now on to the other stuff!

Despite being absent here for most of it, August was the month of Foz Meadows here. Not only did I review (and love!) her debut novel An Accident Of Stars, but I got to feature a guest post from Foz! Check out Women + Power. And then go and read that book if you haven’t already. Seriously, do it. It’s awesome.

What I’ve Been Reading

I might not have been writing much this month, but I certainly worked my way through some fantastic books!

A Little Knowledge is the long-awaited fourth book in Emma Newman’s Split Worlds series, and in my opinion it was utterly worth the wait. It picks up in the aftermath of Things That Happened at the end of the third book, and goes deeper than ever into the less than romantic side of this particular urban fantasy world. Cathy and Will are facing all the challenges that come with trying to bring change to the Nether, and they’re doing it with less of a united front than one might have hoped for by the end of All Is Fair… This was a spectacularly frustrating book, but for so many of the right reasons – and that made it a pleasure to read even when I wanted to smack a certain selfish husband on the head. A lot. Cathy’s goals are worthy ones, but they aren’t going to be achieved just because she wills it, and this is something she’s clearly still going to have to learn. Will the fifth book see her succeed or fail? Or do something else altogether? Given how this book ended, that’s a distinct possibility…

No, I won’t tell you more than that. Go and read it for yourself!

A Tyranny of Petticoats was a delightful change of pace for me this month. It was a gift from the friend I spent two weeks gallivanting around Scotland with, and good grief, was it worth my time. I absolutely love a good ‘rebellious woman’ story, and I got fifteen of them here. It’s a rare but wonderful thing when there’s no notable low point in a collection or anthology for me, and this was one of those times. There wasn’t a single story in this book I didn’t enjoy, and so I can thoroughly and heartily recommend it if it sounds like your cup of tea. And there might be another volume…? I WILL BE VIGILANT.

Dark Matter was my science fiction/thriller ARC of choice during my time off, and I did not regret the choice! I did find myself stumbling a little bit over the science aspects a time or two, but all this did was slow my brain down a bit until I had a grasp of it. Once I did, this story rolled along with the best kind of tension and spectacle. It’s always a good thing when the interruptions of real life annoy you because you’d rather finish a¬†book, and I could have easily read Dark Matter in a single sitting! If you like your SF thrillers with a side of cinematic imagery, you’ll definitely want to give this book a shot.

Rise of Io

Not quite done with the reading list yet, because THIS BOOK. I was delighted to receive a physical ARC of this one from the publisher, and I ate most of it up on a pair of train journeys from Glasgow to Inverness and back. Set in the same alien-infested world as the Tao trilogy, The Rise of Io delves into the aftermath of the world’s first Alien War, going right down into the dirty street-level depths of the far less windswept, much harsher realities of war. Ella Patel lost her parents during the war, and she’s been scraping out a living as a thief and con artist ever since. We meet her as she’s making her getaway from one such job, and the action-intrigue train rolls on pretty much non-stop from there – but it never forgets to establish Ella as a heart-wrenchingly sympathetic lead character (to say nothing of Io). This is Wesley Chu building marvellously on his previously established setting, showing off a maturing style that was promised in the Tao books. It felt immensely satisfying to see that growth, not only in the story but in the writer, and it’s left me thoroughly excited for the follow-up to this book. (Personal highlight of the book: the return of a certain former leading character. Total rock star moment. I may have squealed. No, I won’t tell you which one. Read it and see for yourself!)

The Rise of Io will be published by Angry Robot on October 4th 2016.

What’s Coming Next

*Deep breath* The holiday is definitely over, and September is going to see me diving right back into my blogging routine, not only with SF/F Read Alongs but with the beloved Temeraire series! I will be resuming my dragon-y adventure through those books with the live tweet-along of Empire of Ivory, which will begin on Sunday, September 4th at 9pm BST. You can find the schedule for that (once again courtesy of my good friend M) here, and join the tweeting shenanigans under the hashtag #EmpireofIvory.

As for the SF/F Read Alongs, we will be returning to the world of October Daye in September with a read along of One Salt Sea! I’ve already started my reread of this one, and it is going to be so good. SO GOOD.

There’s also something new on the reading agenda! We will also be reading The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells in a Read Along, organised and hosted by Sarah at The Illustrated Page. I’ve had this book on my TBR pile for a while now, so I am very excited to finally be reading it! There’s still time to join us for both of these books if either of them tempt you…

And that’s finally it for August. Now I’m off to have some more tea and keep reading. See you in September!

 

 

 

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