September Reading

Fall has hit Edinburgh in a swift flurry of color, wind, and rain. The days have come when leaving the house could take you into a chilly world of cold sun or the drenching wet of the constant Scottish rain. It is the season of orange and yellow and red. Of warm mugs of tea clasped between chilly fingers. Of pumpkins, spices, and falling leaves. This weather makes sends me one day wishing to read under the cool sun and the next wrapped in a blanket on the couch reading while listening to the rain hit the window.

Carry On

  • Author: Rainbow Rowell
  • Published: 2015
  • Read: August 27th – September 1st
  • Format: Audiobook
  • Rating: ★★★✰✰

Synopsis:

Carry On is the magical adventure of Simon Snow as he takes on another eventful year at his wizard boarding school. It is not easy being the chosen one, a fact that Simon has known since first arriving at school and dealt with every year since as he was repeatedly attacked and forced to defend his school and the people he cares about. But the mysteries just seem to keep building and Simon may have to team up with his rivals to save the world in time.

Review: 

Beginning this book was an incredibly odd sensation as I tried to get into the world and the characters but the resemblance to the world of Harry Potter continuously caught me off guard. However, as I read, the intentionality of the similarities and the vast differences that grew throughout the story pulled me into the lives of the characters and had me captivated. I really enjoyed the unique twists that Rowell was playing with in this book from wizard schools to chosen one expectations. Of course, I loved Simon and Baz and the rest of their friends. I had a wonderful time reading this book and quickly jumped into the sequel to continue the adventure.

Wayward Son

  • Author: Rainbwo Rowell
  • Published: 2019
  • Read: September 2nd –  3rd
  • Format: Audiobook
  • Rating: ★★★✰✰

Synopsis:

Simon is struggling to deal with the new realities of his life so his friends decide to take him on a road trip across America. A fun holiday away quickly becomes complicated for Simon, Baz, and Penny as they get embroiled with vampires, cults, and different rules for magic users.

Review: 

I really enjoyed just how different this book felt from the first one. The characters are now out of school and trying to figure out just what to do with their lives. I also really liked the internal struggle that Simon was going through in particular trying to deal with trauma and loss of identity. The way this struggle bled into his relationship with Baz (although sad) worked really well into the story. My favorite part of the book was probably Agatha because she felt like a much more fleshed out character in this book than the first one. I will say that overall I enjoyed the first book more than this one, but I am still interested to see where the story goes from here. This book just felt a little more like things just kept happening to the characters instead of them being active in the story.

A Sword of Greed and Envy: A Nokturn Rising Novel

  • Author: M.C. Clay
  • Published: 2020
  • Read: September 3rd –  4th
  • Format: EBook
  • Rating: ★★★✰✰

Synopsis:

A Sword of Greed and Envy: A Nokturn Rising Novel, by M. C. Clay, is a fast-paced, action-packed, paranormal romance story. The book follows Lark, a human girl living in a world ruled by monsters. The story felt like a mash-up of Hunger Games, Twilight, and Beauty and the Beast. Lark is tough and she needs to be in order to survive the ordeals she is put through and the monsters she is surrounded by.

Review:

I really liked the world that Clay built as it felt like a fresh take on the vampire/werewolf/soul-sucking creatures story. Rather than hiding in the dark, these creatures rule their world. Clay creates a clear picture of what her take on these creatures is as well as the complicated political climate between the different factions. The romance story is enticing and fun to read about as we see a human girl and a reaper inexplicably drawn together. My only struggle when reading but that there were times I wish the pace of the book would slow down a bit to sit longer in scenes as we are getting to know the characters. The story is a fun read that is action-packed from beginning to end. The book left plenty of intriguing questions, making me excited to see what will happen in the next book!

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars

  • Author: Christopher Paolini
  • Published: 2020
  • Read: September 17th –  29th
  • Format: Book
  • Rating: ★★★★✰

Synopsis:

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars takes its readers into the future in a world where humanity has surpassed the limits of life of earth. Kira is a xenobiologist excitedly helping humanity colorize planets through space. But a tremendous discovery shifts Kira’s life and plunges her headlong into a much bigger world that she ever could have imagined where the fight for the survival of her species rests on her shoulders.

Review:

You know you have read a book that you have truly enjoyed when you close the last page and you feel weightless. I closed this book a d my mind felt like a flutter of indistinct voices. I was not ready to leave Kira, Falconi, Itari, Gregorovich, or any of others to sleep in a sea of stars. To say that I was a biased reader when starting this book, would be an understatement. I have spent nearly the last two decades a fan of Christopher Paolini’s work. However, this also meant that I went into this book with some trepidation; when hopes are high, they have far to fall. But this book did not disappoint. It was the elaborate, action-packed, grand adventure full of an extremely loveable cast of characters – which is nothing less than I would expect from a Paolini novel. On top of that, the book showed a great deal of growth in subject matter and emotional struggles in the characters. I found myself with a particular soft spot for Gregorovich (because he is the best) and Inare (if you know you know). I was also very impressed by the detail involved in creating the futuristic world that, at least for me as someone who does not know a great deal about science, felt very real and further pulled me into the story. The book was an extraordinary journey of survival, connection, and what it means to be human across the stars.  I have a wonderful time reading this book and would definitely recommend it to fans of science fiction.

Ron Carlson Writes a Story

  • Author: Ron Carlson
  • Published: 2007
  • Read: September 29th
  • Format: Book
  • Rating: ★★★★✰

Synopsis:

In this book Ron Carlson offer some wisdom from his experience as a writer to help other writers on thier journey. The book follow his writing process through beginning to end of writing one of his short stories.

Review:

Ron Carlson offers in his book a rare glimpse into what can pass through a writer’s mind during the act of writing. He offers his process of writing through one of his stories with both detail and advice. The concept alone fascinated me. Every writer is going to have a different process, but much can be learned from a single perspective. Carlson’s advice is interesting, informative, and helpful. While one thing might be something you have heard before, the next might be just what you needed to hear. The book is an excellent resource for those struggling with their own writing process and well worth a read by more advanced writers looking for reminders or simply other methods of doing.

What books did you reading this month?

-Emerson Rose Craig

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