January 2021 Reading Wrap Up

Thursday, 4 February 2021

January 2021 Reading Wrap Up

A new monthly series on my blog is going to be a reading wrap up at the end of the month discussing the books I have read and what I would recommend.

January was a busy reading month for me and I managed to finish 8 books! Definitely an achievement for myself who is a slow reader. The books I read this month were as follows:

Machines Like Me - Ian McEwan

Following the main character Charlie who after inheriting money buys Adam, one of the first batch of synthetic humans. With love interest Miranda's assistance they co-design his personality together.

Adam is designed to be a near-perfect human, beautiful, strong, clever - and soon a love triangle forms leading them all to a profound moral dilemma of can you design the perfect partner and what is it that makes us human?

This book was the book club choice for January and while I was fascinated by the dynamics between the main characters and Adam I was a bit put off with the start of the book which proceeded to go into great detail setting the backstory of the 1980's. While this may have been needed for plot I would have preferred it to be condensed as these descriptions took me out of the story involving the characters and left me finding it difficult to get reinvested into the story.

I did however love the points this book raised and it left me for a lot of food for thought after finishing. I feel this book raises points on robotics and the idea of humanity that we will all have to bear in mind should technology advance to this point. 

I would rate this title 3/5

The Cruel Prince - Holly Black

Amazingly I had never read this book before 2020, it is a series I have always hear people talk about but for some reason or other I have just never picked it up!

The Cruel Prince follows main character Jude Duarte and her sisters who's parents are murdered in front of them. The assassin abducts all three girls to the land of Faerie where Jude is installed in the royal court but proceeds to be mocked and tormented by the Faerie royalty for being mortal. The older she grows the more Jude realises she will need to take part in the fey's dangerous deceptions to truly belong.

However the path to power is fraught with betrayal and looming over all is the infuriating, arrogant and charismatic Prince Cardan.

I was obsessed with this book the story gripped me and I just could not put it down. I loved Jude's character and the twists and turns the plot took. Overall I loved the character dynamics between Jude and Cardan and this had me really invested in the ending and wanting to read the following books in the series.

I would rate this title 5/5

The Wicked King - Holly Black

After the Cruel Prince I jumped straight into the sequel The Wicked King - there will be spoilers here if you have not read the first book!

Jude has tricked Cardan onto the throne and bound him under her will for a year and a day. However the new high king does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her, even with his continuing fascination with her. Meanwhile a traitor in the court is scheming against her and Jude must fight for her life and for those she loves, all while battling her complicated feelings for Cardan. As time slips by a year and a day seems like nothing at all!

A great sequel to the Cruel Prince that had me gripped waiting to see what was going to happen next.

I would rate this title 4/5

Stillhouse Lake - Rachel Caine

Gina Royal is average a shy midwestern housewife with a happy marriage and two adorable children. That is until a car accident reveals her husband's secret life as a serial killer, forced to reinvent herself she becomes Gwen Proctor.

Gwen and her family find refuge in a new home in remote Stillhouse Lake, despite still being the target of internet trolls who think she had something to do with her husbands crimes.

Just as the family are starting to feel at ease in their new identities a body turns up in the lake and threatening letters are being sent from an all too familiar address. Gwen must take care of her family while trying to avoid being exposed and find out what is really happening at Stillhouse Lake.

I am a big fan of the late Rachel Caine's writing style, have been since the Morganville Vampire Series. This was a very quick read and I am hoping to read the sequel soon.

I would rate this title 4/5

The Hunting Party - Lucy Foley

After finishing The Guest List by Lucy Foley, The Hunting Party shot to the top of my too read list.

In a remote hunting lodge deep in the Scottish wilderness, old friends gather for New Year. The beautiful one, the golden couple, the volatile one, the new parents, the quiet one, the city boy, the outsider and the victim.

Not an accident - a murder among friends.

I had incredibly high hopes for this book after the Guest List with all its twists and turns and while I still enjoyed the writing style, the ending I did find rather predictable and had worked out pretty early one.

Overall an enjoyable read even if a tad obvious.

I would rate this title 3/5

Cress - Marissa Meyer

The third installment in the Lunar Chronicles series, I listened to this title as an audiobook which added to the enjoyment.

This book follows Cress incarcerated in a satellite, an expert hacker and out to save the world - not your average damsel in distress.

Cress grew up a prisoner forced to do the bidding of Queen Levana with only netscreens for company. This includes tracking down Cinder and her handsome accomplice Emperor Kai, little does Levana know that those she seeks and the man she loves are plotting her downfall. 

As paths cross with the characters, happily ever after has never seemed further away.

I really enjoyed listening to this book while working it was a fun story with lots of twists and turns and I am looking forward to reading the fourth installment Winter.

I would rate this title 4/5


The School For Good and Evil - Soman Chainani

Every four years two children are kidnapped from the village of Gavaldon. Legend has it that the lost children are sent to the School For Good and Evil, the fabled institution where they either become fairytale heroes or villains.

Sophie knows she will join the ranks of past students like Cinderella at the school for good with her devotion to good deeds.

Meanwhile Agatha with her black dresses and black cat could only fit in with the villains in the school for evil.

However the two girls soon find their fortunes reversed - Sophie's dumped in the School for Evil and has to take classes in uglification, death curses and henchmen training, while Agatha finds herself thrust in the school for good with handsome princes and fair maidens. 

But what if the mistake is the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are?

An interesting twist on the alternative fairytale genre, I found the idea and plot of this book to be incredibly interesting and a refreshing take on well known tales with new characters and storylines. My one gripe with the book was that Sophie's character could tend to veer towards the irritating side - however I have to bear in mind that I am definitely not the age group this novel is aimed at. HA!

I would rate this title 4/5

A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J Maas

Continuing the fantasy theme for this month is A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas. I had never read this book before! I know gasp! It is probably one of the most talked about series I have seen over all social media platforms so I knew I had to give it a go.

I did see very similar themes in this book to that of The Cruel Prince not sure which was printed first. Obviously the plotlines of both books veered in different directions but a human girl trying to fit into a new world of Fae with a love interest that seems to be the ideal man and issues from a dark haired arrogant man/boy. You get my gist, I am sure people have made this comparison long before I have.

19 year-old Feyre is a huntress who kills a wolf in the woods, after this a beast like creature arrives to demand retribution for it.  He drags her to a magical land she only knows from legend, Tamlin is not a beast but one of the lethal immortal faeries who once ruled their world. 

Over time her feelings turn from hostility into a fiery passion, but an ancient wicked shadow over the Faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it or doom Tamlin and his world forever.

Another faerie story I fell in love with and finished within two days, I loved the characters and the world building and I have already started the second book in the series.

I would rate this title 5/5

What books were in your January wrap up? Comment below.

Thanks for Reading!

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