I spent the first half of June on the road for the YAGB Tour, and the second half, unfortunately, wasn’t filled with a ton of reading. (More on that later). But first, the two books I did get to this past month:
Having heard so many amazing things about Megan Whalen Turner’s The Queen’s Thief series, I finally snatched up the first installment, THE THIEF. After bragging that he “can steal anything,” Gen ends up in the King’s prisons, only to later be selected by the King’s scholar, the magus, to accompany him on a journey to seek out–and steal–and invaluable ancient treasure.
I found the beginning of this one a little slow, but the second half made up for it tenfold. Talk about twists and turns and surprises. (Like Jellicoe Road, I would tell hesitant readers to give this one ~100p before quitting.) Gen’s voice is blunt and humorous–he’s lazy, and yet completely sympathetic, likely because he does have the skills to back up his bragging (and then some). He’s also one of my favorite types of narrators: an unreliable one. This fantasy world is rich and evocative–an almost Greek-like setting, but with a unique series of gods/goddesses and their own histories–and the character development is top notch. None of the characters we start out with as a reader are left unchanged by the end. I’ve heard the second and third installments in this series are where the story really shines, so after a thoroughly enjoyable tale in THE THIEF, I’m pumped to pick up THE QUEEN OF ATTOLIA.
I’ve never been a big paranormal romance reader, but the premise of Page Morgan’s THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED sounded too good to pass up: gargoyles in 1899 Paris act as guardian angel figures, protecting the humans who live within their dwellings. Um, yes please! After an embarrassing and bizarre accident, Ingrid Waverly moves to Paris with her mother and younger sister, Gabby. Waiting for them should be her brother, Grayson, only he’s gone missing. Searching for clues regarding his whereabouts, Ingrid and Gabby learn that girls have been vanishing all throughout Paris, and that Luc, a servant working at their new estate may be the only one with answers…
I absolutely devoured this one. The historic setting seeped from the pages, the writing was lovely, and the mystery behind Paris’s disappearing girls–and how the Waverlys fit into it–kept me anxiously reading. Above all, I loved how Morgan wove her gargoyle mythology into existing angel-demon folklore. It felt both familiar and unique at once. This is the first in a trilogy, and while TBATC ends without major cliffhangers, I am dying to get my hands on the sequel. The forthcoming e-novella might have to tie me over until next May.
So why did I only get through two books this month? Drafting. Lots and lots of book three drafting. Approaching the end of Gray’s story and the TAKEN trilogy has been an exhausting experience. I’ve spent far too many hours shut in my office, sobbing over my keyboard, and dreading saying goodbye.
Wisely quoting Anchorman, Marie Lu recently told me on twitter that finishing a trilogy is like being in a glass case of emotion.
True. I’ve pretty much spent the last few weeks saying this to all my characters:
Over and over and over. *sigh*
That said, I did take a quick break from drafting last week to visit Toadstool Bookshop in Keene, NH for a joint signing with none other than Page Morgan! I was so excited to meet Page–especially because I loved THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED so much–and was a little worried of fangirling and making a fool of myself.
Fortunately, Page is as down-to-earth and sweet in person as she is online. We had such a blast interviewing each other at the bookstore event, and answering audience questions, that we completely forgot to snap a photo. Boo! But I do have an extra signed hardcover of THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED (plus some swag courtesy of Page), so I’m going to give that away right here and now!
To enter, all you have to do is fill out the rafflecopter widget below, and let me know what book(s) you read and loved in June. Giveaway is US only–sorry!–and I’ll pick a winner next week!
» Contest is open to contestants 13+
» By entering, you are confirming that you are 13 or older
» One (1) signed hardcover of The Beautiful and The Cursed is available to US mailing address only