May 2020 Reading Wrap Up – Part One [Books]

May 2020JanuaryFebruary / March Part 1 / March Part 2/ April Part 1 / April Part 2

This will be another two parter, as I ended up reading 16 books in May. So I’m not going to even speculate here and say, “Oh I probably won’t read as many in June” because I have now done that twice before and I did, indeed, read as many. So, we’ll see. But as of the time of writing this, I am currently all caught up with my reviews! Which is annoying because it means I’ll have to think of other content to fill up the time between reviews.

A Cosmology of Monsters – Shaun Hamilla cosmology of monsters

My Review

A fantastic, haunting tale of a family haunted by monsters, told through the eyes of the youngest member. This was one of my first NetGalley reads, and it’s from my favourite publisher (Titan) – it definitely did not disappoint.

A Collection of Dreamscapes – Christina Sng

a collection of dreamscapes

Review Coming Soon on Dead Head Reviews

I touch on it more in my review, but I’m not the biggest fan of poetry. A Collection of Dreamscapes, however, might have converted me. Sng gives us a solid, varied collection, a mixture of dark fantasy and horror, and one which I devoured really easily.

Venators: Promises Forged – Devri Wells

venators 2

My Review

I read this as part of a blog tour. It’s the sequel to the fantastic Venators: Magic Unleashed, and it was great to get more into this world and see more of these characters. I think I preferred this one to the first – there was just more to it, rather than having to spend more time setting things up. Definitely a series I’ll be sticking with.

How to Write Your First Novel – Sophie King

how to write your first novel

My Review

A writing advice book I didn’t find particularly helpful. I love books about the craft of writing, but I’ve been increasingly disappointed by them. I’ll keep reading though, and you’ll definitely hear about it when I find good ones, like one I read later in the month.

So This Is Love – Elizabeth Lim

so this is love

My Review

I love the Twisted Tales series. And since reading the Mulan tale Reflection, I have absolutely loved Lim’s writing, including her non-Disney debut novel, Spin the Dawn. The latest addition to the series, So This Is Love, looks at what happens if Cinderella never tried on the glass slipper. It’s another example of Lim’s fantastic, wonderful writing, and she pulls you so completely into this world. Cannot wait for her next book, whether it’s the Spin the Dawn sequel or another Twisted Tale.

New York City in 1979 – Kathy Acker

new york in 1979

My Review

This is one of those books I feel like I should have liked more than I did, and if I wasn’t trying to use it as research, I maybe would have. This very much falls into the category of experimental writing, with snapshots of conversation sprinkled in with images and some description. I don’t think this was a case of ‘not for me’, but more that I picked it up at the wrong time.

The Dark Continent – Scott Reardon

the dark continent

My Review

This was one I wasn’t fussed on. It was a little too ‘action’ based for me, too repetitive, and too long. ‘Continent’ is overstating things too when the area affected by events in the novel is a section of the USA. But anyway, that aside, as I say in my review I can see the appeal for some readers, and I think there are those who’d likely get a kick out of this.

iZombie, Volume 1: Dead to the World

izombie

My Review

I really enjoyed this graphic novel, and liked the mix of different ‘monsters’. It’s vastly different from the TV show (I’m now on season 2), but the TV show does have slight nods to the graphic novel. Both are very good though, and I’m excited to check out volume 2.

So there’s the first 8 for May! Keep an eye out for part 2 soon.

iZombie, Vol 1: Dead to the World [Books]

izombie

Once I’d finished reading this, I checked out the Netflix series. If you’ve only experienced either the series or the graphic novel, be aware – they are completely different. Even the names of the characters are changed – Gwen in the graphic novel, Olivia in the series. So far I’ve only seen two episodes of the show, and it is really good, but don’t go into it expecting an adaptation of the graphic novel, and don’t read the graphic novel expecting something similar to the show.

In the graphic novel, Gwen is a zombie. She needs to eat brains once per month to stop herself going full, mindless zombie. Luckily, she works as a gravedigger, giving her access to freshly buried bodies. But when she eats those brains, she gets flashes of the dead person’s life, often driving her to solve whatever unfinished business they had.

Assisting her, she has her best friend Ellie, a ghost, and the guy with a crush on her, a wereterrior called Scott/Spot. In this story, she discovers her latest dining experience died at a mysterious house, and she sets out to find out what happened.

I really liked this graphic novel. The art style matches wonderfully with the story, really capturing the ‘essence’, as such, of the characters, making Gwen look almost dead – but not so dead it’s obvious to others – and giving Ellie an almost ethereal feel, really giving the impression of a ghost.

The story, too, is intriguing, as we – and Gwen – try to piece together the dead man’s life and death, and how exactly the mysterious stranger is involved. It lays out the situation well, and does a fantastic job of presenting the relationships Gwen has with others.

And the friendships were something I really enjoyed. Gwen can’t really hang out with ‘living’ people, and she spends most of her time alone, but Ellie and Scott ensure she still has people she can turn to and trust, while both are still shown to have lives away from the main character.

By the end of volume one, we’re left with some elements tied up, and others remaining open, including a love interest for Gwen and the mystery surrounding the man who could be a possibly ally to her. It’s overall a really intriguing story, with great artwork, and I really hope I can read volume two sometime soon.