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.

Twisted Tales: So This Is Love – Elizabeth Lim [Books]

so this is love

Yep, it’s another Twisted Tales book, so far one of my favourite ever series. I really hope these books keep coming, because I will definitely keep reading. And the next cover has just been revealed – Unbirthday, an Alice in Wonderland tale. So far my favourite is Reflection, but I think this takes the second top spot. Which I’m pretty sure is what I said about Straight on ‘Till Morning too, but Elizabeth Lim is such a fantastic writer, it’s hard not to fall in love with her books.

The thing is, Lim is excellent at writing couples. It’s easy to feel like characters are in love in one of her books, even while other forces keep them apart.

In So This is Love, Cinderella is not able to try on the glass slipper, and the duke rides away from her home without even knowing she’s there. Unable to remain with her step-mother, Cinderella flees, and ends up working in – of all places – the castle.

But meeting the prince isn’t as easy as it seems, and Cinderella soon decides to try and make a life for herself with her new job and new friends. But she’s still determined to help her fairy godmother, and in doing so she unravels a conspiracy that threatens everything.

When this series works well, it’s clear the author knows these characters inside and out. After all, they’re taking the core elements of whatever character it is, and putting them in a new situation. And these are characters many people love, which means the expectations are high. Lim did brilliantly with Mulan in Reflection, and So This Is Love is another example of how well she knows and how much she loves Disney.

Cinderella feels very much like the character we know from the original story, but like in many of these tales she has that little bit more agency. As optimistic as she tries to remain, she knows deep down she is unhappy, though she never lets this leave a mark, continuing to do her job as best she can, even when it seems like everything is against her.

As for the scenes which do take place between Cinderella and the prince, Lim really keeps the reader on edge. For every warm, happy feeling a scene gives, the rug is soon yanked out as the reader realises it cannot all go as hoped. And the characters are fantastic – completely and utterly engaging, meaning it is easier to connect to the characters and feel what we’re supposed to.

I could really go on and on and on about what a good writer Elizabeth Lim is, but seriously, if you haven’t already, do check out Reflection and/or So This Is Love, and while you’re at, pick up Spin the Dawn too because they are all awesome.

So This Is Love is another fantastic addition to the Twisted Tales series, by a brilliant writer, once more keeping the core of the characters while putting them in a new and interesting situation. Definitely one for Disney fans to check out!