JJ Reads, the memo pad

Memo Pad: Books – Feb 2017

It’s the end of another month so I’m going to share with you my bookish wrap up. How is it the end of February already? Is time going really fast for anyone else?

I wasn’t expecting to read as many books this month but I’ve done really well with some help from netgalley for approving me for ARCs of the collapsing empire and sea which were both great. I had an unfortunate DNF in there this month too. I’ve also decided to share books I’ve bought this month at the end of these posts as well.

At the start of the year I joined the monster goddess book club which is run by a couple of book bloggers I follow and they have a group on goodreads. This months theme was simply a book that you got for Christmas. I actually read two books that fit for this month, as I got both illuminae and timekeeper as Christmas presents. 


Read: 5            DNF: 1        Bought: 5


Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

The year is 2575, and two rival mega-corporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra – who are barely even talking to each other – are forced to fight their way onto one of the evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit. But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again!

I think more than anything I got disappointed by the hype. There’s nothing wrong with this book, I just was expecting so much more.

It’s also very annoying to read on kindle. Maybe there’s a trick to zooming in on images (this is narrated through documents so it was all images and no text that could be enlarged) that I haven’t figured out yet but it still would have been annoying to zoom and pan/turn the reader around. I tried not to let it affect my thoughts on the story but it may have done.

Storywise, I found it difficult to connect to the characters, and found the most relatable one was the AI. It felt like the characters were too…. Immature for the story line. But maybe that’s what other people liked about it. I just think it missed the epicness that it could have achieved. I guess this just wasn’t one for me.


Sea (Huntress #1) by Sarah Driver

In the sky, the fire spirits dance and ripple. Grandma says they showed our Tribe that I’d be a captain, before I was even born. Ever since Ma died, Mouse has looked after her little brother, Sparrow, dreaming of her destiny as captain of the Huntress. But now Da’s missing, Sparrow is in danger, and a deathly cold is creeping across Trianukka . . .

This is a children’s book that said it was for fans of Philip Pullman which is definitely something to live up to and it didn’t disappoint. It was very magical. The main character had a distinct voice, which I loved but I can see that some people might find it annoying. The story follows a wilful little girl called mouse aboard a ship called the huntress. Moonspirits, whalesong, being able to talk to pet hawks, old myths that turn out to be something more and a healthy dose of magic are all added into the mix to make a brilliant story that I could escape into.


Timekeeper by Tara Sim

Two o’clock was missing.

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely. It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors. And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve. But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.

This was very good but I was expecting amazing. Clockwork, steampunk, interesting characters and brilliant concept of time stopping if clocks break. Unfortunately the main character made so many wrong decisions which was very frustrating. Some wrong decisions grow a character, repeated wrong decisions just make me annoyed at the character. It might make a good story but it made me enjoy it less. Saying that, I started it on Sunday and finished it on Monday so I definitely really enjoyed it anyway but at the same time I felt like something was missing from it.


The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

Our universe is ruled by physics and faster than light travel is not possible — until the discovery of The Flow, an extra-dimensional field we can access at certain points in space-time that transport us to other worlds, around other stars. Humanity flows away from Earth, into space, and in time forgets our home world and creates a new empire, the Interdependency, whose ethos requires that no one human outpost can survive without the others. It’s a hedge against interstellar war — and a system of control for the rulers of the empire. The Flow is eternal — but it is not static. Just as a river changes course, The Flow changes as well, cutting off worlds from the rest of humanity. When it’s discovered that The Flow is moving, possibly cutting off all human worlds from faster than light travel forever, three individuals — a scientist, a starship captain and the Empress of the Interdependency — are in a race against time to discover what, if anything, can be salvaged from an interstellar empire on the brink of collapse.

I was really excited to get approved for this book from netgalley. I’ve wanted to read Scalzi for a while but hadn’t gotten round to it yet so this was a perfect opportunity.

I thought it was going to be really heavy Sci fi and while this is definitely not ya it isn’t scary big or complicated like some space operas are. I loved the characters especially tiva. I also loved how human they all were. It’s not often that you read a book that mentions that yes, actually these characters might be on a big adventure and stuff is happening but they still need to go to the toilet or have their period or be pretty absolutely not badass because some people just aren’t. I loved them all and I’ll definitely be reading the next and more scalzi after this. I did think the ending was a bit of a non ending, it is the first book in a series though so I can excuse that.


A Series of Unfortunate Events: A Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

I enjoyed this well enough, I think it would be a really good book for a young person to read. unfortunately I think having seen the movie a while ago and therefore knowing the plot made this not as exciting. The telling is rather simple being a children’s book and knowing the plot before hand didn’t really leave me with much to be interested in.




The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

This is such a stupid premise that I just couldn’t get over it. I DNF’d it at 35%. I wanted to at 20% and the only reason I got any further was created I didn’t know what I felt like reading next. The book itself was well written, I’m sure it would have been a decent book but I couldn’t get over the fact that her whole plan to get the murderous monster who had killed hundreds of women not to kill her after she volunteered to be his next victim was to tell him a story….. That’s the plan? She deserved to die for how stupid that was.


Books bought this month: 5

Paper and Fire (The Great Library book 2) by Rachel Caine, A Series of Unfortunate Events: A Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket, The Palace Job (Rogues of the Republic #1) by Patrick Weekes, Cracked (Soul Eater #1) by Eliza Crewe , The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh,


Timekeeper and illuminae were both books I was mega excited to read and thought would be awesome so I’m a little disappointed even though I liked them both. The month was definitely saved by the arcs I received. How about you, have you read any of these books? How was your reading month? What was the favourite book you’ve read this month? Mine was rather surprisingly sea.

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4 thoughts on “Memo Pad: Books – Feb 2017”

  1. Thanks for these reviews! I’ve just recently started reading again for fun after years of having stopped. I absolutely love Philip Pullman, so I am definitely curious about Sea. I usually read fantasy, sci-fi or mystery books, but I’m trying to get out of my comfort zone. I’ve picked up the 1st Deathnote manga, a graphic novel called The Amulet of Samarkand and The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami to read next month.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That seems like quite a lot for having just got back into it. But I do recommend sea. It’s a pretty easy read as well but very fun and magical 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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