Books, JJ Reads

Memo Pad: January Book Wrap Up

Another Bookish month has passed for me to tell you about! Has anyone gotten used to writing 2018 yet? I’m still getting it wrong.

I’m still right smack bang in the middle of my kindle unlimited 3 month trial which means the only books I’ve read this month (and will be reading next month) are either from KU or that I’ve been given to review from netgalley. Now that means all of these were books I didn’t pay to read, which is great because that means I’m not buying books, right? That is oh so wrong. Just because I’m only reading free book has not stopped me from buying books. My TBR on my kindle is growing to terrifying proportions. (I have bought ten books since the trial started and I haven’t read any of them) But that is an issue that I am completely ignoring for another month until my trial runs out.

For now, I’ll talking about this month. I had a massive reading slump at the start of January, this may have had quite a lot to do with the fact I was sick for the first two weeks of the year (happy new year me) and the added pressure of already being behind on my reading challenge midway through the first month of the year also didn’t help. But! Things improved. Phew.

mp jan 2018

Read: 4 + 1 (I actually read The Cruel Prince at the end of December)


The Cruel Prince by Holly Black *****

Jude is a human girl living in fairy, constantly at a disadvantage and at the mercy of the fey around her she still wishes more than anything to belong to their cruel beautiful world. She isn’t a damsel though, not like her sister, and blade in hand she’s going to carve her own place out.

This is the kind of book where the reader is given enough information to work some things out and so i spent the first half of the book screaming at Jude. Saying that, it never became predictable, there was still unexpected twists and plenty hidden in plain sight.

This is definitely some what of a slow burner. Nothing very big happens in the first half, things build slowly as important scenes and information get slotted into place but its the last half of this book that really makes it a five star read. That doesn’t mean I found the first half boring, on the contrary, I found the characters and their relationships complex. There’s Madox who killed her parents but raised her like his own. Her twin sister who is different in every way but Jude doesn’t want to hold it against her. Vivi, who is older and remembers more about their life before and resents that they’ve settled in fairy so well. Then there’s Oak, an adorable little brat of a little brother. I could go on about the other characters too but this review would get very long. Point is, they are all so well thought out and nuanced. And it all unfolded perfectly. And then there’s fairy itself, learning about the court and the world was done extremely well.

I had no idea this was based in the same world as other fairy books holly black had written. I hadn’t read them but i found you don’t need to read them first. I was never lost or felt like I was missing anything. But I’m definitely going to be going back and reading them now as I loved this book and can’t wait for the next one.



Wicked Charm by Amber Hart *****

This is a difficult book to review for me, I gobbled it up reading the whole thing over the course of two days. The writing is easy to read, the story is simple but addictive. It’s a moreish book.

It’s just the actual characters left much to be desired for me. They’re intense, bold characters but they come off as caricatures. They have over the top attitudes and reactions and thoughts. And then half way through one of them suddenly changes around completely without much transition. A character goes from being completely closed off to making long speeches about how they feel without any middle ground. Worse is that everyone around is acting like it’s not much of a change. It did have a very unique and atmospheric setting which definitely added to the story and atmosphere of the book. I’d aim it at the younger end of YA and just say it was a very easy to read, enjoyable book.



Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron *****

First off I want to say I was in a major reading slump while I was reading this book. It took me ages, I just didn’t want to read but it is actually a really good book. Anyone else have those times when they just don’t want to read but objectively they know the book is awesome? Well that was this for me. I loved the characters, especially Bob. It was action packed, there was magic, dragons, monsters, gangsters, seers….

It’s set on earth where magic was suddenly returned and dragons, which can take human form, come out of hiding. Most of the action happens in a new Detroit which is supposed to be a dragon free zone because the water spirit that lives there doesn’t like them. Julius who has been locked in his human form by his mother who thinks he’s being lazy and hiding in his room throws him into Detroit alone. Trying to survive with just the clothes on his back and mysterious texts from his seer brother Bob. Julius meets Marci, a mage, and basically gets in a big mess. There is a romance element to it but it isn’t the kind of all-encompassing end-of-the-world romance that normally ruins books for me.

I mean it was a really brilliant book.  I just don’t have any other feelings because of the slump. I feel bad because it deserves better. And I absolutely loved Aaron’s other series The Legend of Eli Monpress which is actually why I picked this up in the first place.


The Hand of Mars by Glynn Stewart (Starship’s Mage #2) *****

4.5 but I’m rounding up just because I enjoy this series so much. It’s awesome! Magic in space. I mean what else do I need to say?

This book picks up 3 years after the events of Starship’s Mage, which initially i was sceptical of but it’s done really well and we get to learn things as we go along. And just – it was amazing, okay? I love Damien, the main character, he has plenty of badass moments that had me grinning but he’s also not so all powerful that nothing is difficult. The only thing that I would say that goes against this book for me is the collateral death count. At times it felt a bit like a DC film where the good and bad guys are smashing everything to pieces and loads of people die. After a while I was just okay, really? Was that necessary? It didn’t take away from the story at all, and I still really enjoyed it and just – go and read this series, okay? I actually don’t have anything else to say but that I’m in love. The first book is Starship’s Mage which I read last year and gave 5 stars and was one of my favourite books of the year. I read this one on my kindle unlimited trial and now I’m going to attempt to read the next three books in the series before my trial runs out next month. Wish me luck!


Cursed with Claws by Asta Idonea *****

This is a short story at only 20k. It has a very old fashioned fairy tale vibe and setting which means that there are issues that come along with it. The whole idea that virginity is pure and the villagers are ableist, sexist and homophobic. The main characters whose povs we experience aren’t though. Ode lives in a valley that lives in the shadow of a dragons cave. Every year a sacrifice is made, chests of gold and one person chosen from the surrounding villages get brought up the mountain and given to the dragon. When Ode’s sister, Malle, gets chosen, he volunteers instead. But when he gets up the mountain he doesn’t find a dragon but a man. The relationship between Ode and the cursed man grows naturally and I really enjoyed reading this short story. It was a quick and easy read with a happily ever after.

Have you read any of these books, what did you think? And what was your favourite book you’ve read this month?

What do you think the chances are of me managing to finish the Starship’s Mage series (3 more books) next month? I’m a massive mood reader so its going to be difficult but I’m going to try anyway.

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6 thoughts on “Memo Pad: January Book Wrap Up”

  1. I’m a mood reader too. I always used to think it was ok to have ARCs but then although I haven’t bought them I should really read my stack of books. But you know how it is. I am doing the Beat the Backlist challenge but I just got an ARC i cant help it

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I’m the same. I get a loud of arcs that I’m excited to read and then I’m like, but all the other books I already want to read …… I try to only read one or two arcs a month and read tbr books the rest of the time but they all seemed to get approved at once after hearing nothing for weeks this time round.


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