JJ Reads

Memo Pad: February Book Wrap-up

Another month down and another lot of books read. 5 this month, to be precise. I set myself the goal last month of finishing the Starship’s Mage series this month which was the final three books. And I’m happy to say I managed it and they were amazing! Seriously, one of the best series I’ve ever read, i enjoyed it so much. I also read two eArcs. I was planning on reading three but I forgot February was short so that didn’t happen, but I enjoyed them both.

My kindle unlimited trial is officially over so next month I’ll be getting back to the backlog of books that I’ve been buying over the last three months (current count on my kindle is now over 60 unread books!). I’m also going to be taking part in indieathon at the start of next month so keep your eyes peeled for my post about that in a couple of days.

But for now my reviews, as always, links go to their goodread pages and all reviews are spoiler free.

mp feb2018

Read: 5

Starship’s Mage books 3,4,5 (Voice of Mars, Alien Arcana, & Judgement of Mars) by Glynn Stewart *****

I’m going to do this as a review of the whole series rather than do three individual reviews.

The Starship’s Mage series is a scifi – fantasy cross over based around, you guessed it, mages in space. I’ve been in love with this series since the first book and none of the five disappointed. It is so easy and engrossing, every time I picked it up I completely fell into the world. The magic and the science are both so well described, it never felt too difficult to follow which can be the case in some space operas. This wasn’t a book about complicated twists and turns, though there are plenty, it was a book that focuses on gripping you and pulling you along for a wild ride. It’s definitely shouldered it’s way onto my top 5 series of all time. Damien Montgomery is a brilliant main character and you can’t help but route for him, he has an excellent mix of badass and vulnerable moments and the whole cast of characters around him in each book are all interesting and bring different things to the table. There were romance aspects in a couple of the books but they never overtook the plot or became more important than everything else (which is a pet peeve of mine). Like any good series, each book builds, the stakes getting higher and the scope of the universe that is created widening. From the first book set on one ship, to a planet, to a star system to the whole Protectorate of worlds. We aren’t dumped in the middle of the science and politics and asked to keep up, they are introduced slowly through the plot as Damien delves deeper into the action.

Every single book was excellent. The one thing I would say was I expect a series to end by wrapping everything up, but this was left with multiple threads hanging in a way that set up the start to a new series. Which – am I annoyed? Actually no, because it means I get to read more of this universe and these characters! The only problem is it isn’t out yet so I have to wait!

But I recommend this to everyone who wants an exciting space opera that combines magic and science with an awesome main character.


The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson *****

This was a good book it just wasn’t a very ME book. I can definitely see why it’s getting some very good reviews and I don’t disagree with them but it just wasn’t for me.

Wren is an augur, one of two types of magical communities left in the world. The other half are judges and in the modern world they are the ones with the power. Every Christmas judge boys chase her through the woods near her home and every year it gets more and more sinister. But the augurs Wren lives with aren’t going to stand by and do nothing as the judges try to seize more power.

I think my main issue with this book was that it wasn’t what I expected. The blurb promised me creepy forest scenes and family dynamics, no where in the blurb did it mention any romance. And while there were parts of the book that did give me these things, I was expecting it to be the main emphasis of the book and it wasn’t. I wanted more eerie forests and magical rituals, I wanted to be scared but instead I got much more of the book set in modern Dublin and a love story which, for me, was a shame.

Don’t get me wrong, i still enjoyed reading this book, apart from anything else it is very beautifully written. And I thought that the blend of the two settings was done excellently, I had just been hoping for something that this book wasn’t. It was still a good book in my opinion and I’d recommend The Wren Hunt to fans of Half Bad by Sally Green as it reminded me very strongly of that series.



The City of Lost Fortunes by Bryan Camp *****

I really enjoyed this book, it’s very atmospheric, the setting of New Orleans plays a big role in the story and the writing really drags you in until you can imagine sitting on the street corner with Jude.

Jude is a street magician with the gift of finding lost things, ever since the flood where the whole city lost something, he’s kept his head down, overwhelmed by it all. But when he ends up at a card game with the fortune god of New Orleans his plan of keeping himself to himself goes out the door because it isn’t just doubloons on the table but lives that are at stake.

It did start rather slowly, it’s heavy on description at the start that made it a little bit of a slog for the first 15% but there was still plenty that made me want to keep reading as we get introduced to Jude and his gifts. I’m glad I did keep reading because it definitely got better once everything got going. The setting isn’t the only thing that Camp did excellently, you only have to know that I got irrationally upset by a very minor background characters fate to know that the characterizations are brilliantly done. Even the people that we simply brush past as the story evolves are so well depicted. The story itself is woven very well, I didn’t see the twists and turns coming and the information about the culture and beliefs that are added along the way were very interesting.
Gods, tricksters, magic, card games – all set on the streets of New Orleans – this book was everything that I wanted it to be.

One thing I would say though is that if it was down to the cover alone, I never would have picked this book up. It looks YA contemporary to me and as someone who was looking for a fantasy story it took accidentally reading the blurb somewhere for me to look at it. Which is a shame because this book deserves to get read.



All in all a really great reading month for me. I’m ahead by two on my reading challenge and I’m expecting that to go up by the end of next month as I’m going on holiday in March and holiday = more reading time. But before that is Indieathon, I’ve never taken part in a readathon before so it should be interesting, it’s all about reading self published or small press published books which I think is a great idea. 

What was your favourite book of the month? Will you be taking part in indieathon? How are you doing on your reading goals of you’ve set any?

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