What I’ve been Reading, Sept. 2019 Edition
It’s been a while since I’ve written a post about what I’ve been reading. Lately, I’ve been plowing through YA fantasy novels.
Seraphina and Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman
These books are dope. Both feature Seraphina, a human half-dragon, as the heroine. She has her adventures in a fantasy world reminiscent of Victorian England. Seraphina is thoroughly enjoyable, and Shadow Scale is even better. I highly recommend both for anyone interested in YA fantasy with dragons and a strong female protagonist.
Mortal Engines and Predator’s Gold by Philip Reeve
Wow. Love these books. Municipal Darwinism. Very cool. I enjoy how Reeve manages to give his books satisfactory endings without the endings being happy. This is tricky to pull off, and he does it well. I look forward to reading more of his books.
Jade City by Fonda Lee
This is an interesting book. It takes place in a fantasy world reminiscent of Hong Kong where powerful clans rule by the might of jade powered warriors. The magic system is easy to follow. The social hierarchy of the various classes is clear and creates a good deal of conflict. My issue with the book is that none of the characters are very likable. Just as soon as I warmed up to one character, he was unceremoniously killed off. It wasn’t to the level of Ned Stark being beheaded, but at least in Martin’s book, you have other characters to root for such as John Snow, Sansa, and Tyrion. Not so in Jade City. By the end, I finally had warmed up to some of the Kaul clan, but then the book ended. Right now, I’m up in the air about whether or not I’ll bother reading the next book in the series. This book is worth reading for fantasy authors interested in studying how to clearly and concisely depict a fantasy world.
On Writing by Stephen King
Honestly, I’m still digesting this one. Tons of good advice in the part that is actually about writing. The first half of the book is more of a memoir and an interesting one at that. If nothing else, this book is worth reading to get a feel for how one of the masters of the craft approaches his work.