A very slow couple of months for reading, although the top book was probably thick enough to count for at least 3 books.
Robert Galbraith – Cormoran Strike 6: The Ink Black Heart
When each of these books come out, I roll my eyes at the size and weight, grumble about poor editing and over indulgent authors… and then thoroughly enjoy every single page wishing it would go on longer. Somehow Galbraith/Rowling manages to give pace and energy to a glacially slow story which drags out both the mystery itself and the relationships between the characters. I do get a bit tired of the will-they-won’t-they relationship, but it is at least realistically told. The twist in the mystery featuring lots of social media aspects was well handled, with tweets and message boards compellingly integrated to the narrative. Despite its length I read it in just a few days, quite unable to put it down.
Elizabeth Macneal – Circus of Wonders
Set in a Victorian ‘freak show’, following the triangle of the ambitious circus owner, his brother and the unlikely new star of the show. The shifting balances of power, desire and need are carefully played out. But I found the whole thing a bit light. I didn’t really get the wonder or the emotions, I just didn’t get lost in it.
T Kingfisher – A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking
I needed something comforting, and I couldn’t think of anything better than a book about a girl who is a wizard of bread. I mean, how wonderful a pitch is that?! This is a bit of a companion to Minor Mage and continues to play with the idea that not all magic users get the ability to control lightning, or raise the dead, some just get the ability to make dough do what what they want it to and just have to make do. Mona is moderately content in her life persuading the scones they don’t want to burn, making gingerbread men dance and feeding the grumpy sourdough starter called Bob that lives in the cellar and eats rats if they get too close. But this is a fairy tale so Mona gets thrown into a bigger adventure and as always Kingfisher gets the emotions of that SPOT ON. There’s darkness in fairy tales, bravery in being scared, weakness in the most powerful and strength in the smallest of people (with or without magic). I adored every single little thing about this book.