WWW Wednesday – 20 March 2019

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

What have you recently finished reading?

I read An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson, which I found to be an enjoyable fantasy but forgettable. I reviewed it here.

Next I finished Bird Box by Josh Malerman. I didn’t love this. There’s a difference between being ambiguous and just creating a whole bunch of stuff that’s never explained. I found it a bit too unsatisfying. Here’s my review.

Next I read One Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnston. I think I was lucky I was in the right mood for it or it might have easily been a DNF. Really beautiful writing and a good plot but I’m not sure I actually picked up on important aspects of the world-building, so some of the things that were happening made no sense to me.

I finally started on my challenge of reading the books on the 2019 CBCA Notables List and read Between Us by Clare Atkins, which is a story about the relationship that forms between an Iranian asylum seeker in detention and an Australian teenager at her school.  It was not an easy read but very powerful. Here’s my review.

Last but not least, I finished Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein, a YA psychological thriller. This had some genuinely creepy moments but ultimately was a bit too long and the ending fell a bit flat.

This list is nowhere near as impressive when you realise I haven’t done a WWW post in 2 weeks and I finished  the first two books listed the day after my last one.

What are you currently reading?

I have returned to The Dying Flame by R. L. Sanderson, after being a bit distracted by other things. The MC has just been rescued and whisked off to a strange place so I have a feeling things are about to really get going.

I’m also listening to Catching Teller Crow by Ambelin Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina. I’m… really not loving the audio book narrator, but it’s really short and I’ve got less than 3 hours  to go, so I’m going to stick with it…

What do you think you will read next?

Depending how I feel about The Dying Flame, I might go on to its sequel, The Sharpened Blade. Or I’ve got Hive by A. J. Betts waiting for me at the library so I can continue with my challenge to read the 2019 Notables list for the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book of the Year Award.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

“The ability to feel is a strength, not a weakness.” // Review of “An Enchantment of Ravens” by Margaret Rogerson

Title: An Enchantment of Ravens
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Genre: Fantasy
Intended audience: YA
Date Read: 04/03/19 – 06/03/19
Rating: ★★★

Review:

This is one of those books that was totally enjoyable to read but was totally unmemorable  after I finished it. It was fun but ultimately a bit flimsy.

Isobel is an expert portrait artist who is popular with the fair folk due to her extraordinary talent. But when she paints human sorrow into the eyes of the Autumn Prince, he whisks her away to the fairy court to  stand trial for humiliating him.

That is essentially the story that is on the back cover of the  book, but it’s not exactly the direction the story takes. For one thing, the Autumn Prince, Rook, and Isobel, never actually get as far as a trial. I think the fact that it never quite goes in the direction it promised kind of threw me and left me feeling a little bit unsatifised.

I could also never quite pin Isobel down… was she a Mary Sue? She was certainly ridiculously talented. Surely there were more older, experienced painters than this seventeen-year-old, even if she has been painting “ever since she could hold a brush”.  Or was she one of those clever, capable female characters who turns to mush over a handsome man the second they meet? Actually, she certainly was the latter, even if she wasn’t the former.

And yet, at times, there was something about Rook that I really enjoyed. I think it might have been that he subverted a lot of my expectations. In so many books about the other folk, the Fey love interest is cruel and cold and the romance is a pile of problematic trash. Rook was actually vulnerable and awkward at times, and I enjoyed the way his privilege was often addressed. So I guess while he wasn’t the greastest love interest ever, he was better than I was expecting from this type of story, so it gets points for that.

I really enjoyed  the world-building of the fairy realm and I enjoyed the exploration of a life of immortality devoid of feeling. However,  I thought that Isobel’s world of Whimsy was a bit flimsy. I wasn’t quite sure whether it was part of our world, somewhere in between our world and the fairy one, or what was going on. There were references to something called The World Beyond but I wasn’t quite sure if this was our world, an afterlife or something else all together.

Still, despite all of that (and a bit of a deux-ex-machina-y ending that was supposedly being masterminded by another character all along), the writing was quite lyrical and lovely and that was what kept me reading.  Overall, I enjoyed the book, even though it will not go down as a favourite.


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#WWW Wednesday – 06 March 2019

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

What have you recently finished reading?

I kept DNFing things this week so nothing got finished! But I did post two reviews: The Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor and Famous Last Words by Katie Alender.

(For those keeping score, the DNFs were Jigsaw of Fire and Stars by Yaba Badoe and Jasper Jones by Craig  Silvey. In  both cases, I think it was a case of “wrong book at the wrong time”.)

What are you currently reading?

I am reading An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson. If I’m honest, both the heroine and the plot only get about three stars each, but I really like the hero? Probably because he subverted my expectations of a vain and cruel fairy prince and is actually kind of sweet and awkward. I should finish this tonight provided I don’t spend all night on blogging.

I am a fair way through Bird Box by Josh Malerman now… To be perfectly honest, I’m not loving it. It’s actually really repetitive and while Malerman really convincingly conveys the realities of living life blindfolded, I’m just not interested in the characters and there’s actually very little tension.  There’s a particular bit I know about that may turn it around, but we’ll wait and see.

I am still going on The Dying Flame by R. L. Sanderson, but it’s on a bit of a hold while I read my library books!

What do you think you will read next?

I have One Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnston from the library so I will try that. I thought I had it on my TBR but it wasn’t there when I checked and it’s possible I actually culled it… anyway, that will probably be next.

Also I set myself the challenge of reading all the books on the 2019 Notables list for the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book of the Year Award. The award is announced in August and I  doubt I’ll get through them all before then, but maybe I’ll just keep going through to the end of the year! I’ve got Between Us by Clare Atkins and Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein to get me started.

What are you reading this week? 🙂