#WWW Wednesday – 02 January 2018

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.

Happy 2019, everyone! I hope your year is filled with five star reads. 😀

What have you recently finished reading?

I finished Wundersmith by Jessica Townsend in time to pass it on to my niece at Christmas! While I don’t think it was as good as Nevermoor, it did pick up in the last third and bumped my rating from two to three stars. My review is here.

I didn’t get a huge amount of time to read while I was away over Christmas but I finished The Enchanted Sonata by Heather Dixon Wallwork on the plane home. I really loved this one! It was really charming. Here’s my review.

I’ll also have my December reading wrap-up posted tomorrow. My intention was to post it yesterday and while it was pretty much written at that point, I forgot to finish and post it.

What are you currently reading?

I’m still listening to Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. I finished Part 2 in the car this morning. It’s… quite dense? But it does have a lot of interesting mythology and the characters are very well drawn, so the density isn’t necessarily an issue.

I have also started my ARC of The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi, though at time of writing I’m only about 5% in. I love historical fantasy and I’ve been hearing good things about this one, so I have pretty high expectations.

What do you think you will read next?

I am planning to re-read The Bloodless Assassin by Celine Jeanjean and its sequel in preparation for the release of the third book in the series at the end of the month. Depending how much I remember, I might do a bit of a skim, but it’s been a while, so might not remember much. I did give this book 5 stars the first time I read it, so I hope to get the same reaction this time around.

I’ve set my GoodReads goal to 100 books this year.

What are you reading this week?

“The melody conjured the taste of caramel sugar; laughter on a spring day; ice skates scraping on a frozen pond.” // Review of “The Enchanted Sonata” by Heather Dixon Wallwork

Title: The Enchanted Sonata
Author: Heather Dixon Walllwork
Genre:
Fantasy
Intended audience: Middle-grade/lower YA
Date Read: 14/12/2018 – 28/12/2018
Rating: ★★★★

Review:

This is the kind of book I may not have loved as much as I did if I had read it in another time and place. However, I was reading it around Christmas, and I got swept up in the descriptions of gingerbread and snow and music and it was lovely.

This is a retelling of The Nutcracker, with a bit of  The Pied Piper and The Phantom of the Opera thrown in. The writing has  a fairy-tale feel about it. Even when the stakes are high, there’s a feeling of whimsy to it and the language is beautifully crafted. Music is the form of magic used in this story and you feel a bit like you’re listening to music as you read.

It took me a little while to get interested in the romance between Clara and the Nutcracker because… well, it’s a bit weird because he’s a nutcracker the whole time she knows him, and also they’ve known each other for a day or maybe two, but their banter was sweet, and by the end I was totally squeeing over them.  Also the Nutcracker (aka Prince Nikolai) is super-awkward and insecure but also really comes into his own and proves himself when given a chance and I like that in a leading man. Also, there’s no toxic masculinity to be seen.

Clara’s character growth took a bit longer. For a long time she was in denial about any feelings for Nutcracker, or her growing fondness for the kingdom or the other friends she is making there. However, once she got the proverbial knock on the upside of the head and realised a few things about herself, I was able to get behind her a bit more.

I mentioned Phantom of the Opera earlier and I want to talk about that because it seems I was the only one who noticed this? The villian a musical genius called Erik who has a tragic backstory and lives at least part of his life underneath the city’s enormous music hall. People hear him playing and don’t know where the music is coming from and assume he’s a ghost. If that’s not Phantom of the Opera, I don’t know what is!

Definitely recommend this one if you are in the mood for a whimsical, magical fairytale. It will make you smile.


Thank you to NetGalley and the Publishers for a free copy of this book in exchange for a review.

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#WWW Wednesday – 19 December 2018

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.

I’m posting quite early this week, since I’m taking advantage of a shift on the reading room desk at work to get this written up. Tomorrow is my last day of work for the year and I’m already in holiday mode, so very little work is really being done!

What have you recently finished reading?

I finished Sixty Seconds by Jesse Blackadder. This was a 3.5* read for me. The plot, pacing and writing were good, but I never completely connected with the characters. Posted my review here

That’s the only thing I finished this week but I also reviewed Olmec Obituary by L. J. M. Owen. You can read that here.

Getting these two reviews up meant that I completed my 2018 Australian Women Writers Challenge, which was to read 20 books by Australian women, including two by Indigenous authors and two by LGBTQI* authors.

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading The Enchanted Sonata by Heather Dixon Wallwork. This is quite a sweet story. I love that the magic system is music-based! Though it does make me want to go and throw the Nutcracker retelling I started writing years ago in the bin, since this one is so much better than what I was doing.

I’m also listening to Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. I’ve never read any of Taylor’s other books but everyone seems to rave about this one so I picked it up when Audible recommended it. So far my only real complaint is how few women there are compared to men. But Strange is a librarian and researcher, so he has kind of stolen my heart. ❤

What do you think you will read next?

I really need to finish Wundersmith by Jessica Townsend so I can pass it on to my niece at Christmas. I think I’m about halfway through it? I’m flying to my parents’ on Friday so my plan is for it to be my airport/plane book. After that, I’m not sure whether to read another Christmas-y book or start on my January ARCs.

What are you reading this week?

Have a great holiday season, everyone, regardless of what you celebrate!