We have officially made it through the first month of 2018! January is finally over, and so it is time to look back at all of the reading I managed to do during it.
Despite last month feeling as though it went on forever, I only had a pretty average first reading month of the year. In total, I managed to read four books during January, and although that isn’t a horribly low number for me, I definitely know that I could have done better. January was also a pretty average month in terms of how much I enjoyed the books I read, as I really did enjoy three of the four books I read, even if none of them were five star reads for me. However, on a slightly more positive note, I did manage to finish two series that I had started last year, and reread a book, something I very rarely do, so I would definitely call those two achievements in my reading last month.
So here are the four books I managed to read in January!
I started off the year with a book that I had wanted to read ever since I finished the first book, The Wrath and the Dawn back in December. I am never normally someone who marathons series, as I usually like to take a little bit of time between books in series, so I was really surprised when even after reading Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda, I was still so desperate to just continue on, and pick this book up.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book, and loved this duology as a whole. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot of this second book, even if I did feel that the different storylines were a little more disjointed than in the first book, and loved how much more we got to see of the magic in this world. I thought the world-building in this book was done so well, and so I loved exploring more of it, and watching our characters travel around it a little more. But what was by far my favourite aspect of this book was the characters and the relationships between them. Renee Ahdieh is so good at writing large casts of characters, and developing so many of these characters as individual people who are all complex and unique in their own right. By the end of this book I cared about so many of the characters in this series so much because of how well we got to know them, and how well they were all written. I will admit that I did prefer the first book just slightly, but this was still a amazing book and a great conclusion to this duology.
Next up I decided to pick up Shadow and Bone, and this was actually a reread for me. At this point in the month I had alot going on, and so really just wanted a quick, easy read, something I knew this book would be as I was already familiar with the story and characters. However, whilst this was definitely an easy read for me, it definitely wasn’t a quick one, or one that I particularly enjoyed this time around. I did expect to enjoy this book a little less than I did before, but I didn’t think that I my feelings and thoughts would be as different as they were, as I really had to force myself to finish this book this time around. I just found the story to be really dull and boring, something that was definitely influenced by the fact that this was a reread, and so I just was not engaged with this story and its plot at all because I just did not care what happened.
On the other hand, my opinion on the characters didn’t change hugely, as instead I more just reminded myself why I liked the Darkling as a character so much, and I why I disliked Mal as much as I did. As for Alina, in all honestly I don’t really have a particularly strong opinion about her. Personally I find her to be your average YA heroine who I’ve seen a ton of times before, and so she definitely instead a character who stuck out much to me.
So all in all, I enjoyed this book, and will likely try and continue on with the series, even if this was by no means my favourite YA fantasy that I’ve ever read.
Next up I decided to finish off another duology that I started last year, as I was super excited about reading this one after how much I enjoyed This Savage Song. After Shadow and Bone, I also just wanted a book that I knew I would enjoy, and so this one seemed like a pretty safe bet, especially as I had heard such good things about it beforehand.
I can’t tell you how much I loved this book.
This book exceeded all my expectations and honestly I am so glad that I decided to pick it up this month. Even though I enjoyed This Savage Song, I preferred the plot of this book so much more, as I loved how much more dystopian this story felt in comparison to the first one, as well as just how much more action-packed and fast paced this sequel was. But by far my favourite aspect of this book was once again the characters. I absolutely adore both August and Katherine as they are both such complex, morally grey characters whose actions you don’t always agree with, but who you still always root for nonetheless. I also loved all of the side characters, both from the first books and those entirely new to this book, with my only wish being that we could have seen more of all of them, particularly Isla who is such an amazing character that I just want so much more from. All in all this was just a spectacular conclusion that will definitely stay in my mind for a long time to come.
Finally I finished off the month with the continuation of another series that I started at the end of last year. After putting off reading the Infernal Devices Trilogy for so long, I finally picked up the first book, Clockwork Angel, back in November, and so because I am apparently now not someone who leaves at least six months between books in series, I decided it was time to continue on with the next book in the series.
Overall, I definitely enjoyed this one, probably even a little bit more than the first book. I quite liked where the plot went in this book, and how we began to learn more about The Magister’s past and their motives. I definitely think this book focused alot more on developing other storylines that allowed us to explore our characters more, rather than on the main plot line from book one, and although this did mean there perhaps wasn’t as much action, I much preferred this switch of focus. Because of this, we got to really explore more of all of the characters in this series, something I was so happy about. We learnt so much more about all of our characters and the relationships between them, and I personally particularly enjoyed seeing more of Charlotte and Henry’s relationship, and of course Will’s character, who almost took centre stage in this second installment. The romance in this book was, as I very much expected, something I really enjoyed, and included one of the first love triangles I actually didn’t hate. So all in all, I really did enjoy this book, and now can’t wait to see how this series concludes in Clockwork Princess!