February was a month filled with trying to settle into a new job and a different country and, well, basically it didn’t go well because I sadly wasn’t very suited to it. T_T So now we’re back to square one. Yay? Anyway, February was filled with a few changes, not least of which that most all my posts will be available earlier on Patreon and, as a result of all the upheaval in my life the past month post numbers are accordingly down. This will continue for the foreseeable future.
You must fill out the year/date in your wrap-up shortcode.
Always Be You by RoAnna Sylver: This is such a sweet short story about consent between two ace-spec characters! It builds on the characters introduced in RoAnna’s Chameleon Moon, but you don’t have to read it to get a lot out of this story. I mean, it will make the emotional charge of the story much more impactful because you’ll already know the characters, but its focus on a single moment in their relationship means that you don’t need to to follow along. And it is so sweet and lovely and you should just go and read it because words. What are.
Choosing You by Jaylee James: This is a brief time-traveller romance, of a sort, which has a bittersweet ending, given all that it says about free will and the choices we make. It didn’t at all end the way that I thought it would, which was a great surprise. I liked it a lot, even though it didn’t quite give me the answers that I was hoping to get. (The story’s not geared to providing them, though, to be fair.)
Eight Days of Luke by Diana Wynne Jones: This was so much fun! I’m slowly reading through all the Diana Wynne Jones books I missed out on as a child (boo!) and this was the one that I found/bought/picked up next after a long drought. I had a lot of fun trying to piece the story together and I loved how layered it is and how much it lends itself to rereading. There’s a good three different main storyline experiences in this, depending on the knowledge you have going into it, and it’s glorious. I really wish I’d read this as a child and could have had the experience of being introduced to Norse mythology through this book.
Hello World by Tiffany Rose and Alexandra Tauber: This was so cool! I need to write up a proper post for it, but basically: asexual misanthropist hacker adopts a not-actually-AI by accident and also ends up making the world a better place sort-of by accident in a near-future world. I wish some of the book’s concept had been a little more detailed (I still don’t quite know as much as I’d like about HIDs) and I wished it’d avoided my pet peeve of not giving the reader information the characters clearly have, but overall I gobbled this up. I loved Scott and Sonia and the way their relationship developed, as well as their personalities. They were awesome.
HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt: My thoughts on this are still going up chapter by chapter, so all I’ll say is that I’m delighted to finally be done with it!
Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley: I really appreciated the amount of research Talley put into the book and the distinct voices between the narrators, but ultimately I don’t have any idea what Sarah saw in Linda and I wasn’t comfortable with the romance. Linda is incredibly racist and I don’t know that she changed enough for me to be comfortable with the power dynamics in their relationship.
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman: My thoughts can be read here. In short, while I did really enjoy this, my enjoyment was hampered by two things: the fact that my expectations were wildly different from the story I got and the fact that the way the narrative introduces Aled’s demisexuality (or just treats him in general) bothers me immensely.
The Ransom of Dond by Siobhan Dowd: This is a short MG illustrated novella. I hesitate to call it sweet, since it deals with some pretty heavy topics, but… I thought the way the siblings meet and bond was so sweet. I really enjoyed it and I’m glad I picked it up.
Redshirts by John Scalzi: I am… of two minds about this. I’m not sure I feel that Scalzi quite pulled off the narrative-in-a-narrative-in-a-narrative meta commentary for me, but I did quite enjot the ride and the characters. I had a lot of fun with this. I wanted to read a chapter to see how I’d like it and stayed up late to finish it.
Rift Riders by Becca Lusher: Now I have to wait until the 17th for book 3! T_T This is very different in tone to the first book, but if you’ve enjoyed the world and the characters, you’ll probably enjoy the change of pace. Just be warned that when I say “change of pace”, I mean “this book is not ‘high adventurer is stuck in fantasy Regency-romancelandia and must escape to her true calling’ but ‘Becca, this death toll and level of world-stage tragedy usually happens prior to book 1 or like somewhere around book 4, stop killing everyone, please at least LEAVE THE DOGS ALONE OKAY'” so just… be warned of that. It is a thing.
Sky and Dew by Holly Heisey: This is a short story that I’ve been meaning to read for… ages now. I finally did! I’d forgotten what it was about, but I really enjoyed the way it was written and the world-building. Again, I’d have liked to see a little more of it, but it wouldn’t have suited this story.
Wintersong by S. Jae Jones: I picked this up because I kept seeing it discussed as heavily inspired by Labyrinth, one of my favourite films ever, and… It is. Very much so. Which means that I actually found parts of the book jarring with the way they called back to the film. It’s also very, very different and I enjoyed reading a lot until… right up the end, which was unsatisfying to the extreme. I’ve since seen Jones talk about a sequel on Twitter, so I’m hoping that there really will be one. I’d have been fine with the ending if the book had been advertised to me as the first in a series/duology. Anyway, if you enjoyed Labyrinth, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy this, especially if you like your Western-European-based fantasy to draw on the folklore rather than Victorian-era sanitisation. (Yes, I know. It’s Germanic folklore, but the timeframe is the same.)
Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd: I think I’m only a chapter or so into this! So I don’t really have too much to say, except that it seems to be shaping up into a story I’ll enjoy a lot.
City of Strife by Claudie Arseneault: I’m such a slow reader! I’m sorry, Claudie! T_T But this is otherwise absolutely glorious so far. It’s epic fantasy political intrigue featuring loads of ace-spec and aro-spec main characters. I was a little thrown in the earlier chapters because I wasn’t expecting halflings – I’ll forever associate them with D&D – but I’ve adjusted now. I’m really curious to see how the story is going to be shaping up. I love the characters so far. (Well, most of them. There’s a couple of mages I’m not fond of.) Really need to read more. 😀
Torment: Tides of Numenera: Ah, cRPGs. How I love them. This one is a spiritual successor to Planescape Torment, which I’ve never finished. This one sucked me in and kept me up way too late so far. I’m really enjoying it. I hope I’m not anywhere near the end yet, though.
Nope. I’ve been without a tv for the whole month, so… Nothing. It was glorious!