4. Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
This book took me an age to read, and to be honest part of me wishes I’d just given up on it. I’m not sure what it was, but I just couldn’t get into it. The characters, world, and plot were all interesting, but there was nothing particularly special, nothing that stood out and really gripped me. There were a couple of good moments, but it still feels to me like a bit of a waste of time. But I read it, I mildly enjoyed it, but I don’t feel like it’s had any kind of effect on me at all.
5. Agatha H and the Airship City by Phil Foglio and Kaja Foglio
Originally this book got three stars from me (which was already a little generous), but then I realised something – something so ridiculously annoying that I am actually getting more irritated just thinking about it – which severely affected my opinion of the book and made me lob off that original third star from the rating. The main character, Agatha, is called “Agatha Clay” on the blurb, and most of the book itself, and what I didn’t realise until after I’d finished that the very title of the book is a spoiler; “Agatha H and the Airship City”. I mean, I saw that particular twist coming a mile off, but why on earth would the author and publisher even try to call it a twist when it’s literally spoiled in the title. I thought it was so patronising and ridiculous and I’m really glad I didn’t cave and buy the other two books at the same time because trust me, I have no plans to ever continue with this series.
6. Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
I still think this one was better than the second book; my main problem with that was that the murder didn’t take place until about two hundred pages in – the guy didn’t even go missing for a hundred and fifty! Career of Evil was pretty fast paced and exciting, and I don’t remember ever feeling bored while reading it. I especially loved the development of the main characters – both Cormoran Strike himself and also Robin Ellacott (his assistant/associate who I actually like much more than Strike). Now I’m just waiting for the fourth book.
7. A Company of Swans by Eva Ibbotson
There’s a brief section where he thinks Harriet is trying to seduce him, and so gets annoyed, because he expected her not to be so wanton and predictable or whatever, and then when he realises it’s just a huge misunderstanding and Harriet is indeed a virgin and plans to stay that way, he’s overjoyed. The exact quote is “She is good he thought exultantly. I was right to feel what I felt. She is innocent and virtuous and good!” And this whole bit irritated me because it was just the opposite of what I felt the book was trying to do! ie. not be sexist. Female virginity does not equal goodness/virtue, in case you missed that memo. And also he was already revealed to have slept with a tonne of people himself, but clearly viewed these women as “worse” than virginal little Harriet, but there was obviously nothing wrong with him – a man – having lots of sex in the same way. I couldn’t believe something so sexist could just pop up in a so-far pretty feminist book, and I’m annoyed the author thought it would be at all okay.
8. The Lake House by Kate Morton
It was an absolute pleasure to read, the writing was exquisite, with wonderful turns of phrase, incredible descriptions, and interesting, complex, and truly compelling characters. Eleanor was probably my favourite, and hearing her story was both heart-warming and heart-breaking. The actual reveal to the mystery at the end was good and unexpected, but a further twist – even though I saw it coming – was simply lovely.
9. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi