Here are some more mini-reviews of recent reads. There is the start of a new series, an older standalone and, unfortunately, a DNF. This has made me consider where I stand on finishing all the books I start, or at least trying to, and I think I am coming round more to DNFing books if I’m not enjoying it. While the ending may be great, there are too many other books out there for it to be worth the slog on just a chance it might pay off. Something I will be considering more going forwards. Regardless, there are two other books here which I did finish and I did enjoy.
As ever, the way I rate is as follows:
1-Unable to Finish ; 2-Did not enjoy ; 3-Liked ; 4-Really Liked ; 5-Loved
Daughters of Nri by Reni K. Amayo (narrated by Weruche Opia) – 4/5
Twin girls, separated at birth and daughters of a Goddess, destined to face the Eze, the man who chased the gods from the world. From the very start I was brough into this book, the descriptions of the two leads perfectly encapsulated their characters and the world they lived in. I really enjoyed their separate journeys an exploration of their potential. While it was slower in build-up, this worked well in both establishing the world and the people within it. The book does feel very much like the beginning of wider epic, with the Eze as just the first obstacle, and the ending was quite rushed. The narration though was brilliant and I will certainly be continuing this series.
Fevre Dream by George R.R. Martin – 3.5/5
Most know George R.R. Martin for the A Song of Ice and Fire series, but I have recently been enjoying his standalone novels. Fevre Dream is set in the 1850s in the world of steam boats, New Orleans and the Mississipi. Abner Marsh enters into a partnership with the mysterious Joshua York to create and run the greatest Steamship, only plans are side tracks as Marsh starts to question York’s strange habits, absences and friends. Martin does a fantastic job of creating memorable characters quickly as well as building up the world they live in. I love steamboats and having them as the main setting was both entertaining and unique, then throw in the vampires and you have an intriguing story. The book did struggle a bit with the pacing side and I felt there was almost too much focus on the steamships, even if this was a key part of Marsh’s character. Still, I did enjoy reading this one and thought it was a good vampire tale.
The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls by Emilie Autumn – 1/5 (DNF)
For listeners of Emilie Autumn’s music, this book will be very familiar. It’s a book that mirrors the themes that run through her songs and her album Fight Like a Girl is based on the same story. It also touches on some autobiographical elements, following a modern day ‘Emilie’ who is hospitalised for suicide and a Victorian Emily who is locked up in an Asylum. Unfortunately, I really struggled with this book. I was intrigued at the start, but it gradually descended into a story that I just could not get into. The writing was not strong enough to handle the story being told and there were so many issues from how mental health was handled to the entitled behaviour of the main character to the treatment of all the other characters, I ended up giving up in frustration. It’s a shame as this could have been a really interesting exploration of the mental health system in America paralleled with that of the 1800s, but instead just turned into a lot of, in some cases offensive, ramblings.