May In Reading

In the blink of an eye we seem to have go to may May and it’s already been really busy – not only are myself and Mel celebrating our first anniversary but we have recently set a date, booked a venue and paid a deposit for our wedding next year.

For this reason I may have been a little distracted – OK hands up a lot distracted and haven’t read at the pace I usually do, also it hasn’t helped that I have seem to have picked some quite lengthy titles 
So here is what was read this month: 

The Blade Artist hails the return of Jim Francis better known as Begbie who is quite possibly one of Welsh’s most notorious characters. It’s been a long time since the movie Trainspotting was released but Begbie was most on the most recognisable portrayed by Robert Carlye.

Jim Francis has moved on from prison and his home town and is enjoying a new life with a new family as a successful artist in the glamorous setting of California but right from the start you begin to suspect that even though his life is in a much better place Jim could potentially display some behaviour traits of his past. When he has a run in with some questionable characters and he becomes protective of his new family it gives you a measure of the man past… someone if pushed could snap at anytime. Francis receives word that his first born son has been murdered a son who he hardly knew and has been estranged from but he travels back for the funeral to pay his respects and to find out who committed such a brutal crime to one of his children.

To say events spiral out of of control as Begbie (no one dare call him Jim in his hometown) struggles to maintain control is a massive understatement although not immediate the fury and intensity that follows is immense but it’s so much more than that, one of the most wonderful and important parts of this book are the flashbacks of his early life and you finally understand just why he goes to the level he does.

Add to that the cameo’s thrown in are just nostalgia heaven – It made wince in a few parts but if this was ever a stand-alone movie I for one would be very happy.

The Crow Girl by Erik Axl Sund (Review Copy) Netgalley
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this title from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.
The Crow Girl is the pen name for Swedish duo Jerker Erikson and Hakan Alexander Sundquist and was originally published as a trilogy: Crow Girl, Hunger Fire & Pythia’s Instructions, it’s now been translated into english and been compressed into one volume which explains the 800+ pages.
Put quite simply this book is really messed up. It deals with child abuse, human trafficking, domestic violence and incest to name a few.

It starts with the discovery of a body that is mummified and covered in black sacks, it is the body of an Arabic child which gets the attention of detective superintendent Jeanette Kihlburg alongside her colleague Jens Hertig. Throw into the mix Sofia Zetterlund, a psychotherapist who works with people with multiple personality disorders – most notably a child solder from Seirra Leone and Victoria Bergman a women haunted by terrible childhood memories.

The book has a strong female character base which was really refreshing but doesn’t take away the level of disturbance that The Crow Girl enforces not only on eyes but on your mind, even as I type this I can still visualise some of the scenes as if I had only just read them.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Thirteen months ago this is probably a title that would have passed me by from a genre that I have overlooked for a long time, but when you live with someone who loves YA you can’t escape it plus I have a soft spot for Maas because whilst me and Mel were dating our first book signing together was the release of the first book in this series A Court of Thorns and Roses . I had reserved a copy of this at my local bookshop of the morning it was released and when Mel bought it home for me she told me that had sold all the other copies. An added bonus was that is was signed too.

YA has changed since I last read it – gone was the romance Maas went straight for the lust.

I was really happy that the main character Feyre isn’t the weak, starving dependent girl she once was and this is down to the amount of growth and development she gets in this book. I don’t think she will ever be Celaena Sardothien ( a character from another series Throne of Glass ) but she is getting close.

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches and is back at spring court but a huge cost. Although she now possesses the power of the high fae her heart is still human, a consequence which means she is incapable of forgetting the terrible deeds she committed to Tamlin’s people. Also, there is the small matter of her bargain with the High Lord of the night court to navigate so she can concentrate on harnessing her gifts, heal her soul and decide where her future lies…

Overall I am now warming to this series and am looking forward to where the Maas juggernaut heads next.

The Fruit of My Woman by Han Kang

If you don’t know who Han Kang is by now you really are missing out on some great work. Kang is the winner of most recent Man Booker International Prize for her novel The Vegetarian of which you can read my review here April In Reading

Since winning the prize both Kang and her translator Deborah Smith have been getting a ton of press both in print and podcast form and it was through the latter that I discovered this. The Fruit Of My Woman is a short story in which a husband discovers his wife is turning into a plant, this is a great insight in Kang’s writing style and is most certainly the catalyst that gave Kang the idea’s behind her award winning work.

It’s not something that you can tick off your Goodreads list but it’s still very enjoyable. It can be read in full here The Fruit of My Woman.

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel (Review Copy)

This book has been mentioned quite a few times on my favourite book related Podcast’s BookRiot
and has also been getting a lot of posts via various social media platforms.  The book starts with a young girl named Rose who when on her first bike ride falls into a hole in the ground, when she is rescued the fireman who rescue her discover she is laying on a large metal hand.

Seventeen years later with no answer to what the hand was doing underground, Rose now a highly trained physicist leads a team to find out the purpose and origin of the unexplainable discovery. The book then changes format and becomes a series of military based interviews where other metal body parts are discovered throughout the world and follows the journey of everyone involved to discover wether these were left by highly intelligent non humans or a secret government experiment to create the ultimate weapon of mass destruction.

I really enjoyed how the book started and was very reminiscent of The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness which is fab and I highly recommend and would have loved if the book continued in this way but with the change of format for me it changed into another type of story which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as some of the questions it asked afterwards were good because it makes you think about the book a long time after reading it but for me I would have enjoyed how the story developed without the change.

Blood Season by Claire Meadows ( Review Copy) Netgalley

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this title from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

It’s been a very long time since I picked up a poetry collection and the reason for that it’s something that has never really engaged me.  There are some works that I like but overall none have been stand alone enough to want me to pursue more. Blood Season popped up on NetGalley and I thought that something dark might do it as I have been watching Penny Dreadful and Slasher and I am enjoying them not only for the atmosphere but also the storytelling.

Unfortunately Blood Season wasn’t what I wanted it be. It didn’t go for the jugular or anywhere near a vein and if there was any darkness you would be hard pressed to find it. I don’t was dismiss poetry in future and if anybody has recommendations of a collection work or particular authors I would gladly check them out but in this instance I was almost relieved it was a short collection.

What do think of this post? Are there any titles you would read?

Comments, Suggestions and of course recommendations are always welcome.

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