The highlight of my reading month in February was easily the release of Sarah J. Mass’s second Crescent City novel, House of Sky and Breath. Of course that meant a re-read of book one, House of Earth and Blood, in preparation. Rereading a novel is like visiting an old friend, and all of Maas’s books have become dear friends to me. I timed my reading to coincide with the February 15 release, finishing one book just in time to start the next. I was not disappointed. I lost sleep and left household chores undone while reading HoS&B, but with a SJM novel, that’s no surprise. HoS&B is continuation of Hunt and Bryce’s story as they struggle to create a normal happy life together. But happy lives in a Maas series are hard earned. The book fleshes out some of the characters from HoE&B that I was aching to know better and introduces a few intriguing new ones. I loved the growing camaraderie between unexpected characters as their abrasive edges take a back seat to a common cause. HoS&B seriously raises stakes that were already astoundingly high forging dangerous alliances and forcing desperate actions. Because Crescent City is an adult series, the sex sizzles, and there’s plenty of it. Before I started HoS&B I had another book lined up from the TBR pile to plunge into. Book bereavement is always worse when you binged a new novel the first few days after release and then have to wait a whole year for the next one. Always be prepared. Just saying.
While I was expecting the cliffhanger ending, what I wasn’t expecting was the jaw dropping twists and turns at the end, which have made me even more impatient for the next book in the series. Sarah J. Maas’s House of Sky and Breath is easily my choice for February’s read of the month.
Sadly the rest of my February reading selections were lackluster and disappointing. It pains me to say that February was a reading month characterized by the phrase, “this book had so much potential.” Because reading is a very subjective pleasure, I won’t give the names of any of the other books I read in February. If you know, check me out on Goodreads. But don’t expect scathing or snarky reviews. Not my style.
The best books allow me to forget that I’m a writer and immerse myself in the experience of reading for pure pleasure. But if the book is disappointing I can’t help donning my writer’s cap and mentally noting everything that could have made the book better. I understand that one person’s BRAVO read may be another reader’s MEH. But if I am giving a rating on Goodreads or Amazon, a novel has to be truly atrocious for me to give it three stars, in fact usually I just won’t rate the book at all if I find it that bad. I won’t even finish it. But from a writer’s point of view I reckon anyone who sticks with the writing process long enough to complete a novel deserves something for the effort. But it pays to take the time to perfect the writing craft, and that process never ends. How many books have we read by bestselling authors that could have benefitted from a good edit? That being said, while I will tell you the books I love, I will never tell you the books that I found disappointing. That means you’ll never know if I gave a book four stars because it wasn’t bad or because it just wasn’t quite worthy of five. Sorry about that. I’m just way too much of a softie.
In other book news, most of you know I read almost exclusively from my Kindle reader now. I do love my instant gratification and my portable library. But it hit me a few weeks ago that there were some books I wanted tangible copies of … just in case. That honor is reserved only for my very, very favorite, best ever reads. With that in mind, this week I treated myself to the whole nine novels of Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series. Yes, they are my favorite books ever written by my favorite author ever to write, and yes I’ve read them multiple times, and yes, yes, yes! I will read them again… and again. I just wanted those special books to be something I could actually stroke and touch and admire because Naomi Novik is a goddess, and I proudly worship at the altar of Good Books. That is all.
Happy reading, everyone. Do share any your favorite that you think I might enjoy. See you next Friday with the next instalment of Dragon Ascending.