Oh, boy! February was a crazy month for reading! I discovered several new favorite authors and just thoroughly enjoyed myself. My reads ranged from hot new releases to more than ten years old . . . but they were all new to me!
Here's a quick look back at what I read. Read to the end to discover my BOOK OF THE MONTH, and to learn about the fun giveaway I'm offering to celebrate the launch of this website!
First, we have Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder. This was a book I'd been eying for YEARS now, and I'm so glad I finally settled down to read it. Yelena and Valek might possibly be my favorite couple of the month because . . . well, he's a dangerous assassin with a surprisingly artistic side, and she's his captive apprentice, proving herself more than a match for him at every turn. It's a slow-burn romance, which is my favorite kind by far! The magic and world-building was brilliant, and I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style.
Next we have The Midnight Sea by Kat Ross. This was an ebook I just happened to download because it was free . . . and WOW! Am I ever glad that I did! From the very first page/scene, the author caught my attention with her vivid world-building and action. The heroine is kick-butt and intense, but with an ache in her heart that is terribly compelling. The cast of side characters was incredible, and the PLOT TWISTS! Did not see those coming! I am so pleased I found this author and can hardly wait to read more of her work. I have the sequel downloaded and ready to go as soon as I get a chance!
My third read of the month was Caraval by Stephanie Garber. I'd seen this one ALL OVER Goodreads, and the anticipation and hype were huge. I went into it hesitantly, fearing I'd be disappointed. What I found was a romantic, mysterious, magical tale, not quite like anything else on my TBR stack! While it may not be the deepest read, it was so incredibly FUN from beginning to end, that I fell madly in love. The author has such a wonderful way with words, and I could not get enough of the world she created. I've been recommending this one to everyone!
After such a successful streak of great reads, I honestly expected very little from Sunbolt by Intisar Khanani. I mean, I thought it would be fun and all . . . but I did NOT expect it to be brilliant! This author absolutely gripped me with her world, her characters, and a plot that left me breathless and sometimes even blinking back tears. Her imagery is beautiful--never flowery, just vivid and wonderful. Perhaps some of my love for this book stems from sheer surprise. I don't know. All I know for sure is that I loved it and can hardly wait to read more by this author.
From there I stepped into the dark, strange, twisted world of Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. For the first third of this story, I didn't think I was going to like it at all. But I stuck with it, and BOY am I glad I did! The payoff in the last third was huge. Of all the books I read this month, this is the one I keep thinking back on again and again, leading me to think that maybe I actually DID like it more than the 3 star rating I gave it . . . It just wasn't what I expected. In its way, it's an addicting and beautiful read.
Sadly, after my amazing streak of incredible books, I had to hit a dud. Shadow and Bone was that dud for me. Which made me sad, because the fandom for this series is SO enthusiastic, and I really wanted to be able to join in on the love! But the heroine struck a bad chord with me from the get-go, and the other interesting elements weren't enough to salvage the book. So this was a DNF and not a contender for Book of the Month. Sorry!
Last of all, we have The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi. A truly gorgeous work of poetry in prose. I adored the setting, was swept-away by the magic and mystery! But sadly, I didn't care for the middle crisis, finding the heroine's motives strangely lacking. As a result, while I loved the first half of this book, I really struggled through the second half. Still, this author's way with words is intoxicating, and I know I'll come back for more.
Yes, it was an amazing month of reading! But in the end, there can be only one book of the month. It was a toss-up right at the end, but ultimately, I went with my gut, the book that I most thoroughly enjoyed. And that book was . . .
That's right! The book I expected to be a fill-in-the-cracks sort of read ended up shouldering its way right to the front of the pack. I am just that impressed with Intisar Khanani's world and characters and find myself SO eager to dive back into her writing.
But I will say it was a close race between this book and two others. So to celebrate the launch of my new website, I've decided to give away print copies of my three favorite reads of the month!
That's right! Along with Sunbolt, one lucky mailing list subscriber will win a paperback copy of The Midnight Sea AND a hardbound copy of Caraval! So sign up for the mailing list today. The winner will be chosen on March 6.