December Rewind

December was a pretty good month, six books in the bag. Finished a challenge, read some amazing books. I’m pretty happy with it, let’s go for it.

The Hero’s Guide’s to Storming the Castle by Christopher Healy
It was amazing. The princes are amazing, the princesses are completely badass. This is the second book in the League of Princes trilogy. The princes are shanghaied by Briar Rose to find a sword that was stolen from Liam’s family. Briar has an evil plan to take over the world and the princes need to get the sword back and somehow keep it out of Briar’s hands. Meanwhile there is funny-ness and jokes, and the slapstick is hilarious. The princes are surprisingly good at being heroes, and at the same time they are awful at it. I like seeing Fredrick coming into his own and being a sort of badass. He tries, bless him. It’s hilarious. Healy is an amazing writer, and I think the book would work well for both boys and girls, the princes are cool and interesting, and silly, the princesses are amazing and cool. And I can’t wait for the next one.

We, the Drowned by Carsten Jensen
I read this over like ten days and at times I got annoyed, not because of the book, really, it was my fault. I had put it off and therefore, because of an A-Z challenge, I had to read it and couldn’t read anything else, and yeah. Anyway. We, the Drowned is a book set in Marstal in Denmark, sort of, from about 1845 to 1945. Marstal is a town based around the shipping industry. The men go out to sea when they are about 14, and some of them come home, and others don’t. The town is pretty much a town of women and children, and they are used to it. Yes. The story loosely follows the Madsen family. It starts with Laurids Madsen in the 1840s, who has lucky boots and they get him through a war, I can’t actually remember which war. He then signs on a ship after the war and disappears. His son, Albert Madsen, refuses to believe he’s dead so he signs on and follows him. The book chronicles his life, when he’s a shipping magnate and the First World War makes Marstal rich. Then after Albert dies and his lover’s son, who sees Albert as a sort of grandfather who goes to sea after his mother tries to refuse him, and he fights on the side of the Allies in the Second World War. It’s so dense, and so full of little interwoven stories and pasts that haunt you. It’s interesting and rich and it’s like seeing the history of Denmark, and to a certain extent Scandinavia as a whole, through the men who went out to sea and the women they left behind and I really liked it. Carsten Jensen is an amazing storyteller, he’s impressive.

Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst
This is probably one of the funnier books I read this year. It’s also my favourite vampire book I’ve read in a long time. A lot of the book’s appeal is Pearl, the main character. She is snarky, hilarious, she’s tough and she grows a lot. I like the fact that we see how much her change is bugging her. She is a vampire, a born vampire, who is out with her boyfriend, the ridiculously named Jadrien, one night, and she is stabbed by a unicorn, and afterwards she can walk out in sunlight, awesome, now she can find little teenage snacks for the vampire king. Slight hitch: Pearl starts to actually like the kids she meets, she starts to like people, oh the horror. I like the characters, the vampires are exactly insane and ruthless enough. The unicorn aspect is high-larious. I feel like Pearl a bit when she figured out the reason, but that would be spoiler-heavy, but it was just so good. It was so anti-twilight, the vampires are cold, calculated geniuses, who have found out how to work the 21st century to their advantage. Bravo Miss Durst.

Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
All the things, oh my God. I think when I read the first one I described it as Supernatural in book form. And the second book is equally Supernatural-y. And it is amazing. I realize it was a while since I read the first one, because I was a bit confused, but you know, I remembered the bigger plot points, sort of. In the previous book Cas Lowood is a ghost hunter who moved to Thunder Bay to get rid of the ghost of Anna Korlov, or Anna Dressed in Blood, and he fell in love with her instead. Anna went through to the other side to save Cas, and now she’s in Hell. She starts haunting Cas, and he decides to get her out. And yeah, it’s awesomeness. Anyway. The book is cool, we’re introduced to creepy English dudes, which always helps. Carmel and Thomas are there, and they are even better, Carmel is just no nonsense. Also, Kendare, I realize your name is a bit… interesting, but don’t make the names so so stupid. Carmel? Really? And Jestine? Is that a name? I think it probably is, but why you make the girls have silly names? It just bugged me. I realize Cas’ name is Theseus Cassio Lowood, but I don’t mind his name for some reason. Anyway, rant over. The books are awesomesauce. I sort of got annoyed that this was the last book, I want to know more about the creepy English guys and how Cas lives his life post this. Kendare is a great writer, there is so much good character development, and they are so true to themselves, AAH. I loved it.

Nefarious Emanuel Xavier
It’s hard to find authors who begin with X. I’m glad I found this dude though. I don’t read enough poetry, I’ve discovered. He writes sort of epic poetry, how else to describe it? He tells stories with his poems, which is really cool. He writes about being a gay Hispanic man. It’s tough and hard and it’s interesting and new, and I really liked it. It’s interesting. The book tells the story of a gay Hispanic man in his forties and the life he lives. It’s really cool. I’m not good at this, I liked this book.

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
It was okay. I expected more from it than I got. It wasn’t as exciting as I thought it would be. I realize it was probably quite revolutionary when it came out, because; time travel, and it is amazing in that sense, he is sort of prescient in that he sees the development of the world. Also he imagined TIME TRAVEL, in 1895! It was just a bit sort of boring. It’s about a man, referred to as the Time Traveller, by an unnamed narrator. He presents his invention, a time machine, to a bunch of stuffy scientists, and then tells them the story of travelling to the year 802,701 A.D. where he meets the peaceful and vegetarian Eloi. They basically just hang around doing nothing to their slowly deteriorating buildings. They’re small, childlike adults. He tries communicating with them, but he struggles. When he goes back to his time machine he discovers it’s missing, and he discovers the other race, the Morlocks, who live under ground, and scare the Eloi. And the book is him telling the story of him trying to find his time machine again so he can go home. It’s interesting to see how the world falls apart, and people dying out, and it’s interesting to see how he reacts to this new world, but it was a bit boring. Sorry H.G. it’s interesting, bit dull.