January Rewind

This is a look back on the books I read in January. There are a lot of different books, which is cool. Cool books.

Count Karlstein by Philip Pullman
This was really fun. It’s a children’s book about a mean old man, Count Karlstein, who basically sold his soul to the devil, or in this case Zamiel, the demon huntsman. To avoid being killed he is planning to offer up his nieces; Lucy and Charlotte, but this is foiled by a maidservant, Hildi, who overhears the plan and who gets the girls out. Through some weird coincidences, a con artist, an elderly, badass teacher, a shooting competition, incompetent police, horses, evil secretaries and an honorable lawyer. The “hero” is Hildi, who just takes it upon herself to save the girls, because she’s kind and brave and she gets the whole saving-the-girls ball rolling. It’s a lot like a fairytale, and the language is sort of poetic and beautiful. I really liked it, it was fun.

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Yeah, Tiger Lily. It was amazing. I have never actually read Peter Pan, the Barrie book, my only Peter Pan experience is the Disney movie and the tidbits we see in the Johnny Depp movie, I forget the name, Finding Neverland, that’s the one. This book is about Tiger Lily from Peter Pan. I bought this book because Kayley from the YouTubes, who did a review that I will link to here. It’s about Tiger Lily’s story from before she meets Peter Pan and until after her relationship with him ends. It was beautiful, and exciting, and Tiger Lily is such a beautiful character. She just doesn’t fit in with her tribe. She isn’t a girly girl. She is tough and strong and fierce, and she is so awkward and weird. She doesn’t know how to sort of relate to people, her tribe or Peter Pan. When she meets Peter she finds a person who loves her for being this tough girl, and who needs her because she’s a girl, and she wants to be with him. And then Wendy arrives and we get to see a slightly vindictive and cruel side of Tiger Lily. She’s so tough and beautiful and I love her anyway. She’s a very believable character. This isn’t the most coherent thing I’ve ever written, but I really liked this book. It’s told by Tinker Bell, and it’s beautiful. 

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
It was so good. I loved it so much. I just bought the second book. It’s so good guys. Anyway, it’s about a young man named Locke Lamora, who runs a gang in Camorr. Unlike the other gangs in the city, his little band runs complicated cons on the nobles and the rich. They’re clever and cool, and they are good. Locke is feared, because the city refers to him as the Thorn of Camorr, but there is a more dangerous person in Camorr, who is threatening Locke as well. The world building is amazing, the character development is good. And the writing is really good. There is action all the time and the characters are brilliant. I just really liked it.

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
I’ve had this book on my shelf forever. I don’t know why I didn’t read it until this point. It’s about a girl named Chloe who suddenly starts seeing ghosts, has a freak-out, and is sent to a group home for kids with “issues.” It’s basically a home for kids who have some sort of mental issue, but who aren’t sick enough to be sent to hospital. Chloe continues to see ghosts, no matter how much the doctors thinks she’s schizophrenic or how much medication she takes. She also discovers that the other kids aren’t sick so much as gifted in their own special way. She also discovers that the doctors might not have their best interests in mind. It was quite good. There were also some surprisingly good messages against shaming and victim blaming, in just a small throw away sentence, but it was brilliant. Chloe is tough, she’s interesting and she’s strong. I really liked her. I’m going to somehow find the second book and continue the reading. Also, no weird contrived love thing for the main character, I liked it. It just wouldn’t have fit in, I imagine there will be some later in the series, but there was too much stuff going on in this one for a love story to work in it.

Hunger by Knut Hamsun
Yeah, Hunger. It’s a book more about the psychology of a man who is starving, than any action, so not a lot happens. It is basically about a man walking around Oslo without any money, starving because he can’t afford to eat. He tries to get money through writing articles, and he won’t “debase” himself to do any other jobs, as he sees himself as this unappreciated literary genius. I really liked it. It was amazing. It’s incredible to read about a man’s descent into insanity, which sounds weird, but it is pretty cool. It’s so starkly written and it’s so beautifully written and I love Hamsun. He’s really cool, or was. And yes he was a Nazi sympathizer, but you know, you can’t have everything.

by Siri Pettersen

This is a new Norwegian book that I’ve been staring at in shops for ages, because it’s so gorgeous, the cover is amazing. It’s about a girl named Hirka, who is different from all the people in her world, because she is missing something, a tail. Everyone where she lives has a tail. They are, from what I can gather, descendants of Ymir, the main jotun. They are the bad guys in Norse mythology. Hirka is brave, tough and strong and constantly trying to prove herself. She believes her tail was lost when she was little, and her inability to draw on the powers of the earth is just a quirk, then her father tells her she’s not his and he found her in the snow, she never had a tail. She’s human, from another world. She has to hide because people in her world thinks she’s rotten and will make them rot and sick. She asks her friend, Rime, who is a soldier, and royalty, for help. He decides to help her and she goes to the parliament to be tested. There is corruption, horrible things, rebellion and all kinds of awesomeness. I love Norse mythology, cause I’m a nerd, I love antiheroes, so I loved this book. I’m seriously looking forward to the next book in the series. OMG. Also the author just started following me on Goodreads and I had a minor heart attack of excitement, although I don’t know why, it’s not like I’ll ever meet her, but we’re basically friends now. I like it.

How are my resolutions going?
I’ve read two Norwegian books, so that’s good. I’m ahead there. I read 6 books, which means I’m basically on track for the amount of books I’m going to read this year. I am also completely on track, or ahead really, for my Mount TBR. I’ve read 5 books for my Mount TBR so that’s good. I have not continued on any series or read non-fiction, but look out February, I’m coming for you.