Monthly wrap up: February

January was a good start to the year. February let me down a little. I thought the monthly and weekly goals I was setting myself were realistic. But once I came down in a cold, gradually slipped behind and had a mini-burn-out trying to juggle everything, I realised that wasn’t the case.

I admit I gave up. I was pushing myself too hard and figured it was better to check in with myself, do what I needed and not worry about it. It’s frustrating: I hate giving up! But it was what I needed and – you know what? – that’s okay.

I’m going into March full of determination. I’m going to get myself organised: get posts planned, catch up on some reading and work towards some more realistic goals (I hope!).

For now, though, what did I read last month?

Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb

Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb

Plot: The dragon, Tintaglia, released from her wizardwood coffin, flies high over the Rain Wild River. Below her, Reyn and Selden have been left to drown, while Malta and the Satrap attempt to navigate the acid flow of the river in a decomposing boat.

Althea and Brashen are sailing the liveship Paragon into pirate waters in a last-ditch attempt to rescue the Vestrit family liveship, Vivacia, who was stolen by the pirate king, Kennit; but there is mutiny brewing amongst their ragtag crew, and in the mind of the mad ship itself.

And all the while the waters around the Vivacia are seething with giant serpents, following the liveship as she sails to her destiny . . .

Thoughts: The last in the Hobb’s fantasy trilogy, Ship of Destiny was a gripping and compelling read: story arcs came together, characters and their relationships developed and it was a satisfying finale. This is no short trilogy, but certainly worth it.

Defenders of the Dead by Jude Watson

Defenders of the Dead by Jude Watson

Plot: The Defenders of the Dead live in the past while they destroy the future. They face a revolt of the Young–a band of rebels led by two teenagers, Cerasi and Nield.

Thirteen-year-old Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn are not supposed to take sides in any war. But once Obi-Wan meets Cerasi and Nield, he feels he must join their fight…even though Qui-Gon forbids it.

The rebellion has become personal.

And Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon are on opposing sides. 

Thoughts: Yup, I needed to slip another Star Wars book in there somewhere. This wasn’t my favourite: I don’t like it when the characters are divided, so now just looking forward to a reconciliation I’m sure is coming.

Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto

Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto

Plot: I had a sister, once…

In a world ruled by fierce warrior queens, a grand empire was built upon the backs of Phoenix Riders—legendary heroes who soared through the sky on wings of fire—until a war between two sisters ripped it all apart.

I promised her the throne would not come between us.

Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan who dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider from the stories of old. After a shocking betrayal from her controlling sister, Veronyka strikes out alone to find the Riders—even if that means disguising herself as a boy to join their ranks.

But it is a fact of life that one must kill or be killed. Rule or be ruled.

Just as Veronyka finally feels like she belongs, her sister turns up and reveals a tangled web of lies between them that will change everything. And meanwhile, the new empire has learned of the Riders’ return and intends to destroy them once and for all.

Sometimes the title of queen is given. Sometimes it must be taken.

Thoughts: Finally! I don’t know how long this has been an eagerly anticipated read, but I finally got around to it. And it didn’t disappoint – I love the magic, the characters and the intrigue the plot creates from the beginning. Definitely the book of the month for me.

The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver

The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver

Plot: “You have been abandoned.”

A young woman has gone missing in Silicon Valley and her father has hired Colter Shaw to find her. The son of a survivalist family, Shaw is an expert tracker. Now he makes a living as a “reward seeker,” traveling the country to help police solve crimes and private citizens locate missing persons. But what seems a simple investigation quickly thrusts him into the dark heart of America’s tech hub and the cutthroat billion-dollar video-gaming industry.

“Escape if you can.”

When another victim is kidnapped, the clues point to one video game with a troubled past–The Whispering Man. In that game, the player has to survive after being abandoned in an inhospitable setting with five random objects. Is a madman bringing the game to life?

“Or die with dignity.”

Shaw finds himself caught in a cat-and-mouse game, risking his own life to save the victims even as he pursues the kidnapper across both Silicon Valley and the dark ‘net. Encountering eccentric game designers, trigger-happy gamers and ruthless tech titans, he soon learns that he isn’t the only one on the hunt: someone is on his trail and closing fast.

Thoughts: My first Deaver book and I enjoyed it. A plot that keeps you guessing and likeable characters meant this was a mystery/thriller that kept me gripped throughout. It also had an interesting narration by starting at the end of the book. Highly enjoyable.

The Girl You Gave Away by Jess Ryder

The Girl You Gave Away by Jess Ryder

Plot: All she wanted was the life they had…

It is the day of Erin’s fortieth birthday party. Pink and silver balloons drift through her garden, the platters of food are empty and the recycling is overflowing with empty wine bottles.

As Erin mingles with groups of family and friends, surrounded by love and laughter, she feels like the luckiest woman alive. She has no idea what fate has in store …

Then a little red envelope lands on the doormat and everything changes.

Inside is a birthday card from somebody she never dreamed would get in touch. Its message is a chilling reminder of the dark past that Erin has worked so hard to bury, a past that could put her precious family in terrible danger…

Thoughts: This book was my attempt to get a review out actually near publication date for once. An interesting premise that kept you gripped, with in-depth characters. There was a lack of closure/finality but I think it managed to carry it off and helped avoid any clichés.

The Ragged Blade by Christopher Ruz

The Ragged Blade by Christopher Ruz

Plot: As a young mercenary, Richard followed a mysterious Magician on a quest to steal a treasure from a demon and overthrow a king. The two men started their journey as strangers, became lovers along the way, and ended as master and loyal soldier.

Twenty years later, that kingdom is steadily falling into ruin and Richard has realized that time and power have twisted the Magician into more monster than man – children disappear nightly into his dungeons and the only things that leave are terrible creatures crafted in the shadows.

To save his own daughter, Richard flees into the desert wastes where magic boils beneath the sand and monsters walk the dunes in the shape of men. He will return to the burning heart of the desert and restore the demon’s treasure, or die in the trying.

What Richard doesn’t know is that Ana is the key to the Magician’s plans and he and his favorite monster will lay waste to the world to get her back.

Thoughts: An average book. It was enjoyable; it kept me engaged but I never got entirely swept away in it. I can’t say what didn’t work per se – it was a solid read. It just didn’t get my heart racing. Hopefully my review will shed more light when I write it.

There we have it: my month in books. There was more of a diversity of genres last month which I enjoyed and it felt good to shift some of the backlist a little more. The target for this month is to get more done by the publication dates:

How’s your month been? What have you been reading lately?

A Rambling Reviewer

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23 thoughts on “Monthly wrap up: February

  1. Sorry to hear you didn’t feel great during February, it’s really hard to stay motivated when we feel unwell. Hope you are feeling much better now and hope you have a great March! Thank you for the book recommendations too Lindsey, I love the sound of The Never Game, that sounds exactly like my kinda story! ❤ xx

    Bexa |

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wouldn’t call that giving up! I’d say you were smart and realised you were burning yourself out, combined with feeling ill and took a step back for your own well-being. That’s better than just powering through and wearing yourself to the ground! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This looks like a good month to me, Lindsey. Apart from the cold, yuk, they’re horrible and so many sniffles going around (I won’t mention the Cvirus).
    I hope March is more of a success in your eyes. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

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