Books. . . and Recent Reads

So, as I've been a bit busy (sort of - busier would probably be more correct), I haven't really had time to do any of my own illustrations (proper ones that is - doodles and sketches don't count), and seeing as I haven't added anything to this site in over half a year, I thought I would use my website for something a bit different - books that is (if the title didn't give it away). And seeing that I do read quite regularly, this will mean I'll be using this site a lot more - hopefully at least (seeing as I'm paying for this domain and all I should probably utilize it for something).

Anyway; so now to some recent reads:


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The Gracekeepers
by Kirsty Logan

A world of water, a travelling circus boat, a performing bear, a girl with webbed hands, a watery graveyard.
The Gracekeepers is basically a story about the conflict between new life and old life, future and the past, and the different ways people deal with that conflict. In a world covered in water and on a bunch of boats.

This was a quite fun read. The story is quite slowmoving at times, and there are times that the emotional content of the novel is a bit flat, so that might be an issue for some people, but I still found it mainly to be an engaging atmospheric read.

 


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The Bitterwood Bible
and Other Recountings

by Angela Slatter

Coffin-makers, badgers, pirates, lady assassin schools, vampires, book-collecting nuns and so much more.
This collection of interconnected short stories continues the world created in Slatter's earlier collection, Sourdough and Other Stories, which takes from fairy tales to tell some pretty unique and wonderful stories - all through a feminist lens.

So, Angela Slatter has quickly become one of my favourite authors. Both The Bitterwood Bible and Sourdough have been some of my favourite reads this year. There's just so much magic to her stories, and the way all her stories intertwine and weave together is amazing.


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The Black Tides of Heaven
by J.Y. Yang

and

The Red Threads of Fortune
by J.Y. Yang

Twins, giant raptors, monks, empires, prophecies, twisted mothers, schemes, rebellions, magic.
These two novellas are part of the currently ongoing Tensorate series by Singaporean author J.Y. Yang. They're sort of a mix between classic wuxia and an anime-esque pseudo-futuristic setting with magic based technology (though normal guns are a recent invention). There are overarching themes from book to book - mainly to do with the rebellion aspects - but each book is basically a standalone.

I would say these are fun, quick reads - considering there short word count - though do explore a number of topics; agency, destiny, grief, gender and sexuality, authority, etc. I personally preferred the second novel a bit more, as it covers a smaller time period and has a more focused story, so it feels less fragmented and jumpy, but both are good reads.

It's a fascinating world that could easily be explored for many more books (and probably will be), so I look forward to reading more. Also, the cover illustrations are really nice.