Since I’d been gone for a while I thought I’d share what I’ve been reading and watching recently, and not wait till the end of the month just this time.
What I’ve been reading
I read a couple of books since I took a break but I’ll only mention the recent ones:
Lol, I just noticed the first 2 have similar surnames! I finished them surprisingly fast but that’s not to say they were 5 star reads. I actually didn’t like Caraval. I was confused a lot and felt cheated by the ending(felt a little deus ex machina). Didn’t like the kinda insta-love(‘kinda’ because you feel like they’ve known each other longer because of the fast-pacing and lots of events happening, when in reality they’ve only known each other for 2-3 days). It’s also the first time when two characters’ interactions have made me laugh instead of swoon, it felt ridiculous and like a teen’s fantasy. The writing was evocative but sometimes got a bit much. Many reviewers have complained about the purple prose. I’m not interested at all in the sequel.
Trance was ok. It wasn’t phenomenal but kept me interested throughout. The romance was medium, in terms of speed. I didn’t like how the main character felt like whenever someone else had a negative reaction it must have been something she did. Like, not everything’s about you, ok? Good grief. Especially when you could tell, if you even had an ounce of deduction skills, that whatever caused a change in a character’s behaviour was most definitely NOT due to her having her ‘episodes’. Also, the ‘unknown person’ she sees in her premonitions was so obvious, it was like the author steered the MC away from guessing just for the plotline. This one also has a sequel, and I’m fine with stopping at book one.
The Dark Vault is actually the duology combined into one copy. I was sucked in to the first book and finished it in 2 days. I was fully immersed in the story and had to take a second to re-adjust myself back into reality whenever I took a break. I think the premise, a girl tasked with the role of returning ghosts(they’re more like readable human copies of a deceased person) who’ve escaped from the library that stores them, was quite original. To add to the intrigue, there’s a serial murder cover-up and things start going awry in the other world. The setting was a little claustrophobic but there was enough mysterious things going on to keep the reader engaged. I wanted to give it 5 stars at first but, on reflection, there were a few flaws with the story(one of which I suspect is a plot hole, I’m not 100% sure) which obviously reduced the rating. I’m quite interested in the sequel, so that should say something in itself.
I decided to check out Providence by Max Barry and got sucked into it. I stayed up until morning to finish it and enjoyed it very much. It’s about four people who go out into the far reaches of the universe in an AI ship to kill aliens. It’s more character-driven than horror, and it was fun seeing events and characters through different perspectives. What I loved about this book was how it engaged your mind with new ways of seeing things and prompted you to ask questions. For a story that’s got elements we’ve seen a hundred times before it managed to subvert some of them. Although the execution was a little rough around the edges at times, it was still worth the experience.
A Castle In The Clouds by Kerstin Gier is another book that I finished in one sitting! This was a delightful contemporary romance with a dash of mystery and hints of magical realism/supernatural, set in a quaint hotel on the snowy mountains. It’s actually a German novel, and I thought the translation by Romy Fursland was done quite well, in the sense that she managed to make it sound like t was written by an English author, and conveyed the humorous bits successfully! The funny thing about this book is that although the events take place around a week or so, I thought the romance was very slow-burn. Oh, I loved the jealous moments and little fights between the two love interests(there was a love-triangle but it wasn’t so bad).
I was reading The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell and was enjoying it so far but put it on hold. It’s very fast-paced and I’m interested to see what happens. The main character has fortitude and she’s capable because she’s put in the effort to learn all that she’s been taught, although we don’t get to see her training. It’s realistic how she might not win every battle, especially if she’s up against a male, but she gives it her best shot while being uncertain of the outcome. She travels back in time to retrieve a vital artifact that can help the people with magical abilities to attain freedom from persecution, but some stuff goes wrong(duh, or else where’s the story). Each has an ‘affinity’, like how our MC can travel through time. There’s some romance and, because she’s a new variable in the past, previously set events are changing outcomes, so I’m interested to see how things pan out. And, oh guys, you can read this for FREE on RivetedLit until the end of this month!! Hehe, I should’ve mentioned that earlier, huh.
What I’m reading next
I’m thinking of re-picking up The Gilded Wolves. This was a 2019 ARC that I’d put on hold and now that I’m sort of in the mood for an alternate-history-heist-with-magic kind of story, this fits the bill. I’ve heard mixed reviews about this one and am curious as to what my readers think. Was it good or bad?
What I’ve been watching
I’ve been watching these 5 Korean dramas and 1 Chinese drama but have put them on hold, due to various reasons like not being in the mood or waiting for subtitles. I watch them on Viki for free(because I contribute a stipulated amount of subtitles). Do you ever get these phases where you’re only in the mood for one type of entertainment? Like right now, I’m only in the mood for books and Youtube.
Asian dramas tend to be a little more dramatic than their Western counterparts, but if you can look past that there are some pretty good ones that hook you right in. There’s so much to gush about most of these shows I feel like they need their own post. I’ll just list them here and you can check out more about them in the links:
- Dr.Romantic 2 – Medical Drama, Romance, Crazy Doctor
- Heartwarming and made me cry. Challenged medical ethics.
- Just Between Lovers – Real Life, Romance, Grief
- Sweet romance between a working-class woman and poor guy. Navigating PTSD(construction disaster) and survivor’s guilt.
- The K2 – Action, Politics, Romance
- Cool action scenes and hot male lead. Antagonist had depth.
- Are You Human Too? – AI, Identity Swap, Interspecies Romance, Philosophical
- Challenged human ethics. Pretty good dual-acting from male lead. Spunky female lead.
- Joy of Life – Power Struggle, Historical, Martial Art, Comedy, Romance, Bromance
- Interesting mash-up of time-travel and historical drama. Lots of humor, smart and cunning characters, and a fresh take on historical drama.
- Hotel Del Luna – Supernatural, Fantay, Mystery, Revenge, Horror, Philosophical, Found Family
- Intriguing, suspenseful and made me tear up(ugh, that scene with her past lover! I cried buckets >_<). Love the female lead, she was so cute in a feisty way! The male lead was endearing and smart, too. Made me laugh a lot as well.
There. Now we’re all caught up! And now that I’m back I have so many post ideas, I cant wait to share them and see what you guys think! I’m also pleasantly surprised by my reading streak this time, I don’t remember finishing these many for a while!
I’m curious, what are you guys reading or watching right now?