One of my reading goals for 2022 is actually to slow down and take my time, instead of speeding through everything, and that’s reflected in today’s mini-roundup. Only three books, but I enjoyed them all, savored the best, and I still had time for plenty of napping and podcast-listening (Wooden Overcoats is back, y’all!) over the long weekend. It was delightful.
The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand: A cheeky, modern spin on Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, this book walks a fine line between sincerity and cynicism, right up until the moment Holly (a failed Scrooge turned Ghost of Christmas Past) finally wakes up and faces herself. There are a couple plot holes, and the book thinks its a little more clever than it is, at times, but overall, it’s a fast, fun read. There characters are wonderfully drawn, from our heroine to the smallest supporting actor, and it’s easy to believe they all have their own lives and plots going on, even when Holly isn’t around. I would love to spend more time in this world.
Daughter of the Empire (The Empire Trilogy #1) by Raymond E. Feist & Janny Wurts: This is a new favorite. If you enjoy political plotting, rich world-building, and cunning women outsmarting their oppressors, Daughter of the Empire may be for you. With her wit and tenacity, Mara quickly rose among the ranks of my favorite fictional characters, which is saying something. I fell in love fast and savored every vivid chapter. I’m looking forward to book 2 not starting it right away because I want to mull over this one a little longer.
After finishing Daughter of the Empire, my primary reading focus shifted to The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon, which I’m enjoying very much, but it’s 800 pages, so… it might take me a while. (That said, I have two weeks to read it for book club?! Wish me luck!) In the meantime, I treated myself to something quick and light(-ish) with Kristen Callihan’s Idol, the first in her VIP series, which follows the members of the famous (and infamous) rock band, Kill John. Now, rock star romances are generally Not My Thing, but I’ve enjoyed Callihan before, and one of my favorite connoisseurs of steam highly recommends the second book in the series, Managed. So, I gave Idol a shot and was not disappointed. The drama veers toward histrionic at times, but hey, they’re ARTISTS. THEY HAVE FEELINGS. It’s all soapy, sexy fun, and I liked how the story turned out, which can make all the difference in my ultimate judgment. I had a good time, and I’m already looking forward to the sequels — especially Scottie’s and Brenna’s books because those two stole the show!