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Thursday, August 6, 2015

July Book Wrap-Up

all cover images are from amazon.com

Hey, y'all! :)

So, 'tis time for me to write another book-related post. I've been incredibly busy, so reading hasn't exactly been happening a whole lot, but I read a few novels, including a couple I read while I was traveling over the past few weeks (see here, here, and here for details on that). And one of them may be my #1 book of the year.

Let's go ahead and get into them, shall we?

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Adieh

This book had a premise that intrigued me: A 16-year-old king who murders each new bride he takes at dawn must be stopped, so a 16-year-old lady named Shahrzad volunteers to marry him and finally serve justice against a monster...but not is all as it seems behind the palace walls.

The story is based loosely around A Thousand and One Nights, the tale that the story of "Aladdin" originated from (and yes, there is a magic carpet very briefly mentioned in this book). I really liked the world-building (especially the juxtaposition of fictional kingdoms with real-world places in the Saudi Arabia area, like Damascus), and the characters were also well-written. I liked the idea of the magic, too, but it was just so brief that I didn't really get the chance to get into it (maybe in the second book in the duology, we'll get to see more). While the romance got a little insta-lovey and felt a little far-fetched at times across the board (not just the main characters), the novel was a nice read.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis

This one has been recommended to me, recommended to me, and recommended to me some more. This was the first C. S. Lewis novel I've read since I finished the Chronicles of Narnia series years ago, and...guys...I'm recommending it to you right. now.

If you're familiar with Lewis' work, then you don't need me to tell you how incredible and thought-provoking his writing style is. The way he wrote this novel - specifically since it's written from the perspective of a demon to his demon nephew - will take some getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, it's brilliant. It's fiction with enough nonfiction elements that you can take away from it and learn from. 

Rating: Straight up 7 out of 5 stars. (It's good enough that I'm breaking my own rating scale.)

An Unwelcome Quest by Scott Meyer

Guys. I finally finished this series...well, I hope it's not the end. This series has been a fun, fun ride, and this was an equally fun addition to it. 

Our heroes - Martin, Gwen, Phillip, Britt, and the rest of the gang - have all been gallivanting as per usual, until an evil wizard named Todd - who's been stuck in a high-security prison in Florida via magic for attempting to control human bodies against their will - comes to attempt to smite them. How does he attempt to smite them? By creating an old-school RPG quest for them to explore and conquer, of course!

Writing- and character-wise, it's just as fabulous as its predecessors. Story-wise, it started to wane a little bit, mainly in pacing and in some of the shock value elements (including some language, which hasn't been in the past two books). Otherwise, I had fun reading it, and I am very, very much looking forward to a fourth book if there is one.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

What books did you read this past month?

Also, if you want to see what I'm reading now - and what I'm currently into - please check out my Goodreads!
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