My Reading Month May 2015

May was not necessarily a great reading month, but it was OK. I have read three books and also listened to 3 audiobooks. So, at least I enjoyed six different stories, which is not bad. I really should add my audiobooks to my goodreads challenge. Than I would be ahead of things instead of behind. But let’s get started.

Crown of Embers

Rae Carson – The Crown of Embers

My first read this month was The Crown of Embers, which was the second book in The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy. It was a really enjoyable and fast read, with a likeable yet occasionally short-sighted protagonist, loveable side characters, a lovely word creation and a lot of action right from the start. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Katharina M. Mylius – Bloody Rosemary: Ein Oxford-Krimi

This cozy crime novel was written by a German author and is set in Oxford. The book is Christie-esque, the characters normal and capable to investigate and have a life, the murder mystery was interesting but not gruesome, and there was a lot of intertextual references to other books from the same publisher. Fun and light read.

Touch of Frost Bloody Rosemary

Jennifer Estep – Touch of Frost

I really thought, I am not into the whole special school for special creatures/being kind of thing and I was wrong. Gwen Frost attends a school where the descendants of many historical and mythical people go to school: Vikings, Valkyries, Amazons, Spartans and many more. She doesn’t fit in with her Gypsy gift, she has no friends and then a girl gets killed and her entire world turns upside down. I enjoyed the setting, the story was fast, and the characters likeable.

Audiobooks:

Maggie Stiefvater – Rot wie das Meer/ The Scorpio Races

I have read The Scorpio Races a while ago and I really enjoyed it. And I also enjoyed the audiobook version of it, too. The story is interesting and fantastic yet real and very character driven. I liked both Sean and Puck, I enjoyed the writing which lulled me and drew me in. Still one of my favorites. Maybe because it is a quiet book.

Andrea Sawatzki – Von Erholung war nie die Rede

The second book by this German author follows the Buntschuh family on their vacation where everything seems to get out of control really fast. Annoying mothers and mother-in-laws, even more annoying brothers and sister-in-laws and an even sometimes annoying main protagonist. This time the point of views vary between different characters. It was good and entertaining.

Maggie Stiefvater – Wen der Rabe ruft/ The Raven Boys

The second book by Maggie Stiefvater that I listened to this month was the Raven Boys. It was good book, following Blue, who can connect to ghosts and stuff, and four boys who are looking for an old dude from Wales. I know I should remember more, but I don’t. It was good and interesting, but apparently not so great that I remember. It also had to do with Gypsy things and a ghost and three very different boys and there was murder involved. Again, it was good.

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My Reading Month May

This reading month has been a little slow. Although I have read quite a few pages, I look at the number of books and I am a little disappointed. But at the end of the day there are not enough hours to read or I am simply not always in the mood. Anyway. The three books I have read this month, I enjoyed thoroughly.

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Maggie Stiefvater – The Scorpio Races

I am absolutely on love with this book. But when someone asks me why, I cannot formulate a coherent and logical sentence. The book is a little paradoxon for me. It is a fast paced story that is also quite slow in its narration, but never to slow to be bored.

The story lives from its characters and their development, their relation to the island they live on, their reasons for taking part in the Scorpio Races (the often bloody and deadly race on bloodthirsty water horses) and their relation to their horses (water horse or “normal” horse). Yet at the same time the practice and the race are so action packed that my heart occasionally stopped beating.

The book is fantastic and shed light on the mythology of water horses that is not necessarily common knowledge but sure deserves the attention. I enjoyed this read and ride immensely.

Michael Grant – Gone

Gone is also an interesting and exiting read. It deals with a group of children and youth who have to live in a world without parents and anyone older than 14. With a blink of an eye they disappear and the ones remaining are confronted with the challenges of survival, growing supernatural powers, mutating animals and “something else out there”.

Although I enjoyed the book I personally cannot say what the book really is. Is it science fiction, fantasy or a dystopia . I would categorize as somewhat of a speculative fiction which could be really everything and nothing. It reminds me a little bit of Stephen King and though I am not a fan of his writings, I like Michael Grant’s version. Many will claim that this is not Stephen King like and I do not claim it is or to know King’s complete writings. But it somehow reminds me of him.

I enjoyed Grant’s novel and am looking forward to read further installments in this series as it is interesting as well as shocking when looking at the development within the remaining society. I sure have to know why everyone disappeared, why there is a wall, why animals are mutating and what the “other” out in the desert is.

Christine and Christopher Russell – The Warrior Sheep Go West

The second installment in the Warrior Sheep series is as much fun as the first one. Again the five rare breeds of Eppingham farm are on their way to save all sheepdom and do as the holy ram Aries bids.

Brought to America to serve as experiments for a mad scientist, the sheep go West to save all sheep from Red Tongue – a sheep devouring monster.

With wit and a lot of sheer luck the rare breed start their quest through the desert of the US.

This book is again a lovely and beautifully written children’s book with the loveable sheep and their owners Ida and Tod on a new adventure. Ida is again a loveable and naïve yet take charge granny who does not take orders from anyone nor stops until she has what she wants. Tod right on her heal and the sheep again caught in their own adventures.

It is an easy, breezy, and entertaining read for children and for the young at heart.

Although this month was not as reading intense as I wished all three reads were very enjoyable and entertaining reads that aloud me to escape from my own reality for a while.

Maggie Stiefvater – The Scorpio Races

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paperback
publisher: Scholastic US
published 2011
pages: 482

Book on Amazon

Blurb:

Every year, the Scorpio Races are run on the beaches if Skarmouth. Every year, the sea washes blood from the sand. To race the savage water horses can mean death, but the danger is irresistible.

When Puck enters the races to save her family, she is drawn to the mysterious Sean, the only person on the island capable of taming the beasts.

Even if they stay together, can they stay alive?

A breathtaking ride that will make you heart race.

In (Very) Short:

+ beautiful and gloomy
+ half fantasy, half coming of age centering around the myth of water horses
+ told consecutively from the perspectives of the two protagonists Puck and Sean
+ slow moving at the same time fast paced story
– I can’t pronounce the name of the water horses for the life of me

My Opinion:

Kate (Puck) Connolly and Sean Kendrick have lived on Thisby there entire life. A small little island whose biggest secret is revealed every October when the beautiful yet deadly water horses come to the shore.

Tradition dictates that each year the men on the island catch and race those horses in the Scorpio Races. Yet, the races demand a price – a bloody and deadly one.

For the first time in the history of Thisby a young woman takes part in the races and only slowly realizes how dangerous and deadly this game is. But with the help of Sean Kendrick she might just be able to survive.

I am in love with this book. The general mood of the book is rather dark and gloomy, so don’t read this when you are in a similar mood. However, this book and the mood has captured me from the very first pages. It is beautiful.

The story is wonderfully written. The mythological horses and the legend surrounding them were foreign and strange to me, but are never forced or unnatural to the story.

The narrative as well as the relationship between Sean and Puck is slow moving yet at the same time fast paced. That doesn’t mean there is not enough action. There sure is a lot.

The story itself is told from the perspectives of Puck and Sean, not repeating the narrative but subsequently telling the story. This drives the narrative forward and adds to the pace.

I still have to utter a little warning. If you are not a fan of horses and dislike the animal, this might not be the right book for you. If you don’t relate to the animals than maybe don’t pick up this novel.

Bottom Line:

I am in love with this book and the beautiful story. Although I cannot pronounce the mythological name of the water horses for the life of me, I will read this book again. Sadly it was planned as an individual book and not as part of a series. But please do pick it up and read, because it is worth it.

Rating:

rating 5