Happy Halloween, bitches!!! It’s time for my October wrap-up. I know for sure I’m not finishing any more books by the end of the day, so I’ve got my total. This month I read five novels, one novella, two graphic novels, and one exhibit companion book. This adds up to a total of nine books finished. I’ve read a little more than that, but didn’t finish them. I hope to have them on my November or December wrap-up. But let’s not waste time on what I didn’t finish. Here are the nine books and graphic novels I finished in the month of October:
The first book I finished was Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire.
After hearing this novella hyped for over a year, I finally took the plunge and read it. And honestly? I was underwhelmed. The story follows Nancy, who has just returned from another world and is sent to a school for kids who have been through her exact situation. But suddenly, a series of murders occur on campus and Nancy finds herself in the middle of a scandal. It was a cute, well-written story with lots of diversity. However, the world-building was a little shoddy, as was the character development. There were just too many worlds and characters for this novella to breathe. Still, I’ll probably continue this series someday, especially since the next book is about Jack (she was my favorite). I recommend it to fans of classic children’s fantasy (The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, etc.). I gave this book three and a half out of five stars.
The next book I finished was An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson.
One of my most anticipated reads of the year, this story follows Isobel, a talented artist who paints portraits for faeries. When she paints sorrow in the eyes of Autumn Prince Rook, he whisks her away to his court to stand trial. But things soon take a turn in this road trip story and the two start falling in love. While the plot could’ve been threaded together better and the world-building was lacking, I love this book. If you’re interested to hear more about my mixed feelings on this book, check out my review. I recommend it to faerie lovers and people who like whimsical stories. Ultimately, I gave this song 3.75 out of five stars.
Next I finished Warcross by Marie Lu.
The first in Marie’s third original trilogy, this story follows Emika Chen, a bounty hunter of Warcross criminals. After glitching herself into the game, she is hired by creator Hideo Tanaka to join the championships in order to find a hacker who is trying to take the game down. Marie gets better and better with each series she puts out. I love the characters, the romance, and the plot. I love the moral ambiguity of the ending. I love the diversity. I love everything! If you want more of my thoughts on this book, check out my mini-review. I recommend it to people who love action-packed stories and people who are sick of the hero vs. villain dynamic. I gave this book a well-deserved five out of five stars.
After that, I finally finished Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo.
Part of a DC collaboration with YA writers, this story follows Diana as she goes on a quest to help Alia Keralis end the Warbringer line. Along the way, she learns about the mortal world and makes new friends. I had eagerly anticipated this, but I was ultimately let down. It was well-written, but I had trouble connecting with the characters and thought the big plot twist at the end didn’t fit the story. For my more in-depth thoughts, check out my mini-review. I recommend it to Wonder Woman fans. I gave this book three out of five stars.
Next I read a graphic novel called Nimona by Noelle Stevenson.
Based on Stevenson’s original web comic, this graphic novel follows Nimona as she becomes an apprentice to villain Lord Blackheart. Their goal is to expose hero Sir Goldenloin and the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics as corrupt. Along the way, Blackheart really grows to care for Nimona and Goldenloin questions his loyalties. This story was adorable, funny, and heartfelt. It was like a cartoon in book form (it reminds me most of Adventure Time). Even though it’s not quite what I expected, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. I recommend it to lovers of satire and cartoons. I gave it four out of five stars.
Then I read This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnis.
Another of my most anticipated reads of the year, this story flows Sasha Stone, a “perfect” girl who starts having memories that don’t belong to her. She soon discovers she absorbed her twin in the womb, and her life spirals out of control. The reader spends most of the book wondering how much is real and how much is in her head. Fair warning, however: Sasha is a very unlikable narrator (hell, she’s a fucking grade A sociopath) and there is some self-injury. Overall, even though it was interesting and well-written, I still vastly prefer last year’s The Female of the Species. I recommend it to anyone looking for a book with an unreliable and/or unlikable narrator. I gave this book 3.75 out of five stars.
Then I finally got to read Monstress, Vol. 2: The Blood written by Marjorie M. Liu and illustrated by Sana Takeda.
The second installment in the Monstress series, this one follows Maika as she travels to the island of Thyria to obtain answers about her past. New characters are introduced and old favorites are prominent. While I preferred the story in the first installment, I really loved learning more about Maika and Moriko’s pasts. The art was also gorgeous. I recommend it for people who like dark fantasy and antiheroes. I can’t wait for the next installment! I gave this one a full five out of five stars.
Next I read An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard.
This book was another of my most anticipated of the year, and it was not quite what I expected. The story follows Sydney, who enters the Turning in order to destroy the system of magic as her contemporaries know it. Meanwhile, magic seems to be failing. I thought Sydney would be an antihero tearing the system down from within— instead, the system was corrupt and so she was right to tear it down. Still, for all that it wasn’t what I thought it would be, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the characters (though I still don’t have a good lock on a few) and am always a slut for a magic competition. Writing-wise and thematically, this story is great for fans of V.E. Schwab’s books and Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. There were lots of twists you didn’t expect. And, while Sydney can often seem unrealistic in how good and unmatched at magic she is, things come along that prove you wrong. And that ending was devastating. Ultimately, I would recommend this book to people who like dark stories and morally gray characters. Definitely worth the read. I gave it four out of five stars.
And finally, I finished Harry Potter: A Journey Through a History of Magic by JK Rowling and the British Library.
This book is a companion to the upcoming History of Magic exhibit at the British Library. It shows how ideas of magic historically tie into and influence the world of Harry Potter, official Harry Potter art, and notes, drafts, and sketches done by JK Rowling herself during the writing process. While obviously designed for kids, it’s still a cool supplemental read for any Harry Potter fan. It made me feel really nostalgic while reading it. In the end, I gave it four out of five stars.
In addition to finishing these books and graphic novels, I also read some of The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera and Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore. I hope to have them both on a wrap-up by the end of the year.
What books have you read this month? Did you finish them all? Tell me about them in the comments!