Yesterday I posted a list of my Most Anticipated Releases for First Half of 2020 and as I pondered over those books, it got me thinking about my most anticipated books from last year. Did I read them? What did I think about them? Did the disappointment roil in my gut until I just couldn’t take it anymore and screamed my lament from the edge of a cliff?
Drama aside, I wanted to take a look back at my Most Anticipated Releases for First Half of 2019 list and see what I make of it now, a year later. During that last trip around the sun did I love my anticipated titles, hate them, or end up not reading them at all?
I thought we would start with the books I wanted to read but ended up not even starting.
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon – Lets face it, as interested as I am in this book it is going to take efforts of herculean strength for me to take the plunge and start it. I’ve mentioned it before but I’m not one of those “I like big books and I cannot lie,” kind of people. I like shorter books because my attention span is laughable.
The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War #2) by R.F. Kuang – When I read The Poppy War I absolutely adored it. The world building was magnificent, the story complex, and the characters were so very unique. However, it is a very dark story with wars, deaths, betrayal, and violence that can be hard to stomach. During 2019 I was not in the right headspace and knew that picking up this title wouldn’t be a good idea. 2019 brought a lot of changes and turmoil and I couldn’t give this book my attention until that was behind me. Hopefully I’ll be able to dive into this book this spring.
Next up are books I DNFed during 2019.
Song of the Dead (Reign of the Fallen #2) by Sarah Glenn Marsh – When this book was delivered to my doorstep I opened it almost immediately and started reading. I had very much enjoyed Reign of the Fallen and couldn’t wait to see what our characters were up to. However, the concepts I had loved in the first book were not showing up in this one. The story felt like it was going nowhere and I was nearly to the halfway point when I decided to put this down.
Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller – Levenseller’s Daughter of the Pirate King duology is one of my favorite series of all time. While I’m not terribly interested in viking themed things I was still anxious to snag this book because I had loved her first series so much! Sadly, I ended up setting this story down about a quarter of the way in. The characters didn’t grip me and the mythology of the story wasn’t enough to hold my interest which is sad because I adore mythology. I think vikings just aren’t my cup of tea.
Now for the big one, book I read in 2019.
Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber – This is the concluding novel in Garber’s Caraval trilogy. The first book was…okay. Wasn’t good, wasn’t necessary bad, but it had purple prose which I seem to be rather drawn to. The second book blew me away! Unfortunately, by the time I finished Finale I wished I had never started the series at all. The story should have concluded with the second book because this was little more than an epic trash fire that had little to do with the first two books and did not finish in a satisfying manner in the slightest.
The Kingdom of Copper (The Daevabad Trilogy #2) by S.A. Chakraborty – Chakraborty’s Daevabad Trilogy is downright majestic. Once I start reading I simply do not want to put it down. I love this book, these characters, the settings, conflict, magic system, history…they are just magnificent. If you love fantasy and haven’t picked this series up yet, what are you waiting for?
Evermore (Everless #2) by Sara Holland – It is hard to find something to say about this book. The first book in this duology was very good. It took my imagination away on a beautiful journey and ended with me itching to find out what came next. Unfortunately, what came next was a snooze fest. It did not feel well thought out, the characters did not seem true to themselves, and the ending was just disappointing.
A Dangerous Collaboration (Veronica Speedwell Mysteries #4) by Deanna Raybourn – I adore this series. Genuinely, it is one of my favorites ever. Raybourn writes characters that I can’t help but become invested in and mysteries that demand my attention. I have read this series twice now and love it even more now than the first time I read them. If you enjoy historical mysteries with highly intelligent characters and a smattering of romance throw in for seasoning then I cannot recommend this series enough.
King of Fools (The Shadow Game #2) by Amanda Foody – Was I blown away by the first book in this series? No, not particularly. It was good but not great. This second book really pulled me in, though. The story clipped along at a good pace, there was a variety of distinct characters, and the story grew and expanded as it should in the second book of a series. Overall, this was a very good read and I’m really looking forward to reading the concluding novel of the trilogy this year.
Lady Smoke (Ash Princess Trilogy #2) by Laura Sebastian – I’ll keep this one short and to the point: if I made a list of most disappointing books of 2019 this would be on it. Okay? Okay.
Overall, my most anticipated books of the first half of 2019 weren’t terrible but they didn’t all live up to expectations. But that’s okay, I think without some frustrations and let downs we wouldn’t enjoy the good reads as much. In 2020 I wish you all happy reading and good health!