February. The armpit of months. The dirty sweat sock at the bottom of the laundry hamper that has been forgotten for months. The feel of cold rain seeping into your shoe. I don’t like February. By the time it comes around it has been oppressively cold for months and you just can’t take it anymore even though you know within a month or so it should start warming up but not yet. No, you are still just cold down to your bones. And miserable. And it is still getting dark so early that you feel that there really isn’t a purpose to anything and you want to stay in bed all day.
Sigh. At least it’s over now.
But onto things book related. This month I read more books than I have in any month before, ever, in my reading life. I did this in January as well but February surpassed that number with 12! I don’t know if I’m reading faster or if this COVID being stuck at home with no end in sight depression manifested itself as reading escapism in full force so far this year. Here is my reading and blogging wrap up for the month of February, 2021.
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik – This is the only book so far this year that I have given five stars to and it was a reread. This book was read as part of Books and Lala’s buzzwordathon as the February prompt was colors. Spinning Silver is a Rumpelstiltskin retelling that is absolutely magnificent. It is atmospheric with characters that are not quite lovable but you root for them at every turn. The magic elements build slowly throughout the story lending an air of mystery as well. I adore this book and highly recommend it as audio as the narrator’s voice adds just a little something extra to the atmosphere. 5/5
The Mask Falling (The Bone Season #4) by Samantha Shannon – The Mask Falling was one of my three most anticipated releases of the year and it did not disappoint. I have loved this series for years and easily found myself falling back into this dystopian world of voyants and the perilous peril our main character Paige continues to find herself in. This book takes Paige to Scion Paris and it focuses mainly on her recovery from the events of The Song Rising, her evolving relationship with Warden, and attempting to enlist the voyant underground of Paris to take down Scion. The Mask Falling is an excellent installment in the series and left me feeling all of the feels at the end. 4.5/5
Malice by Heather Walter – I received this book as an eARC, it has an official release date of April 13, 2021. Malice is a retelling/origin story of Maleficent and it is wonderful. You watch Alyce as a young woman discovering who she is and wanting to be free of the society that both longs for her powers and is revolted by her. Her peers look down on her, those in power use her, and all she dreams of is the freedom to live her life the way she chooses. Unfortunately, we know what path she ends up going down and watching this extraordinary girl with hopes and dreams get pushed down a path she didn’t want to follow is heartbreaking but you just can’t look away. 4/5
Queen of Volts (The Shadow Game #3) by Amanda Foody – I don’t have a lot to say about this one. This book was absolute garbage and not at all what I expected or hoped for in the conclusion of this trilogy. 95% never ending dialogue and 5% everyone refusing to communicate anything important. Infuriating. 1/5
Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw – I pulled this book from my OwlCrate Unread TBR Jar in February and absolutely loved it which, honestly, I wasn’t expecting. I had read Ernshaw’s The Wicked Deep multiple times so I knew I liked her writing style but something about this one had me hesitating. I shouldn’t have. This is a story about a young woman discovering who she is, what she is capable of, and her part in her family’s history of witches. There just so happens to be a ghost, a murder, and a mystery involved but those aspects merely serve on Nora’s path to self discovery. 4/5
In the Ravenous Dark by A.M. Strickland – Truth be told, I’m still a little irked by this book. I received this as an eARC and it is set for release May 18, 2021. The concept for this book is amazing. LGBT, polyamory, death magic, an evil empire that needs to be overthrown, a sexy warrior ghost familiar…it seems like it should have it all. Unfortunately I found the writing frustrating. Nothing is ever truly fleshed out, the characters are very shallow, and the scene changes are absolutely abominable. This could have been a great book and I wanted to love it but it left a bad taste in my mouth. 2.5/5
Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars #1) by Elizabeth Lim – I don’t have a lot to say about this book. Spin the Dawn is another book on my OwlCrate backlist that I tackled this month and it was just…well, it was fine. The first half of the book held a lot of promise with mysterious magic, a forbidden love interest, and a contest where a young woman in disguise is determined to prove herself and save her family from monetary plight. The second half is just…dull. The forbidden love turns out to be not so forbidden and he is just a big, soft idiot which was irksome. As the plot progresses things also start falling apart and it is like it isn’t even the same book. Okay, but not great. 3/5
A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses #4) by Sarah J. Maas – What a trash fire this was. I was looking forward to this book so much and have absolutely loved Maas’s work in the past but this…this was just bad. The plot is so weak it could be blown over in a gentle spring breeze. This book is little more than a fae themed erotic romance that features a lot of dick sucking and a badly written abused girl-power sub plot. Biggest disappointment of the year so far. 2/5
Theirs for the Night, Forever Theirs, and Theirs Ever After by Katee Robert – Did I binge on erotic fiction at the end of the month? Yes I did. I figured after reading the terrible fae fellatio that was Silver Flames I would read something that was meant to be erotica and these books mostly filled the bill. This series is an MMF romance which also features a tried a true feature of tacky romance, a prince in disguise AND a prince who needs to win back his kingdom along with his faithful best friend/body guard. Yes. It’s sexy. Overall this was a pretty good trilogy although the third book was a bit of a let down. 3/5
Learn my Lesson (Wicked Villains #2) by Katee Robert – Why yes, I did continue on my erotic fiction romp, why do you ask? This one, however, was pretty terrible. Robert’s Wicked Villains series features a different villain in each book. Book one, which I read last year, was Jafar from Aladdin. This one features Hades and let me tell you, I love Hades fiction and in the form of erotica it is typically some hot stuff (see what I did there). However…this was so boring. Learn my Lesson is another MMF romance with Hades, Meg, and Hercules and it is not nearly as hot as one would hope. Hades was dull, Meg was stupid, and Herc had some serious daddy issues that he used dick to fill. Overall this book was just the same BDSM sex escapade on repeat with what toyed with the idea of being a plot in the background. I can’t believe I’m saying this but…there was just too much fucking. Not every conversation needs to end with dick but this trio did not get that memo. 1.5/5
Added to the Shelves
I did not add nearly as many books to my shelves this month as I did last month, thank goodness. Trying to get your owned TBR under control is a task. For every one I read I seem to add two more. Struggle.
Hall of Smoke by H.M. Long – “An epic fantasy featuring warrior priestesses and fickle gods at war.” Was this an impulse purchase? Yes. Do I regret it? No. I saw that is was a new adult epic fantasy featuring mythology and that was really all I needed to know.
The Helm of Midnight (The Five Penalties #1) by Marina Lostetter – I was lucky enough to receive this book as an eARC and I’m pretty stoked about it. One of my goals this year was to read more new adult/adult as I feel like I am moving beyond being able to enjoy YA as I once did and this adult title called to me. This book promises a legendary killer from beyond the grave with mystery, thriller, and fantasy elements. This book releases April 13, 2021 and I am very much looking forward to it.
Wings of Fury (Wings of Fury #1) by Emily R. King – This is a fantasy-mythology YA novel with some historical thrown into the mix. I was lucky enough to win a signed and personalized copy of this book from the author and, ya’ll, it is so pretty. I love Greco-Roman mythology and in this book those deities come to earth and they are brutal, especially to women, and rule with an iron fist. This book is a young woman’s struggle to get out from under that oppression and create change after years of living under men and the god’s will.
Hunger Pangs by Scott J. Moses – Hello impulse purchase! I saw this short story collection promoted on Twitter and got curious. This collection features thirteen tales of supernatural horror and everyday woe, per the blurb. The author is from Baltimore which is a place very dear to my heart and I wanted to support a Baltimore author so here we are.
I didn’t end up doing any non review posts in February because February is just another word for depression and it had me in it’s sweaty grip. But, even as I sit here and write, the sun is now shining and I can step out the front door without the cold trying to suck the life from me so things are looking up.
For March I’m going to keep my goals reasonable. I want to read 5 books, one being from my OwlCrate backlog, one an ARC awaiting attention, and then rest chosen as my mood suits me. I also want to get back to writing non-review posts and continue with my BookTube channel. I had taken a break from both this blog and BookTube because, you know, armpit month but I’m going to jump back in feet first.
If you enjoy BookTube, you can check out my channel here.
I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe. Happy March!