Ah yes, May. The month that almost felt like it wasn’t a repeat of March 2020. Maybe we will be living in March 2020 the rest of our lives, who knows, but May almost felt different. Almost.
Despite the fact that I was very busy in May I managed to get a lot read. This past month was incredibly busy at work, I had a flurry of doctor’s appointments, my second COVID shot that knocked me down and out, my child’s last day of school, working towards selling a house…I’m tired, ya’ll. Because of all the happened this month I assumed my “books read” for the month would be 3 or 4 at the most but here we are. Let’s take a look back at May here at Literary Weaponry.
Rapture, Fallen, and Possessed (Hades Castle Trilogy) by C.N. Crawford – If found this trilogy through kindle unlimited and as I have A Thing™️ for Hades myth retellings, which this claimed to be, I gave it a shot. I can see where the inspiration came from with the Hades myth but it is very loosely drawn from. The first two books of the trilogy were pretty good with a lot of sexual tension and buildup, a good rising plot, and finally some big reveals to really suck the reader in. The last book was a big drag though with very little of interest in it. Also, this series is frequently billed as erotic fantasy and it definitely is not that. 3/5, 3/5, 2/5
A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab – For some reason I got it into my head that I was going to start rereading all of my five star reads from the past. Why? Because I felt like it and decided to start with ADSOM because I’ve been wanting to reread it for a while. I’m simple like that. Was it just as good the second time around? Eh, sort of. I still enjoyed it but felt like the plot was dragging and didn’t get as invested in Kell’s…Kell-ness this time. Is my brain shorting out? Maybe. 5/5
The Bone Shard Daughter (The Drowning Empire #1) by Andrea Stewart – This was a book I read based on a strong recommendation from Dead Good Book Reviews and I ended up really enjoying. There is a good bit of political maneuvering, some interesting magic, multiple perspectives, and a talking sea cat…demon…thing. It’s a cute sea cat rat demon thing and that is all you need to know. While this book is part of a series if you only read the first one I still feel like it wraps up relatively decently. Good adult fantasy with pain and hope and lacking romance if that is your jam. 4/5
A Vow so Bold and Deadly (Cursebreakers #3) by Brigid Kemmerer – I adored the first two books in this series. A Curse so Dark and Lonely and A Heart so Fierce and Broken were both wonderful reads and I had been very much looking forward to devouring this conclusion to the trilogy. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a let down. The characters had all sort of regressed in their development, the plot drug horribly, and most everything could have been resolved if everyone had just calmed down and had a simple conversation. Harper was overdramatic, Rhen was emo, Grey had gone soft, and Lia Mara had lost the fierce fire and intelligence that had made her interesting in the previous book. Massive let down. 2.5/5
Scavenge the Stars (Scavenge the Stars #1) by Tara Sim – I had received this book sometime in 2020 in an OwlCrate subscription box and could just kick myself for not picking it up sooner. This ya Count of Monte Cristo retelling was stellar. The characters had definite motives, their personalities were distinct and varied, the plot did not have the boring lulls that often come in huge tomes, and I remained engaged throughout the entire book. This was a great retelling and overall a great book. I’m looking forward to reading the second book in the duology soon. 4/5
We Hunt the Flames (Sands of Arawiya #1) by Hafsah Faizal – This was a reread to go along with my task of rereading all of my past 5 star reads. While last time I read a physical copy on this read through I went with an audiobook and it was fantastic. I can’t believe that more people don’t talk about this duology! There is adventure, romance, perilous peril, magic based in lore, high stakes…it has everything and is so well written. If you love fantasy that leans more into the new adult/adult realm despite being billed as a YA then I highly recommend this book. 5/5
A Dowry of Blood by S.T. Gibson – This book felt very unique. It is written as if it is the diary of one of the main characters which I can’t say is a format that I have ever felt drawn to before but it very much worked in this story. We have a female vampire, her lord and creator, and what is more or less their vampire harem. The story spans hundreds of years and does have trigger warnings for abusive relationships, blood, and violence. The end of this book is just so satisfying and the whole thing is rather short so if you think you would enjoy a more old fashioned feeling, gothic vampire story I would encourage you to pick this up. 4/5
A Lady of Rooksgrave Manor (Tempting Monsters #1) by Kathryn Moon – This is a monster erotica which I found recommended by the queen that is Katee Robert. Honestly, this story is very little plot, mostly vibes and was exactly what I was looking for in a little escapism. A woman finds herself willingly employed by a high end brothel that caters to the monsters of the world. Literal monsters. Some of those in her reverse harem include characters inspired by Jeckle & Hyde, the invisible man, a vampire, a golem, and a sphinx. There is some tension involved within the group and a bad guy trying to do bad guy things but mostly it is just a big ole sexy time. 3/5
A Touch of Malice (Hades and Persephone #3) by Scarlett St. Clair – When I read the first two books in their series I absolutely loved them and this title was on my most anticipated list for the year. In case I haven’t said it enough on this blog over the years, I adore Hades inspired stories and this series is one of the better ones that I’ve found. Unfortunately, this installment was a bit of a let down. The main female character regresses massively in her development, Hades looses his edge, and the entire plot grinds to a halt until the last fifty pages of the book or so. I’ll stick pick up the next book in the series because St Clair has proven she can write well but this just wasn’t a great book. 2/5
Added to the Shelves
Most months I keep a rather meticulous list of the books I’ve purchased or preordered and in May, sadly, I didn’t. So, we are going to wing this list and hopefully I get it some semblance of correct.
- The Lights of Prague by Nicole Jarvis
- The Ones Were Meant to Find by Joan He
- Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
- Ariadne by Jennifer Saint
I do not include books I read or downloaded through kindle unlimited in my monthly haul
As a personal achievement this month I completed my 2021 Goodreads Reading Challenge!
Every year I set my goal at 52 books which I tend to accomplish some time in November. This year, well, I was a little ahead of the game. I don’t know what has come over me but I am flying through books. Sadly, I’m not loving most of what I read but the more from my TBR I get through the quicker I will get to books I do love, right? At least that is what I am telling myself. It is certainly not because I am reading for an escape from depression and anxiety…surely not.
I hope that May treated you all kindly and that you find joy in the coming month.