Reading Roundup, July, Part 2

Clawing my way out of the slump continues apace. I made a collection in my Audible library of all the books I’ve been intending to get around to reading (or finishing *side-eyes the Clockwork Boys duology that I was almost done with last year*).

I’m also trying to actually read my library books. I finished Fourth Wing, found it pretty meh, unsurprisingly.

Audiobook cover of Ocean’s Echo by Everina Maxwell

Somewhat less surprising but equally disappointing was Ocean’s Echo. It got really good about halfway through but then the end just kind of…fizzled out. You just cannot drag out that level of slow burn and then leave it on the literary equivalent of unread. The emotional catharsis of Tennal and Surit coming back together at the very end just wasn’t there. Tennal is still going to be gone for six months, extremely far away, and we only have the suggestion of Surit starting up a new career. Nothing about the fallout of all the literal galaxy-spanning political issues. No future implications about the dissolution of their sync, which I would expect to have some serious neurological consequences. On the one hand I’m really glad Maxwell didn’t go down the whole ‘super romantic mental bond’ thing that’s so annoyingly popular with certain romance readers/writers, but at the same time I’d like to see a literarily competent writer showing how that would work between two people. It’s not something that happens often; the trope usually has the bonded pair finding a deep emotional connection without bothering to go into things like the lack of privacy such bonds would create, or what it would be like to know intimately every time your partner is annoyed, angry, disgusted, etc with you. (Admittedly that wouldn’t have worked with the nature of these syncs anyway, which is part of what made the idea so interesting to me.)

On the other hand, they didn’t seem to gain any real emotional intimacy from the experience either, which only exacerbated the lack of emotional impact in the way she chose to end their story. So unless she writes a sequel in which she illustrates how they end up building their life together, I will continue to view this as a good story with a disappointing ending.

Audiobook cover for Unknown by Jordan L Hawk
The third volume of Jordan L Hawk’s Rath and Rune series came out early in audio last month, and it was every bit as good as the previous two installments.

Audiobook cover for Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, The Complete Collection

I’ve been slowly making my way through the complete collection of Hercule Poirot short stories. I’ve also been watching the BBC Poirot series with my mother, and it’s been interesting seeing all the differences they made from story to tv adaptation. I’ve almost finished the audiobook, after months (it’s a whopping 35 hours)

I’ve just acquired the Complete Miss Marple Stories in the latest Audible deals, looking forward to that when I’ve finally finished the last hour or so I’ve got left of Poirot.

I finished the first four books of the Amelia Peabody Mysteries too, but unfortunately the library did not have book five in ebook, so I have to wait for inter-library loan to read it. Sigh.

Everything else from the end of July and beginning of March is a reread. After finishing Unknown, I to reread some of Hawk’s older stuff, so I read  The Thirteenth Hex, Hexbreaker, and Hexmaker. And I had a mental heath blip at the end of July so I reread KL Noone’s Kitten and Witch novellas, which are short and sweet. (I really hope she gets the third volume out soon, I want to read that so bad.) then I was scrolling through my Audible library, deleting books I’ve already finished to make room on my phone, and decided to listen to Rhys Ford’s Murder and Mayhem series again. That another series I’d  really like to finish. The author had some severe health issues that stalled the progress of the third book. She’s slowly get back to writing so I’m quietly rooting for her continued health.

Up next on my Audible playlist (as chosen by the Random Number Generator) is Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall, which will be a relisten before finally getting to Husband Material. I’ve also got three library books through Libby out just now: The Sunbearer Trials by Aidan Thomas; The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea, by Maggie Tokuda-Hall; and The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches, by Sangu Mandanna, which was recced by a friend.