Labyrinth, a review

This 500+ page historical fantasy is one I picked up because I kept seeing the series in charity shops and eventually gave in… and then didn’t read the damn books for years. I bought this series in 2016!! Anyways, onto the review.

In this book we swap between time periods in southern France. 1209 for the historical time periods, and 2005 for the “modern” day (the book was published in 2005 so it was modern then). It did take me some time to get into this book, for the first 100 pages or so I was… struggling to care? To be blunt.

But once I got past that point, and once the timelines began to interact a bit more I was a lot more invested. I loved the little hints and nods to each era that we got, and the ending was incredibly interesting and well done.

On CAWPILE the scores I gave this averaged out at a 4 star, but on reflection a few months down the line I think that more accurately this is a 3 star read for me. Good, enjoyable, I’ll be continuing with the series as I already own them. But nothing fantastic and not one I’ll persuade people to read.

Let’s hope that the second book is better for me!

When you don’t want to read…

This month hasn’t been the one for me. I thought I would start out with the biggest book on my tbr to get it “out of the way” and instead it has just slumped me SO BAD. I’ve barely read anything at all. Nothing. Nada. Ziltch.

Weirdly, I am liking the book. I really am. It’s super interesting. And yet here I am… not reading. I think I need to “give up” on this one. I even took it on a train ride from Newcastle to Portsmouth (a solid 7/8 hours of train travel) and back, and read maybe 20 pages. So clearly I don’t want to sit down and read this at the moment. I’ve “discovered” this a little late in the month to catch up on my tbr. But at least I know!

I think I’m going to either stop reading Labyrinth all together (for now) or just read a chapter a day to keep myself in the story. So now I have…4 days to read the other 7 books on my tbr…. I don’t think I’ll be managing that this month. But I’m really going to aim for 4 of them. I know that’s a bit much, but I just really want to get back into reading! And if I don’t manage it, it’s not the end of the world.

How do you feel with big books? Do they put you into a slump? Or do they get you out of them?! Let me know!!

July 2021 TBR

As I write this I look over to my tbr stack, sat on top of my shelves. Jesus christ that thing is BIG. Wish me luck.

This month, as always, I’ve went overboard on my tbr. There’s two readathons in here, one is the Dead Famous Readalong, and one is a Jane Austen-a-long that Caitlyn from Mad Cheshire Woman showed me and oh look now I’m reading 2 Austen novels this month (god damn it woman). So let’s get into my far too big tbr.

Starting off with the Skulduggery Pleasant books, the next book for us is Death Bringer by Derek Landy. This is book 6 in the series, so we’re finishing off the second trilogy. I never clicked when I first read them that the books were split into trilogies so I’m looking forward to realising this when I read the end of this one and to seeing how this all wraps up. Then I also have The End of the World by Derek Landy which is the 2012 world book day novella which slots in here, and finally the stories from the Armageddon Outta Here collection which lay between this book and the next. A lot of Skulduggery to read! Last month I found out that I actually read through these books faster than my normal speed, at about 200 pages an hour, and that really helps to know when getting through these chonkers!

For the Jane Austen readathon I’m hoping to pick up Persuasion in a FlipBack format I have, and also Lady Susan which is included in a bind up I have of all of Austen’s works. I think Lady Susan will be my first read of the month because it’s nice and short and will get me into the swing of things. With Persuasion coming later one. I honestly haven’t even read the synopsis of these so I couldn’t tell you what they’re about!

As of writing there is one book I don’t know about. And that is my tbr jar pick. I do this live as I film my video and I haven’t filmed yet! So unless by some luck I pull out one of the 4 books I’m about to mention, I’ll be reading another book from my tbr this month too! I’ll make a little separate post once I know what that one is.

For the 4 I do know? Let’s start with the biggest which is Labyrinth by Kate Mosse which is a historical fantasy that I’ve been putting off for a solid 4 years because it’s over 700 pages long and I’m a wimp. Simple as. But this year? This month? This. Is when I’m finally getting to it (oh dear god I really hope so). We follow two different time frames, one in near modern day and one back in the 1200s, and they intersect somehow. It sounds really interesting and I have the entire trilogy on my tbr so I really should actually read one of them!

Checkmate by Malorie Blackman is up next. This is the third book in the Noughts & Crosses series which I’ve been slowly re-reading lately. If I’m remembering rightly this follows characters which telling you about would spoil the first book. So I won’t say. But it’s a fantastic series which spins the narrative with whites as the minority and Black people in power. It’s an amazing series and I’m so glad that I’m re-reading this as an adult because I’m getting so much extra from it that childhood Abi missed.

The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown by Vaseem Khan is the second book in the Baby Ganesh Detective Agency series and this is going to be such a fun read! A “cosy mystery” sort of read set in India (and written by a British Indian), I love that this takes the traditional Doyle/Christie format and moves it away from that Eurocentric setting whilst retaining the quaint charm and vague silliness of those books!

And lastly we have Prodigy by Marie Lu, the second book in the Legend series. I first read Legend years ago now, and I found it pretty good. It’s a standard YA fantasy/dystopian where you follow one person on one side and another on the other. I enjoyed the writing and somehow still remember the outline of the plot so I’m hoping that I’ll enjoy diving into this one!

And that’s it (she says after listing 9 and a bit books), that’s my July tbr! Let me know what you want to read this month. Do you have a stupidly long tbr like mine? Or do you have something slightly more achievable? Let me know!