Book Reviews: April 2017

I briefly considered doing a TV review instead of book reviews for April because I’ve watched some amazing shows (Legion and Big Little Lies), but more amazing shows are coming out at the end of the month (The Handmaid’s Tale, American Gods) so maybe I’ll wait until May. In the meantime, here are the books that I read this month:

The Magicians by Lev Grossman:

This has been hailed as Harry Potter for adults, though I’d say it’s more Harry Potter meets Narnia meets Catcher in the Rye – a young man gets accepted into a magical college in upstate New York and together with his friends, explores a magical kingdom while musing about the big questions of life, universe, and everything. If you think it sounds derivative and pretentious, then you’re absolutely right. The worldbuilding is nothing new, the characters are some of the worst I have ever seen – whiny, entitled, and self-absorbed – and the story feels both rushed and dragging. I was mildly curious about the TV adaptation, of which I’ve heard good things, but after reading this, I don’t think I want to check it out anymore. 1/5

The Spring Tone by Kazumi Yumoto: (“Spring Organ” in the Vietnamese edition)

I’ve loved the first two book by Kazumi Yumoto, Summer Garden (“The Friend” in English) and Autumn of the Poplar (“The Letters” in English), so I decided to check this out as well. Unfortunately, I was disappointed with this. It explores the same coming-of-age theme as the other two books, but the characters are not as memorable and the conflict feels weak. 1/5

Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo:

I’m putting these two together because they’re really one story split into two books. Out of all the YA series I’ve read over the years, the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo is one of my favorites, so I was quite excited to check out these books. They’re set in the same world as the Grisha trilogy, but while the trilogy is kind of standard YA fare – a “chosen one”, a grand good vs. evil battle, that sort of thing – these two books are on a refreshingly smaller scale.

They’re about a group of young criminals in a city (clearly based on Amsterdam) with the impossible task of breaking into a maximum security prison and rescue a scientist with an important secret (“Six of Crows”) and what happens after that (I can’t reveal the plot of “Crooked Kingdom” without spoiling the first one, so you just have to bear with me.) Basically, it’s a crime thriller/heist story with magical elements. It’s what The Bone Season series could have been. I really enjoyed these. They’re fast-paced, the world is well crafted, and the characters are colorful and sympathetic. I like Six of Crows a bit more, but then again the first one is always better, isn’t it? 4.5/5

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4 Comments on “Book Reviews: April 2017”

  1. Kezzie says:

    Oooh, I love the sound of the last two, even though I’m not that into YA! The first one sounds fab! I do get cross occasionally reading books where the characters are like those you describe!x

    • Salazar says:

      Yeah, definitely check them out. There are some sappy YA romances in there that get on my nerves a bit, but the story itself is quite good, and the characters are sort of morally gray, which is always interesting.

  2. […] to go! Hope you got yours! And be sure to check out Salazar’s and Kezzie’s respective blogs (14 Shades of Grey and Kezzie AG) to see what books they have been reading lately. Our book club is growing!!! […]

  3. Jessica says:

    I am so glad to hear that you disliked The Magicians as much as I did! It was just awful, and whenever I see the book I just cringe. I cannot bring myself to watch the show, I just want it all to go away. My book club really liked Six of Crows but I didn’t get a copy in time to read with them. I need to remember to put it back on my list!


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