What I read in July 2022
It’s summer, so I focused on some light reads that were on my TBR pile. The Starlight's Shadow series was my favorite. I was a bit disappointed with “A Discovery of Witches” and “Architects of Memory”. And “Strange Love” was not exactly what I expected, but at least it had some originality.
A Discovery of Witches (All Souls #1) by Deborah Harkness, 579p: It started well, but then it seemed the story dragged on and on and on... I liked the yoga class with witches, vampires, and demons. There was a lot of world-building info dump that threw me off the plot. Some characters are vampires who lived for centuries, so there was too much background story delivered all at once. I can see it was well researched, mentioning old editions of Bibles, the works of Galileo, Isaac Newton and Darwin, for example. The writing just didn't flow well for me, I wasn't invested enough in the characters to want to follow them through the next two books.
Architects of Memory (The Memory War #1) by Karen Osborne, 336p: It started okay but then some ideas felt underdeveloped and it was not clear how the alien technology worked and what was really going on with the characters' hallucinations. The writing style didn't attract me too much and I thought there was the overuse of metaphors to describe things. I was confused by some terms used to name objects, sometimes I found there was not enough context to understand what that object was. The ending was very abrupt and to be honest, I still quite didn't get it. I don't feel compelled to continue reading the next book.
Hunt the Stars (Starlight's Shadow #1) by Jessie Mihalik, 419p: Romancy sci-fi (enemies to lovers trope) with nice world-building and engaging characters: a perfect summer read. Humans and Valoffs (old-time enemies) managing to work together in a spaceship, sharing meals, watching TV series, cooking, cleaning and trying to be nice to each other. Valoffs are human-like aliens with telepathy and telekinesis powers. Truly enjoyed the ride, and I jumped to the next book of the series right away.
Eclipse the Moon (Starlight's Shadow #2) by Jessie Mihalik, 440p: The story continues with a different POV, focusing on the hacker Kee and the weapons specialist Varro, who is super powerful. They are on an espionage mission on a space station, so lots of hacking security cameras and stealth are happening. I had fun, another light summer read.
Strange Love (Galactic Love #1) by Ann Aguirre, 306p: “Strange” is the best word to describe this book. It’s light in tone, there’s a talking dog, and the male character is gentle and kind with none of the possessive alpha male behavior common to the alien-in-search-of-a-mate romance trope. The plot revolves around this alien competition or contest (“The Hunger Games” style), in which people participate to win the right to mate in this alien world. A human female is accidentally “abducted” from Earth and ends up on a different planet where this contest is starting. Warning: sexy times were a lit bit cringy because the alien had totally different anatomy, so, yeah, very weird.
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By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.