What I read in March 2023
The Blacksmith Queen (The Scarred Earth Saga #1) by G.A. Aiken, 304p: Not what I was expecting. It caught my attention because of the strong female characters (women blacksmiths), but the writing style didn't please me. It follows the trope of the death of a ruler and then a prophecy that will point to the new heir. It has brutal and bloody battle scenes that were treated so childishly as if they were of no consequence. It uses an amusing tone for everything (even violence), and that bothered me.
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton, 507p: It's a well-crafted murder mystery. It was fun to try to figure out who was the killer. It's complicated, there are lots of moving pieces, but it all fits together in the end. There are a lot of characters, tho! I started a list, and I got to at least 30. It was hard to keep track of everything. I felt a lack of emotional connection to the characters, and the mystery itself kept me engaged. It reminded me of puzzle games, and it was a book that I loved thinking about while I was not reading it. Also, it was excellent for a Book Club session!
How to Be a Productivity Ninja: Worry Less, Achieve More and Love What You Do by Graham Allcott, 368p: Lots of good advice in this book, but it clearly uses most of the ideas from David Allen, who wrote “Getting Things Done” (which I've read more than once). So for me, there weren't too many new things added to my toolbox. It was fun because the author uses ninja references and imagery to get his point across.
Dance with the Devil (Mercenary Librarians #3) by Kit Rocha, 352p: I loved this series, I loved the characters and their positive overall mindset to try to make their dystopian futuristic reality a better world. This one was faster-paced than the second one but not overly so. It had a good rhythm, alternating between world-building, the big plot to turn down big corporations, and the characters' personal drama. The romance is not cringy, sex scenes are very well written. I would read more stories in this universe! Hopefully the author writes one more.
Life is Hard: How Philosophy Can Help Us Find Our Way by Kieran Setiya, 222p: I listened to the audiobook, and for me the beginning and the end were good, I wasn't as interested in the middle chapters. It brings some philosophical discussions about grief, happiness, hope, and the meaning of life. I enjoyed the reference to the “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams.
By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.