Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hedgie's Must Reads: October 2013

We are headed into the month before Christmas! Hedgie and I are both very excited about it, though Hedgie would rather the weather wasn't so cold and blustery. However, October's weather made for excellent reading time, and we spent our days curled up in the reading chair. Most of October's reads were nothing special, albeit mostly enjoyable. But there were a few gems, especially with the new releases. These are Hedgie's and my favorites:

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger (4/5)
The first in a planned series, Etiquette & Espionage was not entirely what I was expecting. Quirky - yes. Steampunk - yes. Thoroughly wonderful characters and an amazingly engaging world - no. I honestly expected this book to be mediocre; enjoyable, but nothing special. Two paragraphs in, and I was hooked. I loved it! The quirkiness, the writing style, the characters, the plot, the world - everything. It was amazing! The plot was a little slow, but that's mainly due to lots of world building and I expect the plot to pick up in later installments. Girl-read, fourteen-and-up, great for steampunk and Victorian novel fans!

Russian Roulette by Anthony Horowitz (4/5)
The final book in the Alex Rider series, this one tells the story of world-class assassin Yassen Gregorovich; how he went from an innocent boy in a poor Russian village to Scorpia's most ruthless killer. Yassen is my most favorite character in the entire series, so I really loved reading his backstory. It was emotional and fascinating and made me love his character all the more. It was also really fun to meet future characters and see them through his eyes, especially Alex's father John Rider. Alex Rider fans will find this prequel/companion novel perfect for their tastes; filled with classic action and creepy villains. Ages fourteen-and-up.

The House of Hades by Rick Riordan (3/5)
The fourth book in The Heroes of Olympus series, The House of Hades is Riordan's darkest and most emotional book yet. While there's still plenty of moments of humor to lighten the mood, the chapters told from Annabeth and Percy's point of view were emotionally exhausting, and towards the end I wasn't sure I could take any more heartbreak. While I loved this book, it was just too much, and the twist with Nico di Angelo had me furious. Rick Riordan fans won't be disappointed, but this is a read that requires tissues, tons of chocolate, a snuggly blanket, and a hot drink.

Born of Illusion by Teri Brown (4/5)
The first book in a planned series, Born of Illusion was a lot better than I was expecting. Having read several mixed reviews, I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about it myself. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find Anna Van Housen to be a thoroughly level-headed and intelligent protagonist, and the two boys of the story - Cole and Owen - rather likable. The plot was intriguing, if not a little slow, but the world building kept me from noticing it. I love the era and I love reading about magicians and illusionists and mediums. The narration is in present-tense, but it suited the book remarkably well. Girl-read, great for fans of historical fiction with a flair of supernatural mystery to it.

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