Another month has come and gone, and it’s time to share the books I especially enjoyed.
Let’s begin with Janice Nimura’s Daughters of the Samurai, which follows the stories of three young Japanese girls, who journeyed to the United States to learn English and bring back their knowledge of English and American culture to assist in the education of Japanese girls. Nimura skillfully unfolds the narrative and does a good job of contextualizing these girls’ worlds; I was struck by the girls’ courage in the face of their obstacles and the expectations different cultures had of them. This will be a fascinating read for individuals fascinated by Japanese culture and history or are looking for a true story about strong women.
Up next is Frances Hardinge’s The Lie Tree. Faith’s family moves to an isolated island to help her father avoid a scandal. After he dies under mysterious circumstances, Faith discovers a tree that will reveal truths after being fed lies. Faith draws on her newly discovered lying abilities to find lies to feed the tree, what will it cost? Hardinge has woven a fascinating world and unfolds the plot at a contemplative pace that will draw readers in. Faith is an interesting character who finds her true desires at odd with what society dictates of her.
The Immortals by Jordanna Max Brodsky is an exciting tale of Greek Gods set in modern day New York. When Selene DeSilva, aka the Huntress Aremis, finds a dead woman in hte park, she sets out on a hunt to track down the culprits. She is reluctantly aided on her hunt by Theo, a local classics professor, and, together, they unravel the secret of the woman’s death, which has to do with an ancient ritual that has suddenly come into use once more. Brodsky has created a compelling setting that makes excellent use of classical studies and myth, and the story is engaging, with plenty of hints and twists. I am looking forward to more stories from this author. If you like Neil Gaiman, you’ll love this.
I can’t forget Morning Star, the conclusion to Pierce Brown’s Red Rising trilogy. Darrow has been beaten, but he still has allies. After these allies free him from the clutches of the Jackal, Darrow and his friends rally to bring rebellion to Mars and the Gold’s empire. The scale of worldbuilding is impressive–Brown pulls you right into the action. I also loved the emphasis on friendship in this one; although Darrow is the figurehead for the revolution, he would be unable to accomplish everything without the assistance of his friends. A most satisfying conclusion to the trilogy, indeed.
Last but not least, is Brandon Sanderson’s Calamity, the conclusion to The Reckoner’s trilogy. David and the remaining Reckoners work together to stop their former leader Prof, who has been corrupted by Epic powers. Prof has been working on something big–can David and the Reckoners save him from himself and unravel just what Calamity is? This conclusion had plenty of big reveals and actions–just as I have come to expect from Sanderson–and brings the series to a satisfying conclusion.
That’s all for now. Until next month!