A “Top Books” has been long overdue; I apologize for the radio silence. Let’s get right into the books!
The Rose Society (Lu): I believe I have talked about Marie Lu’s Young Elites on this blog before; I have been waiting for its sequel for awhile. In The Rose Society, Adelina forms her own group of allies to pursue her plans for revenge against the Dagger Society and to take the throne and punish the Inquisitors who hurt her. When I finished reading this book, I wrote on Goodreads “gut-wrenchingly awesome”; I still stand by this statement. Adelina is a sympathetic, well-portrayed character, and it is heartbreaking to watch her descend into darkness If you haven’t started reading The Young Elites, you should.
The Heart Goes Last (Atwood): Atwood plays with the concept of safety and personal freedom in her newest book. After an economic crisis hits, Charmaine and Stan start living out of their car in an increasingly unsafe world. When they hear about Positron–a contained complex where members live in houses one month and prison the next. In the meantime, everything is provided for, and they are safe. However, things rapidly become complicated when Stan and Charmaine become involved with their house’s alternates. Margaret Atwood’s work is hit or miss with me, but I really enjoyed this unsettling tale.
Shadows of Self (Sanderson): I really love Sanderson’s Mistborn series, and I was thrilled to get my hands on Shadows of Self. Wax is serving as an assistant investigator for the local police force; meanwhile a kandra (shapeshifter who takes on the form of another) has gone mad and is trying to overthrow the government. I loved the continual application of aspects of Sanderson’s setting, and the plot was equal parts exciting, humorous, and sad. I can’t wait for the next one.
Lion of Rora (C. Gage, R. Gage, and Lewis): In the early 17th century, the Waldensians (a minor Protestant religious group deemed heretical) struggle to survive in the area near the French-Swiss Alps, under the Duke of Savoy’s reluctant tolerance. When farmer Joshua Janavael stands up to a representative who tries to bully a grieving family, he ignites and leads a war of rebellion. Based on real events, this graphic novel delivers a compelling, action-packed story about a little known underdog. The creators do a great job of working together to portray this fascinating and little-known historical event. Definitely check this out.
Low: The Delirium of Hope (Remender and Tocchini): Humankind has retreated beneath the surface of the ocean. However, time is running out to find a new home because the radiation is finally starting to reach the ocean. After her family is destroyed, Stehl sets out on a suicide mission to find a new place for mankind. I found this graphic novel by chance, and I’m so glad I read it. The setting is compelling, and the world is portrayed in gorgeous color illustrations; Stehl’s eternal optimism is great and well-portrayed; even though she could (and does) get called delusional, she works to make her dreams happen.
Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning (Snyder): In Black Earth, historian Timothy Snyder argues that usual narrative around the Holocaust (one that usually focuses on the mechanical systematization of murder) leads us to miss important language; his argument centers on the collapse of statehood in Eastern Europe–a factor which he claims set the stage for the Holocaust. Snyder writes well: he presents his argument in an accessible narrative fashion and backs up his claims well. The topic is a heavy one, and, as a result, I took my time with this book However, it is a fascinating and worthwhile read.
That’s all folks! Catch you next time!