Dec 2020/Jan-Feb 2021 Wrap-Up

Slowly getting back into these wrap-ups. Turns out it’s helpful to look at a calendar every once in a while so you realize exactly what day/month it is. I’ve gotten a chance to read a ton of my most highly anticipated books of the first half of 2021 already, so this is probably going to be one hell of a list. I already regret having to put this many books on one list I’m going to use this as motivation to never push off wrap-ups for so long ever again.


Books Read

December

Winter’s Orbit – Everina Maxwell – 4.5/5

  • I’m not usually one for miscommunication being the main source of conflict between a couple but man Winter’s Orbit makes it work. Cute as fuck and I would die for engineering nerd Jainen.

A Desolation Called Peace – Arkady Martine – 5/5

  • Fantastic sequel to A Memory Called Empire – has everything I loved and then gives ever more. A nuanced exploration of colonization, more Mahit and Three Seagrass adventures, and an unique new take on a classic sci-fi trope

Lore and Lust – Karla Nikole – 4/5

  • Adorable Vampire meet cute, though I found the characterization a little flat. Also the author uses males/females which may turn readers off.

The Album of Dr. Moreau – Daryl Gregory – 4.5/5

  • It’s a furry boy band murder mystery novella and it works, oh so well. Some of the best character work I’ve read in a novella. Please read this.

The Mask of Mirrors by MA Carrick – 5/5

  • Sexy charismatic morally gray characters, complex worldbuilding, and a heavy emphasis on fashion. I loved every moment of this

The Magpie Lord – KJ Charles – 3/5

  • White frat boy (English noble) goes to China for a summer (12 years), comes back “totally immersed” in Chinese culture. Picked this up on a friend’s suggestion, Was alright.

A Case of Posession – KJ Charles – 3.5/5

  • White guy (english noble) that worked in Shanghai for a couple years came back and won’t stop bragging about his connections to the locals. Better than The Magpie Lord.

Flight of Magpies – KJ Charles – 4/5

  • The best of the three. The first book where I felt Crane and Stephen finally got some degree of characterization that didn’t involve around living in China

January

Briarly – Aster Glenn Gray – 3/5

  • Also alright. Characters felt kinda flat and my brain is still stuck trying to figure out how to picture a half dragon half man.

We Lie with Death – Devin Madson – 4/5

  • Fantastic sequel to We Ride the Storm. Loved getting a deeper look into the magic behind this world and whatever the fuck is wrong with Leo Villius

Ninth House – Leigh Bardugo – 4/5

  • Dark academia exploring secret societies at Yale! Loved the setting, loved the plot, was kind of meh on the MC Alex

Global University Entrance Examination – 木苏里 – 4/5

  • Power couple speed runs sequence of escape rooms of death through the power of sheer mutual hatred

Fireheart Tiger – Aliette de Bodard – 4/5

  • Not the author’s best novella, but fantastic nonetheless. An intimate, messily queer exploration of colonization through the lens of pre-Colonial Vietnam

February

The Starless Sea – Erin Morgenstern – 4/5

  • Holy worldbuilding. Story within a story within a story and I loved it all. Ending kind of lost me, but everything else was amazing

Master of One – Jaida Jones, danielle Bennett – 4.5/5

  • Really probably doesn’t deserve as high a rating as I’m giving it, but I just had so much fun reading this. Angry foul-mouthed thief x Golden fae prince.

She Who Became the Sun – Shelley Parker-Chan – 5/5

  • I’m in love. I’m actually in love. This is my favorite book of 2021, hands down. Yuan dynasty China ft. my new fav, bitchy misogynistic gay eunuch general Ouyang.

The Gilded Wolves – Roshani Chakra – 3/5

  • Loved the world fair Paris setting, loved the Abrahamic mythos-based worldbuilding. Characters felt a little flat and I was annoyed by a decision made at the very end.

A Deadly Education – Naomi Novik – 5/5

  • I’ve never binged an audiobook until now. Loved how shamelessly bitchy El was, fascinated by the gruesome worldbuilding of the scholomance, yet the tone was always light and fun.

The Councillor – EG – 3.5/5

  • I should have liked this one more than I did. Pacing was probably too slow and despite how character driven its written, I really never felt a pull to Lysande. Last 30% was solid though.

The Chosen and the Beautiful – Nghi Vo – 4/5

  • Gorgeous literary re-imaging of Gatsby with Jordan as a Vietnamese adoptee attempting to navigate American high society in the 1920s, with an extremely nuanced exploration of the intersection of racial and socioeconomic privilege.

Books in Progress

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

  • Similar vibe to The Starless Sea though this one feels more grounded. Love the feeling of wonder. About 60% in and waiting for the other shoe to drop

Thousand Autumns by Meng Xi Shi

  • Pure and selfless white lotus MC meets/is adopted by sadistic/sarcastic Evil Overlord and the two of them slowly fall in love. I’m only on chapter 3 but I can already tell this one will be a feels trip

Reviews Written

Hallow Empire – Sam Hawke – 5/5

3 thoughts on “Dec 2020/Jan-Feb 2021 Wrap-Up

  1. whatever the fuck is wrong with Leo Villius – I think we’re learning that’s just about everything
    Some great books! I put off round-ups for 3 months last year too and have been dutifully sticking to them since

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s