Friday, June 1, 2012

2012 May Book Roundup

It's the first of June, and you know what that means. Book Roundup! *thumbs up*

A quick primer: At the beginning of each month I do a quick review the books I read the month prior. But instead of letting myself get too wordy, each book gets a Twitter-length summary and a Twitter-length review. Genres are listed at the beginning of the reviews and my absolute favorites of the month are marked with a star ().

The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima
YA Fantasy--Seven Realms #2. Han and Raisa are both on their way to Oden's Ford, one to discover his heritage and the other to hide from her enemies. § I had problems caring about Raisa because everything Han did was far more interesting. Of course, most of the book felt like setup for later.

The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima
YA Fantasy--Seven Realms #3. Oden's Ford isn't safe anymore, and now it's time for Han to discover the truth and for Raisa to take her place as queen. § This was Raisa's book. Sure, Han's a manipulative badass, but Raisa steps up and becomes worthy of her heritage and title. Can't wait for book 4!

Ultraviolet by RJ Anderson
YA Sci-fi--Ultraviolet #1. Alison has been institutionalized after she has a frightening psychotic break and admits to murdering a fellow classmate. § Alison has synesthesia, which makes for beautiful and horrifying prose that's just fun to read. The plot line is also delightfully mysterious. 

Black Heart by Holly Black
YA Urban Fantasy--Curse Workers #3. Cassel's a lot of things, but "good" has never been one of them. Now he needs to decide between love, family, and the con. § Cassel really does have some tough choices, but I love his decisions and how he balances the truths and lies. Also, Lila is still a badass.

Wildwood by Colin Meloy
MG Fantasy--Wildwood #1. When a murder of crows from the "Impassable Wilderness" kidnap Prue's baby brother, she must explore a hidden world and save him. § This book is like a folky, American Narnia set in Portland, OR. The pacing was a little slow, but the world was delightful and and adventurous.

Habibi by Craig Thompson
Graphic Novel--The story of Dodola and Zam, two child slaves struggling to survive in a world consumed by fear, lust, and greed. Also, calligraphy and sex. § Gorgeous artwork and webs of symbolism that warrant multiple reads. Not that pleasant to read though, so definitely for mature audiences only. 

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
MG Fantasy--Inspired by her father's stories, Minli sets off an a fantastic journey to find the Old Man of the Moon and change her family's poor fortune. § Fairy tales within fairy tails! *flail* Minli is adorable and her adventure is beautifully interwoven with her society's unique folklore. 

Gate 7 Vol. 1 by CLAMP
Manga--An simple sightseeing trip to Kyoto becomes something more when Chikahito stumbles into a world of elemental magic and historical warfare. § Some interesting potential, but the story was incredibly confusing (and I'm familiar with Japanese history) and reminded me too much of xxxHolic.

Gate 7 Vol. 2 by CLAMP
Manga--Now that Chikahito lives with Hana and her companions, it's only a matter of time before he is drawn into their war over the powerful oni. § This volume was a bit better, if only because we got character development. Still a bit confusing, but I'm interested to see what happens next.

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
YA Post-apocalyptic--Under the Never Sky #1. After being exiled from the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria's only hope for survival is in Perry, a savage Outsider. § People with heightened senses, a post-apocalyptic society with technology, and survival drama! If anything, I want even more world building.