Monthly Roundup

Monthly Roundup: December 2016


Every first Wednesday of the month, I’ll be posting a roundup of the month just gone, including discussing books read that month, challenge progress, and a summary of all posts for the month.

Last month I read a total of fifteen books: Zeroes (Zeroes #1) by Scott Westerfeld, The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black, Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy #1) by Danielle L. Jensen, Sorcerer to the Crown (Sorcerer Royal #1) by Zen Cho, The Young Elites (The Young Elites #1) by Marie Lu, Talon by Janet Lee Carey, Dangerous Days in Elizabethan England by Terry Deary, The Just City (Thessaly #1) by Jo Whalton, An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes #1) by Sabaa Tahir, The Graces by Laure Eve, The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy #1) by Marie Rutkoski, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey, The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen #1) by Alison Goodman, Knight’s Shadow (Greatcoats #2) by Sebastien de Castell and The Demon King (The Seven Realms #1) by Cinda Williams Chima.

December was definitely a great reading month! Most of what I read came from the library, stuff that I’d ordered in especially so I was excited for all of it. However, my standout books have to be The Demon King, Knight’s Shadow and The Just City. The Demon King felt like a classic fantasy novel, and just completely and utterly drew me in. Knight’s Shadow was a fantastic follow up to Traitor’s Blade, and The Just City was just so unique and really appealed to my archaeology and ancient history loving self.


Challenge progress:

  • I managed to recruit all heroes and defeat all villains for the DC vs Marvel Challenge in 2016, so I’m pretty pleased with myself. 2017 sees the Justice League vs Teen Titans reading challenge, this time hosted by Wayland. I don’t think I’ll be quite as determined to recruit/defeat everyone this time round, as it did sort of take over my reading in 2016. But I’ll see what I can do! I won’t keep track of my progress on the blog, just on our Goodreads group.
  • I read 137 books towards my Goodreads goal of 100, so went well over. Even more for 2017? 😉


Currently reading:

How was December for you?

Challenges, Sci-Fi Month

Sci-Fi Month: Definitive Science Fiction Reads


Today I want to share a challenge with you all: my definitive list of science fiction reads! They are books I feel every sci-fi fan should read at least once in their lifetime, and as well as creating a challenge for myself I hope that it can be challenge for some of you too. Although I already have a Top Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books Challenge, I wanted to create one that reflected all different types of science fiction, including Young Adult. So it will actually be a mix of books I’ve loved, books I really feel I should read because they’re considered classics, and some titles that might often be overlooked, as well as some books that I’ve heard a lot of good things about.
If you’d like to join in, feel free! I’ll be keeping track of my progress too, on a separate postDon’t forget to check out the schedule for the rest of today’s posts. You can also Tweet about the event using the hashtag #RRSciFiMonth.

‘Classic’ science fiction

Newer science fiction

Young Adult science fiction

What do you think of the challenge? Are you going to join in?


Review: Legend (Legend #1) by Marie Lu

4 out of 5 stars | Goodreads
With the amount of Young Adult novels, particularly of the Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic genre, being released in the past year or two, it is especially difficult to find the stand-out ones, let alone write one. But Marie Lu has managed to create something really fantastic with Legend, that definitely deserves its comparison to The Hunger Games.


I had seen this book on many a blog, with such strong praise and positive reviews that I immediately added it to my ‘to read’ pile. Combine that with the Hunger Games vibe, and I was sold. However, when my copy finally arrived from the library, I was initially put off by the blurb, claiming that June and Day are ‘irresistibly drawn together’. One of my pet hates – that occurs more often than not in YA novels – is insta-love. Insta-love that is so deep, the couple just know they’re going to be together forever from day one. No thank you. Lu also shows that there could perhaps be the opportunity for a love triangle, but takes that away – another thing I was very glad about!

So I was delighted to discover that it is not insta-love – but insta-attraction. Much more realistic, and not all consuming – June doesn’t spend her time pining after Day, or vice versa. They are both far too strong a character for that, and that is another thing I really enjoyed about the book. Both protagonists were street smart and intelligent, and didn’t let bad events get them down, but instead used them as a reason to work for a good cause. And whilst sometimes their strength might make them seem a little cold – mostly in June’s case – this is another good thing, as YA novels often suffer from flawless, or flawed in a cute way, characters. For example, there is one scene where June is witnessing something particularly horrible, and she merely watches without flinching. She is also, at least for the first half of the book, very snobby about the Republic, looking down on the Colonies and Patriots.

One element that Lu could have perhaps built on a little more was the reason why the world was like it was. What happened to divide the USA up? Why are there three main groups? Perhaps this is explained properly in Prodigy, the second book, and I will be reading it to find out. I was able to guess some of the rather important plot points, but there were also some truly shocking moments, that could certainly rival some of those created by Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy. I didn’t find myself as emotionally invested in these characters though, and I’m hoping that this will change with the next book.

Overall, this really was a fantastic read, building up for what I believe could be an explosive trilogy. The ending was not quite a cliffhanger, but definitely left the story open enough for me to want more – and I’ll be ordering the next book from the library as soon as I’ve got through my stack of current library books!

Past Features

Weekly Roundup #12


My ‘Weekly Roundup’ is where I share the books I have received in the past week, whether bought, gifted, borrowed etc.


  • Long Cloud Ride and The Sun in My Eyes by Josie Dew – Josie Dew is a very under-rated travel writer. She travels all over the world on her bicycle, and she has a very witty writing style that I really enjoy. Sort of a female Bill Bryson. I noticed there were two of her books I hadn’t read, so ordered them off of Amazon. Long Cloud Ride covers her journey around New Zealand, and The Sun in My Eyes is the second part of her journey around Japan; the first being A Ride in the Neon Sun and one of my favourite books.

From the library

  • Legend by Marie Lu – I’ve read so many great reviews on this one, and it claims that you’ll enjoy it if you’re a fan of The Hunger Games, which I certainly am. I had no idea it was a Les Miserables retelling until I read the back cover though!
  • Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness – I can finally finish the Chaos Walking trilogy! I’m really quite scared at how it will end…
  • Matched by Ally Condie – another YA novel I’ve seen with great reviews! I believe the third book in the series has just recently been released.
  • The Bellwether Revivals by Benjamin Wood – this is recommended for fans of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, a book which I absolutely loved. It sounds really interesting from the blurb alone.

And that’s all for this week! Have you read any of these books, and if so, what were your thoughts on them? What did you receive this week?