Monthly Roundup

Monthly Roundup: June 2015


Every first Wednesday of the month, I’ll be posting a roundup of the month just gone, and writing about what’s to come in the next few weeks.

June 2015

Last month I read a total of ten books: Vortex (Insignia #2) by S.J. Kincaid, Promise of Blood (The Powder Mage #1) by Brian McClellan, The Witch Hunter (The Witch Hunter #1) by Virginia Boecker, Way Down Dark (The Australia Trilogy #1) by James Smythe, Time Salvager by Wesley Chu, The Great Bazaar and Brayan’s Gold (Demon Cycle #1.5) by Peter V. Brett, Armada by Ernest Cline, The Ships of Aleph by Jaine Fenn, The Parthenon by Mary Beard and The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North.

I managed to read more this year, due to handing in my thesis and having no work to do – what a relief! 😉 I read some really great books this month. Time Salvager and Armada really stood out, and the latter was definitely worth the wait.


Challenge progress:

  • I read five books towards the DC vs Marvel Challenge. Next month’s villain is Bane, and I’ve already managed to select my books to defeat him.
  • I have currently read 41 books towards my Goodreads goal.


Currently reading:


How was June for you?


Review: The Ships of Aleph by Jaine Fenn


4 out of 5 stars | Goodreads

I received a copy of this book for free from the author, in exchange for an honest review.


‘Every day, I ask myself the same question: would I be happier now if I had never sailed off the edge of the world?’

The opening line of The Ships of Aleph definitely grabbed my attention in an instant. This novella from Jaine Fenn tells the tale of a man who finds himself alone on a mysterious island after a shipwreck. Even stranger, the island appears to be a replica of his home, but if he takes more than 1000 steps away from the village he collapses. Every day, he is visited by an ‘angel’, who brings him food and other resources.

I always find novellas difficult to review due to their length, and often find myself a little disappointed by them. However, I thought the story of The Ships of Aleph was wonderfully imagined, slightly creepy, and made me very curious. How did Lachin end up on this island? Who was the ‘angel’? I had to know. Jaine Fenn’s writing style and pace worked perfectly here: I felt I was given just enough information to satisfy my curiosity, but also not quite enough to stop me from wanting to learn more. And of course, the reader learns along with Lachin.

Ultimately, I’d really like a full length novel of this short story. It suffers in the same way as many novellas – not quite enough time to expand or completely resolve things. The conclusion was a bit too quick for my tastes, and left me wanting more details.

However, this was a very interesting novella, slightly unnerving in places, that clearly demonstrates Jaine Fenn’s talent.