Three Books I'm Reading Now, 4/20/21 Edition
The Books I'm Reading Now
I'm listening to Sarah J. Maas's popular young adult fantasy about the collision of faeries and humans, the first in a series; I'm also listening to Sarah Waters's spooky, gothic tale of deceit that's full of twists and turns, set in Victorian England; and I'm reading Jane Harper's newest character-driven Australian mystery.
Which books are you reading and enjoying these days, bookworms?
01 A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
I resisted reading this young adult fantasy for a long while. I liked the brave young female protagonist in Maas's book Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1), but I had issues with the artificial-feeling prolongation of the sharing of essential information, and some important cause and effect in that book didn't line up for me.
In A Court of Thorns and Roses, the first of five books in Maas's series of the same name, young Feyre (in the audiobook this is pronounced very emphatically as "FAY-ruh") and her spotty success with hunting is the only thing standing between her (largely insufferable) family's cold, strained survival and their starvation. When she kills a wolf that turns out to be a magical creature, powerful faeries demand retribution. Feyre is drawn into a dangerous, glorious faery world of wicked beasts and complicated alliances to live out her days as payback for her destruction.
So far this is very romaaaantic and dramaaatic with a significant amount of page time spent on Feyre's thinking and wondering and imagining. The will-they/won't-they tension between the sometimes-beast who's taken her and Feyre herself seems pretty clearly to be pointing toward "they will." I'm eager for some action to take place.
02 Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
Sue Trinder is a teenage orphan being raised in a household of cheats, thieves, and generally crooked characters. Yet she's been largely sheltered from the evils of the underbelly of Victorian London by her unofficial, doting adoptive mother, Mrs. Sucksby.
But when one of her group, Gentleman, comes up with a large-scale con, the group's fortune depends on Sue. She's asked to play the role of a maid to an unassuming, wealthy young woman and play a key part in a dastardly plot to take the woman's inheritance and leave her to rot in an insane asylum.
Fingersmith is a delightfully dark, often sinister Victorian-era gothic tale. I'm listening to this as an audiobook, and it's such a slow build, I'm both eager for it to ramp up in pacing while also very hesitant about finding out where things are going. I can't guess how Waters is going to resolve the layers of deceit, secrets, and desires for revenge at play here.
03 The Survivors by Jane Harper
I'm a big Jane Harper fan. Her mysteries are set in Australia, and she makes me care about her characters while keeping me guessing through twists and turns, without any of it feeling manipulative.
The Australian bush setting (along with Harper's sometimes spare writing style, which complements it) often makes her wonderful books feel like Westerns to me, as with her book The Lost Man. Her book The Dry (Aaron Falk #1) is set in small-town Australia with dark secrets and twists and turns; and she offers more of her excellent pacing in Force of Nature (Aaron Falk #2).
So far, The Survivors is shaping up to be my favorite Harper book yet. Set on the coast of Tasmania, The Survivors centers around a small community, a long-ago loss of several of its beloved young people, and a fresh tragedy that brings the pain, grief, and loss of years past swirling back to wreak fresh havoc.