Book reviews / Musings

7 books to read this summer

It’s summer here in the Northern Hemisphere (it’s official now that the solstice has passed). But it was around mid-May that I started to form a plan to read through some of the TBRL — To Be Read List. I had a number of second in series books, series where I loved the first book and really wanted to read the second. However, I’m not a binge reader, possibly because I always have so many books on the TBRL and feel I should read one of those next.

Side note: Because I’m not a binge reader, I sometimes feel I need an “In the last episode” prologue. I might need to add that to my own books.

Anyway, I came up with the list of books below to read this summer (in no particular order except for those I’ve finished or am in the middle of). With a couple of exceptions (noted below), they’re all book 2s. I’ll update the list and book notes as I go through them. They’re a mix of indie authors and traditional, and I’ve already finished the first two on my recent trip to Croatia.

C.L. Schneider: Magic-Scars – DONE

Magic-Scars is the second book in the Crown of Stones series. The complex characters and a plot that kept me riveted sucked me in in book 1 (again, I have a review of that one). This book kept up the standard, though with the richness of the characters and story lines, this is one of those books I could have used a refresher on what happened in the last one. I’ll also be picking up the next in series. Though I have the first in her Nite Fire series to read as well. Ach, the choices!

Chrys Cymri: The Cult of Unicorns – DONE

The Cult of Unicorns is the second book in the Penny White series. I got hooked by the first quirky characters and interesting world in the first one (check out my review of book 1), especially Clyde. I thoroughly enjoy this book as well, will be reading book 3.

Rachel Caine: Bone and Ink – DONE

Oops, Bone and Ink is not a book 2! This is what happens when you have so many books on the TBRL and it’s late at night (okay, 9PM) and you’re looking for the next book to read. But I’ve already started it so I’m going to finish it. It’s the first book in The Great Library series, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to read the next one…’cause, you know, I don’t have enough on the TBRL.

Update: Yup, I’ll be reading the next book in this series. I enjoy the melding of history with alternate history with fantasy. The plot was tight, and there were a few late nights reading “just one more chapter”. There were some great characters….I loved Wolfe and Santi. Even Dario. I’m keen to find out what happens next.

Lindsey Buroker: Starseers – DONE

Starseers is also not a book 2. But I wanted to add it to the summer reading list because it’s well past time I find out what happens next between Leonidis and the Captain. If you’ve read the series, I think you’ll forgive me. If you haven’t — why not? This is the third book in the Fallen Empire series, so I’m only one off.

Update: I enjoyed this as much as the first two books. It’s a great scifi adventure romance series.

Megan E. O’Keefe: Break the Chains – DONE

Break the Chains is the second book in the Scorched Continent series. I really enjoyed Steal the Sky, and would have read the second one right away if it had been available (there’s a lesson there for us slow writers). It’s funny — I bought the first one because of airships. I apparently have a thing for books with airships (check out my review of The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher…hmm, I need to add the second book to this list). Anyway, it turned out to be engaging and full of action. I hope the second one is as good as the first.

Update: I didn’t love this book as much as the first one, though I still enjoyed it. I think it might partly be because so much time had passed between reading the first and the second, I forgotten some of the character that were in the first book. But it still has lots of airships.

V.E. Schwab: A Gathering of Shadows – DONE

How have I not read A Gathering of Shadow yet? I loved A Darker Shade of Magic, the first book in the Shades of Magic series. If the second book is as good, V.E. Schwab is a writer I want to emulate…the nuances and finely woven story left me in awe. Again, I’ll post an update when I’m finished reading book 2.

Update: Wow. Deep breath. Wow. Schwab is a phenomenal writer. I love the complexity of the foreshadowing and relationships she develops. I hope to be 1/10 as good a writer one day.

Claire Buss: The Interspecies Poker Tournament – DONE

I’ve been looking forward to The Interspecies Poker Tournament since I heard it was coming. The lack of a second book was actually something I was bemoaning when I finished The Rose Thief (reviewed here). If you like Terry Pratchett, I bet you’ll like the books of this series. I’ll update you with thoughts on book 2 when I’m done.

Update: You don’t haven’t have read book one to read this book. I love that there’s an octopus character. Though I think I like the first book best.

That’s it for the list at the moment. I might add to it, depending on the progress I make. I am heads down on the final edits to my own book 3 in Bloodborne Pathogens, so I don’t have as much reading time as I might like.

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