Reading Roundup – 23rd May 2014

May 23, 2014

Next week sees the release of City of Heavenly Fire – the last in Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series and the marketing is in full swing.  The book trailer was released recently – check it out.

For me the most interesting thing about it was Sophie Turner’s voiceover – I had been intrigued to see how she handles the audiobook narration.  From what I see she will do well.  I’m really excited to listen to the audiobook, now.  Simon and Schuster has released a snippet of the audiobook which you can listen to below.

Again this has whetted my appetite for the book.  I’m not familiar with Jason Dohring, so I can’t say what his narration will be like, but I’m looking forward to it anyway.

Kat of Katytastic and Christine of PolandBananasBOOKS have come up with some theories.  I’m not entirely sold on their Izzy theory, but their enthusiasm for the book is so infectious.  Go check it out if you want some ideas.

On this week you can find an excerpt of upcoming YA fantasy Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen.  It tells the story of Kelsea, a princess in hiding who must now take back her mother’s throne and deal with the legacy of her mother’s rule.  This has been generating considerable buzz and it has been on my radar for a while.  The excerpt caught my attention and I will certainly be picking this one up, likely in audiobook as it’s been narrated by one of my favourite narrators Katherine Kellgren.

Another book that has been gaining rave reviews this week is The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet: A Novel, the novelisation of Bernie Su’s transmedia hit The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.  Here are my thoughts on why you need to go watch this.  It was recently announced that Ashley Clement, who played the titular Lizzie Bennet, is narrating the audiobook version, so I definitely will pick that up.

I was excited to hear this week that the third book in D.B. Jackson’s Thieftaker chronicles is coming out next month!  I’ve really loved this series about a thieftaker/conjurer in 18th century Boston and I will certainly be checking out A Plunder of Souls.


I had wanted to check out Richelle Mead’s (of Vampire Academy fame) new series Age of X but I hadn’t been too impressed with the sample I downloaded.  When I saw Gameboard of the Gods was available in ebook format from my local library I was happy to take the chance.  I’m about a third of the way through it and in all honestly I am not going to finish it.  First I should point out that this is what is called a New Adult book.  The protagonists are a little older than in YA and their concerns tend to be a little more adult than those in YA.  

I really wanted to like the book given how much I enjoyed Vampire Academy, but I really struggled with the painfully slow pacing, and confusing worldbuilding.  One of the things Mead does exceptionally well is writing character relationships and I felt she was handicapping herself unnecessarily by giving us two protagonists in Justin and Mae who are essentially loners.  I really missed the snarky interactions of Vampire Academy that come from knowing someone intimately.

Perhaps if I’d persevered with this, it might have got interesting – certainly, the whole mythos of the gods returning (at least that’s what I get from the blurb – at a third of the way through that has not even been hinted at.  Sorry but this is going in my did not finish pile.

Added to my library this week

Amazon had the first three chapters of Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane free, so I picked that up.  My local library had the audiobook of Gaiman’s own narration so I decided to give that a go.  I’ve only read a couple of Gaiman’s books and have found that I either love them (Neverwhere) or really don’t enjoy them at all (American Gods) so we’ll see how I find this one.

My biggest splurge of the week though came with the announcement that the first seven Dresden Files by books were all available for $1.99 each!  The entire series is on my wish list so this was too good an offer to pass up.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with this series, it’s about wizard Harry Dresden  who lives in Chicago and has to contend with the supernatural world while eking out a living.  I had the first five already, so I picked up numbers six and seven.  These books are all Whispersync for Voice enabled, so I took the opportunity to get James Marsters’ narration for a considerably reduced price.  

I’ve heard good things about Trudi Cavanagh’s writing so when I saw her latest book, Thief’s Magic, was on special offer for $2.80 I was excited to try it.  The premise seemed intriguing – a sentient book! – so I look forward to reading it.

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