Hoarfrost could be a bit of a disappointment, coming after the crescendo that is Whyborne’s confrontation with the Endicotts in the previous book, his discovery of his heritage, and all that came with it. And it does start a little slower, since (once again) they have to journey to actually confront the issue at hand… but in some ways, this is just as climactic for Griffin as the previous book was for Whyborne, giving him a chance to face his fears and reconnect with his family.
I actually ended up reading this in pretty much one sitting (minus the time spent getting out of the bath before I turned into a prune). It has a lot of the features that are great about these books — Christine, archaeology, Whyborne being a secret badass, Griffin and Whyborne learning to darn well communicate — and it combines them into a story that rapidly picks up pace. Almost like an avalanche, you might say.
I fear to say too much, since this book makes things really fall into place for some of our beloved characters. I wonder where it’ll go next — and these days I’m securely along for the ride, given that Whyborne and Griffin generally talk now instead of just making assumptions. (Okay, mostly Whyborne did that.) So yeah, very enjoyable!
I found this book a little frustrating: I got into it immediately, and then there was a timeskip which kind of knocked me out of things again, and I didn’t find my feet again until the last third or so of the book. There were parts where I raced through it, and then a middle section that I just kind of plodded through. I did enjoy the bonds between Tarisai and the others, particularly the bond between Tarisai and Dayo; the fact that it was so strong and yet determinedly non-sexual and non-romantic was great.
It’s definitely YA, and it feels very young, but there is some ambiguity there in some of the characters and relationships, which gives it a bit more depth than it might otherwise have.
I’d be interested enough to read the second book: the world at least feels interesting, and there’s a good sense that there’s a lot more out there (something which always does it for me with fantasy settings). There’s a lot of enjoyable detail that shows this isn’t your standard medieval-Europe inspired fantasy, too.
Rating-wise, I feel torn — easily four stars for the parts I tore through, but a meh for the middle part. I guess I’ll compromise on 3 — but it’s a 3 that’s close to 4 in some respects.
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a nice broad one: what’s on your fall TBR? Well, I don’t strictly have a TBR for fall, and honestly these days I try not to be too strict and just follow my whims. However, here are some books I’m planning to pick up really soon, for one reason or another…
Black Leopard, Red Wolf, by Marlon James. I’m a little worried from the reviews that this isn’t going to be my thing, but it’s my bookclub choice for October, and I plan to give it a good solid try. Other parts of it sound really great — like the influence from African mythology — so we’ll just have to see!
This is Kind of an Epic Love Story, by Kacen Callender. This is the November book club choice, if I remember rightly, and I’ve been meaning to read it for a while now. I’m particularly interested in how the sign language is handled (because one of the characters is deaf).
Catherine House, by Elisabeth Thomas. Aaand this is December’s book club choice, which sounds weird and kinda creepy. Looking forward to it.
Raybearer, by Jordan Ifueko. I swear my sense of object permanence is lacking, because I was dying to read this but now I’ve put my copy away on the shelves in the other room, I keep forgetting! I heard a lot about this right when it came out, but haven’t actually seen many reviews…
Cemetery Boys, by Aiden Thomas. I’m super excited for this, and I should be getting my copy soon. (Thank you to the person who bought me a preorder! <3)
Phoenix Extravagant, by Yoon Ha Lee. I loved the Machineries of Empire books so much, and I’m excited for this new book by Yoon Ha Lee! I have an eARC, but I should also hurry up and make my preorder… there, done! I was sold at “mighty dragon automaton”.
The House in the Cerulean Sea, by T.J. Klune. This sounds so warm-hearted as a read, from everyone’s reviews? I am a sucker for the families you make yourself in stories, so I’m excited for it.
The Wolf of Oren-Yaro, by K.S. Villoso. I’ve peeked at the first few pages and my eyebrows rose and I’m eager to give this a try.
Black Sun, by Rebecca Roanhorse. I’m hearing so much excitement about this one, and I know I’ve enjoyed Roanhorse’s writing, so I’m quite eager to see whether this works plot/character-wise a bit better for me than her other books.
The City We Became, by N.K. Jemisin. Not sure if I’ll get to this, actually, because I’m finally catching up with The Fifth Season and sequels. But it’s N.K. Jemisin, so I don’t want to leave it lying too long!
So what’s on your autumn TBR, folks? Do you even have a TBR? Let’s be real, we know I probably won’t finish all of these… chances are, I won’t even read half. That’s okay by me. Something about the anticipation is sweet too!