I managed to make a little bit of an impact on my backlog of physical books this month while also making room for a couple of indie books via Kindle and Audible.
Not only does this act as a fantastic follow up to GATHERING BLUE, but it also brings people and events from THE GIVER back into the fold and expands upon this world's subtle mysticism in some interesting ways. It enchanted me with it's charms and tore my heart into a bunch of little pieces. There is a lot of ground the fourth book will have to cover in order to bring the series to a satisfying conclusion, but I am very eager to get to it.
2. Gathering Blue
I was nervously excited to see what the sequel to one of my favorite books would be like. While this was not at all what I was expecting, I found myself delighted by both the similarities and differences between this and THE GIVER. The only thing that places this one slightly below MESSENGER for me is that it didn't really have any clear tiebacks to characters or events of the original book.
3. The Girl in the Tower
This manages to be every bit as atmospheric and enchanting as the first book in THE WINTERNIGHT TRILOGY while also managing to deliver an even more enjoyable story and better character arcs than THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE did. While things tied up nicely, I am very curious to find out how this trilogy ends.
4. Becoming A Druid
This was a solid 4/5 for me
This modern take on the classical adventure-quest fantasy was just a really nice time. I didn't feel totally invested in every aspect of the story, but I still felt that this was a worthwhile read that worked well on audio.
5. VOICE OF WAR
This ended as a 3/5 for me
After my initial shock at how strangely the dialogue came off, I eventually settled in and started to enjoy this as a fast paced action romp that felt like a literary equivalent to a B-list action movie. Had the story ended on a more satisfying note, I would have easily placed this at a 4/5, but I did not feel that ending on consecutive cliffhangers was the right move and this has left me hesitant to continue the series in spite of all the rave reviews.
BONUS: THE CULTURE MAP (Introduction - Chapter 3)
This is definitely a 5/5 so far
I read the first 41% of this book as part of a scheduled group read with coworkers. We've been doing a chapter each week and then discussing it in separate Slack threads for each. I've been really enjoying the valuable insights that this book has to offer and it's generated some good discussion among my coworkers who are all from different parts of the world.
BONUS: DIGITARUM ON AUDIBLE
In addition to all the great reads I had, I was also able to accomplish a major writing milestone by publishing an audio edition of DIGITARUM. It was interesting to learn the process and also to revisit this story after so much time. I hope people enjoy this new format.
Going into March, I may try to partake in a couple of buddy reads via Discord, if I can keep up. I've already listened to the first couple of chapters of Ben Galley's THE WRITTEN and I am going to see if someone would like to join me in reading SON, the fourth and final book in THE GIVER QUARTET. I'll also be continuing the group read of THE CULTURE MAP with my coworkers.