January turned out to be a phenomenal month for me in terms of reading. There was a good variety of multiple genres and mediums, and it has left me very excited for all of the books to come in February! Check them all out down below. 👍🏾
Fantasy & Fiction Literature:
Forge of the Mindslayers (Blade of the Flame Book 2) by Tim Waggoner
🐺 Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery
🐺 Jam-packed with action & adventure, excellent pacing, witty humour, & fantastically fun fight scenes.
🐺 Has good diversity including representation of PTSD that is genuine, as well as an interracial romance between a half-Orc man & an Elven woman.
🐺 Provides wonderful backstories for our MCs & a couple of the minor characters without feeling disjointed, which added to their overall character growths.
🐺 5/5 – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire Book 1) by Mark Lawrence
🛡️ Dark Fantasy
🛡️ Terribly written in almost every aspect.
🛡️ Full-review can be found here.
🛡️ TW: Rape subject matter, Graphic depictions of violence.
Kraken & Lies (The Menagerie Book 3) by Tui T. Sutherland & Kari Sutherland
🦑 Middle-Grade Fantasy
🦑 Excellent conclusion to a highly enjoyable series.
🦑 Diverse cast of characters, plenty of adventure, & lots of magical creatures with fun twists to their classic traits to keep you engaged.
🦑 Positive Portrayal of conflicts within friendships
The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth Trilogy Book 1) by N.K. Jemisin
🌲 Due to another reader giving me every single major spoiler in the book (unprompted), I found myself unable to continue with it.
The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng
🏵️ #OwnVoices Malaya Literature, Historical Fiction
🏵️ Absolutely brilliant & extraordinarily evocative.
🏵️ Full-review can be found here.
🏵️ 5/5 – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
🏵️ TW: Rape, Wartime Atrocities, Use of the word “Jap” to refer to Japanese people during WWII.
When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities by Chen Chen
🏳️🌈 #OwnVoices Chinese Literature, #OwnVoices LGBTQIA+ Literature, Poetry
🏳️🌈 One of the best poetry collections I have EVER read in my life.
🏳️🌈 Full-review can be found here.
🏳️🌈 5/5 – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
🏳️🌈 TW: Subject matter on discrimination, & homophobia.
Manga, Light Novels, & Comics:
Dreamin’ Sun Volume 5 by Ichigo Takano
🌸 Shōjo, RomCom, Slice-of-Life
🌸 Good volume that brings some elements about the Landlord’s personal distaste for romance into perspective.
🌸 Interesting character growth for Zen.
Nekogahara: Stray Cat Samurai Volume 1 by Hiroyuki Takei
🐈 Shōnen, Chanbara, Action
🐈 The strangest fucking thing I have ever read in shōnen manga.
🐈 Story was underdeveloped with intensely messy art style.
🐈 Unique & strange premise for a samurai-style story.
Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World- Volume 2 by Tappei Nakatsuki
🗡️ Seinen, Isekai, Comedy, Fantasy
🗡️ I could not get into this due to the poor translations & sentence structures.
Fruits Basket Collector’s Edition Volume 5 by Natsuki Takaya
💘 Shōjo, Romance, Slice-of-Life, Supernatural
💘 Excellently paced with fantastic & gradual building of relationships between Tohru & her house-mates.
💘 Some people are realising their romantic feelings & the process has been genuine; a lovely slow burn.
💘 Perfect in almost every way.
💘 5/5 – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Saga Volume Eight by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
📺 Comics, Space Opera, Science-Fantasy, Romance.
📺 Wonderful action & new, unique settings.
📺 Great character growth for familiar cast members.
📺 I LOVE Hazel’s curiosity & commentary.
📺 5/5 – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Crazy is My Superpower by A.J. Mendez Brooks
✊🏾 #OwnVoices Puerto-Rican Literature, Memoir, Mental Health, Sports
✊🏾 Recommended for people who have mental illness, or are acquainted with people who have it. Note: Author’s use of the term “asexual” can be construed as offensive, & perpetuating of harmful stereotypes.
✊🏾 Full-review to come.
✊🏾 TW: Child abuse, subject of mental illness & negative stigma associated with it, misuse of term “asexual.”
No is a Four Letter Word by Chris Jericho
🚫 Self-Help, Memoir, Sports
🚫 Discusses simple principles for success in regards to pursing your dreams & aspirations, no matter how big or small they are.
🚫 Humorous & cheesy as hell.
🚫 Author uses his ignorance & privilege to make wholly disrespectful & offensive commentary on the Islamic religion based on how it is practised in conjunction with culture in small region of the world, thus condemning the religion as a whole. Unacceptable.
How to be a Bawse by Lilly Singh
💪🏾 #OwnVoices Indian Literature, Self-Help, Mental Health
💪🏾 Humorous, charming, honest, & real as Lilly chats about different ways to be more proactive in improving your professional & personal life.
💪🏾 She draws on real-life experiences & scenarios, including her struggle with Depression, that help make each of the lessons easier to relate to.
💪🏾 Lilly Singh has AN AMAZING voice & approach to making positive life changes.
💪🏾 5/5 – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!