Current Reads: Military Crime Fiction & YA Magical Realism

Good morning bookworms and otaku dragons! Mondays tends to be sluggish days for me as I wind down from the weekend and prepare for the work week ahead. As such, I decided to keep things simple today and share with you all the books that I am currently reading and hoping to finish before the upcoming new weekend!

Together I have two titles and all of both are vastly different from one another. I like having current reads from different genres as it works to break things up, which helps to keep my ADHD in check, as well as prevents me from getting bored! Do any of you have similar habits or techniques? Do you enjoy reading multiple books simultaneously, or do you prefer to keep it simple and go one book at a time? I find other people’s reading habits fascinating, so if you can, please share in the comments down below! 😊

The General’s Daughter (Paul Brenner #1) by Nelson DeMille98427

This is an adult military crime fiction thriller. Some of you may recognise the title as there was a film adaptation of the book many years ago starring John Travolta. While I have seen the film a few times, I always felt it was rather average. I believe it could have been much better. Recently, I discovered that the original narrative was from a book, so I picked up a copy and dived into it at once. I have not read a crime thriller, especially a military one in a very, very long time, so I felt it was the perfect time to try one out.

The General’s Daughter is about the murder of Captain Ann Campbell, a beloved member of the armed forces and the daughter of renowned General Campbell. Her body is discovered on a military base’s firing range, bound and naked. To solve this sensationally high-profile case, Paul Brenner, an elite member of the military CID (Criminal Investigation Division) is sent to investigate the crime, along with rape specialist Cynthia Sunhill. As they uncover the mystery behind Captain Campbell’s death, the revelations leave a trail of scandal and shock that will shake the armed forces to the core.

I am only about thirty pages into this book, but so far, I am enjoying it. The writing style is paced and carefully detailed, which is good for a thriller, however. The book shows its age with certain phrases that are used to describe particular groups of people, as well as some of the interactions between a lot of the characters. This is not necessarily a bad thing, just something to be mindful of when reading. There are already plenty of differences between the novel and the film, and I can tell I am going to like the book much more than the film!

The Astonishing Colour of After by Emily X.R. Pan

35604686This is an #OwnVoices Taiwanese, Young Adult Magical Realism novel that released this year. I received it my March Book of the Month box, and it is the second BOTM book that I am reading so far for the month. Some of you might recall that one of my goals for March, and more than likely through April and May, will be to read through all the BOTM novels I have accumulated so far to be more proactive with reading owned books rather than buying a bunch of new ones. So far… I think I have been failing a teeny, tiny bit.

The Astonishing Colour of After is about a young girl named Leigh. One day Leigh and her best friend, Axel, finally take their long-term friendship to the next level by sharing an intimate kiss. Then she learns that her mother has committed suicide the very same day, and everything that Leigh thought she knew drastically changes forever. Shortly after her mother’s death, a beautiful bird of vibrant crimson colour visits Leigh. The bird’s strange behaviour prompts the young girl to believe that her mother has in fact returned to her as the bird and is trying desperately to send her daughter one last message. This leads Leigh on a trip to Taiwan, where she discovers much about her mother that she did not know via family she had never met, as well as to learn and grow as a person while discovering her identity, culture, and lineage.

The book is breathtakingly written with artistic, flowing imagery that utilises the vast spectrum of colours. I strongly believe that an artist will grasp the implications of these colours and how they shape the story more than other readers. As I am not well versed in art, sometimes it is difficult for me to put into perspective what Leigh is thinking or feeling when she begins to associate sensations with colours. But it is still stunning. Another thing that I am enjoying is the focus on depression and the adverse effects it has on the people around those who suffer from this illness. It is very emotional and at-times heart-breaking. However, this also has been working against me as the heavy-handed examination of depression has been a strong trigger for me. I am trying my hardest not to DNF the book because I am truly encapsulated in the story and Leigh’s journey. This is just going to be a case where I take it nice and slow so as not to be too strongly affected emotionally.

So, if anyone is interested in picking this book up, please note the triggers for strong discussion and exploration of depression, suicide, and grief.

I Am a Cat by Natsume Sōseki62772

Natsume Sōseki is one of my favourite authors of ever! He is also one of the most prolific authors in Japan! I have had this book on my TBR for a loooong time and my GR Japanese Novel and Light Novel Group decided to pick it up as the next group read! I started this book today and am only a couple of pages into it thus far, but I can safely say that I have missed his writing and I am very excited to read from a stray cat’s perspective.

I Am a Cat follows the adventures of an unwanted stray cat in Japan as he observes the lives of the people around him. It is a book that examines humans in Japanese society during the Meiji period of Japanese history, specifically the blending of Western cultures with traditional Japanese cultures, and how Japanese society finagles many Western customs into their everyday way of life.

As is customary with Sōseki-san’s works, I expect it to be humorous, engaging, and quite revealing about this unique and important part of Japan’s history.

That does it for the books that I am currently reading. If you have read any of these, or are interested in checking them out, please let me know in the comments!

Thank you for stopping by today. Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead. Happy reading and happy otakuing.

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