I’ve not posted much in January, since my time has been taken up by an internship I started at the beginning of the month. Anyway, I wanted to do a quick update to share my January reads – I surprised myself with the amount I managed to read this month. I owe most of that to my decision to re-read Harry Potter, one of my favourite series. I haven’t read it in seven or eight years so I think it was about time I picked them up again! On to the books…
The Infernal City by Greg Keyes – An Elder Scrolls novel. I’m a huge fan of Skyrim and recently got the remastered version for the Playstation 4. I received this book as a gift for Christmas and the writing was a pleasant surprise. Greg Keyes has a way with language that’s quite lovely. I found the plot a little confusing, since it’s set four decades after the Oblivion Crisis (I never played the video game Oblivion). There are lots of lore references that aren’t explained, which was sometimes a struggle. Once I’d managed to orientate myself in the world and get to know the characters, though, it was an enjoyable read, although nothing special. I also found the ending to be quite anti-climactic, as it felt like a lot of build-up for nothing. 3/5 stars.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling – As I mentioned, I haven’t read this series in seven or eight years. I was feeling nostalgic and it was so nice to fall back into Harry’s world. There were so many things I’d forgotten about. I read the illustrated edition, and loved the images that accompanied the story. It made the experience even more magical. 5/5 stars.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling – It’s safe to say I’m obsessed with everything Potter again. Re-reading these books is so comforting. They have so much humour, wit, warmth, and of course, magic. Whenever I’m having a stressful moment it’s nice to crack them open because I know they’ll make me smile. I came across lots of things they removed from the films that I’d forgotten about – like the Headless Hunt and Sir Cadogan – and it was nice to be reminded of these things. 5/5 stars
Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier – I read this to break up the Harry Potter binge, but I was disappointed. I loved Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, it’s one of my favourite books, but this one paled in comparison. The main character, Mary, annoyed me because her actions were completely stupid at times, and the reasoning behind them made zero sense. She pandered to her aunt too much. The romance felt forced, as did the villains and any danger Mary encountered. There were too many long, sprawling descriptions of landscapes. All in all, a massive disappointment. 2/5 stars
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling – When I was younger, this was my favourite of all the Harry Potter books and now I remember why. It’s so cleverly done – the crime, the mystery, the unravelling of it all. I’m so sad the film left out Crookshanks’ involvement and the arguments between the golden trio. These things added so much depth to the book. It was a joy to read this one again. 5/5 stars
In the Labyrinth of Drakes by Marie Brennan – Technically, I haven’t finished this one yet, I’m about ¾ of the way, but I expect to have it done by the start of February. I love this series – if you’re interested in reading my detailed thoughts I’ve reviewed books one and two here on the blog.
And that’s it! I’d say six books in January with a full-time job is pretty good, and I’m proud of that. I’m hoping to keep up this pace for the rest of the year and get through my mountain of unread books!