What I Read in March + Mini Reviews

I’m aware it’s already (!) a week into April, but I hadn’t written this post yet, so here we are.

Not a whole lot of reading in March, although I certainly half-read or half-listened to a lot of books!

Klara and the Sun – Kazuo Ishiguro

Synopsis: From her place in the store, Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, watches carefully the behaviour of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass in the street outside. She remains hopeful a customer will soon choose her, but when the possibility emerges that her circumstances may change for ever, Klara is warned not to invest too much in the promises of humans.

I started reading this book at the beginning of the year, and it has taken me this long to finish. I’m glad I finally was able to! I do think it was an enjoyable story that imparted interesting thinking and some great, complex characters, as well as a whole study (naturally, as with any story about robots) of what it means to be human.

Admittedly, I was expecting a bit more. This is the first book I’ve read from this author, and I did really enjoy the style of writing. However, I did feel a little at a distance from everything that was happening in the book. I know this is purposeful, as Klara is in position of an observer, always watching – this last which is picked up on by other characters, even. But I didn’t get the emotional hit I was promised through reviews, even though it well-rounded read.

The Tide Child Trilogy – R. J. Barker

Synopsis (for book 1): For generations, the Hundred Isles have built their ships from the bones of ancient dragons to fight an endless war. The dragons disappeared, but the battles for supremacy persisted.

Now the first dragon in centuries has been spotted in far-off waters, and both sides see a chance to shift the balance of power in their favour. Because whoever catches it will win not only glory, but the war.

As I mentioned in my most recent WWW post, I started reading the second book in this three-book series, however I quickly realised I’d forgotten what happened in the first book (which I read pre-pandemic!) and so I quickly binged all three.

I’m going to write a full review for this series at some point (she says, hopefully), but I did enjoy them overall. I think there are definite hits and misses, and both good and bad points centre around the author’s preferred way of telling stories, which probably sounds horribly contradictory. But overall, it has really solid characters, emotional depth and fun world building. And I read them very quick!

As I said, I did lots of hit and go reading. For example, I got about 20% through Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb and listened to an hour or so of Period by Emma Barnett (😬).

What have you been reading recently? Likely prompted by my recent reads, I’m very much in the mood to binge read some fantasy (the more dragons, the better!) and always on the hunt for recs!

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