You know when you get in the mood for a certain aesthetic or theme and it consumes you? For me, that commonly happens with the woods. I crave that “cabin-in-the-woods”, lost amongst the trees, what-is-hiding-out-there feeling, and there is something just so mysterious and atmospheric about books set in this type of location.
In March, I somehow ended up in a woods-set books spiral – I skipped genres and countries and pacing but there were a lot of trees in what I read! I started off with Disappearance at Devil’s Rock, which I had been really looking forward to reading since I spied it in Waterstones during a lunchtime browse. I have to say, the book itself ended up being not quite what I imagined. From reading the blurb I expected quite a spooky horror book, but really this is a thriller. I enjoyed it, but it definitely turned out to be not what I anticipated. If you enjoy thrillers then I would recommend this, but it isn’t at all scary if that is what you are after. It also heavily involves missing children – something a lot of people find very upsetting so do be aware of that (not a spoiler it says it on the book!!).
From there, I continued the thriller angle with The Back Road, which was set in Cheshire – about 30 mins from where I live (I love Cheshire). It was an enjoyable, quick read, but I’ll admit that I was a little disappointed that I guessed the whole outcome of the book. I’m not usually an expert at that sort of thing, and generally try not to – but really you could see it coming a mile off. Perfectly fine entertainment, but not exactly challenging. A good purchase for 99p on Kindle when it was on offer though!
I read a couple more “woods” themed books, and then switched over to work through the immense pile of library books which I managed to accumulate. I tend to reserve books I want to read from the library rather than going in and browsing, and this month I was unlucky (or lucky, depending on how you look at it) enough to have 5 reservations all arrive at once. I started working on them right away, and found a couple of new series’ that I have gotten stuck into.
First up is Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. This is young adult – a genre I have read a lot of over the last few years, and am really quite enthusiastic about – especially when it comes to fantasy. This was fairly enjoyable, enough so that I will continue the series, but it wasn’t on a par with say the Sarah J Maas books (which I love so much I plan on dedicating a whole post to when the new ones come out!). There were some interesting ideas, but also frustrating moments. And can we have a young adult fantasy without a love triangle at some point? Please?
Much more successful was a new (to me) urban fantasy series by Benedict Jacka which I started this month with Fated. This is SO GOOD. I love urban fantasy at the best of times (Ben Aaranovitch is amazing) and it was great to find some more that I could really get into. The book grabbed hold of me instantly, and introduced some characters that I really look forward to seeing more of. I genuinely had no idea what was going to happen at some points, and the way that magic is dealt with is a really interesting and different take. Even better news is that I am really late to this series, so I have 6 more books to read and another coming out this year. Yay! I’d really recommend this, it is so accessible compared to a lot of fantasy and a great introduction to the urban fantasy genre.
Overall a good month. 6 books read in total, with one in particular that I really loved. April brings with it holiday, and I’ve already picked out some reads for the plane and pool. My kindle is fully loaded and ready to go – now to finish 3 more library books before I depart… wish me luck!