When I joined netgalley back in 2012 I thought ARCs were sent in a manner similar to that of LibraryThing Early Reviewers. I didn’t realize that many of my requests would be fulfilled and it rapidly spiraled out of control. They ask for a reviewer to strive for an 80% feedback ratio rate. I’ve been writing to claw my way to the upper twenty percent and it’s a challenge when there’s always the siren call of new books!
My goal is to clear through the backlog of over 193 titles that I’ve yet to review, I have read 23 of them and will focus on those reviews first. There are an additional 35 books that I’m either already working my way through or will be soon. The benefit to being slow is that I can now check many of these out from the library and enjoy them in a wider range of formats from real paper to audiobook.
Here are three fantasy titles I’ve reviewed recently that I recommend. Please note that I received an eARC of these titles from NetGalley in exchange for a review. The FTC wants you to know.
by Peter S. Beagle
I’m new to Beagle’s writing and over the past few years have enjoyed several of his novels both recent and canon. I love a good short story and was curious if he was skilled in the telling of that form as well. Every entry in this fantasy collection is masterful. If I had to choose a favourite it’s a three-way choice between “Music, When Soft Voices Die”, “The Story of Kao Yu”, or “The Way it Works Out And All”. These three have stayed with me the longest after reading. As I read I felt the power and magic in each word Beagle chose.
The Rules of Magic
by Alice Hoffmann
Hoffman crafts a bewitching remedy for love in the story of the Owens siblings. Franny, Jet, and Vincent navigate the intrigue, promise, and heartbreak of New York. An invitation begins their life anew under the watchful eye of their Aunts one fateful summer. This is an enchanting story braiding magic, prose, characters, and intrigue.
I also recommend Practical Magic which picks up where this leaves off.
Hunter (Hunter #1)
by Mercedes Lackey
I am one of those readers that will grab a new book by a favourite author as quickly as I can. This is especially true for Mercedes Lackey.
This first book in the Hunter Series is a bit of a challenge as it often feels similar to many post-apocalyptic dystopian YA novels. However, there are many aspects that will make this series enjoyable for certain readers.
Joyeux is a Hunter, confident of her skills, but reluctant to be called to Apex, the center of power. She’s wary to be constantly in front of cameras showing off what she does to protect the post-disaray citizens. The subtle linguistic word choices can be annoying to read in print, until one stops to think of how such a linguistic shift could happen if there was such significant technological upheaval.
For Joy as a character, the first book was frustrating for this adult to read. I wanted to smack her a few times and was thankful when her hounds gave her some much needed info. Yet at the same time, I could see a YA reading this novel and worrying about her future: what would moving to college be like, should she participate in social media as she gets to be older, what is popularity and at what cost? Love? Family? Friendship? Education/training? As for plot, yes it can feel that Lackey visited a dystopian plot generator, but that’s ok. It’s a fun splurge read.
I have now read the entire trilogy and while it was predictable in many ways it was fun to listen to while I knit on the couch late at night instead of watching yet another sitcom rerun.