If you're a fantasy fan, and if you're on book twitter, you will not have escaped the fact that the Amazon Prime adaptation of The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan was released recently - as of writing this, four episodes are out and I have Some Thoughts™. This may just be me shouting into the void along with everyone else, and I know that I'm far from the only one, but I wanted to make a note of my thoughts so far, since I've read the first six books relatively recently. Also because my husband probably can't cope with yet another monologue about characterisation and writing, so the wild web will have to deal with me instead. I did consider waiting until the entire first season was out, but I don't actually know how many episodes are expected, and I don't really feel like keeping track of my thoughts for that long. And I feel like four episodes is enough to judge the feel and general direction of the show. It goes without saying, but this post will be full of spoilers for both episodes 1-4 and all books, and I may be quite critical so if you're really loving the show and don't want to hear anything bad please don't read on.
It’s the last day of November, which means my first SciFiMonth is coming to an end. Back in May, when doing Wyrd and Wonder, I said to myself I probably wouldn’t join in on the SF equivalent, because I’d only just read one or two SF novels and didn’t have enough lying around to be able to dedicate a month to the genre. But I had forgotten that I am an unstoppable force when it comes to buying books, and by the middle of the year I found myself in possession of quite a few SF books, as well as multiple NetGalley ARCs. And so, I have spent the last 30 days enjoying and discovering this genre, which is a great way to head towards the end of the year. I don’t have the time, sadly, to give each book the individual review they deserve, so I thought I’d do a SciFiMonth Mini Review roundup to look back on some of my latest reads!
After Eris faked her death, she thought she had left her old life as Princess Discordia – heir to the galaxy’s most ruthless empire – behind. But joining the Novantaen Resistance, an organisation opposed to the Empire’s voracious expansion, throws her right back into the fray. Resistance fighter pilot Clo has been given a mission: infiltrate an Empire spaceship ferrying deadly cargo to gain vital intelligence. A task made all the more difficult when she’s forced to partner with an old enemy – Princess Discordia herself, Eris. They discover more than they bargained for on the ship: fugitives with first-hand knowledge of the Empire’s inner workings. With this information, these women might just bring the Empire to its knees. But the clock is ticking: Eris’s brother Damocles, new heir to the throne, plans to disrupt a peace summit with the only remaining free alien people, ensuring the Empire’s total domination. Unless this band of unlikely rebels stops him, millions will die...
I was really sad to come to the end of Winter's Orbit, but also very happy to reach the conclusion and unravel all the mystery and romantic tension. So glad we chose this as the readalong book for this month, because it's the perfect one to discuss with others! If you want to catch up, you can see my previous posts here: Week One, Week Two, and Week Three. Also, I feel it goes without saying, but please be aware that this post will contain spoilers for the entirety of Winter's Orbit. So, without further ado, let's look at the points of discussion Lisa at Dear Geek Place has prepared for this grand conclusion:
Three years ago, young Lord Cassia disappeared in the midst of war. Since then, a devastating illness has swept the land, leaving countless dead and a kingdom forever altered. Having survived war and plague, Cas, now eighteen, wants only to return to his home in the mountains and forget past horrors. But home is not what he remembers. His castle has become a refuge for the royal court. And they have brought their enemies with them. An assassin targets those closest to the queen, drawing Cas into a search for a killer. With the help of a historian-in-training named Lena, he soon realizes that who is behind the attacks is far less important than why. Cas and Lena must look to the past, following the trail of a terrible secret—one that could threaten the kingdom’s newfound peace and plunge it back into war.
We've reached the halfway mark of Winter's Orbit by Evarina Maxwell, and things are definitely picking up the pace! If you're catching up, here are my thoughts on last week's reading, and here is the Goodreads page where you can find all the questions and other people's posts. Week three includes chapters 16 to 22, so please be aware that this post will contain spoilers up to that point and including earlier chapters as well. Read at your own peril!
In an empire on the brink of war... Ahn is no one, with no past and no family. Altan is a lost heir, his future stolen away as a child. When they meet, Altan sees in Ahn a path to reclaiming the throne. Ahn sees a way to finally unlock her past and understand her lethal magical abilities. But they may have to pay a far deadlier price than either could have imagined.
I haven't done nearly enough posts as I'd like for this year's SciFiMonth but I'm loving everyone else's and I'm definitely fully immersed into my sci-fi reading. One thing I definitely wanted to get to was the SF edition of Desert Island Reads, aka Remote Moon Reads, put together by imyril at There's Always Room for One More. You can see her post about the rules over here if you would like to join in, but essentially we get to choose eight books/audiobooks, a podcast/TV show/movie (of which we get all episodes, films in a series), and a personal luxury item. This was definitely harder than the fantasy version, because I'm still a newbie SF reader, so I think a few of these will be things I've been wanting to get to for a while. What better place to catch up on your TBR than a remote moon in a distant galaxy?
When workaholic Wallace Price is collected by a reaper from his own funeral, he finally accepts that he really must be dead. But instead of being taken to the afterlife, Wallace is led far away to a peculiar tea shop in the woods. There he meets the curious locals along with Hugo, the shop owner who helps souls to cross over. But Wallace isn’t ready to leave his strange new home, not now he’s met the kind and charming Hugo and is just starting to feel alive. So when he’s given one week to pass on, Wallace resolves to use the time he has left to experience a lifetime in only seven days.
Right, last week's post was a bit rubbish on my part but I'm setting out to talk about week two's reading ahead of time, so hopefully I offer something a little more insightful and do justice to the brilliant questions that, this week, have been posted by imyril over on the Goodreads page for the readalong. Things are getting more interesting after the introductory section of last week, and I want to take this moment to say that this post will contain spoilers for Winter's Orbit up until the end of chapter 15, so if you aren't there yet and don't like to know, please don't read ahead!