Friday, December 30, 2016

Bout of Books 18 Sign Up

It's that time again! (Did you really think I could resist a read-a-thon?)

Bout of Books
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 17th and runs through Sunday, August 23rd in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 18 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
So that's what's happening. Come. Join. Read things (you know you're going to anyway...)

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Review: Aerie

Title: Aerie
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Series: Magonia
Volume: 2
Genre: Fantasy

A year after she died, woke up on a flying ship, and discovered she wasn't human, Aza Ray is trying to lead a semi-normal life back on Earth. Despite the pull of what she left behind in Magonia, she's making it work- mostly. But Magonia isn't something that can just be put in the past, and Jason's paranoia about her safety results in a mistake that puts Aza back in danger- both from those on the ground and from her mother, who has escaped from prison intent on destroying the world below.

Out of Ten: 8/10

Review at a Glance: Though it didn't wow me quite as much as the first one, I was still pretty wowed by this strange, dreamlike sequel.

Review:I loved Magonia when I read it last year. Like, flat-out, hard-core loved it. There are a lot of books that I really like, and then there are a couple books that I go for like I went for Magonia. So Aerie was a book I was really looking forward to/ anticipating with fear this year.

I didn't love this as much as I loved the first book, but I still really enjoyed it. It was still really good, it just didn't quite dazzle me the same way. Possibly because there was less emphasis on the seed saving and the Svalbard seed vault? Possibly I'm a total nerd? Who knows, it's a mystery. Regardless, it still managed to be a fairly Kelly book, which was nice for me.

Maria Dahvana Headley has a way of telling stories that's very stream-of-consciousness, while simultaneously being quite lyrical, with a tendency toward going on tangents. (Luckily for me, I like tangents.) The characters she crafts are vivid and unique and strange and delightful.

I still really liked both Aza and Jason, despite (because of?) their mistakes and fumbles over the course of the story. They both struggle with their own personal challenges in this one. Both of their points of view have felt familiar to me since the first book, and that didn't change here, which was fantastic. Not so much all of the thoughts as... the way of processing information, maybe? (Especially in Jason's case.)

The world was fantastically imagined in the first book, and it gets bigger and stranger in the sequel, managing to be both whimsical and terrible. There are more creatures! There is a vague, yet menacing, government agency! (Welcome to Night Vale reference, anyone?) Science and magic collide! (This is still very much a Kelly book, as you can see.)

I think the downside of this one for me was also one of the upsides, and it was that this book is really pretty out there. It is one of the strengths of this book (flying ships! bird people! songs as magic! sky whales singing storms!) but it is also the one place this book didn't quite work for me. Because of how little I understood about Ava's magic, it was hard to really fully comprehend her struggle and what was Ava-specific extraordinary, versus just regular extraordinary. When you don't really know what the limits are supposed to be... it's less impressive to watch someone surpass them. I can't tell if this was a worldbuilding thing (which, besides this was really lovely) or a plot thing... it just didn't entirely hold my interest during the climax of the story.

Overall, I really liked this book! It was a good follow-up to Magonia, and just as wonderfully imaginative. While it wasn't quite on the level that this first book was for me, it was still pretty great!