October was a very bad month. There was a death in my family and that’s all I’m going to say about it here.
So, I was away for most of last month but I did read a good bit at the beginning of October.
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell ★★★★☆
Written in the 19th century and follows Margaret Hale after she moves with her family from a tranquil life in the south of England to turbulent life in the North. There she becomes entangled in the lives of the middle and lower classes of the masters and the workers. Gaskell uses Hale’s relationships to explore societal issues during the industrial revolution using Hale’s romance with one of the masters for progression. It’s basically Pride and Prejudice set during the industrial revolution (though I think I prefer Mr Thornton to Mr Darcy shh don’t tell anyone…).
I was inspired to read this after watching the mini-series on Netflix (about 5 times). I fell in love with the characters and the social economic themes and grew to love them even more with the book.
Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews ★★★★★
I had no idea this was science fiction before I read it. I fully expected an urban fantasy about witches but it’s definitely science fiction. There are some elements of urban fantasy but with strong leanings towards sci-fi. If I had known it was sci-fi I probably wouldn’t have read it but I’m glad I did. I really shouldn’t doubt Ilona Andrews, they know how to tell a story!!
The story follows Dina Demille who is an Innkeeper which is a guardian of a kind of way station to travellers from other worlds. Her Inn is neutral ground and she is not meant to get involved but breaks the rules when the people in her neighbourhood are in danger from alien monster dog things.
Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire ★★★★★
I read Every Heart a Doorway this month as well which was very good but Down Among the Sticks and Bones was great. I kept thinking of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children when reading Every Heart a Doorway though they are only similar in the sense that they’re both set in a boarding school run by a strange woman. Every Heart a Doorway is about children who have returned from adventures in other worlds like Narnia and are having trouble adjusting to being back. Down Among the Sticks and Bones follows two of the characters from the first book while they were in their magical world. It’s set before Every Heart a Doorway but I wouldn’t recommend reading it first. I listened to an audiobook which was read by the author and her narration was fantastic.
Lothaire by Kresley Cole ★★★★★
I really wish I could be a fly on the wall when Kresley Cole is writing. I want to know how she writes such captivating stories. Every time I read one, even if I think I’m not in the mood for one of her books, as soon as I start I cannot stop until I finish the book.
This is the 12th book in the Immortals After Dark series and follows Lothaire (of course). It also introduces a group of vampires that were hinted at once or twice in previous books. Lothaire has been mentioned a lot in previous books so I was excited for this and it didn’t disappoint.
Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier ★★★☆☆
An enjoyable story but not her best in my opinion. I found it to be predictable so I got a bit bored but I admired the main character for her strength of will.
The story follows Lady Dona St. Columb who has abandoned London society and seeks refuge in the country. There she encounters a French pirate, falls in love with him and craves adventure with him. He is eventually caught and she must decide whether to risk her family and save him or return to the boring life she led before.
Toil and Trouble by H.P. Mallory ★★★★☆
The 2nd book in Mallory’s Jolie Wilkins series picks up where the last one left off and is just as enjoyable. The only thing that annoys me in this is the love triangle. I don’t mind love triangles in stories as long as they make sense but here it felt like Sinjin wanted her just for sake of there being a complication in her relationship with Rand.