Hey all, Dani here.
Welcome back to another month of Calendar Girls. As always I’ll start this post by saying that Calendar Girls is a monthly blog event that was started by Flavia and Melanie, but is now being hosted by Katie and Adrienne. They are all wonderful ladies, and you should check out their lovely blogs. Oh, and if you go to either Katie or Adrienne‘s Calendar Girls post each month, they will have links to all the other wonderful book bloggers participating in this event. It’s a great way to find new bookish friends, and also possibly add some more books to your TBR.
First, more about the Calendar Girls. It is designed to ignite bookish discussions among readers, and was inspired by the 1961 Neil Sedaka song, Calendar Girl.
Just like the song, each month has a different theme. Each blogger picks their favorite book from the theme, and on the first Monday of the month reveals their pick in a Calendar Girls post. Make sure to post back to the hostess’s post, and both Katie and Adrienne will make a master list for the month. The master lists allow everyone to see the other Calendar Girls’ picks and to pop on over to their blogs. Thus, we all get to chat about books and even make some new friends!
Now it is time for the November theme…
Not Quite the End
Favorite Middle Book in a Series
Once again, this was a difficult choice for me. There are so many wonderful options. So, as per usual, I will be listing off a few honorable mentions before I get into my actual pick for this month. Oh, and there is a series that I could easily have picked for this month, but I’m really hoping the category I voted for as December’s theme wins, because then I don’t have to worry about what book to pick, because it is a book I recommend all the time.
Anyway, let’s jump into the honorable mentions.
First up: The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa. Now this one is the middle book of the spin-off trilogy for the Iron Fey series, so I’m still counting it as the middle book of a series, event though as part of the larger series it is next to the final book. But man, oh man. This book delivered the adventure and then the cliffhanger at the ending. I remember reading this book right after it was released, and I realized I had to wait a whole year just wondering how that ending was going to be resolved. It was fantastic. Also, torture. But mostly fantastic.
Then, I feel like I have to mention A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas, because that is the best book in the Feyre/Rhysand trilogy portion of the series. It did so well with character dynamics and development, and I so very much enjoyed exploring the Night Court.
Next, I absolutely have to talk about A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab. Now, I’ll be honest, this series was my introduction into Victoria Schwab, and I was blown away. Discovering all about the parallel Londons, and following Kell and Lila was just a fantastic adventure. And this second book introduces us to more of the world of Red London, and brings in a magic tournament that was just really darn cool. Plus, even more character development. Oh, and don’t forget the fallout from the events of the first book. Actually, talking about this right now is making me want to go re-read the books. If only I weren’t occupied with NaNoWriMo.
The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead also has to make my list of honorable mentions. This fourth book in the Bloodlines series was where things really got ramped up. Yes, the first three books were great, and I loved spending more time with Sydney and Adrian, but this book was absolutely amazing. It got me going not just with the romance, but also with the complications around them because of their relationship. It made the wait for the last two books even more intense for me. I love both the Vampire Academy series and the Bloodlines series.
Finally, my last honorable mention goes to The House of Hades by Rick Riordan. Now, don’t get me wrong. Uncle Rick’s books are all pretty much amazing. But there’s just something about this middle-ish book of The Heroes of Olympus series–yes, I know that The Mark of Athena is technically the middle book of this series–that was just completely outstanding. The last time I read through all of Rick Riordan, I was literally reading one book each day, and it led to a month where I read 31 books, which was ridiculous. But I am obsessed with all things Rick Riordan. Does it matter that I am a 30 year old woman and therefore not the target audience? Nope, not at all. I first discovered Rick Riordan’s books in my library in the summer of 2007, and I have been hooked ever since. Yes, I first read The Lightning Thief when I was turning 19 years old. It was shelved in the YA section (though it is Middle Grade), and it was based on mythology, which I will always be interested in reading.
Okay, now with all that gushing about a few other middle books in the series, I’m sure you’re wondering what book I have as my pick this month. Trust me, there will be a lot of gushing for this one as well.
All right, you’ve waited long enough.
My choice for Favorite Middle Book in a Series is….
The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco
Yes, this is the middle book of a trilogy, and the third book will be out March 5, 2019. The first book is The Bone Witch, and I absolutely raved about it after I read it, and the same is definitely true for The Heart Forger.
I was able to read an early copy of the first book thanks to NetGalley, and then for the second book, I was sent a very lovely print ARC a couple months early. It was a complete surprise when it showed up on my doorstep one day.
The world created for this trilogy is a fascinating one. I enjoy the culture of it all, and the descriptions are absolutely wonderful. Then there is the magic system. Now look, generally I am not much of a fan of either zombie stories or necromancy, and this story pretty much has both. The main character is a Bone Witch, and at the beginning of the trilogy, her brother dies and she brings him back to life. But just the way the story is written, with the main character telling her story to a bard and how it jumps between the current story, and then the past where she is still learning and growing, I was just enraptured by it all. Oh, and the way it jumps back and forth really helps to add to the suspense of figuring out what exactly happened to make Tea this way, and also figure out which guy is her true love.
The second book brings in journeys or dealings with several other countries, which means even more hua designs, more lush descriptions of zivars, and learning even more about how different ashas wield their abilities. Plus there is even more interaction with the powerful daeva creatures, and so much more intrigue and action. And the character development as you get pulled even farther into the story. Seriously, both of these books have landed on my favorite reads lists, and I’m pretty sure the third book will as well. There’s just a few more months to wait. Thank goodness.
Whew, that was a lot of gushing about books for one post. Please check out the links to both Katie’s and Adrienne’s blogs, and they will have the links for the other Calendar Girls posts for this month. I’m really looking forward to seeing what everyone else chose.
That is all for today, and I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.