Aurealis Award judging has started once more – last year I listed them separately but this year I think I’ll just leave them off – it’s not like I can discuss them at all.
This year I’ll be judging the first year of the Sara Douglass Series Award, which shall try to determine the BEST series that was finalised between the years 2011 and 2014. Sara Douglass was an amazing Australian author who sadly passed in 2011 (and we can’t believe it was so long ago already), and we are very glad to have been able to name the award for her, as her series got countless people into speculative fiction.
At an estimate we’ll be reading more than 80 series, and as most series have three-five books… it’s going to be an incredibly fun, exhausting feat I’m sure!
Onto the novels read in August!
Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway was a novel I rated five stars, because I liked what it did and it felt different, however somehow at the same time I was a little disappointed. It felt like it was shorter than it needed to be (in a plot/character way, rather than ‘oh that was so good I wish I had more), though it remained fascinating and I’d recommend it to anyone. It’s probably more the fact that I liked what it did, so I would have liked to see it expand on everything a lot more, rather than show a seemingly small snapshot.
Armada by Ernest Cline was disappointing. I really enjoyed Ready Player One as simply a fun book, and in this I found pretty much the same characters, and a less-engaging plot. Which was a shame, as it was the first book I tried to get back into bookclub with and now I’m just like oh well, maybe next time. I’m generally character-driven, but none of the characters really grabbed me – with such a tight time-frame, we can’t get to know the characters for obvious reasons – and with such a limited plot I just couldn’t really care less as this story went on and on. A shame! Maybe I got my hopes up too high.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling was read for a re-read – which made me realise I haven’t read this series since 2011 and even then I only read the first three books – before that it was 2006/2007! Appalling! It’s always interesting to come back to this series and re-read it, every few years. Especially when you read commentary about the series often in between, seeing what others say about the characters and so forth, then go back to the start and go through it again. Getting older also provides a different angle to it all. If you haven’t re-read this series in a while, I highly recommend it!
Sharp Shooter by Marianne Delacourt is a book read for proofing, so won’t really discuss. It is really good, though!
Sharp Turn by Marianne Delacourt is a book read for proofing, so won’t really discuss. It is really good, though!
Stage Fright by Marianne Delacourt is a book read for proofing, so won’t really discuss. It is really good, though!
Tower of Thorns by Juliet Marillier was an eagerly awaited book, and I wasn’t disappointed! The publishing team are so kind that when I begged to get it before a flight, they were kind enough to get it to me asap – best flight ever! This book picks up after the first excellent book (one we awarded the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novel of 2014), and it only somehow gets better from there. Grim and Blackthorn have to have their wits around them even more, as they continue to grow and heal after their ordeals only to be thrown into a life more hectic. I can’t wait until the third book to see them return to the life they’ve started to build around themselves, as I missed certain characters dearly.
A review shall come shortly. I’ve run out of time this month!
Letters to Tiptree edited by Alexandra Pierce and Alisa Krasnostein is a book I speak more of below, one that I highly recommend but also go as far as to pair it with another important book, James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon by Julie Phillips, which I shall hopefully discuss in my next month round-up.
August was a busy month. I spent two weeks of it away with the director/publisher of Twelfth Planet Press, interning and generally helping launching their latest book, Letters to Tiptree which I of course wholly recommend. This left little time for reading at all, let alone reading for pleasure and now I’m feeling quite overwhelmed with all the judging books I have piled everywhere! I did read sections of Letters to Tiptree over and over countless times – if only that counted somehow but alas, it means little for the goodreads challenge or listing here in the month summary :p Alas!