Books for Adults

What I Read in January | 2021

It’s a new year and the book tallies have been reset. I always try to aim for 52 books in a year though I’ve only managed it twice since having kids. Let’s see if I can make it three years in a row!

There is no doubt that when the news gets bad, my head disappears into a book. With the state of affairs at the moment, I’ve made a massive start with 9 books read this month. In fact, I think that’s a new record. Especially considering I also home school 2 children at the moment while working full time. I guess sometimes there are benefits to being an insomniac!

Here’s what I’ve been reading this month:

Agency by William Gibson – ARC

Read the full synopsis here.

This was intense! You are thrown straight into a world of AI where Verity has a new job testing a digital assistant. That job turns out to be Eunice, who is actually military grade and sets into motion a series of events that turns Verity’s life upside down. Elsewhere in the not too distant future, Wilf, Rainey, Conner and Ash are allies who work to try and avoid a nuclear war in Verity’s timeline.

It sounds complicated, and I won’t lie; it is. It unapologetically launches you into a world of advanced technology and doesn’t attempt to dumb it down in any way. Instead, explanations are given as layers of the story unfold in two separate timelines centred around Verity and Wilf. I didn’t 100% understand what was going on at all times, but that didn’t stop me ultimately enjoying what was a brilliant story.

The real issue with Agency wasn’t the writing or the characters which were both captivating and relatable. It was more the plot itself. It is skilfully written, and the story keeps you turning page after page, but you never really understand why. Why does Lowbeer and her team care so much about the stubs? What does Cursion actually want with Verity? You never really find out. It could be that as this is the second book in a series, it’s simply that I’ve missed the answers, but I have a feeling it’s Gibson’s style.

Overall though, this is an engaging read with echoes of the great sci-fi writers of the past. It’s my first Gibson book but I’m already interested to go back and read it’s predecessor.

BRIDGERTON!!!!

This deserved capitals and its own heading. Along with most of the UK, I fell in love with Bridgerton on Netflix this month and when the final curtain fell on the series, I wanted more. So, I turned to the books.

Written by Julia Quinn, these are so lovely and easy to read. They make a wonderful escape to real life which is probably why I read 5 out of the series this month alone!

  • The Duke and I – Daphne’s story – synopsis here
  • The Viscount who Loved Me – Antony’s story – synopsis here
  • An Offer From a Gentleman – Benedict’s story – synopsis here
  • Romancing Mr Bridgerton – Colin’s story – synopsis here
  • To Sir Philip With Love – Eloise’s story – synopsis here

With 5 out of the 8 Bridgerton siblings down, I have 3 more to go and I have no doubt that I will plough my way through soon.

The Stone of Destiny by Caroline Logan

Read the full synopsis here.

This is a re-read for me (I first reviewed it as an ARC back in 2019) but instantly fell in love with Ailsa, Harris and Angus. I was recently sent the sequel The Cauldron of Life to review and I knew I wanted a refresh of the first book before I cracked its spine.

I loved immersing myself back into the world of fae and fair folk and can’t wait to get started on the next book.

If you’ve not already clicked the link, this is currently on Amazon for 99p (Kindle edition). Bargain!

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus

Read the full synopsis here.

I’ve had One Of Us Is Lying on my bookshelf since it came out in 2017 and for some reason I’ve just never picked it up. Having been thoroughly influenced by Donna from What The Redhead Said who recently read the sequel, I finally picked it up.

It follows 4 students – stereotyped as the geek, the jock, the criminal and the princess – as they are investigated for murder after a 5th student who was unsupervised in detention with them is killed. As the book unfolds and they try to figure out what happened to Simon, they also find out there is more to each of them than meets the eye. Each one of them is more than what they initially seem, and each one of them has a secret to hide.

The Cauldron of Life by Caroline Logan AD | ARC

Read the full synopsis here.

The sequel to The Stone of Destiny, I loved this book. As in LOVED it. I was lucky enough to be on the list to review the first book, and for that reason I was also sent the sequel to take a closer look at. I wasn’t disappointed.

The story picks up right where The Stone of Destiny ended. Harris has been taken and Ailsa sets out on a new adventure with Iona and Angus to find him. As you would expect though, it’s not quite that easy.

One of the things I love about Logan’s books is that she invests the time in her characters. Often YA fantasy is action after action with a love triangle shoved in to account for character development. Logan on the other hand gives you the time and space to really get to know the characters and as a result I absolutely love them and am completely invested in their story.

For that reason, The Cauldron of Life is a little slow to get started and I was worried that it wouldn’t live up to how much I loved the first book. However, that didn’t last long and before I knew it I was completely absorbed. Ailsa, Angus and now Maalik are quickly becoming some of my favourite characters. The ones you remember long after the book closes.

Needless to say. I can’t wait for the third book in the series and also – as is the sign of a great book series for me – re-reading the first two in the lead up to the release. I very rarely keep hardcopy books as I don’t have the space and I always like to pass them on so others can enjoy them too. This series is staying very firmly on my bookshelf though!

At only £3.49 for the kindle edition, this is another bargain!

  • Books read this month: 9
  • Total books read in 2021: 9
  • Books abandoned in 2021: 0

As you can probably tell, I’m always looking for new books. Especially at the moment. Are there any that you would recommend?

DISCLOSURE: some of these books have been gifted to me by the publishers via NetGalley in return for my honest opinion. These books are clearly marked as an eARC (electronic Advanced Readers Copy). I am not paid to do this, I do it because I love to read. The decision to include them on this blog is my own and I am under no obligation to do so.

* I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.co.uk.

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