It’s the first Thursday of the month. You know what that means, ’cause we do this on the first Thursday of every month! Time to report!
What is the best book you read in February 2016 and why did you love it? It doesn’t have to be a newly published book, or even SFF. We just want to share some great reading material. Feel free to post a full review of the book here, or a link to the review on your blog, or just write a few sentences about why you thought it was awesome.
(And don’t forget that we always have plenty more reading recommendations on our Fanlit Faves page and our 5-Star SFF page. And we’ve also got a constantly updating list of new and forthcoming releases.)
As always, one commenter will choose a book from our stacks.
We’ve got a couple of giveaways still current. Find those here!
The Last Witness by K.J. Parker
Perfect State by Brandon Sanderson
February wasn’t a great reading month for me. If we’re talking about the books that I started and finished reading in February, then I would probably go with Thomas Emson’s Skarlet.
Despite its flaws I liked this book. Skarlet’s short action-filled chapters made me constantly want to read more. And my biggest complaint was the often awkward dialog.
All in all, I enjoyed this horror-ish take on the traditional vampire story.
I have two that deserve mention. McKillip’s Kingfisher is a contemporary fantasy told with McKillip’s trademark lyrical, often confusing, and always beautifully mysterious language and set in a world of cell phones and cars, knights and sorcerors, electricity and candles.
J. Kathleen Cheney has written another wonderfully intriguing fantasy mystery, Dreaming Death. I love her characters and the beautiful dance of their interactions. The blind female protagonist is an absolute treat.
Ash and Silver, by Carol Berg, was almost the best book I read in February — until I found out that “The Sanctuary” was only a duology! Wait, what? No more books in this series? *dies of disappointment*
So I have to go with Nemesis Games, by James S. A. Corey, instead. I can’t wait for more adventures with the crew of the Rocinante, and another season of The Expanse, too. :-)
Melanie, I have heard Carol Berg does not know if Sanctuary will be more than two books.
*perks up* There’s hope! Thank you!
The Cartel by Don Winslow
This Census Taker by China Mieville and The Last Mortal Bond by Brian Staveley
A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston
Lo-Melkhiin has married and killed hundreds of brides from all over his kingdom. The story begins when he arrives at the main character’s home to choose his next bride. The main character can’t bear the thought of Lo-Melkhiin choosing her sister, and so she dresses herself up in order to attract his attention, knowing it will likely mean her death. Of course, that is just the beginning of the story. A story told by and about characters without names, except for a few of the men.
Throughout the story the main character muses to herself that while it is true everyone benefits from the economic stability that the ruling King has brought, it is the women who pay for it with their lives. The men, she reasons, agree to the payment of this blood price because the loss of a daughter is not the same as a son. Feminist literature? Most certainly.
The story here is not some overwrought romance, nor is it a heavy handed political diatribe. Rather, it’s a slow building, and lushly told tale of how the world is kept safe by the keepers of house, home and hearth, the nameless, and anonymous, the women.
“If you listen long enough to the whispers, you will hear the truth. Until then, I will tell you this: the world is made safe by a woman.”
What makes this story great is the way all the little moments and relationships are woven together. The love of family, the inner strength of the main character, the way she finds comfort in the community of women in her new home, all of it just worked. This is just one of those books that has a surprising amount of depth and I think has been slightly underappreciated. As for me, I’m so glad I made time to read it.
I loved A Thousand Nights, also.
My favorite reads of last month are:
Into the Dark by J.A. Sutherland which is a fun mix of space opera and swashbuckler styles with a dash of Honor Harrington to set the flavor.
Street Magic by Tamora Pierce which is the second in the second arc of her Emelan series. I love everything Briar, Daja, Sandry and Tris. Always a fun ride. Pierce does not hold back on the violence.
A Wolf at the Door by K.A. Stewart, the third in the Jesse James Dawson series where human champions go one on one against demons. An urban fantasy treat.
I had two favorite reads in February.
Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
There were also several that came out in February that I’m looking forward to reading!
Liz H, if you live in the USA, you win a book of your choice from our stacks.
Please contact me (Marion) with your choice and a US address. Happy reading!