Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This book meme was initially created by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived by Taking on a World of Words. There are three Ws to answer in each post. What are you currently reading?, what did you recently finish reading? and what do you think you’ll read next? Please feel free to join me in the comments below to discuss your three Ws too!
I have been incredibly lucky (bookwise) for the last few weeks of 2020. I have done some of the best reading of the whole year this month and it continues in Hall Of Smoke, which I am savouring every moment of right now. Gallow Glass was a superb SF thriller and Ready Player Two was controversial in design and reference saturation but overall I enjoyed it. And in writing this post I am reminded of all the awesome books I already have the opportunity to read during 2021 so that’s even better! I hope you enjoy the post today and have a wonderful (as much as you possibly can right now) Christmas and a Happy New Year.
What Are You Currently Reading?
Synopsis: Epic fantasy featuring warrior priestesses and fickle gods at war, for readers of Brian Staveley’s Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne. Hessa is an Eangi: a warrior priestess of the Goddess of War, with the power to turn an enemy’s bones to dust with a scream. Banished for disobeying her goddess’s command to murder a traveller, she prays for forgiveness alone on a mountainside. While she is gone, raiders raze her village and obliterate the Eangi priesthood. Grieving and alone, Hessa – the last Eangi – must find the traveller and atone for her weakness and secure her place with her loved ones in the High Halls. As clans from the north and legionaries from the south tear through her homeland, slaughtering everyone in their path Hessa strives to win back her goddess’ favour. Beset by zealot soldiers, deceitful gods, and newly-awakened demons at every turn, Hessa burns her path towards redemption and revenge. But her journey reveals a harrowing truth: the gods are dying and the High Halls of the afterlife are fading. Soon Hessa’s trust in her goddess weakens with every unheeded prayer.
Thrust into a battle between the gods of the Old World and the New, Hessa realizes there is far more on the line than securing a life beyond her own death. Bigger, older powers slumber beneath the surface of her world. And they’re about to wake up.
My Thoughts: I am about 75% of the way through Hall Of Smoke and I have to say… I am in love with this book. Not only is HOS a gloriously savage odyssey of a warrior priestess fighting through a war torn land ravaged by both humanity and the divine but it is so expansive and compelling that I can’t get enough. Usually in fantasy I get to the point where I start speeding up through the book to get to the finale but with HOS I am savouring every moment. H. M. Long is in no rush, instead delving into a fascinating and fully realised pantheon of gods that are fighting to save their very existence from the forces that came before them. At the same time HML explores the motivations, beliefs and humanity of a lone warrior stuck with a perilous task. Hessa is a phenomenal lead that proves that a character can be a true badass and vulnerable to the point of breaking without compromising the story and questioning the quality of the writing. I was so surprised by how excited I was about HOS but I can confirm it is everything a fantasy reader could want in a book done right and I hope that it is a series and not just a one off.
What Did You Recently Finish Reading?
Synopsis: The year is 2069, and the earth is in flux. Whole nations are being wiped off the map by climate change. Desperate for new resources, the space race has exploded back into life.
Corporations seek ever greater profits off-world. They offer immense rewards to anyone who can claim space’s resources in their name. The bounty on a single asteroid rivals the GDP of entire countries, so every trick, legal or not, is used to win.
Jack, the scion of a shipping magnate, is desperate to escape earth and joins a team chasing down an asteroid. But the ship he’s on is full of desperate people – each one needing the riches claiming the asteroid will bring them, and they’re willing to do anything if it means getting there first.
Because in Space, there are no prizes for coming second. It’s all or nothing: riches beyond measure, or dying alone in the dark.
My Thoughts: Gallow Glass is great SF and it’s near-futuristic setting, focus on realistic space exploration and vital climate-change themes make it a must reader for any science-fiction enthusiast. SJ Morden crafts excellent characters, wraps them in thrilling narratives and places them in remote, claustrophobic settings where death can happen any moment and I can’t help but root for them. First Petrovitch and Frank, now Jack and Cat. Gallow Glass may read like a classic Hollywood space movie but SJM is invested in detail, in human interaction and in compelling, relevant themes that address our very immediate reality. Great stuff!
What Do You Think You’ll Read Next?
Synopsis: One October morning, Laina gets the news that her brother was shot and killed by Boston cops. But what looks like a case of police brutality soon reveals something much stranger. Monsters are real. And they want everyone to know it.
As creatures from myth and legend come out of the shadows, seeking safety through visibility, their emergence sets off a chain of seemingly unrelated events. Members of a local werewolf pack are threatened into silence. A professor follows a missing friend’s trail of bread crumbs to a mysterious secret society. And a young boy with unique abilities seeks refuge in a pro-monster organization with secrets of its own. Meanwhile, more people start disappearing, suicides and hate crimes increase, and protests erupt globally, both for and against the monsters.
At the center is a mystery no one thinks to ask: Why now? What has frightened the monsters out of the dark?
The world will soon find out.
My Thoughts: This reminded me of Tim Lebbon’s Relics series so I was intrigued enough to request a copy from NetGalley. I was approved and I thought I may as well get involved as soon as possible. There are plenty of curious elements to this story and if it is executed well, it could be really awesome! This is most likely the first book I will pick up in 2021 and it will probably set the tone for the whole year of reading… so… no pressure at all 😀
Thank you for checking out my last WWW for 2020! This will probably be my last for the whole year. I am spending time putting my review together for Hall Of Smoke because it is a phenomenal fantasy novel and I plan on talking about it a lot. What a great way to end the year, with a book I can really get excited about! Thanks for checking out the post and have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!