To intro a bit, these are the new version of “Books I’m Never Reviewing”. I kept feeling like the connotation was that I wasn’t fond of said books, when often, quite the opposite was true. Also, the name was clunky. The bottom line is this: These are considered legitimate reviews by absolutely no one. Why? I don’t feel like it, nor do I have to. But apparently, my ego dictates that I still think you care whether I liked them and/or I feel like shouting about them. And so, I shall.

*Quick housekeeping note** This has been… A Time for me. I’ll eventually share more, but right now I just need you to know that I am likely going to be sporadic. And I apologize if it takes me awhile to respond to stuff.

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #3
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on March 13, 2018
Pages: 615

Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they'll find seven months after the invasion?

Meanwhile, Kady's cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza's ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha's past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict.

With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.

Oy, this is so loaded that I probably should have done an actual review, but alas, it will be incoherent, so there’s that?

Look, I did not hate this book, before we all grab our pitchforks. But… I am also moderately convinced that I read a different book than everyone else? Everyone on Twitter, on Goodreads, in reviews, were basically shouting their love for this book from the rooftops, and I am so happy that you all felt that way, yay! But… when everyone talked about how their souls were destroyed… well, I didn’t have any such experience.

In fact, that was probably my biggest qualm: the lack of feels. While it was mostly entertaining, and that was good, it felt so safe, and so easy in a lot of cases, which was not what I’d come to expect from this series. For all of you who read it: View Spoiler » and also View Spoiler ».

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All Systems Red by Martha Wells
Series: The Murderbot Diaries #1
Published by / Tom Doherty Associates on May 2, 2017
Pages: 149

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it's up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

Murderbot is funny, y’all! I did not expect that, and I honestly did not really expect something called “Murderbot” to be so damn relatable. All it wanted to do was watch its equivalent of Netflix and be left alone, and who among us hasn’t felt that? My only real qualm is that it took me a long time to get to know some of the characters and who was who… and I didn’t love the turn that the ending took? View Spoiler » Overall it was super enjoyable and I definitely will be picking up the next one. Bonus points for me being able to finish in one sitting.

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The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson
Published by Scribner on January 2, 2018
Pages: 304

Station Eleven meets The Hunger Games in this ruthless, captivating story of a young woman’s survival in the frozen wilderness of the Yukon after the rest of the world has collapsed.

As the old world dies, we all must choose to become predators. Or become prey.

The old world has been ravaged by war and disease, and as far as Lynn McBride is concerned, her family could be the last one left on earth. For seven years, the McBrides have eked out a meagre existence in the still, white wilderness of the Yukon. But this is not living. This is survival on the brink.

Into this fragile community walk new threats, including the enigmatic fugitive, Jax, who holds secrets about the past and, possibly, keys to a better future. And then there’s Immunity, the pre‑war organization that was supposed to save humankind from the flu. They’re still out there, enforcing order and conducting experiments—but is their work for the good of humankind or is something much more sinister at play? In the face of almost certain extinction, Lynn and her family must learn to hunt as a pack or die alone in the cold.

Breakout debut novelist Tyrell Johnson weaves a captivating tale of humanity stretched far beyond its breaking point, of family and the bonds of love forged when everything else is lost. Reminiscent of Station Eleven and The Hunger Games, this is a classic and enthralling post‑apocalyptic adventure and a celebration of the human spirit.

I’d never heard of this book before Greg @ Book Haven recommended it, but more people should be hearing about it cause it’s kind of awesome. The setting is pretty damn amazing, rural Yukon Canada. It’s snowy and cold and completely isolated- or so the characters thought. It’s post-apocalyptic which I am a fan of, but it also includes a lot of survival themes, and a load of family stuff. Other than a few semi-farfetched (and spoilery, sorry) things that happened, I really loved this. And I hope there’s a sequel, because while the ending is pretty satisfying, I think there’s room for a lot more story to be told in this world (and from what I understand, the author has ideas, yay).

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Bygone Badass Broads: 52 Forgotten Women Who Changed the World by Mackenzi Lee, Petra Eriksson
Published by Harry N. Abrams on February 27, 2018
Pages: 176

Based on Mackenzi Lee’s popular weekly Twitter series of the same name, Bygone Badass Broads features 52 remarkable and forgotten trailblazing women from all over the world. With tales of heroism and cunning, in-depth bios and witty storytelling, Bygone Badass Broads gives new life to these historic female pioneers. Starting in the fifth century BC and continuing to the present, the book takes a closer look at bold and inspiring women who dared to step outside the traditional gender roles of their time. Coupled with riveting illustrations and Lee’s humorous and conversational storytelling style, this book is an outright celebration of the badass women who paved the way for the rest of us.

This book is like going down a Wikipedia hole, but much more amusing and entertaining. And also with pretty pictures. The author does an amazing job of bringing wit and humor into the stories, which give you just enough insight into the women to be satisfied (though I will definitely be researching them more later, but that’s just me). My only negative was that the editing was… a bit of a mess. Years of birth and death were wrong, and some had me questioning my sanity. These were in the text, but also in the main headings of stories and such. So… something to be aware of. But overall, I definitely recommend!

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Okay, I need to know: What is the last book you were a black sheep with? Thoughts on any of these books?

Posted April 18, 2018 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Quasi-Review, Review / 16 Comments

16 responses to “Inarticulate Book Musings: More Recent Reads

  1. Ooh I like all these books ha ha! Well the first three anyway, although BBB sounds awesome. I liked Obsidio but it wasn’t amazing for me, and I liked Gemina a LOT more. Also re: your 2nd spoiler- all I’ll say is YEAH, although you already know how I feel about that.

    Murderbot of course goes without saying that I love it. 🙂 And The Wolves of Winter IS the bomb, I agree.

    So…BBB. Sounds like a kickass read actually, in spite of the errors. Wow you wiped out 4 books in this bad boy. I need to try mini- reviews!

  2. Noooo that’s not good about Obsidio! ??I’m hearing mixed things about it but I’m still too scared my heart is going to be ripped out of my chest so. Procrastination it is! I’m so good at this.? And the last book I was a black sheep on, ohhh probably With Love From Twinkle. I decided not even to review it because I was so underwhelmed lol lol.

  3. Amy S.

    Thanks for the head up on the Wolves of Winter. I haven’t heard of that one and it sounds right up my alley. I’m going to look for it at the library.

  4. I could not agree more about Obsidio. The stakes just weren’t high enough; the ending didn’t feel as important as the previous two books had built it up to be. Plus, WHY would you introduce two brand new characters in the final book, and then proceed to make half the book about them and leave readers with almost NO time with the characters we already know and love from the previous books?? It kinda felt like lazy writing to me. Plus, the endless video surveillance summaries in this book really got tiring. On a happier note, though, I’m really glad you enjoyed Bygone Badass Broads! I’ve been looking forward to that one, and seeing as I love falling down Wikipedia rabbitholes, it’s safe to say I’m pumped for that.

  5. Being a black sheep sucks! I felt that way about Winter. I still haven’t started Illuminae yet.

    Haha I’m glad you enjoyed Murderbot! I’ve been wanting to read that one!

  6. I haven’t read Obsidio yet – I still want to re-read the first two, so I can’t comment. LOL But I’m sorry you feel a bit of a black sheep on that one. It can definitely happen!

    And I have Bygone Badass Broads, so I hope to read that soon. That’s a bummer about the editing being a bit wonky though.


  7. Kel

    Haven’t read any of these, but I’m a black sheep on so much, I’ve stopped keeping count (and take every 5-star review I read with several pounds of salt). I get excited about a very special handful of things and everything else is like, meh. Like Simon Cowell. I feel so dated making that reference. But yeah, best of luck with The Time, and let me know if you need help with anything!

  8. I felt like I was crying a lot during Obsidio. Those parts where Hanna was remembering her dad broke my heart, especially because I know Kaufman wrote it after she lost her own father. Sorry it didn’t work for you. =(

  9. I still need to read Obsidio. I’m not as obsessed with the series as everybody else seems to be, but I’m curious about how it ends. The Wolves of Winter sounds amazing. The Bygone Badass Broads book is on my TBR list. I’m glad you liked that one!

  10. I loved Obsidio, so I guess we can’t be book twins for everything. I do agree about your comparison to The 100 though (I remember thinking that) and I definitely get your point about the second spoiler, but I was feeling the pain up until … stuff happened, so, yeah, tears were shed.

  11. You take all the time you need for whatever it has to do <3 Us blog readers can wait; we'll always be here.

    As for the books, this is the first time I am seeing a less than five star review for Obsidio! I am surprised, but also sorry that you couldn't love the ending more. It sounds like it was just an alright read. Murderbot?? What an interesting title xD I am glad it was so funny though!

  12. Obsidio actually went fine for me, the only real problem I had with it was that some things ended… Too conveniently and too well (the little girl? Rhys?) Other than that though, I still loved it 🙂 I also figured that they weren’t dead though because they were mentioned throughout the first and second book testifying in the trial that happened afterwards, so we knew they’d survive. I also didn’t buy the fake death thingie. And I agree, if Rhys and the little girl and maybe Asha hadn’t made it out, it would be much more convincing.

    I LOVE the Murderbot series so much, and I gave it 5 stars, but I was also not a fan of the ending of the first book. I am still low-key hoping we will come back to those characters because I miss them :<

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