Well, April has been the best reading month for me since January. Not only did I finish three whole books and one short story, but the content of most was excellent. This month I read two novels, one graphic novel, and one short story. And… well, that pretty much covers it. Let’s just get right into the fun part!
The first thing I read this month was Son of the Dawn, a short story for the eventual collection entitled Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare and a few co-writers. This particular tale’s co-writer was Sarah Rees Brennan.
Ghosts of the Shadow Market is an anthology about Jem Carstairs—or, rather Brother Zachariah. He’s trying to solve some kind of mystery and, much like The Bane Chronicles, it sees him through different time periods. This first story takes place about seven or eight years before the events of The Mortal Instruments. In fact, this is the story of how Jace came to live with the Lightwoods. I don’t want to say too much since it’s a short story, but this installment was really cute. I especially liked finally getting to really dive into Jem/Brother Zachariah’s head. We hardly got his point of view in The Infernal Devices. Overall, I think this anthology is promising. I gave this one four out of five stars.
The first full-length book I read was Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray.
I read The Diviners back in 2016 and really enjoyed it, so I bought the second one. Naturally, I didn’t read it until April 2018. I can’t fathom why I waited so long because this book was even better than the first one. This series is about a group of kids in New York City, living it up during the Roaring Twenties. However, many of them have psychic powers. Each book has its own Big Bad, but it’s clearly building up to something even bigger. This book made me love the characters more than the first one did. The relationships between each of them are enhanced so much in this novel. But that’s not all! It includes some fun tropes like the fake dating trope and really does the work to expand the world-building. It’s also incredibly diverse and handles issues such as being gay or a person of color in early 20th Century America with care. It’s very apparent Bray did her research. This novel is smart, funny, and heartfelt all at once. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next one! I gave this one a full five stars.
Next I picked up a graphic novel, the highly anticipated The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 6: Imperial Phase Part II by Kieron Gillen with art by Jamie McKelvie and Matt Wilson.
I have mixed feelings on this volume, mostly because it’s clearly setting up the next story arc. Again, I don’t want to give too much away, seeing as this is the sixth volume in the series. For a brief overview, The Wicked + The Divine is about gods and goddesses from all sorts of religions and mythologies. Every ninety years, they are reborn and basically become rock stars. Then, after two years of god life, they die. As for this particular one, it felt like it was just cleaning up the mess volume five made and setting up new conflicts. Still, I’m really excited to continue the story— especially after that cliffhanger! I gave this one three stars.
Then I wrapped up the month with If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio.
I just… wow. This book is So. Good. The characters, the relationships, the mystery, the ENDING?! All fantastic. This book is about a group of theatre students in their final year of college. For three years, they’ve played the same roles offstage as they have onstage and have formed good-natured rivalries. But suddenly these rivalries turn dark and tragedy comes calling. Now the group must convince the cops— and each other— of their innocence. I really love how a lot of the dialogue is formatted like a play. In fact, the entire novel makes intentional use of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy format. This book is so addicting, I never wanted to put it down. In fact, I think I already found what will be one of my favorite books of the year. I just… WOW. I gave this one a well-deserved five out of five stars.
What did you read in April? Tell me about it in the comments!