With the arrival of March, it’s time to take a moment to look back at the books I read in February. Reading is one of my favorite activities to do and I look forward to discovering new stories and authors. Exploring books every month not only allows me to enjoy these stories but also helps me to reduce my enormous TBR into something a bit more manageable. The February 2021 reading wrap-up will showcase the books I read during the month and my thoughts on them.
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February 2021 reading wrap-up
This book had sat unread on my shelf for close to 15 years. But this month it was time to finally get to it. I had been intrigued by the premise of this book, and the trilogy as a whole, since I first picked it up and was excited to see how the events would unfold. The initial start to the story pulled me in but very quickly things slowed down. Normally I would give up when this happens but I felt the story had potential so I kept reading. While the world and characters were decently interesting, I did find not much happened for about three-quarters of the book. Only the beginning and ending seemed to have any real significance.
That being said, I am willing to give the second book in the trilogy a chance based solely upon the ending of this book. I hope that story holds my attention better. I also wish that this book had a bit more world-building. It also lacked a good explanation of how the magic systems work, which will hopefully be answered in the second book. Overall, it was an okay book that does have the potential to go places.
If you are familiar with the anime series, then this volume of The Rising of the Shield Hero feels exactly like the episodes that encompass this part of the overall story. I can’t say that I noticed any major differences between the two, though we do get to see more of Naofumi’s thoughts as events unfold. Overall, if you love the anime series then you will love the books as well. Looking forward to continuing this series soon.
Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher
I first read this book back in 2013 and I enjoyed it so much that it is one of my favorite romance novels. It’s hard to talk about this book without giving too much away. What I can say is that the alien world it is set in is very unique and a key component to the story itself. The romance starts slow but speeds up fairly quickly as does the story itself. If you want to experience a creative sci-fi story with a steamy romance then this is the book you want to read.
Having read and thoroughly enjoyed her Lunar Chronicles series, I was ready to dive into another retelling. Heartless is the story of the Queen of Hearts in Wonderland and how she became the woman she is. Now, I will admit I have never read Alice in Wonderland, but I have seen different movie versions of the story, so I am pretty familiar with who the Queen of Hearts is. As excited as I was for this story, it fell flat in the end. I couldn’t find myself connecting with Catherine, who becomes the Queen of Hearts, or any other character, the world, or the story itself. Somehow I managed to make it to the end, perhaps hoping for the story to redeem itself in its final moments but still didn’t care for the story.
As with all of the previous volumes of Komi Can’t Communicate, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one. The events in this volume occur during and after Golden Week. We get to see the characters in a different setting, participating in events that they wouldn’t normally. I liked that the families were more involved in this one, even though the main focus was on the kids. The one thing I didn’t like was the ending, now I may be reading into it all wrong, but it gave me this odd feeling that a love triangle was going to happen soon and I really hope I’m wrong. Otherwise, I loved this book.
I’ve read a couple of Weiland’s novel-writing books so far and they have all been fantastic resources. This one is no exception. I do recommend reading her novel outlining book before this one, though she gives a quick overview of the points from that book in Structuring Your Novel. This one really helps you to understand how to turn a novel idea or outline into a fully fleshed-out story, ensuring you are hitting the critical points at the right moments. I highly recommend this one along with her other books for any writers out there that want to improve their craft.
This book caught my attention a couple of months ago when I first heard about it. Reading the synopsis gave me slight Sword Art Online vibes and from that alone, I knew I had to read it. The story itself was unique in a way. I did feel that the writing felt immature, and perhaps that’s because the main character, Cayna, is a bit on the immature side as well. There were times when it felt like the story was aimed at a younger audience and the story itself was chaotic at times. Overall, an okay book. I think there is only one other book in this series, which I may read at some point but I won’t rush to do so.
If Structuring Your Novel is a cake, then 5 Secrets of Story Structure is the icing on that cake. While I better understood how to make my novel outline work after reading the previous book, this book helps to truly flesh out those ideas into a fully cohesive unit. This is a fairly short read but it is jam-packed full of helpful information. Highly recommend for writers to read this.
While I didn’t absolutely love the Alicization story arc in the anime, revisiting that same story in the light novels makes me truly appreciate the story. This book goes well beyond what we see for this story arc in the anime and I would say that’s one of the big reasons why I enjoyed it so much. We get to learn more about the characters, the world, and how everything works. There were aspects of this story that I feel should have been included in the anime because it truly brought everything together. I’m really looking forward to continuing this series and seeing all of the differences between the light novel and the anime.
February 2021 reading wrap-up stats
- Books read: 9
- Books purchased: 2
- Books gifted: 2
- Books purged: 2
- Books DNF’d: 0
I hope you enjoyed my February 2021 reading wrap-up. What books did you read in February?