Well well well, my friends. It’s mid-January and I think by this point you know exactly what to expect. A book post! Let me tell you, this beauty is going to be long because I was on break. So, without further ado, let’s get into What I Read December Edition!
The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
Honestly, I can’t review The Couple Next Door with any objectivity. I feel like it’s a decent thriller, some twists and turns that I didn’t quite expect. (It does a good job of showing a character’s perspective without revealing all their secrets.)
But it’s also a book about a baby that gets abducted from her parents’ home and I just can’t read that kind of stuff right now with a baby niece. I can barely think about the Lindbergh baby and that was over a century ago. So, no shade to this book, but I made a bad book choice.
Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare (and more)
I liked Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy. I don’t read a ton of short story collections, but I do like the bite-size readability that an anthology offers. Much easier to put a book down and move on to something else, then return to it. This was a very “December” book to read.
Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy weaves short stories featuring characters from all of the Shadowhunters series, all tied together with the threads of Simon’s time at the Academy. Simon is a bit more fun when he’s away from the melodrama of the main series, but this anthology manages to also stir up some rebellion and some emotions. I probably could have read it before I read the second Eldest Curses book or before I started the Chain of Gold series… but I’m glad I read it when I did. It tied together some pieces very nicely.
Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare (and more)
Okay, I probably don’t need to go into great depth regarding Ghosts of the Shadow Market. It’s just like the last book I talked about, except with Shadow Markets instead of the Academy and Jem Carstairs instead of Simon Lewis.
Still pretty good. It fills in some pieces such as how Alec and Magnus stumbled across their second child or what Matthew Fairchild did that turned him into the self-medicating drunkard in Chain of Gold. Again, pieces tied together nicely, I’m glad I read it when I did, it’s not really worth it unless you are looking for more in the Shadowhunters world.
A Killing Frost by Seanan McGuire
On the other hand, everyone should read A Killing Frost. But you should also read all the other October Daye books first, because this is the 14th book in the series and there are some big-ass developments in this one. Developments that will change Toby’s entire world.
The October Daye series is seriously incredible. Fairies, mysteries, Shakespeare, an author that truly loves the world she has created and the characters in it, a main character who is flawed but not hopelessly so… such a good series!
Battle Ground by Jim Butcher
Did you know that all the Harry Dresden book titles consist of two words with the same number of letters? I sure didn’t until my brother Kevin pointed it out to me. Except for Changes, which definitely means something significant.
But that’s not what I am talking about here. Battle Ground (plus it’s immediate predecessor slash Part One, Peace Talks) is a book that has kept us in anticipation for six years. And it’s worth it. It is one of those big books. A turning point in the series. The point where a hero loses things so his world is ever changed.
I’m torn about how I feel about the big(gest) loss in this book. Part of me feels like it was a little cliched, part of me feels like that character’s journey may have honestly been done. This loss didn’t kick off the story or give Dresden his only motivation. It reminded us that the stakes are high when magical heavy hitters come to play. Plus, there’s been 17 books. Some new characters have come to play.
I just hope the next book is released earlier than 2026 to help me see if it’s worth it.
Also, is it just me, or does Harry get taller and taller every book?
The King of Crows by Libba Bray
Last book in a series! God, aren’t endings always the hardest?
One of the coolest things about this book is the different pairings of characters. For about the first third of the book, the Diviners are split up across the US, all trying to get to Kansas, and it’s awesome to see characters that aren’t naturally drawn together spending time together. Memphis and Henry? Jericho and Ling? All very cool.
The King of Crows is moody and atmospheric. It blends American ghost stories, paranormal, horror, fantasy in a way that doesn’t quite feel like YA. It’s all really long which might not quite be your jam. But it was my jam and I’m glad I read it this December.
And that’s what I read in December 2020!
Actually, that’s not quite true… I read a couple other books that were just kind of meh. Easy reads, but not really my thing. So I decline to include them in this list. They might be your thing and I don’t want you to avoid them because I felt meh.
So, tell me in the comments – what did you read in December? What are you reading now? What should I read next?