Monthly Wrap Up June

Monthly Check In: June 2019

I commented last month how much things can change in the space of a few weeks, and the same thing occurred in June. Despite starting it on a high, it’s ended in such a way that I’m glad to leave the month behind and start fresh in July.

I’ve got my goals and I’ve got a plan of action: this is going to be my month for focusing on what I want to achieve this year. We’re over halfway through 2019 (how?) and I realised just the other day that I’m still in the same place I was at the start of the year.

It’s time to start prioritising the things I care about. After neglecting the novel for the entirety of June, it’s top of the pile for things to tackle in July. I completely ignored the blog last week in a way I’ve never done before, so back to content, promotion and engagement. No more waiting for things to happen: July me is going to take control!

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Well… it sounds impressive when I write it like that.

June’s Reading

And as a first port of call, I’m taking a look back at what I read in June. I’m a book behind where I want to be at the moment, but I pleasantly surprised myself realising I’d read more than I thought.

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

Plot

The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most importantly of all—she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her—his mother just found out that he’s a vampire, and now he’s homeless. When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

Thoughts: This continued my re-read and I, once again, forgot how much I loved the characters and their interactions. I’m getting more pleasure out of them the second time round than when I first read them all those years ago.

Freezing Point by Grace Hamilton

Freezing Point by Grace Hamilton

Plot

In the dawn of a new Ice Age, families everywhere are taking to the road to escape the frigid landscape—but you can’t outrun the cold. 

No one could have predicted the terrifying impact of human interference in the Arctic. Shifts in the Earth’s crust have led to catastrophe and now the North Pole is located in the mid-Atlantic, making much of the eastern United States an unlivable polar hellscape. 

Nathan Tolley is a talented mechanic who has watched his business dry up due to gas shortages following the drastic tectonic shifts. His wife Cyndi has diligently prepped food and supplies, but it’s not enough to get them through a never-ending winter. With an asthmatic young son and a new baby on the way, they’ll have to find a safe place they can call home or risk freezing to death in this harsh new world. 

When an old friend of Nathan’s tells him that Detroit has become a paradise, with greenhouses full of food and plenty of solar energy for everyone, it sounds like the perfect place to escape. But with dangerous conditions and roving gangs, getting there seems like an impossible dream. It also seems like their only choice.

Thoughts: There’s a full review coming for this one, but it ultimately disappointed me. Weak characters who managed to survive disasters in ways that were a touch to convenient; this book had a hint of naivety about it.

Pendragon by James Wilde

Pendragon by James Wilde

Plot

Here is the beginning of a legend. Long before Camelot rose, a hundred years before the myth of King Arthur was half-formed, at the start of the Red Century, the world was slipping into a Dark Age…

It is AD 367. In a frozen forest beyond Hadrian’s Wall, six scouts of the Roman army are found murdered. For Lucanus, known as the Wolf and leader of elite unit called the Arcani, this chilling ritual killing is a sign of a greater threat.

But to the Wolf the far north is a foreign land, a place where daemons and witches and the old gods live on. Only when the child of a friend is snatched will he venture alone into this treacherous world – a territory ruled over by a barbarian horde – in order to bring the boy back home. What he finds there beyond the wall will echo down the years.

A secret game with hidden factions is unfolding in the shadows: cabals from the edge of Empire to the eternal city of Rome itself, from the great pagan monument of Stonehenge to the warrior kingdoms of Gaul will go to any length to find and possess what is believed to be a source of great power, signified by the mark of the Dragon.

A soldier and a thief, a cut-throat, courtesan and a druid, even the Emperor Valentinian himself – each of these has a part to play in the beginnings of this legend…the rise of the House of Pendragon.

Thoughts: The title alone made me read this one. A dark, heavy read that made you just want to breathe when you finished it, processing everything. Intense, but I’ll definitely continue the series.

Hexarchate Stories by Yoon Ha Lee

Hexarchate Stories by Yoon Ha Lee

Plot

The essential short story collection set in the universe of Ninefox Gambit.

An ex-Kel art thief has to save the world from a galaxy-shattering prototype weapon…

A general outnumbered eight-to-one must outsmart his opponent…

A renegade returns from seclusion to bury an old comrade…

From the incredible imagination of Hugo- and Arthur C. Clarke-nominated author Yoon Ha Lee comes a collection of stories set in the world of the best-selling Ninefox Gambit. Showcasing Lee’s extraordinary imagination, this collection takes you to the very beginnings of the hexarchate’s history and reveals new never-before-seen stories.

Thoughts: Despite being gloriously confused in the original trilogy, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to read this collection of short stories. I loved them! It was refreshing, it was fun and it gave great insights into my favourite characters.

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes by Ruth Hogan

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes by Ruth Hogan

Plot

Masha is drowning. Once a spirited, independent woman with a rebellious streak, her life has been forever changed by a tragic event twelve years ago. Unable to let go of her grief, she finds solace in the silent company of the souls of her local Victorian cemetery and at the town’s lido, where she seeks refuge underwater – safe from the noise and the pain. 

But a chance encounter with two extraordinary women – the fabulous and wise Kitty Muriel, a convent girl-turned-magician’s wife-turned-seventy-something-roller-disco-fanatic, and the mysterious Sally Red Shoes, a bag lady with a prodigious voice – opens up a new world of possibilities, and the chance to start living again.

Until the fateful day when the past comes roaring back…

Thoughts: Another that surprised me. While still being full of charm and heart-felt messages, there is an emotional undercurrent to this book that I wasn’t expecting. It was deeper and more touching than I anticipated.

Mageborn by Stephen Aryan

Mage Born by Stephen Aryan

Plot

It’s been ten years since the battlemage war, where thousands died as mages sundered the earth and split the sky. 

Habreel believes eradicating magic is the only way to ensure a lasting peace. He will do anything to achieve his goal, even if it means murdering every child born with the ability. 


As deaths involving magic increase and the seat of magical learning – the Red Tower – falls under suspicion, two students and one lawbringer must do everything they can to combat Habreel and his followers, before magic disappears from the world for good.

Thoughts: One that has been on my bookshelf for ages. An enjoyable read: not the strongest, but it was solid with a good premise and likeable characters.

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

Plot

What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other.

As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.

Thoughts: I was reminded in this one that it was the secondary plots that held my attention, not necessarily the Jace/Clary plot. Still, no complaints: another entertaining and enjoyable re-read.

How about you? What have you been reading?

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