Friday 5 – First Impressions

I can’t Find who started the Friday Five book blog meme. It seems to crop up in many different style such as “Five for Friday”, “Five on Friday” , “FridayFive Challenge”. I also can’t find a topic list like you would have for the Six on Sunday meme. Therefore I am just doing my own thing and setting my own topics just so I can chat books with you.

This Friday Is going to be a little bit different. There are so many amazing books that came out Yesterday – the 22nd July 2021. And I just couldn’t read and review them all so while waiting on my reviews I thought I would give you my first impressions for five of them. I have read at least the first 5 chapters of each of these amazing books and given you some of my thoughts.

Three books that I have not included in this list are The Witness for the Dead, The Past is Red and The Dying Squad . That’s because I have full reviews for these lovelies!

Assassin’s Orbit
John Appel

Physical ARC
Rebellion Publishing

My First impressions:

Loving this so far, it has a fantastic voice to the writing that despite having a ‘hard’ sci-fi setting of a space station it is a nice pace to it. Again a little bit of a police procedural vibe (I am really into these at the moment arn’t I?) which is just fantastic as it sets up the politics of the station, the galactic governance and the interpersonal relationships in such a smooth way.

Five things I am loving so far:

  • Multi -POV and POC characters, all at the height of there professions!
  • So far all POV’s have been mature women with two 60+ and the third in her mid 40s
  • All levels of investigation covered. We have the perspectives of PI’s, Police Commissioners and Spies on how to tackle the case. all with different levels of investment, for some it is personal with a grandchild killed, others its a terrifying diplomatic incident, others its their ticket out of there current predicament!
  • Political machinations galore! There are political manoeuvrings at all levels also, from galactic and world affairs to the the criminal underworld of the station we have had little glimpses into all of these so far.
  • The setting and the technology are so cool. Its set aboard a large space station, and we have been introduced so some pretty awesome technology. I like that the personal computers are known as djinn.

Notes from the Burning age
Clare North

Orbit Books

My First impressions:

Clare north’s writing is just beautiful. It paints such a beautiful picture of the world around the characters and I found it be be very immersive. The mythologizing of our current existence is really interesting and sets up some really inventive world building. There is something compelling about the narrator and how we are getting to know him and that keeps the pages turning. The worldbuilding is just so fantastic, how it has restructured after climate disaster, and how it celebrates and denigrates out current society.

Five things I am loving so far:

  • Dystopian/utopian futuristic setting – I really liked the descriptions of the technology that managed to both feel futuristic but also within the first chapters feel homey and small country life with a make-do and mend sort of feel.
  • Beautiful writing that establishes such a gorgeous set of history and mythology that really captures the deep sadness as well as the moments of joy found in those first chapters.
  • An interesting narrator and narrative style, there is a calmness to the recollection of the story they are telling that pulls you in and keeps you reading. He is a little morally grey but in a sympathetic way.
  • Love the concept of an archaeologist/linguist in the future running through all the data we produce now to sift out the interesting from the cat pictures, studying online trolling as an anthropological exercise. There is a subtle humour to the worldbuilding, especially when referencing our society like our great artists “Beatless and Beyondsee”
  • The religious aspects have a darkness to them, a fear that it just lurking behind the beliefs. We have only just touched on the “Kakuy”, a sort of deamon/earth spirit, that have a spine chilling aspect to them.

The Book of Accidents
Chuck Windig

Physical ARC
Del Rey UK

My First impressions:

Multiple prologues to set up the book which took me a little bit to get into. This is my first Wendig book and I am still very curious. The first few chapters themselves are very short introducing us to the cast of characters and the

Five things I am loving so far:

  • The multiple prologues that have yet to link back to the story creates real anticipation, especially since they are of quite a dark nature.
  • I really like the way the characters are introduced. We get a small snippet of each of there lives and the circumstances behind the move back to their home town. Again it builds a kind of tension.
  • I really like the very matter of fact narration style it kind of highlights the spookiest bits.
  • I am loving the gore, it is subtle and quiet but there is a darkness creeping in and I really like how it is building
  • The first five chapters (and two prologues) leads us up to moving into the old house and we have had a little glimpses of the darkness and it makes you want to read on. I don’t think this will be one I can read at night!

She Who Became the Sun
Shelley Parker-Chan

Pan MacMillan

My First impressions:

Oh this has a grim start, but filled with emotional writing that really makes it impactful. I always like stories where the MC is having to learn a new way of life so diving into the life at the monastery was really interesting. Getting to track that learning over the months at the monastery is re

Five things I am loving so far:

  • Beautiful writing with gorgeous imagery there is a real emotional impactful quality to it.
  • Zhu is a really strong character, especially in their determination to survive. I really found myself routing for them as they had to take on the persona of their deceased brother in order to try and survive. The hints at their talents is really interesting. Already there is so much complexity to Zhu’s character and I think I am really going to enjoy their journey.
  • There are multiple perspectives – while in the first five chapters only give a slight glimpse into these perspectives they seem just as complex and detailed as Zhu so I am interested to find out more. The omnipresent narrator really gives a sense of the passage of time without loosing any information and really builds the world out in an informative but not info-dumpy way.
  • I am loving the themes of gender identity, resilience in your sense of self and the right to choose that are emerging even so early on in the book.
  • There is so much detail to the story and we are starting to see the building of some politics and background mauvoerings that will add even more to the personal stories we are following.

A radical act of Free Magic
H. G. Parry

The Shadow Histories #2

Orbit Books

My First impressions:

This is a difficult one to give first impressions for as it is the second book in a series. However so far I am enjoying it just as much as I loved the first. I haven’t actually written up my review for the first book as I was so enamoured by it I really couldn’t put my words into a sensible order other than it was a fantastic combination of real historical events with beautiful subtle additions of magic into the mix. So far the second instalment is proving just as successful to me. I will hopefully bring my thoughts for the series together soon.

So there you have my thoughts on the five ARCs which released Yesterday the 22nd of July! the only question is which one do I finish first!! They are all proving to be rea

I would love to chat all things bookish with you! You can comment down below or find me on Twitter or Goodreads!

Happy Reading!

2 thoughts on “Friday 5 – First Impressions

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