February 2021 Wrap Up

February was a very good reading month for me. I read eight books and watched several documentaries but I don’t plan to discus those. The winter storm that came through Texas helped with how much I read as my family kept loosing power and trying to watch TV or use the internet just wasn’t worth it but thankfully nothing was damaged.

Books:

A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers was the first book I finished. This is the second book in the Wayfarers series though each book after the first can be read in any order. We follow Lovelace who was the main ships AI in the first book and who lost her memories at the end of that story being put in a human looking body and has to learn how to survive and live in this new form. We also follow Pepper who was created by others to be used and then discarded. Pepper story is from the time she is a kid learning what freedom is to an adult who has her own path and is trying to find the ship with the AI that basically raised her. This is a feel good science fiction series that is very optimistic about the future and how different species could get along. I love this series and how Becky Chambers writes characters.

Dying With Her Cheer Pants On: Stories of the Fighting Pumpkins by Seanan McGuire is a short story collection that focuses on the Fighting Pumpkins cheerleading squad as they fight the forces of darkness and save the world. I love Seanan McGuire’s stories and writing style and this collection is no different. More light hearted then some of her work each short story focuses mainly on one member of the cheer squad and why they have been called to join but all members are showcased. Great for fans of Buffy, supernatural creatures or cheerleading I have a feeling that we might see more of these characters in the future.

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore is a nonfiction book about the Radium Girls, women who painted watch dials with luminescent paint that contained radium. This book tells the story of these women who damaged their own health to paint watches used during World War I not just through the lens of history and what happened to them but through their own words and writings. No one told these women how dangerous the work they were doing could be and it took years for an justice to be given to these women. This book was very well written and I feel like I know these women at least a little bit now.

The Tangleroot Place by Marjorie M. Liu is the first ever short story collection of Marjorie Liu’s work that include stories about dangerous magic and dangerous women though its also about hope and making your own destiny. I received a advanced reader copy through NetGalley and I also have a full review posted. This collection contains six previously published stories and one new novella length story. Each story made me love the characters and the different worlds and I often wanted more but they also ended at a good place.

Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw is a horror novella that follows a group of friends going to an abandoned Japanese mansion for two of them to get married. However, as the night continues its clear that the ghost and spirits that inhabit the house are coming out to play. I received an advanced reader copy though NetGalley and have a full review posted. This is a beautifully written novella that still has horrifying elements and also focuses on how friendship can fall apart.

Fullmetal Alchemist Fullmetal Editon Volume 5 by Hiromu Arakawa is the next volume in the Fullmetal Alchemist manga series. I’ve mentioned before that I’m collecting these editions and rereading as I buy them. This volume gives more information on the Homunculus and how they are involved in controlling the government. Not my favorite volume but I do love Greed’s interactions with Al.

Hellsing Deluxe Volume 1 by Kohta Hirano is the first volume in this edition of the Hellsing manga series. I’ve read many manga throughout the years and have kept only the series I really loved. However, when new editions come out there are some series that I want the new nicer editions of and Hellsing is one of those. The Hellsing series follows the Hellsing Organization and the vampire Alucard in their fight against monsters and vampires in England. The biggest threat comes from Millennium a Nazi organization that uses monsters to try to take over the world. This is still one of my favorite manga series.

A Dowry of Blood by S.T. Gibson is another book I received through NetGalley and have a full review for. This is a retelling and reimagining of Dracula’s brides. Told through a long letter to Dracula who is never named Constanta tell both her story and the story of the other brides. This is mostly a story about toxic and codependent relationship using vampires. I loved the idea of this book but I found the letter format allowed for more telling then showing and often made me fell like the relationship were moving too fast. I think anyone who loves vampires or Dracula should give this story a try.

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