A Deadly Education left me with very mixed feelings. The opening line held so much promise. It offered conflict and an intriguing dichotomy right from the get-go. Such as, why would anyone want to kill the very person who’d saved their life? What more when they had saved them more than once? I wanted answers but didn’t feel like I got much by the end of the book. Is this one premise supposed to span across the entire series? Evidently, but the opening of the story arc for it didn’t turn out as solidly as I had hoped.
CHRISTMAS CAKES AND MISTLETOE NIGHTS by Carole Matthews
Technically, Christmas Cakes and Mistletoe Nights is a sequel to Cake Shop in the Garden but it stands quite well on its own. I actually only realised that it’s a sequel due to the summarised info dump during the first couple of chapters — think throwback highlight reel at the start of new seasons of TV shows. Once that’s done and dusted, it’s back to regular writing and storytelling.
A CLOSED AND COMMON ORBIT by Becky Chambers
As a standalone sequel, A Closed and Common Orbit did well to outline the setting. I think new readers would be able to understand things just fine. At the same time, it further expanded the world building for those who’ve read The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. The characters remained central to the plot of A Closed and Common Orbit as well, thereby justifying the slow pacing.
THE SPECIAL ONES by Em Bailey
Thrillers are books I rarely pick up because I’m not fond of scaring myself for the sake of it. Besides, there’s enough in the news to keep me up all night. When it came to The Special Ones however, I decided the genre didn’t matter because it was set in a cult. I’ve always been fascinated by religion, cults, beliefs, etc, so my curiosity got the better of me.
THE CALL by Peadar Ó Guilín
Before receiving a review copy of The Call, I hadn’t heard of it. Reviews on Goodreads were few and vague. The synopsis didn’t give much away either. All I knew was that this would be a book of horror — a genre I generally avoid. In any case, with Halloween around the bend, I thought I should at least read one creepy book this month.