February Redux: drowning not waving

A pair of burgundy boots rest on a bookshelf of fantasy novels

February has been A Lot with a busy month at work complete with curveballs and deadline drama, concern for loved ones, a game of cat and mouse with a migraine (with me as the mouse), and to cap it all off I came home one evening to find water leaking from the lights. Here’s hoping March is gentler all round.

Reading Round-up

My reading rate remains shockingly low, with any progress thanks to my commitment to listening to an audiobook when I go for a walk or do jobs around the house.

The only book I’ve finished this month was Dead Silence by SA Barnes (narrated by Lauren Ezzo), a well-executed space salvage horror that plays entirely to my weaknesses by giving me a traumatised sole survivor narrating the gruesome tale of what happened to her dysfunctional crew when they answered an emergency beacon on the edge of human space. Familiar tropes executed well – I declared it my book of the month for January when I was only halfway through it; it gets the laurels for February too for delivering on its promises.

I’m currently partway through Kushiel’s Avatar by Jacqueline Carey for our read-along, which I’m also thoroughly enjoying (or at least entirely admiring even when it gets too gruesome to actually enjoy per se), and The Seawomen by Chloe Timms, which is my current audio read. While it would be easy to dismiss as just another dystopian patriarchal cult story, I’m enjoying the way it captures its heroine’s loneliness and the way the community is controlled by fear. As with Dead Silence, it will be a book I struggle to judge on its own merits as the narrator (Samara McLaren) is doing such a good job. I seem to have rapidly gone from “I can only listen to books I’ve read before” to “I don’t know if I’d enjoy this book quite as much if it weren’t being so expertly read to me” in the past year, and I have no regrets.

  • Dead Silence – S A Barnes ★★★★☆

Additional Reviews

Yes well, if reading hasn’t really happened, blogging has been as elusive as a cryptid. Before February got me thoroughly in its grip, I did manage to review the excellent first half of Opulent Syntax an anthology of Irish speculative fiction, although I’m yet to read the second half.

Stacking the shelves

What’s that? I buy more books when I’m stressed? I don’t know what you mean… now if only I could get some reading done!

What’s coming up?

I am making no plans for March – I’m taking things a day at a time and focusing on small, incremental goals. Most of my focus will be on trying to get my feet under me at work and getting a series of surveys done at the (derelict) house we bought recently so we can understand exactly what we need to do to bring it back from its current precarious state. Blogging will be a luxury, so don’t be surprised if things stay very quiet here – I’ll be in and out, so expect the read-along posts at least!

How was your February?