Travel Reads: Magic Bleeds and Children of Blood and Bone
The downtime of a trip is never a low point for me. Those periods between flights, waiting for a bus or Uber, or when I should be asleep but can't fall asleep become the perfect moments to pick up a book I've been reading or trying to start.
I was ravenous for this trip because I had two new books waiting on me ripe and ready. I also had one that I'd had to put down right before the last few chapters and hadn't had an opportunity to pick it up in a couple of weeks. So the first leg of my flight (about an hour and a half) was spent knocking that baby out. The series is by Ilona Andrews, and I was finishing the third book: Magic Strikes. For those of you who haven't read the series, you should, but I also won't give away more information than you should have at this moment. I will say that I've finished the fourth book now, and I have yet to be disappointed. I can be a bougie kind of reader and wasn't expecting to get so attached to this author or this genre (urban fantasy). My brand of idol worship is tempered by divinities like Octavia Butler, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Gloria Naylor, and Jeannette Winterson. My honey recommended that I start reading the series, and I haven't looked back since. Imagine Guardians of the Galaxy meets WWE, but with wayyyyyyyyyy more enchanting characters. Magic Strikes definitely puts you at the edge of things as far as the direction the story has taken since the first book. I feel like I've been going hard with Kate Daniels, the heroine, through all kinds of harrowing experiences, and this book feels like a turning point, which is good because I've had a lot of questions and needed answers!
Sure enough, I got what I was looking for in Magic Bleeds, which I read on the 7-hour flight home. The fourth book in the installation gave me the relief I yearned after so much anticipation building in the last three. Now the characters are like family, but the kind you actually want to be around. And Kate Daniels has even more layers than I thought and more of them see the light of day in this book. I haven't tired of the action either; Andrews does an amazing job of keeping it fresh so you don't feel like you are reliving the same scenes over and over. Every fight scene comes at you differently. Even the drama ensues in such a way that you want to follow it, even if through a scanner darkly. Andrews keeps you waiting on the reveals, but the anticipation is delicious.
I was also challenged by a friend to read Children of Blood and Bone by Toni Adeyemi. The title and cover had me from the start:
And there are Orisha.
I started this on my long flight into Greece, and between sleeping got several chapters in. I felt wooed by the language. Adeyemi is a master at description to the point that the images she conjures have texture. I can't wait to read future books by her for this very reason. I hear a movie for this book is already in the works and can't wait to see it.
This book is a long one, so it requires commitment. Kat got sick (food poisoning likely) in the middle of the day in Athens and we shut everything down and went to the room to take a nap. That whole scenario is its own blog post and is coming I'm sure, once Kat and her stomach are more settled.
While she slept, I read. I actually finished the book that afternoon mainly because I was pulled into the fascinating story and had dug deep into the characters. The problem is that I felt like I had to work pretty hard to get to what I was being pulled into. There were a lot of repeated scenarios and dialogues almost as if someone missed that these had already been included earlier and so forgot to cut certain paragraphs from the story. This was a sticking point because I was bubbling to get to places in the book and to be enlightened, but I kept being turned around in circles. This could have something to do with the book being divided into chapters by different narrators, but I actually didn't mind this method. It allows you to get the story from the points of view of each major character, and hence a lot of flavor there. Without the "filler" passages though, I thought this book would have been a much smoother read. If I had not had as much free and easy time on my hands (vacay), then I probably would not have pushed myself to finish the book like I did. I may not have been as patient and given it the time it deserved.
I'm glad I did, however, and I recommend reading this one so that you can come to your own conclusions and then share your comments here if you would be so inclined. I don't mind a good fight either, so if you disagree with me, please come with your comments, but come ready, of course.
If one of your favorite things to do while traveling is also to get into a good book, then share your titles with me, so I can consider for our next trip.
Happy Travel Reads!