Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time two completely different genres and two completely different reactions… It might just have been the wrong time to pick up Fallen Angels for me, but sadly my experience with a younger Varg Veum wasn’t a good one… I loved the final book of the Winternight trilogy The Winter Of The Witch though!
Title: Fallen Angels
(Varg Veum #8)
Author: Gunnar Staalesen
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Nordic Noir
First published: 1989
Publisher: Orenda Books
Finished reading: November 20th 2020
(Originally written in Norwegian: ‘Falne engler’)
“Such is life. When you walk around your home town, you meet your own past everywhere. Childhood is a wound that never heals; your youth a poster someone has tried in vain to tear down.”
*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***
Ok… I’m still not sure what happened here, as I LOVED the newest Varg Veum book Wolves At The Door back when I read it last year. I connected to the main character almost immediately and profoundly, so I jumped at the chance to read Fallen Angels and learn more about Varg in his earlier years. Somehow, I didn’t like what I found at all though… I’m not sure if it’s just me being in a weird headspace right now, but I have picked up this title multiple times over the last three weeks and I just couldn’t warm up to the story or the characters at all. I think it might have to do something with the fact that this story focuses on Varg exploring his past and the focus on old friendships rather that having a mystery in the spotlight? Sure, you will find a dose of that too, but overall this book was nothing like his most recent title. My negative experience also had a lot to do with how women were portrayed and the negative/despicable way the male main characters treated and talked about them. The focus on objectifying women and how they were portrayed left a really bad taste in my mouth, and while the author doesn’t exactly justify this behavior, it didn’t really make for enjoyable reading either. I really didn’t like any of the characters to be honest, and that included Varg. Which really comes as a surprise, as I connected to him so well in the most recent book! I’m definitely glad I started this series out of order now, as I would have never continued the series if Fallen Angels would have been my first experience. That said, I have to stress that I’ve been in a strange headspace lately, so it is most likely just me and not the book that is the problem. Just make sure you aren’t expecting a healthy dose of murder mystery and sleuthing, because you will find yourself disappointed otherwise.
Title: The Winter Of The Witch
(Winternight Trilogy #3)
Author: Katherine Arden
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Magic
First published: January 8th 2019
Publisher: Del Rey Books
Finished reading: November 28th 2020
“If you spend all your days bearing the burden of unforgotten wrongs you will only wound yourself.”
It took me long enough, but I finally started the Winternight trilogy in October and I wanted to finish it while memories of this part fantasy, part historical world were still fresh. I highly enjoyed the first two books of the series, making me have extremely high expectations for the third and final book The Winter Of The Witch… And those expectations were more than met! I think this might just be my favorite book of the series, and I loved every single second of the ride. The historical mid 14th century Russian setting, the Russian folklore, the fantasy elements, the magic, the characters, the plot… I loved it all and this trilogy has proven it is worthy of a place on my favorite series list. Banter and lighter moments are mixed with darker and dangerous moments, and this big finale will have plenty of action, suspense and violence for you in store… And more than one sad moment too. A worthy final of a brilliant series I can now understand why so many people rave about. If you haven’t read this trilogy yet, I can now confirm that you are most definitely missing out!