November Wrap Up – Lots of YA Fantasy + Amelia Peabody

Hello and welcome the channel, my name is
Annalisa and I am in my new room for the first video I’m filming here, book-wise.
That was succinct, wasn’t it? There’s going to be a moving vlog
sometime soon I don’t know when it’s coming out because I’ve got I’ve got a
lot of videos I want to make promptly and not enough time. First of all I want to
let you know that the next two weeks between the 1st and 15th of December I am taking part in the Snowathon – details will be linked below if you want
to also take part but I’m going to be making a video at the end of each week
of it for that and then I also want to make art videos and so there’s gonna be
a lot coming at you during December. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it, but right now
I’m doing my November wrap up. I read eight books this month let’s get the one
that I read at the very first part of this month and then I don’t have in my
stack because I had to give it back to my library first so I
don’t forget. That was Assassin’s Apprentice, which I read as part of a readalong, and I will at some point remember who the readalong was with and I will put that both here and in the description I didn’t
read it for the first, like, month of the readalong and then I read it in three
days so – it was a month and a half readalong. But I had to give it back to the
library and I just hadn’t gotten around to it in October ’cause I was not feeling the books in October but anyway Assassin’s
Apprentice is a fantasy but magic definitely takes a backseat in it I
would compare it in that way to the Protector of the Small series in the
Tortall universe by Tamora Pierce and that is mostly about court intrigue set
in a medieval maybe edging towards, coming towards Renaissance era imaginary
Kingdom. There are other countries and there’s history for it,
very nice world building I believe, but if you’re into fantasy you’re
probably familiar with the type of world I’m describing. In this case the way
that magic takes a backseat is that it is only available to a very small
percentage of the population, in fact it has been restricted to only royalty for,
I think, a few generations at this point and it is a very sort of limited type of
magic the only thing that you can do with your magic if you happen to have it
is read a person’s mind, communicate with them if you want to, stop somebody else
out from reading your mind if you want to, and you can also go into somebody’s
mind without them knowing and screw with it. You can make them believe things that
aren’t true and give them mental blocks and stuff like that. There is another
type of magic that you’re just born with and this is an ability to do similar
things but with animals only and not people. So the storyline of Assassin’s
Apprentice is about how a illegitimate child of one of the princes of the kingdom this story centers on becomes a assassin’s apprentice – specifically he becomes the apprentice to the royal assassin and so
throughout the book is both taught about how to be assassin and is also sent on
missions for the king. Sometimes these missions are to assassinate, sometimes
these are reconnaissance type missions. I really find that aspect of the
story really interesting, I really like stories that are about spy craft. That’s
one of the reasons I really enjoyed the Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen
duology that Tamora Peirce wrote. Overall I remember describing this book
right after I finished reading it as a wild ride because especially the last
third of it goes kind of crazy in ways you didn’t expect and and just crazy
things happen and things get a lot more dramatic than i kind of expected from
what had been happening earlier in the book. Content warnings: pet death.
That wasn’t fun. There is some character death, but none of it hurt my feelings,
except the pets, that was very upsetting. Something that sometimes doesn’t happen
in books centering on young people as this book centers on someone who starts
the story and I believe six years old and I think he’s maybe 15 when it ends
maybe just 14 is there are quite a lot of really good adults in this kid’s life
most of them don’t have the control over his life to an extent that they can take
care of him very well because he is kind of officially an orphan disowned type
person and the only person who can really determine his fate is the king
who is not such a great person. But there are lots of adults around him, such as
the master spy he is learning from and the stable keeper he works with and
various other people in this boy’s life who are really good adults who look
after him quite well so I really enjoyed that aspect and that kind of different
way of doing things from what some young people’s books do and I’m very much
looking forward to continuing the series. Then let’s do the one that I think I’m
most excited about – although I had a lot of really good reads this month. I think
it was most because they were based on YouTube, booktuber recs and I
only picked ones that I was like really excited about, I guess to kind of get me
out of my reading slump and get me back into reading, and the people who
recommended them to me did a really great job. I got a whole rash of really
good recs this month so I’m gonna link everybody below who recommended these to me. Sorcery of Thorns I saw all over booktube but specifically
the first person who talked about it and who really may be interested in it was – I
can’t I can’t remember people’s names – anyway she’s really cool and I like a
lot of her book reviews I’ll put her name up there and linked below but she
talked about this book quite a while ago in her Mid-Year Freakout Tag and she talked about how there are books that come
alive and eat people and so I was like, “Yaass”. And just the other thing she said
really made me excited to read this and I loved it! First of all, if you like
libraries and if you like fantasy where there’s a lot of – it’s quite heavy magic
as opposed to like Assassin’s Apprentice was quite light on the magic this is
very heavy on the magic. There are four big main good characters in this book –
three of them remind me a lot of Howl, Sophie, and Calcifer from Howl’s Moving
Castle. Maybe I’m crazy ’cause I read that book like six or seven months ago but
the way that the main character, whose name is Elizabeth, interacts with Thorn
(who is the love interest) reminds me so heavily of Sophie
and Howl. Like if it was if it was YA instead of MG – if Sophie, Howl, and Calcifer
were turned into YA characters, I feel like it would be these characters.
That was so weird but so enjoyable and as I really enjoy
those three characters in Howl’s Moving Castle, I really enjoyed these three
characters. The character who reminds me of Calcifer is named Silas and he is
adorable and I love him. I had all these intelligent thoughts to say when I first
finished it and I was thinking about doing my wrap-up but that was like that
was at the beginning in the month so I’ve forgotten and all I can remember
is how much I liked it. The books that come alive and eat people – they’re
called grimoires – they don’t eat people eat people, some of them kill
you and steal your face and and sew it onto their pages some of them just just
kill you ’cause they want to. And the reason these books exist is that
sorcerers are a thing, and sorcerers have to write down their big spells so
so that can be passed down they can’t be passed down apparently through oral
tradition for some reason I guess because they’re big secret spells and
they don’t want and they want to be able to lock them away which obviously you
can’t do very well with an oral tradition the spells have to be written
on special magic materials and specifically to get special magic
materials you have to kill creatures like maybe there was a wyvern or
sometimes demons so you’d like skin a magical creature and use that to create
the book or you’d kill people and use her body parts to make the book and
that’s how you’ll be able to hold this super magical spell this is all told to
you quite early at the beginning in the book but I really liked how much detail
went into the developing of the magic of this world I think the magic system was
really well done because it’s aside from the aside from the magic tomes there are
also sorcerers who use lower-level magic books which are made out of more normal
materials that are kind of alive but not because they have are made of dead
people parts they’re just more nicely enchanted and I really enjoyed the way
the Sorcerer’s magic worked the librarian element comes in because these
magic books that sometimes kill people have to be locked away and taken care of
really well and they have to be preserved so that if the world is ending
some sorcerer can come open this book and figure out how to save it by some
very evil means you know great or good and all that but they also have me
locked away for the safety of everyone I think they’re called keepers the
librarians are and they take care of all the low-level books that are not evil
and also of all the more evil type books and our main character is one of these
keepers she is kind of an apprentice one at the moment and she’s looking to move
up the pub and she’s looking to move up the ranks cuz she’s really interested
and she really looks up to the director I believe they’re called of her
particular library which I think there’s six of which brings me to another thing
really liked about this book was all the women in authority the director of her
library is a woman a cool warrior woman this sword here the
rubies on it is this lady’s sword throughout there are a lot of women in
other types of authority positions another thing I really like about the
main character is that her physical strength is a factor a lot of times
she’s physically stronger than her love interest and she likes to solve problems
with brute force like breaking the handle off the door that you can’t find
the lock to and things like that and that’s something you don’t see women do
in books a lot and it reminds me of a character from uprooted who becomes
really strong partway through the book and then she’s the strong man character
and I really really enjoy wouldn’t be able to do that the fourth main
character I was talking about is the best friend of the main character from
her home library she is casually mentioned as being a
romantic and Thorne is kept pretty casually mentioned as being bisexual I
really love this book and if those sorts of things sound good to you then I
really recommend you check it out I wouldn’t give it huge marks for plot but
in this book IV the plot more as a device for exploring the really cool
world and characters reven something to appreciate by itself another book wreck
I got was from Troy Cowell who is the only booktuber whose name I can ever
remember um probably because he’s only and that is true and that was for the
author more specifically than the book Elizabeth Peters I think he was
specifically talking about the golden one in one of his reviews lately I’ll
link it below but this is part of quite a long series let me see this is how
many books the author has written in this long start of text here and there
are 14 specifically that are part of this series flash are about these
characters and this I and I think this one is quite late in the series from the
way that the sort of recaps are done where it talks about in
getting how the different members of the family kind of came to be in the family
and different adventures they’ve had in the past it sounds like those were
adventures that books were written about so I was kind of dropped in the middle
but this author does a really good job of bringing you up to speed and not
making you feel like you’re not understanding all these references she
puts in enough information about past adventures that you can understand how
they affect the current times but not so much that you feel like you’re getting
old or dumb the main premise of this series is that
the main character Amelia Peabody is an Egyptologist in the
early 1900s specifically this one is during World War one specifically in
this case with the main character and her family which is made up of her
husband her son her daughter-in-law and and kind of an adopted nice character
who is a relation of some people who work for them we learn fairly early on
that the son of Amelia Peabody whose name is Ramses has worked as a spy for
England before and they really like him and think he works well so want to drag
him in again even though his wife really doesn’t like how dangerous it is as a
summary of the plot kind of I would say there are two main plot directions and
for the first I think half of the book we’re following one plot which is in
Egypt there is a possibility that a new tomb has been found a new royal tomb
with all sorts of really cool artifacts in it and really historically
significant stuff and the main characters you really want to get to
this tomb but they’ve been assigned by the antiquities Commission of Egypt to
go work on some more boring stuff but and so the first part of the book has us
hanging out with them while they chip away at that while also kind of
undercover pursuing this mystery of the possibly found royal tomb and then all
of a sudden that plot gets totally interrupted and we’re
just thrown off onto another plot that has to do with the war and this is well
set up in the beginning with with various characters that are coming and
going and it makes sense but it is a very sudden paradigm shift where if
you’re somebody who is just there for Egyptology you’re not going to enjoy
that whole section and it’s just it feels very sudden and I think it’s meant
to feel that way because it feels son to the characters they’re getting ripped
out of what they want to do to go do this thing they don’t want to do as
suddenly as it starts that section ends and we get chucked right back into the
original plot lineup pursuing the rural tomb and we follow that to its
conclusion at the end of the book but the reason that I really love this other
men that I do find Egyptology really interesting most of what I know about it
being from Stargate the really good part was definitely the characters and the
characters relationships fan family is a very heavy influence thing going on here
most the characters aren’t related but they consider each other family anyway
there’s a lot of adopting going on and Amelia Peabody and her husband just
refer to their son and their daughter-in-law as the children I like
these books so much I’m talking too much about them the sons going let’s pick
this up family that are the main characters of this book are aristocratic
British people and they’re coming in to be Egyptologist to ship Childish in
Egypt and they run things and they have Egyptians work for them I think they
treat the people who work for them really respectfully and actually most of
the people who work for them they treat like family but it does feel a little
white savory itch at some points but the way that they interact with the
Egyptians most of the time adds to the whole found family aspect and
it’s really enjoyable that way I definitely want to read all of the other
books in this series so Thank You Troy now let’s move on to my Beauty and the
Beast retellings I got all of these books from a video by the wild book
garden which I’ll link below I brought this up in my dragon prints video but
she talked all about a bunch of underrated being a beast retellings and
I just requested as many as I could get a bit as many as were available at my
library I’ve got three of them the first one I read was beasts keeper by Kat
Allison this is the one that I enjoyed the least but I am so glad that I read
it it’s quite dark and besides being dark all the characters are pretty much
unhappy the entire time so it’s not an enjoyable look in that way but it is I
think it was meant as a thought piece thinking piece on romantic love and how
people fall in and out of it the way the Beauty and the Beast curse works in this
story is that once a man from this family falls romantically in love with a
woman he has to he has to stay with that woman and she has to stay with him or
else she will have problems and if she is with him but not in love with him
specifically in that romantic Woozie feelings way he will turn into a beast
specifically your pretty standard big cross between a wolf and a bear and lion
thing and so everybody in this book has that hanging over their heads the entire
time over all unpleasant but also really interesting in the way that the magic
works interesting I say is the best recommendation it’s 200 pages the author
says it was written all on a flurry and then edited afterwards which makes sense
I read it all in one sitting it’s that kind of book interesting and worth a try
if you want something that jumps off the Beauty and the Beast story but is very
different then I read something goes a lot along the lines of your
standard beating the beef story but has some really interesting twists and this
one the twists are mainly Russian mythology specifically there’s stuff
about the Firebird as I believe I also mentioned in that other video but
there’s also some other Russian mythology going on the tagline is a
beauty deadlier than the Beast and the reason for that is that the main female
character the beauty character is a Huntress she goes out and shoots deer
and rabbits and stuff like that and just trapping that’s how she takes care of
her family her father was one before her and the thing that brings the Beauty and
the Beast character together is that the beauty character’s father is out in the
woods hunting and dies and it looks like the beasts killed him
so she goes out to try to kill the beast and the Beast is way stronger than her
and she can’t kill him at least not in a fair fight but he needs a hunter or
Huntress to capture something for him so he brings her to his castle to try to
get her to do that and through her trying to find a way to kill him and him
trying to get her to hunt this thing for him
they learn more about each other and spend time together and and the usual
plot ensues specifically I really like that once again they bond over books the
Beast gives her some books that he’s taken care of for a long time for her to
read and it’s really sweet this is definitely one in which the curse is
very difficult to understand and is very who movie but I really really liked it
then we have a feast and Beauty which is a sci-fi version except it’s more like a
fantasy version that just has a sci-fi background the thing about our country house is that there’s train at the back of our
property basically the sci-fi and the story is basically all in the backstory
there is a dome over the city the beauty character lives in but it’s a magic dome
not a technological dome I really like this one I think the world building was
done really nicely the part about it that sci-fi is necessary to is the curse
is very heavily involved with these being humans who have come from Earth
presumably and they’ve come to a new world and they’ve reacted badly to this
world and a lot of them live in domes now because of the harsh condition
outside those domes and there are those called the monstrous who have been
gifted scales and teeth and claws and various other things to help them
survive by the spirit of the planet basically this is all told to us in kind
of fairy tale form in the beginning of the story which I really like it’s a
different sort of way to start a story and the monstrous and the people inside
the domes do not get along at all and the people in the domes are doing some
nasty dark magic to maintain their domes and their richness and so it’s all about
a monstrous person and a and the princess of one of the domes falling in
love and their love is the love that’s gonna break the curse as it’s kind of
shown on the cover this is a beauty in the beasts retelling that instead of
kicking the whole rose thing to the curb like a lot of them do this one actually
takes the rose and makes it a big intrinsic part of the curse and so I
really like that take on it and I generally enjoyed social topics that
this book looks at and the relationships between the three main characters being
the Beauty character the Beast character and beauty’s best friend needle I also
read this one for the Dragon Prince Minnie Thawne but I told you about that
already then I just finished grading terrible beauty last night and
let me tell you this was something I read this because Nicole Pearman really
likes it I wanted to be able to talk to her about it I would not have kept
reading if it hadn’t been a big favorite of someone whose tastes and books are
really respect it is about a girl a teenage girl like 16 ish who is a
pretty standard teenager and she starts out in India and her family is one of
those aristocrats that they sent to India to control things over there and
she comes back to Great Britain with her mother’s dies and goes to an all-girls
boarding school where they are are taught to be a little subservient wives
it’s kind of about teenage girls being teenage girls and you might remember I
don’t I don’t like teenagers well the way that I do enjoy is the way in which
the teenagers don’t act like teenagers they either act like middle grade
characters or adult characters and these teenagers very much act like teenagers
you’ve got the cliques you’ve got the hot and cold friendships all the
nastiness that comes with needing to get your approval and socialization and love
from other messed-up teenagers rather than getting it from your parents like
you should just results and all sorts of screwed-up dynamics and this book is
basically about that with some witchcraft thrown in and personally I
found all of the characters actions to be very realistic even though I haven’t
been exposed to schools for all full of teenagers myself I have heard from
acquaintances of mine I remember back in high school them talking about their
friendships with girls at school and it was quite similar to a lot of stuff that
goes on this in this book and I don’t mind a book where I can’t identify with
the characters or where I wouldn’t make the same sit-ins as them but but a lot
of times when it’s just so annoying how teenager
be they are like none of them ever managed to rise above what’s expected of
them and their maturity level they always just go back to their to just you
can’t expect anything of them except them to be teenagers I do like some
aspects I like the aspects of protesting against
you know forced marriage and all that kind of thing and the depictions of
these four main girl characters being you start out seeing them as one thing
but you learn that there’s more to them later on the book anyway I personally
didn’t enjoy the magic system it didn’t make a lot of sense it didn’t it wasn’t
really fleshed out I didn’t feel like but all of these things would have been
forgivable except that the end of this story
spoiler alert but it involves a suicide and it I feel like it’s really not
handled well I feel like it’s encouraged not only by its one thing it’s
encouraged by the characters but it feels like it’s encouraged by the author
and it feels like the author is presenting that is the only way out for
this character who is in bad circumstances and I don’t think that’s
ever a good way for suicide to be handled in a book because it’s never me
only way out and a lot of people who do commit suicide that’s what they think
and I don’t think we should be encouraging that and as someone who has
been somewhat suicidal I really didn’t appreciate that also content warnings
for self-harm in this book which might also not have been handled that great it
wasn’t horrible but I felt like it wasn’t addressed as seriously as it
should have been I feel like once you take on that you’re
gonna talk about that topic you need to do a good job at it or just not talk
about it but I may very well continue this series because it was so highly
recommended and we’ll see if things are handled better and the rest I did just
get it from the library so I’ll just get the rest of the library as well but
thank you so much for watching and I will see you the next video bye

7 thoughts on “November Wrap Up – Lots of YA Fantasy + Amelia Peabody

  1. Wooo-wee. The Golden One is down the road. I'm one book away from that one. And yes, Peters always references back to old adventures. LOL. ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyway, to curb the urge (a bit of a rhyme, eh?) to keep this comment going about the series, I'll stop to say how cool it is that you enjoyed the book. You did a great job breaking matters down.

  2. I love your earrings!
    for Sorcery of Thorns I really appreciate what you said about women in authority and women being the physically strong characters!
    Beastkeeper is definitely a strange one! I think "thought piece on romantic love" is definitely a good way to describe it. Glad you enjoyed most of the BatB retellings!
    yeah I remember reading the whole Gemma Doyle trilogy and I don't remember it getting better??

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