#5Books: Book recs and The Witcher

Have you watched The Witcher on Netflix?

I got around to watching it over my holiday break and was impressed but also frustrated.

At eight episodes long, there isn’t much time to waste, but the show seems to have (for me at least) used this first season to get the exposition out of the way — the backstory, if you will setting up Yennefer, Geralt and Cirri for what happens in season 2 (2021, no less).

Don’t get me wrong, it’s entertaining but not a lot happens to push the mystery around Cirri (the young girl Geralt has to save) and Yennefer, honestly is far more interesting than Geralt, especially towards the end.

And, episodes jump backward and forward in time, without actually indicating there’s a time jump, which was a bit confusing until I figured out what was going on.

Have you read the books? Tell me everything!

Here are the books I am looking forward to in 2020!

The Gilded Ones

The start of a bold and immersive West African-inspired, feminist fantasy series for fans of Children of Blood and Bone and Black Panther. In this world, girls are outcasts by blood and warriors by choice.

Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.

Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself.

This cover takes my breath away, it’s so beautiful! Not to mention, name dropping Children of Blood and Bone AND Black Panther got my attention right away.

Us Three

The new novel from Ruth Jones, author of the smash-hit, number one bestselling debut, Never Greener.

Meet Lana, Judith and Catrin. Best friends since primary school when they swore an oath on a Curly Wurly wrapper that they would always be there for each other, come what may.

After the trip of a lifetime, the three girls are closer than ever. But an unexpected turn of events shakes the foundation of their friendship to its core, leaving their future in doubt – there’s simply too much to forgive, let alone forget. An innocent childhood promise they once made now seems impossible to keep . . .

Packed with all the heart and empathy that made Ruth’s name as a screenwriter and now author, Us Three is a funny, moving and uplifting novel about life’s complications, the power of friendship and how it defines us all. Prepare to meet characters you’ll feel you’ve known all your life – prepare to meet Us Three.

When you’re young, you think friendships last forever, but the truth is they don’t — they change and evolve, and sometimes you still want what they evolve into, and other times you realise it’s time to let go. As uplifting as this sounds I wonder if these friends can come out of this unchanged?

The Subtweet

Everyone talks about falling in love, but falling in friendship can be just as captivating. When Neela Devaki’s song is covered by internet-famous artist Rukmini, the two musicians meet and a transformative friendship begins. But as Rukmini’s star rises and Neela’s stagnates, jealousy and self-doubt creep in. With a single tweet, their friendship implodes, one career is destroyed, and the two women find themselves at the center of an internet firestorm.

Celebrated multidisciplinary artist Vivek Shraya’s second novel is a stirring examination of making art in the modern era, a love letter to brown women, an authentic glimpse into the music industry, and a nuanced exploration of the promise and peril of being seen.

I agree with this blurb — falling in friendship is 100 percent captivating, so much so that when a friendship ends, it can be devastating and as in the case of The Subtweet land you in the middle of a firestorm. I am also incredibly thankful that this blurb doesn’t mention a romance in any capacity whatsoever — and it’s just about Neela and Rukmini and their friendship.

The Return

An edgy and haunting debut novel about a group of friends who reunite after one of them has returned from a mysterious two-year disappearance.

Julie is missing, and the missing don’t often return. But Elise knows Julie better than anyone, and she feels in her bones that her best friend is out there, and that one day she’ll come back. She’s right. Two years to the day that Julie went missing, she reappears with no memory of where she’s been or what happened to her.

So that blurb is from Goodreads, but this one is from the Hachette Australia website:

Julie is missing, and the missing don’t often return. But Elise knows Julie better than anyone, and she feels in her bones that her best friend is out there.

She’s right. Two years to the day that Julie vanished, she reappears with no memory of what happened to her. But she is different. She’s emaciated, with sallow skin, chipped teeth and odd appetites. In so many ways, Julie seems to be the friend they all loved and lost. But in others, she seems to be a stranger.

Along with Molly and Mae, their two close friends from college, they decide to reunite at the eccentric, remote Red Honey Inn. But when bad weather traps them inside the hotel, tensions flare. Elise begins to hear scratching within the walls, to see the slither of shadows cast by nothing. And as the weekend unfurls, it becomes impossible to deny that the Julie who vanished two years ago is not the same Julie who came back.

That last line? Makes me think that there’s a horror aspect to this book. Hm. I’ll have to keep an eye out for reviews, and see just how much horror is/ may be involved.

Gonna leave it here — I hope everyone has a wonderful New Years!


  • Kelly says:

    The Witcher looks amazing but unfortunately we don’t have Netflix, I was hoping they might eventually pick it up for Foxtel. The Gilded Ones sounds incredible, I loved Children of Blood and Bone and have been looking for similar reads. The Subtweet synopsis is beautiful, I love people connecting over shared interests and worlds collide storyline. It sounds so gentle and exactly the type of read to fall in love with.

  • Angela says:

    We’ve been watching The Witcher (for me, only for Henry Cavill because I had no idea what it was about!). We just realized there’s been time jumps!

  • I keep hearing about The Witcher on social media but haven’t tried it yet. I have a feeling that not much happening would drive me crazy so maybe I’ll wait for season 2 and then binge it all. I love all of your book recs this week. The Subtweet immediately grabbed my attention, both for that great cover and because it’s about friendship.

  • I’m gonna have to check out The Witcher and soon! These are some great rec’s. I have a copy of The Return and I am thinking it will be a good one!

  • I saw the cover of The Gilded Ones earlier this week and am in love with it. Doesn’t hurt that it sounds awesome as well. I really need to get to The Return since I have an arc of it!

  • I started watching The Witcher but had to stop in the middle of the first episode and haven’t continued yet. Hopefully soon I’ll find some time.

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