Sunday, 20 March 2022

My Year in Books 2022: February

This post is a bit of a tricky one. As you might have noticed, I'm posting it pretty late into March (normally I'd have posted this at the end of February). And you might also notice that there's only one book on my list. I really don't know what happened in February, but I struggled a lot with reading for pleasure this month. I did read a few other books for review and work purposes, but I just couldn't get into anything else. I'll be honest and say that it took me over a month just to finish the one novel here. I've put it on the February list, because even though I finished it in March, I read the first half of it last month, and because I really didn't want one of my monthly blog posts to be empty. I hope I get my mojo back soon.

You can read my January blog post here.

All the White Spaces by Ally Wilkes (2022)

This one was one of the books in my February Abominable Books box. The other book that was included was one I’ve been looking forward to for a while, so more on that anon I expect. I decided to read Wilkes’s book first, as it’s set on an Antarctic expedition. When I first got the book, I made a joke that I was being haunted by Antarctica this year (various things I’ve done have had an unexpected connection to Antarctica). You can imagine how surprised I was that the Endurance was found shortly after I made that joke! Anyway, All the White Spaces is set just after the First World War, when an expedition sets sail for the South Pole. On board – as a stowaway – is Jo Morgan, who becomes Jonathan for the journey (at first as a disguise, but gradually Morgan realizes that Jonathan is who he always, in some way, was). As I said, I got this book in my Abominable Books horror subscription box, so I wasn’t expecting the expedition to go well! But I have somewhat mixed feelings about the book. On the one hand, I was absolutely gripped throughout by Wilkes’s writing. It’s prose that you can really lose yourself in. However, on the other, the storyline didn’t really do much for me. Although this is marketed as ‘there’s something bad out there in the polar winter’, the ‘monster’ of the piece doesn’t really have much impact, and the book is perhaps a little over-long.

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