For the past few years, I've set myself a goal to read 52 books in a year - an average of one a week. Each year, I've failed, but I also get just a little bit closer each time. In 2017, I managed 41 which is the most I have read since I finished university. If January is going to set the tone for the rest of 2018, I'm suddenly feeling very confident that this is the year I finally hit 52.

The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage by Phillip Pullman
The Book of Dust is the long awaited follow up to Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. Whilst the story does feature a baby Lyra, the original trilogy's heroine, the real star of this story is young Malcolm Polstead whose life changes forever after a biblical-style flood. 

When I first heard that Phillip Pullman was going to be releasing a new set of novels in the His Dark Materials universe, I admit I was sceptical. His Dark Materials is one of my favourite stories on earth. I've read it a few times over, most recently last year, and each time it leaves me open mouthed at how brilliant it is. There was a part of me that felt like it should be left alone - but in the end, my desire for more won out. I'm so glad I decided to give this book a chance because it was amazing. Each character is great - with likeable traits and flaws that make them seem so human. The fantastical elements are surprising and unusual. I am seriously looking forward to the next instalment.

The Kingmaker by Gemma Perfect 
Everleigh is the Kingmaker. On her 17th birthday, she will die and her life's blood will determine which of her two brothers will be crowned king...except Everleigh is different. She is the Kingmaker who will live. 

Funnily enough, I read this book completely by accident. There was a book with a similar title on my "To Read" shelf on Goodreads, but I kept seeing ads for The Kingmaker on Facebook. I assumed the ads on Facebook were for the same book as the one I'd seen on Goodreads because the plot line sounded so up my street but in the end it turns out it was a different book!

Despite the brilliant idea, I didn't enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. The story line had such great potential, but unfortunately I found the world the novel takes place in very two-dimensional and even the adult characters seemed really infantile to me. However, the book was so affordable I bought the entire trilogy at once and so I decided to persevere.

Seize the Crown by Gemma Perfect
The second novel in The Kingmaker trilogy 

Unfortunately, I found that this novel had the same issues as the one that precedes it. I continued to dislike all the characters and felt frustrated at how shallow the world in which it is set is. However, I did find my interest growing in what was going to happen next and I quite liked the cliffhanger ending, although it was slightly predictable.

Born to Rule by Gemma Perfect
The third and final novel in The Kingmaker series

After the shock ending of the Seize the Crown, I found myself curious to see how things were going to play out in the this final novel. At last, I felt like there was some character development in this novel and it felt like there was some differentiation between the different characters that tell the story - in the first two books, I would often have to double check whose chapters I was reading because they all sounded the same to me. Whilst the ending was predictable, I did read this final book much more quickly than the others as it was slightly more engaging. Certainly not the best series I've ever read, but I don't regret spending time on it.

Have you read anything enjoyable recently?

Keep up to date with my 2018 reading challenge: 

2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Emily Jane has
read 4 books toward
her goal of
52 books.