July 2022 reading wrap-up

July was a fantastic month when it comes to reading, I had planned to set aside more time for enjoying my books this month and it paid off well. Reading is by far one of my favorite ways to spend my free time. It’s a great way to be entertained or even learn something new. Each book I read helps me get one step closer to reducing my large TBR into something much more manageable. As with most months, I managed to get through a number of genres over the course of the month, which allows me to truly enjoy a wide variety of stories. This July 2022 reading wrap-up highlights the books I read during the month and shares my thoughts on them.

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July 2022 reading wrap-up

Blue Flag Vol 6 by KAITO

Volume 6 was really good. The focus shifts a bit away from the main story and in doing so we get a more in-depth look into Masumi’s way of thinking and her view on life, along with Akiko, whose role so far has been minor, but in this particular volume she has quite an important part. The interaction between these two was a huge reason why this volume was so enjoyable. Of course, the ending also brought on quite a bit of a cliffhanger, though this moment was bound to happen at some point, so it’s less of a surprise and more simply waiting to see how this plays out for the next volume.

Shogun by James Clavell

I have lost track of how long this book has been on my TBR and to be perfectly honest, it should have remained there, unread for eternity. I know there is a lot of love for this book, however, I simply couldn’t see the appeal. Because this book is so long, I decided to give the audiobook a try. I think that is the only reason I even finished this one because I could have it on in the background while doing chores and not have to sit and forcefully read it. If there was a story in this book, I struggled to find it. It seemed that the vast majority of the time the characters were praising and insulting Christianity in various ways with a ton of cussing. Even the Japanese aspect of the book seems overridden by the main focus of Christianity. Maybe I simply missed the main story of the book because of all this repetitiveness in the praise/hate of the main characters but to be honest, it’s not worth spending 50+ hours reading or listening to this book.

Because of this, I have also decided to not bother with any of the sequels in this series and have removed them from my TBR.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

I read this book years ago and wanted to experience the story again. This time I went with the audiobook and it was a fun and different experience. I do wish I could have completely erased the book from my memory before diving back in simply so that I could experience it for the first time again. I thought the narrator did a really great job of giving each character a unique voice. As with my first time reading this book, I was drawn in right from the start. The characters, the world-building, everything blends into such a fantastic story. I do feel, that at least as far as the audiobook is concerned that the second half was where my investment in the story truly kicked in, but honestly, it’s a great story from start to finish.

This book is so much better than I make it sound. Honestly, I always find that describing why I love books is so much harder than explaining why I don’t like books. If you haven’t read this book and want to experience a phenomenal Young Adult fantasy novel that captures you right from page one, then you need to pick up this series. The story of Akiva, Karou, and their people is one you don’t want to miss out on.

The Well of Eternity by Richard A. Knaak

This is the first book in the War of the Ancients trilogy. I’ve been sitting on this one for a while because I often find Knaak’s writing to be a slog to get through. Often time, it’s so bogged down with details that you lose the story. And while there were times when I felt the details overwhelmed everything else, this was a decent book. It does give us an in-depth look at some of the Night Elf history – though there is a good chance a lot of this has been retconned, it was still nice to finally dive into this story. While the night elves aren’t my favorite race in Warcraft, especially since I find Tyrande and Malfurion to be obnoxious at the best of times, I did enjoy seeing more of their past, along with Illidan’s and how the Well of Eternity and the events surrounding it shapes their lives, those of the other night elves and races around Azeroth.

Five Dark Fates by Kendare Blake

Much like the previous books, this one felt slow and never really got off its feet. Ignoring the slow progression of events, the story was alright. I couldn’t say that I really felt any one character stood out as one I could even remotely identify with and when they finally had their “epic battle” near the end, it felt a little lackluster. While it did a decent job of tying up the story surrounding the triplet queens, it did leave me feeling like something was missing to truly bring the series to an end.

Blue Flag Vol 7 by KAITO

Volume 7 is where a lot of the ramifications of events from Volume 6 happen. There are a lot of rumors and stuff happening at first and a lot of confusion for many characters. In fact, I also felt the confusion that many characters were feeling. I felt like this volume was detached from the others. There was something about the flow of this one that was off. In fact, it almost felt like a side story instead of a continuation of the main story. I did end up reading this one twice, in an attempt to fully understand all that was going on, and even during that second reading I couldn’t help but continue to notice that disjointed feeling. Overall, a decent book but not as good as the previous ones in the series.

The Demon Soul by Richard A. Knaak

The second book in the War of the Ancients trilogy. This one succumbed to classic Knaak writing of over-describing everything. I understand that details need to be shared but this is just too much. Ignoring that, it was a decent book. There is a good amount of action in this one, along with some character building among the main characters and a few side characters as well. The additional focus on the Dragon Aspects did add something new to this book, even though it wasn’t the most interesting of parts, which is disappointing given how important the Dragon Soul/Demon Soul was to the rest of the book. Between the chaos of the dragons and the Burning Legion, there is a lot happening and the Night Elves have their work cut out for them to survive.

The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker

This was one of those books that I happened to stumble upon and the title intrigued me enough to pick it up. At just 3 hours long, it’s a quick book to listen to. This book shows how there are two types of fear, one which can be helpful and one that can be harmful. Through real-life examples, the author highlights how to identify these fears and how to use them to avoid dangerous situations. It also highlights how intuition thrusts us into certain choices, some of which we may regret in the future, mostly because we ignored that intuition or fear and move towards danger instead of away from it. It was certainly an interesting book. I think everyone would benefit from reading this book.

The Sundering by Richard A. Knaak

The final book in the War of the Ancients trilogy and much like the previous book, this one was beaten to death with details. Perhaps it was a mistake to read the entire trilogy in a single month or it’s simply how this series works, but the books got less interesting as they went. Wrapping up the events of dealing with the first invasion of the Burning Legion, the destruction of the Well of Eternity, the creation of the Demon soul, and a few other events that play big roles in the overarching story of the Night Elves and the World of Warcraft.

The Ancient Magus’ Bride Vol. 14 & 15 by Kore Yamazaki

These two volumes were great. I felt like we really got to know more about a number of characters and some of the quirks of the school as well. I can’t really go into depth about what else I liked about these volumes simply because I feel like it would give too much about the story away. This series has been really enjoyable and I look forward to seeing what happens in future volumes and where all these events will lead the characters.

Exploring Azeroth: Eastern Kingdoms by Christie Golden

Less of a novel and more of an adventure guide of recent and current events in World of Warcraft in a letter/diary form. Most of this is done by Spymaster Mathis Shaw, with a few side notes added by his travel partner, Captain Flynn Fairwind. Each section is broken down by the different zone that they visit and is a simple vehicle for rehashing the latest events of the game. Unless you are trying to catch up on lore – and if that’s the case, I suggest playing the game instead, then this one isn’t really worth the time to read.

Exploring Azeroth: Kalimdor by Sean Copeland

Much like the above book, there wasn’t much to enjoy about this one. It’s mostly just a condensed version of recent events in the game, this time focusing on Kalidor and does nothing to add to the lore. If you have played the game, you know what has happened. The only difference is that this one is from the perspective of Zekhan. Not really worth the read.

Unnamed Memory Vol. 1: The Witch of the Azure Moon and the Cursed Prince by Fuji Furumiya

This book caught my eye about a year ago. I’ll admit I was drawn in by the cover as much as the synopsis. Being a light novel, you know there will be a light story within, putting only the most important of details in without going into all the fluff that some books add to simply pad page numbers (I’m looking at you, Knaak). That being said, I did feel that this writing was quite basic. This especially held true for the first half of the book. Not to mention that the two main characters, Oscar and Tinasha, were too perfect and too powerful for their own good. In the second half, the writing did get better with intermittent lackluster sections. The story itself didn’t seem all that special and I’m not sure whether I will bother with the rest of the series or not.

July 2022 reading wrap-up stats

  • Books read: 14
  • Books purchased: 1
  • Books purged: 5
  • Books DNF’d: 0

I hope you enjoyed my July 2022 reading wrap-up. What did you read in July?


3 Comments

  1. I have not heard of any of these books. The Gift of Fear sounds like a book worth reading.

  2. The Gift of Fear sounds really interesting! It looks like you read a lot last month. Congrats!

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