First, Middle, and Last Impressions – November 17, 2021

I love taking a look at a book cover and description and then coming up with my own idea of what the book will be about. Sometimes I’m right, sometimes I’m so wrong it’s almost funny. So I’ve decided to launch myself off of WWW Wednesday, a bookish meme run by Sam@Taking on a World of Words, and write about my first, middle, and last impressions of each book I read.

The first impression is based solely on the cover and description. What do I think it will be about?

The middle impression is kind of a check-in on how the story is going about halfway through.

The last impression is my final thoughts on the book, what I’m left thinking.

I hope you have as much fun with this as I will!


The God of Lost Words by A.J. Hackwith – Fantasy

the god of lost words aj hackwith

First Impression: Literally no clue because I’ve looked at neither the description nor cover, but this is the third in the series and I adore the characters, so my impression is this will be a fun adventure.

Middle Impression: There’s so much going on, but I get the feeling it’s really building to something incredible

Last Impression: An incredible, if bittersweet, ending to the trilogy. I’m so sad it’s over, but I’m hoping for more stories about the Library one day. The character development was incredible, and, really, this whole book, this whole trilogy, felt like an homage to books and readers.


Noor by Nnedi Okorafor – Science Fiction

First Impression: I’m expecting this to be a fun African-inspired science fiction novel full of adventure and action and technology I probably won’t understand because technology is far from my strong point, but I have a weird weakness for it.

Middle Impression: So, I’m starting to think this isn’t really for me as I’m feeling kind of disconnected from the story and the characters, but I really appreciate the world building.

Last Impression: Turns out I couldn’t stop thinking of this story as one about taking down an Amazon-like entity. It felt like a cautionary tale about technology and how far we let it go, but my favorite part was the relationship between the two main characters.


The Thirteen Gates by Elton Gahr – Fantasy

First Impression: I think this will be a fun story full of magic and magical creatures. I’m really hoping this will be fun and not too bloody.

Middle Impression: Well, this feels like MG flirting with YA. I like the friendship between the main character and his best friend, but it just really reminded me of the friendship between the two characters in a 4th Grade level book series my 7 year old son loves. It’s disappointing to me as I expected it to be more adult, or at least older YA. And I’m sorely missing all the magical creatures.

Last Impression: An interesting start to the series, but with far fewer magical creatures than I expected, and everything just felt too easy. The main character also didn’t seem to undergo any major development, but was extraordinarily capable, so I’m feeling seriously ambivalent about him.


Rise of the Shadow by Michael Webb – Fantasy

rise of the shadow michael webb

First Impression: This is the second book in the series. I was so surprised by the first book and really enjoyed it, so I’ve been looking forward to this one. I expect it won’t let me down and will have more of a focus on the city in comparison to other fantasy novels and will have more adventures in store for the main characters, but with more at stake as one of them has been enslaved.

Middle Impression: As expected, the characters really shine, but I also kind of feel like this is suffering a little bit from middle book syndrome. However, I’m looking forward to see what the second half holds.

Last Impression: Turns out the second half was incredible! It’s super twisty and had me forgiving the slower first half. I love how this series is traditional fantasy, but focuses more on the business part of a fantasy world. It’s a unique take and I’m really looking forward to what the final book of the trilogy holds.


The Bone Shard Emperor by Andrea Stewart – Fantasy

the bone shard emperor andrea stewart

First Impression: I have no clue what this second book in the series is about, but I only have one word: Mephi.


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