The State of the Reader: 5/23/18

<–The State of the Reader: 5/9/18          The State of the Reader: 6/6/18–>

weekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Purchased: 1

Books DNF: 1

Title: The Shadow Soul
Series Title: A Dance of Dragons
Author: Kaitlyn Davis
Date Added: June 15, 2016
Date Started: May 14, 2018
Date DNF: May 15, 2018

The Shadow Soul coverMedia: eBook/Kindle

The opening of this book was pretty meh.  It’s your typical Destroyed Hometown (haha, the picture they use XD) followed by vengeance seeking fare, and no I’m not a hypocrite for not falling in love with every story that has that paradigm (see the picture they used), because this novel didn’t do anything remotely new with it.  Even having the female protagonist disguise herself as a boy is pretty cliched.  I didn’t feel any deep emotion towards the destruction of Jinji’s village, which is disappointing as it’s clear the author attempted to make it that way with her best friend braiding her hair in the style it be would for the rest of her life.  I think it’s because there wasn’t much to really distinguish these characters from ones I’ve read a thousand times before.

I could’ve forgiven this and plowed on if the main male Rhen character wasn’t so damned unlikable for numerous reasons.  One, he might be a rapist, and I wish I were kidding.  We’re introduced to him fleeing the bedroom of some mayor’s daughter (or the equivalent), and it’s made clear in the text that she wasn’t expecting him.  He also has this unearned and therefore unappealing arrogant, know-it-all attitude.  The author tells us how smart he is through Rhen’s own ruminations, and I’m just not seeing it.  He hasn’t done anything to show his intelligence, and while this could also be forgiven if it’s revealed later, his first crime is far to grievous on top of his eye-rolling personality.  Maybe he learns and grows throughout the story and from his interactions with Jinji, but I don’t care enough about him to stick around and find out.

This is all the review I’m going to post for this pass, since I’ve said everything I need to say about it.  It’s decently rated on Goodreads at 3.86, and the main female character is indigenous which is kick ass.  I just wish the author had chosen a better potential love interest for her.  She deserves that.

Books Finished: 2

Title: Restless Bones on Crystal Lake
Series Title: Moon Investigations
Author: B. Batiste
Date Added: March 26, 2018
Date Started: May 1, 2018
Date Finished: May 12, 2018

Restless Bones on Crystal LakeMedia: eBook/Kindle

The cliffhanger ending is so brutal!  But it will ensure I buy the next book as soon as it comes out.  Like the one before it, Restless Bones is never boring, and you’re never quite sure what’s going to happen next.

Title: The Habitation of the Blessed
Series Title: A Dirge for Prester John
Author: Catherynne M. Valente
Date Added: September 28, 2012
Date Started: March 26, 2018
Date Finished: May 23, 2018

The Habitation of the Blessed by Catherynne M. ValenteMedia: Paperback

I’m not really sure how to talk about this book, and I hope by the time I review it, my thoughts will be clearer.  It follows along the template of religious teachings I’m not familiar with.  I’ve heard the name Prester John in passing, but never delved into the details, and while the apostle Thomas or Doubting Thomas is familiar to me, the moniker Thomas the Twin and the implications of that are not.  I’ll need to do some research before reviewing this so I’m not going into it completely ignorant and can make some connections to the original stories.

Currently Reading: 3

Title: The King of Elfland’s Daughter
Author: Lord Dunsany
Date Added: June 16, 2016
Date Started: May 16, 2018

The King of Elfland's Daughter coverMedia: eBook/Kindle
Progress: 21%

This is an incredibly hard book to read.  You can tell from the way it’s written that it’s quite old, and the language used is poetic in a way that constantly repeats.  There are certain phrases like “the fields we know” and “the fields we don’t know” that are used in place of mundane Earth and Elfland.  It’s not annoying, but the prose has a winding way about it that can be hard to follow if you’re not paying attention.  The premise is interesting and far older than I thought: what happens after the “happily ever after” when the brave young prince has won the fairy princess and spirited her away.  That occurs in the first two chapters of the novel; the rest of it is dedicated to the aftermath.  This was first published in 1924, over a decade before Disney’s release of Snow White (1938), proving the subversion of fairy tale tropes predates the mouse’s co-opting of them.

Title: Parasol Protectorate
Series Title: Souless
Author: Gail Carriger
Date Added: October 26, 2016
Date Started: April 26, 2018

SoullessMedia: Paperback (Library)
Progress: 61%

I have a suspicion about who’s behind all of the odd happenings, and if I’m right, I won’t be too disappointed in the author for not surprising me.  It would still be an awesome twist.  I really do want to smack Alexia’s mother, but I suppose she’s just a product of her time.  Still if she were bitten by a werewolf, I wouldn’t be too put out.

Title: Dune
Series Title: Dune Chronicles
Author: Frank Herbert
Date Added: September 4, 2013
Date Started: March 6, 2018

The cover of Dune by Frank HerbertMedia: Paperback
Progress: 47%

I asked my husband one questions.  Does the baron get his comeuppance.  He answered in the affirmative, and that’s all I needed to know.  I’m sure some people would count that as a spoiler, but as long as I don’t know what happens, I’m content.  When you have a character who’s so terribly and absolutely vile, sometimes you need to know that they get what’s coming to them.

I’m now only one book behind with finishing Restless Bones and Prester John.  If I can complete Soulless before the end of the month, I’ll be back on track.  If I’d borrowed the graphic novel, I know I’d be finished it by now, but I really can’t have many regrets since I’m enjoying the non-graphic version so.  I am going to go back to that afterwards though just to make sure I stay on track with my challenge.  I might start taking out a novel and graphic novel from the library if I can fit the latter into my reading schedule.

What have you been reading lately?  Anything you’d like to recommend?

<–The State of the Reader: 5/9/18          The State of the Reader: 6/6/18–>

11 thoughts on “The State of the Reader: 5/23/18

  1. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 5/9/18 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

  2. Currently reading American Hippo by Sarah Gailey. I received an arc on Netgalley. The first novella was so much fun, I can’t wait to crack into the next one. Alternative American history where the government imported hippos as a new meat source. Some got loose and now they’re plaguing the rivers and marshlands. It’s kind of a western but where the cowboys/mercenaries ride hippos instead of horses. Lots of sass. LGBTQ characters abound. I love it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I used to do it weekly, but then moved to biweekly so I’ll have a new post up this week 🙂

      This is my second time trying to read Dune and I’m so into it now. I think the first time I wasn’t as used to the writing style so it was offputting, but now I have no problems. I’m about halfway through. It’s one of those stories I actually don’t know the end of, so I’ve been avoiding spoilers about it lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: The State of the Reader: 6/6/18 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

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