The State of the Reader: 7/26/17

<–The State of the Reader: 7/19/17          The State of the Reader: 8/2/17–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Samples Read This Week

  1. The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid: Kept – I’m really on an AI/synthetic kick lately.  This has led me to a conclusion that I should have figured out years ago.  Like most of my revelations, it starts with VII.  I’m pretty sure my favorite genre isn’t fantasy, but rather science fantasy.  I actually really love the fusion of elements from both.  It makes me wish I’d recognized that in Star Wars when I was younger,  but I like it now so it’s okay.  Anyway, I loved this novel’s brutality and incongruence of having a teenage girl be a synthetic killing machine, and the book was really cheap on Amazon, so I bought it on Kindle.
  2. Faller by Will McIntosh: Kept (RWTR) – I really do seem to find myself repeating paradigms.  Like the book I just started reading this week, this is about utter loss of memory, but instead of just two characters, it’s everyone.
  3. The Bird Box by Josh Malerman: Kept – I almost didn’t.  The language seemed a little stilted and tangled, but by the second page, it showed it was worth its salt.
  4. Firstlife by Gena Showalter; Kept – I loved the tongue-in-cheek emails between what I’m assuming is a soldier or officer and his superior who is a general, but the former character opens up the first email with an almost insolent “Duuuuude,” to which the general reminds him that he should call him “Sir.”  The next email is the soldier using the title ad naseaum and still being completely insolent.  It was hilarious.
  5. A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs: Kept – This is the book the unfortunate John Carter film was based on.  Apparently, the movie wasn’t terrible; it just had terrible release timing.  I read less than the first page of this book, and I love the language.  The price was too cheap to pass up.
  6. IQ by Joe Ide: Kept (RWTR) – Writers are often admonished for using prologues.  Anyone who doesn’t see the merit in the one for this book can shove it.  I decided to read it based on that alone.  It was chilling and terrifying even as it came off so simply.
  7. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel: Kept – I’ve never read (what becomes) a post-apocalyptic story with such lush, prosaic writing.  We’re also introduced to at least two of the characters who survive the event(s) that cause the apocalypse.
  8. Timekeeper by Tara Sim: Kept – My Kindle was dying so I only read the first two pages of the sample, but I’m very interested in what the hell happened to 2:00.  I just disappeared.  Has daylight savings time become sentient?  I suppose I’ll have to read to find out.

Books Purchased This Week: 8

Title: The Diabolic
Author: S.J. Kincaid
Date Added: October 28, 2016
Date Purchased: July 20, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $1.99
Retailer: Amazon

Continue reading

The State of the Reader: 7/19/17

<–The State of the Reader: 7/12/17          The State of the Reader: 7/26/17–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Samples Read This Week

  1. Bambi’s Children by Felix Salten: Kept – I enjoyed the first book, and this one appears to have the same charm.
  2. The Catalyst by Helen Coggan: Kept (RWTR) – I only read a few pages of this, because I’m trying not to read as much of my samples, just enough to know I’ll like it.  When I get to read them, I don’t like to reread what I already have to save time, but I often feel obligated to at least skim it to reacquaint myself.  I’d rather have less to skim.  Anyway, this starts off with a hole being ripped in the sky similar to the Futurama movie The Beast with a Billion Backs.
  3. Mark of the Demon by Diana Rowland: Kept (RWTR) – PI summons 12th level demon who proceeds to apprehend the burglar who very unwisely broke into her house coincidentally at the same time she was doing said summons.  Also, there’s a promise of a really hot angel character.
  4. Relic by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child: Passed – It didn’t hold my interest.  I like mysteries, but there just didn’t seem to be much new infused into this one.  I think this is just a personal preference case.  The story and writing don’t seem bad, and I think it would be enjoyable to someone who likes museum or Indiana Jones-like mysteries.  Not saying I don’t, but they’re not my usual reading fare.
  5. A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn: Kept – Victorian mystery where the main character is a recently orphaned, practical young lady.  Sounds good to me.
  6. The Rains by Gregg Hurwitz: Kept (RWTR) – I barely read two pages before I knew this was a keeper for the RWTR shelf.  The characters are likable, and I already know the plot is going to be compelling.
  7. Lotus and Thorn by Sara Wilson Etienne: Kept – I almost put this on the RWTR shelf, but I decided against it.  It starts before the main character is exiled to the desert, and I’m guessing she’s about to commit the act that gets her thrown out.  There’s a character named Lotus whom I’m assuming will be important, though in the first chapter, she seems to almost be brushed over.
  8. Double Dead by Chuck Wendig: Kept (RWTR) – A vampire protagonist in a world full of zombies.  He’s been asleep for a while, and when he wakes up the world has gone to hell.  If you ever wondered if vampires can feed off of zombies, this book has your answer and much more.

Books Purchased This Week: 0


Books Declared DNF This Week: 1

Title: The Beauty Thief
Series Title: Twelve Realms
Author: Rachael Ritchey
Date Added: February 5, 2016
Date Started: July 13, 2017
Date DNF: July 19, 2017
Reading Duration: 6 days

Percentage Read: 25%

I was really excited to read this one, so much that I threw it on my really-want-to-read shelf, and initially, it was really engaging.  I liked that the characters were royal, but they weren’t corrupt.  While they were a little bit too good to be true (no Game of Thrones grey in here), tyrannical rulers has become a bit cliched, so it’s almost a subversion to read about people who aren’t, and I liked that the princes and princesses were properly disciplined for misbehavior by being forced to do chores typically associated with “commoners.”  True rulers know that their task is to serve.  Caityn, the main character, also mentions she’s taught or read at the local school in addition to comforting orphans and widows.  It was sweet and really laid the foundation for what kind of realm this was.

Then Princess Eliya shows up.  Eliya is Theiandar’s (Caityn’s betrothed) sister, and you instantly know something is up with her.  I was okay with that, because everyone can’t be perfect, and her jealousy towards Caityn, which was grounded in the fear she was taking her only brother away, was understandable.

The reason I stopped reading was the novel has way too much exposition.  The author tells too much instead of showing.  The conflict of the story was washed out by the exposition/explanation on everyone’s state of mind.  Theiandar is wholly devoted to Caityn, which is plain to see in his behavior.  It takes away the mystery that every book should posses a little of to constantly comment on it though.  Let us doubt a bit.  Let us see it in his words and his actions.  Show the devotion more than you tell me he’s devoted.

Continue reading

The State of the Reader: 5/31/17

<–The State of the Reader: 5/24/17          The State of the Reader: 6/7/17–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Samples Read This Week

  1. The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmburg: Kept/Purchased – Interesting enough to warrant a read.  The main character wants to work with steel, but her teacher informs her they don’t have enough paper magicians, so that’s where she’s going to apprentice.  It’s making me think of this anime that I’ve never seen, but I know is about a character who can manipulate   paper.  Read or Die, I think that’s the name of it?  Since the book was cheap on Kindle, I also purchased it.  I can never tell whether or not the price is static or on sale.
  2. Dawn of Wonder by Jonathan Renshaw: Passed – This is going to sound awful, and lord knows I understand how frustrating market saturation is, but I just don’t feel like reading a story where the main character is a young man with a fated destiny.  If the writing had pulled me in, I’d probably consider it, but it wasn’t really my style.
  3. Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones: Kept – I liked the language/writing style, so me keeping this seems counter to what I said above, because this one seems like a “young man with a fated destiny” story, too, but the focus seems to be more on his more talented, witchy sister.
  4. Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen: Kept – I’ve been only reading a page of two of my samples (unless they’re like Radiance and I can’t put it down) before I make my decision if I’m going to keep it, and this one about a talented young singer trying to live in the cold of her opera diva mother’s shadow seems worthy of my time.
  5. The Greenstone Grail by Amanda Hemingway: Kept – Again I only read a few pages of this, but I’ve read the author before under her other name Jan Siegel.  She wrote Prospero’s Children with that moniker, and I loved that series, so I’m sure I’ll find this novel more than adequate. Interesting…so I went to add the link for this, and I have the book on my TBR list twice: once under Jan Siegel and once under Amanda Hemingway.  Let me check Amazon to see what name she’s using…it’s under Hemingway so that’s what I’m going to keep.
  6. The Book of Earth by Marjorie B, Kellogg: Kept – The sleeping dragons keeping the balance instantly reminded me of Mother 3, though in that there was just one, but seven pins (or swords?) that you had to draw in order to awaken it.  I like the unconventional young noble lady, too, even though that’s a tried trope as well.
  7. The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black: Kept (RWTR) – This book is everything I could ask for.  Fairy enchantment in a world where iPods exist.  I love the blending of either genres or when genres take place in non-traditional time periods (most people think of sword and sorcery or high fantasy that generally occurs in some medieval era), and the fact that there’s a mother so bad ass she not only figured out her baby was a changeling, but refused to give the fae child back when the fairy woman returned her own.
  8. Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow: Kept by Jessica Day George: Kept (RWTR) – I’d already had this on my really-want-to-read list.  I love stories about the dark, cold north (I mean my favorite story’s beginning and conclusion occurs in the north, and depending on how ASOIAF concludes, I may be double talking), and I love fairy tales.  This story does both.
  9. Ice by Sarah Beth Durst: Kept (RWTR) – I was surprised, but not upset to find this book takes place in more modern times where research teams are sent to the Arctic and snow mobiles exist.  Stories like this usually have the quality of disbelief for its characters in seeing magic happen before their eyes, so they share something with those who are reading the tale.  If this book and the prior had been less expensive, I would’ve bought them immediately.
  10. The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau: Kept (RWTR) – This was one of those samples that only had a few pages, but I am beyond curious to know what’s going on with it.  It starts off with a prologue, which is always a risky move in any story, but it explains how 200 years ago, the builders of the eponymous city left instructions for the people, and they were supposed to be passed down through successive generations, held by the cities mayors, but one of the mayors was corrupted, took home the box the instructions were housed in, and tried to break it open with a hammer.  The sample stopped there, but I want to know why these builders said the people would have to say hidden for at least 200 years.  What the hell happened to the surface above?
  11. The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon: Kept – Even though I’m worried this book might be a touch on the religious side (as in favoring one over the other), I’m still interested in what the daughter does with her mother’s gift.
  12. Adventure Begins by Colin Dann: Kept – So I actually downloaded a different book from the one I had on my TBR list.  I had The Animals of Farthing Wood there or something like that, but I think this one is the first in the series?  I’m not really sure, but since this is what I downloaded, and since it seems to be the first in a series, this is the one I’m going to keep.  Going by my rules of one author per book on my TBR list, I removed Animals for this.  The premise is interesting and definitely something I would’ve read in my younger days.  There’s a feud between the foxes and the otters, because the otters have encroached on the foxes’ hunting territory due to a shortage of fish in the stream.  This issue is further compounded by the fact that otters are rare in this part of England (?), so wherever they live has been declared a sanctuary by humans who won’t chop down and develop the wood due to their presence.  The otters know this and take advantage of it, so I’m curious how the foxes are going to resolve this dilemma.

Books Purchased This Week: 4

Title: The Paper Magician
Series Title: The Paper Magician Trilogy
Author: Charlie N. Holmberg
Date Added: June 17, 2016
Date Purchased: May 25, 2017

Paper Magician, The

Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $1.50
Retailer: Amazon

Continue reading