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: 7/12/17

<–The State of the Reader: 7/5/17          The State of the Reader: 7/19/17–>

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 Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson: Kept – The princess runs away from her arranged marriage, and eventually the jilted prince and a hired assassin come after her, but she (and presumably the reader) don’t know which is which.  I really hope she chooses the assassin :p
  2. Red as Blood and White as Bone by Theodor Goss: Kept/Purchased – I’ve followed Ms. Goss’s blog for a bit, and really love her Heroine’s Journey essay.  It’s something I want to keep as a reference for comparison in the least (I immediately thought of Aeris when I read it; the maiden in the woods indeed).  I’m a lover of fairy tales (as you well know), and this story certainly has that feel.
  3. Iron Cast by Destiny Soria: Kept – One of the main characters is a woman of color in a Victorian setting!  The writing is solid, and the hematobes seem like an interesting bunch.
  4. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery: Kept/Purchased – I found a stupendous deal on this book/series.  I’ve never read it, but one of my more intelligent friends from high school has talked about it on Facebook, and I figured it was worth a look.
  5. RoseBlood by A. G. Howard: Kept – A modern Phantom of the Opera retelling where I’m not sure whether the female character is taking more of the role of the Phantom, but the cover seems to suggest that.  There’s some weird stuff going on with her family, and in just the brief sample, I saw little references to the original like her Aunt Lottie (short for Charlotte), but certainly a reference to “Little Lottie.”
  6. The Stolen Child by Keith Donahue: Kept – I removed it from my really-want-to-read list, not because I didn’t like it.  I really do.  The writing is lush; the first page has a Latin phrase I had to look up; and it brings up several good questions about the origin of changelings.  However, I’m trying to determine if a book is RWTR by the sample, and per that, I’m taking it off that list.
  7. The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron: Kept (RWTR) – I was only able to read a few pages of this on my lunch break, but what I did told me it needed to be added to my RWTR list.  Everyone in the city of Canaan forgets everything they know after a certain number of days, and only a select few are given books of remembering.  The protagonist is one of these people.
  8. Wicked as They Come by Delilah S. Dawson: Kept (RWTR) – Sexy vampires with English accents and Victorian garb?  Yes please.  The main character/heroine is extremely likeable, and the author was quite ingenious making her so since she steals a locket within the first few pages.  However Tish is a nurse, which already adds points to her credit, because she’s a legitimate, caring nurse.  She escaped a bad relationship and among doing hospice for others, she takes care of her ailing ,but still feisty grandmother.  This is a definite a really-want-to-read.
  9. The Rescuers by Margery Sharp: Passed – I spent a good deal of my teenage years reading books that Disney movies were based on if I could find them at my school and/or local library.  It’s how I read Bambi, which is quite a bit different than the movie.  I was hoping I’d find this book as charming and interesting as the others so co-opted for movies, but I was frankly bored.  The narrative was too scattered as if the author didn’t have a thorough editing job performed.  Maybe it gets better later, but I have too many books on my TBR list to gamble on that.

Books Purchased This Week: 9

Title: Red as Blood and White as Bone
Author: Theodora Goss
Date Added: September 10, 2016
Date Purchased: July 7, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $0.99
Retailer: Amazon

Title: Anne of Green Gables
Series Title: Anne of Green Gables & Chronicles of Avonlea
Author: L.M. Montgomery
Date Added: September 2, 2016
Date Purchased: July 7, 2017

  • Anne of Avonlea
  • Anne of the Island
  • Anne’s House of Dreams
  • Rainbow Valley
  • Rilla of Avonlea
  • Chronicles of Avonlea
  • Further Chronicles of Avonlea

Media: ebook/Kindle
Price: $0.99
Retailer: Amazon

It was $0.99 for all eight books.  I couldn’t turn down such a deal, and this is the best and easiest way I could think to show that on here.

Total: $1.98
Average Price: $0.22

Continue reading

The State of the Reader: 7/5/17

<–The State of the Reader: 6/28/17          The State of the Reader: 7/12/17–>

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 Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins: Kept – I had this on my RWTR list, but I bumped it off of that.  It’s interesting, but I’m not chaffing at the bit to read it.  I put it on my library shelf though, so I’m sure I’ll get to it soon due to that marvelous resource.
  2. In the Eyes of Madness by Michael Pang: Passed – I can’t get into the writing style, and the poor editing job doesn’t help.  I also read a review that said it was heavy handed in religion.  Since the sample showed the main character seeming to be exasperated with the concept, this is probably going to be a “come to Jesus” type of novel where he realizes the error of his ways in being a Doubting Thomas, and stories like that just don’t interest me.  3 Gates of the Dead is by one of my very devout Catholic author friends where the main character has the Doubting Thomas mien, but by the end of the book, he still has his doubts and is trying to come to terms with everything.  He’s not completely throwing away his belief in God, but doubts don’t just disappear, and it makes the MC more human and relatable.  The premise of In the Eyes of Madness seems like something that would really draw my interest since I believe it starts off with the MC having some issue with his mother, and then he doesn’t know what’s real anymore before horror ensues (I’m probably simplifying it too much, but you get the gist of why this would pique my interest), but I have to pass.
  3. King’s Folly by Jill Williamson: Kept – I have a great fondness for main characters in command, control, or a leadership position who don’t abuse their power and authority.  I don’t recall the captain’s name, but when an earthquake strikes right before he pulls his ship into port, his actions and the way his men react to him clearly show he’s worthy of their respect.  While he doesn’t go down with his ship, he is the last to leave after making sure everyone else escaped.  He also notes that many of his men can’t swim.  The fact that he knows this means he cares enough to find out,; therefore, I care enough to read more.
  4. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan: Kept – I really thought I wasn’t going to like this because on the surface it seems a bit too Harry Potter like (especially with the first sentence mentioning “half bloods”), but there’s a distinctive difference in style and mien.  While both this and J. K. Rowling’s series have a young, white male protagonist with special powers, the source of magic and the reason humans can wield it is never fully outlined in HP’s world.  It appears to just be genetic with no particular progenitor.  Percy is the son of Poseidon, which means this book/series is going to utilize, at least on the surface, classical mythology.
  5. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey: Kept – It’s hard for me to turn my back on winter tales.  I’m quite obsessed with that season.  What also drew me to this were the wife’s depressive thoughts and suicide ideation.
  6. Mirror Image by Michael Scott: Passed – It’s a mystery, horror thriller about an evil mirror, but it just didn’t grab me.
  7. Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone: Kept – A dead god and a young woman who was thrown out of her hidden school to crash to earth in a heap.  Sounds like there’s some Paradise Lost influence going on with this, and I’m all about that.
  8. Curse of the Thirteenth Fey by Jane Yolen: Kept (RWTR) – I missed downloading this one when I was going through my list.  It’s from 2013 and I’m downloading ones from 2016.  I’m glad I noticed it as I was going through a new batch of book samples.  I’ve read Jane Yolen before.  Her Briar Rose is one of the most haunting fairy tale reworkings I’ve ever read.
  9. The Last Wish by Andrej Sapokowski: Kept – This is the book The Witcher game series is based on.  I was going to say game devs love people with white hair, but it’s not just them.  We could blame Michael Moorcock for this but it’s one of those tropes that’s older than dirt or as old as religion.
  10. Moon Called by Patricia Briggs: Kept (RWTR) – Holy shit, this one surprised me.  I expected to give it a pass, because it’s urban fantasy and takes place in modern times, and this is exactly what I said in my latest State of the Gamer post about not discounting genres/formats.  I like Mercy.  I like that she’s a female mechanic and no one seems to give her shit for that.  I’m actually hyped to read this book.
  11. Never Never by Colleen Hoover: Kept (RWTR)/Purchased – I had to force myself to stop reading this sample.  I’ve read, seen, and played many stories about amnesia.  It’s a trope so common it’s become trite, but this take on it is utterly new.  Bounced between two points of view, both characters lose all memory of who they are including their names while they’re in the middle of their school day.  It would be like you’re just going about your business, and all of a sudden all memory of your past just vanishes.  You have to pretend you know people whose faces you don’t recognize (you don’t even know your own), because how would someone that’s known you your entire life react if you said you didn’t remember them?  They’d think you were mocking or making a joke.  When I saw how much the book was on Amazon, it was an easy purchase.

Books Purchased This Week: 4

Title: The Daemoniac
Series Title: A Dominion Mystery
Author: Kat Ross
Date Added: October 13, 2016
Date Purchased: July 3, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $0.00
Retailer: Amazon

Continue reading

The State of the Reader: 6/28/17

<–The State of the Reader: 6/21/17          The State of the Reader: 7/5/17–>

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. Knights of the Borrowed Dark by Dave Rudden: Kept – There’s a Harry Potter vibe to this story with the orphanage being a combination of Hogwarts and Privet Drive, and the dourness of that extends to the mien.  There are some really bad “people” after the protagonist.
  2. Cracked by Eliza Crewe: Kept – I’m a sucker for just dessert stories (I wouldn’t have written about an assassin who only kills the most reprehensible if I wasn’t), and that’s exactly what this is.  The main character has the Dexter like desire to kill, but only focuses it on those who deserve it.
  3. The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan: Kept – Books like this are the reason there’s no hard and fast rule about prologues.  Sometimes they’re integral in setting  not only the scene and mien, but also more subtle revelations about the world of the book.  Humans have found a way to exploit dragons for their literally blood, and what we’ve done to them is frankly horrifying.  This is all revealed in a report about a terrible accident involved massive loss of life.  However, it’s revealed more in the clinical details about the happening, reported as mere facets of information that upon rumination are quite disturbing.  Terms are sanitized: calling dragon blood “product’ as it is “harvested” for a corporation, and when the dragon manages to escape, there is mention of the cauterized stumps of its wings and how it was robbed of its ability to breathe fire.  Stories like this set up a reckoning that humanity is never prepared to answer.
  4. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare: Kept/Library – I was pleasantly surprised by this was, though the person who recommended it did tell me it was a bit different from The Mortal Instrument Series, which I couldn’t stand.  It takes place in the same world, but Clare’s work seems to have matured.  I’m genuinely interested in where this one’s going and the main character Kit’s involvement in it.
  5. Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt: Kept (RWTR) – Tell me a good story and you’ll instantly draw me in.  Keturah’s stories are certainly worthy of Death’s attention, and the reason why he spared her is exceedingly clear.  The sample for this ended far too soon for my liking and is currently on my to-buy-next shelf.
  6. Sheepfarmer’s Daughter by Elizabeth Moon: Kept – First book in The Deed of Paksenarrion series, and I’m very impressed.  I love Paks’s character, and I’m curious what she did to cause her father to change his tune about her as plainly shown in the far future prologue.  She refuses to accept the choice her father made for her (against her say so) to be married to a pig farmer, so she up and leaves, walking 30 miles in a day to join a military unit that accepts women.  I like that the man who becomes her commanding officer doesn’t seem to care a wit that she’s female.  He’s impressed that she walked 30 miles in a day to join up, is strong, knows how to march, and follows orders.  He also doesn’t take nonsense from any man in his unit that attempts to shame or vocally leer at her because of her gender.  I think I’m going to enjoy this novel/series.
  7. The Ill-Made Mute by Cecilia Dart-Thornton: Kept – This is one of those books I saw for years in bookstores, but it never caught my interest then.  Now, it’s both disturbing and intriguing.  The beginning is so vague and yet so horrifying in partially explaining how the ill-made mute became that way.  He’s not really ill-made at least naturally, and I don’t think he was always a mute.
  8. Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence: Passed – Reprehensible protagonists just aren’t my thing.  I’m assuming he becomes more sympathetic later on in the story, but the leader of a band that murders villagers and rapes their daughters just doesn’t do it for me even if there is a major Heel Face Turn at some point.
  9. The Devil’s Prayer by Luke Gracias: Kept – I love creepy, religious centered fantasy where people sell their souls or make a deal with the devil.

Books Purchased This Week: 0


Books Finished This Week: 2

Title: Saga, Volume 6
Series Title: Saga
Authors: Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples
Date Added: June 11, 2017
Date Started: June 17, 2017
Date Finished: June 22, 2017
Reading Duration: 5 days

The epic continues, but I’m not sure how I will when I finished the 7th and last one that’s currently out.  It’s a long time until January 2018.

Continue reading

The State of the Reader: 6/21/17

<–The State of the Reader: 6/14/17          The State of the Reader: 6/28/17–>

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. Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey: Kept – I’ve only read one book that involved Mercedes Lackey, and it was a collaboration with Piers Anthony, If I Pay Thee Not in GoldThis held my interest enough to give it a try.
  2. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco: Kept (RWTR) – This is currently one of the many books with giveaway contests on Goodreads.  I doubt I’ll win, but I’d buy I plan to buy it eventually anyway.  It’s so beautifully written with such a dark premise.
  3. Darkness on the Edge of Town by Brian Keene: Passed – This comes off as overly religious and preachy.  I love religious symbolism, but this book seems like it’s going to have some judgmental moral at the end of it as to why the town is shrouded in darkness, and I just have no interest.
  4. The Young Elites by Marie Lu: Kept (RWTR) – I saw this book in Target a few months ago, but didn’t make the purchase because I wasn’t sure.  I regret not doing so.  The beginning is haunting as the main character Adelina overhears her father literally sell her to a merchant in order to pay off his debts, because no other man would want her due to the ravages of the “blood fever.”
  5. The Many Selves of Katherine North by Emma Green: Passed – The beginning is very confusing and jumbled.  I’m guessing the author wants to introduce the premise of what it feels like to “jump” into the minds of other species, but that’s already enough of an odd concept that obfuscating it even more makes the narrative damn near impossible to follow.  I was hoping for something akin to how GRRM describes warging in ASOIAF, but the beginning of this book is unfortunately a convoluted mess.  The blurb sounds really interesting, and I hate to pass on it, but it really lost me at the start.
  6. The Water Mirror by Kai Meyer: Kept (RWTR) – I’m surprised by this one.  I thought I was going to pass on it and didn’t consider it would wind up on my really-want-to-read list, but the way the people of this fantastic version of Venice are subjugating and abusing mythical creatures such as mermaids and stone lions calls for a great reckoning.
  7. Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson: Kept (RWTR) – This book was fascinating from the start.  Set in the Gold Rush Era, the main character is a girl who can sense gold, yet her family is still struggling.  Her father has some kind of ailment, and her parents don’t seem as overjoyed with her ability as you’d think.  I’m guessing because if anyone knows about it, they’d try to exploit her, and this seems to be the catalyst of the story.
  8. A Thread in the Tangle by Sabrina Flynn: Kept – I think if I hadn’t added the last two books to my really-want-to-read list I would’ve added this one, too.  Sometimes I reconsider and do that later, if a story stays with me, because this one is introduces some fantastic dynamics.  The one character (who appears to be more than human) is clearly not afraid of the emperor, and he seems to care far more about the monarch’s daughter than her father does (what is the title for an emperor’s daughter anyway?  I guess you could still use princess), seeing as the emperor is threatening to lock a four year old in the dungeon until she can be sold.  WTF.
  9. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender: Kept (RWTR) – This book is a dream to someone who loves both magical realism and angels.  The main character may not be one for true, but having the wings of a bird is close enough for me.  The  language is lush and beautiful, and this is firmly on my to-buy-next shelf.  I could’ve purchased it on Kindle, but this is one of the novels I want to own a physical copy of.

Books Purchased This Week: 5

Title: Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain
Author: David Eagleman
Date Added: May 7, 2017
Date Purchased: June 17, 2017

Media: Paperback
Price: $16.00
Retailer: Barnes & Noble

Title: Tigana
Author: Guy Gavriel Kay
Date Added: February 9, 2016
Date Purchased: June 17, 2017

Media: Paperback
Price: $22.00
Retailer: Barnes & Noble

Continue reading