It’s been a while — a long, long while — since I last stepped up to the front of the class for a book report, so I figure I should remedy that. I haven’t been reading as voraciously as usual, and part of that reason is a general frustration for books that come recommended and yet bore me silly after the first couple dozen pages.
- Best Served Cold – I’m a tentative Joe Abercrombie fan, because while I do love his writing, his imagination, and the gritty feel of his worlds, it’s almost too dark, depressing and cynical to love. The First Law trilogy was excellent for the most part, but it ended abruptly and somewhat anticlimactically. Best Served Cold is set in the same world, but it’s an off-shoot with a new character, an angry female warrior who is betrayed, left for dead, and embarks on an epic journey of revenge. It’s wild to see how her vengeance both shapes the events of the world around her and how it brings more misery and suffering, but it kept me reading right up to the end.
- The Girl Who Played With Fire/The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – Okay, for some reason these are insanely popular all around the world, and while I found them decent reads, I don’t see what the fuss is about. The English translation feels a bit clunky, on top of a plot that is far from nail-biting — I guess I can be gracious and say that it is intriguing, but not to the point where I couldn’t put it down. I haven’t felt the urge to read the third book yet, so… yeah.
- The Passage – Another huge best-seller, and one I should’ve been on board with. An apocalypse caused by truly scary, near-unstoppable vampires? Yeah, it’s a good setup. And then the author just draaaaaags everything out far too long, gives us characters that aren’t that relatable, and ends on a limp note (it’s the first part of a series, apparently). I liked a lot of the things in this novel, but a spiritual successor to The Stand this is not.
- Finch – I’m probably going to finish this book, although it’s a little too dreary for my taste. It’s basically a detective murder mystery set in a weird fantasy city where mushroom people have conquered the locals and are keeping them under an oppressive rule.
- Bright of the Sky – It was free on Kindle, always a plus, but after the cool opening chapters set in our future, it jumped into a fantasy world that I didn’t find too appealing.
- The Magic Thief – Hoping for a bit of the Harry Potter vibe here, but this author writes way too quick, stilted and dull to keep my interest. Can’t believe it’s a series.
- Containment – Another free Kindle book that I never heard of, this is a mystery/thriller set on a Venusian colony in the future. I’m not attached to the characters, but I kind of like the vision for it.
- The House of the Stag – Apparently this author is hot stuff, but I really couldn’t get into it at all. Pass.
- The Lost Fleet: Dauntless – Horribly-written military scifi. Characterizations were way off.
- Foul Moon – I know everyone just loves and loves the Dresden Files, but I’ve been slogging my way through his second book without seeing the fun.
Currently In Progress:
- The Way of the Kings – It was funny to see MMO Gamer Chick write about this, because I’m in the middle of reading it as well. Brandon Sanderson has quickly risen to the level of “I’ll read anything — except Wheel of Time — that he writes, sight unseen.” He’s just an easy read, and fulfills my cardinal rule of novel writing: Something interesting must happen in every chapter. I can’t believe it’s only the first book of a series, but hey, more for me. Sanderson comes up with yet another nifty magic system (this one to do with gems) that takes this outside of typical fantasy humdrum.