June Reading Thread

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Unnatural Magic by C.M. Waggoner

Unnatural Magic suffers a bit from not knowing what kind of novel it was supposed to be. The writing is smooth for the most part, but gets a bit uneven at the end. Waggoner created a fantasy world with trolls and humans, with interesting and plausible dynamics between the them. As a novel exploring this world through the experiences of the various characters, it was interesting and entertaining. But as a serial-killer murder mystery, the plot fell short and the solving the mystery took a back seat to the romance, which didn’t particularly appeal to me. Onna also came across as sometimes too perfect. I do, however, love this novel’s version of of a magic system, which requires mathematical formula and stating of parameters. This is the author’s debut novel, and it’s fairly enjoyable. I will definitely keep an eye out for any other books this author publishes.​
 
The Trojan War by Barry Strauss.

Informative and paints a vivid picture of late Bronze Age Greece.
 

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I've allowed myself to become embroiled in the Star Trek Fleet Command game and i'm not reading as much as i'd like. I may have to delete it.

I finished Judge Dredd: Psychogeddon, which was enjoyable enough.

Now on to Judge Dredd: Death Masques.

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Finally completed The Grand Fleet: Warship Design And Development 1906 - 1922.
I learned a lot from this book. For instance, I had no idea that during the Russo-Japanese war of 1905, the Royal Navy had a team of observers on a number of Japanese warships. These observers reported back to the Admiralty on guns, types of damage and tactics used. They helped influence the way future warships were designed and built in the lead-up to the Great War.

Now, I’m returning to Cixin Liu ‘s The Three Body Problem. I struggled engage with it first time around but I’m determined to finish my first ever reading of a Chinese science fiction novel. By hook or by crook, I’ll get through it this time.
 
I'm reading The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida - pretty captivating read, set in Sri Lanka during the civil war. It's fictional but informative, funny and cutting so far. I've been a bit distracted though so I'm not quite immersed, despite it using the 2nd person, which is very effective.

Now, I’m returning to Cixin Liu ‘s The Three Body Problem. I struggled engage with it first time around but I’m determined to finish my first ever reading of a Chinese science fiction novel. By hook or by crook, I’ll get through it this time.
I recently read The Iron Widow, and loved it. Obviously it did well as it's a NYT best-seller, but I genuinely enjoyed it (I think it's maybe YA by the feel). Chinese, feminist sci-fi. It's badass, if that one is proving dull and you still want the achievement ;)
 
Finished:

Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafón - this is a YA horror, gothic, adventure, mystery set in Barcelona, 1980. Not as intense as the Labyrinth of Forgotten Books but you can see a similar use of themes, ideas and writing style.

The Book of Minds: How to Understand Ourselves and Other Beings, from Animals to AI to Aliens by Philip Ball - An overview of the current understanding of the nature and existence of minds and consciousness. This book was more comprehensive, and I enjoyed it more, than the other 3 I've recently read on a similar topic. Understanding ourselves and other beings (whether animals, aliens or AI) is not a simple topic.​
 
Not as intense as the Labyrinth of Forgotten Books but you can see a similar use of themes, ideas and writing style.
Yes, that was my impression, too. Although I enjoyed Marina more. The descriptions of Barcelona were more evocative and the characters more engaging, but the other is probably the more important work. Marina feels like it is meant as a sort of love letter to Barcelona, and I've read that The Cemetery of Forgotten Books was meant to expose the abuses of the Franco regime.
 
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BARBARIANS AT THE GATE:THE TAKE OVER OF RJR NABISCO.1990. BURROUGH & HELYER.

Harlan Ellison stories & novels.
 
Got bored with the Ian Rankin book, and I really wanted to get my teeth into some horror/dark fantasy. I think its my favourite type of fiction at the moment.
So I'm giving The Devil Rides Out by Dennis Wheatley a go. I've no idea about the book or its author and I hadnt realised it was written in the 1930s. The author's name just sounds so modern!
 
Finished Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Quite good noir novel featuring vampires set in a Mexico City that could easily stand in for Casablanca. This could more properly be called a dark fantasy rather than a horror novel, primarily because she presents a world where vampires are a known factor, and then gives a good account of how vampire clans differ.

And I've started, The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson (a.k.a. Nick Cutter). There's an aura of Bradbury about this, including early on some word-drunk descriptions that make me grin.
 
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