April Reading Thread

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Not yet. I have a couple of coworkers who rave about this book, but my daughter says she tried reading it but didn't finish. She found it a very slow-moving romance. It is currently "included" in an audible subscription. I do subscribe to Audible, and may try listening to it. Since I wouldn't be paying for the book, it won't hurt anything if I find it isn't my style.

Thanks it looked like a romance to me , think I will give it a miss
THE ORIGINAL, 2020 Brandon Sanderson ,Mary Robinette Kowal.

Science fiction story.
Odd jobs by Heide Goody

An urban fantasy that's (so far) reminiscent of The Laundry Files - a secret UK government organisation to counter the eldritch forces of darkness
~After 1177 B.C.: The Survival of Civilizations by Eric H. Cline
I did not find this book nearly as compelling or interesting as its predecessor (1177 B.C). It is well researched, but not so well written, lacks clarity, and is all a bit too vague. Cline spends much ink describing the discovery of various archaeological findings and inscriptions, making suppositions and speculating, and listing a vast plethora of kings, princes and other rulers and their successors. There is a brief summary at the end of each chapter, which was much more useful than all the disjointed archaeological minutiae, in which any narrative history got hopelessly lost.​
This past week I also listened to the Archangel Audio productions of 3 William Shakespeare plays: Henry IV Part 1, Henry IV Part 2, and Henry V. I did not enjoy the Henry IV plays (they were unmemorable). Part 2 was especially horrible (barely any plot and soooo much crass humour - it's not my thing). Henry V was much better - decent plot, enough humour that wasn't crass, memorable speeches (and the Branagh film version of this doesn't hurt the play either).
I read Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys. I thought it was an enjoyable book to read, it felt a bit more whimsical than most of Gaiman's work and the tone felt a bit reminiscent of Douglas Adams at times - I think Arthur Dent could probably have related to the way events always seemed to be conspiring against Fat Charlie. Since it is a loose sequel to American Gods it is tempting to compare the two, the events here are definitely smaller in scale and I think that does have some advantages since the story felt a lot more focused and I think the pacing was better. The characters were memorable and most of them did get quite a bit of development through the book, although the romantic pairings between people who had only met each other a handful of times felt a bit rushed.

I'm not reading Emily Tesh's dystopian space opera Some Desperate Glory, which has been good so far.
I'm not reading as much this month too many family things to attend and whatever. The book that might be of the most interest that I've read is The Peace War by Vernor Vinge. It's one of those books that I've heard of a lot but for some reason had never read, although I had read and enjoyed A fire on the Deep and A Deepness in the Sky. So when I learned here that he'd recently died I decided that now was the time.

It's important to say that this book has aged pretty well. This is a pretty realistic post-apocalyptic story. At the time of the Apocalypse the world looks a lot like what we would expect our world to look like in maybe 25 years or so, except there is nothing which would even nod at climate change. I liked the story and the characters very well at the beginning of the book. The story was engaging, and although it is sometimes portrayed as hard Science Fiction both of the key innovations that drive the story are only named and described with no hint at all of the possibile science involved. It could just as well be magic in a war between governmental mages and rag tag group of independent wizards. I'm sorry to report that as the story closed in on its conclusion I found myself less and less caught by it. I'm not completely sure why, maybe it just seemed too unlikely or maybe because the result seemed to be such a foregone conclusion. I must in honesty admit that the ending was not so neat as I expected, but it did seem to leave room for a sequel, which did come about, which I have no desire to read.

Avoid --- Not Recommended --- Flawed --- Okay --- Good --- Recommended --- Shouldn’t be Missed
How did you like it?
I think I mentioned in here that I found it quite heavy going.
All the characters seem very cold and self interested.
I've still only read a few chapters and I keep returning for about twenty pages at a time.
Update : my earlier comment is #117 in this thread
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Sneaking in at the tail end of the month with another couple of books:

Driving the Deep by Suzanne Palmer
An interesting one this. I nearly didn't read it but it did prove worth the effort when I did, if not a particularly high brow literary experience! The thing is I picked up all the book in Palmer's Finder Trilogy for 99p each, so I already had all three before reading the first. I first heard of these through @tachyon (thanks!) and then struggled to get them for a while but then they appeared on discount so I bit! They are exactly as described by @tachyon ; fun, enjoyable SF adventure stories. Suspend your disbelief and accept that the planet/system/galaxy/universe is going to be saved by one outstanding, resourceful hero and you're good to go, you know the sort of thing! However I felt Palmer tried to add a little too much gravitas in the first book by making the hero have lots of self/doubt, guilt, recriminations etc. and then reinforce that with more anguished thoughts every dozen pages or so. This annoyed me and had I not bought all the book already I probably wouldn't have continued but eventually I did and Palmer largely managed to restrain the urge for self-pity and guilt this time around making for a more enjoyable adventure romp. Good fun. 4/5 stars.

Artemis by Andy Weir
I've previously read The Martian and Project Hail Mary and this is in much the same vein easily summed up by Mark Watney in the Martian as "I'm going to science the sh*t out of this". They're all three good, but The Martian is significantly better, however if I came to any one of these I'd probably consider them a very good book. The difficulty is that if Weir can't come up with something other than "I'm going to science the sh*t out of this" in different settings then then his work will get stale, or is getting stale, very quickly which is a shame as he writes quite well. He is also quite good at his line in snarky authorial intrusion (when the author talks directly to the reader) but that also is is going to, or has already got, quite stale. So a good book but a little samey! The only other complain is that the hero, Jasmine, felt more than a little improbable. So a good book but a little samey! 3/5 stars.
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