May Reading Thread

Ive already finished Cryptozoic by Aldis , enjoyed it . Im 3/4 of the way though No Blade of Grass by John Christoper and it an out standing ! :cool:

Next on my List is Under Pressure by Frank Herbert :)
I read the Elenium first, and that has been my favourite Eddings series. I am afraid to re-read the Belgariad incase the Suck-Fairy hits. I have grown to dislike whiny children in my fiction.

I know what you mean but for me revisting them will be a bit of a releif from some of the stuff I have been reading lately
I know what you mean but for me revisting them will be a bit of a releif from some of the stuff I have been reading lately
I wanted to toss C'Nedra into the nearest river with rocks tied to her feet when I first read this series. My tolerance for spoiled, bratty, whiny children has not improved since then. On the other hand, I liked Silk. :unsure: I might try this again, only reading the series the way my brother watches TV series (by "fast-forwarding" over the kiddie boring bits).
Ive already finished Cryptozoic by Aldis , enjoyed it . Im 3/4 of the way though No Blade of Grass by John Christoper and it an out standing ! :cool:

Next on my List is Under Pressure by Frank Herbert :)
"Under Pressure" by Frank Herbert. The book has an intriguing plot and is easy to read, but unfortunately, I wasn't too fond of the ending; it felt like Herbert didn't fully explore the theme.
Currently reading SHELLI, a novel about an android detective paired with a human partner, hunting down defective replic- er, synthetics. Enjoyable, but I wonder if the main character was slightly inspired by Seven of Nine: SHELLI has had several lines that are identical remarks by Seven, but they're subtle enough to be in-jokes. Will soon begin reading Plane Nine from Outer Space, a novelization that retells the story of Ed Wood's movie but tries to patch up the plot holes. That one is an ARC.
I just read Savage Trade by Tony Daniel. This was a Star Trek Original Series novel. It offered exactly what it should, and managed to meet the brief of far-flung ideas and odd plotting common to original series - all sorts of historic figures take part (sort of) from the likes of George Washington to Galileo. The book also introduces some modern science concepts, so it's not entirely steeped in the past. It ain't perfect, and the plot seems to swerve away from the key initial theme to focus on something else about a third of the way through; because of this, it reads a little like a 1960's fix up novel by one of the golden age writers. But then, that's kind of the vibe one ought to get, so I was happy enough with it. If you want to scratch a Star Trek itch in reading form, and enjoy Kirk being very Kirk, and Spock being very Spock, this will do the job. Bones let me down by not saying "I'm a doctor, damn it..." but you can't have everything.
Now I'm reading 'Stars Call' by somebody known as Lise Eclaire
A mil sci-fi, apparently the first in a series.
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Finished Nona the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir. Science Fiction. Nice writing, but not enough Necromancers doing necromancy.
Tamsyn Muir writes beautifully, as always. The book was was compelling, but I didn't quite enjoy it as much as the previous two installments. This novel alternates between events that happened approximately 10000 years ago (which resulted in an apocalypse) and the present (in which Nona finds herself). John Gaius's background story is interesting, and Nona is very sweet, if somewhat bland. My feelings for the other characters (except Noodle the 6-legged dog) was indifference. I really miss Gideon and Harrow, not to mention their snarky interactions. Also, when I pick up a book involving necromancers in space, I expect more necromancy, magic and bones than what was provided. This story also had too many elements that aren't really my thing - politics and war/insurrection - that just somehow slowed everything down. I hope Alecto the Ninth will dedicate more ink to Harrow and Gideon.

Also, Lustrum by Robert Harris. Historical Fiction. Set in Rome, 63 BC, and Cicero is consul. Told from the POV of Tiro, Cicero's secretary/slave. The story revolves around Catilina’s conspiracy to assassinate Cicero and its aftermath, covering approximately five years (hence the title Lustrum). I don't read much (ok - almost none) historical fiction. I found this book bland, the dialogue stilted, too much dialogue, very little action, and for a book about discovering conspiracies (it is titled Conspirata in the USA), it came across as a straight forward political story with characters more concerned about political offices than anything else.

And, A Mystery from the Mummy-Pits: The Amazing Journey of Ankh-Hap by Frank L. Holt
Holt uses Ankh-Hap, a Ptolemaic-era mummy seized in the nineteenth century from the infamous mummy-pits of Egypt, as a focus to discuss everything about mummies that the author thinks the general public might find interesting. Holt includes such things as the perception of Egyptian mummies in literature and film; tomb robbing; mummy trafficking; the horrible treatment of the ancient dead for use in pigment, medicine, party exhibits; and in traveling shows etc. Holt also also displays his detective skills by exploring the life and death of Ankh-Hap, and then the extensive journey of his mummified corpse to United States college classroom, and then on to the University of Houston. I felt the organisation was a bit erratic and focused too much on extraneous mummy facts, rather than the discovery and analysis of Ankh-Hap (which I found more interesting and exciting - the poor bugger had a wooden pole shoved through his neck to hold it up and wasps built a nest in his skull, amongst other abuses). Still, an interesting listen.
NOTE: I listened to the audiobook, which was narrated well, but kept referring to diagrams and photographs which are included in the ebook and physical book, but not in the audiobook package. I would really have loved to see those graphics!​
I read The Distance, a crime/action thriller by Helen Giltrow. In fairness, Helen is a friend of mine so I was probably going to warm to it, but it's a good novel about an ex-soldier paid to infiltrate an experimental prison. It felt very close to some cyberpunk in its combination of violent action and tech, and might perhaps have worked better as outright SF. But that might just be because I like SF. Overall, gritty and entertaining.
Venomous Lumpsucker by Ned Beauman
I really should have DNF'd this one. A pretty terrible near future techno thriller and satire. The author is a journalist and should probably stick to that (assuming they are a better journalist than author). If I didn't already know he was a journalist I might have guessed it our from his tendency to used unnecessarily complex words where much simpler ones would have sufficed. Also his writing had a sort of arrogance to it that always seemed to be saying "look what I did there, aren't I clever" and "see, wasn't that a neat bit of satire I included there". In fact the main satire element was so obvious to be almost banal; he was clearly satirising the commercialisation of carbon offsetting by writing a near-future book about the commercialisation of "extinction credits" whereby a mining organisation, say, can buy these extinction credits to offset their operations rendering species extinct. But the writing was poor and an author really needs to give their main characters some sort of redeeming features that might allow the reader to empathise with them. He did not do this here, and I never really cared what happened to the characters and, by the time the book ended, I don't think the author did either; a dreadful deus ex machina ending in a book filled with many minor ones. 2/5 stars (and that's being generous).

1356 by Bernard Cornwell
This is a fourth add-on book to Cornwell's trilogy about an archer in the Hundred Years' War who finds himself on a quest for the holy grail. That quest completed in the third book, he now embarks upon a new quest for St Peter's sword and covering the period up to the battle of Poitiers in 1356. This story felt like it was tagged onto the end of that trilogy just churning out, effectively, the same story again; righteous quest for a religious relic, racing against the nasty corrupt religious types hunting the same thing for their own aggrandisement. As usual for Cornwell it is clearly thoroughly researched but this time he seemed to keep repeating himself; there were multiple occasions where the main character achieved some major physical feat due to the fantastic muscles he has developed during a lifetime of using a war bow. Even if you haven't practised archery (I have) you still don't need to be told this half a dozen times. Still good but definitely not one of Cornwell's best. 3/5 stars.
Now I'm reading 'Stars Call' by somebody known as Lise Eclaire
A mil sci-fi, apparently the first in a series.
Still reading this but I've also started Forrest Gump by Winston Groom - flipping back and forth between the two as the mood takes me!
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