Sunday, 22 May 2011

Ten Book Reading Challenge: Update 2

Hi All,

Here's another update. I'm currently about 341 pages into all the books. Some of them I've read a little bit more so I can finish them and include them in this post. Will be including my entries from the previous posts to give you a better idea of what I think of the books. I've been a little short on some of the updates on the books I haven't finished yet, and want to leave my final thoughts until they're finished too.

Kill the Dead by Richard Kadrey:

Page 21: I'm enjoying this book so far. It's about renegade angel bounty hunter who likes to say the word "Ass" a LOT. I like Richard's take on vampires and his kick ass writing style, but can't help but feel there is something lacking. Hopefully the next 21 pages will fix that.

Page 190: I'm still on the fence about this book. As much as I like the story line, the narrative can get a little annoying from time to time. A lot of outlandish metaphors that don't really work. Although some of them do work and are quite funny. If the last 21 pages are anything to go by the 2nd half will be a lot more interesting than the first half.

Page 341: And I was right. The action has really picked up and I've grown accustom to the writing style. Might even be enjoying it.

The Rise of the Iron Moon by Stephen Hunt

Page 21: The royal family seems to be imprisoned in some sort of breeding program. There are clockwork machines that are more advanced than humans, and a prison full of criminally insane guarded by a vetren warden and a new recruit. A lot of threads to follow. Haven't really got a good feel of the book yet, but I have a feeling it's going to be pretty epic.

Page 190: I was right about it being epic. Hunt has really weaved a fine tale here. Not only do the characters feel real in their actions, but they all have their distinctive voices and characteristics. Not an easy thing to pull off. Now that the story has progressed nicely. We have a large mysterious force approaching the Kingdom of the Jackals, and their only way of stopping it is a crazy scheme imparted by a ex-slave to construct a massive instrument to strike their enemy at its heart. As with any good book it's going to go down to the wire.

Page 341: The more I read this book the more I'm entranced. And the twists and turns in the books have been truly suprising. It will be a book that will stick in my memory for a long time to come.

Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond

Page 21: As the sub-title says this is about the history of human kind. Why it has developed in the way it has. The book has raised some interesting questions so far and I look forward finding out more.

Page 190: Diamond has done a remarkable job putting this book together. It must have been a huge undertaking, and so far he has been painting a grand picture of how the human race has evolved into what we are today. And some of the stuff is really surprising. Like some fruits that were poisonous to us that through trial and error we were able to make harmless to us. Currently the book explaining why some animals were domesticated and others not. Did you know Egyptians used Cheetahs as hunting animals?

Page 341: The book is now focusing on how human populations evolved from tribes to states, and in why it happened in some places and others not. In some cases not much difference at all can make the difference from a people staying stuck in the stone age and another developing modern techonolgy.

Extras by Scott Westerfield

Page 21: A YA novel set in a future where your face rank is just about the most important thing there is. The higher your rank the more important you are. The story is about girl with a measly rank of 451,369 and how she tries to get in with the in crowd. With the popularity of Facebook. It doesn't seem that far fetched. The book has a lot of energy and definitely one of my favourites of the 10 so far

Page 190: This book has been an enjoyable and light read so far. I think a perfect example of what a YA book should be. It has a main character you know is making some unwise choices, but you know if you were that age you would most probably do the same. And tons of adventure to keep you turning those pages. If I had been reading this book on its own I would have been finished in a day or so.

Page 341: Aya's quest for fame has really turned her life up side down and made her face truths about herself she didn't even know about. Nearing the end of the book. The pace has really picked up and each 21 page jumps feels like a mad dash.

Perseus Spur by Julian May (The Rampart Worlds Book One)

Page 21: I've had this trilogy of books for a long time and been looking forward to reading them for quite a while. The first book hasn't disappointed so far. A down on his luck ex-government official who was targeted for exposing corruption has fled to a far out of reach distant world. After washing away his sorrows and almost drinking himself to death he was helped back on his feet with some assitence from his sister. All goes well until a suspicious character shows up on one of his charter trips to the local reefs. And his suspicions are heightened when he returns home to find out his house had been eat by a giant sea toad...

Page 190: This is turning out to be one tangled web of a story, but that's one of the reasons why I'm enjoying it. Not that it's hard to figure out what is going on, but there are plenty of layers and there's bound to be some surprises as the story progresses. Now that Helmut has been drawn into his past life he has to do his best to figure out who is trying to tear his family and family business apart. And what makes it interesting is he's not pulling any punches and is not afraid to do what needs to be done.

Page 336: (Completed): Some will most probably disagree, but I think this is Sc-Fi adventure at its best. A serious plot line, but a load of fun at the same time. I loved the finale of the story. And look forward to reading the next in the series.

Ruler of the Realm by Herbie Brennan (Book 3 of the Faerie Wars Series)

Page 21: Got this set of books for Christmas a few years back. Been enjoying them immensely ever since. In my honest opinion one of the best/if not the best real world/fairy world crossover books ever. Being YA novels Herbie Brennan has spared none of the gory details and tries to gross you out at almost every turn. And being books full of magic/strange creatures he has done a fine job of keeping it realistic. Being the third book it is hard to say much with out spoilers. So I will say it is on par with the rest of the books and bound to make me want to read more

Page 190: Maybe the first two books were too good, but this book doesn't seemed to have grabbed my attention as much as the first two did. Although it's still great to see what the characters are up to and how they're adapting to their new roles. Still a lot of book to go so plenty of time for things to improve. That being said it's still a great book and well worth reading.

Page 341: Things have turned for the better. The story has picked up again and it has captured my attention again. The characters of the book are facing their biggest challenge yet, and it will be interesting to see how it will pan out!

Bone Gods by Caitlin Kittredge

Page 21: Won this book with Kill the Dead through Twitter the end of last year. From the cover it seems like a Twilight clone, but I will tell you now it is far better than the Twilight series could ever hope to be. I could spend all day bashing Twilight, but we both have better things to do, and a lot of people like the books and I can't blame them for that. Plus I haven't read the books so I had better shut up :P. Back to the book. There has been a strange occult murder and Pete (Petunia) has been called into help investigate. What I like the book so far is the dark sense of humour and the noir feel to it. Like Richard, Caitlin has a favourite word and that word is "Shite". I don't know how much time Caitlin has spent in the UK, but she does a pretty good job of reproducing the accents and mannerisms.

Page 190: Maybe I'm just not used to reading books with overly strong female characters, but the main character Pete is just a little too sure of herself. Like if she was a man she would be a cross between Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee. Not that she's particularly tough and can take on a room full of bad guys, but that she's always right and everyone else is wrong. And everyone is either a dick, asshole... and so on so forth. And the swearing. It's a bit over the top and the words become useless. I think they should be used like weapons and only used when needed. The story itself is pretty good. And I can feel the story picking up pace. I think it will be quite enjoyable overall.

Page 352: (Completed): The last bit of the novel really made up for the rest of it. It was stark, dark and barren. I really got a feel of the world. Overall I think Caitlin did a remarkable job, and you wouldn't go wrong reading this book. Especially if you're an urban fanasy/paranormal romance fan.

Mussolini's Island by John Follian

Page 21: This is the first Military History novel I've read. The writing style is very straight forward, but still does a very good job of putting me in the heads of the people involved.

Page 190: Definitely one of my favourites of the 10. I haven't read much WWII fiction before but this story has really brought to life what it meant to be on the front lines. And it may seem like soldiers are just drones in movies etc but they're real people too and most of them wouldn't want to be a part of it if they had a choice. And by some of the scenes it really shows you that truth is stranger than fiction and a hell of a lot scarier.

Page 350 (completed): After readin this book you really get a good feel of horrible war really is, and what people had to go through to survive. If they were lucky enough to do so. I think everyone should have to read books like this to convince them that war is never a solution. History lessons at school just don't give you the same indepth book feel like this book does. Overall a very well researched book and recommended to war buffs and regular readers too. Especially regular readers.

The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe

Page 21: One of the masterpieces of the fantasy genre. Oddly, I'm finding it hard to get into the book. Maybe it's the writing style. I found I had to re-read quite a few paragraphs to actually figure out what was going on, but I'm sure with time I will get used to it and pick up a good rhythm. I'm guessing at page 42, just when I have to switch over to the next book.

Page 190: The more I read this book the more I love it. Reminds me of Jack Vance's writing style. Realistic and has twists and turns you wouldn't expect in a run of a mill story. And I can see why this series is seen as one of the masterpieces. And not just genre fiction, I think it should be right there with the best of the best of so called literature.

Page 303 (Completed): After reading the entire book I stand by what I say, and I think genre fans and none genre fans should all read this collection of books at least once. Now onto to the 2nd book!


  1. Wow, you read a lot! Even reading 21 pages at the time, it's hard to keep track of all these plots filled with twists and turns. I'm impressed.

    I really like your project of sharing your impressions through your reading. This gives a whole new perspective on the books. The result is far more interesting than a regular book review. Oh, I did mark a few of your suggestions on my wish list. :)

  2. Thanks for stopping by! :). I think of it like a TV series. I can watch like 10-15 different ones. Sometimes weeks in between and still remember what's going on. Or at least most of the time :P.

    I think I will do the challenge again. 3 of the books are part of a series and have more of them to go.

    It's the only books I've read so far this year. I've seen some bloggers with 30-50 under their belts this year already. I don't know how they do it!

    Which books did you choose if I may ask?

  3. Hey Craig!

    Your description of "The Rise of the Moon" spiked my attention, especially because of the clockwork reference. I'm a love steampunk and its derivations.

    I also found "Guns, Gems and Steel" very interesting, because I love learning about mankind and from different perspectives. (Yup, history was my favorite topic at school. ;)

    "Ruler of the Healm" made me drool. Seriously. I looooove fairies taken seriously. They are as enchanting (sorry for the pun) as they can be dangerous. Tricksters in general are creepy for me.

    "Mussolini's Island": It's the perspective thing again. I love your comment about how history lessons are insufficient to understand the atrocity that wars are. Plus, I'm Italian too. ;P

    "The Shadow of the Torturer": If it's a masterpiece, I *have* to read it! Even if I end up disagreeing with the label. Yup, I'm that demanding as a reader. (not so much as a writer, otherwise I'd never show my work publicly)

    Are you on Goodreads or Librarything? Let's connect there too. :)

  4. Hey Mari,

    Rise of the Iron Moon is actually the 3rd in the series. I haven't read the others yet, but planning to get copies soon!

    I love history books, I haven't read many, but I'm reading more and more.

    Faerie Wars is the 3rd in the series of 4 books. Loved everyone of them so far. And I was very lucky to get the author Herbie Brennan do a little front cover blurb for my 2nd novel Zoolin Vale and the Chalice of Ringtar. A very nice man.

    Mussolini's Island was very thrilling, I hope to find more book like it. And I agree perspectives are unique.

    Shadow of the Torturer is a classic. Stick out the first 100 pages or so and you will love it. It takes time getting used to the writing style.

    Sure I would love that. You can find my Goodreads profile here: