Monday, 6 June 2011

Ten Book Reading Challenge: Update 3

The Ten Book reading challenge has finally come to an end. 10 books in half a year doesn't seem like much, but it's quite an improvement for me. But it makes me wonder how people read 50-100 books a year. If you are one of those people how do you find the time? Here are my finals thoughts on the last 5 books.

Watch this space I might start another reading challenge very soon. And if you have done a similar reading challenge let me know. Would be good to know how you fared.

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 accustomed to the writing style. Might even be enjoying it.

Page 434 (completed): The ending had quite a nice twist to it and kept me riveted over the last 50 pages or so. On thinking about it, with a title like Kill the Dead the book was quite humourous and had quite a few light-hearted moments. I think Richard Kadrey has one of those minds where his thoughts are speeding along at thousands of miles an hour and in lots of different directions. I think he's done a good job wrangling it and putting it down on paper. Are there things I would have changed? Yes, but you can say that about pretty much every book.

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 veteran 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 book have been truly surprising. It will be a book that will stick in my memory for a long time to come.

Page 455 (completed): Having completed the book I'm kind of sad it's finished. It's one of those books where you just want to read forever. Luckily there are at least four other books in the series so I will be hunting them down!

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 technology.

Page 480 (completed): As much as the book was interesting and involved some of the topics were rambled on about too much and others, the more interesting ones, could have been more detailed. That being said, I have learned a lot from this book and think others should read it. After all it's not every day you read a thought provoking book about the last 13,000 years of history condensed into 400 odd pages.

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. 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.

Page 417 (Completed): The ending was as fast paced as the rest of the book, but I couldn't help but feel the characters had a bit too much an easy ride at the end. That being said it was still an excellent book overall, and I would highly recommend it especially if you have kids in 12-17 year old range who love social media.

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 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!

Page 429 (completed): I think the the last 70 or so page really made up for the middle part of the book. There were a lot of twists and turns and I saw sides of the characters that I hadn't seen before. And I suspect the last book in the series will be even better. Overall I think these books should become classics in their own right.

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