Down the TBR Hole #9

Today, I am continuing to clear Goodreads of unwanted books (so obviously, I can just fill it up again!) For anyone who hasn’t come across the tag before (in which case, where have you been?), here is a refresher on what this entails:-

This meme was started by Lia @ Lost in a Story. Here is how it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Here are the next ten books on the TBR up for review:-

 

1 & 2   Worldwaker and Hometaker by Dean Wilson

Goodreads – Worldwaker

Every victory is its own defeat. General Rommond’s efforts to amass technological superiority over the enemy has resulted in the creation of a weapon that could destroy everything, and a faction just mad enough to use it.

The Armageddon Brigade has awoken from its deep slumber, and it seeks to wake the world with it. Attracting the brightest, and most unstable, of minds, this splinter group of the Resistance has become the greatest thorn in Rommond’s side.

The Resistance and the Regime must unite to defeat a foe that answers to neither of them. Yet their deep divisions and long-held suspicions threaten to end the Great Iron War once and for all—by ending everything.

Goodreads – Hometaker

The Resistance races against time to complete the missile-launcher known as the Hometaker, capable of opening a gateway to the land the Regime came from, and exposing the Iron Emperor for all the evils he has done.

Everything rests on the secrecy of the mission, but from day one tongues are wagging. The atmosphere is like dynamite. An overheard word could light the fuse. With no time left on the clock, General Rommond is forced to make an audacious plan: finish the construction of the Hometaker on the move, driving straight towards the enemy, who have assembled in unimaginable force.

The Great Iron War is coming to an end. It’s all or nothing—their world or ours.

I started this series this year and whilst I enjoyed the first few books, it has lost its appeal for me. I think the foundation plot is excellent, but in trying to up-the-ante the books become so farfetched and at the same time manage to be repetitive, the series loses its sparkle. I mean, who starts a war and has a spare blimp tucked up their sleeve, you know, just in case the giant submarine just happens to be sabotaged and run out of air?

Oh, you DO?! It’s just me then…

Verdict: Go

 

3  The Thief Taker – C S Quinn

The Thief Taker

Goodreads – The Thief Taker

The year is 1665. Black Death ravages London. A killer stalks the streets in a plague doctor’s hood and mask…

When a girl is gruesomely murdered, thief taker Charlie Tuesday reluctantly agrees to take on the case. But the horrific remains tell him this is no isolated death. The killer’s mad appetites are part of a master plan that could destroy London and reveal the dark secrets of Charlie’s own past.

Now the thief taker must find this murderous mastermind before the plague obliterates the evidence street by street. This terrifying pursuit will take Charlie deep into the black underbelly of old London, where alchemy, witchcraft and blood-spells collide.

In a city drowned in darkness, death could be the most powerful magic of all.

Doesn’t this just sound so dark and delicious?! I am a huge champion of historical fiction, in case any of you are unaware, so this is right up my street. I had half forgotten I added this to the list. Now I’ve seen it again, I’ll have to add it to the actual reading list I am working from… and probably near the top!

Verdict: Keep!!

 

4  The Feedback Loop – Harmon Cooper

The Feedback Loop.jpg

Goodreads – The Feedback Loop

Stuck in a virtual dreamworld called The Loop, a man named Quantum Hughes struggles to free himself from a glitch that forces him to live the same day on repeat. His life changes when a mysterious letter arrives one morning from a woman named Frances Euphoria, the first human player he has made contact with in a very long time. Once Frances appears, members of a murder guild known as the Reapers begin surfacing in The Loop, hoping to capture Quantum or worse — kill him. To further complicate matters, The Loop itself is doing everything it can to stop Quantum from finding the hidden logout point by turning everything in the virtual dreamworld against him.

With time running out, will Quantum break free from his digital coma before he’s captured or killed by the Reapers? Who is Frances Euphoria, and what does she actually know about how long Quantum has been trapped?

Technology meets Groundhog Day.  I like it. I’m trying to read a little more in the science-fiction branch, and at less than 200 pages, I think I can manage this no problem!

Verdict: Keep

 

5  Red Sister – Mark Lawrence

Red Sister

Goodreads – Red Sister

I was born for killing – the gods made me to ruin.

At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.

But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.

Stolen from the shadow of the noose, Nona is sought by powerful enemies, and for good reason. Despite the security and isolation of the convent her secret and violent past will find her out. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive…

I loved the Broken Empire series. On that and faith alone, I decided to get a copy of this book, in the hope it will be just as good as his other books. I’m sure it will!

Verdict: Keep

 

6  Blue Skies – Matthew Mather

Blue Skies

Goodreads – Blue Skies

Olympia is a high-powered New York advertising executive with perhaps the chance of a lifetime when she lands the biggest account of her life – the new Cognix synthetic reality promotion. The stress, however, is killing her, and she desperately needs relief from the distraction of everything and everyone around her…

All of the Atopia stories begin at the same moment in time so that you can start by reading any of them, and then read the others in any order you choose to slowly reveal the mystery and terrifying danger that connects them all. Atopia is a near future world without borders that balances on the brink of post-humanism and eco-Armageddon.

I must have added this on a whim because I genuinely don’t even remember looking at this before. I have a lot of great books on the list so I’ll put this aside for now.

Verdict: Go

 

7  The Keeper of Lost Things – Ruth Hogan

The Keeper of Lost Things

Goodreads – The Keeper of Lost Things

A charming, clever, and quietly moving debut novel of of endless possibilities and joyful discoveries that explores the promises we make and break, losing and finding ourselves, the objects that hold magic and meaning for our lives, and the surprising connections that bind us.

Lime green plastic flower-shaped hair bobbles—Found, on the playing field, Derrywood Park, 2nd September.

Bone china cup and saucer-Found, on a bench in Riveria Public Gardens, 31st October.

Anthony Peardew is the keeper of lost things. Forty years ago, he carelessly lost a keepsake from his beloved fiancée, Therese. That very same day, she died unexpectedly. Brokenhearted, Anthony sought consolation in rescuing lost objects—the things others have dropped, misplaced, or accidentally left behind—and writing stories about them. Now, in the twilight of his life, Anthony worries that he has not fully discharged his duty to reconcile all the lost things with their owners. As the end nears, he bequeaths his secret life’s mission to his unsuspecting assistant, Laura, leaving her his house and and all its lost treasures, including an irritable ghost.

Recovering from a bad divorce, Laura, in some ways, is one of Anthony’s lost things. But when the lonely woman moves into his mansion, her life begins to change. She finds a new friend in the neighbor’s quirky daughter, Sunshine, and a welcome distraction in Freddy, the rugged gardener. As the dark cloud engulfing her lifts, Laura, accompanied by her new companions, sets out to realize Anthony’s last wish: reuniting his cherished lost objects with their owners.

Long ago, Eunice found a trinket on the London pavement and kept it through the years. Now, with her own end drawing near, she has lost something precious—a tragic twist of fate that forces her to break a promise she once made.

As the Keeper of Lost Objects, Laura holds the key to Anthony and Eunice’s redemption. But can she unlock the past and make the connections that will lay their spirits to rest?

Full of character, wit, and wisdom, The Keeper of Lost Things is a heartwarming tale that will enchant fans of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, Garden Spells, Mrs. Queen Takes the Train, and The Silver Linings Playbook.

I can’t help but think that this sounds like a lovely read. To my mind, it’s the kind of book I expect you would want to read to wind down. It doesn’t sound like it will be heavy reading (and trust me, I read my fair share of those) but that makes a refreshing change once in a while.

Verdict: Keep

 

8  King Arthur’s Rise: The Forgotten Emperor Omnibus – Paul Bannister

King Arthur' Rise

Goodreads – King Arthur’s Rise

Paul Bannister’s epic Forgotten Emperor series tells of the legendary rise of the British Emperor. Books 1-3 are now available in this special omnibus edition.

ARTHUR BRITANNICUS

Carausius’ father was a respected warrior chief, a leader of men. But just a boy, Carausius witnesses his violent death.

As the boy grows into a man and then a soldier, he dedicates himself to the cause of Rome.

As a centurion in the Empire’s mighty Army, he earns the respect of his men. But, just like his father before him, he is surrounded by enemies.

Will Carausius emerge victorious and earn the greatest title of all. Or will he meet an early, violent death, as his father did before him…?

ARTHUR IMPERATOR

The Roman fleet has been defeated and the threat of invasion removed.

Arthur Britannicus has taken the throne as Imperator – Emperor of Britain.

However, as the threat from Rome retreats, the intimidation from Saxon warlords intensifies.

Arthur must draw his sword and muster his forces again if he is to keep his island under British rule…

ARTHUR INVICTUS

Britain has lost its battle with Rome and the city lies in ruins.

But the Romans, under threat in their homeland from barbarian invaders, have retreated.

Arthur Imperator must reunite the fractured British tribes to lead them back to victory – and reclaim the kingdom.

Can Arthur persuade Rome’s enemies to join him and create a strong enough force to take down Gaul?

Or will Maximian’s might once again prove too strong for the British people…?

The verdict I have come to has actually surprised me. As stated above, I love historical fiction, but I think I am going to take these off the list for now and maybe come back to them later on. It isn’t one of the periods of history I find myself drawn to, but maybe is something to explore in the future?

Verdict: Go

 

9  Hild – Nicola Griffith

Hild

Goodreads – Hild

Hild is born into a world in transition. In seventh-century Britain, small kingdoms are merging, usually violently. A new religion is coming ashore; the old gods’ priests are worrying. Edwin of Northumbria plots to become overking of the Angles, ruthlessly using every tool at his disposal: blood, bribery, belief.

Hild is the king’s youngest niece. She has the powerful curiosity of a bright child, a will of adamant, and a way of seeing the world—of studying nature, of matching cause with effect, of observing human nature and predicting what will happen next—that can seem uncanny, even supernatural, to those around her. She establishes herself as the king’s seer. And she is indispensable—until she should ever lead the king astray. The stakes are life and death: for Hild, her family, her loved ones, and the increasing numbers who seek the protection of the strange girl who can read the world and see the future.

Hild is a young woman at the heart of the violence, subtlety, and mysticism of the early medieval age—all of it brilliantly and accurately evoked by Nicola Griffith’s luminous prose. Recalling such feats of historical fiction as Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Sigrid Undset’s Kristin Lavransdatter, Hild brings a beautiful, brutal world—and one of its most fascinating, pivotal figures, the girl who would become St. Hilda of Whitby—to vivid, absorbing life.

This is the kind of historical fiction that I like, (as well as the Victorian period). There’s actually a lot of historical fiction on this list at the moment, I notice.

Verdict: Keep

 

10  Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer

Goodreads – Strange the Dreamer

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

I currently have the hardback of this sat on my bookshelf, and since getting a copy I have heard wonderful things about it. I can’t wait to dive into this either!!

Verdict: Keep

 

Have you read any of the books on my list or are they on your list too? Have I made any mistakes? Any comments are much appreciated!!

Rebecca mono

Down the TBR Hole #8

Today I am working further towards clearing out my Goodreads of unwanted books (so obviously, I can just fill it up again!) Here is a refresher on what this tag entails:-

This meme was started by Lia @ Lost in a Story to clear out my reading list of unwanted books. Here is how it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Once again, I am looking at the next ten books on the TBR:-

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1  Coalescent – Stephen Baxter

Coalescent

Goodreads

When his father dies suddenly, George Poole stumbles onto a family secret: He has a twin sister he never knew existed, who was raised by an enigmatic cult called the Order.

The Order is a hive – a human hive with a dominant queen–that has prospered below the streets of Rome for almost two millennia.

After Poole enters the Order’s vast underground city and meets the disturbing inhabitants, he uncovers evidence that they have embarked on a divergent evolutionary path.

These genetically superior humans are equipped with the tools necessary to render modern Homo sapiens as extinct as the Neanderthals. And now they are preparing to leave their underground realm.

I have actually started this book. It is the only book remotely anywhere near my bedside table. I haven’t picked it up in months though if I’m entirely honest. Given that my dad loaned me the series (when they were moving, so they had less stuff to bring up), I should probably get a wriggle on. They moved a year ago…

Verdict: Keep

 

2  The Bands of Mourning – Brandon Sanderson

The Bands of Mourning

Goodreads

With The Alloy of Law and Shadows of Self, Brandon Sanderson surprised readers with a New York Times bestselling spinoff of his Mistborn books, set after the action of the trilogy, in a period corresponding to late 19th-century America.

Now, with The Bands of Mourning, Sanderson continues the story. The Bands of Mourning are the mythical metalminds owned by the Lord Ruler, said to grant anyone who wears them the powers that the Lord Ruler had at his command. Hardly anyone thinks they really exist. A kandra researcher has returned to Elendel with images that seem to depict the Bands, as well as writings in a language that no one can read. Waxillium Ladrian is recruited to travel south to the city of New Seran to investigate. Along the way he discovers hints that point to the true goals of his uncle Edwarn and the shadowy organization known as The Set.

This is certainly a keeper! I need to get on and read the earlier books of this second trilogy.

Verdict: Keep

 

3  Age of Myth – Michael J Sullivan

Age of Myth

Goodreads

Age of Myth inaugurates an original five-book series.

Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped the gods they call Fhrey, truly a race apart: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immortal. But when a god falls to a human blade, the balance of power between humans and those they thought were gods changes forever.

Now only a few stand between humankind and annihilation: Raithe, reluctant to embrace his destiny as the God Killer; Suri, a young seer burdened by signs of impending doom; and Persephone, who must overcome personal tragedy to lead her people. The Age of Myth is over. The time of rebellion has begun.

I knew when I looked at this the name was familiar. I recently opted to remove another of Mishael’s books from the TBR… being Theft of Swords. Though I opted not to read this other book, Age of Myth looks to be classic fantasy so it’s right up my street!

Verdict: Keep

 

4  The Lonely Hearts Hotel – Heather O’Neill

The Lonely Hearts Hotel

Goodreads

With echoes of The Night Circus, a spellbinding story about two gifted orphans in love with each other since they can remember whose childhood talents allow them to rewrite their future.

The Lonely Hearts Hotel is a love story with the power of legend. An unparalleled tale of charismatic pianos, invisible dance partners, radicalized chorus girls, drug-addicted musicians, brooding clowns, and an underworld whose economy hinges on the price of a kiss. In a landscape like this, it takes great creative gifts to thwart one’s origins. It might also take true love.

Two babies are abandoned in a Montreal orphanage in the winter of 1910. Before long, their talents emerge: Pierrot is a piano prodigy; Rose lights up even the dreariest room with her dancing and comedy. As they travel around the city performing clown routines, the children fall in love with each other and dream up a plan for the most extraordinary and seductive circus show the world has ever seen.

Separated as teenagers, sent off to work as servants during the Great Depression, both descend into the city’s underworld, dabbling in sex, drugs and theft in order to survive. But when Rose and Pierrot finally reunite beneath the snowflakes after years of searching and desperate poverty the possibilities of their childhood dreams are renewed, and they’ll go to extreme lengths to make them come true. Soon, Rose, Pierrot and their troupe of clowns and chorus girls have hit New York, commanding the stage as well as the alleys, and neither the theater nor the underworld will ever look the same.

With her musical language and extravagantly realized world, Heather O’Neill enchants us with a novel so magical there is no escaping its spell.

I’m going to be absolutely honest and admit that I’ve changed my mind on this one. Whilst I am sure its historical nature would appeal to me, I am not sure about the rest.

Verdict: Go

 

5  Gilded Cage – Vic James

Gilded Cage

Goodreads

In modern-day Britain, magic users control everything: wealth, politics, power—and you. If you’re not one of the ultimate one-percenters—the magical elite—you owe them ten years of service. Do those years when you’re old, and you’ll never get through them. Do them young, and you’ll never get over them.

This is the darkly decadent world of Gilded Cage. In its glittering milieu move the all-powerful Jardines and the everyday Hadleys. The families have only one thing in common: Each has three children. But their destinies entwine when one family enters the service of the other. They will all discover whether any magic is more powerful than the human spirit.

Have a quick ten years. . . .

I think I added this as I understand there is a lot of politics involved, which I enjoy.

One thing I know I don’t like is a book is set in a parallel reality in the same time period that we are currently in. This has put me off reading this if I’m honest.

Verdict Go

 

6  Dune – Frank Herbert

Dune

Goodreads

Melange, or ‘spice’, is the most valuable – and rarest – element in the universe; a drug that does everything from increasing a person’s life-span to making intersteller travel possible. And it can only be found on a single planet: the inhospitable desert world Arrakis.

Whoever controls Arrakis controls the spice. And whoever controls the spice controls the universe.

When the Emperor transfers stewardship of Arrakis from the noble House Harkonnen to House Atreides, the Harkonnens fight back, murdering Duke Leto Atreides. Paul, his son, and Lady Jessica, his concubine, flee into the desert. On the point of death, they are rescued by a band for Fremen, the native people of Arrakis, who control Arrakis’ second great resource: the giant worms that burrow beneath the burning desert sands.

In order to avenge his father and retake Arrakis from the Harkonnens, Paul must earn the trust of the Fremen and lead a tiny army against the innumerable forces aligned against them.

And his journey will change the universe.

I received a copy of this book from my work colleagues for my birthday so I will definitely be reading this!

Verdict: Keep

 

7  The Whitefire Crossing – Courtney Schafer

The Whitefire Crossing

Goodreads

Dev is a smuggler with the perfect cover. He’s in high demand as a guide for the caravans that carry legitimate goods from the city of Ninavel into the country of Alathia. The route through the Whitefire Mountains is treacherous, and Dev is one of the few climbers who knows how to cross them safely. With his skill and connections, it’s easy enough to slip contraband charms from Ninavel – where any magic is fair game, no matter how dark – into Alathia, where most magic is outlawed.

But smuggling a few charms is one thing; smuggling a person through the warded Alathian border is near suicidal. Having made a promise to a dying friend, Dev is forced to take on a singularly dangerous cargo: Kiran. A young apprentice on the run from one of the most powerful mages in Ninavel, Kiran is desperate enough to pay a fortune to sneak into a country where discovery means certain execution – and he’ll do whatever it takes to prevent Dev from finding out the terrible truth behind his getaway.

Yet Kiran isn’t the only one harboring a deadly secret. Caught up in a web of subterfuge and dark magic, Dev and Kiran must find a way to trust each other – or face not only their own destruction, but that of the entire city of Ninavel.

I like the idea of this but I am not sure it is something I want to read just now. Given that I am trying to clear out the list, I am going to take this off the list. Maybe I’ll re-add it at a later date?

Verdict: Go

 

8  Rhanna – Christine Marion Fraser

Rhanna

Goodreads

On a bitter winter night in 1923, Fergus McKenzie loses his beloved wife in childbirth. Overcome by grief, he shuns the doctor, convinced he could have done more to save her. He also refuses to take notice of his daughter, Shona, until years later, when she falls in love with the doctor’s son.

I added this book as a starting point as my mum loves these books. Having taken a look though, I really don’t think they are my cup of tea. Don’t hate me, Mum!!

Verdict: Go

 

9  A Darker Shade of Magic – V E Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic

Goodreads

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

Having said I don’t really like parallel universes, I wouldn’t normally have added this book to the TBR. It is only because of the amount of hype around this author in the blogosphere that I am going to give it a try. Hopefully, with the presence of magic, this doesn’t feel like the setting is too realistic.

Verdict: Keep

 

10  The Women’s Room – Marilyn French

The Womens Room

Goodreads

The bestselling feminist novel that awakened both women and men, The Women’s Room follows the transformation of Mira Ward and her circle as the women’s movement begins to have an impact on their lives. A biting social commentary on an emotional world gone silently haywire, The Women’s Room is a modern classic that offers piercing insight into the social norms accepted so blindly and revered so completely. Marilyn French questions those accepted norms and poignantly portrays the hopeful believers looking for new truths.

I added this book having read “Fear of Flying” by Erica Jong at the beginning of this year. To be upfront… yes, this is described as a feminist book. Do I classify myself as a feminist? No. That doesn’t mean I cannot educate myself on the subject though. I think feminism is massively misunderstood in terms of whether it represents the empowerment of women or fighting for equality.

Verdict: Keep

 

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Have you reviewed your TBR pile lately? I’d love to hear from you!

Rebecca mono

Down the TBR Hole #7

Happy Friday folks! I hope you are all looking forward to a fabulous weekend!!

Today I am posting another Down the TBR Hole post, in an effort to clear out my Goodreads list of unwanted books. In case anyone needs a brush up on just what this tag entails:-

This meme was started by Lia @ Lost in a Story to clear out my reading list of unwanted books. Here is how it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Without further ado, here are the next ten books on the TBR:-

Page breaker

 

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch – Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Good Omens

Goodreads

According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (the world’s only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655, before she exploded), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just before dinner.

So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon—both of whom have lived amongst Earth’s mortals since The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle—are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture.

And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist…

To be honest, this book was a no-brainer before I even re-read the synopsis. I love Pratchett’s humour, and Neil Gaiman is also an esteemed author in his own right. Whilst I wasn’t so fond of American Gods as I’d have hoped, I did enjoy Stardust. This is an easy keeper for me!

Verdict: Keep!

 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime

Goodreads

Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, Christopher is autistic. Everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning for him. Routine, order and predictability shelter him from the messy, wider world. Then, at fifteen, Christopher’s carefully constructed world falls apart when he finds his neighbor’s dog, Wellington, impaled on a garden fork, and he is initially blamed for the killing.

Christopher decides that he will track down the real killer and turns to his favorite fictional character, the impeccably logical Sherlock Holmes, for inspiration. But the investigation leads him down some unexpected paths and ultimately brings him face to face with the dissolution of his parents’ marriage. As he tries to deal with the crisis within his own family, we are drawn into the workings of Christopher’s mind.

And herein lies the key to the brilliance of Mark Haddon’s choice of narrator: The most wrenching of emotional moments are chronicled by a boy who cannot fathom emotion. The effect is dazzling, making for a novel that is deeply funny, poignant, and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing is a mind that perceives the world literally.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is one of the freshest debuts in years: a comedy, a heartbreaker, a mystery story, a novel of exceptional literary merit that is great fun to read.

This is a book I had heard of growing up, but it wasn’t until I understood what was special about it, i.e. that the main character is autistic that I added it to the list.

One of the ladies I used to work with has an autistic nephew, and I’m curious to take a moment and see things from an autistic child’s perspective. I think we could all benefit from gaining some understanding of autism and how people think differently on the whole! It is easy for people to be labelled nowadays, “fat”, “thin”, “simple” etc. I don’t want to use any further slurs, including race and religion because frankly, I don’t condone them. I acknowledge their existence here.

This book is also a keeper!

Verdict: Keep

 

Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows

Goodreads

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.

This is the first book I am resigning from the list. The synopsis sounds perfectly okay and readable, but doesn’t sound WOW! It lacks the pop, so it’s going to drop…

Verdict: Go

 

Sleeping Giants – Sylvain Neuvel

Sleeping Giants

Goodreads

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved—its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of the relic. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery—and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?

An inventive debut in the tradition of World War Z and The Martian, told in interviews, journal entries, transcripts, and news articles, Sleeping Giants is a thriller fueled by a quest for truth—and a fight for control of earthshaking power.

I remember adding this book to my TBR – what drew me to it was how different it was to anything else out there! I also like the idea of the story being chronicled in the manner of articles etc instead of prose.

Verdict: Keep

 

Join – Steve Toutonghi

Join

Goodreads

What if you could live multiple lives simultaneously, have constant, perfect companionship, and never die? That’s the promise of Join, a revolutionary technology that allows small groups of minds to unite, forming a single consciousness that experiences the world through multiple bodies. But as two best friends discover, the light of that miracle may be blinding the world to its horrors.

Chance and Leap are jolted out of their professional routines by a terrifying stranger—a remorseless killer who freely manipulates the networks that regulate life in the post-Join world. Their quest for answers—and survival—brings them from the networks and spire communities they’ve known to the scarred heart of an environmentally ravaged North American continent and an underground community of the “ferals” left behind by the rush of technology.

In the storytelling tradition of classic speculative fiction from writers like David Mitchell and Michael Chabon, Join offers a pulse-pounding story that poses the largest possible questions: How long can human life be sustained on our planet in the face of environmental catastrophe? What does it mean to be human, and what happens when humanity takes the next step in its evolution? If the individual mind becomes obsolete, what have we lost and gained, and what is still worth fighting for?

I’m a little on the fence about this one. I’ve had to have a good long think about it.

I love the idea of the book exploring advancement in technology and individuality (or the lack of). I feel my reservations are the result of thinking the synopsis isn’t written all that well. I’m going to keep it tentatively based on potential.

Verdict: Keep

 

Three Parts Dead – Max Gladstone

Three Parts Dead

Goodreads

A god has died, and it’s up to Tara, first-year associate in the international necromantic firm of Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao, to bring Him back to life before His city falls apart.

Her client is Kos, recently deceased fire god of the city of Alt Coulumb. Without Him, the metropolis’s steam generators will shut down, its trains will cease running, and its four million citizens will riot.

Tara’s job: resurrect Kos before chaos sets in. Her only help: Abelard, a chain-smoking priest of the dead god, who’s having an understandable crisis of faith.

When Tara and Abelard discover that Kos was murdered, they have to make a case in Alt Coulumb’s courts—and their quest for the truth endangers their partnership, their lives, and Alt Coulumb’s slim hope of survival.

Set in a phenomenally built world in which justice is a collective force bestowed on a few, craftsmen fly on lightning bolts, and gargoyles can rule cities, Three Parts Dead introduces readers to an ethical landscape in which the line between right and wrong blurs.

Okay, so this was added to the list a year and a half ago. Looking at it now, I can say that my reading preferences have certainly changed. This doesn’t appeal to me anymore, so it’s off the list.

Verdict: Go

 

Doors of Stone – Patrick Rothfuss

Goodreads

The eagerly awaited third book of The Kingkiller Chronicle.

It is absolutely eagerly awaited – I love this series so far!

Verdict: Keep

 

Golden Age – James Maxwell

Golden Age

Goodreads

The discovery of a strange and superior warship sends Dion, youngest son of the king of Xanthos, and Chloe, a Phalesian princess, on a journey across the sea, where they are confronted by a kingdom far more powerful than they could ever have imagined.

But they also find a place in turmoil, for the ruthless sun king, Solon, is dying. In order to gain entrance to heaven, Solon is building a tomb—a pyramid clad in gold—and has scoured his own empire for gold until there’s no more to be found.

Now Solon’s gaze turns to Chloe’s homeland, Phalesia, and its famous sacred ark, made of solid gold. The legends say it must never be opened, but Solon has no fear of foreigners’ legends or even their armies. And he isn’t afraid of the eldren, an ancient race of shape-shifters, long ago driven into the Wilds.

For when he gets the gold, Solon knows he will live forever.

This book doesn’t appeal to me much at the moment. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure I could read it… I may even want to in the future, but I’m not feeling the love right now.

I’ll keep it because I bought a copy, but it’s not something I am likely to pick up in the near future.

Verdict: Keep

 

Children of Earth and Sky – Guy Gavriel Kay

Children of Earth and Sky

Goodreads

From the small coastal town of Senjan, notorious for its pirates, a young woman sets out to find vengeance for her lost family. That same spring, from the wealthy city-state of Seressa, famous for its canals and lagoon, come two very different people: a young artist traveling to the dangerous east to paint the grand khalif at his request—and possibly to do more—and a fiercely intelligent, angry woman, posing as a doctor’s wife, but sent by Seressa as a spy.

The trading ship that carries them is commanded by the accomplished younger son of a merchant family, ambivalent about the life he’s been born to live. And farther east a boy trains to become a soldier in the elite infantry of the khalif—to win glory in the war everyone knows is coming.

As these lives entwine, their fates—and those of many others—will hang in the balance, when the khalif sends out his massive army to take the great fortress that is the gateway to the western world…

This synopsis really doesn’t say a whole lot about the book, in my opinion. Unless you are die-hard feminist and want to invest into special agent “doctors wife” – nothing stands out about these characters.

It’s a nope from me.

Verdict: Go

 

The Psychology Book – Nigel C Benson

The Psychology book

Goodreads

Clearly explaining more than 100 groundbreaking ideas in the field, The Psychology Book uses accessible text and easy-to-follow graphics and illustrations to explain the complex theoretical and experimental foundations of psychology.

From its philosophical roots through behaviorism, psychotherapy, and developmental psychology, The Psychology Book looks at all the greats from Pavlov and Skinner to Freud and Jung, and is an essential reference for students and anyone with an interest in how the mind works.

I definitely have a kindle copy of this – and I am fairly sure I have read at least some of it. Psychology is a subject I am interested in and like to visit periodically, so I’ll keep.

Verdict: Keep

 

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There you have it!

I only dropped three books of the list this time. I think now I am coming to books that I have added more recently (within the past year and a half or so) there will be less I drop off the list as my reading taste will be closer to it is now.

I’ll still benefit from reviewing, however, as you never know. Plus, doing so gets the books put on the ACTUAL reading list I work from.

Have you reviewed your TBR recently?

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Down the TBR Hole #6

Hi everybody! So it’s been a little while since I last did one of these posts, and I really do need to clear the list down. Normally I go ahead and look at the next five books on the TBR but I am going to be going through the next TEN on my list today!

In case anyone needs a brush up on just what this tag entails:-

This meme was started by Lia @ Lost in a Story to clear out my reading list of unwanted books. I have old items on Goodreads that I need to sort through. Here is how it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

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The Curse of Chalion – Lois McMaster Bujold

The Curse of Chalion.jpg

Goodreads

Okay, so I can see why old me added this to the list. At the time I was in the crux of adding just about every single fantasy book to the reading list purely because that was almost all I was reading at the time. Now my reading taste has changed and I’m reading far more diverse genres, this just doesn’t quite grip me enough to keep it on the list.

Verdict: Go

 

Low Town – Daniel Polansky

Low Town

Goodreads

Again I think my older taste in books reflects in the choice to read this one. It sounds similar in theme to something else I read recently, however, I also noticed the ratings on this book from people that actually left a detailed review were not great. Were this something I was still intrigued by, I wouldn’t let the ratings put me off. As I’m already inclined to take this off the list, I’ll trust my gut instinct.

Verdict: Go

 

Code Name Verity – Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity

Goodreads

This is a really easy one for me – it’s an absolute keeper. I love historical fiction (WW2 in particular) and I think it’s really going to be a fantastic read. I am actually going to be reading this book pretty soon. Whilst my reading list is never set in stone until a couple of days before the next month starts, (and at that point, I commit for the month) I am more than likely looking at reading this in December. So excited!!

Verdict: KEEP!!!!!!!

 

Finnikin of the Rock – Melina Marchetta

Finnikin of the Rock

Goodreads

In all brutal honesty, my pre-diversity self probably saw a pretty cover, the world curse and went YUP!! MUST READ THIS!!

Having looked at this again, I am less than inspired. Not to be harsh, but I don’t think this will be my cup of tea.

Verdict: Go

 

The Ruins of Gorlan – John Flanagan

Rangers Apprentice

Goodreads

I cannot help but feel that the blurb for this book makes it sound like Magician’s Apprentice by Raymond E Feist. Does the story start with an orphan? Check. Do they end up becoming apprenticed in unusual circumstances? Check. See where I am going with this? I acknowledge the reviews for this are very good, but I don’t think I can unsee this correlation and its tarnished my view.

Verdict: Go

 

The Dragon’s Path – Daniel Abraham

The Dragons Path

Goodreads

This book is a typical fantasy in some ways, but equally unusual in others. Fantasy books involving war, and AGAIN with the orphans?! God forbid a child destined for a hard time have parents. To me, it seems a cop-out to make it easier for this kid to do whatever they have to in order to develop and allow the story to progress. That being said, the role of this orphan is not typical, so I’ll give it a chance.

Verdict: Keep

 

Radiance – Grace Draven

Radiance

Goodreads

Usually, fantasy with political elements usually excites me. But for the fact the synopsis of the book makes it sound like 90% of it is about the relationship between a Prince of nothing and a minor noblewoman, I might have kept it. Tentatively. Maybe. I don’t enjoy relationship-y, romance-y books. Huge turn-off.

Nope.

Verdict: GO!

 

Outlander – Diana Gabaldon

Outlander

Goodreads

The synopsis of this book makes it seem pretty tame. I’ll admit, I hadn’t read the reviews until now. Do it – read the reviews… they are fucking hilarious!

I feel like I have been brutal to the TBR today and I think this has to be the worst feature of them all. I actually think this is going to be such a car crash to read (in terms of my preference of books) that I’ll see the funny side of it. I think I need a good laugh.

If you do too – read the reviews!! Please… if you do one thing today to make yourself smile, make it this. You won’t regret it.

Verdict: Keep

 

Quantum Night – Robert J. Sawyer

Quantum Night

Goodreads

With the exception of Code Name Verity, I think this is the second best book that has come up on the TBR list. It relates to human psychology and I loved the subject when I studied it for my A-Levels. An experimental psychologist finds a way to uncover undetected psychopaths in society. Turns out he needs to look a little closer to home. He joins forces with his former girlfriend, a quantum physicist to prevent society tearing itself apart with its own violent tendencies. It’s certainly different to many of the books I have featured today and I think it will be an interesting read.

Verdict: Keep

 

Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen

Goodreads

I added this book as I seem to remember people were raving about it. Admittedly this was before I started blogging and therefore I picked up on from my limited circles. Having reminded myself what it is about, I’m on the fence about it, to be honest. I added it because it seemed popular but I’m not sure I want to keep it. I’m sure I would find it enjoyable if I did read it, but not feeling so inclined to pick it up right now.

Verdict: Go

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It’s fair to say I’ve had a productive clear out – I’ve discarded six books and kept four, so I’m happy with that. Have you read any of the above books? Do you agree with my decisions? I would love to hear from you either way!

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Down the TBR Hole #5

This meme was started by Lia @ Lost in a Story and I am clearing out my reading list of unwanted books. I have old items on Goodreads that I need to sort through and gradually amalgamate into my current reading list. Here is how it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Here are the five books that I have focused on for this post:

 

Steelheart – Brandon Sanderson

Steelheart

GoodReads – Steelheart

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his will.

Nobody fights the Epics…nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart — the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning — and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

Who doesn’t love Brandon Sanderson?! I have had a number of his books come up when going through my old entries on the TBR and it reminds me of just how long ago it was since I read one of his books!! …. but… not for much longer – I’ll let you in to a cheeky spoiler. One of his books is coming up on the reading pile for next month! Exciting times! If you want to check out the books I am going to be reading, stay tuned, because that post is going live on Friday, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

I digress. As I was saying, who doesn’t love Brandon Sanderson?! I think pretty much all his books I have come across sound interesting so if he comes onto the list, it’s probably a 99% chance of being kept… and this one is no exception. I seem to recall a previous post in which I ditched a book with a not-to-dissimilar plot line. Oops.

Verdict: Keep!

 

Warbreaker – Brandon Sanderson

Warbreaker

GoodReads – Warbreaker

Warbreaker is the story of two sisters, who happen to be princesses, the God King one of them has to marry, the lesser god who doesn’t like his job, and the immortal who’s still trying to undo the mistakes he made hundreds of years ago.

Their world is one in which those who die in glory return as gods to live confined to a pantheon in Hallandren’s capital city and where a power known as BioChromatic magic is based on an essence known as breath that can only be collected one unit at a time from individual people.

By using breath and drawing upon the color in everyday objects, all manner of miracles and mischief can be accomplished. It will take considerable quantities of each to resolve all the challenges facing Vivenna and Siri, princesses of Idris; Susebron the God King; Lightsong, reluctant god of bravery, and mysterious Vasher, the Warbreaker.

So again, we have another Brandon Sanderson novel. Now I know I said above that his books are probably a 99% chance of being kept… but having read the synopsis for this again, I think I am going to exercise the 1% here and take this off the TBR.

I don’t doubt that I could read this. Maybe one day I will. To be truthful, I’m just not feeling so inclined at the moment. It evidently doesn’t appeal to me as much as it once did. That’s okay – reading tastes change.

Verdict: Go

 

Sailing to Sarantium – Guy Gavriel Kay

Sailing to Sarantium

GoodReads – Sailing to Sarantium

Crispin is a master mosaicist, creating beautiful art with colored stones and glass. Summoned to Sarantium by imperial request, he bears a Queen’s secret mission, and a talisman from an alchemist. Once in the fabled city, with its taverns and gilded sanctuaries, chariot races and palaces, intrigues and violence, Crispin must find his own source of power in order to survive-and unexpectedly discovers it high on the scaffolding of his own greatest creation.

Has anyone, at the point of reviewing their TBR ever come across a book they’ve added and thought… was I bored that day?

I genuinely don’t know why I would have added this to the list. No offence meant, but this really doesn’t appeal to me, and I don’t honestly think it ever would have?

I don’t know. Either way, the verdict is clear. Sorry.

Verdict: Go

 

The Demon King – Cinda Williams Chima

The Demon King

GoodReads – The Demon King

Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for his family. The only thing of value he has is something he can’t sell—the thick silver cuffs he’s worn since birth. They’re clearly magicked—as he grows, they grow, and he’s never been able to get them off.

One day, Han and his clan friend, Dancer, confront three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to keep him from using it against them. Soon Han learns that the amulet has an evil history—it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.

Meanwhile, Raisa ana‘Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She’s just returned to court after three years of freedom in the mountains—riding, hunting, and working the famous clan markets. Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea—the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But her mother has other plans for her…

The Seven Realms tremble when the lives of Hans and Raisa collide, fanning the flames of the smoldering war between clans and wizards.

Okay, I think I have redeemed myself a little bit here. I added this to the TBR on the same day as Sailing to Sarantium and I was seriously doubting as to whether this was going to be of interest. Having reviewed the synopsis though, it does seem to be a book right up my street. Who doesn’t love a whole lotta magic and a woman/princess wanting to be kick-ass warrior? I’m sure there are plenty… but the point is – I am not one of them. Bring it on!!

Verdict: Keep

 

Theft of Swords – Michael J Sullivan

Theft of Swords

GoodReads – Theft of Swords

THEY KILLED THE KING. THEY PINNED IT ON TWO MEN. THEY CHOSE POORLY.

There’s no ancient evil to defeat or orphan destined for greatness, just unlikely heroes and classic adventure. Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, are two enterprising rogues who end up running for their lives when they’re framed for the murder of the king. Trapped in a conspiracy that goes beyond the overthrow of a tiny kingdom, their only hope is unraveling an ancient mystery before it’s too late.

I had quite a hard time with this one. I like how this tries to avoid some of the common clichés in fantasy writing. Other than that, I can’t decide if I am going to like this one. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that it doesn’t sound like I could read it. It does. It just doesn’t particularly smack me in the face and say “PUT EVERY OTHER BOOKS DOWN AND READ ME INSTEAD”… do you know what I mean?

I have a lot of books to read, and I’m inclined to say that if I am sat on the fence about a book, it should go. There are thousands of others I’ll enjoy that I could read instead.

Verdict: Go


 

So there we have it! Of the five reviewed, I am keeping two. Even if I only review a few books at a time, I’ll eventually whittle down the TBR so I only have books I really do want to read on it.

I hope you have enjoyed my post! Have you found any books you no longer want to read lately?

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Down the TBR Hole #4

Once again, as any regular readers of my blog will know I am clearing out my reading list of unwanted books. I have a reading list as long as my arm for this blog but I still have old items on Goodreads that I need to sort through and gradually amalgamate into one list. Here is how it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Here are the five books that I have focused on for this post:

1  The Sheep Look Up – John Brunner

The Sheep Look Up

GoodReads – The Sheep Look Up

Verdict: Keep

When this book was originally published in the 1960’s it was considered a work of science fiction. Today, with the concerns of global warming and climate change rapidly reaching new heights it is less of an abstract work of fiction and more a haunting potential reality. In the debate of the effect of our carbon dioxide emissions I’m largely undecided as to which side of the fence I sit. I cannot say I am sufficiently educated in order to make a decision; perhaps this topical read will help me come to one conclusion or another.

 

2  The Just City

The Just City

GoodReads – The Just City

Verdict: Keep

I don’t read a whole lot of books that feature mythology… although it’s a subject I think it would be interesting to learn a bit about!! The characters within all seem to originate from different time periods as well, which may be difficult to portray or become confusing. It’s something I’ll be paying particular attention to when I do get around to reading this.

 

3  The Alloy of Law

The Alloy of Law

GoodReads – The Alloy of Law

Verdict: Keep!!!

Have I mentioned how much I love Brandon Sanderson?! Maybe once or twice… And just look at that cover too!! I loved the first trilogy of books in this series and its my understanding that the next three pick up quite some time after the time the first three are based. Will the understanding of metals and their alloys have advanced? What has changed? I’m keen to find out. I also have the next book after this one, Shadows of Self on my GoodReads TBR. This would be due to come up for review in my next Down the TBR Hole post. I’m going to save some time and put it through here as well. I know it’s a keeper.

 

4  Snow Like Ashes

Snow Like Ashes

GoodReads – Snow Like Ashes

Verdict: Go

The clichés are back!!! We have yet another orphan on the whirlwind of destiny. Oh, she’s sixteen?! Well there’s a surprise.

When I was sixteen I was too busy dealing with raging hormones and all that jazz. Truthfully I’m a little tired of these nuances of fantasy at the moment. Maybe it’s because this book aims to target a YA audience, but the prospect of a teenage girl undermining me in this fictional world, tasking herself with retrieving a locket that will restore magic  instead of contending with all manner of female issues that crop up at that age, is not one I think I am of the mindset to enjoy right now. Maybe the smudge in my mind will wash away in time, but I am dropping this off my list for now.

5  The Talisman

The Talisman

GoodReads – The Talisman

Verdict: Keep!

I am going to try to read more of Stephen King’s works, given that I have very high expectations following on from reading The Green Mile and Pet Sematary. This is a blend of Fantasy and Horror and I think this will make for an interesting and equally uncommon pairing.

Much like Snow like Ashes, this features a child. Jack Sawyer is going on a quest to save his mother’s life. I’m keeping this on the TBR but I probably won’t be reading it until well into next year. I need to let my gripe with over achieving youths and my comparative lack of extraordinary talent drop.

I can hear my mum telling me now, as she was wont to do “If the wind changes, your face will stay like that”.

Oh the funny little expressions we have.

Have you reviewed your TBR pile lately? What have you discovered that perhaps you had forgotten about? I’d love to hear from you!

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Down the TBR Hole – #3

Happy Tuesday everybody!!

happy jerry

The worst day of the week is over and at least for us Brits… next Monday is a bank holiday, so we have that to look forward to!

A fun little fact for anybody interested, which is timely given that I am currently starting a book series based on this snippet of our history – today marks the anniversary of the Battle of Bosworth Field, being the last of the battles of the Wars of the Roses.

Today I am bringing to you another installment of this tag, designed to help you clear out your reading lists of unwanted books. I currently have a reading list that I am using for this blog but I have old items on my Goodreads TBR that I need to sort through and gradually amalgamate my lists into one. Here is how it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Here are the five books that I have focused on for this post:

1   The Young Elites – Marie Lu

The Young Elites

GoodReads – The Young Elites

Verdict: Go

I looked forward to this when I first added it to the list. I suppose it is a little different in terms of plot line but equally clichéd in that the main focus is a character that has more power than she should or anyone else has seen before.

That’s not to say that I wouldn’t ever read anything like this, but I’ve lost the enthusiasm I had for it. It will be nice to break away from the cliché.

2  The Blade Itself – Joe Abercrombie

The Blade Itself

GoodReads – The Blade Itself

Verdict: Keep

I have had the perfect intention to read this book for a number of years. I’m sure on the sly I tried to read the first chapter in a bookshop once whilst “browsing” to see if I liked it. If any book lover claims they haven’t done this – I am straight up calling you out as a liar. It must be one of the only forms of window shopping that takes any longer than a couple of minutes!!

The part of the synopsis that draws me in the most…

Murderous conspiracies rise to the surface, old scores are ready to be settled, and the line between hero and villain is sharp enough to draw blood.

 

3  The Way of Kings – Brandon Sanderson

The Way of Kings

GoodReads – The Way of Kings

Verdict: KEEP!!!!!!!!

I love Brandon Sanderson. Only the other day was one of my good friends, also a lover of the fantasy genre endorsing this series to me as it was one of her favourites. Sanderson is an amazing fantasy author and I love the Mistborn series. (Thus far I have only read the initial trilogy but I will be reading the later books before too long). The thing I loved most about this series was that whilst it contained magic, it had a physical element to it. It wasn’t spells or just “in the air”. It was a physical source of power present in specific pure metals that only a few people could use. I found it a refreshing change.

Books  that involve war are always a plus for me… who doesn’t love a bit of conflict.

I’m not sadistic… I promise!!

 

4  Luck in the Shadows – Lynn Flewelling

Luck in the Shadows

GoodReads – Luck in the Shadows

Verdict: GO

So the plot of this book initially sounds interesting, if not very familiar (yet another teenage orphan boy… yay). He is imprisoned for a crime he doesn’t commit, however his cellmate takes him under his wing and from there on they go on their winding and mystical adventure.

Whilst the synopsis doesn’t make a point of this, all of the reviews talk about the characters and their relationship with one another. Turns out this book is within the circles of the LGBT genre.

If I had known that, I wouldn’t have added this book to the list. Please hear me out. Do not think me judgemental towards a minority group that has experienced a lot of prejudice over the years; the fact is, I don’t like romance. Full stop. Point blank. Obviously relationships are all around us and done subtly, that’s okay. I find reading about them in very specific detail just makes me uncomfortable. I don’t like it. Sorry. I wouldn’t read this book just as I wouldn’t read Fifty Shades of Grey.

 

5  City of Stairs – Robert Jackson Bennett

City of Stairs

GoodReads – City of Stairs

Verdict: Keep!

Give me a book with any form of political intrigue and I’ll be as happy as a pig in … I’m sure you know the expression. Initially the plot of unraveling a crime doesn’t jump out at me, but if well done this could prove to be a great book. I love plot twists, hidden turns and sometimes the more subtlety employed to achieve this, the better. This has great potential – so it definitely has to stay on the TBR. I also note that it has received a number of awards since it’s release in 2014, which is a fantastic achievement.

 


 

So there you have it folks! If you have made it all the way down here then thank you for reading the ramble. My next post will be a review of Lady of the Rivers, which I am finally getting around to finishing!

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