September Challenge: Mythothon

I first heard about this fun Norse themed readathon from Nicole @ Book Wyrm Knits (thank you!).  I have a hard time resisting anything Norse themed, so I decided to play along too.

This readathon is hosted by Foxes and Fairy Tales, and if you’d like to join in, please check out the information and sign up thread here.

Rules

If it can be added on Goodreads, it counts — novellas, graphic novels, audiobooks etc. are all fair game.

One book per square.

Your TBR can change over the course of the readathon.

There are a couple of different ways to play: it’s entirely up to you! Get a five-in-a-row bingo line, tackle the Nine World prompts in the centre (blue) or challenge the gods around the outside (yellow). This should mean you can increase or decrease how challenging you make your month.

mythothongrid

I don’t have as much time for reading as I’d like too, so I’m going to start small and see how far it takes me.  I’ve decided to go for a five-in-a-row (row three, going across).  If you’d like to read the prompt for each square, please check out the sign up thread I’ve linked above.

HEIMDALL, GUARDIAN OF THE BIFROST: Read an LGBT+ book.

Overthrow by Caleb Crain

Overthrow by Caleb Crain – I lucked out and won this in a giveaway, and the publishers were kind enough to send it ASAP.  This is about a group of friends who develop some special abilities, and have a run in with a security contractor, and the legal and political consequences of that run in.

JOTUNHEIM – LAND OF THE GIANTS: Read a long book.

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky – 720 pages.  That qualifies as long right?!  This book is already getting some hype, so my explanation is probably not needed, Imaginary Friend is a literary horror novel about a boy who wanders into the woods and returns six days later with an imaginary friend… I absolutely can’t wait for this one, I’m just hoping I can cram it in before the end of September!

ASGARD – LAND OF THE ÆSIR GODS: Read any book you choose!

A Pilgrimage of Swords by Anthony Ryan

A Pilgrimage of Swords by Anthony Ryan – Ryan is an author I’ve been meaning to check out for quite some time.  And to be honest, I’m going to need a short book in here because to balance out the long one.  A veteran warrior named Pilgrim, armed with a fabled blade, embarks on a quest to request that the Mad God hear his prayers and absolve him of his sins.

VANAHEIMR – LAND OF THE VANIR GODS: Read an award-winning or nominated book.

Pet Sematary by Stephen King

Pet Sematary by Stephen King – Nominated for two awards, the Locus and the World Fantasy award in 1984… I watched the movie recently and I am anxious to get started!

LOKI, GOD OF MISCHIEF: Read a standalone novel.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix Harrow

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow – About a girl who finds a book with secrets just waiting to be discovered.  I think.  The blurb is enticing but vague.  Either way- I can’t wait!

Are you planning on joining this readathon?  Leave me a link below so I can see what exciting reads you have planned for September!

Book Review: Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger

Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger

Rating:  ★★★

I have to say- I was a little disappointed with this.  I’ll be up front and say that the premise: Pokemon meets Airbender, is in no way my thing- so your mileage may vary.  In my defense I didn’t see it marketed that way until well after I started reading it, but the comparison is legitimate enough, and the Pokemon part was a lot of fun.

However I couldn’t shake the feeling that the motivations for these characters and their countries didn’t always make sense.  When the book starts we are with Dimangan and Tala, observing them as children running errands in the market.  While there, they see the prince of the Tomodanese people jetting through the streets.  The Tomodanese people occupy Sanbuna by force, and the prince’s presence in the street starts a riot.

The problem is: the Tomodanese view the Sanbuna and their shades (think Pokemon) as slavers and slaves respectively.  The Tomodanese don’t eat meat and they don’t believe in utilizing animals for human benefit.  Basically, they are PETA.

And of course, the Sanbuna don’t view it that way.  The pact between them and their shades is an agreement, with give and take, not slavery.  (They do eat meat though…)  Cultural views on animals aside, obviously the Sanbuna are angry at the attempted colonization and occupation of their country.

Anyway- now that we’ve got that straightened out, what I don’t understand is what the other two cultures we are introduced to have anything to do with it.  There are also the Shang, and the Jeongsonese.  All of which seem to be against the Tomodanese, and then to top it off, the Shang, Sanbuna, and Tomodanese all look down upon the Jeongsonese, despite the fact that they don’t seem to have done anything.

Sound complex?  It is.  And I’m okay with complex.. but without knowing the motivations of the other two countries involved I wasn’t sure why the author felt the need to include them.  It seemed needlessly complex and without knowing the reasoning behind it I couldn’t help but feel like it was added to give the world building an illusion of depth.

Does that sort of thing happen in real life?  Yes.  Of course.  Is it right?  Of course not.  But I couldn’t help feeling throughout like Lee and Xiulan’s story really would have been better dedicated to a different plot and a different book, and being given the time it needed to establish how these cultures all fit together.

The characters aren’t terrible, but occasionally felt like cartoons and caricatures.  Xiulan runs around in an all white suit, calls herself the “White Rat,” wears a fedora and smokes a pipe in an endless to homage to her childhood hero, a detective from a book, Bai Junjie.  Lee is a morally grey thief character, rogue archetype.  She’s always imagining how it would feel to pick so-and-so’s pocket, or slip a lock or infiltrate a palace.  I guess my issue is they came off as very one note.

And to top it off… this book is long.  Way too long.  I think if it had been trimmed down to 300 pages and strictly followed Tala and Jimuro’s story, we’d have had a tightly paced plot with world building that didn’t feel flimsy and a truly unique take on fantasy.  Lee and Xiulan’s parts in the story could easily have been removed without effecting the overall plot and end result.

But I don’t have all negative things to say about it.  There is LGBT+ representation.  The f/f romance actually felt much stronger and sweeter than the m/f romance.  At least one of the main characters is bisexual, and there is a transgender side character.  And it was all done without any of them being shunned or feeling ashamed.

And despite me not necessarily loving Pokemon or Airbender, I have to say, imagining the battle field running rampant with magical, mutated-animal creatures was lots of fun.  Overall not a bad book that I think other readers will find more joy in than I did.

Steel Crow Saga releases on September 24th, and can be found on GoodReads or preordered on Amazon.  Thank you to Del Rey and NetGalley for providing an eARC for review.

 

Book Haul

Last week I had a super hectic week with a couple late weekdays.  I had to travel to a job fair in the small, but quaint town of Westerly, RI.  After work I wandered High Street for a bit looking for my favorite… a used book shop.

Westerly RI High St

The above photo is probably 60 years old at this point, but the truth is, High Street doesn’t look much different today.  Anyway- in my wandering I discovered Rereads Book Shop!

ReReads Book Shop Westerly, RI

I think this place is every book lovers dream.  Between the historic building and the shelves literally overflowing with books- I could not have been happier.

Rereads Book Shop 2At one point I thought I was sitting on an ottoman and looked down and realized half of my seat was actually a stack of books.  I realize that may not appeal to everyone- but as someone who lives with a lot of clutter in her life already, a shop with furniture made of books suits me just fine.  Anyway, the owner, Jill was great, and even took some time out of her day to chat with me about my favorite topic, Science Fiction and Fantasy.  She let me know most paperbacks were buy 2 get 1 (my favorite kind of sale) and showed me where to find everything I was looking for.

I took 6 books off her hands with no problem at all, ReReads Book Shop 3and the truth is I could easily spend an entire Sunday there on a treasure hunt.  If you ever happen to find yourself in Westerly, stop in and say hi to Jill.  Word on the street (by which I mean her fabulous Yelp reviews) is that she stays open late to cater to all us late night, have to get out of work first book worms.

 

So without further adieu, here are the six books I finally decided on:

First – can I just say I’ve been looking for this set FOREVER.  No book store I’ve been to, new or used, ever seems to have the whole set.  Needless to say I took all three: The Winter King, Enemy of God, and Excalibur.

And I grabbed these two- because I haven’t read them yet: Insomnia and Skeleton Crew.

The Liar's Key by Mark Lawrence

And I stumbled across a copy of The Liar’s Key as I was sitting on a stack of books, which I grabbed, because even though I haven’t started this series yet, I already own the first book and I’m sure I’ll want it in the future.

My Book Bucket List

There are quite a few books on my TBR that I am not in any rush to read, but that I’d like to attempt to tackle some day.  At the rate I’m going I don’t know that I’ll ever finish this list, but #ReadingGoals, am I right?

Read all the Stephen King books.  (23 completed, that I remember reading/61 works I am counting- since some of his stuff was published multiple times or in magazines and the like).  On another note: I watched the movie Pet Sematary this weekend.. It’s actually terrifying.

Read through Amazon’s list of 100 SFF Books to Read in a Lifetime (25/100 read).  I realize “Best Of” lists are totally arbitrary, but at the same time I just like checking stuff off lists, and sometimes they help push me outside my comfort zone.

Read all the Bernard Cornwell books (14/46 completed – not including his non-fiction work Waterloo)

Little House in the Big Woods Book Cover

Reread Little Women or Little House on the Prairie. The reason this is on this list is because I thought I had read one of these when I was young. As I was writing it down, it finally clicked. Little House in the Big Woods was the one I actually read. I want to re-read it because I can’t remember a single thing about it.

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Read Fight Club. Finally.  I am a huge fan of this movie.  I’m worried it won’t translate as well to paper, but I feel like I owe it to the movie to try.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Read The Hunger Games. Finally.  Again- huge fan of the movie.  I think it’s probably great on paper, but I’m concerned it’s going to lessen my enjoyment of the movie.  Which is why I haven’t read it yet.

War and Peace

Read War and Peace.  Because it’s a classic and… 

Ain't Nobody Got Time For That

Just kidding. I don’t actually want to read War and Peace.

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

Read The Three Musketeers.  One of my favorite fantasy series: The Greatcoats by Sebastien de Castell, is a sort of retelling of The Three Musketeers, so I’d like to read the original someday.

Find something to appreciate about Dickens.  Really, anything will do.  I have attempted and failed to appreciate A Tale of Two Cities.  Suggestions are welcome.

Read all the Sherlock Holmes books.  I love the banter between Watson and Holmes.  And really I just love Holmes.  I’ve only read A Study in Scarlet thus far.

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Give Les Miserables a second chance…. Maybe.  UGH.  LES MISERABLES.  I’ve always wondered if it was called that precisely because it makes the reader so miserable when reading.  (I kid… a little.)

A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

Read A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  I somehow was never asked to read this in middle school- but Cornwell wrote a historical fiction book, Fools and Mortals, about the writing/production of this play, which I loved and made me want to read this.

House of Danger Choose Your Own Adventure

Read another Choose Your Own Adventure book.  There was a Top Ten Tuesday awhile back about childhood favorites, and the Choose Your Own Adventure books were on that list.  It made me a little nostalgic for them and I’d like to find a new one to try.

 

And that’s it for now!  Do you have a book bucket list?  What’s on it?

Book Review: The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup

Hello Friends!  I’m sorry I haven’t been posting much this week.  It’s been crazy hectic at work with two late nights and to top it off, my daughter is sick.  I hope to be back to my usual schedule next week.

The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup

Rating:  ★★★★

I’ve been putting off this review because I feel like I really suck at reviewing thrillers.  I think the selling point of a thriller is mostly the plot, but for exactly that reason it’s not something I want to talk about.

My initial impressions upon starting this, was that there were a lot of view points to follow.  I was initially a little confused trying to keep them all straight, but things started coming together after you start following Hess and Thulin (our two detectives).  The introduction of new view points remains pretty consistent through out, but it becomes less confusing after the story is established.

The content of this book is super dark.  Not only are these killings gruesome (and graphic), but the plot focuses heavily on abused children.  I think if I had known that going in I wouldn’t have requested it.  As a mother child abuse is a topic I really struggle with, and there were points I almost quit.  Not because the book was bad but just because it was really that hard.

The chapters and structure are just what I want for a thriller.  Short, chapters and initially very quick pacing.  At 500+ pages I do think it is a little bloated for a thriller, and the book dragged a little before approaching the climax.  There is a turning point when Hess uncovers some new evidence, and it was full speed ahead from there, almost impossible to put down.

The imagery and tone are eerie and chilling.  The author uses a childhood nursery rhyme and a seemingly innocent childhood activity (the making of chestnut men) and turns them into something dark and foreboding.  This is a thriller that borders very heavily on horror.

I didn’t guess the ending (at all) so when the big reveal came I was pretty dumbstruck.  It didn’t come out of left field or anything and I loved the way all the pieces snapped into place.  There is a twist, but it’s not really in regards to the killer’s identity.  The twist was one of my only complaints (aside from the depictions of child abuse).  It’s not that it was a bad twist, it’s just that it wasn’t clarified enough.  The reader knows what happened, but the author skirts around the specifics.  I re-read that particular part a couple times and still couldn’t piece it together.  It frustrated me a bit considering the author doesn’t shy away from telling any other part of this story.

Overall, this is a solid thriller that I think would appeal to most fans of the genre.  Thank you to the publisher for providing an ARC for review.

The Chestnut Man releases on September 3, 2019 can be found on GoodReads or preordered on Amazon.

Can’t Wait Wednesday: Dead Astronauts by Jeff VanderMeer

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Title: Dead Astronauts (Borne #2)Dead Astronauts Borne 2 Jeff VanderMeer

Author:  Jeff VanderMeer

Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

Genre: Science Fiction

Length: 240 Pages

Release Date: December 3, 2019

Blurb:  A messianic blue fox who slips through warrens of time and space on a mysterious mission. A homeless woman haunted by a demon who finds the key to all things in a strange journal. A giant leviathan of a fish, centuries old, who hides a secret, remembering a past that may not be its own. Three ragtag rebels waging an endless war for the fate of the world against an all-powerful corporation. A raving madman who wanders the desert lost in the past, haunted by his own creation: an invisible monster whose name he has forgotten and whose purpose remains hidden.

Jeff VanderMeer’s Dead Astronauts presents a City with no name of its own where, in the shadow of the all-powerful Company, lives human and otherwise converge in terrifying and miraculous ways. At stake: the fate of the future, the fate of Earth—all the Earths.

Why I’m Excited For It:  Jeff VanderMeer has been hit or miss for me.  I adored Borne and Annihilation.  Both incorporated biology, and both slipped at some point or another into that realm between Science Fiction and Horror, which is one of my favorite genre mash ups.  And yet, I wasn’t nearly as enthralled by some of his others, (namely: Authority).  Being that this is a prequel (as I understand it) of Borne, I’m excited and hopeful to find more of that magic I know VanderMeer is capable of.

But I’m also very excited to return to the City and hopefully explore the Company before it’s downfall.  I don’t anticipate on seeing Rachel again, and I’m not entirely sure I can expect to see Borne, but I’d love to revisit Wick and get some more of his backstory.

I did cheat a little and read the first chapter and some of the following pages.  It definitely promises to be a challenging and bizarre read (as I would expect). I’m not sure I followed everything that was going on, but at 240 pages it should be a quick read and I’m hoping I remember enough of Borne to get the hang of it!

Dead Astronauts can be found on GoodReads or preordered on Amazon.

Books for Reading Outside Your Comfort Zone

My reading tastes have changed a lot over the years.  There was a time when I never would have thought to pick up a space opera (and it still isn’t my go-to genre/subgenre).  I started with Stephen King’s The Green Mile and sort of just never went back.  It’s not hard to see how I ended up there- I live in New England, and most of us (or at least my family and friends) love a good ghost story.

So I thought maybe I’d put together a list of books I’ve enjoyed over the years that don’t strictly fit the SFF genres, and maybe when you need a break, or are just looking for something new, you can (hopefully) find some inspiration.

Romance:

Might as well get this genre out of the way.  I don’t like romance all the time, and I don’t think it’s necessary to have a romance crammed into every book just because.  However– there are still times when I just need a guarantee that a happily ever after is coming.  A well done romance- for me- can turn out to be the best read.

Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost – Is a decent intro to romance give it’s urban fantasy feel.  I haven’t read all of them, I think I gave up after book three.  But I remember thoroughly enjoying the first book.  I think this series suffered from there not really being much more to tell about Cat and Bones after book one.

The Immortal Highlander by Karen Marie Moning – Moning’s Highlander series are all time travel romances.  There’s no science attempting to explain them, things just sort of happen.  If you can get over that, these are some of my favorite romance novels out there! (Especially this one.)  Bonus: If you read and enjoyed Moning’s urban fantasy Fever series, some of those characters got their starts in these books (and I was not sorry to see them return).  Side note: No need to read them in order, and her first book, which I can’t even remember the name of, can safely be skipped.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – Outlander is a pretty obvious shoe-in given the popularity of the TV Show, although I hesitate to recommend it because of it’s length, and it’s slow start.  It can also be pretty dark at times.  I have yet to finish this series too, although I’d like to someday.

Nonfiction & Memoir:

I don’t read enough nonfiction, and I’m usually hesitant to read any memoir.  They feel disastrously self-important to me.  However- I decided to open my mind last year, and found a few reads I thoroughly enjoyed.

Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson – Is one of my favorite memoirs ever.  Marcus Samuelsson is a Food Network chef in case you haven’t heard of him, and he’s had a really interesting life and it’s a great story about how he got his start.  I recommend the audio if you can listen- he reads it himself.

The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel – This one was pretty popular not too long ago.  My mother recommended it to me and I’m glad she did.  The sheer fact that Christopher Knight managed to survive about 30 Maine winters with no house and no guaranteed source of heat, is incredibly impressive.  I’ve seen a Maine winter.  They are no joke.  Knight’s a pretty fascinating guy.

Shit My Dad Says by Justin Halpern – Listen.  Justin’s dad is really effing funny.  I think I read this one with my eyes, but I listened to the sequel.  If Justin reads the audio on this, get it, and thank me later, especially if you’re in need of a laugh.

Contemporary Fiction:

This is probably the genre I struggle with the most on this list and I’m not sure why.  I guess because it offers the least escape for me?  Like if there’s nothing new to discover about the world why am I reading it?  I’m probably cheating with a couple of these, because there are definite fantasy elements, but I’d label them as contemporary before anything else.

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett – Probably literally the only piece of actual contemporary literature I’ve ever read.  This is a book aiming to break you and mostly succeeds.  I’ll probably never read it again, and I definitely won’t watch the movie.  But that shouldn’t stop you from reading it at least once.

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin – Not only did I mostly enjoy this, but I think I read it all in one day.  I couldn’t put it down.  It plays with the idea of self fulfilling prophecy, which I’ve always loved.  It is a pretty dark story at times, but gave me a lot to think about.

Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich – This book has the most fantasy elements of any other I’ve put on here- but I’m not sorry.  I get the feeling Evanovich is just phoning it in at this point, with all her co-authors, but I really wish she’d just buckle down and finish the Lizzy and Diesel series already.  I’d keep reading them.  I’m not even going to attempt to explain the plot because it’s ludicrous, just know it’s lots of fun.

Historical Fiction:

I am always baffled when Fantasy readers seem so averse to historical fiction (or maybe we’re not and that’s just my impression).  I guess my reasoning is that to me they aren’t that much different?  Yes, more research goes into historical fiction, and maybe some books are dry, but that varies from book to book.  I’ve read some that feel like timelines and paragraphs are included for the sake of the history, but for a good historical fiction novel, the history is just the backdrop for the story.

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory – Avid readers of historical fiction don’t love this novel because of the more fantastical elements Gregory included (witchcraft), but I’ve read some of her other work and I think this particular book is better for it (I think all her books would be better for it actually) but that’s why it makes a nice segue for fantasy readers.

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett – I’d be crazy not to warn you that this book is …sometimes… slow.  It’s a book about how a church gets built.  But dear God – the drama. On and on and on.  It’s like a medieval soap opera.  And I loved it for that.

The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell – Yeah, shameless Uhtred plug, I know.  I couldn’t help myself.  These books are fast and they are so much fun.  If you even remotely enjoyed the TV series, you owe it to yourself to read the book. If you haven’t watched the show, just know this has everything you could ever want. Kings and Queens, warriors and heroes, cunning priests and scheming Vikings, epic battles and plots galore.

Graphic Novels:

I’ve only recently started reading Graphic Novels, and prior to that I would have told you I was not the type of person who was going to ever read a Graphic Novel. Not because there was anything wrong with them, but just because they don’t feel like reading (and in some ways, they still don’t feel like that).  But I’ve found they make for a great diversion, especially if you’re struggling to find something to pick up.

Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan – I’m recommending this over Saga because I think it’s easier to follow (also I like it better).  Sure it’s written blatantly like every man’s fantasy come true- but I thought Agent 355 was a nice counterpoint to that.

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson – Easy, fun read.  You really can’t go wrong with Nimona.  She’s not a kid, she’s a shark.

Welcome to Lovecraft (Locke & Key #1) by Joe Hill – I love these books.  Seriously.  They are creative and the story telling and characters are perfection.

Thrillers:

Okay- this category is kind of a gimme, because I think Science Fiction Thriller is a big enough cross-over genre to be it’s own subgenre- so I’ll try to avoid throwing in the obvious shout outs to writers like Blake Crouch and Michael Crichton.  That’d defeat the purpose… wouldn’t it?

The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz – Full disclosure: I haven’t actually read this book. I won the second in a giveaway without knowing I had entered a giveaway for a sequel.  I would recommend starting with The Silent Corner instead (though honestly, I had figured out what I needed to).  I’m only recommending this one because I did enjoy the second.  These are great because there is some science/technology involved, but it’s more of a thriller than anything else.

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney – I reviewed this not too long ago, and was so happy I ventured outside my normal comfort zone for it.  It’s a twisting, turning, roller coaster thrill ride, and you’ll never see the ending coming.

The Passenger by Lisa Lutz – I feel like this book got overlooked somewhere between the Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train excitement.  (And I love Gone Girl, but I think the world is pretty well aware of it by now, so I didn’t feel the need to give it it’s own place here).  I think The Passenger was far better than The Girl on the Train.  It kept me guessing where TGotT did not.

Horror:

I could give you three horror books to read- but you probably already know who wrote them (his initials are SK, and he has a son I’m pretty fond of too), and as far as the horror genre goes, I could probably stand to take my own advice and venture outside my comfort zone.  Got any suggestions?

Book Review: The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa

The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa

Rating:  ★★★★

I have no idea how to even begin describing this.  The publisher’s described as Orwellian and I suppose it is very Orwellian in tone, but the plot and world building are very different than 1984.

The premise is this: on an unnamed island, things sometimes “disappear”.  If the islanders don’t rid themselves of the things that disappear, the Memory Police may raid their house to take the items away.  Eventually the people forget all about the disappeared-thing (for example, if flowers disappear people stop remembering that flowers ever existed and don’t even know the meaning of the word).  But some people don’t forget.  Those people are eventually discovered by the Memory Police and taken away, never to be seen or heard again.

So we follow an unnamed protagonist as she navigates this surreal landscape and things and people disappear around her.  It’s a meandering sort of story that ultimately feels largely allegorical, but no matter how hard I think about what the story might mean I keep coming up empty handed (aside from the obvious message about memories).

The writing and the translation (done, I believe, by Stephen Snyder) are beautifully done.  It doesn’t seem like anything special at first, and I don’t recall any passages that made me think: ‘I need to save this for my review!’.  But at the same time it kept me consistently engaged despite the slow pacing and plot.  It whisked me away and offered me an escape.  Albeit, to a rather depressing sort of place, but I often had a hard time putting it down and found myself eager to keep going.

The characters will also stick with me for quite awhile.  This is fairly impressive considering the amount of distance placed between them and the reader.  None of them have names.  One is Old Man.  The other is simply R.  Other characters are identified by their professions.  The hatmaker.  The neighbors.  Mother or Father.

The main character is a novelist, and we are given glimpses of her WIP through out.  To be honest, I didn’t feel these parts added much to the overall novel.  The story itself largely mirrors what our protagonist is going through and didn’t reveal much else about the story.

I also will say I wasn’t a fan of the ending.  I can’t really expand on this without spoilers so I’ll avoid discussing it too much, but as I approached the end I remember thinking there weren’t enough pages to wrap up the story and while there is definite closure it was a disappointing sort of closure without much explanation.

The entire novel is ambiguous which is why I think I’m taking less issue with it than the last few ambiguously ended books I’ve read.  Everything is sort of surreal and dreamlike and the reader is just expected to take it at face value.  *shrugs*

For the most part I really enjoyed this and will likely check out other works by this author in the future.  I don’t think it will be a book for everyone and I don’t foresee myself recommending it often – but I think for some readers it could be an enjoyable literary diversion.

Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC for review.  The Memory Police can be found on GoodReads and Amazon.

That one where I read all the samples

I’m stealing this idea in part, from Jolien @ The Fictional Reader, but the concept isn’t too new to this blog. I’ve reviewed opening chapters on some of my ARCs and book hauls in the past, and it usually gets me excited to read the book!

Here I’m just more determining whether I really want to add these books to my TBR.  As if adding another book to a 700+ made much of a difference.

Battlestar Suburbia by Chris McCrudden: The premise of this Battlestar Suburbia by Chris McCruddenone sounded very “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” but the execution is clunky and somehow boring, and the humor wasn’t really my cup of tea.  Are we really saying hair dryers and toasters rule the world? Is that what’s really happening?!  Listen, I know I read Science Fiction and Fantasy, but there still has to be some semblance of reason in it.  I’m guessing this is supposed to be satirical, but I’ll also be the first to tell you, satire is usually not my thing.

Aftershocks Marko KloosAftershocks by Marko Kloos: I was seeing this all over the GoodReads advertisements not too long ago, but I was hesitant because I’d never heard of the author before.  This was actually a pleasant surprise!  On the one hand, I enjoyed Aiden’s character, on the other, the battle scenes were pretty cool.  (Reminded me a lot of Halo, or the power suits in Fallout).  I think I will go ahead and add this one.

Your Favorite Band Cannot Save You by Scotto Moore: This one Your Favorite Band Cannot Save You by Scotto Moore sucked me in the most.  I love the idea of music being used to transmit secret messages or entrance people or whatever that was.  The writing was accessible, and the music blogger aspect of the MC made them instantly relatable (though I still haven’t figured out whether they are male, female, or queer).  Either way- definitely adding this.

The Hunger by Alma KatsuThe Hunger by Alma Katsu: I didn’t even finish the sample of this.  I didn’t realize it was a Donner party retelling.  I thought it was something more modern where a group of people followed the path the Donner party took.  Maybe I just hadn’t gotten to that part yet, but too much of the historical story line was included that I just didn’t want to continue.  Nothing otherwise wrong with it, I just don’t want to read about the Donner party.  It freaks me out.

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I’d Befriend

TTT-NEW

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s topic is characters I could be best friends with.  Outside of my first pick for this topic I have a hard time imagining being best friends with any of these characters, so this is more of a, characters-I’d-like-to-have-on-my-side kind of post.

1453735925-burger-sex

Nina Zenik (Six of Crows) – Finally, a friend who doesn’t make me feel guilty for never ordering a salad when we go out to eat.

Pig Gif

Circe (Circe) – That person who cut me off in traffic?  Bam! Pig.  That person who orders $50 worth of food at the drive-thru when you just want your morning coffee?  Bam! Pig.  If nothing else, I’d never run out of bacon.

ARTtistic Cat GIF • Cat vs Squirrel soon gonna catch you naughty squirrel blah blah blah

Reichis the Squirrelcat (Spellslinger) – Listen, I just really want a squirrelcat, okay?

Legal Trouble

Ariel Corta (New Moon) – I’m going to need an all star legal team after I’m done transforming all those people into pigs…

Hold on to your butts

John Hammond (Jurassic Park) – I am actively rejecting modern science. Jurassic Park is going to be a thing in my lifetime.  And I will be first in line.

Patrick plotting

Mycroft Canner (Too Like the Lightning) – Because knowing all the world’s secrets is a super power all by itself.  This is weirdly probably also my most dangerous choice of friend, considering what happened to his other friends…

Not quite ten- but I prefer quality friends to quantity.  Who made your list this week?