Reading roundup – July 29th 2017

July 29, 2017

Hello and here I am with another reading roundup.  I must admit I’ve not been doing very well with my reading.  I’m actually three books behind on my GoodReads 2017 reading challenge; 42 books out of 50.  This is due to a couple of things.  I’ve recently become obsessed with playing Assassin’s Creed on my Playstation and watching gameplay YouTube videos.  Sigh.  Honestly, I’m not so violent in real life.  Additionally, I’ve listened to more audiobooks that I have read ebooks, which always takes longer.  That’s my excuse anyway!  So, onto the roundup.

The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland

I absolutely ADORED this book.  I wish I had more stars than 5 to give it.  I would strongly recommend experiencing this in the audiobook version; it’s narrated by a full cast who really brings an extra je ne sais quoi to the story.  Forgive me if I misspell some of the names since I only listened to it.  In in a similar vein to the Illuminae files the story is told both through standard narration and letters, office memos, briefing files etc.  

The story is rather difficult to summarise into a few words; secret government organisations, time travel, Schroedinger’s cat, magic, witches.  I loved, loved, loved it.  Fair warning, you do need to concentrate to keep the various plots and timelines clear in your head.  The whole time travel/magic concept was very well written and I very much appreciated that it had built in limitations.  

The characters, too, are wonderfully engaging.  Each of them is well developed and the motivations for their actions are believable and logical, even for those who end up as antagonists, purely because they are opposed to our protagonists.  I loved Erszebet.  She’s fun an plucky, but her story is very sad when you think about it.  

There is also quite a bit of humour – especially in the memos from the office manager as D.O.D.O. is on the rise and red tape starts to take hold.  Many times I found myself giggling out loud.  The voice actress portraying said office manager did an awesome job at portraying her suppressed frustration that D.O.D.O. doesn’t quite fit the mould of her usual employer.  

I gave The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. five stars out of five, not surprisingly.  Go check this out immediately.

Doctor Who: The Tenth Planet by the BBC

Those Whovians among you will know that the BBC erased many of the earlier episodes of Doctor Who because they needed the tapes and didn’t think the episodes were worth saving.  The First Doctor’s last serial, The Tenth Planet is one of the victims of this purging.  Only the last few minutes of his regeneration exist.  

However, the audio files still remain, and the BBC has released these as an audiobook with additional narration by former Companion Anneke Wills to fill in the blanks.  It works reasonably well.  The reason I picked this up is in preparation for this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special which sees current Twelfth Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi, join forces with the First Doctor, played by David Bradley.  Regeneration will be a major theme for this episode given that both Doctors are about to regenerate imminently.

In December there will be a novelisation released of the story which I shall also pick up.

I gave Doctor Who: The Tenth Planet three and a half stars out of five.

Thrawn by Timothy Zahn

I must admit I’m rather struggling with this one.  Still not finished it.

The Greatcoats series by Sebastien de Castell

Recently I was lucky enough to receive a couple of books from the publisher to review.  I received a copy of Tyrant’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell, the fourth book in his Greatcoats series.  As I amn’t familiar with the series, I picked up the first book, Traitor’s Blade to see what it was all about.  This series is described as kind of Three Musketeers with added magic.  I’ve only read the first one so far, but that seems a very good description.  Now, Dumas is one of my favourite authors.  I love the swashbuckling yarn, political intrigue and camaraderie and de Castell seems to have captured that very well.  Despite a few modernisms which jarred on me, I loved the narrative and banter.  I certainly intend to read the rest of the series.

I gave Traitor’s Blade five stars out of five.

Invictus by Ryan Graudin

I only received a Netgalley of this one today and I’m very much looking forward to getting into it.  Graudin’s Wolf by Wolf series has been one of my highlights of he last few years and I’m very grateful to Hachette Canada for the galley.

I don’t know much about Invictus except that it involves time travel with a nod to Doctor Who.  If I wasn’t already sold on the author, that would certainly have been enough to convince me!  Expect a review when I have finished it.

Anyway, that’s all I have today.  What are you reading this weekend?  Let me know in the comments.

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