Reading roundup – May 29th 2015
Reading Roundup / May 29, 2015

Hello, I’m back!  Once again, sorry for the delay in writing, but I was away on vacation and otherwise busy.  However, I did get through a a few books during our trip:  The Heir was one of the books I was most looking forward to this month.  It is the first in a follow up series to Keira Cass’s dystopian Selection trilogy, which I loved.  The protagonist of The Heir is Maxon and America’s daughter, Eadlyn.  It deals with the aftermath of the Selection series and shows how the world has changed as a result of Maxon and America’s work.  I enjoyed reading from Eadlyn’s point of view.  She is well-meaning but ultimately rather young and spoiled – which means there’s great scope for character development, something Cass does particularly well. My biggest issue with the book is the premise.  Apparently, the caste system of The Selection has been abolished, with not complete success, yet the Royal Family remains and lives in luxury?  For me that did not make sense and seemed to be contrived simply to allow the new Selection plotline.   I could never quite get my head around that so gave the book four stars out of…

Reading roundup – April 27th 2015
Reading Roundup / April 27, 2015

It’s always fun to come across a great new series by accident.  A couple of weeks ago, Audible sent me one of their new release by author X emails advising me that book five in Jodi Taylor’s Chronicles of St Mary’s series had been released.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with this series, it’s about time travelling historians, or as I like to think of it, Connie Willis with more tea.   The premise sounded interesting, so I went to check out the rest of the series on Audible. I was surprised to find that book one was listed as In my library.  It appears Audible had included it as one of their Daily Deals some time ago, and I’d picked it up.  As an aside, it’s definitely worth signing up for those daily deal emails – you can find some excellent deals for $4. What I liked The humour.  The humour is very British and, being British born and bred, it really appealed to me.  I also appreciated the references to the copious amounts of tea drunk by the historians!   The protagonists.  I really enjoyed hearing about Max and her disaster magnet coworkers.  I enjoyed the way…

Reading Roundup – April 13th 2015
Reading Roundup / April 13, 2015

This week for me has been a week of Skull Thrones and Star Wars and Shakespeare, Oh My!   One of the big releases of last week was The Skull Throne, the fourth in Peter V Brett’s Demon Cycle fantasy series.  I have read and enjoyed the three previous ones so I was keen to read the fourth.  More accurately, I should say listened to as I experienced this book in audiobook format. In general, I did enjoy it, but I did have a few issues.   The biggest challenge I had was the sheer amount of in world vocabulary Brett has invented for this series.  I admit it’s been a while since I read any books in the series, but at first I found all the jiwah Ka, khaffit, Shar’Dama Ka, inevera  rather disconcerting and it threw me out of the story on many occasions.  I ended up having to keep the Krasian dictionary open on my computer while I was listening.  Eventually I was able to move beyond this and enjoy the story. For me one of the highlights of the book were the beautifully written interpersonal relationships, notably that between Ahmann Jardir and Arlen Bales.  These are two men…

Reading roundup – April 3rd 2015
Reading Roundup / April 3, 2015

Good morning and welcome to another reading roundup.  This was another week of nightshifts so a lot of audiobook consumption was involved.  Here are some of the books I enjoyed this week.  The Wicked Will Rise is the second novel in Danielle Paige’s reimagining of L Frank Baum’s Oz in which Dorothy has turned evil.  Some of you who read my review of the first novel, Dorothy Must Die, may remember that I had a few issues with it, notably the pacing and the audiobook production.  I am happy to say I found no such issues with the sequel.  I found the pacing much more lively and consistent and it kept me listening along.  I would strongly suggest that you read the e-novella The Wizard Returns beforehand – it’s not strictly necessary, but it will fill in a few blanks. The protagonist, Amy Gumm, continues to be kickass and engaging and I loved hearing the continuation of her story.  I found some of the situations and emotional problems she has to deal with very well done.  The narrator, Devan Sorvani, once again did an excellent job of bringing her to life and the production was much better this time in…

Reading roundup – March 27th 2015
Reading Roundup / March 27, 2015

Yikes, has it really been a month since my last reading roundup?  My apologies for the delay – life got in the way as it often does. As I’m back on nightshifts again (cue: sob, wailing, gnashing of teeth) I have been listening to a lot of audiobooks.  My favourites, and a highlight of my reading/listening month, were the NPR radio adaptations of George Lucas’ Star Wars. I picked the first one up, Star Wars, some time ago when it was one of Audible’s Daily Deals but had not got around to listening to it.  I rectified that mistake last weekend and loved it.  This adaptation has been licensed from George Lucas, so they were able to incorporate John Williams’ iconic music and the sound effects from the movies (blasters!  lightsabers! R2D2!).  It boasts an excellent cast including Mark Hamill and Anthony Daniels from the movies.   At first it did take me a short while to adapt to the different voices for Leia, Han and Darth Vader, but the production quality and the excellence of the cast soon made me forget about that.  As I’ve said before on this blog, the original Star Wars movies have such strong themes and…

Reading roundup – February 28th 2015
Reading Roundup / February 28, 2015

Good afternoon!  I’m sorry for the lack of posts in the last couple of weeks, but I have been on vacation.  It was a very relaxing vacation spent visiting family and I got to read a whole bunch, which was excellent.  With being on holiday, I added so much to my library. I was really in the mood for a quirky contemporary romance, so I added Rainbow Rowell’s Landline to my collection and read and finished it straight away.  It was an excellent choice and I devoured it straight up.  I loved the main character, Georgie McCool – what an awesome name! – and adored how her relationship with her husband was explored in both past and present.  Definitely worth picking up. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard has been promoted very heavily recently, and I gave in and bought it.  I ended up really enjoying it and will write a full review soon. Despite not being blown over by Bloodlines by Richelle Mead, I was really in the mood for that kind of book and after leafing through Golden Lily in a bookstore I picked it up in Kindle format.  I did enjoy it more than the first book in…

Reading Roundup – February 6th 2015
Reading Roundup / February 5, 2015

Hello and welcome to this week’s reading roundup. In actual fact I don’t have a great deal to talk about this week.  I’ve been reading/listening to Samantha Shannon’s The Mime Order, the sequel to her Bone Season.  I very much enjoyed it and a full review will be coming soon.  I just finished it, and have not yet decided what book to pick up next.  I am rather tempted to listen to Sanderson’s Mistborn This week I found out that at work I’m almost certainly moving back to nightshifts in a month’s time, which really, really sucks.  I’m trying to remain positive, to think of all the audiobooks I will listen to during those shifts.   Added to my library this week I only added the one book to my Kindle library this week and it was a free book: Until Midnight by Melissa Landers.  This is a novella in her Alienated series which is about a girl who falls in love with an alien.  I read the first book and found it a lot of fun so I was happy to pick up this free snippet.  As it’s set after the events of Alienated, it’s probably not the best place…

Reading Roundup – January 23rd 2015
Reading Roundup / January 23, 2015

One of my most anticipated reads of 2015 is V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic. It sounds such an intriguing premise – various parallel worlds and certain people can travel between them.  This week Tor released an excerpt which I devoured.  It has really whetted my appetite and I look forward to its release on February 24th. Speaking of excerpts, one very useful thing about the Kobo Aura is its ability to read articles you have saved to the online archiving service Pocket.  This is built into the Kobo software, no extra setup needed.  What I like to do with excerpts like these is email it to my Pocket account rather than read it on Tor’s website.  A minute or two later it appears on my Kobo, with the convenience of reading on an eReader including font changes and other personal settings.   This week I’ve been listening to Death Masks, the fifth book in The Dresden Files series.  I’ll do a review soon, so won’t say too much more about it. Added to my library this week There were a couple of preorders I added to my list this week.  The first of these is Fool’s Quest, the second…

Reading roundup – January 16th 2015
Reading Roundup / January 16, 2015

Good morning, welcome to another reading roundup.  The biggest item of note this week is that I am now Bluetoothed up to my hearing aids so I can listen to my audiobooks directly throughly hearing aids.  Yay!! It’s lovely to have the audio directly in my ears without having to wear headphones which are painful with my hearing aid.  I tested it with Firefight, the Brandon Sanderson novel I had been enjoying – it works really well and I can enjoy my audiobooks again.  On the TBR list for this week is Jim Butcher’s Death Masks – the fourth in his Dresden Files series narrated by James Marsters.  Good stuff. In a previous entry I have mentioned the web series Green Gables Fables, a modern retelling in transmedia format of the classic Anne of Green Gables series.  Those of you familiar with the source material will know there is a truly heart wrenching moment towards the end of the first book.  The series reached that point this week, and I have to say I found the last video a real tearjerker to watch.  I’ve not been so emotionally engaged in a web series since Lydiagate broke in The Lizzie Bennet…

Reading roundup – January 9th 2015
Reading Roundup / January 9, 2015

So welcome to my first reading roundup of 2015!  Yay!  The first thing I want to talk about this week is my GoodReads reading challenge for 2015.  I failed to achieve my goal of 100 books last year – I read 91 – and I noticed that because I was listening to more audiobooks, books were taking me longer to finish.  This year I have set my goal for 75 books.  That’s still just under a book and a half a week. My family was also very generous to me over the festive season.  I was showered with Amazon and iTunes vouchers – thanks everyone, you know me well!  I also received the gift of Amy Poehler’s Yes, Please! book in my Christmas stocking.  I look forward to reading that. This week I did something I don’t often do – I accepted I was never going to finish a book and removed it from my currently reading list.  The book in question was Endgame by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton.  I’m sorry, but life is too short to stick with a book that really isn’t doing anything for me.  You can check out my review to see why I dumped…