Reading Journal April 25-28

April 28, 2pm

I finished 2 books since my last update- Hawke, by Ted Bell, and Assassin’s Apprentice, by Robin Hobb. Both are the first book in their respective series. I don’t know if I have the second book in the trilogy Assassin’s Apprentice belongs to, though, and I know I don’t have the next 2 Hawke series books, because the library only had books 1 and 4. So, I plan to read the rest of both series, but I won’t be starting the next booth in either this weekend.

Hawke was not as engaging as Clive Cussler’s books, though his male characters are just about as sexist and annoying. He also includes a few token strong female characters, though, as Cussler always does, and of course both strong female characters are in love with Alex Hawke, who is a black haired version of Dirk Pitt.  The writing in this first book was also a bit annoying; a decent editor might have told Mr. Bell to trust his readers more to make connections and understand scenes, rather than spelling everything out too much. I’m sure the rough drafts were far worse, and many young writers make the same mistake, so despite these annoying features, I am planning to read more of the series. Early Cussler novels weren’t much better, after all, and Stephen King’s first novel was really rough.

Assassin’s Apprentice was good. It is a fantasy novel set in a world where some people have the innate ability to ‘Skill’, which seems a bit like some of the powers Sanderson puts in his books, or maybe a bit like the One Power in the Wheel of Time, in that people who have the special powers are distrusted or feared by others, and as a result few people have any clue what the powers actually are or what they are actually capable of. I am not convinced in this first book that Hobb knew much about her characters’ powers, either, and this muddledness about what Skill and its seeming cousin Wit are makes some of the story a bit less compelling too. But by the end of the book, it is starting to feel like a fantasy with some sort of ‘magic’, rather than just a feudal drama set in a bunch of tiny coastal kingdoms.

I would be imagining the duchies and kingdoms as similar in size and scope to Scotland, England or Wales, relatively small sections of what to me seems a small landmass, and the coastal raids in this book certainly were inspired by the raiders who attacked the shores of what is now Great Britain and Ireland. But the ecology of the desert and mountain areas seems to require a much bigger landmass. Sure, it’s fantasy fiction, but I expect the world in any significant fantasy series to make some sense. But, this is just the first book, so maybe it all makes sense eventually.

Bleachers, by John Grisham. Start page: 5

The Curious Facts Preceding My Execution, by Donald E. Westlake.  Start page: 15

A Brief History of Seven Killings, by Marlon James. Start page: 25

Assassin’s Apprentice, by Robin Hobb. FINISHED

The Pier Falls and other stories, by Mark Haddon. Start page: 21

Hawke, by Ted Bell. FINISHED

Pastoral, by Nevil Shute. Start page: 34

Chasm City, by Alastair Reynolds. Start page: 187

April 27, 10:30pm

Since my last update, I finished Fifth Grave Past the Light, by Darynda Jones. It was a book I won through a Goodreads giveaway, so my stack of books I won and ought to read and review is slightly shorter. (Yay!) If you like romance novels but also like urban fantasy, you’ll like this book. I had a hard time casting the main character, Charley, partly because I had a dog named Charley growing up, and had a hard time attaching that name to the main character. I cast her boyfriend Reyes as one of the guys who played a character on several NCIS episodes, initially as a Marine who was supposed to be getting a medal except that he turned out to be on experimental steroids. And Charley’s best friend in my mind was played by the lady who plays Penelope in Criminal Minds. I am still not much of a romance reader, but I enjoyed this one. I sort-of skimmed the sex scenes, I’ll admit, but they were not quite as cliche-laden as most sex scenes I’ve encountered.

Currently reading:

Bleachers, by John Grisham. Start page: 1

The Curious Facts Preceding My Execution, by Donald E. Westlake.  Start page: 15

A Brief History of Seven Killings, by Marlon James. Start page: 25

Assassin’s Apprentice, by Robin Hobb. Start page: 205

The Pier Falls and other stories, by Mark Haddon. Start page: 21

Hawke, by Ted Bell. Start page: 315

Pastoral, by Nevil Shute. Start page: 1

Chasm City, by Alastair Reynolds. Start page: 187

 

April 25, 8pm

Here is what I am currently reading. I’m playing with log formats leading up to the spring Dewey’s 24hr Readathon which is this weekend. I already post weekly photos of the TBR stack I picked out for the week and I try to pull books only from that stack when I start a new book. But, I could definitely do better about keeping a log or reading journal, and reviewing more of the books I read. So, here’s what I am reading so far tonight.

Books:

The Curious Facts Preceding My Execution, by Donald E. Westlake.  Start page: 1

A Brief History of Seven Killings, by Marlon James. Start page: 25

Assassin’s Apprentice, by Robin Hobb. Start page: 205

The Pier Falls and other stories, by Mark Haddon. Start page: 21

Hawke, by Ted Bell. Start page: 75

Fifth Grave Past the Light, by Darynda Jones. Start page: 118

Chasm City, by Alastair Reynolds. Start page: 180

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About Ravenmount

Independent science nerd/writer/music blogger/arts enthusiast/theorist currently in Colorado.
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