Friday, January 20, 2012

This 'n That: Reading Update, Romance & Scifi

Happy weekend everyone! I'm back at work and well... working! Already missing my wonderful, lazy, vacation days and very glad that the weekend is finally here.

My blogging has been spotty these past couple of weeks due to all the beginning of the year craziness, but I have found time for reading. And what have I been reading? Lots of science fiction! Yes... By participating in Carl V's 2012 Science Fiction Experience I've developed a craving for all things sci fi, and I'm the type of reader that obsesses. Sci fi and/or Fantasy can do that to me. :)

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So far this month, I've read lots of Scalzi! From the Metatropolis anthology edited by John Scalzi, I read his novella, "Quiritationem Suis." I also read Scalzi's first novel Old Man's War, and the second book of the Old Man's War trilogy, The Ghost Brigades. I followed that up with a novella set in this same world, After the Coup. Right now I'm reading The Sagan Diary in preparation for the third and last book of the original Old Man's War trilogy, The Last Colony. After I finish that book, I'll write up an overview about the trilogy. What I can tell you is that so far the first book is my favorite, it is definitely quick paced military science fiction with great action and flow. Scalzi also gives the reader something to think about without beating him/her over the head with a hammer, and yes... there's actually a love interest in there! Can you believe it? :)

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Also as a follow up to reading Leviathan Wakes in December, I read the novella The Butcher of Anderson Station: A Story of The Expanse by James S.A. Corey. This novella focuses on an incident that defined the career of (and eventually the man) one of the characters that plays a key role in Leviathan Wakes. Fred Johnson is the leader of the OPA (Outer Planets Alliance) by the time we meet him in Leviathan Wakes. Throughout the book he was referred to as the Butcher of Anderson Station, however that was never explained.

This story goes back in time and focuses on that story, giving the readers and fans of this new series a terrific first person account of exactly what shaped this character. It also gives the reader further insight into how Earth viewed Belters and why Fred eventually turns from hero to traitor. The story feels rather incomplete, though. By the end there's a sense that there's more to Fred, or that there should be more. The political implications are touched upon lightly in this novella, and I'm hoping that the second book of the trilogy will give us more Fred. Of course, to me this was just an appetizer before the main course. That would be Caliban's War (Expanse #2), coming in June 2012.

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And sticking with the subject of sci fi, if you like old style pulp sci fi, you need to check out Carl V's post on Hunt the Space Witch! by Robert Silverberg. I haven't read anything by this author and after reading that post of course I immediately purchased the book. I love pulp, plus hmm... check out that cover!

I also joined the 2012 TBR Challenge, hosted by our Super Librarian Wendy. However, between the Science Fiction Experience and Wendy's TBR Challenge, so far this year I've added more to my reading pile than I've read! How is that helping me? Well, hopefully it will help me gather some great titles instead of duds. Right? Isn't that a wonderful way to rationalize my recent book-buying spree? Check out my recent additions:


After reading Scalzi's Old Man's War I experienced a bit of nostalgia, so to re-read a couple of books I no longer own, I also purchased in ebook format two old classics:


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In other news, I broke the sci fi spell I was under by reading a couple of contemporary romances. One of those books was by Emily March. She's a new-to-me author and for some reason I kept looking at her latest release Lover's Leap: An Eternity Springs Novel and going back to it, until I bought it and read it this last week.

This book is part of a series, but it's pretty much a self-contained romance, so it was not too tough reading it and getting into it. It's basically a story about second chances at love, errors in judgment, redemption, and forgiveness. It's an interesting series, although there's something 'quirky' about it. A lot of talk about the 'angel inside' and 'miracles.' I wasn't too taken with this aspect of the book... plus there's this character, Celeste who comes off as kind of "new-agey," who seems to be the center of the whole series. I know there was something about her that I missed. Definitely. For me, it was an okay contemporary romance with a couple of frustrating moments provided by one character that turned out to be particularly immature. Has anyone read the other books in this series? I'm curious because I liked some of the secondary characters.

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I read a few other books, including Head Over Heels by Jill Shalvis, but I'll be reviewing those books later on. 

6 comments:

  1. LOL! I bought "Because of the List" too after reading Lori's review!

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  2. Phyl, we're on the same wave length. ;P I still have one more on my "to buy list." *g*

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  3. I keep wondering if I should give a try to Emily March... However, there's just so many small town series lately :( I guess if this wasn't a wowzer, I should just skip it.

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  4. Nath, this book just kept getting my attention until I bought it. It is good, but definitely not a wowzer. I think I am going to try one more book by March, though. See if this series is better than the one average book. :)

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  5. Check you out with all that sci fi! So glad you're really enjoying that experience!

    I don't know what it is about those small town romance series, but I'm just not drawn to them. I bet if I read one or two, I'd get hooked, but I just don't seek them out even after reading everyone's lovely reviews. *shrug*

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  6. Hah! I'm overdosing on sci fi at the moment and loving every minute of it. All that adventure. :)

    Small town romances can be great -- Jodi Thomas is a great example. I haven't read too many of them yet to OD on them, but I can see how a reader can do that. They tend to be rather warm/sweet stories and I have to be in the mood for them.

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