Sunday, December 15, 2013

Melanie's Week in Review - December 15, 2013

Hello everyone! Hope you had a good week. I had a very busy one at work with loads of interviews (the interviewer not the interviewee). I think I could offer courses on interview technique. My two top tips for anyone looking for a new job is not to tell the interviewer they are wrong and never, ever swear in an interview. So a week of lots of work stress I thought I would need to take it easy on the reading front. I am quite surprised this was not the case. So what did I read?

I started the week nice and easy with a short story  - The Last Vampire by J.T. Geissinger. If you been following my reviews or my WIR (Week in Review) you will know that I have read and enjoyed Geissinger's Night Prowler series and this short story did not disappoint. The story is told through a love letter from one vampire to a soon to be other vampire. I think that Geissinger excels at writing sniffy, heart wrenching love letters as this was quite reminiscent but significantly longer than the one at the start of Shadow's Edge (Night Prowler 1). I loved it but wonder how it will continue into a series. If you like this author then The Last Vampire is a must read.

I then hit my Kindle to look for a full length book to go to next. From my ever growing TBR I went for Under the Empyrean Sky (Skyscape, July 2013) which is the first in the Heartland Trilogy YA series by Chuck Wendig. I love this author. He is a prolific writer and seems to churn out a couple of books a different series and in different genres or styles. His Miriam Black series is as addictive as the drug 'blue blazes' from his Mookie Pearl series. Under the Empyrean Sky is a dystopian story in which the earth has been scorched and only corn will grow. The rich and lucky live on flotillas high in the air while everyone else scratch out a living on earth, fighting for survival against both the corn and mutating cancers. The story focuses on the seventeen year old Cael McAvoy who yearns for a better life. Cael wants something better from himself and it burns like a fever through is body. His life, and that of his friends take a big change (not necessarily for the better) when they come across a secret garden, a garden that shouldn't exist amongst the corn.

This is a fantastic read and I loved every minute of Cael's story. Unlike many of Wendig's other characters, Cael is likeable and it isn't hard to feel sympathy for his plight and of those around him. I thought the plot was a tiny bit reminiscent of Suzanne Collin's Hunger Games series with the elite having everything and the poor having nothing but despair. I am really looking forward to finding out what happens next and I tip my imaginary hat at Wendig's ability to change genre and his ability to write such an engaging tale.

I then started...but literally only just started Clockwork Fairytales: Collection of Steampunk Fables.  This is an anthology of stories by such authors as Philippa Ballantine, Kat Richardson, James C. Bassett and many more. I have really only read one story so will have to will have to share with you what I thought another time.

I needed something quick to read that wasn't going to break my interviewed out brain so I turned to Eternal Kiss of Darkness (Night Huntress World 2) something I had read before. You might remember I re-read two of Jeaniene Frost books a few weeks ago. I couldn't really remember how Mencheres came on the scene so went back and read his story.  I haven't enjoyed it as much as the others I think mainly due to Mencheres. I think he is a bit overly noble and perfect. Plus he was a pharoh and born in something like 2000 BC? I don't really like it when a character is that old as it seems too preposterous. Overall, this was a great time filler and I appreciated having a re-read that 're-read' so quickly.

If you read my WIR last week I said I had planned to give you my thoughts on Three Lives of Tokomi Ishikawa by Benjamin Constable in a full review but have decided against it. This is largely due to the book not actually being speculative fiction but almost more importantly, I didn't really like it. I don't like to write DNF reviews, perhaps more than I reading a DNF book! I did finish this book but I only read it due to my desire to see if it got any better. The story centres around Ben Constable (yes, the author names his character after himself) and his friendship with Tokomi who he believes has committed suicide. Tokomi has sent him on a treasure hunt, leaving him clues that take him around Paris and to New York. Ben soon realises that there is a lot he doesn't know about his good friend.

I couldn't figure out who annoyed me more - Ben Constable or Tokomi Ishikawa. Both were completely and utterly self obsessed with not one ounce of moral fiber. Sometimes this type of character lends itself well to the plot but in this case I was just left thinking 'who cares' and 'what is this book about?. I am still not sure what message Constable was trying to make and part of me wishes he hadn't bothered.

All in all I thought I did quite well considering at one point I was certain I would only get one book read. I am keeping my fingers crossed for a more productive week next week. Until then Happy Reading. 


Post a Comment