October 2015

This is turning out to be the penultimate post for the 2015 Reading Challenge! Is that spoilery? Oops…

As things are wrapping up, I almost feel a bit anxious — What am I going to read next?! — yet in other ways, I feel rather liberated in my reading choices for the rest of the year. This is also making me think about what this blog will look like in the new year. I haven’t quite figured that out yet… as it is right now, Pop Sugar hasn’t posted any challenge for 2016. Of course, that doesn’t mean I should stick to their challenge; I’m sure there are others out there. So while I putter around in the background, here’s what I checked off this month.

outlander, diana gabaldon
A book based on or turned into a TV show

Outlander:
Though I’m showing SEVEN of the Outlander books here, I only read the first. I happened upon an INSANE deal: $1.99 for all seven of them on Kindle. On top of that, for some reason, I had some residual promotional credits on my Amazon account, so really, I got them all for free! This MUST have been some kind of mistake… Not 20 minutes after finding this deal, I recommended it to a few fellow readers, but when they checked, the promotion had expired and the price was back up, well over $50. Now, the offer isn’t even available… Sorry folks.

That aside, I haven’t seen the Outlander TV show, yet… and I’m not usually a fan of historical fiction, but I was able to jive with it rather well. I know Gabaldon spends a lot of time, years even, researching for her books, and since I heard that endorsement before I started, I quickly set my skepticism aside and allowed myself to get swept away. Boy, it got rather steamy in parts! Is that why people read these?? Lemme tell ya, if you’re looking for some racy period fiction, I’m sure there are more direct titles out there! While I appreciated Outlander, I felt like it was also taking a really long time to get through. When I finished and realized there were another six (now seven) more books, I just had to stop. Let’s the show next… Maybe it will be another Game of Thrones situation and I can idly watch rather than trudge though thousands of pages of text.

the way of the shadows, shadow's edge, beyond the shadows, brent weeks
A trilogy

The Night Angel Trilogy:
Oh, Night Angel… So, let me preface this by saying I bought this boxed set back when I was still in boarding school. That was well over ten years ago, and it was still shrink-wrapped until I broke it open for this challenge. Why in the world would I have a shrink-wrapped boxed set sitting around for ten plus years? Well… I don’t know what possessed me to buy these books initially… I don’t even think it was a recommendation. So, I thought,  hey — I have a perfectly good trilogy right here waiting to be read!… I started reading book one back in February. The overall arc in the trilogy was good, but I felt like book one started strong… things dipped til about the middle of book two, then fell again. Book three started okay, then dipped, and then by the end I felt actually invested in the story. WHY DID IT TAKE SO LONG??

I had a hard time keeping secondary and tertiary characters straight. Some of the dialog seemed too contemporary for the medieval time period the story was set in, which kept pulling me out of the narrative. Though I was actually starting to get pretty invested in the characters and the story by the end of the third book, I still give this series a side-eye. There was quite a bit of world building… but… it didn’t quite… stick. I’ve come away from the series ready to open up some space on my book shelf.

the glass sentence, s.e. grove
A book based entirely on its cover

The Glass Sentence:
I suppose there are a few interpretations for this category, but I took it to mean “a book with an attractive cover.” While I tried working on a few titles, I ended up using them for other categories instead, or just not getting through them fast enough. This one, I breezed through! I don’t often read middle-grade books, but considering this is targeted to ages 10-14, I thought it reached far enough into the world of young adult that I could concede to reading it. (That sounded snobby… but it’s not, I promise.) In fact, just starting off in this book, I had to stop and check myself — this was really advanced! Really complex ideas and themes… advanced vocabulary… beautiful story… memorable and fun characters… Thank goodness this is a trilogy! It harkens a bit to Pullman’s His Dark Materials — but throwing in cartography and time… well, not travel… but… just read it! Oh, and pirates! Yes. Done. Go now!

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