Reading Challenge Update (March)

This could be a very short post. (Hah!) I didn’t actually read anything from any of my current challenges in the month of March. But…I thought I had. Yep, that’s right. I read a different book, thinking I had listed it. Not such a difficult mistake when you consider the fact that at last count, there were two hundred and seventeen books on the shelf behind me.

When I picked up Revelation Space by Alistair Reynolds, I thought I was about to kill two birds with one stone. With all sorts of deadlines looming, that prospect pleased me. Revelation Space was the SF book of the month over at Beyond Reality, a genre discussion group I participate in on Goodreads. So I cracked the cover and trawled my way through it over a period of ten days. What a chewy book. Every word begged to be read, however. I can’t say that I loved it, but when I finally arrived at the end, I was glad I read it. Here is my review:

What kept me reading this book was the fact I could feel its brilliance – in the writing, the setting and the plot–even though the characters left me lukewarm. I wanted to connect more than I did. I wanted to love this book, to be swept away by it. Instead, I struggled to get to the end because I had to KNOW, even if I didn’t completely care. Weird, eh?

I will say this. Reynolds writes extraordinarily well. I love the way he uses words. He obviously knows science (which a peek at his bio confirms) and he understands it. Lives it, breathes it and likes it so well he has to share it with others, and does so in a way that makes sense. His imagination is vast. The concepts–whoa, the concepts.

One truly likeable character could have changed this book for me, but I’m not sorry I read it. Definitely a worthwhile experience.

Short and sweet, eh? Honestly, I didn’t feel I could do the book justice with a more in depth analysis and with some eight hundred other reviews listed on Goodreads, I didn’t feel I had to. I was interested to note that my opinion of the book was not radical. Revelation Space has an average rating of 3.95 (out of five stars), which tends to indicate some folks loved it and some folks hated it. Or, like me, a lot of people were enthralled, even though they’d rather not be, and so gave it three stars because we finished the book, so liked it well enough, but weren’t quite sure what else to say about it.

But, hell, if I’d written Revelation Space as my debut, I think I’d ignore the ratings and just go pat myself on the back for eternity. It’s a bloody ambitious and impressive thing. Alistair Reynolds made a name for himself with it and that’s what counts, eh? He also went on to write four more books in the same setting—which I want to read, even though I don’t actually want to read them.

So, that’s my reading challenge update. Time to digress and ramble on about the other stuff I got up to in March. I finally finished Assassins Creed III—let freedom reign! I also finished editing a manuscript I wrote with a friend and submitted it to a publisher—let the anxiety eat away at the lining in my gut. I also read a lot of books, many of which I reviewed. Not all my reviews are posted here, but they are all listed on my Review Master List.

Next up: Destiny’s Road by Larry Niven. I consulted my list and this one is definitely on it. Oh, and if you’re wondering what happened to the February Update, there wasn’t one. I read two books in January.

Until next month, happy reading!

2 thoughts on “Reading Challenge Update (March)

  1. Thomas April 20, 2014 / 12:26 am

    Glad that you had a productive time even if your reading challenge did not go exactly as planned. I’ve also felt that tug to finish a book even if you’re not completely invested in it or its characters – sometimes, one aspect of the novel, whether it’s the plot or the setting or something, pulls you in until you’re finished.

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