Reading Challenge Update (January)

I’ve started out strongly, reading two of the books from my 2015 TBR Pile Challenge list. I also linked several reviews to the 2015 Sci-Fi Experience. In fact, I read twenty-six books over all. Most of them fell into some sort of romance category, but I also read a lot of historicals.

Generally, I follow my whims when it comes to picking up the next book and I rarely read the same genre one right after the other. I often don’t pick up a sequel for months. In January I made three exceptions. I read Riptide’s Bluewater Bay series back to back, Joanna Chambers’ Enlightenment series one after the other, and six historical titles. Blame Bernard Cornwell. The Archer’s Tale put me in the mood!

On to the reviews. For the 2015 TBR Pile Challenge, I read:

The Archer's Tale (The Grail Quest, #1)The Archer’s Tale by Bernard Cornwell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Honestly, I can’t imagine giving a Bernard Cornwell novel any less than five stars. I always get so caught up in his stories and characters. The way he writes the battlefield is mesmerising. Add to that the thread of his own story, the characters who live and breath as if they’re a part of history, itself, and these are the sort of books I cannot put down. This is how we should teach kids history.

Previously, I’ve read Agincourt, which I could not put down. The book consumed my weekend, much as The Archer’s Tale did. Both feature an unassuming hero who is so far from perfect, it’s a wonder they survive until the end. Both detail real battles–and when I say detail, I mean every, gory and gruesome shred. That’s what makes such good reading, though. You feel as if you’re witnessing history as it happens, that you are truly a part of the story. It’s amazing. And even if you know the outcome of a particular battle, the retelling is just as thrilling. Bernard Cornwell makes it so.

Hounded (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #1)Hounded by Kevin Hearne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was a lot of fun. I giggled several times. The plot isn’t complicated, which is just as well as there is so much else going on. A lot of lore to catch up on and many connections to keep straight. But Atticus is an endearing and patient guide to his world. Loved Oberon and his (present) obsession with Genghis Khan.

I’m not sure I’d read on right away as Urban Fantasy is not one of my favoured genres. I tend to get lost in the mythology of such endeavours, particularly when the author cross pollinates. But I’d heard good things about this one and had decided it needed to be read.

 

What’s up next? Currently, I’m reading Spherical Harmonic by Catherine Asaro. So far, it’s as good as I expected it to be. At some point, I’m going to catch up to the second half of the Saga of the Skolian Empire and bump into the books I’ve already read. Then I will be sad. Then I might write a fan letter to Ms. Asaro asking for more.

A note on Spherical Harmonic for fellow blogger, Carl V. Anderson, the cover art looked familiar, stylistically. I checked inside and discovered that it was, indeed, painted by John Harris. It’s a fantastic image, and I might not have recognized the artist if not for his repeated praise of Harris’ work.

For the 2015 Sci-Fi Experience, I logged five reviews:

Undercity by Catherine Asaro

The Fortress in Orion by Mike Resnick

The Galaxy Game by Karen Lord

Golden Son by Pierce Brown

Gemini Cell by Myke Cole

It’s been a busy month!

Next up for my science fiction reading, I plan to participate in The Definitive 1950s SF Reading Challenge hosted by Worlds Without End. I haven’t picked my books yet. I’ll save that for another post.

Until then, happy reading!

 

One thought on “Reading Challenge Update (January)

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