Sunday, January 30, 2011

Recent Reads January 2011

So far 2011 has not been a good year me for reading. I've only read one book so far! Normally by now I'd have four or five books finished, if not more. Finding the time to read has been a challenge. With that said, I've been remiss in posting about a couple of books I read last year, and I also want to mention the book I just finished and the book I'm reading now.

I just finished reading The King of Crags, book two of the Memory of Flames series, by Stephen Deas. I had a hard time at first knowing what was going on, who was whom, and what their motivations were; the book apparently picks up right after the events of first book and, to me, does little to explain what came before except for a little bit in passing that can be inferred from conversations or from other events. But once I got into the book, I couldn't put it down!

I happen to like a good dragon book, and The King of Crags doesn't disappoint with dragons. These dragons are oppressed by humanity, tamed by magic potions, and struggle to break free of their enslavement and enjoy the veritable buffet humanity should be to them. Humanity, on the other hand, seems to just enjoy going about maiming and killing each other over the control of kingdoms. Here and there throughout the book are hints of what was and is to come that could change the face of the world - hopefully the next book in the series brings this forth. I'm interested to see where the story goes!

The King of Crags is on sale February 1st. 

I'm currently reading March in Country by E. E. Knight, the ninth book in the Vampire Earth series. Vampire Earth is a post-apocalyptic series in the nearish future after the Kurians, a cthulhu-esque alien race, has taken over the world and feeds on the psychic aura from the humans their Reapers kill by sucking their blood. March in Country finds Major David Valentine still in Kentucky establishing a stronghold for the resistance government.

I'm about a third of the way through it and enjoying it immensely - E. E. Knight is one of my favorite authors.

Last year, I read a couple of books I've been meaning to blog about and haven't (hence the the title of this website). One book I read near the end of last year was Starbound by Joe Haldeman. Starbound is the follow-up book to Marsbound, a novel where humanity met an alien race on Mars and found out there was another alien race "out there", which just so happened to try to destroy the Earth. In Starbound, four humans and two martians set out to make contact with "The Others" and try to make peace.

I didn't have any problem getting into the story as the events of the first were mentioned or summarized as needed throughout the story. Starbound ends with a massive change to the way humans live, setting up the story for a follow-up book.

Late last year I also read Mad Skills, by Walter Greatshell; an intriguing book in which Maddy Grant suffers a terrible accident and injury to her brain. She later awakens to find she's been subjected to a procedure that enhances her brain function by implanting her brain with a tiny computer allowing her to network her brain functions, find, retrieve, and learn information faster than a computer. She struggles with the changes, and with her place in her world, fighting against those who changed her and finding out everything she's ever known is wrong - or is it?  The most interesting part of the book to me, upon finishing it, was wondering what parts of the story were real and which parts were programmed into Maddy's brain - or was the entire story a simulation in her brain? I want to know!

Mad Skills, Starbound, March in Country, and The King of Crags were all provided to me for review by the publisher.

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