Review: Golden Son

Golden Son
Golden Son by Pierce Brown

Golden Son by Pierce Brown is a great, great book.  I just this moment finished it.  I started it the moment finished book one in the series, Red Rising.  At first, I was reeled into the story as it picked up right where they last book left off.  However, while reading I noticed that this book was much more wordy than the last.  I still laughed and was caught with awe and surprise at places in the book, but I did notice a slow down in parts of the book.  The pace was not consistent and I think it hurt the story.

I whole-heartily gave Red Rising 5 stars.  It earned them.  It is by far the best book I’ve read this year.  But, Golden Son is different.  It still earns 5 stars, just barely.  I want to compare it directly to Red Rising, but is that fair?  If it was not part of this series it would be a 5 star book easily.  But in comparing it to Red Rising it just is not that good.

Anyway, if you haven’t read Red Rising, read that first.  This is the second book in the series.  Once you’ve read that come back.

Okay, read it?  Good.  That was fast.  You’re a fast reader!  Anyway, this book continues to follow Darrow as he rises in the Gold Society.  Some major mysteries are unveiled in this telling of his story.  But they don’t have a huge build up, its just bang this is Ares, and you’re like WTF, really?  That was surprising, and there are more surprises like that in the book.  And it ends on a huge cliffhanger, not as good as Red Rising (again), but very good.

I’m going to take a break then read Morning Son.  I have it, but I am beginning a book with a book club soon, so it will have to wait.  And honestly, it will be good to have a little break from the fiction for a while.

Golden Son Book Cover Golden Son
Book II of The Red Rising Trilogy
Pierce Brown
Young Adult, Science Fiction
Del Rey
7/7/2015
Paperback
442
Amazon

As a Red, Darrow grew up working the mines deep beneath the surface of Mars, enduring backbreaking labor while dreaming of the better future he was building for his descendants. But the Society he faithfully served was built on lies. Darrow’s kind have been betrayed and denied by their elitist masters, the Golds—and their only path to liberation is revolution. And so Darrow sacrifices himself in the name of the greater good for which Eo, his true love and inspiration, laid down her own life. He becomes a Gold, infiltrating their privileged realm so that he can destroy it from within.

A lamb among wolves in a cruel world, Darrow finds friendship, respect, and even love—but also the wrath of powerful rivals. To wage and win the war that will change humankind’s destiny, Darrow must confront the treachery arrayed against him, overcome his all-too-human desire for retribution—and strive not for violent revolt but a hopeful rebirth. Though the road ahead is fraught with danger and deceit, Darrow must choose to follow Eo’s principles of love and justice to free his people.

He must live for more.

March War and Peace Update

Light afternoon reading
Light afternoon reading by smlp.co.uk

This is not a good update.  I’m way, way behind on reading this.  I should be around 16 almost 17% through the book.  When I last checked in with you in February I was at 6.3%.  I am now at 7.2%.  I have not been picking on this book very often.  Even the fact that it is on my phone has not helped me read more.  I thought that would increase my reading of it since I always have my phone so it is more convenient for me to read the book.  But, there is always something else that I want to read more than this book.

I also thought that if I got all the War and Peace episodes from the new 2016 television mini-series that would get me more into reading this book.  It has not.  I’ve read 35 books so far this year.  Most of them, I’ve read after having already started War and Peace, but I just can’t bring myself to pick up this book and as for the television show, I can’t seem to work up the excitement needed to turn that on either.  There is just always a book I would rather spend my time with instead of watching anything on tv.

Currently, I’m avoiding War and Peace by reading Notes from a Small Island and Golden Son.   Both much more immersive than War and Peace.  Any suggestions on how I can get excited about reading War and Peace?

Review: Red Rising

Red Rising
Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Wow!  This is an outstanding adventure/science fiction/fantasy/thriller.  I guess it is young adult.  I don’t know why I’m draw to so many young adult books recently.  Anyway, the genre doesn’t really matter to me that much.  This is just such an outstanding work.  I related to the characters instantly.  I was draw into their life right from the start.  At around page 50 I knew the book was very good.  At page 100, I thought this is a 5 star book!  By 150, I thought this book might just be my favorite book of 2016.

The settings were wonderfully done, with just enough description to not in get in the way of the story.  When I had to put the book down, I made it my priority to pick it up again.  The bad guys in there were very bad and you wanted them dead.  You just were grabbed and thrown into the main characters wild ride.  There were surprises and twist that I didn’t see coming.

Red Rising Signed
Red Rising Signed

Possibly the best part about this book was that I got it free from Comic-Con straight from the author and it is signed!  Even though, this book was free my opinion is my own.

My friend Tim recommended this book to me.  Tim reads a lot of sci fi and if he gives something a rare 5 it is very good.  The last recommendation that Tim gave me was The Martian which was my favorite book of 2014 and the goodreads choice winner for 2014.  Red Rising was also a 2014 goodreads choice winner.  If you want a exciting and thrilling read, read Red Rising today!  I’ve already ordered the next two books from Amazon: Golden Son and Morning Star.  I’m really looking forward to reading Golden Son.  I will devour these books!

Red Rising Book Cover Red Rising
Red Rising
Pierce Brown
Fiction
Del Rey Books
2014
Paperback
382
Comic-Con

A tale set in a bleak future society torn by class divisions follows the experiences of secret revolutionary Darrow, who after witnessing his wife's execution by an oppressive government joins a revolutionary cell and attempts to infiltrate an elite military academy. A first novel.

February Rewind

February 2016 Rewind
February 2016 Rewind

Rewind is where I go over what I read last month and how I am doing towards my 100 books read in a year challenge.  So, lets get into it:

  1. Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham of Gilmore Girls Fame. 4/5.
  2. Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know by Adam Bray. 3/5.
  3. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons. 4/5.
  4. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. 3/5.
  5. Star Wars: Princess Leia by Mark Waid. 3/5.
  6. Star Wars: Smuggler’s Run by Greg Rucka. 3/5.
  7. All Joy and No Fun by Jennifer Senior. 3/5.
  8. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. 4/5.
  9. Star Wars: Darth Vader by Kieron Gillen. 4/5.

Three standouts out of 9 books.  I think I liked Graham’s book more because I was excited to read what Rory Gillmore’s mom wrote.  Plus, it was read by herself, which is always the best in an audio book.  Cold Comfort surprised me.  I was expecting a more stuffy book than I got and I enjoyed how nosey the main character was.  The remains of the day was different, it was stuffy, but it really worked with the story in this case.  The Darth Vader graphic novel was very good.  I may have short changed it slightly as goodreads only allows whole number scores, this is much closer to 5 than four, but its not perfect.  If you read one of the books above make it Darth Vader.  I can’t believe I don’t have a post on that.  I will have to so something about it.

As far as the 100 book challenge goes, I’m a head of schedule.  I read more than 8 books in January and I read 9 in February, so, I’m good.  So far in March, I’ve read a bunch of graphic novels.  I’m in good shape.

Review: Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

The copy above it not the copy of Wuthering Heights that I listened to.  I listened to the audio version of the book.  I’m not sure if that was the best choice.  I think this is a book to read in its paper form.  Maybe I would have appreciated it more then.  I was not taken with the story or the characters.  Everyone was so upset at each other.  All the characters did was continually yell at each other.

This book read to me like a very dramatic soap opera.  It just seemed so over the top I couldn’t relate to the characters and they were so insane and upset constantly, with their laid back lives.  It was just to ridiculous to me.  I didn’t understand why Cathy did as she did.  I felt bad for Heathcliff, until he went insane.

I went on to watch the made for tv movie filmed in 2009.  I thought that maybe if I saw the movie I might care more for the story and characters.  I have to say that the movie did help a little, but it wasn’t enough to elevate the memory of the book in my mind.  The most peculiar bit is that my copy ow Wuthering Heights was read to me by a Romulan also, known as Carolyn Seymour.

Carolyn Seymour
Carolyn Seymour

In addition to being read to my a Romulan I also got to tick another book off my BBC 100 list!  Almost, half way through that list.

Wuthering Heights Book Cover Wuthering Heights
Emily Brontë
Fiction
Penguin
December 1, 2002
Audiobook
353
Overdrive

The passionate love of Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff mirrors the powerful moods of the Yorkshire moors.

Review: Truthwitch

Truthwitch
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

I feel torn by this book.  I’m not sure what to think.  I liked the story.  I liked how it was a completely new world that didn’t draw on anything else that I’d ever read or watched.  I grew to like some of the characters and I never new were the author was going with the story, so it was very unpredictable.  And everyone who has reviewed Truthwitch by Susan Dennard, loves it.  75% of the reviews are 4 or 5 stars and there are 5,500 reviews.

This book is immensely popular right now and everyone loves it.  It is the story of two women who are close friends and an adventure they go through, where one finds love.  However, this is just the first book in a series that is still being written so if you read this you will not find closure at least not until the other books are out.

I didn’t love the writing in this book, I found it a little too 50 shades of grey in places.  That just doesn’t appeal to me.  I’m sure I would be bored to death with a romance novel.  Still I can read the driest of history or science novels in complete rapture so it can safely be said I’m not the average reader.

This all being said, this biggest question I have coming out of this book is not about anything I read in it, because its just not that interesting.  The question I have is will the second book be worth reading?  Do I like these characters enough to care what happens next to them.  I’m truly on the fence about it.  I feel like this world has a lot of potential.  Thats why I am going to give this book 3 our of 5 stars.  I’m in the minority here only 16% of people gave this book 3 stars.

Truthwitch Book Cover Truthwitch
The Witchlands
Susan Dennard
Juvenile Fiction
Macmillan
January 5, 2016
Ebook
416

On a continent ruled by three empires, everyone is born with a "witchery," a magical skill that sets them apart from others. Now, as the Twenty Year Truce in a centuries long war is about to end, the balance of power-and the failing health of all magic-will fall on the shoulders of a mythical pair called the Cahr Awen. The biggest thing on Safi and Noelle's minds is saving money for their planned future in the Hundred Isles. Noelle, a Threadwitch, can see the emotional Threads binding the world. Safi, on the other hand, is a Truthwitch-she always knows when a person is telling a lie. A powerful magic like that is something people would kill to have on their side-or to keep off their enemy's side-and so Safi cannot even admit what she truly is. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and privateer) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must rise above their doubts and fight to learn who they are and what they are made of, if they are going to stay alive and preserve the balance of their world. "An instant new classic."--Sarah J. Maas, New York Times bestselling author of Throne of Glass, on Susan Dennard's Truthwitch

Books Bought in February

February 2016 Book Buys
February 2016 Book Buys

February was an unexpectedly slow buying month for me.  I found these three at the local libraries used bookstore.

I bought All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque because it was the reading group book of the month at least a year ago with one of my virtual reading clubs The History Book Club.  Ever since they had this as their reading pick, I’ve been trying to track it down at used bookstores.  I finally had some luck and found a decent copy last month.  I’m excited about this because it qualifies as a foreign books since it was originally written in German and translated by A. W. Wheen.

Next, I found a Penguin Classic in its beautiful black and white paperback binding.  I had no idea what Silas Marner was about before I grabbed it, but you can’t go wrong with George Eliot, so I grabbed it.  I’m reading now on goodreads it is..

George Eliot’s tale of a solitary miser gradually redeemed by the joy of fatherhood.

Okay sounds good.  This was $2 and looks like its never been opened.  MSRP is $7.  Not a bad savings.

Lastly, I’m very excited that I found More Book Lust by Nancy Pearl in the same bookstore.  I got it for $1 and it is in the best condition.  I would think it has never been opened.  Very happy to have grabbed this as I have the first book, Book Lust and I absolutely loved it!  They are great references to have around!  It says on the cover there are 1,000 new recommendations!  Sweet!

Review: Smuggler’s Run: A Han Solo & Chewbacca Adventure

Smuggler's Run
Smuggler’s Run by Greg Rucka

I just realized that I have read three of Greg Rucka’s books this year.  I just finished Smuggler’s Run: A Han Solo & Chewbacca Adventure and I he also wrote Shattered Empire and Before the Awakening.  I gave both those books 4 out of 5 stars and I still remember really liking both a lot.  But this book fell short of both of those. Smuggler’s Run: A Han Solo Adventure was okay, but not as engrossing as either of the other two I read this year.

It is a very quick story. Han meets some bounty hunters in a bar and tells them a story of a time he escaped from the Imperials. It was a quick story. It lacked excitement and needed more suspense and thrill. But it is Star Wars so it still gets 3 stars. Not sure how this helped lead to the Force Awakens storyline though.

Smuggler's Run: A Han Solo & Chewbacca Adventure Book Cover Smuggler's Run: A Han Solo & Chewbacca Adventure
Star Wars: Journey to Star Wars: the Force Awakens
Greg Rucka
Science Fiction
Disney Lucasfilm Press
9/4/2015
Hardcover
192
Library

Han Solo and Chewbacca the Wookiee team-up for an all-new adventure in this thrilling upper middle grade novel. Set between Star Wars: A New Hope and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, the story follows everyone's favorite pair of smugglers as they fly the Millennium Falcon on a top-secret mission for the Rebellion. Hidden in the story are also hints and clues about the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, making this a must-read for fans old and new!

Reading While Recovering From Surgery

Me Reading Truthwitch on my Kindle while recovering from surgery
Me Reading Truthwitch on my Kindle while recovering from surgery

Several days ago I had ankle surgery on my right ankle.  For those wondering it was not related to an injury, just had a bum bone in my foot.  I’m enjoying all the time I have to read, but to be honest I am getting restless.  My foot needs to stay elevated to typing at my desk is hard, since there is no where to put my foot up.

I’ve read four graphic novels and that I got from the library and I finished The Color Purple.  I’ll write about them as soon as I can, but in the meantime.  I am afraid its back to my chair so I can put my foot up.  Hang in there with me and I’ll get back to regular post just as soon as I can.