And as winter turns to spring, the lazy furred creature stirs from hibernation, flabbergasted at how much time has passed since she last posted

Hey guys,

I’m so sad! I’m so sad that I’ve let this place become a black hole of nothingness for half a year. Grad school to-dos have been kind of like the zombies from the walking dead, popping out of closets and wells just when you think you’re safe and screaming and shooting will only make things worse.

I’ve read so many books though! To list some of them and follow up with hullabaloo-word-sneeze-types of comments:

Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card: Typical, well-crafted storytelling with intelligent not-too-pompous protagonist who always seems to find the upper-hand in tricksy situations thereby creating a story which is falsely exciting and expectantly comforting. You can let yourself pretend to be anti-hero-like but your destiny is TO WIN. Incidentally, this one’s about kids who can manipulate time and space using “science” to explain their psychic abilities.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card: Refer to the above comments but slather with more awesome-sauce and less gravity. This one’s a classic. If you have any self-respect at all, you can’t end up not liking Ender Wiggins (did I do the double negatives right?).

Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold: Reads like a soap opera. Some characters are admirable, some make you want to end your pain in a violent way, and some are just hot. This one took me back to traditional medieval fantasy land. Thought I’d like it more, though.

The Darkest Powers trilogy by Kelley Armstrong: Like the main character. Like the main love interest. Fear and despise the bad guys. Read this three-in-one tome in a day – had no choice as could not sleep, too creeped. Necromancers are usually so butt-kicking, but this one was interesting as Chloe is just learning about her powers from scratch. She’s just as freaked out of her mind as you are when you’re reading. Excellent read.

1984 by George Orwell: Imagine the ingredients involved in creating the most paranoid society you can think of that is still functionable. There you have it.

Behemoth and Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld: This is where I’d drop by your desk and use the line, “looking for a good ol’ rollicking adventure?” (elbow jab) and recommend this book. On the one hand we have English folk who like to care for their inflatable jellyfish balloons and enjoy a stroll about the innards of fire-hazards like whales, on the other hand we have the germans trying to sneak around on insectoid machines. It took me a while to warm up to Deryn, and it took me a while to stop screaming at Alek for doing stupid things that become perfect opportunities for Deryn to prove how awesome she is. I think I’m just jealous.

Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn: What a nice Sharon Shinn. I like Corie from Summers at Castle Auburn more than I like Zoe, but this world is more interesting. I always sink comfortably into Sharon Shinns, it’s like soaking in a nice warm bath with soap bubbles and steam and a nice-smelling candle or two. Here we’ve got some romance, some political shenanigans, and a really neat magical concept about elements that make up a character of a person.

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner: Now things are more confusing and scarier than ever. I just can’t stop wanting the kids to be tortured more! What? If you’re still reading this series, you’re obviously slightly sadistic yourself. But honestly, what is going on? I’m more in the dark than ever! But the terrible apocalyptic-ness and never-endingness of the chidlren’s misery has me riveted.

Ice by Sarah Beth Durst: I’m so glad that someone recommended me this gem. Here we have an awesome re-telling of East of the Sun, West of the Moon. And here I thought it was impossible to make this fairytale heroine and her self-pitying bear buddy likeable. I believe! I believe! And I want this story to be true! Events fall into place logically, and Cassie, our main girl, manages to continue being likeable despite all the mess-ups and the bear manages to actually have a personality. Cassie is a top-notch heroine.

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima: Getting into this series right now (currently reading The Exiled Queen). Fairly decent storytelling at work, though the magical concepts are nothing too new so far. Hans gives me Eugenides vibes, just saying (though so far love Gen lots more). Still trying to get a better sense of the seven realms. I have this strange need to stretch my legs a little and go wandering about disguised as a peddler.

Incarceron and Sapphique by Catherine Fisher: I’ve never felt so much sympathy for a prison. Imagine all these little pale-skinned creatures scuttling and burrowing and whining and bickering all around you. Ugh. I’d become depressed and maniacal. Got some sci-fi and some magic. Got some characters with identity issues and daddy issues. Still don’t completely understand how the “science” works here, but was entertained by the world building. Satisfying in a dark and moody sort of way.

Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien: We have a great heroine who stirs up trouble and stands up against people who think they can make the rules and make everyone miserable. The rules involve babies from poor people living in the post-apocalyptic landscape being taken away from their mothers to be brought up inside a walled settlement where food and health care and education are reserved. It’s supposed to be a great opportunity for the babies, but generally makes the mothers quite unhappy. Quite a curious world I’d like to learn more about.

The Nine Lives of Chloe King by Liz Braswell: Sort of “Buffy the vampire slayer” season 1 except from the point of view of the demons, who happen to exhibit cat-like features. Reads as fast as The Darkest Powers trilogy.

Cold Fire by Kate Elliott: Continue the steamy romance between Cat and Andevai, except make it more complicating and strained than it already is. Will they ever be together and openly respect and trust each other? No. Then the fun would stop! Reading this one makes me miss the coolness of the first one. This one’s really sizzling!

Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve: I loved his Mortal Engine Series – what a neat world! Though every time I try to explain the concept to somebody, I sound like an idiot. Anyway, this book goes all the way back to the beginning before the motoring cities. I was very entertained, I just love the weirdness of the place and Philip Reeve’s humor (The Engineers live inside a large, bald Head that was supposed to be a statue of a past ruler) and all the characters – even the annoying ones.

The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong: In my opinion, not as good as The Darkest Powers trilogy. Everyone seems to get along too easily. And it kind of annoys me that everyone seems to need Maya to approve of them so that they can be accepted into the little middle-of-nowhere community. Was disappointed that Rafe wasn’t actually the bad boy he pretends to be. No one was a real troublemaker. Things just happened and out-of-towners were mocked for being clueless as how to survive in the wild. Overall was disappointed.

Rebel Angels by Libba Bray: Read A Great and Terrible Beauty many lifetimes ago, so it took a while for everything to come back. The book starts off slow but gets real gripping real fast. The main gaggle of girls can be irritatingly girly at times, but they latch onto you like barnacles so you’re forced to care. But, truly, the story gets creepier, I suspect, in the last book. Quite well-written, with characters that you love but annoy you as much as your best friend can. You get real chummy with these girls by the end of the grisly adventure.

Yay, I’ve updated my book diary!

And who’s been keeping up with the Walking Dead and wanting to build a tree house?

Completely off topic – now I want to do this.

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7 comments

  1. Huzzah, you’re back! We’ve missed you! Quite a few books here are on my to-be-read list, which is rather too long at this point– I’m completely buried in school and writing. The Leviathan series, in particular, I’ve heard nothing but good about, and I look forward to reading it. Also, I read A Great and Terrible Beauty relatively recently, and I’m definitely going to be continuing that series.

  2. No sadness! It’s always wonderful to hear from you, so a new post is cause for celebration 😛 I totally hear you on grad school taking over your life, though. Thanks for giving us a little glimpse of what you’ve been reading. I really like the sound of some of those, particularly the Sharon Shinn.

  3. Grad school has been kicking me around too. I sorta did the same thing 🙂 I’m totally excited about the Sharon Shinn book! I was also wondering do the Behemoth and Leviathan books have any romance in them? Anyway, I missed hearing from ya 🙂

  4. Grad school is so greedy of people’s valuable time!

    I like that you qualified your description of Pathfinder with “not-too-pompous”. That is absolutely a necessary descriptor when talking about an Orson Scott Card book. I love Ender’s Game et seq., but Orson Scott Card can be awfully pompous.

  5. Allegra – The Leviathan series is good fun! I didn’t like Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series, though I hardly remember what happens in it. But, the descriptions of these crazy beasts and machines and how things work and what advantages each type of warfare has just entertains me to pieces. I read A Great and Terrible Beauty and remember sort of liking it. I’m so used to books jumping right into the action now-a-days, that Rebel Angels’ slow intro chapters were kind of a nice change. And there’s plenty of creepiness to follow! I definitely want to continue this series, too!

    Nymeth – You’re always so on top of things despite the occasional mention of having not enough time to write reviews, haha. I don’t believe you!! But, summer’s coming around and I’ll be really miserable if I still don’t have enough time to do my favourite things. And yes, the Sharon Shinn is quite worth the read! I love her Random Blessings idea – I’m the kind of person who’ll sheepishly read my horoscope every once in a while and wonder how accurate it is. 😛

    Skye – I’m still working off the massive amounts of coffee I’ve been gulping to keep myself awake and functional. Ah well, the big deadlines have passed so I’m free to breeze through a few days at least. 😛 And Behemoth and Leviathan have romance! But it becomes more developed in Leviathan which I hope reaches its fruition in Goliath!! I would say that romance does not take center stage in these books but it is indeed there! Also, there is (of course) romance in Troubled Waters. I hope Sharon Shinn continues developing this world, though I haven’t heard much about a sequel.

    Jenny – Haha, half the time I’m thinking this. I’ve only just gotten over that sentiment!! And I’ve been warned not to read Orson Scott Card’s biography before reading his works because of the “destestibility” factor of his apparent personality. I just feel like his characters are “just right” — they’ve managed to tiptoe the line between too-perfect-too-great and still-likeable which I think is tricky to do! And I still haven’t read the sequels, I must commence before other books get in the way…

  6. i was just telling myself today that i needed to make a little quick-review list for the stuff i’ve been too lazy to blog about lately. sometimes i forget about my blog for months at a time, too, and i have no excuse, since i’m never even particularly busy. ^_^

  7. Lovkyne – Yeah, sometimes I forget that this blog was originally meant to be my reading diary so, even if I’m too lazy to post something about it, I still want to record what I’ve read somewhere! And you’re never too busy to procrastinate 😛

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