Friday, 22 August 2014

Books I've read in July and August

I'm having a blogger's block. Like writer's block, but with my blog. I want to keep it going, but I have no motivation or inspiration to blog. But I did notice that I haven't written about the books I've read since I read Skulduggery Pleasant: Playing With Fire, and that's a while back. I've read 7 books since then, excluding school books. So here goes a small presentation of each along with a teeny tiny review.

Skulduggery Pleasant: The Faceless Ones was the best Skulduggery-book thus far. The excitement was on top throughout it all, and the feeling of doom got stronger the closer I got 'til the end and I realised that nothing would work out alright in this book. The Faceless Ones, those godlike beings, really were just as horrific as all those whispers in earlier books implied. The book ended with a humongous cliffhanger and I was very happy that I had the next book already so I could continue reading instead of agonise over the cliffhanger.
Skulduggery Pleasant: Dark Days was interesting. I love how Valkyrie has started dabbling in
necromancy. Skulduggery hates it, but Valkyrie just isn't as good with Elemental magic as with necromancy. He has to deal with that. The return of Lord Vile was a surprise. There were a lot of bad guys in this one, especially Sanguine's father.
The humour in this series is basically what keeps me going. The books are hilarious. The characters are also really well written for being a childrens' book. I need the next one in the series.

The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains is Neil Gaiman's latest work and it's beautiful. Basically it's a live storytelling session by Gaiman, where he told this story and an artist drew sketches for the story that were shown on a screen while Gaiman told the story. The words and the sketches are now combined into a small book of only 80 pages, but the story is amazingly gripping and it becomes impossible to put the book down. It's a classic story of love, death, vengeance and magic, and the main character is a dwarf. A badass dwarf. This story is just another Neil Gaiman masterpiece and it's well worth your time reading and re-reading.

The Wild Hunt: Trinity Rising is the second novel in The Wild Hunt series. I like how the first part of the book tells us what happened in the last book, but through the eyes of Savin and Tanith rather than Gair's. Gair doesn't play as big of a role in this second book as he did in the first, but there's enough of Gair and Alderan to go around. Rather this book is more about Teia. Teia is introduced to us in this book and she's basically amazing. While Gair is the standard "why me?" character of high fantasy, Teia is this strong and amazing woman. And she happens to be pregnant. Heavily so, by the end of the book, and I imagine that baby will turn out to be something very special. Along with Teia we're introduced to the workings of the North and its tribes and peoples, which was very interesting. What happens in the North is probably the reason for what's going on in the next and final book. Basically, the North fucks up and it has consequences.

Burton & Swinburne in The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man is the second novel in the Burton & Swinburne series. The first book, The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack, was incredible and this second one was far from a disappointment either. I am in love with this steampunk series and its universe. I love how the main character is conscious of the fact that it wasn't supposed to be like that. Burton knows that history was supposed to move in a different way (our way), but time travel messed things up and now we have steampunk. I also love that most (if not all) of the important characters have actually existed, and there's an appendix in the end of each book explaining who they were in our world. The author actually says in the beginning of the first book that although they have existed in our world and are well-known British historical people, he (the author) felt that they were too well-known to have their reputation tarnished by his work. I'm not British and I've never heard of most of those people before, but there are some familiar names that show up throughout the series. Like Oscar Wilde :) I need the next book in my life!

Doctor Who: Ten Little Aliens was the first Doctor Who adventure I read. It features the First Doctor along with Ben and Polly. I would've preferred Vicki and Steven as companions, since I liked them better. Anyway, after a boring beginning the book really kicked off and I sat up reading late into the night. There were mysteries, enemies of several kinds and a lot of twists. There was an element of horror in it and it was really good. I love how the author hints towards the Doctor being alien and apart from the humans, but he never explains anything or goes into any detail. Basically because that part of the Doctor wasn't known before he regenerated the first time. Until that point the Doctor was only a person from the far future, and the author takes that into consideration. This first Doctor Who book (for me) promises great things from other Doctor Who book adventures!
Doctor Who: Dreams of Empire is number two in the 50th Anniversary collection (11 stories, 11 authors, 1 Doctor) from which Ten Little Aliens was the first. Dreams of Empire features the Second Doctor (my favourite!) along with his companions Jamie and Victoria. This book contains a lot of politics and warfare (quite the theme for Second actually). But it also has all the elements that make Doctor Who amazing: adventure on a medieval fortress built on an asteroid with an artifical atmosphere, lots of robots, the Doctor being a clown, laser guns, and a lot of chess metaphors! The story basically revolves around a person named Kesar, who is imprisoned in the fortress on the asteroid for trying to overthrow the Republic, turn it into an Empire and make himself Emperor. He still has a lot of supporters in the Republic and while most people think what happens next is his supporters trying to kill him to make him a martyr for his/their cause, there are so many twists to the story that the ending comes as a total surprise! Dreams of Empire didn't linger in my head as Ten Little Aliens did, but it was still really, really good.

Right now I'm reading Dancing Jax by Robin Jarvis. I've only read the first chapter thus far and I'm not sure I like it yet. But if there's something I learned from Ten Little Aliens, it's to never judge a book on its first chapter!

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