February Round-Up

It’s been a pretty slow reading and reviewing month. As I mentioned in my (very late) January round-up, a friend came to stay with us for a week, and we did a lot of sight-seeing, giving me little time for reading. What I didn’t add was that he also brought me a copy of Skyrim…

So in between fighting dragons and going on treasure-hunting quests, I didn’t exactly manage to catch up. The first book for the month was a leisure read, which is what I now call pretty much any book I don’t have to take notes on. I picked Use of Weapons, one of Iain M. Banks’s Culture novels. I’d read a library copy a few years ago, but a friend bought me my own copy as a gift and I figured it was time for a re-read. Use of Weapons has the kind of story that you really need to read at least twice, because its full of subtle details that you can’t appreciate the first time around. Plus, Banks’s sci fi novels are beautifully elegant, complex and entertaining space operas.

I got back to reviewing with The Troupe by Robert Jackson Bennett, a mythical American novel set in the Vaudeville era. A 16-year old boy goes looking for his father, the leader of a particularly strange troupe. He doesn’t find the father figure he was looking for though, and ends joining the troupe in a battle to save the world from the darkness trying to devour it.

Then I finally finished God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens, which I’ve been reading chapter by chapter for the past few months. I found a hardcover edition at an Exclusive Books sale about a year and a half ago, and I’ve been keen to see what the late ‘Hitch Bitch’ had to say. I also used it for a reading challenge task, where you have to read a book with a shocking title 🙂 On the whole, a decent read; I posted a short review on Goodreads.

I only read one other review book in February – The Fourth Wall by Walter Jon Williams. It tells the story of a washed-up actor in Hollywood, who finds a means of returning to wealth and fame when he gets the starring role in a revolutionary new type of movie. The novel is primarily a character drama, combined with a murder mystery and a touch of sci fi. I found it very interesting; review coming soon.

With only two review books under my belt, I posted reviews of books I read in January and December:
This Devil’s Dice by Jackson Spence
(a truly dreadful attempt at a murder mystery)
Lu and I reviewed a Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (oh so disappointing)
Carpathia by Matt Forbeck (another lame book. In this one, vampires prey on the victims of the Titanic)
The Rook by Daniel O’Malley (the only good book in this list, but it was REALLY good)

For March, I have the very good intention of cutting down on the Skyrim and doing much more reading. Lets hope I have the willpower to stick to it… Either way though, I will almost certainly be reviewing the following:

The Pillars of Hercules by David Constantine, a novel combining steampunk, mythology, and the conquests of Alexander the Great. Almost done reading this one. Quite a few people were envious when I received the eARC, but sadly, it’s actually quite crap.
Edge of Dark Water by Joe R. Lansdale. Haven’t heard of this horror author, but I see he’s won quite a few awards, so I’m looking forward to this one.
The Antithesis: Book Three Alpha by Terra Whiteman. My favourite indie series! Book Three Alpha is the beginning of the end…

I will not play Skyrim, I will not play Skyrim…

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