May Reading Log

Lazy Steph is lazy. Sorry about that. Only 3 books this month. Last month was the first time in about 4 years that I did not do a reading log. I just couldn’t get it together that month. I’ll backdate a reading log eventually, but I read too many books that month to catch up with this month.

American Gods – Neil Gaiman

What a bizarre book. I picked it up on Audible because it was a full cast, and I really like full cast narrations. They just bring the book to life in a way that a normal narrator doesn’t.

This book is weird, full cast or not.

On the surface it seems to be about a man named Shadow, who’s being released from prison at the beginning of the book. He goes to work for a creepy old man named Wednesday as his driver, and finds out the gods are real. Sounds really simple, doesn’t it?

It’s anything but. I can’t put my finger on it, but the book is a lot more than just the adventures of Shadow, both as a human being, and as Wednesday’s errand boy. It’s a large, complicated book, and in the end, I don’t know how I feel about it. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it. I’m left feeling kind of “huh” about it.

I’ve never read anything by Gaiman before, so that could be why I don’t know what to think. Maybe this was just a bad first choice.

The Hundredth Queen – Emily R. King

One of the nice things about Amazon Prime is that I get a new book every month. They take 4-6 books that are going to be published that month, and I get one for free, early. This was the book I chose.

The book starts with a note that the religion of the book is based on the Sumerian dieties. I’m not overly familiar with them, but the way the religion is presented, it feels real. I really like that.

Kalinda is raised as an orphan in a temple with other orphaned girls. They’re taught to fight, and to worhip their gods, and Kalinda wants nothing more than to live out her days there, worshipping her gods.

Instead, she’s chosen to be the King’s one hundredth queen. According to their faith, the king can only have 100 wives, and she’s supposed to be special. When you’re chosen, you go, whether you want to or not.

I enjoyed this book. There’s more to Kalinda than you initially think, like a backbone under that meekness, and a willingness to do what it takes. Being the chosen one, she is hiding a secret that you guess before she figures it out. In that way, it’s kind of predictable, but it’s still enjoyable. It won’t go on my list of favorite books ever, but I don’t regret reading it.

Dogs of War – Jonathan Maberry

I’d been anxiously awaiting this book since I finished Kill Switch last year. I discovered the Joe Ledger series early in 2016, and just couldn’t get enough. I had to finish a Jim Butcher book before I started this one, so it took me almost 2 weeks after release to get to listen to it.

I wanted to love this book, but I can’t. First, there are so many errors! And second, the plot is a mish-mash of a lot of the previous book. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a rollicking good adventure, but I just felt like things were both wrong, and recycled.

For the things that were wrong, suddenly Rudy is a medical doctor, and the same age as Joe, not Joe’s psychiatrist and who treats Joe after he was beaten nearly to death as a teen. Toys is supposed to be in Brazil with Junie, but he also randomly happens to be in California just in time to protect Rudy’s wife and child. Lydia Rose is Joe’s secretary, but she acts and sounds like Lydia Ruiz, Joe’s former member of Echo Team. There’s no mention of her having served on Echo Team, but it gets even weirder when Bunny makes a comment about wanting to adopt her. I thought they were an item? It just seems like there’s a lot of that going on, and it really stuck out this time.

As fas as the mish-mash, this book brings back, at least for scenes in the past, a number of people we’ve encountered in the past as villians. To avoid spoilers I won’t say who, but Zephyr Bain is tied to at least 3 organizations or people we’ve seen before. Hell, she buys the tech from one of them, and it’s referenced by Joe and others in the book that this smacks of Group 1, Group 2, the incident previously, and that former DMS agent. So yeah, feels like a lot of previous books mixed together.

It’s still entertaining, but it’s not as good as the previous ones. Top and Bunny were in the book, but not enough, and I enjoyed the new recruit, but we didn’t see enough of her. I am hoping to see more, and the next book be more of Echo Team, not Joe Ledger slicing up Echo Team to keep things going. I’m also wanting to see where Mindreader Quantum goes.