October Reading Log

I managed 6 books this month, which is a goodly bit. Especially since one book was 1200 pages, and another almost 800. That’s a lot of reading.

Dreamfever – Karen Marie Mongin

I’d read this one before, but since I was re reading the series, I chugged along, because I remember being really upset with the ending of this book. It’s quite the book, Mac spends the beginning recovering from being gang raped by a horde of Unseelie Princes, and then she’s pissed. What follows is an entertaining read, and you get more of Mac’s backstory, not much of Barron’s, and lots of interesting tidbits.

It’s difficult to talk much about the book without giving a lot away. The ending of the book is sad, and makes you really want to read book 5, which I did, just for closure.

Shadowfever – Karen Marie Moning

This is the final book of the Fever series, and the stakes have been raised. Mac is trying to get back to Dublin to find the Sinsah Dubh and claim it so she can set things as right as they come. And it’s not going to be easy.

This was the sort of conclusion I wanted. Everything is dark and dire, Mac is scared, angry, tired, and not sure what all’s going on. So she makes the best choices she can, and deals with the consequences. In the end, it mostly works out. Things aren’t perfect, but Mac has the strength to carry on. There’s a few bright spots, and the immediate threat gets resolved, and the rebuilding of the world can begin. A satisfying conclusion.

Ricochet – Xanthe Walter

This was a book someone else read in the Carpe Librum group, and the premise sounded interesting. I was originally a little concerned because it sounded a lot like White Collar fan fiction, but it turned out to be nothing of the sort (although White Collar is mentioned).

I really liked this book. The characters are interesting, and I love how Matthew has an obsessive compulsive trait that’s not a phoned in, movie style one. He’s a compulsive counter, and arranger. His shoes must be perfectly straight, he must know how many times someone’s flicked a script, etc, etc, and it takes over his life. He likes order, and considers this part of his being orderly. It’s not “oh, he likes to count things and is orderly.” No, he’s distracted in multiple places bu counting and straightening.

Rick is an interesting character, and he’s actually filled full of fairly complex things. He has a troubled past that’s not just a “poor me” story, but you can see, and he eventually does too, that he’s compensating for a crappy upbringing. It’s interesting to watch him overcome some of his problems he’s trying to bury.

The love story is cute, they’re friends and cast members on a show, and they spend time together in friendly ways before things heat up. The way they get thrown together is cute. I did enjoy this book way more than I thought I would.

A Game of Thrones – George RR Martin

I know lots of people love this book, and love the tv show, but I’ll be honest: not a fan. It’s not like the book’s poorly written or anything either, it’s just not my kind of book. I really liked the different points of view within the story, to help move it along, but every time I read a chapter from a character I liked, it would end, and it would be a long while before that character’s voice picked up again.

Martin makes interesting characters, that’s for sure. Deeply flawed, arrogant, blind to truths, compelled by love, these characters have it all. They’re all really well done, with layers to them, and motives, and interesting things.

In the end, the lengthy plot just didn’t do it for me. It reminded me of the Twin Peaks thing: “Who killed Laura Palmer?” In this case, it’s “Who Killed Jon Arryn?” When you find out the reasoning behind it, it makes sense. However, what he finds out, and what Ned subsequently finds out, doesn’t matter, because there’s no way to correct it. It just takes so long for it to happen, and then there’s action, and more action, and reaction, but by that time, I was just too tired of the book. I actually read Hyperbole and a Half and Allegiant in the middle of this book, just for something fresh to read.

I’ll probably read the other books, because I have them in paperback, but I’m in no hurry.

Allegiant – Veronica Roth

If you’re not familiar with Divergent, it’s a dystopian set in a kind of ruin Chicago, where people live in 5 factions: Amity, the peace loving farmers, Abnegation, the selfless volunteers and leaders; Dauntless, the brave muscle for hire; Erudite, the smart researchers; and Candor, the brutally honest. When people are 16, they undergo an aptitude test, and then choose a faction. They have to make it through faction initiation, and if they don’t, they become the 6th faction: Factionless.

Tris, born in Abnegation and transferred to Dauntless, went through Initiation in Divergent. At the end of the book, a mind control drug made the Dauntless wipe out most of the Abnegation. Except Tris and a few others who are considered Divergent. In Insurgent, the city is in chaos from the attack, and Tris and others try to get it under control. There’s an uprising by the Factionless, and at the end of the book, a recording is played, claiming that their city is special, and when the population has enough Divergent, they need to come outside the walls.

Allegiant takes up here. Tris wants to leave, a number of the people in charge don’t. Tris, and others escape to outside the walls to find out what’s going on. And what’s out there is unlike anything I think anyone had planned on.

I didn’t care for this book. For the length of the book, not much happened. There were a few blips of action, but it was largely an infodump that spanned chapters. Tris, and her love interest, Four, spend most of the book acting like an old couple, not teenagers. There are things that could have been explained better, but they’re almost forgotten.

I didn’t care for the ending. I understood it, but there were so many red herrings, and convenient things in the book that it really felt like Roth was reaching for ways to end the book. I understand why she did what she did, but I didn’t care for the outcome. It was not satisfying.

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened – Allie Brosh

I love Hyperbole and a Half. I’ve read it off and on for years, and Allie’s stories are wonderful, funny things that should be enjoyed over and over. So I pre-ordered the book, forgot about it, and was pleasantly surprised when it showed up in October. I put down Game of Thrones and read this in one sitting. It’s a lot of pictures, so it’s a quick read. I loved it.

If you’ve ever read an entry on her blog, it’s that, but in 350+ pages.