#WWW Wednesday – August 15, 2018

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

I didn’t participate in WWW Wednesday last week because I didn’t feel like much had changed in my reading  from the week previous. Plus I’m currently in the midst of a uni course, so I decided that for the next month or so, I need to alternate my Wednesday blog posts between my two blogs, rather than doing both.

So what have I been up to in the last fortnight?

What have you recently finished reading?

I finished Loch of the Dead by Oscar de Muriel, the fourth in the Frey & McGray series and all there is of this series for now. I actually DNFed this about halfway through on audio but after a few days I realised I still wanted to know what happened, so I got hold of the paperback from the library. I’m glad I did finish it as it ended up being really addictive, if a little confusing.

I also finished  Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel on audio. This one took me a long time to warm to but at some in the second half I suddenly realised “Oh, I am actually invested in this, huh.” There’s not much plot, but it made me ponder on life’s big questions a lot. Not many books make me do that. I reviewed it here.

Then there was Legion by Brandon Sanderson, which I had read back in 2014 but forgotten the details of. It’s a really intriguing premise – that genius Steven Leeds cannot contain all the knowledge in his brain so it off-shoots into self-aware hallucinations that help him do things.  I actually reviewed this back in 2014 so it was interesting writing a new review and seeing how my feelings changed. That’ll be up on Friday.

And last but not least, just this evening I finished Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel, which I recommend listening to if you are an audio book person because it takes the form of interviews and recordings. I really enjoyed this. It explores a lot of the geo-political situation that proof of ultra-intelligent alien life would create. And the unnamed interviewer is played by Andy Secombe, who also read the Frey and McGrey books, so it was interesting hearing him take on a quite different character.

What are you currently reading?

I am trying to finish Blackwing by Ed McDonald so I can give it back to my friend who loaned it to me. The second book is out now so he wants to re-read the first. It’s got a really intriguing plot, but there’s something about the pacing or maybe it’s the anti-hero main character. I just can’t get through much of it at once.

I also picked up The Fandom by Anna Day from the library, which I’ve had on my TBR since it came out. I have a feeling this is going to be one of those YA books where I get to the end and shake it and wish it had lived up to its potential. The characters only paid £10 for their photo-op at ComicCon, which makes me think the author doesn’t quite know enough about her subject matter. I also don’t think it’s going to be cleverly subversive like I was hoping. But I could be completely wrong.

What do you think you will read next?

I’ve  downloaded Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel and while I haven’t started it at time of writing, I am on the late shift at work tonight and will begin it while driving home.

legionskindeepcoverI also have White Night by Ellie Marney from the library, and my hold on Skin Deep, the sequel to Legion, came in today and I will pick it up tomorrow. So one of those will definitely be next.

What are you reading this week?~ Emily

“I stood looking over my damaged home and tried to forget the sweetness of life on Earth.” // Review of “Station Eleven” by Emily St John Mandel

Title: Station Eleven
Author:
Emiy St John Mandel
Audio book narrator: Jack Hawkins
Genre:LIterary fiction/dystopia
Target audience:
Adult
Date Read: 27/06/18 – 09/08/18
Rating:
★★★

Review:

This book took a while to hook me. As you can see from the dates above, it was on hold for a bit while I listened to other audio books, and intiially I only returned to this one because I had used an Audible credit to obtain it and felt an obligation. Somewhere in the second half, I realised I was looking forward to solo car trips so I could continue with it. I wanted to know how all the story threads came together and what happened to the characters.

Most of the dystopia/post-apocalyptic books I have read before have been YA fiction, actaion-packed and fast-paced. There books are often set so far into the future that it’s quite hard to really place them in any part of the world that we recognise; they might as well be set on a different planet. Station Eleven isn’t like that. It’s rooted in today’s world, and really examines how our lives – you and me in the second decade of the twenty-first century – would be affected if civilisation as we know it collapsed. It made me really think.

I will say that I am not usually one for literary fiction and even thinking about it now, some of the writing is flowery, bordering on wanky. I guess I got used to it in this case, but it’s probably not for everybody. The writing style is quite “tell, don’t show” rather than the reverse and perhaps Jack Hawkins’ narration of the audio book enhanced this somewhat. While I wouldn’t say he read in a monotone, there wasn’t a huge amount of expression.

There isn’t a huge amount of plot; this one iis definitely about the characters and how their lives intersect over the years. It almost feels like you’re reading these characters’ back stories half the time, rather then the parts of their lives the author wants you to know about. But somehow, I eventually did get invested enough in them to care anyway.


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#WWW Wednesday – June 27, 2018

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

good reading week this week! I finished Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen. This was a good story but the writing style let it down a bit, I felt. I reviewed it here.

Then I finished A Fever in the  Blood by Oscar de Muriel, which I enjoyed a lot (review here). I recommend these to everyone who enjoys historical fiction and murder mysteries, but if on top of that you are also an audio book listener, definitely get the audio books! They are wonderful. I also read The Hunt, which is a short story set just before this book, but it is basically a slightly expanded account of an event which is described in A Fever of the Blood, so it felt a bit pointless. I’m glad it was a freebie on Kindle.

On Saturday I read Zombie  Playlist by  K. J. Chapman in one sitting, as it was a novella and easy to get through. I’m not the biggest fan of zombie fiction in general, but I enjoyed this one well enough, despite a few niggles. I’ll have a review up on Friday.

What are you currently reading?

I finally decided on Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel for this month’s Audible choice. I actually started at the top of my GoodReads TBR and kept going until I found one available on Audible. I’m about a quarter of the way through but haven’t really formed an opinion yet. There are different things going on and I can see how they all intersect but I assume things will fall into place as the story goes on.

I am still going with Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. This is one of those occasions where the book is simply something different to what I was expecting, and that’s not the book’s fault, but it’s still disappointing, because I was pretty excited for what I was expecting. I’ll probably finish this tonight or tomorrow.

I made sure to read a few more chapters of  All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque on the weekend.  I’m actually surprised how readable it is, given both its age and the subject matter.

What do you think you will read next?

I’ll post a full July-August TBR on Sunday, but I think first up off that list my be The Olmec Obituary by L. J. M. Owens. I am way behind on this series, I think there are at least three books out now. And given some of the book takes place in a fictional versino of my workplace, I feel it’s really time I get on that.

What are you reading this week?~ EmilyP.S. If you’re  interested, head over to my writing blog, Letting the Voices Out, to read a snippet of my current WIP here.