May 29, 2020, 02:45:31 AM

Author Topic: What did you read in Lockdown March 2020  (Read 626 times)

Offline Eclipse

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What did you read in Lockdown March 2020
« on: March 29, 2020, 08:36:53 PM »
Here it is: The what did you read this past month thread.

Come share your list and what you thought of the books you read last month. We're not looking for full out reviews, just a brief couple of sentences that sum up your impressions.

This is also not a contest for who read the most books, I know some of us struggle to find time to read one book a month, and others manage a dozen. That doesn't matter, so don't feel reluctant to post if you have read less books (or way more books) than others. This is all for sharing, and if you read anything, come let us know what it was and what you thought of it
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

Jonathan Stroud:Ptolmy's Gate

Offline Eclipse

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Re: What did you read in Lockdown March 2020
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2020, 09:10:58 PM »
The House of Sundering flames by by Aliette de Bodard 3/5 disappointing ending

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir 3/5 not my cup of tea

Shadow of a Broken Man by George c Chesbro A dwarven PI in the cold war era investigating  mysterious supernatural stuff. 4/5

The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny I read the first five books of the series it gets better the further you go in lots of intrigue 4/5
« Last Edit: March 29, 2020, 09:18:41 PM by Eclipse »
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

Jonathan Stroud:Ptolmy's Gate

Offline isos81

Re: What did you read in Lockdown March 2020
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2020, 09:15:16 PM »
Cant' read as much as I want to but still..

1) Gideon the Ninth - DNF but I'm reading the chapter by chapter summary in Tor
2) Powder Mage #1 - Almost finished. 7/10. Didn't meet my expectations.
Kallor shrugged. 'I've walked this land when the T'lan Imass were but children. I've commanded armies a hundred thousand strong. I've spread the fire of my wrath across entire continents, and sat alone upon tall thrones. Do you grasp the meaning of this?'

'Yes' said Caladan Brood. 'You never learn'

Offline Bender

Re: What did you read in Lockdown March 2020
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2020, 02:50:25 AM »
I've been on a reading bender  :P this month, mostly LitRPGs.

Devils Road by Gary Gibson - A cool Pacific rim meets Wacky Races type book. Short and immense fun.

Bolan's Quest by Paul Simmonds - Nice read with epic climax.

The Shadow of What was Lost (Licanius #1) - James Islington - felt too similar to WoT

Diamantine (W&W #2) by Andrew Rowe - Lighter read continuing the series.

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins - probably the weirdest book I've read, but the lack of meta-plot leaves the book hanging. Intriguing but unfinished. 

Death March (Euphoria Online #1)
Nightmare Keep (Euphoria Online Book 2)
Killer Dungeon (Euphoria Online #3) - Good series with interesting premise.

Reborn: Apocalypse Volume 1 (Reborn: Apocalypse, #1)
Reborn: Apocalypse Volume 2 (Reborn: Apocalypse, #2) - A bit too much of "not sure how this works" to explain plot, but a fascinating epic read nevertheless.

Ritualist (The Completionist Chronicles, #1)
Regicide (The Completionist Chronicles, #2)
Raze (The Completionist Chronicles #3) - Started off well, but ran out of ideas in Book 3.

Catharsis (Awaken Online #1)
Precipice (Awaken Online, #2)
Retribution (Awaken Online, #2.5)
Evolution (Awaken Online, #3)
Apathy (Awaken Online, #3.5)
Dominion (Awaken Online, #4)
Unity (Awaken Online, #4.5) - One of the best series I've read not just in this genre but overall. A LitRPG book that covers a sci-fi plot and tackles wider range of issues. Very underrated. Excellent.

"I shall hunt your firstborn children and laugh with glee as I tell them of your death in terrible detail, with many unpleasant adjectives!" - M-Bot

"Who needs science when you have a dragon?" - Neil DeGrasse Tyson in Sharknado 6

Offline S. K. Inkslinger

Re: What did you read in Lockdown March 2020
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2020, 10:55:20 AM »
Pretty a lot of the batch of amazing books I've came across.

The Toll by Neil Shusterman: 7/5 stars. Fullreview: Absolutely bloody fantastic! I'd have given this book a 7/5 stars if I could, it's just that amazing folks. This book became something even better than I had anticipated, and I can't believe at the way things turned out in the end, which subverted all of my expectations in the most pleasant ways. I've never came across a series ending that ended in this way before, and needless to say I am totally in love with it. This concludes practically one of the best YA series I've ever come across, and I'd like to say this had been one hell of a fantastical journey.

Starsight by Brandon Sanderson: 4.4/5 stars

Dispel Illusions by Mark Lawrence: 6/5 stars

I'm now reading The Ace of Skulls, which I'm rather sure I'm going to end up giving it a 5/5 stars too.  ;D

Offline Skip

Re: What did you read in Lockdown March 2020
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2020, 04:40:07 PM »
Two books, which seems to be pretty standard for me these days.

Ties of Blood and Bone, by A.E. Lowan. Second volume in their series (a team of three authors). It's still the only urban fantasy novel I've enjoyed. This one did not suffer from sophomore slump. Good characters, action well portrayed.

Boy's Life, Robert McCammon. A strange book by a once-popular horror writer, and a very southern Gothic. It would probably get classified as magical realism, but it's really closer to Ray Bradbury. Great writing.
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Offline cupiscent

Re: What did you read in Lockdown March 2020
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2020, 03:46:38 AM »
Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia - Jazz-age mythology-fairytale urban fantasy that I teetered on because that's not really my cup of tea, but committed to - and enjoyed tremendously - because I love the way the author writes, really driven through the characters, in bold and ineluctable arcs of self-definition and relationship dynamic.

Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger - fantasy-world post-WW2 Asia setting with almost Sanderson-style magic over the top. One of those sort-of-YA (by the characters) but not quite (by the themes and content) books. A little too much pace-and-action for my tastes, but I enjoyed it overall.

A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine - what a fantastic space opera of translation and cultural politics and all the little jagged edges of identity. Beautifully written, and so very thoughtful on every level about what makes a person. I don't even like space opera or hard sci-fi, and this was lovely.

And I'm just about finished with The Winter Duke by Claire Eliza Barlett - not quite as deft and visionary as her We Rule The Night, but still a lovely YA fantasy set in a magical kingdom of ice and mermaids and ruthless politics with a sixteen-year-old bluestocking stuck in the middle.

Offline Christopher C. Fuchs

Re: What did you read in Lockdown March 2020
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2020, 01:39:58 AM »
The Relic Hunter by Christopher Buckley. It was a good, light, laugh-out-loud medieval adventure.

5-Stars: Romping good fun with adventure, history and humor. Christopher Buckley draws you into a convincing medieval tale based on real figures from history.
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3232555668
Epic fantasy/adventure debut praised as "A top 5 novel of the year" by Liviu Suciul, former co-editor of Fantasy Book Critic (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3016003847).

Offline DrNefario

Re: What did you read in Lockdown March 2020
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2020, 05:14:42 PM »
I managed to rush a couple of books at the end of the month to end up with 7.

Spinning Silver - Naomi Novik - Enjoyable fairytale retelling. I liked the way it just carried on when it almost felt like the story should be ending. But then what happened?

Renegade - Joel Shepherd - So-so military SF.

The Ghost Bride - Yangsze Choo - A story based on Chinese/Malaysian folklore in which a ghost wants to force a marriage with a living woman, who is understandable not keen on the idea. Nominated for the Shirley Jackson and Mythopoeic awards, and now a series on Netflix. I liked it.

Suprisingly Down to Earth, and Very Funny - Limmy - Highly entertaining autobiography.

Children of Time - Adrian Tchaikovsky - Clarke award winner about the last dregs of humanity and an uplift experiment. Not bad, but didn't blow me away. I read it because the sequel is shortlisted for the BSFA. I don't even know if the BSFAs are still on.

Blade's Edge - Virginia McClain - SPFBO finalist. A Japanese-inspired world in which female babies with magical power are drowned at birth. The story follows two orphan girls who slipped through the net, and the different paths they take. Highly readable, but their plans seemed to be really bad, and even the eventual victory didn't ring true.

By the Pricking of My Thumbs - Agatha Christie - A return to Tommy & Tuppence, now getting on a bit. I wasn't really looking forward to this one. It was OK, but I've never been a fan of Christie's thriller books where she moves away from the whodunit formula. Generally speaking, if someone gets hit on the head and knocked unconscious, it's not for me.

Offline The Sword in the Tome

Re: What did you read in Lockdown March 2020
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2020, 06:47:57 PM »
Prince of Thorns, by Mark Lawrence (4.5/5)

The Broken Sword, by Poul Anderson (3.5/5)

Mixed feelings on The Broken Sword.  It's one of the very few books I've read that managed to keep me interested in turning its pages despite never earning a deep investment from me towards any of its characters.  What's even more strange is thinking about how every scene in the book that I absolutely loved was played out by characters who I consider underdeveloped. 
My YouTube fantasy book review channel: The Sword in the Tome

Offline Elfy

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Re: What did you read in Lockdown March 2020
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2020, 05:20:17 AM »
You'd think in a month where we've been largely confined to being at home most of the time I'd get more reading done, but it hasn't really worked out that way. I did read 6 books though.

Terminal Uprising by Jim Hines. I liked the first one of these Terminal Alliance and I think the sequel was even better. They are largely comedic, but there's enough seriousness and character development in there to get a reader really invested. I think they're the best thing Hines has done so far.

False Value by Ben Aaronovitch. There's something about the Peter Grant books that just pull me in. This one was no exception. I kind of like that he's now moved away from the thread that went through the first lot of books and his exploration of technology was very interesting. Not enough Molly for my tastes, but there can probably never be enough Molly for me.

Imaginary Numbers by Seanan McGuire. Also a departure in that Seanan decided to make her narrator a key character, but not a member of the Price family. We also got a good look at one of the more terrifying creatures (the Cuckoos) that McGuire has created for the InCryptid series. I would have liked more mice, but everyone who reads these wants more mice.

The Last Smile in Sunder City by Luke Arnold. I know Luke Arnold as an actor (he was Long John Silver in Black Sails and Michael Hutchence in an INXS mini series down here), but he's turned his hand to writing. He's not bad, but he's not that good either. This was readable, but that's as far as it went for me. He probably should stick to acting, he's better at that.

The Library of the Unwritten by A. J. Hackwith. The premise of this is brilliant. There are an infinite number of unwritten books, and they all wind up in a corner of hell, being presided over by a succession of librarians. When one of these books gets loose, it's up to the current librarian, her assistant and a young demon to track it down, bring it back and save both heaven and hell in the process. It got a bit confusing at times, but they were fun characters to follow, even the escaped book.

Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey. Short, sharp, gritty alternated western, set in world controlled by a repressive regime and how one person who doesn't fit the mould they want, finds another group who also don't fit and carves out a life and a future for herself.

I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: What did you read in Lockdown March 2020
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2020, 07:57:35 AM »
In February I said I hadn't finished a single book, so please note that the first one on the list was basically read throughout all Feb...

Reaper's gale, Steven Erikson - 5/5
Book 7 of the Malazan, it was amazing as usual. All details and thoughts on the readalong section.

League of dragons, Naomi Novik - 3.5/5
The last book (9) in the Temeraire series, it was ok, but didn't really redeem the repetitive tone that it started after book 4 (note I didn't read all 9 and never felt confused...). I also thought that she missed a great plot opportunity with Temeraire's egg, which for me was basically wasted...

The starless sea, Erin Morgenstern - 5/5
Superb story, very different, all whimsical and magical and kick-starts your imagination at 100 mph. If you want a great standalone book, look no further.

Little Women and Good wives, Louisa May Alcott - 4/5
I'd got a copy of these classics for free with a magazine and I wanted something 'safe': I hadn't read the first since I was a teenager, and had never read the second at all, despite knowing the story, so it was quite nice.
It's very funny to read books from this period where everyone is gay ;D

And a non-fiction: The little book of emotional intelligence, Andy Cope, short and sweet with loads of interesting information and tips.
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Offline Cherie

Re: What did you read in Lockdown March 2020
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2020, 09:38:12 AM »
I finished one book in March, and I'm still reading the one I started straight after!

Ship of Magic Robin Hobb
This is a re-read for me, as I'm really not in the mood to be reading at the moment. I re-read the first trilogy sometime last year, so I decided to continue, and hopefully I'll pick up the rest of the different series and finally finish the whole saga!

I'm currently reading the second book in the Liveship trilogy, and as I'm getting furloughed from Friday, I might actually finish it soon, and make a dent on my pile of unread books!

Offline Peat

Re: What did you read in Lockdown March 2020
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2020, 11:22:38 PM »

The Library of the Unwritten by A. J. Hackwith. The premise of this is brilliant. There are an infinite number of unwritten books, and they all wind up in a corner of hell, being presided over by a succession of librarians. When one of these books gets loose, it's up to the current librarian, her assistant and a young demon to track it down, bring it back and save both heaven and hell in the process. It got a bit confusing at times, but they were fun characters to follow, even the escaped book.


See, I love the premise, but most of the characters veer between doing nothing for me and irritating me. The muse is the one character I actively enjoy. Need to pick this up again and finish it but...

I also tried a number of other books and was bleh about it. Apparently I hate reading right now... or everything I pick is okay at best.
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Offline Elfy

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Re: What did you read in Lockdown March 2020
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2020, 07:42:47 AM »

The Library of the Unwritten by A. J. Hackwith. The premise of this is brilliant. There are an infinite number of unwritten books, and they all wind up in a corner of hell, being presided over by a succession of librarians. When one of these books gets loose, it's up to the current librarian, her assistant and a young demon to track it down, bring it back and save both heaven and hell in the process. It got a bit confusing at times, but they were fun characters to follow, even the escaped book.


See, I love the premise, but most of the characters veer between doing nothing for me and irritating me. The muse is the one character I actively enjoy. Need to pick this up again and finish it but...

I also tried a number of other books and was bleh about it. Apparently I hate reading right now... or everything I pick is okay at best.
I liked Brevity the most too, although Leto also grew on me. Try The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heap by H. G. Parry. I ripped through that, of course a book set largely in Wellington, New Zealand is quite a novelty for me to read.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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