Saturday, February 6, 2016

What I've Been Up To (Part Three)

          This is the one where I talk about what I've been reading! Yeah, I know, this is the part that tends to leave people feeling like they do nothing with their lives, but the honest truth is that I love reading and thus, I tend to read a lot. I joined Goodread's 2016 Reading Challenge this year and set myself a goal of a 100 books for the year. It's a little less precise than saying 2 books a week, on average, since I know that sometimes I'm insane for reading and sometimes I don't even want to consider picking up a book.

          However, oddly enough, the Goodreads challenge counts the Manga I read, which gives me a bit of a boost, since normally I don't count them towards my books read each year (though I count the graphic novels, which could simply mean I was making life much more complicated than I had to) 

          Anyway, the picture below is of some of the books I've read thus far according to Goodreads. For a more complete list, check out the right side of the panel where there should be an infograph of my novels read so far this year. It's missing my manga, but if you're interested I have a shelf under my account titled "Graphic Novels read in 2016" that you can check out.

          As you can see, I've read a few different genres here. Steampunk, paranormal romance, science fiction, light novels (science fiction), humour and fantasy. I usually stick much closer to the realm of paranormal romance and urban fantasy, but for the beginning of the year, its a good start.

          The Martian is the book here that I would most recommend. 5 stars, must read, all of that, even if science fiction isn't usually your thing. I would totally suggest listening to it; the audio book is fantastically done.

          The Colour of Magic is a hilarious book, a fantastical comedy of epic proportions. Despite it being so awesome, I find these sorts of reads a bit too out there for me, so I only read one or two every year like this. Not in my usual taste but Pratchett was one of the best! I would totally suggest it, if comedy is your thing.

          Tart Magica is a manga based of of Puella Magi Madoka Magicka that plays around with the idea that Joanne of Arc was a magical girl. While the idea is interesting, this first volume misses the tone of the anime that I've come to adore so much. I probably won't be reading any more of it. The characterization is slim and the main character feels too stupid to be believed.

          Mystic is a fun fantasy coming of age novel about a young girl, who has the potential to learn magic. When she is offered a chance to become an apprentice rather than the noble girl in her village she is told she will have no home to return to if she leaves. Despite this threat, she leaves to begin her training hoping to beat out the other applicants to the position. This was well-written, a quick read, and fun to boot. Not the most in-depth book I've seen, but the promise was fulfilled but it is definitely worth a spot on your reading list if you like coming of age fantasy novels.

          Storm Born is an erotic paranormal romance. Despite being very pleased with the authors Succubus series, the writing of this book felt stilted, the twists were obvious from a mile away and we walked into more than few info dumps. It also suffered from the reverse harem trope, except that everyone except the two main love interests either propositioned her straight out or threatened rape. It's saving grace was a hunk of kitsune as one of the love interests. I won't be reading any more of it, but if it interests you, go for it. I'm known to be a bit harsher on my paranormal erotic novels than others.

          Sword Art Online: Phantom Bullet is the forth book in the SAO light novel series and honestly, it was my lease favourite part of the anime. The writing feels a bit stilted (though I think that is due to being translated from Japanese, than any fault of the writers) and I occasionally want to yell at Sian, the new girl for these two books. Worth reading if you're into the series, but if you aren't you might want to skip it. I fully admit that I felt like I had to power through this one.

          Agatha H and the Voice of the Castle is the third book in the translation of the Girl Genius comics to novels. As a steampunk, its long, awesome, hilarious and unbelievable. This is a series worth reading to. As with a few others of these, if you can, go and listen to the audio book. Totally worth it. If you like wild steampunk rides of fancy where everyone and their neighbour is an evil genius (even the good guys) find these novels and read them! Check out the comic while you're at it. These guys are talented all around!

          How to Seduce a Naked Werewolf and How to Run with a Naked Werewolf are fun paranormal romances with a little bit of erotica thrown in. Though both are decent reads, the plots are not as well put together as I had wished for and some of it seemed to happen, literally, "because plot". Also, I came into this series from reading a few of Molly Harpers other paranormal romances. I must say, while I like her voice, all of her heroines are way too similar. They all react the same way for the most part and I don't feel as much was done as could have been to differentiate between them. In the books defence, I listened to this series and the others audio books and I believe they were read by the same person, which could be why they feel too similar. A problem with the same reader emphasizing the same things for each heroine, rather than a problem with the words themselves. Still, a decent read and I enjoyed them, if not quite as much as her other series. I would suggest the Jane Jameson series by this author rather than the Naked Werewolf series as a better introduction to the world as well.

          What have you read this year? Do you have any suggestions for good books for me to read? In particular, I'll be looking for more science-fiction than I usually prefer, since I can still listen to it while writing without compromising my writing style. Let me know in the comments below!

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