Random Thoughts

about reading, writing, and anything else that interests me

July reading, part 1

Last month I read 20 books and 2 pieces of shorter fiction. I listened to an audiobook, too. Obviously, that’s more than I am going to post about all at once, so I’ll start with the easy ones.

The audiobook was the third book in the Demon Wars Saga by R.A. Salvatore, The Demon Apostle. Each of these books is done in three parts, with 5-6 hours of audio per part, so this constitutes a serious investment of time. But they are worth it. This one didn’t end the way I would have liked – or any way that I might have been able to tolerate, but my son was quick to point out that Salvatore is not known for his happy endings. The story was wonderful and the audio production flawless. (They are done by Graphic Audio. Unfortunately, they are no longer available from them.  I got mine as part of a Humble Bundle.) I still have a lot of this series to go, but I will definitely be reading Salvatore after I am done with these.  Unfortunately, his ebooks are as expensive as paperbacks, so I will probably just try to dig out my son’s old copies. They are around here somewhere!

I read two pieces of short fiction:

I know that I do not really enjoy short stories very much because they are short and it is hard to write good ones, but these were a little longer than short stories and I had hopes. But I was disappointed.  Vampire Dead-tective #1 had an interesting premise: a bond between a human and a vampire as long as the human is wearing a ring. I didn’t like the characters very much, and that made it difficult to get into the story. Maybe the other installments (There are 5; this one was 83 pages, so all together they are a longish novel.) would change that for me, but I am not counting on it. Also, the writing was filled with cliches. It seemed like laziness more than a conscious decision to include them. This book was OK since it was free on Amazon, but I won’t shell out $2.99 for any of the other installments.

A Gift of Shadows was part of a 15 book set I got through Kobo that is no longer available. I cannot find any evidence of Nick Webb writing a series that this would fit into. The story was good but too short. I assumed it was like a prologue to a series, so I was OK with that. But now that I can’t find the series, I am a little disappointed. I found The Maskmaker’s Apprentice by Endi Webb (who looks just like Nick Webb!), and so I guess that is what is leads into.

I read three historical novels:

I didn’t like this Cash Laramie as much as the first one I read, but it was still good. I really liked the interplay between Laramie and Miles in the first one, and this book didn’t feature Miles nearly as much.

The Good Knight was a “Medieval Mystery” that kept me interested and taught me a lot about the times. I really enjoyed it. The mystery was good, and the characters were engaging. I hope to read more of this series.

I read Soldier’s Heart by Gary Paulsen some years ago, and at first that was a problem for me with this book. But this Soldier’s Heart is every bit as good in its own way. I struggled with the connection between soldier’s heart and this story for a long time because the book is more about the families of the soldiers than the soldiers themselves. But the families became people I cared about. The story is based on fact and written by a descendant of the families in question, so that makes it even more interesting to me. If you like Civil War stories that aren’t all about the killing, this is the book for you!

OK… That’s all for now. I’ll be back later with more!

 

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