Aaannnddd I Quit

Given that it’s been … I don’t know how many days since I’ve read the book I was referring to on Monday, I think it’s time to declare the book a DNF. I haven’t even thought about it. I am clearly just not into it, so it’s time to move on.

It’s freeing to decide that my time is worth more than a book that’s doing nothing for me. It means that I value myself enough to know when I’m wasting my time. It also means that I have a lot of books to read, and I’m not going to spend precious reading time on this particular book anymore. Oh well. They can’t all be winners.

Meanwhile, I’m deep into The Hanging Tree and have reached the point where I’m beginning to fret a little about having no more books left in this series just yet. I have one novella and one novel left, plus three graphic novels. There will be new installments later this year, and while I know this, I’m impatient and I want moar. I’ll live.

[Books] When To Quit?

Are you one of those stubborn, determined readers who finishes everything that you start? Because I have learned that, while I think it’s an admirable quality, I’m not that kind of person. I used to think that I was! I’d get to a point in a book where I was stalled because of one reason or another. Usually, I just wasn’t gelling with some aspect of the story. More often than not, I fail to care. Something within the book has to make me care. I’m at that point with one of my current reads, and while part of me truly wants to finish the book due to other factors, I find that I just do not give one good goddamn about what happens. Nothing in this book has me interested in what happens at the end.

Cut because I’m going to talk more. I won’t be naming names. But cutting anyway. Continue reading

[Book Review] Rivers of London: Body Work and Night Witch

I return! I was too busy being sick to string together enough sentences for any blog entries last week, other than my review of That Ain’t Witchcraft for Speculative Chic. I really loved that book, and I can’t wait for the next one. It’s going to be a long year. It might be time for an end-to-end reread of the InCryptid series. In the meantime, I’m still working my way through Rivers of London! I have reached the graphic novel portion of the series.

My friend Lane, when she reviewed this series for Speculative Chic, mentioned that she didn’t read the graphic novels, and it felt like there were some weird gaps in continuity. So I treated myself to all of the currently existing graphic novels in the series, and dug up a reading order that included them within the novels’ timeline, and hopped in. This is partially because events that happened in Body Work and Black Mould are referenced in The Hanging Tree, and I wanted to find out what happened, especially given that Sahra Guleed (who is awesome) was involved.

Short reviews, maybe a few spoilers Continue reading

Book Review: Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch

After the last installment of the Rivers of London series, I was chomping at the bit to get to Foxglove Summer. If you’ve read the book, or my spoilery review, you know why. Unfortunately for me, the massive, twisty not-quite cliffhanger isn’t addressed very thoroughly in this volume. That’s fine; it was still a great read, and I’m still exceedingly satisfied with my reading experience and this series as a whole.

Let me just say right now: you can’t really read and enjoy these books unless you read them in order. Too much either won’t make sense or will have little to no impact upon you as a reader if you aren’t already familiar with what’s going on. Aaronovitch expects you to keep up and unforgivingly gives very little in the way of plot/character rehashing.

A lot of ongoing series have a volume or two that takes our primary protagonist out of their primary setting. The author picks them up and plunks them down somewhere entirely new. This was the first of such books in this series. I’ve found that this type of book can be hit or miss for me. If it occurs in the proper place in the series, it generally works well. If the writer tries to do it too soon, for me, it doesn’t go over well. A series that I love with all of my heart and soul did this in the second volume. That, to me, was entirely too soon. We’d just started getting to know the heroine and knew next to nothing about her world and the way that things worked, then we’re whisked away to what was (at the time) an insignificant place to deal with insignificant things. Now I understand the reasoning behind this alternative setting, but I still think that it could have come a little later in the series and had the same overall impact. Plus, I feel like the book would be better received and enjoyed by new readers to the series. Anyway.

Some spoilers. I don’t ruin too much for you, because I’m a nice person. Continue reading

Book Review: Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch

Okay, Aaronovitch. You’ve got me. I was already on board with this series, finding Peter to be a likeable and humorous narrator, and quite enjoying the other characters a great deal as well, but this?

This one might have broken me just a bit. I can’t even find an appropriate “mind blown” GIF to insert here, because…just…damn.

I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to discuss this book without going into spoiler territory, so I’ll see what I can do to avoid them until at all necessary. Fear not, I will mark them very clearly so that you know when to stop reading.

There will eventually be spoilers. Continue reading

Book Review: Whispers Underground by Ben Aaronovitch

So here it is,  book 3 of the Peter Grant / Rivers of London series. This is the book that temporarily derailed a friend of mine from the series, so I wasn’t entirely sure how things were going to go for me. This friend and I have similar tastes, so I will admit to being a bit concerned. Nevertheless, I plunged in.

I do have to say that this book was a little better than I had anticipated. Which is a great thing. I’m still a little leery of Aaronovitch and his very male cast of characters. Stephanopoulos being more in the thick of things was a nice move. Further, I am rather fascinated with Lady Ty and what, precisely, she does. What is she responsible for, within her mother’s court? What’s her role?

Cut because I care. There might be spoilers. Continue reading

Book Review: Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch

Second book of the year! I’m always delighted when I start reading an established series. I’m an impatient little snot, and I already have a few series that have me waiting for new installments. When I find something that I enjoy and learn that there are already multiple volumes available? Happiness abounds. What, I’m a simple creature, and it doesn’t take a whole lot to make me genuinely happy.

I started reading the series at the start of 2019 in hopes of something distracting and engaging, while not giving me emotional scarring (*cough* Robin Hobb). So far, I’m enjoying my jaunt through the magical alterna-London with my new pal, Peter Grant. The second volume in a series is often a tricky one to master. The first book draws the audience and sets certain expectations. When you pick up the next in the series, whether you like it or not, you  have preconceived notions of what you’re going to be reading. Occasionally, this is a disappointing experience. I almost quit one of my now-favorite series because the second book was such a confusing mess to me at the time (and no, I’m not going to tell you what it is). I gave that series a final shot when the third book appeared, and it ended up saving the day quite heartily.

Here, with the second book in the whatever-this-series is called these days (I’ve seen it listed under at least two different names), I wasn’t terribly worried about what I might find. I had already made the perhaps-foolish decision to invest in the first six or seven volumes during a Book Depository sale, so I was, by god, going to read these books. I’m trying to buy fewer physical books, partially because shelf space is at such a premium for me, and partly because I feel more than a little guilty about the number of unread books that I have hanging around my house already. So, it was with a slight amount of trepidation that I decided to dive into Moon Over Soho. I am pleased to say that it wasn’t disappointing at all.

Cut for mild spoilers. You’re welcome. Continue reading