Reading Round-Up for June.

June saw me really get back into reading. I don’t know what happened to make me read less but for most of this year, I struggled to finish a couple of books a month. Strangely, this all changed, for real reason, last month. So, I thought I would update you guys with the books I’ve read in June!

Continue reading “Reading Round-Up for June.”

Thero’s Recommended Reading: The Final Empire

This time round, I thought I’ll recommend an 6547258epic fantasy novel with a twist. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson is the first book in the original Mistborn trilogy, which in turn are the first three books in the Mistborn series. A bit confuding, I know, but I hope you guys are still with me. If you are, then without further ado, let’s dive into why I recommend The Final Empire.

Continue reading “Thero’s Recommended Reading: The Final Empire”

March’s Reading Round-Up.

Yes, I know March finished a couple of weeks ago but to make up for it, I managed to read more books in March than in February. So without further ado, let’s dive in!

The first book of March was The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien. 18335700This story is set in the Middle
Earth universe and basically is Middle Earth’s creation  myth and tells the history of the First Age. In case you were wondering, The Lord of The Rings is set in the Third Age. Digression aside, the tone and writing style of The Simarillion is completely different to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. It reminds me of  The Iliad and The Odyssey  which does make sense, as this is supposed to be a retelling of an epic story. For some people this maybe a challenging read, but I found it was worth it as it fleshes out Middle Earth and explains the origins of a number of characters including Elrond and Sauron. If you are a Lord of the Rings fan, this may be worth a look.

For a change of pace, my next book is The Disney Book, a DK reference book all about Disney (you wouldn’t have been able to guess, would you?).  To be honest, the only reason I picked this book up was for the Disney Challenge (yay! Shameless plugging!) but this is actually a good introduction to pretty much everything to do with Disney. It doesn’t go into too much detail but instead covers the films, theme parks and anything else the company has done in its history. If you needed a quick reference book about Disney for some reason, then this might be what you are looking for!
7068985The final three books for March all have the same theme, they are all video game themed. The first two are volume 4 and volume 5 of the Pokemon Adventures manga. I’ll admit to begin with I thought the manga series was OK but not amazing; now, however, I am loving the series. The manga series is much darker and has a far more complex plot than in any other medium in the Pokemon series. In these later volumes, you see the Elite Four as the main antagonists who are fighting against some of the gym leaders (and some of the gym leaders even work for Team Rocket!). Bearing in mind this manga series was written in the 1990s, it covers far more interesting ideas that we have yet to see in the Pokemon world. It makes me wish that the Pokemon video games would be as adventurous with the story. I will probably continue with the manga series and I’ll keep you posted on how I find the rest of the volumes.

25776245The final book is the last video game themed book: Assassin’s Creed: Underworld by Oliver
Bowden. I picked this book up after completing Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, which I thoroughly enjoyed. To be honest, I can’t say I hold this book in the same regard, as it didn’t really grab my attention like the game did. Underworld follows one of the side characters, Henry Green and tells the story of how he became an Assassin and what he was doing in London before the Frye twins arrived. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad book but I do feel that it will only really appeal to fans of the Assassin’s Creed franchise and want to explore the universe beyond the video games. I will most likely pick up a couple of the other books in the series, just to see how they hold up.

And there we have it, a far more productive reading month than the last one. Like always, the links take you over to goodreads.com, where you can read more reviews about the books. Also check out my 2016 reading challenge page for a list of ll the books I’ve read so far. Come back next month, where I’ll be talking about the books I’ve read in April. Until then, happy reading!

 

 

As always, all images were found on goodreads.com and do not belong to Thero but to their rightful owners.

 

Thero’s Recommended Reading: American Gods

This probably won’t be last time I’ll recommend a Neil Gaiman novel. In fact, I actually had a hard time choosing one to recommend first. In the end, I decided American Gods  was a good place to start.

American Gods follows Shadow, a recently released convict struggling to deal with the death4407
of his wife and his recently earnt freedom. He crosses path with Mr. Wednesday, a mysterious individual, who offers Shadow a job helping in a war against the old gods and the new ones. As they journey across America, Shadow discovers what has happened to the gods that emigrated to America with their followers, as well as the gods that the modern world has created.

Now, I love novels that put ancient gods into the modern world and this book is one of the ones that does it well, along with Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips. One of the things that American Gods does well is use gods and goddess that less well known in popular culture, like Czernobog from Slavic mythology and Eostre, a Germanic goddess, as well as use gods from more popular mythologies, like Ancient Egyptian.

I should point out that Neil Gaiman tells very strange but detailed tales and if you don’t pay attention, you will miss the point of it. This can make American Gods a challenge to read and it isn’t a small book either but I found it rewarding once I finished it. SO if you want a book that looks at modern day America and how ancient gods cope with living and competing in it, then this is the book for you!

 

Book cover was found on goodreads.com.

 

January Reading Round-Up.

This is just an update on my 2016 reading challenge. In January I read four books, not a lot I know, but the first book did slow me down. Speaking of the first book, Dangerous Women was an anthology of short stories based on the theme of women… who are dangerous. There are a good range of genres from historical to sci-fi. I found I enjoyed this one more than the other two anthologies edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois , Warriors and Rogues (bet you can’t guess what they are about…). If you are fan of A Song of Ice And Fire, then you may want to check out Dangerous Women for a novella set a couple of centuries before A Game of Thrones.

For my second book of the month, I decided to read a bit of classic literature- The Phantom of the Opera. This one took me by surprise because I didn’t think I would enjoy this as much as I did. It was a very easy read, with a very concise plot. If you enjoy Arthur Conan Doyle’s horror/ghost stories then this book maybe for you.

The last two books I finished reading are Pokemon themed, volume 2 and volume 3 of the original manga. The manga doesn’t really follow the video games or the anime but has its own, much faster, plot. But there was an Eevee, so these books win bonus points (yes, I am easily won over). With Pokemon celebrating 20 years since the first games were released, rest assured this will not be the last time Pokemon finds its way onto these blog posts.

So there you have it, my first steps on my reading challenge. I’ve kicked off February reading The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, a fantasy Robin Hood/Ocean’s Eleven kind of story. Stay tuned for another update next month!