February 1, 2016 by rachelcmann
Read and Recommend!
Redshirts – John Scalzi – This book is pretty much a must read for sci-fi geeks. The concept is cool, the execution is incredible and the story rocks. Basically the book is told from the point of view of a traditional Star Trek ‘Redshirt’ aka the random crewman who gets killed during planet visits so the main characters can continue. At spots it gets a little meta but overall it’s a great and entertaining read.
A Red Rose Chain – Seanan Maguire – I really enjoy the October Daye novels even if I prefer the Cryptid series more. While I feel like I had lost interest in the last book, this one dragged me straight back into the fray. There’s a lot of absurd action packed into these paperbacks, but our heroes are lovable and basically indestructible, which is how I like ’em. In this book, Daye and her posse travel to another Fey kingdom to prevent war. It does not go as planned (surprise!).
Snow Crash – Neal Stephensen – After Seveneves it was interesting to go back to Stephensen’s first book. A theme I’m noticing with his work is his great attention and devotion to detail. Detail that really ought to slow the story down and make it less page-turn-worthy. But somehow he manages to weave in details in a way that adds complexity (and not a small amount of knowledge) and depth to the story. This first book takes place partially in a VR kind of space, where coders and hackers rule. The universe is a near-future dystopia that honestly doesn’t seem all that far off. Massive religious organizations, out in the open mafia, car culture, VR – all those things are pretty close to being real already. If you like Stephensen’s other stuff you might want to give this a try, but I do think his writing and storytelling has improved.
Better Than Before – Gretchen Rubin – I enjoy Rubin’s podcast Happier, and she talks about this book a lot so I thought I’d give it a read. There’s not a ton in there that’s new information if you already know a bit about habit formation, but she does present it in a way that’s more digestible. A lot of her tenets are around recognizing your innate traits and how they affect your ability to create, stop or maintain habits. Know thyself – and in that way she does have some useful suggestions.
The Vampire’s Mail Order Bride – Kristen Painter – This was one of those silly and fast Kindle books that was over in the blink of an eye. And when all you’re expecting is empty calories, this hits the spot. A woman running from the mob shows up on the doorstep of men expecting a bride and through a series of misadventures they fall in love. It’s terribly predictable and kind of trite but enjoyable nevertheless.
Some Girls Bite – Chloe Neill – The first of the Chicagoland Vampires series this has been on my list for awhile. This is about a young woman who becomes a vampire when the Master vamp saves her life (the first quarter of book is actually a really good review of consent) but in addition to her new unasked for life she turns out to be super powerful. It’s definitely a fun mix of True Blood (the vamps have become public) and The Vampire Diaries (love triangles galore) but I really enjoyed it. I’ll definitely be getting the next book.
Firespell – Chloe Neill – One of the things I love about libraries is that when you go to a row you can find all kinds of interesting things you weren’t necessarily looking for. Case in point – this YA novel from Neill. It’s really short, almost a novella. It’s about a teenager sent to boarding school and there are mysterious goings-on which she quickly becomes embroiled with.
Would-Be Witch – Kimberly Frost – Well, I can say that this was a quick fun read but I only read it a day ago and I’ve already forgotten most of it. Literary junk food. Satisfying but ultimately leaves you empty. And you know what, I’m totally okay with that.
Deceptions – Kelley Armstrong – Another in her mystery-esque series called Cainsville. I don’t love this series but I’ll read a phone book if Armstrong writes it. The books are about a child (now adult) who is the daughter of serial killers, but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. This installment answers a lot of major questions that have been building up.