Reading inbox-outbox: Week of 23 February

And just like that, another month is over. February had some really fun bits (trip to Portland, friends/family birthdays, and more…), but it also had some really stressful and frustrating bits (like some stuff that kept me out of the water for almost a week, and then the fact that in exchange for an awesome Portland trip I caught an annoying cold that won’t go away…).

But, in February there was some good reading. Here are my February book stats:

  • Total books finished: 6
  • Favorite book read: Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
  • Book(s) read by diverse authors (per my 2015 reading project): Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekbäck  <– I’m counting this one because my rules were “non-American and/or non-white…” and she’s Swedish / Canadian

And now, more about what I bought, finished, and have been reading this past week…

Inbox (books acquired)

  • Heaven’s Queen by Rachel Back (Kindle) — I finished the first two in the series and decided I needed just keep going…

Outbox (books finished)

  • Honor’s Knight (book #2 in the Paradox series) by Rachel Back (Kindle) — I wrote a longer review of the whole series, but I’m still editing it and haven’t posted it yet. So, some quick (short) thoughts… Note: This is going to have some spoilers for the first book… I was worried that the memory wipe at the end of book one was going to send us back to square one and I was going to have to suffer through another whole book of her trying to block out what’s going on around her so she can “just do her job.” Luckily, the memory wipe only lasted for about a third of the book. The reward for persevering until Devi’s memories were restored: events inspire her to start taking matters into her own hands and making decisions that started to drive the plot, instead of just reacting and trying to maintain status quo. Granted, it’s still mostly in the effort of self-preservation, and she’s still showing a frustrating lack of curiosity about the events going on around her. She’s like the anti-Harry Potter. I like these books because of the world and the action, but the storytelling leaves me very frustrated, as I will expand on in my longer review.
  • Heaven’s Queen (book #3 in the Paradox series) by Rachel Bach (Kindle) — I read most of this while I was home sick. Luckily, it’s one of those books that lends itself well to reading while sick (action packed, and not intellectually challenging…). This last book in the series does a nice job of wrapping up the challenge facing Devi and “the Eyes” in the first two books. It also leans pretty heavy on the romance aspect of the story, with lots of Rupert-ogling and declarations of commitment, love, and affection, distributed at regular intervals. So, spoiler (I guess…), she gets back together with His Hotness pretty quickly after the end of book two. I appreciated that Devi’s character drove more of the plot in this book — she’s basically calling the shots in this one, even though others are still trying to hold her back. Again, an enjoyable space-drama, with several frustrating bits I’ll expand on in my longer review.

Queue (what I’m reading next)

  • I haven’t started anything yet, but I’m thinking I may try to read all six of these books from my “books I bought for (almost) full price and haven’t read yet” list: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, SwordThe Handmaid’s TaleAll My Puny Sorrows (hardcover), LandlineThe Fire Horse Girl — these are all under 350 pages, and all on Kindle (except where noted)…
  • And, if I succeed in that challenge, I think I can justify buying myself Station Eleven, which I’ve wanted to read since it first came out because it was recommended by a ton of authors and friends whose bookish opinions I pay attention to. Then, today I read this blog post by Alastair Reynolds, who is one of my favorite science fiction writers, and now I want to drop everything and read this book.

Apparently, March is National Reading Month! So, that’s pretty cool! That’s almost as good as National Novel Writing Month… which reminds me… I really should be writing…

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