As it is a fortnight since I last wrote a Reading Roundup post, I have two completed books to tell you about plus another that I didn’t finish. Let’s deal with that first…
So, this is the book that I didn’t manage to finish: The Scar by China Miéville. To start, here is the blurb:
”Winner of the British Fantasy Award, The Scar by China Miéville is a colossal fantasy of incredible diversity and spellbinding imagination, set in the richly visualized world of Bas-Lag.
A human cargo bound for servitude in exile . . .
A pirate city hauled across the oceans . . .
A hidden miracle about be revealed . . .
These are the ingredients of an astonishing story. It is the story of a prisoner’s journey. Of the search for the island of a forgotten people, for the most astonishing beast in the seas, and ultimately for a fabled place – a massive wound in reality, a source of unthinkable power and danger.”
I have been meaning to try this author’s books for a long time and this, with its awards, seemed like the perfect choice. Anyway, this is my response, as written on Goodreads:The Scar by China Miéville
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
I have read around 150 pages and have now given up. I am sure that this is probably a great book for many people (judging by the reviews on here), but it’s not for me.
I am just bored and can’t take any more of the endless descriptive passages and the huge list of names for places and creatures with nothing much happening!
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Oh dear! My brain just couldn’t deal with this book and I simply had to stop trying to battle on with it. Maybe, I will try it again one day…
Anyway, let’s move on to better things…
My following two books were much more successful choices. I have read some of Adrian Tchaikovsky’s work before, so was excited to find his newest book, Shards of Earth #01 The Final Architects Trilogy, on our Library’s ebook catalogue. Here is the blurb:
”The Arthur C. Clarke award-winning author of Children of Time brings us an extraordinary new space opera about humanity on the brink of extinction, and how one man’s discovery will save or destroy us all.
The war is over. Its heroes forgotten. Until one chance discovery . . .
Idris has neither aged nor slept since they remade him in the war. And one of humanity’s heroes now scrapes by on a freelance salvage vessel, to avoid the attention of greater powers.
After earth was destroyed, mankind created a fighting elite to save their species, enhanced humans such as Idris. In the silence of space they could communicate, mind-to-mind, with the enemy. Then their alien aggressors, the Architects, simply disappeared – and Idris and his kind became obsolete.
Now, fifty years later, Idris and his crew have discovered something strange abandoned in space. It’s clearly the work of the Architects – but are they returning? And if so, why? Hunted by gangsters, cults and governments, Idris and his crew race across the galaxy hunting for answers. For they now possess something of incalculable value, that many would kill to obtain.”
Like the previous book, this one was very complex but the writing was much more accessible for me. This my five star review – I apologise for the brevity:Shards of Earth by Adrian Tchaikovsky
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Wow! I have only just finished this amazing book and the story and characters are still bouncing around my brain! In some ways I am sad that this experience is over, but I am comforted by the thought that this is the first book in a new series.
The author’s world-building and alien creature creation is excellent. It took me a while to feel comfortable with all of this, but eventually it all began to fit together. I particularly enjoyed reading about the female warriors of the “Parthenon”. As a former student of Ancient Greece, this aspect of the book was interesting as well as intriguing.
The only down side of reading this is that I will now have to wait until the author publishes the next book!
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I think I might have to search for some other books by Adrian Tchaikovsky whilst I wait for the sequels to this one!
My final book (I only finished it late last night) is Karin Slaughter’s False Witness. This is the blurb:
”Leigh Collier has worked hard to build what looks like a normal life. She’s an up-and-coming defense attorney at a prestigious law firm in Atlanta, would do anything for her sixteen-year-old daughter Maddy, and is managing to successfully coparent through a pandemic after an amicable separation from her husband Walter.
But Leigh’s ordinary life masks a childhood no one should have to endure … a childhood tarnished by secrets, broken by betrayal, and ultimately destroyed by a brutal act of violence.
On a Sunday night at her daughter’s school play, she gets a call from one of the firm’s partners who wants Leigh to come on board to defend a wealthy man accused of multiple counts of rape. Though wary of the case, it becomes apparent she doesn’t have much choice if she wants to keep her job. They’re scheduled to go to trial in one week. When she meets the accused face-to-face, she realizes that it’s no coincidence that he’s specifically asked for her to represent him. She knows him. And he knows her. More to the point, he may know what happened over twenty years ago, and why Leigh has spent two decades avoiding her past.
Suddenly she has a lot more to lose than this case. The only person who can help is her younger, estranged sister Callie—the last person Leigh would ever want to drag into this after all they’ve been through. But with the life-shattering truth in danger of being revealed, she has no choice…”
I must say that I am a huge fan of Karin Slaughter’s work. This is my four star review:False Witness by Karin Slaughter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is one of the darkest and most brutal books I have ever read. The author doesn’t hold anything back in her descriptions of the effects of drug addiction, crime, abuse and violence. At several points I almost put the book down as I felt that I couldn’t take much more mental battery from this grim tale. But then, I would become drawn in to the next development of the characters or the plot and decide to stay with it for a bit longer, because Slaughter is such an amazing and gripping writer.
Slaughter certainly is not afraid to challenge her readers to face up to the dark truths of contemporary society. As I just said, I almost couldn’t manage this…
… but I am glad that I did!
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OK, so after that I think I need a change of pace for my next read. I have already downloaded some fresh ebooks to my account and will go through them and decide which one I am going to tackle. So, you will find out what I have chosen in next week’s Reading Roundup post!
Happy Reading to you all!
Love and best wishes,
(This may be a duplicate – WP ate my first try…)
Hi again! I’m catching up on TPF, was delighted to see your new scarf, and appreciate these reviews!
I get what you’re saying with The Scar. I found it fascinating and overwhelming. I have the next book in the loosely linked series, Iron Council, but it’s just so grim I took a break from it and haven’t returned… a couple of years ago! 🙂 You might like Perdido Street Station, the first in the series – it’s a little less sprawling. I felt like each page was bursting with brilliant ideas that could each be their own novel. I will say that with all three books I feel somehow physically grimy afterward. (Not morally, though possibly that too, but like I’ve picked up all the filth from the environments he so clearly describes.). Someday I’ll pick up The City & The City, which is supposed to be very different and has tons of rave reviews.
Thanks for the heads-up about Shards of Earth – I’ve been meaning to read Children of Time, but I’m feeling not quite up to sentient spider-things. Shards sounds perhaps less groundbreaking, but like the basis for a great story/series!
Here’s hoping you’re feeling as well as possible!
Dear morfydd, thank you for your helpful thoughts about The Scar and other works. I may try them again in the future. I just hope that my brain continues to improve since my stroke two years ago.
I hate spiders as well and so that book series, Children of Time, was difficult for me! I did manage to look past the “ick” though.
Best wishes, Anne XXX