TBR – May 2020

Since I totally failed at reading Blood of Empire recently—not because of it, more because I’m broken, because I can’t focus on things—I figured we’d ditch the normal and talk about some of the more obscure titles on my TBR. I mean, they might not be obscure for you, but are more titles that I want to read, but haven’t for some reason. Things I still would love to read, but’ve been shelved for the foreseeable future for a variety of reasons, and I don’t have any idea when I’ll get to them.

Currently Reading

• An Ember in the Ashes – by Sabaa Tahir

So I’ve got this as an audiobook and… I’ve been struggling to get through it. It’s good—pretty good, at least—but I’m just having trouble concentrating. A good YA book thus far, though I’m finding (early on, at least) that the way Elias has been watching Laia a little weird. But whatever.

TBR for ???

I’ve meant to get to Those Above for some time now—I do believe it made it into one of my longer lists last year—but haven’t. I wasn’t a huge fan of Low Town, and… I dunno. It LOOKS good, but… well, BUT. And there’s that.

Hexed is the novelization of the comic series by Michael Alan Nelson, and I’ve heard he actually did a pretty good job writing it, so I’m encouraged. It’s fairly short as well, and supposedly a quick read. But he was really upbeat about it at one point and was going to do a bunch more and continue the series and stuff… but that really hasn’t happened. The series is over (I think—pretty sure) and there aren’t any more books. I guess that’s tempered my interest.

I… I’m not a huge fan of Mark Lawrence. Like… yeah. Pretty much just that. There’s no way around it, really. I hated Jorg—so much that I didn’t read Emperor of Thorns. I liked Jalan better, but apparently not a ton since I never made it past Book #1. I’ve enjoyed his Impossible Times stuff, and I read the first few chapters for Red Sister and immediately got the book. And put it on my shelf. Where it’s stayed until now.

The Edge of Dark is supposedly an impressive cyberpunk and scifi book that begins a thoughtful series. Do you know? Have you read it? I totally ADORE cyberpunk and yet—here it sits. Untouched. I’m really enjoying Automatic Reload right now, so maybe after that, but… I’m skeptical. I’ve met me, after all.

Shadow of the Winter King has been on my TBR for like, 10 years. Pretty impressive considering it was only released in 2014. I’ve heard more mixed things about this than anything else on this list, but I still want to read it. No idea when that desire will actually evolve into me doing anything about it though.

Behold: the one Sanderson book I’ve never read. Okay, there’s more than one. Dude writes like, a dozen a year—there’s only so many I can read through. But Warbreaker‘s been out for over a decade, and I’ve had it for most of that time. Actually, I think I’ve had it for MORE than that time. I got it as a freebie from the man himself (well, his website) when he was promoting… something. I can’t remember. Maybe this, maybe the Wheel of Time stuff. I dunno. I think you can still get it for free over on his website. Here, even.

Yeah, so, this month’s TBR is pretty much just a list of books that I haven’t read and have some desire to, but ultimately not enough (yet, at least). While instead of doing anything about it I sit around reading through ARCs and trying not to spend money. If you don’t know, I’m a recreation coordinator (that’s a fancy name for what I do, which is mostly just trying entertain children with different colored sportsballs), and I’m currently off til mid-June. Since I got laid off my part-timer in March, and am currently sick (but not with COVID, I think, though I’ve not yet gotten my test results)—this is pretty much it. I’ve no energy (’cause of the sick thing, mostly) and no attention span (I’m just like that sometimes). You can probably tell from this extremely rambly post. That I DID rewrite and edit, by the way. Just, poorly, it seems. So… yeah. No complaints. I’m okay (more or less), I have enough accumulated to live on, there’s nothing to go and do anyway. I’m an introvert, so this is my natural habitat. I hope y’all are surviving just as well, and as places start to reopen—Montana is in the 2nd or 3rd stage of this already as we’ve not even had 500 cases total—can begin to return to some semblance of normalcy.

I hope you didn’t want to actually hear about the books themselves because I just realized I didn’t do that. Annnnd I’m already late on this so… have you read any of these, or do you also need to? Reading anything good right now? Anything that I need to put these off even longer to read instead? Because I will probably make that sacrifice.

On Tap 09/04

Currently Reading

Age of War – by Michael J. Sullivan

Second time I’ve started Book #3, but I’m farther along this time. A war is brewing between Fhrey and Rhunes, with all our heroes caught in the middle of it. Once slated to be the epic conclusion of the Legends series, this wraps up many of the storylines. I’ve enjoyed the series so far, with a caveat that it’s cheapened some inventions and annoyed me with others.

• The Alloy of Law – by Brandon Sanderson

2nd, 3rd time I’ve read this—this time I’m doing an audiobook. Reader isn’t bad, and it’s always an entertaining read. I finished the Forbidden Library by Django Wexler and needed another audiobook ASAP. My library only had so many options.

Up Next

• The Dark Blood – by A.J. Smith

I’ve wanted to give the Long War another try, as the Black Guard had some of the best world-building I’ve seen in fantasy, even though it didn’t deliver in other ways. The Dark Blood is the 2nd in the series and is up after Age of War.

• Street Freaks – by Terry Brooks

Got the audio version as a freebie. My expectations aren’t high, but it sounds interesting, and the reader is a good one. Oddly enough, this will be my official intro the Terry Brooks. I’ve read one of his Shannara books, but it was out of order and so long ago I don’t remember it.

To Do

I’m a bit behind on reviewing due to vacation and family issues. That and seasonal work, hunting season and whatever’s upending my sleep schedule means I’ve been negligent. I’ve a pair of de Castell books, three audiobooks, and a couple additional ones still to review. Plus the TBR to get through.

Yeah, well.

Additional TBR

  1. The Last Mortal Bond – by Brian Staveley (Unhewn Throne #3)
  2. A Time of Blood – by John Gwynne (Of Blood & Bone #2)
  3. Babylon’s Ashes – by James S.A. Corey (The Expanse #5)
  4. Limited Wish – by Mark Lawrence (Impossible Times #2)
  5. City of Stairs – by Robert Jackson Bennett (Divine Cities #1)

The Book Untraveled: Flex – by Ferrett Steinmetz

‘Mancer #1

Angry Robot; March 3, 2015

432 pages

I’ve heard good things about Flex, including that it has one of the most inventive magic systems ever. Moreover, I’ve heard that the entire series is on point and pretty much a must-read. The blurb is as follows:

FLEX: Distilled magic in crystal form. The most dangerous drug in the world. Snort it, and you can create incredible coincidences to live the life of your dreams.

FLUX: The backlash from snorting Flex. The universe hates magic and tries to rebalance the odds; maybe you survive the horrendous accidents the Flex inflicts, maybe you don’t.

PAUL TSABO: The obsessed bureaucromancer who’s turned paperwork into a magical Beast that can rewrite rental agreements, conjure rented cars from nowhere, track down anyone who’s ever filled out a form.

But when all of his formulaic magic can’t save his burned daughter, Paul must enter the dangerous world of Flex dealers to heal her. Except he’s never done this before – and the punishment for brewing Flex is army conscription and a total brain-wipe.

I mean, it SOUNDS pretty good. And some of my friends recommend it highly. It’s been on my list of books I’d like to read for the past couple years, and I’d quite like to check it off before Flex makes a third. But I haven’t gotten around to it yet, for a few reasons. One, it’s been somewhat off my radar until the last year or so. Two, it’s proven difficult to locate a copy at a decent price (in my opinion). My library, in its infinite wisdom, owns Fix (‘Mancer Book 3)—but neither of the first two. Angry Robot books aren’t terribly easy to find in my little secluded nook of the world. Or… cranny? I mean, I could just get an ebook version, but the resale value of such a purchase is nonexistent. I’ll probably end up getting it online—I tend to buy most of my books online, as the library does have many that I’d otherwise find in a local bookstore—but wanted to exhaust the possibility of buying local first. And I’ve seen it for sub-$4 around-places, so I’ll probably accrue it at some point soon.

In a related note, Steinmetz has a new book, The Sol Majestic, out in June. It looks pretty cool, though I’d really like to give Flex a try first. If there’s anyone reading this who’s read Flex—it any good?