Monday, June 30, 2014

52 Review - June Edition

In the busy summer months, I never find that there is enough time for reading. June was a super busy month for me, but I still managed to read 4 books. This usually meant staying up way past my bedtime to be able to get any reading in.
I felt like I really mixed up my usual reading routine by reading all different kinds of books. They're all fiction, of course, but different genres within that.

The Bees
Laline Paull

338 Pages
Born into the lowest class of an ancient hierarchical society, Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, an Untouchable, whose labour is at her ancient orchard hive's command. As part of the collective, she is taught to accept, obey and serve. Altruism is the highest virtue, and worship of her beloved Queen, the only religion. Her society is governed by the priestess class, questions are forbidden and all thoughts belong to the Hive Mind.
But Flora is not like other bees. Her curiosity is a dangerous flaw, especially once she is exposed to the mysteries of the Queen's Library. But her courage and strength are assets, and Flora finds herself promoted up the social echelons. From sanitation to feeding the newborns in the royal nursery to becoming an elite forager, Flora revels in service to her hive.
When Flora breaks the most sacred law of all-daring to challenge the Queen's fertility-enemies abound, from the fearsome fertility police who enforce the strict social hierarchy to the high priestesses who are jealously wed to power. Her deepest instinct to serve and sacrifice is now overshadowed by an even deeper desire, a fierce maternal love that will bring her into conflict with her conscience, her heart and her society, and lead her to commit unthinkable deeds

This description, while very accurate, makes this book seem as if it's going to be full of intrigue and politics, but it's not really at all. The story itself isn't all that fulfilling, but the workings of the hive fascinates me. I love bees, so it was really neat to read about them. I found that I enjoyed that much more than anything else. In the beginning, it was hard for me to picture them as actual bees, since she writes about them as if they were human. As the book progressed, I started to picture them as bee/human hybrids. By the end they were bees and I was very happy with that.

Endgame (Sirantha Jax #6)
by Ann Aguirre
337 Pages
Sirantha Jax has the J-gene, which permits her to “jump” faster-than-light ships through grimspace. She loves nothing more than that rush, but the star roads have to wait…
Her final mission takes her to La’heng, a planet subjugated during first contact. Since then, the La’hengrin homeworld has been occupied by foreign conquerors.
All that’s about to change.
Now, as part of a grassroots resistance, Jax means to liberate the La’hengrin. But political intrigue and guerrilla warfare are new to her, and this will be the most dangerous game she’s ever played—spies and conspiracies, a war of weapons and hearts, and not everyone is guaranteed to make it out alive...

I'm finally finished this series.  I was a bit worried at the beginning of the book, when a few of the relationships take a bit of a weird turn, but they work themselves out by the end and I'm happy with them. It's also not how I thought it would end, but I'm happy with that too. I'm so sad that it's over, but I understand why she ended it where she did.
It's kind of hard to say anything without giving it away.
I've already picked up the first book to another series by this author. I hope it's just as good.

by Naomi Novik

397 Pages

When Britain intercepted a French ship and its precious cargo–an unhatched dragon’s egg–Capt. Will Laurence of HMS Reliant unexpectedly became master and commander of the noble dragon he named Temeraire. As new recruits in Britain’s Aerial Corps, man and dragon soon proved their mettle in daring combat against Bonaparte’s invading forces. 
Now China has discovered that its rare gift, intended for Napoleon, has fallen into British hands–and an angry Chinese delegation vows to reclaim the remarkable beast. But Laurence refuses to cooperate. Facing the gallows for his defiance, Laurence has no choice but to accompany Temeraire back to the Far East–a long voyage fraught with peril, intrigue, and the untold terrors of the deep. Yet once the pair reaches the court of the Chinese emperor, even more shocking discoveries and darker dangers await.

 Soooo much traveling....
Now I understand that life is the journey, not the destination, but when a book that doesn't really get to any plot until at least 300 pages when they actually reach their destination, the journey is not very exciting to read about. One of the only interesting plot points during the journey was a section where there was worry about there being a ghost on the ship, which (plot spoiler) there wasn't.
Once they actually got to China, it was really quite interesting and I loved reading about it. It made the traveling worthwhile. I've been told that this was one of the slowest books in the series, so I'm optimistic about reading the rest of them.

by Thomas Harris

367 Pages
A young FBI trainee. An evil genius locked away for unspeakable crimes. A plunge into the darkest chambers of a psychopath's mind --- in the deadly search for a serial killer ...
I'll start this off by saying that I have never seen the movie of this. I've always wanted to, but I've always been leery about it, too. I don't know why, since I've seen Hannibal, Red Dragon and I'm now just starting season 2 of the TV series.
I picked this book up last year and it's been sitting on my shelf, tempting me all this time. Since my last TBR book got upchucked on, I have replaced it on my list with this.
  It was really good, although the story almost seemed like it could be split into 2 different ones. In my head, most of the characters look as they do in the TV series, except for Hannibal, how looks more like Anthoney Hopkins than Mads Mikkelsen.
It was a very good read and had me on the edge of my seat. for most of it. So much so, I might actually pick up the rest of the books and read them.
Books that I am currently reading

The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories
by H.P. Lovecraft
Page 16 of 360
(I'm sure one of these days I'll pick this back up)

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire #3)
by George R.R. Martin
Page 420 of 1128

No comments:

Post a Comment