One week is over since #theReadingQuest started and it’s time for an overview, plus the Wrap Up. Thank God I only have two books, but I have a lot to say about them.
This was not a good week in terms of reading. I actually only finished two books (and one audibook which doesn’t really count for the quest). And I had a real bad start with #TheReadingQuest, the reason for that was my choice of books. But first let’s take a look at my stats
I am still level 1, but I got some HP and I started a sidequest. So my goal for next week is to finish the knight and gain maybe Level 3. All my Sci-Fi books from my TBR are finished (yay~) and I can indulge myself back into fantasy.
The reason I couldn’t power through was this chunk of a book:
by James S.A. Corey
Summary: Humanity has colonized the solar system – Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt and beyond – but the stars are still out of our reach.
Jim Holden is XO of an ice miner making runs from the rings of Saturn to the mining stations of the Belt. When he and his crew stumble upon a derelict ship, the Scopuli, they find themselves in possession of a secret they never wanted. A secret that someone is willing to kill for – and kill on a scale unfathomable to Jim and his crew. War is brewing in the system unless he can find out who left the ship and why.
Detective Miller is looking for a girl. One girl in a system of billions, but her parents have money and money talks. When the trail leads him to the Scopuli and rebel sympathizer Holden, he realizes that this girl may be the key to everything.
Holden and Miller must thread the needle between the Earth government, the Outer Planet revolutionaries, and secretive corporations – and the odds are against them. But out in the Belt, the rules are different, and one small ship can change the fate of the universe.
You have no idea how important it was to finish this book and how much I dreaded it. It’s 500 hundred pages pure, technical science fiction. I normally wouldn’t pick that book, but you see, I have this brother…
Long story short, I watched the Expanse TV adaption on christmas, and I hated that open end. I knew I wouldn’t just easily get through this, so I put the book
- on my Summer Bucket list
- and my August TBR
- and as one of my #theReadingQuest challenges.
And here we are. I finished the book. Took me 5 days, but I didn’t fall in a reading slump, decoded my brain into zeros and ones, or figured out how much centrifugal force I would need to destroy my kindle because I was bored.
The Expanse was a great book. I loved the world building and the idea, it’s so well detailed, plausible and rich in culture building, Corey got that down. The characters have depth to them, the plot is worked out, no telling but a lot of showing. There is a balance between action and build up scenes. You will probably struggle with some stuff if you have never read any SciFi before, but you can get into it, and it’s not crpytic. Miller was hands down, one of the most complicated characters I ever met, and he was great. His whole search for Julie and how that influenced his character basically broke my heart.
So why only 4 stars? Because with all the good stuff going on, I had some issues.
First of all, I really didn’t like Holden. Holdens character was really stiff, selfrighteous and naive. He always needed complete control, and his status as captain defined him. You needed to follow his line, if you did not pay him the respect he thought was due, he let you fall. Although he himself just became captain out of coincidence and should be full of insecurities in his new position. I still haven’t worked all that out, I just finished the book after all, but Holdens character was definitly one of my major problems. But that’s fine, too, you can learn a lot about yourself, if you figure out, why there is one character you do not like.
This might be a SPOILER, so skip this part, if you want to read the book. I had also a big problem with the love story, because Naomi is the only female main character who is alive. So when Holden figures out that he is suddenly, and out of nowhere, head over heels in love with Naomi, she admits that she has been in love with him from the very beginning ALTHOUGH he took her job position as executive commander away (because she is a women obviously). And even though she wanted to be angry, Holden got so much charm, that she still fell in love with him. I liked Naomi before this, I didn’t after that sentence. With just a few words Corey destroyed her character. She was great, a technician, smart, courageous with a cool head, but within minutes she got reduced to love interest who worships the main character. Also if you think back she also got a lot of female stereotype attributes going, like making gut decisions, being protective, caring for the crew. So I looked for other females, we got Shaddid – portrayed as a bitch; Musse portrayed as a bitch, and then we got Julie Mao. Julie is badass and awesome, she raced, she said no to money, OPA Agent, martial artist etc. but unfortunately Julie Mao is dead. So that leaves us with the following message: Either you are a stupid female who worships the captain or you are Julie Mao and dead. For all that tolerance and diversity that book portrays this was a huge letdown. I know the earth politican is probably more badass and will be introduced in the next book, but this whole issue was still dissapointing
And lastly I sometimes had a problem with the writing. It was extremely stretchy and boring at times and some action scenes were described badly and I just lost focus, which shouldn’t happen in a real good book. I will probably read the 2nd volume next summer.
So yes, read the Expanse or watch the TV adaption. It’s great, and I can’t wait for the next season starting in September.
Bloodlines (Star Wars)
by Claudia Gray
Summary: WITNESS THE BIRTH OF THE RESISTANCE
When the Rebellion defeated the Empire in the skies above Endor, Leia Organa believed it was the beginning to a lasting peace. But after decades of vicious infighting and partisan gridlock in the New Republic Senate, that hope seems like a distant memory.
Now a respected senator, Leia must grapple with the dangers that threaten to cripple the fledgling democracy—from both within and without. Underworld kingpins, treacherous politicians, and Imperial loyalists are sowing chaos in the galaxy. Desperate to take action, senators are calling for the election of a First Senator. It is their hope that this influential post will bring strong leadership to a divided galaxy.
As the daughter of Darth Vader, Leia faces with distrust the prospect of any one person holding such a powerful position—even when supporters suggest Leia herself for the job. But a new enemy may make this path Leia’s only option. For at the edges of the galaxy, a mysterious threat is growing. . . .
This was my first Star Wars novel, and it will probably be my last. I had high expactations because first, I really liked Grays Book ‚Defy the Stars‘ and second, someone told me that they learned a lot about Kylo Ren and the background story for the Force Awakens.
Expactations didn’t get fullfilled. Someone on goodreads described the book in his review as following in the footsteps of the Episode I – III and I wholeheartadly agree. If you do write a novel about political intrigue, than make it intricate. Concentrate on that plot, engage the reader, let him think, 2nd guess everyone, throw in tons of plot twist. If you want to write an adventure novel, make it about the adventure, pack it with action, do not let the characters take breath, always keep the excitment. If you want to combine both, still use ALL the elements. That’s probably where Bloodline failed. Oh well, it got none of either elements. The intrigue was ridiculous, the action non existent and the characters flat. Thank you, this was ‚Attack of the Clones‘ all over again.
I do not even trust anything that was described in the book. I am pretty much 100% sure that no character developed in this book will emerge in episode VII – IX. None of the things that were described in the book will ever matter for the new movies. That book didn’t matter. It was a Star Wars fanfiction, and that didn’t feel very satisfying for me.
That were my books for this week. I also finished a reread of Cinder on Audiobook, but again, so many reviews available already. It’s a reread, I love it, I missed all the characters, and will continue the reread after #theReadingQuest is over. So yes, it’s awesome.
I started another Sidequest called Respawn and am halfway through with ‚The Heart of Betrayal‘ which is actually good, and I am enjoying that a lot. I also started Prince of Fools. So stay tuned for next weeks Wrap Up.