Books I Should Have Already Read

Books I Should Have Already Read – Hounded by Kevin Hearne

I bought Hounded, book one of The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne some time last year based on the blurb. I’m not really into Urban Fantasy (at least not often) but something in the description pulled at me. I didn’t begin reading it right away for two reasons. One: at the same time I bought book three of another series I was really into. Two: Nanowrimo.

Sometime after that crazy November I picked it up again, turned to chapter one, read the first few lines and my heart sank. First person. My least favorite type of novel. I put the book down until last month. I shouldn’t have touched it at that point, since I was in the middle of another book I promised to review.

Denying Hounded was impossible. It was on the top of my ‘books I should have already read’ pile staring at me. Somehow I knew it would be good and I would be able to get past the POV thing. Everywhere I turned someone was posting on social media about how great it was. Kevin Hearne was tempting me into reader infidelity and I succumbed. Click here for that tale.

I’m truly glad I did. It’s funny, there is adventure, danger, craziness, a talking dog and magic. How could I not love it? It held my attention firmly, unlike some other books I keep trying to finish (pardon the snark). I finished it in two days and was angry at myself for it because I hadn’t already purchased the next book.

I want this review is spoiler free so the details will be a bit sparse.

Pros:

  • Almost all the characters are interesting.
  • The mix of the modern world and the distant past is intriguing.
  • The dialogue is fun.
  • The main character can be an arrogant ass but it works for him.
  • Also the main character is a ginger, but I’m biased.

Cons:

  • I didn’t really care for the antagonist.
  • You really must read the pronunciation guide.
  • Not a lot of depth.

Personally I’d give it 4 and a half stars based on the type of story it is, I don’t only want to read super complex novels. If you’re looking for a fast-paced, easy read then you’ll love this book.

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I apologize for this review being so late, as it should have been posted by the end of April. I’m not committing to a specific book for this month in case I want to switch in the middle again. I will manage to get the next review out on time though.

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Books I Should Have Already Read – The Dragon’s Path by Daniel Abraham

This month’s book is The Dragon’s Path by Daniel Abraham. I’ll start with the good. The prologue was amazing. It pulled me in quickly and didn’t let me go. The last line got me super excited about the book. The world in this novel is fascinating. It is set after the fall of the dragons, which I certainly want to know more about! There are many races of humans and a lot of political intrigue. The settings are vivid and clear. The book is bursting with potential.

Unfortunately I don’t feel like that potential was realized. Five hundred fifty-five pages is too long for a prologue, which is what the entire book came across as. It seemed more to hint at the plot than reveal it. I understand that this is merely book one of four, but I wanted more. Instead of making me desperately want to read book two, it made me disappointed that I wasn’t as drawn in as I should have been.

There were several things that caused this. First and foremost, I didn’t like most of the characters and I should have. I couldn’t really relate. I apologize for the vagueness that will follow but I want this review to be spoiler free.

  • Cithrin – Orphan, ward of the bank. I had trouble seeing any depth in this character, although I hope that changes in the next book. It sounds horrible to say but I find that I want something terrible to happen to her so that she’s forced to evolve.
  • Marcus – Ex-military type with a sad past. I don’t dislike this guy but I didn’t love him either. He’s a little too broody and always seems to be right, even if he doesn’t always act on it. In short he’s the most predictable character of them all and I could be wrong but I think I’m supposed to like him best at this point
  • Geder – I felt sorry for this guy, until I didn’t. This is the guy that gets used by everyone, all the time, even when he thinks he’s in control. There was no real growth. However, there were hints of it for the rest of the books.
  • Dawson – The only things I can really tell you about him is that I like one of his sons and his wife, and he’s kind of an elitist jerk, but means well.
  • The Apostate – Seems good, at least wants to be good. He’s pretty interesting.

This is about all I have to say about the characters because I don’t know them better, and I wish I did. I suspect they will each become utterly fascinating, as I’ve heard the story picks up in the next two books but I want to be intrigued now.

I want to go back to some back-story here. There are a lot of different races in this world, although they all started from firstbloods, aka human. They were changed by the long dead dragons. I would describe them for you here, but I can’t. There was little description and nothing really stood out to me. I feel like this is a missed opportunity. I would love to know more about each race. Why were they changed? How? When? Was each race considered a success?

Another thing I want to know is what happened to the dragons. This is also something only hinted at, which is good in this case. I do hope to learn more though.

Earlier I mentioned political intrigue. The Dragon’s Path has plenty of that. The only problem is I didn’t care who came out on top. From all the scenes dealing with that, the only thing that stood out to me was a creepy banker guy. Now that is one character that is well written. He’s meant to be mysterious and scary and he is!

Overall I thought the book dragged on a bit. It wasn’t uninteresting, but it wasn’t compelling.

Does this review seem a little all over the place? That’s how the book was for me, so it seems appropriate. I guess this boils down to a question. Will I buy the next book and see if the story picks up? Probably. I am curious to see what happens. Book two will help me decide if I’m curious enough to see how it ends. I would give it 3 out of 5 stars.

In all fairness we need a little disclosure here. I am more into books with a lot of action, epic battles, magic, and emotional intensity. Since this is a series, it could end up with all of those things. I’ll let you know.


Next month’s book will be: Joe Abercrombie – The Blade Itself: The First Law: Book One


For the full list of books I intend to read and review for this series, and my reasons for wanting to, click here.


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Sidenote: I’m sorry for this review being so late. I hope to have the next one ready for the middle of next month. However my priority needs to be on my own writing so I’ll also apologize in advance if the next one is late too!

One more sidenote: I bought The Dragon’s Path used from Amazon early last year but didn’t get to read it until this month. To my surprise and disgust, when I started reading it, in the first 25 pages, every time the word blood appeared (about 10 times), the previous owner literally covered the word with what looked like blood. GROSS!

Books I Should Have Already Read – Update

I promised an update when I figured out which book I would read and review for next month, so here it is, hopefully. It all started out well enough. I picked up American Gods by Neil Gaiman and started reading. I actually started this book months ago and had to put it down after a day or so. At the time I told myself it was because I was so busy, but I read through a very long series afterwards.

Not really remembering all that I went to my bookmark then turned back a full chapter so I could refresh my memory of the book. I tried, I really did, but I could not seem to really get into it. I’m sure the book is super amazing and makes you think and analyze life and you become a better person when you’re finished reading it, but, no.

It broke my cardinal rule when it comes to books. I was bored! Even when reading interesting passages, the tedium was killing me. I wanted so badly to like and appreciate it but quite frankly I hated it. My bookmark sits in almost the exact middle of the book. Never in my life have I not finished a book once I got that far. If I get a quarter of the way through I still keep reading. Not with this one.

It’s strange, I almost feel guilty. Except that I really don’t. The point of all this is I can’t review a book I didn’t finish reading.

So I grabbed another book from my list and started it. The Dragon’s Path by Daniel Abraham. It hooked me in the first paragraph and firmly had my attention by the end of the prologue. I’m only on page 58 but I suspect I will not have any trouble finishing this one. A review will be forthcoming sometime in March, probably the first week.

Maybe someday I’ll pick up American Gods again. I do know I’m willing to read other books by the author.

If you’re reading this wondering what on earth I’m talking about or want to see the full list of books I should have already read, go here.


P.S. My wrists are still giving me problems (see previous post from today) and it’s super hard to type so this is what I wrote for my six minutes today. I’m so happy to have done any writing so I’m not going to beat myself up about this time.

Books I Should Have Already Read — Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

This book seriously made me angry. I wanted to hate Jorg. I do hate Jorg. I’m invested and I was rooting for Jorg. I don’t like roller-coasters but I found myself staying on this one. I had a few problems with it, but mostly I loved it. I mean hated it. See?

The first problem I had with it was the beginning. It’s hard to relate to a thirteen year old kid who commits rape and kills an entire village. In all fairness, I’m not really into the anti-hero thing, nor am I into dark fantasy. Jorg, the main character, is beyond an anti-hero. That said, I kept reading.

The next problem that kept poking me in the head was a hard time believing the “brothers” in the story would follow Jorg. He’s nuts. He’s hardened. He’s fearless. So are each of his followers. The way I handled this issue was to deliberately decide to suspend disbelief. I figured there was a reason and kept reading.

I didn’t like any of his brothers. I wasn’t supposed to. In that, the author did an amazing job. I was thoroughly disgusted with the way each looked, their personal hygiene, their goals and lifestyle. They were gross! Halfway through the book, there weren’t many characters that I did like. I kept reading.

Are you seeing a theme here? There are so many things to hate, but when you read it, and you should, you’ll love it. You’ll curse yourself for not being able to put it down, then you’ll go out and buy book two. This book is meant to disturb and delight you. If you experience it the way I did, you’ll find yourself wondering why you like it, but in the end you won’t care about the why. It’s a hard read but love it or hate it, every fantasy reader should read it.

There are some interesting twists and turns that I’ll let you discover for yourself. Lawrence’s settings are superbly done.

Jorg is the best of the worst, or worst of the worst. You’ll like him, in spite of him. You might want to smack Mark Lawrence when you thank him though.

Not a read for the faint hearted. I’ll probably get bitten for this but in MY opinion, I think men would like it better than women. I lean towards books that are geared towards men so that’s not really a problem in my eyes.

I’ve decided not to rate with stars or numbers because this book is so different from all others I’ve ever read that I think a comparative rating would be not only unfair, but inaccurate.

Sidenote: There are many lovely, quotable lines throughout the book. My favorite is:

What burns so bright cannot endure.

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This was the first of the books I should have already read. I am undecided which book I’ll review for next month. I’ll update you all when I decide. For the full list click here to read my post laying out my reading plans

Books I Should Have Already Read

I’m going to start a new adventure today. I’m going to read all the books I should have already read. Let me give you a little background on this. I am a voracious reader. I love to read, and if the book is amazing, reread. I couldn’t guess how many I have but on my paperback bookcases, every shelf is double stacked two rows deep. If I could fit three I would. I have a very unnecessary fireplace that is deeply inset. That became a book area as well. Not to mention my Kindle.

I am buying more bookcases this week but it won’t fix the issue very much, and I’ll be filling them up again soon enough. I see no problem with this. If the rest of my family wouldn’t object I would replace sitting furniture with bookcases. There are six of us so unfortunately I cannot do that.

As you can probably imagine, I’ve read a lot of books. However, I haven’t read all the books I want to, or should have read. There are many reasons why. Some books I just haven’t gotten to. Some I haven’t yet bought for various reasons. At least one I’ve actively resisted for fifteen or so years. I’ll admit to some genre snobbery. I don’t read certain types, or at least I didn’t. I’m broadening my horizons. For many years, I’ve stuck to fantasy with a bit of science fiction sprinkled in here and there.

Now I’ve decided that I’m not buying another book (HA) until I read the several sitting on my to-read pile. The notable exceptions are additional books in a trilogy or series.

I’m beginning with Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence, Book One of The Broken Empire.

I bought this book quite some time ago. At the time of purchase I also picked up five other books. This and one other were the ones that I was most intrigued by. There was only one problem. I don’t really like reading novels written in first person. It’s not that I think it’s such a bad thing, and I’ve certainly read books that were in first that were amazing. I happen to prefer third person. Third person limited if I get really choosy. Think of all the great books I’ve missed out on because of this!

So I read the other one first, not knowing that life would get in the way of the rest.

By the time I was ready for this one, I had read many reviews and was really excited about it. However, a new problem reared its ugly head. Time. When I get into a new series I want to read ALL of it. I was so interested that I didn’t want to start reading it without having the rest of his books and I knew I wouldn’t be able to binge read for a while. So I waited a bit. Life didn’t cooperate and I never got around to getting the rest of the trilogy.

A little side note here: The other three books I bought with this one are sitting on my bookshelf unread as well. Plus a few more.

I haven’t purchased book two or three of The Broken Empire as of yet, and I have a feeling I’m going to be very upset that they are not on hand. The closest bookstore to me is across town!

My plan is to read the book and write a review. Then read the rest of his books and do the same.

I follow Mark Lawrence on various social media outlets. I really like how he engages his readers. If you’re interested in following him as well, here is a list of various places to find him.

Blog, Twitter, Facebook


For my own accountability I’m going to list all the books I have on hand that I am going to read and review. With the exception of #1, there is no particular order. I’ll go by whatever mood I’m in.

  1. Mark Lawrence – Prince of Thorns (plus his other novels)
  2. Neil Gaiman – American Gods
  3. Neal Stephenson – Snow Crash
  4. Kevin Hearne – Hounded
  5. Michael J. Sullivan – Rise of Empire (this is book 2)
  6. Daniel Abraham – The Dragon’s Path
  7. Joe Abercrombie – The Blade Itself: The First Law: Book One
  8. Scott Lynch – The Lies of Locke Lamora
  9. N.K. Jemisin – The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

Three of those are written in first person! Obviously I’m concentrating on fantasy, but if anyone wants to tell me about an amazing book I should read, in any genre, I’m open to recommendations.

There are a few more that will probably be added to the list soon. There are at least four books I want that I’ve been waiting on the entire series to be published before starting. I’ll be mad at Peter V. Brett and Brent Weeks until I get my hands on book four from each of them, as soon as they are published! Also, Patrick Rothfuss. I’m dying to know when book three comes out.

This will become a regular feature. At this point, I don’t want to commit to a specific timetable. I read extremely fast and if it were based solely on that, I would do reviews once a week. Unfortunately, as stated above, life gets in the way and I might not be able to read as often as I want to. My own writing has to be my priority. More than likely it will be a once a month thing. If I don’t get to read at least one book a month I get really crabby and no one in my life wants that so I should be able to swing it. Besides, all writers should read, so I will approach this like it is part of my job.

So I’m off to read Prince of Thorns now. If you don’t hear from me for a while, don’t worry. That only means I’m lost in what I have a feeling is going to be a truly incredible story.