I discovered Epic Reads’ Reading Decathlon Challenge: Read 10 Books in 10 Days! eleven days ago and dove right in. I aimed for the middle with silver because I knew I wouldn’t be able to blow through ten novels (for the gold!) while working full time. Well…that’s not entirely true, but I have other obligations at the moment that cut into reading time. Five novels and five graphic novels sounded much more manageable. Some of the novels took me longer than expected, and even though I had not intended on using audiobooks, I listened to two – The Curse of the Tenth Grave and Sleeping Giants. That fact is what more than likely allowed me to complete the challenge within the allotted time frame. Overall, it was a fun little challenge; a nice breather before jumping into PopSugar’s 40 category challenge.
*The Library at Mount Char – This was an odd book. It took me a while to get past the weird/don’t know what to think about it phase, but it ended up being an interesting read. Quirky. Dark. Twisted. A bit violent. And I liked how it wrapped everything up. A sequel would just ruin it, so I hope one is never written.
*The Girl from Summer Hill – A lighter, fluffier version of Pride & Prejudice. Really, more of a generic romance with a stage production of P&P as the backdrop, characters reflecting their P&P counterparts. Not a lot of snark or sly wit. I did love that parts of the story were told from Devlin/Wickham’s perspective. A very good job was done with that. I also loved how the opening performance went off. It was a good ending after a slightly lagging middle (where Casey acted utterly stupid when Devlin pulled his Wickham card on her).
*The Curse of the Tenth Grave – I stumbled upon this series last year while looking for books set in New Mexico (the land of my childhood). This is my favorite one by far. The characters have come into their own, and the various pieces of overarching plot are finally coming together. I like that in each book, multiple smaller plot lines play out while the overarching plot continues to unfold. I have to admit that Charlie does have to be taken in small doses as she can be both obnoxious and obtuse. I learned the hard way that she shouldn’t be binge listened.
*Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend – I didn’t really like this book. The story was surreal and some of the scenes were squidgy, and I couldn’t get a grip on what was going on. It took a normal high school romance situation, and introduced a pterodactyl exchange student into the mix. Everything operated as normal except for this added bit of WTF?. Sheils’ mother was also very annoying. It’s no wonder the girl had such an identity crisis.
*Sleeping Giants – This was a philosophical mecha sci-fi. It felt like a slowly unfolding cautionary tale. The focus was on characters as opposed to the “science”; which was more like the backdrop for what caused the characters to behave as they did. I found listening to it (with a full cast) very fascinating. There weren’t really any revelations as the book progressed, more of a sense of foreboding and a potentially downward spiral for humanity. The nameless narrator was amoral to the point of being sinister. I desperately want to know what his angle is, and what he expects/wants to get out of the entire situation.
Five Graphic Novels
*Lumberjanes, Vol 4: Out of Time – After a disappointing third volume, LJ was back to it’s volumes one and two self. Riley was back to being entertainingly over-hyperactive, and readers learned more about the camp itself (even though in learning more only created additional questions). I really want to know what is going on at that camp, in those woods, and if/how the Scouting Lads are affected by the strangeness.
*Paper Girls, Vol 1 – I am starting to think that Brian K. Vaughan can do no wrong. Paper Girls was a surreal, WTF? adventure, but in a good way. I want to know who the two players are, stealing technology or people (depending on the group). I want to know the significance is of Apple/apple and the Tree of Knowledge, and how that will play out in future volumes.
*Sex Criminals, Vol 1: One Weird Trick – I thought I would like this more than I did. It received a lot of hype when the first volume came out, but I just didn’t get into it. The whole thing felt “meh”. The concept was interesting, but didn’t play out very well. I didn’t connect with the characters, and the illustration style didn’t sit right.
*East of West, Vol 1: The Promise – I’ve wanted to read East of West for several years because it is weird west akin to The Sixth Gun (a series I absolutely love). I liked the idea – the three horseman of the apocalypse trying to bring out the end of the world, while horseman #4 has other goals and ambitions. I’m curious about the seven nations North America was carved into. However, it didn’t grab me and shake me the way The Sixth Gun did. I would read more of this series, but only if I could find them at the library.
*Starlight – Beautiful, sad, self-redemption, vindication, hope. That pretty much sums up Starlight. My heart went out to Duke McQueen, a man who accidentally wormholed to another part of space and became a hero. On his return home, no one believed him except his wife. Fast forward 40 years, his wife has died, his sons are selfish jerks who think little of McQueen because of “stories” they were told as boys, and have stood him up for a dinner in memory of their mother. On this note, McQueen gets pulled back into his space hero ways for one last grand adventure. I love the ending.