• Dan

What I’ve been Reading, August 2020 Edition



Howdy,

Feels like I haven't posted here in quite a while. Well, it's only been a couple weeks, but that's off from my usual once a week pace. Like many families, mine has been going through the stages of grief regarding school becoming, not unexpectedly, perhaps for the best, while still disappointingly, a "homeschool" situation. Still, there's always time to read, or, at least, one should always make time to read. If only "making time" were a thing...

Anyway, for August, I have read a bit from three wonderful genres: sci-fi, fantasy, and historical.

The End of All Things by John Scalzi

I am a fan of Scalzi and a huge fan of his Old Man's War universe. However, I did not find the penultimate installment of the series satisfying. It was disjointed, episodic, and, in places, downright dull. That is to say, I started reading The End of All Things with a bit of trepidation, especially once I realized it consists of a set of interconnected novellas. My unease was immediately put to rest after the first page of this fitting conclusion to the Old Man's War universe. In fact, I hope to soon read Zoe's Tale, which, for some reason, I skipped over after reading The Last Colony. Highly recommended.

The Burning Land by Bernard Cornwell

I think the latest season of the Last Kingdom followed this book closely. I noticed myself recognizing large portions of the story in some detail. Still, that did not detract from the book at all. Uhtred is a fantastic character, and the supporting cast of characters are equally well-drawn. Do yourself a favor, most especially so if you're a fan of fantasy or historical fiction or swashbuckling action-adventure, read these books.

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

This book is quite good, almost as good as the first in a series. OK, maybe just as good, which is to say it is excellent.  Schwab dramatically expands the cast of interesting and mysterious characters while not losing sight of the co-protagonist. My only critique is that the ending is a little Empire Strikes Back, which is to say the book ends without concluding the story but does set up the final installment nicely.

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