End of Summer Reading

I have not been blogging because I was in Europe for 3 weeks, and there is way too much to see there that does not involve a computer keyboard. I’ll post photos soon 🙂

The good news is that I caught up on some reading while I was cruising around the Mediterranean! So, some brief book reviews:

The Count of Monte Cristo (Dumas)–I started reading this because we made port at Marseilles, where the book is mainly set.  I have not finished it yet, though.  The characters are good, but it is not as lively as The Three Musketeers.

A Wizard of Earthsea (Le Guin)–I have owned this classic for at least 5 years and just now got around to reading it.  It is nice and small, so great for plane reading. It was an interesting change of pace; the tone of the book is very reserved, not personal like current fantasy (no first person/present tense here). I found the story entertaining and unpredictable, and I look forward to reading more of Earthsea. 4/5 stars

Death Masks and Blood Rites, Books 5 & 6 of “The Dresden Files” (Butcher)–One of my husband’s friends got us reading this series and we are loving it so far; it’s basically a supernatural detective series.  The narrator has a wonderful voice, and more details about the magical world fall into place with each book.  The characters are great and the plots are page turners.  And the books keep getting better.  Books 3 and 4 are probably my favorite, but Blood Rites (#6) is up there as well.  Death Masks loses points because I find Susan obnoxious. 4/5 stars and 4.5/5 stars

A Feast for Crows, Book 4 of “A Song of Ice and Fire” (Martin)–It was really a good thing I read this on vacation because otherwise it would have taken me months and I might not have finished at all.  I already felt that this series was convoluted and ponderous, but it’s getting even more so.  This book lacked focus, spending too much time with unimportant, uninteresting characters (the Greyjoy clan…), and even the climax was lackluster compared to the previous books.  It also ignores all the best characters except Arya (who is trying to not be Arya) and Brienne.  Maybe that means I will like Book 5? 2.5/5 stars

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