July 2018

July has been busy. Very busy. I’ve still managed to get some reading time in, and watched a few movies, but I’m getting burnt out. I’ve not managed to finish off any reviews, and my review reading has dropped to nothing – it’s all pleasure and escapism at the moment. Who knows if this will get any better in August, but at least I have some time off work to look forward to at the end of the month.

Books Read
7 books in July, back down to around my monthly goal. To be honest I’m surprised I managed this many:

  1. The Singularity Trap by Dennis E Taylor – the narration for this, done by Ray Porter, was great, but ultimately it didn’t quite work for me as much as I hoped. I did have high expectations given how much I enjoyed Taylor’s Bobiverse books, and while generally interesting and with potential to kick off a series, I found that I didn’t really care about what happened.
  2. A Call to Vengeance by David Weber, Timothy Zahn, & Thomas Pope – the third Manticore Ascendant novel follow Travis Long prior to the wormhole junction in the Manticore system being found. This one once again forwards the overall plot after a scathing attack on Manticore failed in the previous novel. If you’re a fan of the Honor Harington books then this series is definitely for you – it has everything those books do and manages to nail it just right.
  3. Desperation by Stephen King – another King off my list as I work through his novels. This one was an enjoyable enough read with some interesting aspects to it, though not particularly high on my list of his works.
  4. One Way by Simon Morden – very much enjoyed this one, and despite a few issues with the premise and its execution (more about the lack of detail passed to the reader), I thought it was well-executed and a real page turner. I also think that the synopsis, essentially telling the reader that it’s a murder mystery, is too much of a spoiler given we don’t find out this is actually the case until around the 3/4 point. Still, good stuff.
  5. Out of Spite, Out of Mind by Scott Meyer –I like Meyer’s Magic 2.0 books, they’re fun and interesting, though I think the first two or three books are the best. This one is using the idea that the universe is one big program well and digging a little deeper into how it works. Of course, it still comes with all the amusing scenes and geek references I’ve come to expect from the series. Given the ending it’s also clear Meyer is not done with this series as yet, which is fine with me. A note on the audiobook narrator, Luke Daniels – he’s so unbelievably good at pitching the tone and characters right that it makes listening to them more enjoyable than reading them.
  6. Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia – here’s a novel that’s been on my radar for a long time, but one I’m only now finally getting to. In short, this ticked all the right boxes for me and kept my attention all the way through. Not a short book, but I felt it flew by as the action and events drag you along to the conclusion. I’ll definitely be checking out book 2.
  7. Ascendant by Jack Campbell – this is the second novel in his Genesis Fleet series, the same universe as the Lost Fleet books but just before the formation of the Alliance and Syndicate Worlds. I reviewed the first book, Vanguard, and enjoyed it a fair amount, but I didn’t quite click with Ascendant as much. It was generally okay, and as readable as Campbell always is, but it just missed that extra something for me.

Reviews Posted
No reviews this month. Life is just too damned busy.

Movies Watched
My wife and I have watched a few films in July, either at home or making a trip to the cinema. I’ve also caught a couple myself when I’ve simply been too tired to do anything but lay on the sofa. So, Rampage was quite good, but generally a mindless action flick; The Haunting in Connecticut was okay, but mostly forgettable and not particularly scary; Game Night was plenty of fun and much needed for a night in; Baywatch hit the mark too and was much better than I expected given the poor reviews; Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was okay, but they really need to do something new with this series to give it some life; Hotel Transylvania 1 & 2 were both fun films for what they were; and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again was my husband duty that was okay, but definitely not my sort of film!

TV Shows Watched
The Expanse (season 1 & 2) – I watched season 1 a year or so back, but never got to season 2. I managed to persuade my wife to give it a go, and despite the first few episodes being slower than I remember, I really enjoyed it all the way through. Season 2 definitely hit its stride earlier and delivered increasingly better episodes. Can’t wait to see what season 3 has in store.

Games Played
Absolutely nothing played this past month, and this is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

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