July & August 2017

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July and August have been, quite simply, batcrap crazy. Life stuff has meant that I’ve not done anything on the blogging and reviewing front, and not much of reading either.

I was on track to end July well, with a lot of stuff done and planned, but I was then involved in a car accident where I got rear-ended. From there life just turned the dial up to 11 and there’s been no let-up since. There’s the obvious post-accident issues I’ve had to deal with, and the injury I sustained has made life even more difficult at a time when I needed a break. But there we go.

Another reason for the silence is a house move. We bought our first home together, completing at the very end of July. With help from friends we got moved in at the start of August and then proceeded to re-decorate some rooms (again, thanks to family and friends – I’ve been pretty useless!) in time for my wife’s surgery and recovery. Now there’s a small downtime to let her recuperate before the decorators are in again to finish off what was started.

It’s been a hell of a couple of months!

Books Read
I’ve not read many books the past couple of months, but there have been some good ones. I’m gearing back up and will hopefully increase consumption over the next 6-8 weeks.
60. Emergence by William Lee Gordon – the first in the Here Comes Earth trilogy, and quite an interesting one. Unfortunately it does suffer from poor editing and glosses over parts of the explanations that would help, but ultimately an entertaining read.
61. Hidden Empire by Kevin J Anderson – Anderson’s first book in his Saga of Seven Suns. I enjoyed this for its entertainment value and widescreen approach to the story. It’s far from perfect but I’m able to overlook the issues and enjoy the story for what it is.
62. Destiny by William Lee Gordon – the second Here Comes Earth book, and one that continues the story well while also expanding on it nicely. It still suffers from the same issues, but it’s not a bad book and just lacking in the execution despite some neat ideas.
63. Diaspora by William Lee Gordon – the final Here Comes Earth book, and somewhat different to what I expected. I thought it would be a fairly straight continuation, but it moved the timeframe forward a touch and dealt with issues down the line. Still good, but again could have done with some more editing and refinement.
64. Blaze by Stephen King – not what I expected when I picked up this book, but the story really hooked me with interesting characters and King’s typical prose that just carries me along for the ride.
65. Fringe Runner by Rachel Aukes – a quick, solid read that was very reminiscent of Firefly. There is plenty of scope for future stories, though I did hope they are a bit longer than this one.
66. Argonauts by Kevin Kneupper – a retelling of Jason and the Argonauts in a sci-fi setting, and rather well done. I particularly liked the genetic editing aspect and how it was all brought together.
67. A Forest of Stars by Kevin J Anderson – the second Saga of Seven Suns book, and much like the first it was very enjoyable despite the minor issues and gripes I had. Onwards I shall go!
68. Cujo by Stephen King – a book that is essentially about a dog with rabies? Doesn’t sound like much, but it was good – characters, story, and the feeling of impending dread was conveyed very well.
69. The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King – I had no idea what to expect with this fantasy tale from King, but it surprised me in many ways. Not only was the story good, but the way it was told with a different style than King’s usual novels really made it stand out. Definitely a favourite.
70. Just After Sunset by Stephen King – a nice collection of short stories, some standing out more than others, but it was a nice break from reading novels without sacrificing quality.
71. The Running Man by Stephen King – one of his Bachman books, and considering the only thing I knew about it was the film of the same name (but very, very different) I was nicely surprised at the story. An interesting future presented here, and one that seems like it could be all too real…
72. Bag of Bones by Stephen King – a really good supernatural story told in such a way that not only kept me guessing, but also kept me going back eager to find out more. A proper page-turner.
73. The Regulators by Stephen King – a different one here, and another of Kings Bachman books. Good horror elements, and the small location in which it was set gave some real chills at times.
74. The Atopia Chronicle by Matthew Mather – I remember trying to read this a couple of years back, but it just wasn’t the right time. This read, however, went very well and I enjoyed the interconnected tales very much. The whole idea of virtual worlds can be fascinating, and Mather managed to hit the nail on the head with these stories.
75. The Dystopia Chronicles by Matthew Mather – after enjoying The Atopia Chronicles so much I moved straight on to this with a view to blasting through the trilogy. That idea, however, was soon put to one side and I finished this more out of hope that it would get better than anything else. Unfortunately, it simply failed on the promise of its predecessor.

Reviews Posted
No recent reviews due to everything that has been going on in life. I do have a few that are almost done for my Asher re-read, and plenty lined up for the coming months.

Movies Watched
No movies watched recently either, and I am very disappointed that I’ve missed a few releases that I really want to see. Hoping to catch up soon…

TV Shows Watched
Breaking Bad (seasons 2, 3, 4, & 5) – this has been one of the few things we’ve made time for over the past couple of months, and have blasted through it when time permitted. Despite some ups and downs with the pacing it’s a great series, and very much recommended.

Dark Matter (season 2) – I loved the first season of Dark Matter with it’s interesting characters and plot arc, and this season built upon that foundation very well. I liked that there were surprises in store in almost every episode, and the expansion in focus to the larger galaxy was great. It’s just such a shame that I heard news of its cancellation. But still, I have season 3 to watch!

Games Played
Skyrim – following my wife’s operation I had some intermittent time here and there to relax with some gaming, and I decided it was time to revisit Skyrim. I scrapped my previous saves and started afresh, putting the odd hour into it here and there, and enjoying the experience.

Other Stuff
There really isn’t much else to add here. I’ve been busy doing what I can in the house in preparation for the decorators, but even now my neck and shoulder are in a constant dull pain after the crash which limits just what I can do. As always, ever onwards…

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