Top Ten Tuesday in quotes…

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

http://www.thatartsyreadergirl.com/top-ten-tuesday/

 This week‘s topic: book quotes that fit a particular theme! I guess my theme will be amusing quotes! Here we go:

“Dogs make sense. They understand hierarchy and the need to cooperate. They come when you call them. A cat though—a cat will take your number and get back to you. Maybe. If he’s in a good mood.” 

Mortal Danger by Eileen Wilks

Read in 2012. The first book was only just interesting enough for me to want to get the next one. Nothing special. But this one grabbed me. I really liked it. Interesting plot, good world building, introduction of some new characters that I really liked and want to see more of. The varying points of view added a nice layer to the various existing characters as well. Very good.

“Some people are like Slinkies. They aren’t really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to my face when I push them down a flight of stairs.” 

Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs

Still one of my favourite UF series. Just re-read the lot last year.

“I can’t wait till I have grandchildren. When I was younger, I had to walk to the rim of a crater. Uphill! In an EVA suit! On Mars, ya little shit! Ya hear me? Mars!”

The Martian by Andy Weir

I could easily do this whole TTT with quotes from The Martian. I love this book. My cheeks are hurting just from reading over all of the quotes I marked…

“I gave him a smile. I was aiming for sweet, but he turned a shade paler and scooted a bit farther from me. Note to self: work more on sweet and less on psycho-killer.” 

Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews

Still my favourite UF series. And another series I could use easily as well to fill all the quotes for this TTT.

“I apologize for anything I might have done. I was not myself.”
“I apologize for shooting you in the leg.” said Lila. “I was myself entirely.” 

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

The story is a mystery, a conspiracy, an adventure and a fight against evil. There is smuggling, thievery, but sadly no pirates. And sadly, it wasn‘t a complete hit for me.

“So you killed him with what now?”
“I tried that Dr. Phil book at first”…”And I finished it off with the toilet seat. Just so you know, you left it up again. That drives me crazy.” 

Married with Zombies by Jesse Petersen

Great fun. If you liked the film Zombieland, this is for you.

“She was not a political creature. She felt that politics was the second most evil thing humanity had ever invented, just after lutefisk.” 

Abaddon’s Gate by James S.A. Corey

My favourite SF series…

“It’s not that I’m not upset; it’s just that I’m too tired to run up and down the corridor screaming.” 

Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold

Another good SF series, if you want to read something classic. My steam only lasted a few books in though. As a teenager I probably would have loved this to pieces.

“He was an American, so it seemed only fair to shoot him.” 

The Devil in Amber by Mark Gatiss

Mark Gatiss isn‘t only great as screenwriter or the occasional supporting actor…

“Once the telephone had been invented, it was only a matter of time before the police got in on the new technology and, first in Glasgow and then in London, the police box was born. Here a police officer in need of assistance could find a telephone link to Scotland Yard, a dry space to do “paperwork” and, in certain extreme cases, a life of adventure through space and time.”

The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch

Another endless supply of funny quotes is the Rivers of London series. And excellent UF. I highly recommend the audiobooks, they elevate the series by a few more pegs.

I could keep going, but that‘s 10 quotes! That was very entertaining, actually….

Heir and Imago…

Well, I finished Blood Heir and don‘t really have anything to add to the First Line Friday post from a few days ago. It was fun, I had hoped for fresh ideas, it was very much Kate Daniels by rote.

Blood Heir (Aurelia Ryder, #1; Kate Daniels #10.5)
by Ilona Andrews

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The moon was full and silver. It peeked at me through tattered clouds as I rode my horse down the old I-20, staying in the center of the highway.

First lines

I expected a fresh take on the world of Kate Daniels. I pretty much got Kate Daniels with a different name. That was a bit of a let down. Don‘t get me wrong, I love KD and her world, it‘s still one of my favourite UF series. But I had hoped that IA would tread new ground and reinvent this world with some fresh blood. It was more of a same-sh*t-different-day affair.

The ending was too abrupt. We were still in the middle of the action, I turned the page and we‘re done. The final confrontation was over much to quickly, considering the build-up that heavenly beast had gotten over the progress of the book.

Still, I was entertained, it was a mostly satisfying read.

There is hope for a breath of fresh air in the sequel, which I will definitely get. And there is waiting for a new installment of Hugh D‘Ambray‘s storyline. There is no date yet, however they are mentioning a second book on their website.

“When magic crests at its peak, the King of Fire will leave his citadel of misery in the Western Desert to travel east to devour the queen who doesn’t rule and sever bloodline reborn. Only the one who shares his power may oppose him.”

The prophecy — from the book

Prompted by our bad guy in this book:

Paradise Lost, Book I, lines 392-405:

First Moloch, horrid King besmear’d with blood 
Of human sacrifice, and parents tears,
Though for the noyse of Drums and Timbrels loud
Thir childrens cries unheard, that past through fire [ 395 ]
To his grim Idol. Him the Ammonite
Worshipt in Rabba and her watry Plain,
In Argob and in Basan, to the stream
Of utmost Arnon. Nor content with such
Audacious neighbourhood, the wisest heart [ 400 ]
Of Solomon he led by fraud to build
His Temple right against the Temple of God
On that opprobrious Hill, and made his Grove
The pleasant Vally of Hinnom, Tophet thence
And black Gehenna call’d, the Type of Hell. [ 405 ]

http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/read…

Books I am looking forward to in 2021

Blood Heir (Aurelia Ryder, #1)
by Ilona Andrews (Goodreads Author) 

Starting point for the online version is here: https://ilona-andrews.com/2020/ryder-…

However, I am not so keen anymore to read online and too lazy to copy, re-format, etc, etc… plus: https://ilona-andrews.com/2020/clarif…

So, I just pre-ordered the Kindle version that will be published in January 2021. Just a little patience needed.

This will be an uphill struggle for the Ilona Andrews fans. Or more specifically the Kate Daniels fans…

Books I am looking forward to in 2021…

I try not to buy too many new books. Therefore I tend to avoid all these lists of upcoming books or just have a very quick glance at them, but refuse to add anything to my want-to-read-pile. I dream of the day, when I have no books piling up on my kindle or my living room table… Alas, I have middling success. Here are a few books I want to read in 2021. It’s a pretty short list, yay!

GRAPHIC NOVEL

Black Magick, Vol. 3: Ascension (Paperback)
by Greg Rucka

Expected publication: February 2nd 2021 by Image Comics

The black-and-white artwork of the first two volumes was excellent. Beautifully drawn, rich details, just very nice. The story was good and has lots of potential.

URBAN FANTASY

Blood Heir (Aurelia Ryder, #1)
by Ilona Andrews (Goodreads Author) 

Expected publication: January 12th 2021 by NYLA

From award-winning author, Ilona Andrews, an all-new novel set in the New York Times #1 bestselling Kate Daniels World and featuring Julie Lennart-Olsen, Kate and Curran’s ward. 

I refrained from reading this on IA‘s website, aka the weekly serialized chapters. In fact, I think that is still ongoing. The fact that there is no cover artwork yet makes me feel a little dubious about the planned publishing date of January 2021… And I am wondering if Julie will be as good as the original Kate Daniels stories.

Wild Sign (Alpha & Omega, #6)
by Patricia Briggs

Expected publication: March 16th 2021 by Amazon Digital Services

Mated werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham must discover what could make an entire community disappear—before it’s too late

I have been reading the Mercy Thompson books and this spin-off for years. It is still one of my favourite UF series, almost as loved as Ilona Andrews‘ Kate Daniels series. I actually spent the first few months of this year with re-reading all of these books in preparation for a new release of the main series.

SCIENCE FICTION

A Desolation Called Peace (Teixcalaan, #2)
by Arkady Martine (Goodreads Author)

Expected publication: March 2nd 2021 by Tor Books

An alien armada lurks on the edges of Teixcalaanli space. No one can communicate with it, no one can destroy it, …

I really liked the first book and I can‘t wait to find out what Mahit Dzmare and Three Seagrass are going to face in this sequel to A Memory Called Empire.

Fugitive Telemetry (The Murderbot Diaries, #6)
by Martha Wells (Goodreads Author) 

Expected publication: April 27th 2021 by Tor.com

Yes, the unthinkable is about to happen: Murderbot must voluntarily speak to humans!

What can I say… Instabuy! Although the last installment dragged a bit in the middle…

Untitled (The Expanse, #9)
by James S.A. Corey (Goodreads Author) 

The much awaited 9th and final installment of The Expanse series.

Oh boy, oh boy. No proper cover yet, no title yet and no publishing date… O.o <— that‘s my anxious face. It will be the end of an era… and if we‘re unlucky, it might not even happen in 2021… who knows!? Meep.

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

One Last Stop (Hardcover)
by Casey McQuiston (Goodreads Author) 

Expected publication: May 6th 2021 by Piatkus

From the New York Times bestselling author of Red, White & Royal Blue comes a new romantic comedy that puts a queer spin on Kate & Leopold.

I really liked Red, White & Royal Blue. And Kate & Leopold is a fun movie…

My 2018

2018 on Goodreads

2018 on Goodreads by Various

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I read a lot of short stories and novellas this year. I used to say anything under 300 pages is not worth reading, when I was still a booksnob. Apparently I changed my mind!

All Systems Red and all of it‘s sequels were part of that shorts & novellas adventure.

Other favourites were for example The Lady Astronaut of Mars and Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience, plus all of the short story and novella nominees for the 2018 Hugo Awards.

I also read a lot of online magazins, like Clarkesworld and Lightspeed Magazine. But also Tor.com provided a ton of material.

Comics also became a large part of my reading enjoyment, partly to blame on comiXology and their devilish sales. My favourite comic series, all caught up to the latest issue:
Saga, Vol. 1 and Lazarus, Vol. 1: Family

And we had the end of an era with the final Kate Daniels novel, Magic Triumphs! Luckily Ilona Andrews is working hard on writing other fun stuff, for example Iron and Magic.

I still listen to audiobooks, but I am pretty ambivalent to the experience. If I have the time, I rather read than listen. I keep missing too many nuances, when listening. And I can’t sit motionless and listen, it just makes me sleepy. Listening so far has always been a substitute, when I couldn‘t sit and read. Maybe I need to pick up long walks as a hobby…

One of my favourite audiobooks in 2018 was Blue Remembered Earth. Not because of Alastair Reynolds—I specifically picked this book, because it is narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. A god amongst audiobook narrators! Ok, the book was good as well…

I found Kobna through listening to the most fun series I read in 2018: Peter Grant and Rivers of London. Hail to London‘s most entertaining wizard! Harry Potter in a police procedural for grown-ups and a lot of fun. Plus I get to go back to my beloved London, where I lived for four years and that is still sorely missed.

I am starting the year 2019 with reading the first volume of the accompanying comic, Rivers of London – Body Work #1.

My most conflicting relationship with an author in 2018 was with Dan Simmons. Ilium netted five stars for it‘s sheer inventiveness, although I struggled with the minutiae of the writing. The sequel, Olympos, ended up as a DNF, because the crazy amount of details and neverending bla-bla-bla of not getting on with the plot superseded the inventiveness. Strike three was The Abominable. I had fun with the mountain climbing descriptions, but the story did not do much for me, was incorrectly labelled as horror and just dragged insufferably. Done, thanks!

My love of all things underwater brought me to the very good Starfish and Into the Drowning Deep, but also to the incredibly pulpy Meg. Embarassingly bad, politically incorrect, sexist, but fun. I even read the sequel… The movie wasn‘t much better, but had Jason Statham in it. Your argument is invalid.

And although I still (mostly) continued my Urban Fantasy hiatus, Vigil proved to be a highly entertaining break from said hiatus and was a fun tour of Brisbane.

Other favourites:
Summerland Nemesis Games The Book of Etta Dichronauts Unholy Land Burn Bright The Calculating Stars Shifting Dreams

I had an excellent reading year and I hope I will discover many more fun books in 2019!

+++
Some potentially boring statistics, aka my tally for 2018:

January – 2105 pgs
February – 1652 pgs
March – 2730 pgs
April – 1250 pgs
May – 3111 pgs
June – 2693 pgs
July – 2940 pgs
August – 2480 pgs
September – 2080 pgs
October – 1761 pgs
November – 1537 pgs
December – 2378 pgs

My page count is allover the place! The lowest month was April with 1250 pages, the highest May with 3111.

Daily average: 73 pages
Weekly average: 514 pages
Monthly average: 2.226 pages
Total page count: 26.717 pages


According to My Year in Books according to Goodreads I read over 32.000 pages. Not sure where that figure comes from, I am guessing some of it is from DNFs. That‘s only 9 books though, so… shrugs



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