What I’ve Been Reading: November 2017 Book Reviews

This month has been exceptionally slow for reading. In fact, it’s probably been the slowest reading month I’ve had in over a year. I’m not really sure if this even qualifies for a round-up, but here are mini-reviews for the two books I’ve read this month.

Babylon’s Ashes

James S. A. Corey

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Goodreads

“I thought if you told people facts, they’d draw their conclusions, and because the facts were true, the conclusions mostly would be too. But we don’t run on facts. We run on stories about things. About people.”

Babylon’s Ashes is the sixth book in James S. A. Corey’s The Expanse, an epic sci-fi series told from multiple points of view, which brings together some high concept science fiction, character-driven story arcs, and interplanetary politics and war. This latest installment sees a radical movement leaving a trail of destruction across the solar system, and the crew of the Rocinante reunite.

This series has been phenomenal since the start. It’s addictive, the characters are complex and interesting, and the action is gripping. This book feels particularly poignant because one of its major themes is the abuse of power, which I found really topical. This book also has a slight sense of Animal Farm to it, in that the villain of the story arises from a group claiming to take back power for its people, but nonetheless falling into some of the same damaging behaviours. Again, I found this quite topical. Overall, I was a big fan of this book.

Rating: 5/5 – Book of the Month!

Baptism of Fire (The Witcher #5)

Andrzej Sapkowski

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Goodreads

“We enter the world as a minute part of the life we are given, and from then on we are ever paying off debts. To ourselves. For ourselves. In order for the final reckoning to tally.”

This is the fifth book in the series that inspired the Witcher video games. The story follows the monster-hunter Geralt of Rivia, and his ward, a girl named Ciri who has begun to manifest unusual and dangerous powers. Now separated, Geralt finds himself travelling with an unusual assortment of characters as he seeks to reunite with Ciri in the midst of the raging war.

I’m really enjoying this series. While I preferred the earlier books (particularly the two short story collections and the first of the full-length novels), this book has some fantastic elements to it. I love the new characters who are introduced, particularly Milva, a young woman and talented archer who lives amongst the drayds in Brokilon. I preferred this installment to the previous book in the series, which felt a little slow and confusing, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Rating: 4/5

So, in my shortest wrap-up yet, those are the books I’ve been reading this month! Next on my list, I have Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, and plenty more on my shelf. Hopefully next month I can get through a couple more of those.

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