August 6th means that while you are reading this I am in my classroom, putting music stands and chairs out, pushing my benches back into place, pulling out instruments, and getting ready for my students to show up next week. I really can’t believe how fast this summer has gone. I spent it writing and reading like crazy. I escaped the hot sun outside and dove into a plethora of distant worlds created from the minds of others. Now though, summer is gone and I have to go back to work.
This means some changes on the blog. To start, I won’t be posting daily like I have been. I’m going for a bare minimum of once a week but am shooting for 3 times a week. We’ll see how things settle out after school starts. The end of summer also means returning to work on my master’s degree which means a huge loss of reading time for me.
I am glad that I set this challenge for myself this summer. I feel as sense of accomplishment and relief. I don’t have to push quite as hard anymore
In case anyone is wondering here are the books I read for the summer challenge in the order I finished reading them! Note: Some of the reviews for these haven’t posted yet but are coming soon.
- Overseas by Beatriz Williams (5/25/12)
- The Kings of Casino Park by Thomas Aiello (5/28/12)
- A Once Crowded Sky by Tom King (5/28/12)
- The Piano by Jane Campion (5/28/12)
- Black Sunday by Thomas Harris (5/29/12)
- Into the Green by Charles de Lint (5/30/12)
- The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card (5/31/12)
- The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (5/31/12)
- The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohlijian (6/1/12)
- Eve by Anna Carey (6/2/12)
- 11/22/63 by Stephen King (6/3/12)
- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen (6/4/12)
- The Omen Machine by Terry Goodkind (6/5/12)
- Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (6/5/12)
- Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (6/6/12)
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling (6/6/12)
- Jane Slayre by Charlotte Bronte and Sherri Browning Erwin (6/7/12)
- Reamde by Neal Stephenson (6/12/12)
- The Strain by Chuck Hogan and Guillermo del Toro (6/13/12)
- The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma (6/15/12)
- Fire and Ice by Patty Jansen (6/16/12)
- Dirty Little Angels by Christ Tula (6/17/12)
- We Are Absolutely Not Okay by Students of Scriber Lake Alternative High School (6/18/12)
- Threat of Darkness by Valerie Hansen (6/18/12)
- Cinder by Marissa Meyer (6/18/12)
- The Pleasures of Men by Kate Williams (6/18/2012)
- Caught in Crystal by Patricia C. Wrede (6/19/2012)
- The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley (6/23/12)
- Room by Emma Donogue (6/24/12)
- The Fall by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan (6/27/12)
- The Night Eternal by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan (6/28/12)
- Soulbound by Heather Brewer (6/28/12)
- Duck Boy by Bill Bunn (7/2/12)
- Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow (7/3/12)
- Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (7/4/12)
- Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick (7/4/12)
- Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick (7/4/12)
- Bag of Bones by Stephen King (7/5/12)
- The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan (7/6/12)
- Talulla Rising by Glen Duncan (7/6/12)
- Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris (7/7/12)
- Weak and Loved by Emily Cook (7/8/12)
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett (7/9/12)
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (7/10/12)
- Jane Vows Vengeance by Michael Thomas Ford (7/10/12)
- Sirensong by Jenna Black (7/10/12)
- City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare (7/11/12)
- The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (7/12/12)
- The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Makler (7/12/12)
- Article 5 by Kristen Simmons (7/13/12)
Book: The Night eternal
Authors: Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan
Recommend: If you’ve read the first two, you might as well finish the trilogy.
I picked this one up from the library after reading the first two books in the trilogy. This book is set two years after the second book and is the conclusion to the series. The human race is now living in service to the vampires. They have become labor and a source of food. However the small gang from the first two books are still fighting against the vampires, carrying on Abraham’s mission to save the world from the Master.
While this book does bring the whole story to a basically satisfying conclusion, I can’t help but feel like the authors really copped out after the first book. This book’s time gap was a weak excuse to change the relationships of the main characters with very little rhyme or reason to it. The whole book was leading to a very obvious end point and it lacked a sense of suspense because the end was just far too obvious. I think that this would make a great movie, but they didn’t hint at the ending, they slammed the reader over the head with it.
This book was even more of a let down than the second, even though it was better written because it was just too obvious. While it wasn’t a bad read, it wasn’t a good one either.
Get it free
Book: The Fall
Authors: Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan
Recommend: Although it’s not quite as good as the first, it is still worth taking the time to read.
I read the first book in this trilogy, The Strain, a couple of weeks ago. I had been wanting to read the next two but had to wait a bit since my book buying budget is rather low at the moment. So I requested this one and the last book in the trilogy from the library.
This book continues to follow the main characters as they fight against the vampire virus that is beginning to take control of their world. The cities are beginning to shut down and no one is trying to hide what they are fighting anymore and the niceties of society begin to unravel into chaos. The question shifts from ‘how do we stop it’ to ‘are we too late to stop it.’
While this book was a fun, great read, it was missing something that the first book had. The pacing in this one is a bit slower than the first. While the authors attempt to keep the action and pacing as quick as the first book, there is just no way to maintain it through the second book, which is by necessity, development into the third installment of this series.
Definitely worth picking up. I know that Barnes and Noble just got a new display of these in paperback form. While I don’t know that I’d pay full price for the hardback, I have a feeling that the paperbacks will end up a part of my collection in the near future. I just hope that the third book picks back up!
Get it used…
Book: The Strain
Authors: Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan
Recommend: If you like horror, vampires and post-apocalyptic fiction, this one is for you. Graphic language and violence warning.
Okay, I have to admit that when I saw that the author of this book was the same guy who directed one of the darkest movies I have ever seen and was the man directing the two Hobbit movies that are coming soon, I was immediately interested. When I realized that it was a vampire book, I simply had to read this one.
A plane lands at JFK international in New York City. Just after it lands, the whole plane goes dark. Every single shade is drawn down. Everyone on board is dead and missing something rather important – their blood. As the CDC frantically tries to figure out what killed them all, darker forces are at work, trying to cover it all up.
Okay, this was a great read after the last book I picked up. It was fast-paced, adrenaline pumping action with absolutely no wasted words. This book was simple straightforward horror in the best sense. It reminded me of ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King but a bit cleaner and with vampires that are more like the ones seen in The Passage by Justin Cronin. It was a fun read, full of gore and suspense.
I would say that the only negative for this book would be the amount of swearing. I’m not a big fan. I don’t think it adds to the story line. I would also say that it is a very violent book (but given the subject matter, that is to be expected). This is definitely not a book for everyone.
I definitely want to get my hands on the next two books in the trilogy but will be reading them during the daylight hours. Vampire books at night are never a good idea (unless of course they are written by Stephenie Meyer).
Buy it new