Reading List – April 2020

This is my second of four Indie Book Months in 2020!

Child of Humanity – Alyse N. Steves

514w6vjoailI’m a pretty big fan of sci-fi, but it seems a little more rare than fantasy when it comes to indie books. Still, I’m excited for this in part because I’m fairly certain the author is a PhD in the science (like me! Oh man, I’m so glad I’m not in grad school anymore, holy shit). The author also runs/ran the old twitter game #MeetAWriter, which I enjoyed.

Amazon Link

51n4vq2bfuylLegacy of Souls – D. Wallace Peach

I reviewed The Melding of Aeris by Diane back in April 2019, and I really enjoyed it. For that reason, I decided to see if her quality carries through to her newest series, The Shattered Sea! It seems to be a fantasy with soul-based magic, and I hope it carries similar tinges of darkness as Aeris did.

Amazon Link

 

Laevatein’s Choice – E. Kathryn

51wxlvkpovlSo, as an aside/heads up: I beta read this book. Whenever I beta read something, I get a little more attached to it than if I just pick the book up cold. I feel like I had some input with it, and I tend to give it more benefit of the doubt than I would otherwise.

Still, I can go ahead and tell you that this book is really cool, and it even blows Fire’s Hope out of the water! If you like YA and superheroes, definitely an indie book to check out.

Amazon Link

The Leftovers: Something from YOU?

Do you have a published book and a method of purchasing it that isn’t sketch as hell?  I need indie books to read, and those slots will be opening before you know it!  Let me know if you have something you’d like me to peruse!

See my old reviews here

Video Game Review: Disco Elysium

I don’t do many video game reviews, just reviews of games that I think have a great story and might be relevant to a story-writing, book-reading blog.

And this one. This one.

Disco Elysium is a miracle of an indie game produced by ZA/UM.  It’s usually $39.99 on Steam, and it’s worth every single penny. It’s unlikely to go on sale anytime soon, as it came out in 2019 and is racking up award after award.

You don’t need to read further if you don’t want. This game is amazing. But it needs more disco.

disco elysium 2020 reviews video game

Non-Spoiler Review

Traditional gamers who are into shooters or platformers exclusively probably won’t give a crap about this game. There’s absolutely no mechanics to it that require skill of any sort. The game is almost exclusively dialogue choices, interacting with objects, a lot of running, and feelings.

So what’s this game about? Well, let me show you a screen shot of how it opens.

disco elysium start image

You wake up naked in a busted hostel room, still drunk but with a hangover. You have no memories of who you are, where you are, or what you’re doing. There are voices in your head telling you what to do (each of them clearly a part of yourself).

Upon putting on clothes and exiting your room, you quickly find out that you’re a cop who was sent to investigate a lynching in the hotel’s back yard three days ago. Your primary duties were to get the body out of the tree, question important subjects, not lose your gun, and not lose your badge.

You did none of those things.

The game lets you be weird, spontaneous, and political (I went with the full-on-Ayn-Rand boner because it gave you more money).

You’ll laugh. You’ll certainly feel like an existential crisis.

dolores dei

Hints and Tips

I’m not doing spoilers, per se, because that’s lame crap. This game is too good and new to spoil.

Decide Up Front about Save Scumming

This game is really easy to save scum (which means to save, try an option that is random chance, then re-load if you fail to roll well enough). The game does not punish you too much for failing rolls, so don’t be afraid if you would rather not save scum.

I did some save scumming. If I felt like it was important enough, I would save scum. A lot of people can make it through without cheating, but I had to get what I wanted, and I don’t feel bad about it.

Beg Money off of EVERYONE

You’re poor in this game. Egregiously poor. I suggest asking literally everyone for money.

Use the Phone on the Third Day

On the third day, you get access to a new area. On that new area, you’ll find an active payphone.

disco elysium payphone

Despite it being so hard to get money, USE IT ON THE PHONE. IT IS YOUR ONE TRUEST QUEST DO IT.

Make van Eyck’s Jam Harder Core

First, of course, you need to find the ravers in a tent and do their quest, but then you need to find a magnetic tape in a tree and give it to Egg Head. Just type in “Make van Eyck’s Jam Harder Core walkthrough” into Google and follow a let’s play, honestly. I didn’t, but I got lucky.

Put Some Points in Authority

Trust me, there’s one place in the game where you’ll want authority. It doesn’t need to be your primary stat, but you should have a few – it gets clutch…

Prepare for Existential Crisis

Yes. Prepare.

dolores dei

 

Book Review: Martin Van Buren and the Making of the Democratic Party

So far this month, I’ve read two Andrew Jackson related books in order to, once again, celebrate Andrew Jackson’s birthday. For those of you who clicked the title because you’re interested or very, very not interested in Democrats, please realize that the Democrats of the 1820’s and 30’s have very little in common with today’s incarnation.

The Book

41sqii0vf6l._sx331_bo1204203200_Martin Van Buren and the Making of the Democratic Party
Author: Robert Remini
1959
Amazon Link

I’ve been interested in Andrew Jackson ever since I first read about him in American History in high school.  I understand that he wasn’t perfect, and I definitely get that he’s controversial (in fact, that’s part of why I love studying him and his era). I also know I like Robert Remini’s style (at least his style in the 70’s and 80’s – it will be interesting to see if his style when he was younger will be the same or what he’s changed). I have no good book cover image because this is an obscure book for an obscure president.

Martin Van Buren may not have been one of the more memorable presidents, but he was vital in Jackson’s cabinet and Kitchen Cabinet. He was instrumental in shaping American politics into what we see today, and I needed to know more about him to get a better picture of the era.

Non-Spoiler Review

Counting this book, I’ve read 6 of Remini’s works. After I finished this one, I finally gave in and admitted it:

Remini’s one of my favorite authors.

One of the primary criticisms of Remini as a historian is that he too easily takes the viewpoints and sides of his protagonists. He definitely does that with Martin Van Buren, because it’s easy to see his pro-Van Buren tone and, simultaneously, Van Buren’s absolute sliminess. It was a fascinating look at a totally underrated American figure.

This was also the earliest of Remini’s works that I’ve read. Published in 1959, it’s almost twenty years older than the next-oldest Remini work I’ve read. The way the book reads has enormous similarities to the later works, and I can see a lot of how Remini formed his own thoughts on the historical context. I enjoyed that, too.

5/5 Discoball Snowcones

5 Discoball Snowcones

SPOILERS REVIEW

Van Buren’s role in making the Democratic Party is readily apparent even in high school history, but the depth pursued in this work is incredible. The scummy flip-flopping Van Buren had to do in order to maintain his Albany Regency political machine was especially interesting. He went from someone who thought Jackson was “incredibly dangerous” to a guy who came lapping at his feet, hoping to ride the coattails of the General.

Van Buren would also shoot himself in the foot if it meant keeping overall control of his machine. Remini was a master of storytelling, even if he was a historian, and he excellently built towards the climax of the Tariff of Abominations. Van Buren’s two-faced, evil machinations with that tariff gave the book something of a “Breaking Bad” sort of feel.

I don’t expect pretty much anyone reading this to be interested in 1820’s New York politics as much as me, but here’s been the review anyway.

Next week:

This is a 5-week month! What sort of Jacksonian machination is going to appear next? Stay tuned!

Book Review: American Lion

Let’s celebrate Andrew Jackson’s birthday with another book full of bloodlust and hatred for Calhoun and Clay. This Pulitzer-prize winning book has a fantastic reputation, and Meacham is one of the most famous pop historians of our day. I have no idea how you could possibly do justice to Jackson in a single volume, but oh well! Gonna jump right in!

The Book

519liaiuttlAmerican Lion
Author: Jon Meacham
2008
Amazon Link

Perhaps it’s because I believe Remini’s 3-volume work gave an appropriate, scholarly overlook necessary to appreciate Jackson’s full range of character, but I’ve been suspicious of American Lion since I saw it published in 2008 (I was in undergrad at the time). This book was a Pulitzer Prize winning piece, so it’s got the award chops to back it up, but will that mean its ability to interpret from a Jacksonian Era lens will be marred?

Anyway, when Trump was elected, Time magazine produced an issue dedicated to my main man Andrew Jackson, and the magazine was largely based off this biography.* My desire to read this book grew in proportion to my suspicion, and I really want to see how you can possibly incorporate much nuance in such a short space. Which Jackson will Meacham see in his reading of original documents?

*This is probably due to the fact that Jon Meacham is probably one of the most popular historians around today, and the other part is probably that Robert Remini died in 2013 and couldn’t have written the magazine article even if they wanted him to. Which I would have.

Non-Spoiler Review

I have a total and complete hard-on for Remini’s historical analysis. A the same time, I really, really liked Meacham’s delicious writing style. His ability to craft a sentence is phenomenal. He’s also got a really good grasp of storycraft and can turn what I thought were some of the more boring parts of the Jackson administration into a fascinating story.

One issue I had with this book was probably unavoidable. Because it was limited to one volume, Meacham chose to glance over Jackson’s early life. I think this is a misfortune because without knowing this information, Jackson feels relatively inconsistent in his political beliefs and stands. Meacham attributes what I think is too much to Jackson’s orphaning and experiences in the revolution, and not enough to his marriage, victory at New Orleans, and insane, bloodthirsty time working with the Blount faction. I personally don’t believe in attempting historical psychology, which Meachem definitely tried to do.

I enjoyed this book because it focused on some of the social aspects of 1820’s and 30’s politics that Remini basically glanced over. The Petticoat War was fascinating in this book, though I think Meacham could have done more to show Van Buren’s massive influence in the set of events. I absolutely loved his analysis of Emily Donelson’s recently unearthed letters on the subject, and I thought that was a great addition to the story. The way he incorporated Peggy Eaton’s memoirs and letters was fantastic. If nothing else, Meacham’s telling and analysis of the Petticoat War is worth reading.

In the end, though, I do think too much focus was put on Andrew Jackson Donelson, one of Jackson’s nephews and wards. Though Jackson was indeed the central figure, he didn’t really feel like the “protagonist” of the book as much as Andrew and Emily Donelson. I think this can be attributed to the new documents Meacham had access to (some of Andrew and Emily’s letters), but I still thought the book was somewhat scattered because of this.

5/5 Discoball Snowcones (because let’s be honest, I loved it despite all the above complaints)

5 Discoball Snowcones

SPOILERS REVIEW

Oops I think I spoiled everything above.

Except guess what? I read the author’s notes, and my main man Remini helped edit. In 2008, I think there was no other choice. Mwahahaha! I knew you couldn’t leave that dude out!

Next week:

Another character/person in Andrew Jackson’s life that doesn’t get enough credit is freaking Martin Van Buren. Next week, I’ll try to do him a little bit of justice as I read Martin Van Buren and the Making of the Democratic Party.

Which was written by Remini, btw.

 

Book Review: A Being So Gentle

Let’s be honest – this is a great book to read for Andrew Jackson’s birthday, because there was nothing and no one Jackson obsessed over more than his wife, Rachel. Rachel Jackson was extremely influential as a First Lady even though she didn’t live long enough to wield that title properly, and this is the first legit biography I’ve seen of her. I already know the love story of Rachel and Andrew is NUTS, so this is gon’ be gud.

The Book

51qsr2bcvtslA Being So Gentle: The Frontier Love Story of Rachel and Andrew Jackson
Author: Patricia Brady
2011
Amazon Link

Last year for March, I read the definitive Robert Remini biographical trilogy on Andrew Jackson. This year, I’m branching out a bit more and looking at a couple people associated with his presidency. Rachel Jackson was incredibly important to Andrew, and she should have been more important to the people he killed in defense of her virtue and honor. She was a quick-witted lady and skilled with running her husband’s plantation (God knows Jackson wasn’t terribly good at keeping money in his pockets), and she’s very underestimated in terms of historical importance.

A biography of her is inevitably going to be hard to write, though, because most of her writings were destroyed in a tragic house fire that occurred years after her death. Moreso than other ladies of her era, she must be discovered through secondary sources and other people’s eyes. That’s part of why I’m excited to see what historian Patricia Brady was able to dredge up.

Non-Spoiler Review

I was very pleased with how Brady teased Rachel out of the few surviving documents about Rachel. She did have to make a lot of suppositions based off what other people said about her in letters or based off some of the letters Andrew Jackson apparently wrote in response to her lost writings.

One thing I was interested in was how far the both of them went in order to please the other. It is apparent that Andrew Jackson’s absences from home in order to murder the British and the Indians distressed his wife, but she also wrote letters and sent out dispatches to preserve his character while he was out. Unlike a lot of men (especially wealthy ones at the time), it seems Jackson did not abandon his wife for mistresses due to old age, weight, or unstylishness (because she worked the farm, she was tanned, at the time a big no-no).

Brady did a pretty good job teasing the life of a very reclusive person from the shadows of her husband’s popularity. Even so, it was very apparent that little direct information about Rachel survives, and much of the story was told with her husband in mind.

5/5 Discoball Snowcones

5 Discoball Snowcones

SPOILERS REVIEW

I don’t think there’s much spoilers to be had in a historical book. I will say, however, that a few passages delighted me.

One was the passage in which Brady spoke of evidence the Jacksons were seeking fertility advice. That wasn’t something you really spoke of in those days, and the fact Jackson himself bought the books shows the level of distress they – and probably Rachel, especially – had over their childlessness.

Another interesting tidbit was about Andrew Jackson’s feud with John Sevier in the early 1800’s. This book had the added story about how Rachel didn’t want him to fulfill his duties as judge in eastern Tennessee, Sevier’s stronghold, but he went anyway and got very sick. A man came to warn him about a posse set to tar and feather Andrew. He advised Andrew to lock his door and hold up. Andrew got out of bed, went outside, and threatened the crowd which subsequently dispersed.

The book went into detail about how worried Rachel got over this issue, and it was intriguing how involved she was with Andrew’s exploits. He often wrote to her in pretty gruesome detail about all the murdering, and she’d reply with, “Oh, I love you, stay safe, I’ll pray for you,” and stuff like that.  

I found their loyalty endearing.

Next week:

I am excited to say my library FINALLY got a copy of American Lion, which is famous because it was written by John Meacham. I doubt it’s as thorough as Remini’s definitive work, but it’s an extremely popular and more modern analysis of Jackson! Stick around to see if I like that!

 

Reading List – March 2020

Last March, I took a weird turn and read a well-respected, seminal three-volume biography of Andrew Jackson by Robert Remini. It was one of my favorite reading months of 2019.

So we’re doing it again – Andrew Jackson month, go!

A Being So Gentle: The Frontier Love Story of Rachel and Andrew Jackson – Patricia Brady

51qsr2bcvtslBy far, the most gripping and emotional part of the Andrew Jackson trilogy was in the middle of the second volume when Rachel suffered a heart attack and died. The Rachel and Andrew Jackson love story is so rife with excitement that it has been shown in film and lionized during the earlier parts of the 20th century, back when Jackson was SUPER popular. What’s interesting about this book is it’s a well researched biography of Rachel Jackson, and based off what I know about her that had to be HARD. Most of Rachel’s writings burned in a house fire in 1835, which makes it even harder to tease this woman’s importance, influence, and life out from under her husband’s accomplishments. Even so, she’s super important in Jackson’s life, and her story is one of the most interesting of the time.

American Lion – John Meacham

519liaiuttlThis is a more recent biography than the trilogy I read last year, so I assume it will contain analyses and morals of people more similar to those alive today. With Remini’s important work coming at a time when opinions on Jackson were shifting, I find it important to read something newer and see what happens. American Lion, published in 2008, saw something of a renaissance when Trump invoked Jacksonian imagery in 2016. Interest in Jackson rose, and John Meacham’s opinion was sought. Meacham is quite possibly one of the most famous history writers today (the other competitor I can think of being David McCullough), so I’m looking forward to reading my first work by his pen.

Martin Van Buren and the Making of the Democratic Party – Robert Remini

41sqii0vf6l._sx331_bo1204203200_So, something I did last year after reading the Andrew Jackson books was write a fanfic. I’m not sorry. Either way, the Van Buren-based character became way more important in that book than I expected, and I considered his importance in the Democratic party and Jackson’s apex. Though Van Buren is mostly well known for being president during the crash of 1837 and only having one term, he’s incredibly important for his behind the scenes work as “The Little Magician” who ran political machines and many successful campaigns. 

Also this was written by Robert Remini, so can you blame me?

The Leftovers: Something from YOU?

Do you have a published book and a method of purchasing it that isn’t sketch as hell?  I need indie books to read!  Let me know if you have something you’d like me to peruse!

See my old reviews here

Book Review: Mockingjay

When I looked over my performance based on the Amazon’s 100 Books to Read Before You Die, I noticed one easy way to knock three titles from the list was to read the Hunger Games series. I think Amazon messed up by making each book a separate entry, but you know, whatever.

The Book

51zkheo7x8lCatching Fire
Author: Suzanne Collins
2010
Amazon Link

The first book, The Hunger Games, outperformed my expectations. The second book, Catching Fire, was somewhat interesting, but it felt like a repeat of the first book. I’m hoping this addition to the trilogy adds something new, but I don’t see how that’s going to happen and be successful. I don’t think Katniss is good enough at pushing the plot forward for her to be active in the last book.

Non-Spoiler Review

I will give this book one thing: it wasn’t a repeat of the first book. I didn’t like how book 2 was basically the same as book 1, so I’m glad Collins didn’t just have another Hunger Game for Katniss to finish.

That being said, I can’t believe how disappointed I was with this book.

I don’t think a civil war/rebellion was a bad direction to take the plot. The problem I had was that Katniss’s ability to influence events at the same time that she always discovered information after everyone else made this book feel a bit unreal. For example, early in the book she’s asked to be the “Mockingjay,” the symbol of the rebellion. She doesn’t know what to do until Prim (the younger sister) tells her to make demands in return for being the Mockingjay. She didn’t make the decision herself, just like every other event in the book.

I also had major issues with Katniss being ‘the best shot’ as opposed to people who were soldiers for their entire lives. I had issues with Katniss bringing down bombers with a bow and arrow, no matter her skill or specialness of the arrows. I had issues with the supply chain mechanics of District 13’s total war machine, but I understand few people study that kind of war strategy.

Overall, the problem I had with the book was lack of any semblance of believability. I think it almost pulled its rather ambitious premise off and almost seemed hardcore, but then it would defeat itself by doing something far beyond unbelievable.

2/5 Discoball Snowcones

2 Discoball Snowcones

SPOILERS REVIEW

Ok, I’m going to talk about the very end here.

First off, I agree that President Coin wasn’t that great a person, and she was somewhat power hungry. Her desire to reinstate the Hunger Games one last time was a bloodthirsty move, but Katnis agreed to it. Then she shot President Coin instead of Snow.

WTF?! That was such a letdown. It seemed to me that she made an incredibly destructive decision, and I can’t bring myself to believe the rebellion was able to hold itself together after coin’s death.

Then there was the epilogue. For three books, Katniss was bound and determined never to have kids in the crappy, post-apocalypse world. In the end, she talked about her PTSD-induced marriage to Peeta (which I didn’t really like, after what happened to Peeta) and her children. It just felt so disjointed, sort of like the Mass Effect Blue Ending.

Also also, I found out that the Capitol was probably supposed to be Salt Lake City, which indicates to me the author intended them to be Mormons. I found that a wee bit religionist (is that a word?).

Next week:

It’s March next week – if you were around for last March, you might be able to guess what those books are going to be about!

Book Review: Catching Fire

When I looked over my performance based on the Amazon’s 100 Books to Read Before You Die, I noticed one easy way to knock three titles from the list was to read the Hunger Games series. I think Amazon messed up by making each book a separate entry, but you know, whatever.

The Book

51tk519fuhlCatching Fire
Author: Suzanne Collins
2010
Amazon Link

The first book, The Hunger Games, was perfectly ok. It outperformed my expectations, though I found some of the word choices and style a little stifling. What I’m looking forward to with this book is the relationship with Gail and Peeta. I also don’t have any idea what’s going to happen – after the first book, what can the characters do that will be even half as exciting? Now that the games are over, how can Collins come up with something that will even come close to as heart-pounding?  Since the series was so popular, I have to think there’s a surprise waiting for me!

Non-Spoiler Review

We still have too many instances of the words “blood” and “roast,” but stuff like that isn’t enough to keep me from reading. Collins’s style isn’t my favorite, but she does very cleverly get into Katniss’s head and uses her first person narrator well.

However, this book wasn’t nearly as exciting, sensible, or creative as the first one. A lot of time is spent establishing why Katniss is (spoiler for the first book) now considered a rebel for her act of eating the berries at the end of The Hunger Games. I didn’t think her act all that treasonous, and even more so I thought the Capitol’s response to her actions altogether ridiculous. Similar to the first book, as well, Katniss is often the last person to find out about conspiracies and problems at which she is the center, and it just doesn’t feel reasonable. The first book could get the benefit of the doubt because 1) It’s YA, and some melodrama is excusable 2) Katniss was literally ripped from obscurity and put in the spotlight 3) It was pretty exciting. This book didn’t have 2 and 3 going for it, so the entire problem felt out of place to me.

If I ignore the premise’s unlikelihood and the melodrama of it all, I suppose the book was “Ok.” I wouldn’t tell someone they were wrong for enjoying it, and I’d still say continuing the series after book one isn’t a complete waste of your time. Similarly, I’d also assert that you don’t need to continue if you don’t want to.

3/5 Discoball Snowcones

3 Discoball Snowcones

SPOILERS REVIEW

Too quickly, I found out what happened between Katniss and Gail after the games: a fairly contrived idea of rebellion forces Katniss toward Peeta, and Gail is just ‘far away’ now. It was a disappointingly quick resolution to what I thought was the only exciting thing remaining unfinished from book 1. There was some more development, but it felt forced and Katniss didn’t really have much say in whether she chose Peeta or Gail.

Next… was this plot basically a dumb repeat of the first plot? Katniss and Peeta are thrown into the arena then defy the capitol by defeating their games. It’s kind of nutty, really. The idea that all the victors are thrown back into the arena for the quarter quell was silly in the first place (as was the explanation that it was all a plan to kill Katniss). The idea that so many competitors were in on a plan that Hamich, the coach, failed to tell Katniss about? Ludicrous.

I would say this was a terrible book, but it still had some elements of tension even if they felt really contrived. I don’t have high hopes for Mockingjay, though.

Next week:

I will finish this series next week as I read Mockingjay. Stay tuned to see how it goes!

Book Review: The Hunger Games

When I looked over my performance based on the Amazon’s 100 Books to Read Before You Die, I noticed one easy way to knock three titles from the list was to read the Hunger Games series. I think Amazon messed up by making each book a separate entry, but you know, whatever.

The Book

51fpao2bjxlThe Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
2008
Amazon Link

I have never read this series because I’ve always found the premise of televised child murder to be an unlikely future for pretty much any current society, much less the future of America. I guess other people would disagree with me, but that’s the way my dice rolled.

Even so, it’s critically acclaimed, there are movies (which I haven’t seen), and I suppose it’s relevant to a modern audience. Let’s see what’s inside!

Non-Spoiler Review

I will admit that this was a fun read. I’m not sure I liked the juxtaposition of clearly YA-characters beside brutally murdered 12-year-olds, but I can also see myself finding the book edgy and “real” if I were a teen. So it probably fits a YA audience well, but parents might want to think about letting an advanced 9 year old read it without guidance or discussion.  

Anyway, I thought the pacing was excellent. The chapters left me hanging perfectly such that I wanted to keep going and find out what happened. I thought Katniss’s struggles were compelling, even if naggingly contrived.

I even think the touches of romance were well done. While I will say more in the spoilers, just know for now that I am VERY picky about my romance in books.

Lastly, my beefs with the book. I still think the premise is crazy, but if I could put that behind me, it was worth the time I spent reading. Collins also used a lot of weird word choices repeatedly, like ‘roast,’ and I kept getting drawn out of the immersion because of this. Finally, some of the plot points felt contrived, and the final solution felt too easy.

4/5 Discoball Snowcones

4 Discoball Snowcones

SPOILERS REVIEW

I’m going to shock some of you: I thought the romance subplot in this book was good.

Honestly, I kind of want to know how things go with Katniss and Gale when she gets back home.  Her experience with Peeta was harrowing, and now they share a bond which can’t be simulated otherwise.  Katniss pretended to love Peeta in order to eke gifts from sponsors and viewers, so the entire nation thinks they’re in love, further complicating matters.  However, Gale has much more history with Katniss, and he’s shown a long-term devotion.  I actually liked this subplot, which is very unusual for me.

Lastly, I’d like to complain about the contrivance concerning the ‘rule change.’  During the middle of the games, the announcer declared 2 people could win the Hunger Games if they were from the same district.  Then, right at the end, when Katniss and Peeta had won, they revoked this rule change.  Katniss and Peeta decided to commit suicide simultaneously.

Honestly, what did the game makers expect?  Force the competitors to work together, then suddenly pull the rug out from under them?  I felt like this change right at the end was such fake BS, invented just so Katniss could ‘insult’ the capitol.

Still, overall, I’d say my complaints are weak sauce.  I definitely intend to finish this series, now.

Next week:

I’m reading the second book in this series, Catching Fire.

Reading List – February 2020

I like to read series because it give a feeling of true accomplishment. For my first series this year, I’m reading Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games trilogy.

The Hunger Games Trilogy – Suzanne Collins

You may be surprised I hadn’t read these books already. As they are post-apocalyptic science fiction and some of the most popular books of the last couple decades, they seem to have pretty widespread appeal and cultural influence.

So I thought I should read them, regardless of how good they may or may not be. My friends who’ve read the first book all liked it, but I haven’t found many people who say much of anything about the second book and nothing good about the third book.

So let’s get this started!

Divider

Do you write books and sell them in a non-sketchy fashion, such as through Amazon? If so, shoot me a line – I would love to read your book!  If I choose your book, I will always purchase it since I do not want to be beholden to the author when I leave reviews.

See my old reviews here