I don’t know if it’s just me, or this very suspicious gothic music I have playing in the background as I write this, but…
I’ve made a deal. Not the soul-selling kind mind you (I’m 63% sure that my soul would bounce if I tried to sell it.) It’s a little deal with myself. Probably more of an experiment.
I know I’m late for New Years goals and what not, but the experiment is to branch out into reading books in genres that I’ve never read before as well as reading things by new authors that I’ve never been exposed to. I’m a major fantasy and nonfiction junkie, but I dabble in literary fiction sometimes, so there’s lots of room for enlightenment.
I’m already knees deep in this experiment but you can probably already guess from the title and the beginning of this article that shenanigans have already happened.
Allow me to share…
I bet you weren’t expecting this to be a section! But yes, I came across some books that were pretty gosh darn good.
- Dawn (The Xenogenesis Trilogy Book 1) by Octavia Butler. I’d heard great tales from the bards that sing praises of the legendary Butler, but I’d always been hesitant to try her out because of my fantasy roots. I’d always imagined Sci-fi as Fantasies dry and awkward brother, and they never really appealed to me. But I’m glad I tried her out.
In an earlier review about The Midnight Sea, I mentioned the dangerous expectations that come with claiming that a story has some ‘moral weight’ or ‘extra meat’. But Octavia Butler more than exceeded those expectations. At the end of the novel, I was feeling wonderfully uncomfortable with my humanity and questioning what it actually means to be human (and if that humanity was even a good thing!). Her work doesn’t hide behind any flowery prose. It’s blunt, raw, and honest just the way I like it and I’d recommend it to anyone who might be bored with their usual reading.
- Songs Of Insurrection: A Legends of Tivara Story (The Dragon Songs Saga Book 1) by JC Kang. I know what you’re thinking. Destine… this is a fantasy book. I know! D:> But it is a subgenre I don’t ordinarily get a chance to read (Asian Fantasy). I’m only a little bit into the story, but I’m enjoying it immensely.
- Contract: Snatch by Ty Hutchinson. The first thriller that I tried to read and I’m not quite sure how to feel about it. On one hand, I feel like I should applaud him because I feel like he went all out on trying to make Sei a heartless assassin which is what she is. But at the same time, I felt like it was a double-edged sword because 1) this is a stereotype that kind of makes me just groan now and 2) the danger of this stereotype is that it is very hard to attach to Sei as a character and care apart from the obvious danger. I stuck with it because it’s fast-paced, though sometimes a little too fast paced that I go ‘huh?’ But even still, I am willing to try more thrillers to get a feel for the genre.
The WTF asdjkhkasfajh????
Shades of Pearl by Arianne Richmonde. *shudder* Erotica. Now I’ll be fair. I didn’t hate it. The food descriptions (not the food on people!) were to die for. Arianne can make me feel like I’m on vacation, but sometimes the sex and the relationship was kinda…questionable. This is probably another case of needing to ‘read around’ more because I don’t want to base my experience of an entire genre on just this book.
- The Mystic Wolves (Mystic Wolves# 1) by Belinda Boring. *cringe* My first exposure to paranormal shifter romances and I’m not sure I want another touch. I need a strong drink to recover from this one before I try again in this genre. This is a book that you have to read to believe, but at the same time I don’t dare recommend it. Be warned.
Despite some hiccups and flipped tables, this is an experiment I’m enjoying a lot. I’m looking forward to reading big names in other genres such as Stephen King and Amanda Hocking but also to discovering new unknown authors.
Let’s hope I survive the gauntlet.
Until next time~