Frank`s 2016 Reading Challenge Log

Annual Reading Challenge

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Frank`s 2016 Reading Challenge Log

Postby Frank » Thu Dec 31, 2015 7:25 am

Right, I am ready to start this. :D I have some books lined up though there were four that I just could not decide which order to start them in, so I decided to let fate decide. I have left each one in a different room so whenever I am ready to start I just pick up the nearest one. :lol:
"Some believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check.But that is not what I have found, it is the small everyday acts of normal folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
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Re: Frank`s 2016 Reading Challenge Log

Postby Frank » Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:46 am

Book 1.
Saint Odd. By Dean Koontz.

This is the latest, and possibly last, in Koontz`s Odd Thomas series and was just as good as all the others, though how I will be able to explain what it is about to someone who has not read any of the others I really have no idea.

Odd is a rather unusual young man, he can see and talk to the dead,they know this and tend to visit him to try to tell him things or even just enjoy his company for a while but unfortunately they cannot talk to him. He is able to sense when something bad or evil is about to happen, or is somehow drawn t the location, and he can quite often stop it, or at least lessen the effect, with the help of his spirit companions, courage and pure dumb luck.

On his travels he encounters great evil, both human and/or quite weird, also he meets a lot of people who, in a common Koontz theme, know there is evil and are fighting it.

Don`t read these expecting a straight forward story, quite often when asked what the books are about my reply has been that I don`t really know but it does not matter. It is like the old saying that the journey is more important than the arrival.

https://www.goodreads.com/series/43672-odd-thomas

I have only read the 7 actual book in this series, there are some fill-in books that have been released as e-books or comics that I will have to try to get round to sometime.
"Some believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check.But that is not what I have found, it is the small everyday acts of normal folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
Gandalf the Grey

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Re: Frank`s 2016 Reading Challenge Log

Postby McCoy » Sun Jan 03, 2016 10:34 am

It's close to 18-20 years since the last time I read a book by Koontz. At that time I felt that his writing didn't deliver the same edge that I was used to. Either that or it was just me getting tired, I don't know.
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Re: Frank`s 2016 Reading Challenge Log

Postby Frank » Sun Jan 03, 2016 2:45 pm

He does seem to be getting a bit more hit and miss than he used to but one thing about this particular series is that there is almost no "edge" at all, they are just fairly gentle, rambling little stories about someone who is so good and innocent that he should not be able to do the things he does. They are certainly not horror stories despite some of the things that happen in them. As I said, this is a series that is almost impossible to explain to anyone who has not read them.
"Some believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check.But that is not what I have found, it is the small everyday acts of normal folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
Gandalf the Grey

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Re: Frank`s 2016 Reading Challenge Log

Postby Whiterook » Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:48 pm

Thanks for joining the challenge, mate!!!!

I've read some of Koontz's works... Phantoms and Sole Survivor are the ones that come to mind, but I really don't remember much on them other than I liked them. I definitely would read more.

Love the Odd Thomas series premise! I've not read any but, you have my curiosity up!
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Re: Frank`s 2016 Reading Challenge Log

Postby Frank » Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:26 am

Book 2.

Keane`s Company, by Iain Gale.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1773 ... -s-company

I have read three other books by Gale, another series set one hundred years earlier about Marlbourough`s campaign, and I was expecting something similar, but this very quickly went in an altogether different direction.

Keane is an officer but not really a gentleman, after accidentally killing another officer in a forbidden duel he is punished by Wellington by being taken out of his regiment and made an "exploring officer", basically a spy in an age when that was regarded as contemptible. He is ordered to assemble a small unit from some of the other rogues currently serving time for various offences. He manages to forge this completely random group into a useful force and is given the task of liaseing with some of the Spanish guerrilla forces which is no easy task considering the difference in attitude about how the war should be fought.

I did think this was slightly two dimensional but I did enjoy it. I would rate this at 3/5.
"Some believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check.But that is not what I have found, it is the small everyday acts of normal folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
Gandalf the Grey

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Re: Frank`s 2016 Reading Challenge Log

Postby Frank » Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:11 pm

Book 3.

Nightbringer. by Graham McNeill.

I am a long term gamer in Games Workshop`s 40K universe and am reading more and more of the books which, for me anyway, have the advantage that it is set in an incredibly detailed background that has been established over quite a few years. I have already read the second omnibus edition, books 4,5,6 and have finally got round to starting book 1 from the first omnibus.

Set on the imperial world of Pavonis, Captain Ventris of the Ultramarines must find and destroy the Dark Eldar pirates ravaging the system while dealing with the complicated poitics of a world ruled over by various cartels, each mainly concerned with their own advancement. The title also gives a strong hint that another very powerful force is going to be involved in this somewhere.
"Some believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check.But that is not what I have found, it is the small everyday acts of normal folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
Gandalf the Grey

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Re: Frank`s 2016 Reading Challenge Log

Postby Whiterook » Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:07 pm

Both sounds like real cool reads! You're off to a fast start, mate! Ya'll are leaving me in the dust.
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Re: Frank`s 2016 Reading Challenge Log

Postby Frank » Sat Jan 16, 2016 3:06 pm

Well, my challenge has got off to a great start through no effort on my part. My partner, Glynis, being booked in for a couple of hospital tests we both spent WAAAYYY to much time on Thursday sat on uncomfortable chairs with nothing to do but read.

So, I have finished Nightbringer, . As I said earlier, anyone familiar with the 40K universe will have a pretty good idea of what this is about, but, just in case, this book deals quite well with the internal politics that can hinder the defense of a world. SOme people willing to work together to defeat the enemy, others just out for themselves.

https://www.goodreads.com/series/41737-ultramarines

After I had finished this one I was also able to get on to....
"Some believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check.But that is not what I have found, it is the small everyday acts of normal folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
Gandalf the Grey

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Re: Frank`s 2016 Reading Challenge Log

Postby Frank » Sat Jan 16, 2016 3:33 pm

Book 4
Warriors of Ultramar, by Graham McNeill.

The second book in the Ventris series sees our hero and his 4th company defending the world of Tarsis Ultra from an invading Tyranid force. The Tyranids are a completely unique race. They literally completely consume any other world they come into contact with, creating new bio weapons and mutations from any organic life. Pretty much based on Giger`s Alien they are an horrific foe. With a hive mind running their forces they are implacable and just will not stop. Ventris seeks aid from another chapter of marines, The Mortifactors, who, while sharing the same ancestory as the Ultramarines have deviated quite dramatically from the Ultramarine ideal which causes more problems for the defenders.

Ventris is faced with a choice, follow the very strict rules of engagement laid down by his chapter or risk his standing and go outside the rules to win.

Another very good book.
"Some believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check.But that is not what I have found, it is the small everyday acts of normal folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
Gandalf the Grey


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