This is a bumper post for books read in February and March.
Everyone, at time, wishes to be an inventor or a scientist. Everyone also dreams of being the overlord of at least the planet Earth. The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination is a collection of stories that satisfy both these wishes. You can read the first story, Professor Incognito Apologizes. You can also read and listen to other stories from this anthology here.
Then I read up a couple of short stories. I guess there is a rising trend among modern authors to create short novellas that act as an interlude between books. Mitosis by Brandon Sanderson set in his YA Reckoners universe and Roger Ascham and the King’s Lost Girl by Matthew Reilly which is a sort of prelude to his book, The Tournament.
Two new John Connolly books had come out, one titled The Wolf in Winter featuring his private investigator Charlie Parker and another, The Creeps featuring his young hero, Samuel Johnson. It is pretty amazing to read two works by the same author whose subject are at the other ends of a spectrum. Charlie Parker are gritty noir and deal with the worst of humanity whereas the Sam Johnson books are a light-hearted romp.
The next three books were recommended by someone during an in-game chatter of Clash of Clans. A discussion on fantasy novels between raiding and farming led to this recommendation.
These three books are based in the Forgotten Realms universe, a campaign setting of the Dungeons & Dragons RPG. They tell the story of a dark elf named Drizzt Do’Urden in the Dark Elf trilogy comprising of Homeland, Exile, and Sojourn. My rating for all three book is ★★★
The Order of the Sanguine series by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell is an interesting take on the whole vampire story. Accordingly, we get a short story, Blood Brothers that acts as a segue between the earlier book and new one, Innocent Blood. A willing suspension of disbelief will introduce you to the unseen strigoi roaming our world.
Content Strategy at Work by Margot Bloomstein was a book I had previously left unfinished from last year. I finally got around to completing it. I wasn’t that much impressed with this book as I felt the book was more like a bunch of case studies. My expectation probably was a bit high when I started this book. But it had a lot of real-life scenarios (forgive the oxymoron:-) ) that probably I may not be able ot use right away, yet, I could file it away as knowledge for future use.
My rating: ★★★½
Loki, the trickster, the much-maligned figure of the Norse mythology finally gets a chance to tell what really conspired on Asgard and the events that led to Ragnarok in Joanne Harris’ The Gospel of Loki. Much like his character, this sardonic account of the Norse mythology provides a different angle to the rise and fall of the Aesir.
Looking back at the books I read in February and March, the main theme was the presence of a protagonist who was more Byronic than an anti-hero. And speaking of Byron, this passage from The Corsair sorta summarizes the books for the past couple of months.
He knew himself a villain—but he deemed
The rest no better than the thing he seemed;
And scorned the best as hypocrites who hid
Those deeds the bolder spirit plainly did.
He knew himself detested, but he knew
The hearts that loathed him, crouched and dreaded too.
Lone, wild, and strange, he stood alike exempt
From all affection and from all contempt:
His name could sadden, and his acts surprise;
But they that feared him dared not to despise:
Lord Byron, The Corsair