[Novel] The Last Kingdom (Bernard Cornwell)

The Last Kingdom

Book

It reads almost like a fantasy novel at times, but The Last Kingdom is a very interesting depiction of the conflicts between English and the Danes in 9th century AD.

You can grab an audiobook or kindle on amazon.

Positive:
Negative:
Interesting, likable characters
Feels a bit more like a fantasy adventure than a historical novel
Relatively interesting plot
Doesn’t offer anything particularly memorable
Enlightening on 9th century England and Denmark

 

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[Novel] Apocalypse of the Dead (Joe McKinney)

Apocalypse of the Dead

Book

I don’t know if it’s me having consumed too much zombie media in the recent years, but everything in Apocalypse of the Dead felt so generic I almost felt I was watching a new season of Walking Dead.

It’s a competent book, but I feel we’ve squeezed all the potential there was out of zombies a long time ago already, and all stories pertaining to them are starting to feel the same.

Positive:
Negative:
Okay characters
Feels extremely uninspired at this point
Written by a policeman, the scenes related to that kind of work feel authentic
The plot is not that interesting

[Novel] Diary of A Madman and Other Stories (Nikolai Gogol)

Diary of a Madman

Book

While not exactly on par with Anton Chekhov, Nikolai Gogol is too one of the masters of Russian short story that satirically conveys the timeless woes of man.

You can grab an audiobook from audible or even listen to some of the stories on youtube.

Positive:
Negative:
Profound, interesting characters
Relatively enthralling plot
Thought-provoking on life
Enlightening on 19th century Russian society

[Novel] A Winkle in Time (Madeleine L’Engle)

A Wrinkle in Time

Book

It may be inspired by unusually high level scientific concepts and quote works like Dante’s Inferno, but the core of A Wrinkle in Time it’s still a young adult book and shares most of the weaknesses prevalent in the genre, namely an overly simplistic cliche plot and unrealistic, hard-to-take-seriously characters.

You can grab an audiobook or kindle off amazon.

Positive:
Negative:
Inspired by a bunch of fairly high level hard sci-fi concepts
Characters don’t behave like human beings
An interesting, imaginative, but solidly crafted setting
The plot is straightforward and simplistic once you look past the embellishments

[Novel] Babbitt (Sinclair Lewis)

Babbitt

Book

A sarcastic representation of American materialistic values in early 20th century, and the vacuousness of such life. Kind of reminded me of American Psycho minus the murders.

You can grab the paperback or audiobook here.

Positive:
Negative:
Flowing, pleasant prose
Not as much a story as just a report of two years of the protagonist’s life
Likable, profound characters
Can feel a bit dull and plotless at times
Thought-provoking on what gives life meaning

[Novel] Hominids (Robert J. Sawyer)

Hominids

Book

A fascinating read in the same vein as Stranger in the Strange Land that explores the idea of a Neanderthal from an advanced civilization visiting Earth from a parallel dimension.

You can grab a kindle version or an audiobook here.

Positive:
Negative:
Likable characters
The story doesn’t offer anything particularly mind-blowing
Neanderthal advanced culture is very well-thought and fascinating
Underwhelming romance
Thought-provoking on human evolution and culture