Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Not Another One!

Arg! Why must I have so many interests?!

Wait, let me back up a bit. Have you ever had one of those friends who had to keep all their food separated? Their nose would wrinkle up if their mashed potatoes ran together with their baked beans? It was like any mixing would cause a nuclear reaction and make the entire kitchen explode. Oh, and they had to tackle each food section... One. At. A. Time. I swear, they can be some of the most annoying people on Earth.

Well, I'm one of those people.

Okay, I've gotten better about it. With age has come some laxness (wow, that's a word?!): I don't mind some foods touching, and I don't always have to eat one-at-a-time (though I still eat all my fries before my burger/sandwich).

Unfortunately, this all-at-once thing has bled over into my reading habit. Rather than taking a little bit of this, and a little bit of that, I prefer to down an entire series in one go. This, of course, can prove quite tricky when deadlines (due-dates, release-dates, end-of-the-month, etc.) come into play.

Player One:

I hate - I mean HATE - returning a book to the library without reading it. Doesn't matter what the circumstances are, like if something big came up. Even if I manage to check it in and find another copy the next day, I feel like I've wasted an opportunity.

So here I am, faced with another library book coming due in a week, and I haven't touched it. To make matters worse - you guessed it - it's the beginning of a series.

Atlanta would be a nice place to live if it weren’t for the magic…. When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles.
The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for the bizarre killings – and the death of Kate’s guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realises she’s way out of her league – but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
I picked it up off the "Just Returned" shelves a couple weeks ago, recognizing it from my many (many) perusals down the SciFi/Fantasy shelves at local bookstores. Urban Fantasy (modern paranormal) grabbed me and made me fall in love. But there are just so many new books out there (spurred, I'm sure, by the Sookie Stackhouse and Twilight series), it's hard to pick which ones to read first. This was simply a choice of convenience.

Magic Bites is followed by two, going on three books, and the series is still incomplete. After checking the library just now, neither of the sequels are available. Nor can I renew this one. Just 7 days to go...

Player Two:

I posted a couple weeks ago about a book club I'm in. Granted, it's kinda failing...but wouldn't it make me a hypocrite to tell everyone else to participate and then not do so myself?

The year is 1502, and seven-year-old Bianca de Nevada lives perched high above the rolling hills and valleys of Tuscany and Umbria at Montefiore, the farm of her beloved father, Don Vicente. But one day a noble entourage makes its way up the winding slopes to the farm -- and the world comes to Montefiore.
In the presence of Cesare Borgia and his sister, the lovely and vain Lucrezia -- decadent children of a wicked pope -- no one can claim innocence for very long. When Borgia sends Don Vicente on a years-long quest, he leaves Bianca under the care -- so to speak -- of Lucrezia.
She plots a dire fate for the young girl in the woods below the farm, but in the dark forest salvation can be found as well...
While I'm very interested in reading it, I would only have 10 days to do so, as the book club ends with the end of the month. Plus, I've not even gotten it from the library yet (though I just checked, and it is in)! I'm just not sure it's worth rushing through it for a book club that has no other participants.

On the other hand...it is a stand-alone book without any sequels to worry about...

Player Three:

The book I've 'been reading' for the past...oh, month or so. Technically, it's for the last month's book club, but, as I've said before, that hasn't been much of a motivator recently. You can actually see it at the top of the page...

There's still time to read this book before everyone else has!

Don't leave Earth without it!

It's a wildly funny novel about the end of the world and the happy-go-lucky days that follow it...

About the worst Thursday that ever happened, and why the Universe is a lot safer if you bring a towel...

I've technically read (or had read to me) the first couple chapters. The Earth's just been demolished. But I've been there since...oh, I dunno, the beginning of April?

I've found that, upon seeing the Americanized (cough bastardized) movie, it's making the standard British humor seem rather dry. Thus, I have found that having someone with a British accent read it to me (alas, only via audiobook) helps me understand the humor and concentrate on the story as a whole. To top it off, this particular version of the audiobook is actually read by Douglas Adams, himself!

As far as completing the series, I own all of them (minus the newest book written by Eoin Colfer, which is not yet in paperback), and today I've downloaded the audiobooks for the sequels on my computer as well. Each book is less than 6 hours (one is less than 5), so it wouldn't be too much trouble to go through (nearly) the entire series in perhaps one or two weeks. If I made this decision, I would go ahead and get the last book from the library (or put in a request for it) immediately.

I've been meaning to read these for a while, it's just a matter of fully committing to it.

Player Four:

Oh yes, there is indeed a fourth player. In fact, this fourth player is the reason I've made this post. Its arrival has thrown me over the edge, so to speak, and I'm practically immobile.

The Young Wizards series presently consists of nine books, with a tenth in progress, focusing on the adventures of two young wizards named Nita and Kit. Each novel pits Nita and Kit against the "Lone Power", an entity ultimately bent on the destruction of the entire universe.

This series incorporates elements of fantasy, science fiction, and religion. Although it deals with wizards capable of casting magic spells, the spells in question are held to a rigorous scientific basis. Additionally, Duane does not shy away from serious topics dealing with such mature ideas as death, sacrifice, and redemption.

Yeah, you remember what I said about liking to read entire series in-one-go? This would be the time when habits like these backfire.

Now, before you start panicking (wait, why are you panicking?) and writing me off as completely insane (it's probably way too late for that), let me first say that I have read 8 out of the 9 books before. I also own them. And I really really like them. Well, I guess you got that. After all, why would I go past one or two books if I hated the series? (Shush, I'm not that insane.)

It's this 9th book, which JUST came out that is moving this series unexpectedly to the front of my list. After seeing it had been released, I flew to the library (site) and placed a hold on the book...and managed to grab #3 in queue!

Normally, I'd be ecstatic. I mean, books like these can grab queue lines in the hundreds. We're talking around Harry Potter numbers.

BUT, having such a low number means that I'll get the book fast. And getting the book fast means less time for catching up. I haven't read the books since the last one came out two years ago. Sure, I remember some stuff, probably enough to get me through, but why struggle through it when I can just read and review?

These books (unlike the Hitchhiker Series) will probably take me 3-4 nights a-piece. And that's if I take them all on without distractions. 8 books...5 nights a piece...that's a freaking long time. Meaning, if I'm going to read these, I need to start NOW!

So now I come to you, my readers... Can you give a girl a hand? Which book would you pick up?

#1: Library book, New Series

#2: Book Club Stand-Alone

#3: 'Currently Reading' Read-Along Series

#4: Review-A-Series With A Deadline

Just leave a comment, and you'll have my gratitude.