My Current Bookshelf - July 2017

July was another full month of reading and this year, I am getting in a lot more physical books in years past.  Some of that I attribute to reading before bed (particularly the fiction).  Unfortunately, many of the books this month are great but I can't talk about them until my professional reviews are published.  Unfortunately, that's just the way it works.  But I do have one book to talk about for this month.


The Infinity Gate (Darkglass Mountain, #3) by Sarah Douglass

For me, this book is so bittersweet.  While The Wayfarer Redemption trilogy (the second trilogy) in the series had a full sense of closure (in fact, I was at first surprised when Douglass returned to this fictional world), this book does not.  It outright tells you that there is so much more that's going to happen.  And that's all well and good, but unfortunately, Douglass passed away in 2011, which means those adventures are never to be written (at least, by her; there's a part of me praying she left outlines of books to come and her estate is just looking for the right person--maybe one chosen by prophecy--hahaha--to pick up the pen on her behalf).  So in that regard, the book's entire movement feels like an act of reluctant engagement for the fan-reader because it ends (the book) but it doesn't (the adventures) but it really does (because we never get to know what those are).  


Book cover - Infinity Gate by Sara Douglass
Beyond that, the book is enjoyable but has its challenges.  While the trilogy initially seemed to start with a strong focus on Maximilian, Ishbel, Isaiah, and Stardrifter, this one seems to throw much of that out.  The strongest focus is on Axis--which don't get me wrong, is my favorite character--but it feels out of sorts to be so focused on him that these other characters feel like second-fiddles often.  

But like her other books, it is a page-turn.  It moves fast and one is constantly trying to determine where the next turn will happen.  For the plot, we see the final rise of The One but like a good monster, every time, he's down, he's back up and this gets taken to almost amusing levels.  In some ways, his infinite nature means he could always be brought back which feels a bit too formulaic.  The Lealfast's treachery becomes evident and the Skraelings finally get a history to which makes readers rethink the entire history of the fictional world.  Axis is as Axis does and while there seems some growth there, it's kind of hard to develop a character that's gone from human to Icarii to Star God to dead to back from the dead.  But there's some room there.  Douglass also manages to pull this final book in ways that tie back all the way to the first two books that she wrote long ago, which I appreciated.  

In total, it's a must read if you've made it this far.  But you're going to hit the last 50 pages and fight with yourself to read it, knowing that this is the complete end of a story that doesn't actually end (and that's not a spoiler; you get to know pretty quickly that Douglass had way more planned).  

Check out other reading recommendations from 2017 (and you can always look at all of my books that I've read on GoodReads):

BOOKS

  • The Infinity Gate (Darkglass Mountain, #3) by Sarah Douglass
  • Creating a Sense of Presence in Online Teaching: How to "Be There" for Distance Learners by Rosemary Lehman
  • Conquering the Content: A Step-by-Step Guide to Web-based Course Development (Online Teaching and Learning Series by Robin Smith
  • Assessing the Online Learner: Resources and Strategies for Faculty (Online Teaching and Learning Series by Rena Palloff

AUDIOBOOKS

  • Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance
  • Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton
  • The Long Haul: A Trucker's Tales of Life on the Road by Finn Murphy
  • No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need by Naomi Klein
  • Everything All at Once: How to Unleash Your Inner Nerd, Tap into Radical Curiosity and Solve Any Problem by Bill Nye
  • The Craving Mind: From Cigarettes to Smartphones to Love – Why We Get Hooked and How We Can Break Bad Habits by Judson Brewer
  • Geek Girl Rising: Inside the Sisterhood Shaking Up Tech by Samantha Parent Walravens
  • Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution, and Imprisonment edited by Angela Davis

GRAPHIC NOVELS

  • Descender, Vol. 4: Orbital Mechanics by Jeff Lemire

What about you reader?  What book recommendations do you have for me?




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