I didn't read quite as much as I would have liked to in November since I started a new job and was getting into the swing of things so it took me a bit longer than usual to finish what I did read. In total I finished 2 books which is only half way to my monthly goal.

The Hero of Ages

This was by far the longest book (or audio book in this case) that I finished this month. The final part of the trilogy The Hero of Ages was a pretty good wrap up for the story. I did feel as though a few parts were somewhat drawn out, but the character development continued to be good, and the ending was quite interesting and I didn't see it coming which is always nice. I don't think this trilogy has been as strong as Way of Kings has been, but it just goes to show much Sanderson has continued developing as an author and it's very cool to see how far he's come in that time.

Snow Crash

I haven't had much luck with Neal Stephenson books and Snow Crash was unfortunately no different. Once again he goes crazy with the exposition, every neon sign built into a character, every dumpster, bush, and shrub given a life to live and I just get tired of it. It's exhausting to have so much thrown at you that matters so little to the story, the universe, or the characters. Everything is over described and it's just not something I enjoy reading. I have an imagination that I'm more than capable of using if Neal would just give it a rest for five minutes and get on with the story instead of explaining the value of yet another grain of sand along the roadside. This is probably the last Neal Stephenson book I'll try as several books later I'm still yet to make it past a chapter or two.

Head On

The second book in Scalzi's Lock In universe this continues the story of our protagonist, his partner, and their FBI jobs. It's another relatively quick read with very little fluff and lots of interesting world building that doesn't hit you over the head. I don't think it was the as good as the first book simply because the secondary characters, as well as the overall story aren't quite as interesting as the first. It also doesn't help that Scalzi has treated this book in a way that allows people who didn't read the first book to jump right in. While it's helpful for people who may not have read the first one the repeated explanations of concepts and ideas that were already explored in the first book becomes somewhat tiresome and annoying for anyone who remembers what happened originally and how the universe works. The story is good but I feel like there's so much more that could have been done past what we saw here and I hope he continues building this interesting universe minus explaining how the basics work for a third time.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

Another (thankfully) quick failure this month, I made it less than 15 minutes into the audio book version of this book before I put it down. I typically listen to audio books at 1.5x speed due to how slowly narrators speak but that didn't help here due to long pauses after every single sentence. It was as if each sentence was a statement. Commas were treated like periods, and periods like the end of a chapter. I'm not sure who decided this but it's a problem you can't get around simply by cranking up the speed as the narrator can no longer be understood, but the pauses drive into your ears like ice picks. I was pretty bummed by this as the book has gotten good reviews. Maybe at some point I'll go back and give the written version a shot as I can read at my own pace, but for now the audio book doesn't do it for me.


I gave up on this audio book due to audio quality (again) and realized that it's also by Tantor Media which is the same company that handled Pandora's Star which I gave up on previously. I'm not sure what's going on since this is a 2018 release, but the audio quality is just too low. I don't really know what to say past that other than what is going on at Tantor Media? Is no one listening to these books before they get sent out? Or is Libby doing something weird with the audio compression? I don't have this issue with other audio books so I'm really not sure but it's quite disappointing.