Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Reading Journal #1

I have been reading quite a bit lately even though I haven't had a lot of reviews posted here.  That is because for the month of January I am reading all the books I have accepted for review through mid-April so even if it seems a little sparse around here now the books are being read, the reviews are getting written, and they will be posted eventually.

What's been happening this week?

  • Did post for guest post with author Anne Clinard Barnhill which will be posted January 23rd
  • Wrote my review for At the Mercy of the Queen by Anne Clinard Barnhill which will be posted January 25th
  • The 13th/14th I finished up The Orchid House by Lucinda Riley and wrote the review which will be published February 4th
  • The 14th/15th I finished up By the King's Design by Christine Trent and will be writing the review some time this weekend
  • The 16th I updated my 2 upcoming historical fiction novels pages and started Aztec Blood by Gary Jennings. 

This one I got from the Grand Haven library.  Of the few resolutions I made this year, one was to read 1 or 2 library books a month.  I read Aztec which is the first in this series a couple years ago and I really loved it.  I read the second one last year and while it was good it didn't compare to the original.  Now with Aztec Blood which is the third in the series I have been plodding along for 4 days now and have read a whopping 145 pages of this 500+ page book.  I don't know what the disconnect is with me for this installment.  Maybe I'd have better results if I just read something else right now.  The setting-Mexico after it had been conquered by Spain-is interesting enough.  The synopsis for the book sounded good:

"In this colorful and exciting era of swords and cloaks, upheaval and revolution, a young beggar boy, in whose blood runs that of both Spanish and Aztec royalty must claim his birthright. From the torrid streets of the City of the Dead along the Veracruz Coast to the ageless glory of Seville in Old Spain, Cristo the Bastardo connives fights, and loves as he seeks the truth—without knowing that he will be the founder of a proud new people. As we follow the loves and adventures of Cristo and experience the colorful splendor and barbarism of the era, a vanished culture is brought back to life in all its magnificence."

This is the first in the series that was released after the death of Gary Jennings and was finished by another author using Jennings' notes.  I think the thing that sticks out to me at the point I'm at in the book right now is the writer is trying hard to capture the magic that was the original Aztec but is making it seem too similar in some respects and is heading in the complete wrong direction as far as the protagonist (Cristo the Bastardo who is half Aztec, half Spanish) is concerned because so far he doesn't seem to be as strong a character as Mixtli in the original or Tenamaxtli in Aztec Autumn.  As for the things that are too similar-the violence, the sex scenes for shock value and the being beaten over the head with the us vs. them in regards to the Aztecs and the Spanish.  I dunno, it feels like I'm reading the same book over again in some respects.  Those are my thoughts on Aztec Blood so far.  I'm hoping to finish this one up this weekend and I'm hoping this one picks up and something interesting happens plot-wise soon.  I'll post my final thoughts in next weeks reading journal.

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I'm a new reader of your blog. I've been wanting to read the first Aztec book for a while now; I'm glad you said you enjoyed it; I might move it up in my TBR pile now.