Reading Challenges: February Progress Update

February has come to an end, so it’s time to see what progress I’ve made on reading challenges. The two that I’m taking part in, as I explained in my January post, are the Spells and Spaceships badge collecting extravaganza and the Hodderscape 2021 reading challenge. Read on to find out how I did!

This month I wasn’t quite as successful at meeting prompts as I was in January. In fact, I didn’t complete a single one in the Hodderscape reading challenge! Happily, I did still earn a few badges in the Spells and Spaceships one.

How the badge board is looking after February

The first badge I earned was the Dragon badge, which I got for reading The Black Coast, by Mike Brooks. Although the dragons featured aren’t the fire breathing, flying type, they definitely still count for this badge. I loved this interesting trilogy opener, which revolved mostly around a clash of cultures. The Tjakorshi, fur-clad raiders from across the sea, have fled their homeland and are hoping to settle among their former enemies, the Naridans. You can read my review here.

The second badge I earned was the Uncovered Diamond badge, which I got for reading Tim Jordan’s Glow as it has less than a hundred ratings on Goodreads. Now, this book is also eligible for the debut badge, as well as the 2021 release one and the AI one, but seeing as I have other books that I can use for those, I thought it made sense to spread things around a little. On top of that, Glow absolutely is an uncovered diamond. Reading like some kind of a cross between A Scanner Darkly and Terminator 2, with extra cyberpunk corporate espionage on top of it all, this was an amazing ride. You can read my review here.

My third badge of the month – the Standalone badge – was earned for reading Aliya Whiteley’s forthcoming novel Skyward Inn, which as far as I’m aware is a standalone. If a sequel comes out later, then by all means strip me of this one. I won’t say too much about the book here, as I don’t want to tread over the same ground as the review that I have coming up on Thursday. Suffice it to say though, anything you might have heard about this book being pretty weird is true.

Next up, I earned the 2021 release badge (told you I had others lined up) for reading The Fall of Koli. The concluding part of M. R. Carey’s Rampart trilogy, it sees the titular hero and his companions come face to face with ancient truths as they uncover the secrets behind various mysteries. Owing to approval preferences, I can’t give too much away; my review will be coming on the 11th of March though, so check back then to see my thoughts.

Finally, I earned the Asian Inspiration badge for reading Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl. Set in a future Thailand, where the people are beset by rising sea levels and endlessly mutating plagues. Anderson Lake, an undercover calorie man for AgriGen, finds himself embroiled in dangerous political intrigue and conspiracies, whilst being simultaneously smitten with Emiko, the windup girl of the title; an artificially created human being, she lives every day in fear, terrified that the Environment Ministry will come to mulch her. The Windup Girl won an absolute slew of awards when it came out, including both the Hugo and the Nebula. Look for my review in a future post. Will I agree with the judging panels?

That about wraps it up for this month. I blame my lack of progress compared to January on two factors: February being the shortest month of the year, and the other books I read not really falling into any of the remaining categories. Very inconsiderate of those authors, I’m sure you’d agree. Perhaps I’ll earn some more in March, or maybe January was the outlier and this will be how it goes for the rest of the year. We shall see. Bye for now!

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