The Republic of Thieves – A Read Along (Chapters 5 – 8)

This is part two of the Republic of Thieves Read Along. If you happened to miss part one you can just click here. As in part one, I won’t go into too many details and it contains spoilers. The next read along will be the last.

The book continues with the journey of Locke and Jeanrepublicofthieves. They arrive to Karthain and meet with Nikoros who is on the Deep Roots party standing committee and practically will do whatever Locke wants. He takes them to get measurements for a new wardrobe and then to Tivoli’s Countinghouse to get the money assigned to them to complete their job. After that, Nikoros takes them to Josten’s Comprehensive Accommodations which is the headquarters of Deep Roots affairs (Deep Root is the political party that they are hired to make sure wins) and where they will be staying during their time in Karthain. They meet up with Josten who is the owner of the inn. During their short time in Karthain, Locke has already started to make plans and give orders.

They first encounter Sabetha (although they didn’t know it was her at the time) while they were trying to resolve the tax related issues that were facing Josten once they arrived. They knew this was the works of Sabetha so they went to the court to sort things out. While they were there Sabetha, disguised as an old woman, bumped into Locke and then accused them of stealing. Locke and Jean managed to get out of it and clear Josten from the charges but then Locke found a piece of paper in his pocket from Sabetha requesting a meeting.

They meet up and it’s clear that Locke still has strong feelings for Sabetha and she uses it to trick them again. She drugs Locke and sends around 20 people against Jean so when Locke awakes he finds himself and Jean on a ship sailing out of Karthain. I really thought this was funny and very unexpected. Of course the guys managed to get back to Karthain but are now 10 days behind. So they start to speed up their plans.

Locke meets with Sabetha a couple of times after that and in the last one Patience shows up as well and tells them that she knows where Locke originally comes from. She said that Locke is a mage and a gifted one (that was quite the surprise) and he was Patience’s mentor and friend but after his wife’s death he wanted to find a way to bring back the dead and it seems he succeeded by using magic to steal a little boy’s body and move his soul into it. She said that his memories were lost so he doesn’t remember any of this. Locke claims he doesn’t know any of this and doesn’t believe her but Sabetha got upset and left. I thought this part was a very interesting twist and I would not have expected Locke being a mage at all. I wonder if this is true, but why would Patience make this up and I wonder whether Locke would later remember any of it if it were. And I don’t understand why Sabetha got upset and left, if she trusts Locke she would know that he was telling the truth when he said he doesn’t remember or know any of this.

In the Interludes, Chains sent the whole gang to Espara to take part in a play for a guy he knows called Moncraine. During their stay, they rehearse for the play called The Republic of Thieves. In these chapters, we get to know how the relationship between Locke and Sabetha evolved. I didn’t enjoy the rehearsal parts very much I thought it could have been reduced a little.

From the previous read along some of my questions have not been answered yet, I have added a couple of more that I think will be answered by the end of the book.

  1. We still don’t know why Sabetha left the gang. I think we’ll find out in the interludes by the end of the book.
  2. Chains died but no mention of how and when.
  3. Falconer has no role in this book so far and I doubt he’ll make an appearance.
  4. I wonder what Locke will do next after what Patience told him and whether Sabetha will come around.

What did you think about these chapters?

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Nexus – A Review

I don’t read many sci-fi or cyberpunk thriller books very often but I wanted to read something different for a change. As I mentioned in my previous post, this book had high reviews and the blurb was interesting so I gave it a try.

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I liked the main concept of the story which follows the life of a scientist called Kaden Lane or Kade and his experimental nano-drug called Nexus that allows a person to control thoughts and applications inside his own mind and link to the minds of other people. The main characters in the story are well defined, the concept is quite intriguing and believable and there is a lot of action. However, the book had more of a political story line and too many action sequences than I would have liked it to have. I’m not sure I’ll continue reading the series, I might come back to it later but I still recommend reading it.

The Hobbit Movie Soundtracks

I am a huge fan of the Hobbit and Lord of The Rings movies. I wish I read the LOTR books before watching the movies, I’m sure there are a lot of details I have missed. I do plan to read them sometime, but I did make sure to read The Hobbit before the movies were out.

The other day I came across a couple of music videos for The Hobbit Movie soundtracks. I didn’t know the actor Billy Boyd who played Pippen in LOTR movies can sing. Take a look:

This one is by Ed Sheeran

This is my favorite song from the first Hobbit movie, it is sung by the lead singer of Crowded House Neil Finn, you should know this band if you listen to songs from the 80’s

Tea Time – Italian Almond Tea

Now that the weekend is close and the time to enjoy a good book and a nice cup of tea is coming, I thought I’d share one of my favorite tea flavors the Italian Almond. This is the kind you’d like to have after a weekend breakfast or brunch while you’re reading a good book. The company that sells it has a lot of other flavors but I didn’t like any of them as much as this one. It’s black tea with a twist of almond. It’s not a strong almond taste which is why I love it. They stopped selling it where I live but I did find the tea bag version of it online (I usually prefer the loose leaf tea). If you enjoy tea as much as I do then I recommend you try it.

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Nexus – What I’m Currently Reading

From my previous post you’ve probably noticed that I couldn’t decide on which book to read next. Well, I finally decided and so far read about a third of the book Nexus by Ramez Naam. It’s a Sci-Fi book and the first book in the Nexus trilogy. So far it’s pretty intriguing and I think anyone into biotechnology, computer programming and nano-technology would enjoy. Here’s what it’s about:

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In the near future, the experimental nano-drug Nexus can link human together, mind to mind. There are some who want to improve it. There are some who want to eradicate it. And there are others who just want to exploit it.

When a young scientist is caught improving Nexus, he’s thrust over his head into a world of danger and international espionage – for there is far more at stake than anyone realizes.

From the halls of academe to the halls of power, from the headquarters of an elite US agency in Washington DC to a secret lab beneath a top university in Shanghai, from the underground parties of San Francisco to the illegal biotech markets of Bangkok, from an international neuroscience conference to a remote monastery in the mountains of Thailand – Nexus is a thrill ride through a future on the brink of explosion.

The I-Don’t-Know-What-to-Read-Next Issue

When I am almost done reading a book, I usually start thinking what I should read next and lay out my options so I have something to start with once I finish. I have about 250 books on my to-read list which doesn’t make things easier. Sometimes I know exactly what I’d start with next and dive into it immediately.

But other times, like right now, I can’t seem to decide. Usually what I do is go over my 250 to-read books and pick the ones that look interesting and what I feel like reading and then read sample chapters. I just finished The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch and enjoyed it a lot but the next book isn’t out till the end of the year so that means I need to find something new. From my to-read list I came up with the below options:

  • City of Stairs – The beginning of this book didn’t catch my attention so I won’t be reading it now (doesn’t mean I won’t later, I heard lots of good reviews which still makes me interested but not for now).
  • The Winner’s Curse – it seemed a bit interesting but want to check out the others first.
  • Nexus – so far the beginning is intriguing I might be continuing with this one. Plus its a totally different genre than what I usually read (Sci-Fi) so it might be nice for a change.
  • The Assassin’s Apprentice – I’m very interested in reading this one as well but I think I’ll read it after the one I choose now.
  • Promise of Blood – still need to check this one out, very high reviews that caught my attention.

How do you decide on what to read next?

The Dark Tower Series – A Review ( Part 1)

I received the first 5 books of this series from a friend of mine a long while back and they just stood there on my bookshelf for a couple of years until I decided to give them a try. At that time, I have never read Stephen King books before so I didn’t know what to expect. From various reviews of this series, one mentioned that it can be considered a crossover between fantasy, sci-fi and western genres. I agree.

The series is 7 books in total or 8 if you count the one published in 2012 and goes between book 4 and 5 (I didn’t read that one as I have already been past book 5 at the time). I divided this review into 3 parts where I will briefly talk about each book. This part will be about book 1 and 2. I won’t be adding any spoilers but if I do I will tell you beforehand, though keep in mind that each book after the first one will talk about some details from the previous ones.

When I finally started reading “The Gunslinger” I stopped Gunslingerhalf way through. I just couldn’t continue, it was a slow read and didn’t catch my attention much. Most of the reviews say that the first book isn’t as good as the rest but it gets a lot better so I decided to give it another try about a year later (and I already had those 5 books that I wanted to read). This time I managed to finish it. In brief, this book gives an introduction to a new world and the Gunslinger’s journey to find the Dark Tower and introduces the main character Roland Deschain (the Gunslinger) and another one of the main characters, a boy named Jake. I was glad I didn’t give up and continued the series. So if you felt the same way about this book I recommend you don’t give up either until after you’ve read book two at least. It does get a lot better.

The second book in the series “The Drawing of the Three”,Thethree was one of those books that when I reach a certain part I have to stop and stare for a moment and say “wow, this is awesome!”. After reading the not-so-very-fun first book, this made me very glad I didn’t give up on this series. (If you haven’t read book one stop reading here). Spoilers: The book continues Roland’s journey towards the dark tower in which he comes across three doors that open up to New York city in different timelines. So here he does a little time travelling (this was very intriguing) and from his travels to New York, he meets with the remaining main characters Eddie Dean and Susannah who will join him on his journey to find the Dark Tower.

Being unfamiliar with Stephen King’s writing, these two books were a good introduction to his style. In Part 2 of this review, I will continue with books 3 and 4 of the series.