the Little Red Reviewer

Posts Tagged ‘reread

When a book has the kind of effect on you that McIntosh’s Defenders had on me, it’s time for a reread!

 

Defenders by Will McIntosh

published in 2014,  read my original review here.

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What I remember most about the first time reading this book is that it scared the living crap out of me.  Not “omg, there’s a spider, someone kill it!” scared,  not “why did a fire truck just pull into my apartment parking lot” scared, but the kind of scared that made me want to hide in the back of the bedroom closet, cover myself with a blanket, and be so silent that nothing would even know I existed.

 

When people ask me about books that had a strong emotional impact on me, this book gets a mention.

 

The first time I read Defenders, I read the last chunk of it in one sitting in the middle of the night because I was afraid that if I put the book down all the main characters would die before I could pick the book back up.

 

I’ve been itching to re-read Defenders for over a year.  It’s so absorbing that it makes for an absolutely perfect escapist thriller. Near future, but so ridiculous that none of this stuff could ever happen. . .  right? I mean, right?

 

Actually, the only thing in this book that I see as not happening in the next 50 years is us making contact with an alien species. That’s how the book opens: contact with an alien species that lands in remote areas on Earth. The Luyten are telepathic, and can easily read the minds of any human within 8 miles. When we come up with plans to attack them, they can easily pull those plans out of the mind of anyone involved and nearby, so a counter attack is easy. The Luyten didn’t come here to exterminate us, but they don’t want to die either.  I’m reminded of something author Tade Thompson said when I interviewed him:

 

LRR: If Earth does experience first contact with an alien species, how do you think humanity will react?

TT: If we encounter intelligent life, blind panic and religious hysteria.

If we encounter flora or fauna, blind panic and religious hysteria.

Humans don’t handle the unknown well. Look at our history.”

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Seems like every time I sit down and chat with my book buddies, the following phrase comes up over and over again:

“That was such a good book. I should really reread that sometime”

As a book blogger, once I’ve read something and posted a review, what’s the point of reading it again? I’ve already reviewed it,right? Shouldn’t I move on to bigger, better, and brand newer things? Netgalley is all about reading the newest stuff,  we all brag about ARCs we’ve received, and all that jazz.  Isn’t that what being a book blogger is all about?

there is a huge chunk of my brain that is saying “screw that” right now.

I *want* to reread stuff I enjoyed last year, or two years or five years or ten years ago. I want to see if it’s still as good if it still gives me chills if it still scares me shitless if i still have an emotional reaction to it if it still blows my mind and shows me that words are magic. All these books that I keep telling people how good they are, I want to experience again how good they are, damnit!

Books I’d like to reread this year and experience again include:

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Grass/Raising the Stones/Sideshow by Sheri S Tepper

Jeff Vandermeer’s Ambergris books

The Scar/Iron Council by China Mieville

Scale-bright by Benjanun Sriduangkaew

Just about anything by Iain. M. Banks

Defenders by Will McIntosh – will it scare me as much the 2nd time around? I want to know!

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell – I’ve read this I don’t know, five times? Even though I know what’s going to happen the book is a shot to the heart every single time

Faith by John Love

Habitation of the Blessed / The Folded World by Catherynne Valente

I’m sure there are more, but these were at the top of my mind as books that made me fall in love with reading, and made me want to share that love with everyone I meet. I’d like to experience them again.  And this isn’t to say I won’t be reading new and new-to-me books in 2017. In January alone I bought 5 books that are new-to-me, and some of them are brand spanking new.

So who knows? Maybe 2017 will be the year of the reread. It’s certainly going to be the year of not feeling guilty about not reading new stuff all the time.

what books would you like to reread, if you had time?

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.