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Book Riot's 2017 Read Harder Challenge - May Update: Throne of Glass & Marked for Judgement

I can't believe the fifth month of Book Riot's 2017 Read Harder Challenge has already come to a close, but I guess time flies when you're having fun!  This month I completed tasks nine and ten which required me to read a book that I've read before and a book that is set within a hundred miles of my location.  For these two tasks, I elected to read Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Maas and Marked for Judgment by Jared McCann respectively.  Read on for my mini reviews of each book, or click these links to see my JanuaryFebruary, March, and April updates for the Read Harder Challenge.

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Throne of Glass is just as much fun and as compelling as the first time I read through it back in 2014.  It's was great seeing Celaena, Chaol, Dorian, and Nehemia back in the game.  I have no clue why I never read the sequel immediately afterward.  Maybe I thought the sequel wouldn't quite being able to live up the hype I'd build up in my head.  Either way, I plan to remedy that soon, so this is  great refresher before I go on to book two.

I reread this book from May 22 - 28, 2017 and here's my original review, if you're interested,

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Detective Elijah Jennings, a man struggling with his faith, needs to have a clear conscience if he's going to bring down "Judge Carver", a religious-minded serial killer who has already killed and/ or grievously wounded seven people from Knox County, Ohio.  All of his victims in some way correspond to The Ten Commandments - in Carver's mind, each has broken one of the Commandments and Carver is doing God's work of raining down judgment on the sinners.  This case is by far the most twisted that Jennings has ever faced and it will push him to the very edge, but little does he know what the Judge has in store for him.

My favorite part of this novel is that it is practically set in my own backyard!  I can't say I've ever had the opportunity to read fiction set so close to where I live.  It was cool to actually be able to recognize locations, local businesses, and streets featured in the book.  I noticed how a few place names had been changed (such as the Judge's place of employment), but if you're familiar with the area, you'll probably be able to figure out the corresponding real life location with out much of a problem.  I will admit that it's creepy to read about a fictional serial killer so close to home especially after 2010 murders of Tina Hermann, Kody Maynard (and abduction Sarah Maynard), and Stephanie Sprang by Matthew Hoffman.  If you'd like to read my review of the true crime account called The Girl in the Leaves by Robert Scott with Sarah Maynard and Larry Maynard, you can find it here.  However, in regards to the novel, while I think that McCann is a great storyteller even though it got just a little predictable (maybe I've watched too many episodes of CSI and Criminal Minds - and I might have been waiting for a corny one liner from Jennings at a crime scene), it could have benefited from a professional editor to help clean up the text a little.  There are a few places where the writing is clunky and doesn't flow naturally.  Like I said, though, I think this local Ohio author is still quite a storyteller above all, and I'm definitely looking forward to reading his next release, The Dead Will Rise.

I read this novel from May 16 - May 19, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.

Next up for the June portion of the Challenge:

11. Read a book that is set more than 5000 miles from your location.

My choice - Birds, Beasts, and Relatives (Corfu Trilogy #2) by Gerald Durrell - This is the sequel to one of my favorite memoir's, My Family and Other Animals, and it's about time I continue this series.  Corfu is approximately 5,100 miles from my home in Ohio.  By the way, the 2005 tv movie adaptation of the first book in the Corfu Trilogy is delightful.

12. Read a fantasy novel.

My choice - The Mists of Avalon (Avalon #1) by Marion Zimmer Bradley - I don't know how I haven't read this yet, but I know I absolutely need to get my hands on this retelling of Arthurian legend.

Thanks as always for visiting my blog, and perhaps even commenting below!  Have you ever taken part in Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge?  Have you read any of these books before, and, if so, what did you think of them?


  1. This challenge sounds interesting! I loved Throne of Glass, and believe me you will die at Crown of Midnight. Great post as always!

    1. It's been great so far! Glad to know - I can't wait!

  2. Replies
    1. I love that it's been pushing me to read things that I may not ordinarily pick up. :)


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