Friday, April 27, 2012

110:51 Mercy Blade by Faith Hunter

The 3rd book in the Jane Yellowrock series.  Jane and Rick have been together for a little over a month now but it's been hard with their respective jobs requiring secrets to be kept.  Now Weres have come out of the closet to the human world and some are in negotiations with Leo which requires Jane's expertise in matters of security, especially since a werewolf pack has decided to come back to town after Leo expelled them decades ago and they want vengeance against him.  In the middle of all this, Rick has gone missing (possibly on an undercover case), Molly's sister is living with Jane and acting odd, Leo's old Mercy Blade, Gee, is now hanging around, and Leo's primary blood servant, Bruiser, is being framed and staying with Jane now as well until he can get his name cleared.  Now Jane has to figure out how all of these things go together to try and keep Leo alive, the negotiations from breaking down, and save Rick.

Another nice fast-paced adventure but I had a bit more trouble with this one than the previous two.  I felt that Jane was really whiny and needy when Rick disappeared and that bothered me.  I also put a lot of things together much faster and it just seemed like she wandered around really clueless for most of the book even when the answers were readily apparent, at least as workable theories, but she just couldn't see anything.  I'm hoping the next one sees her with a bit more of a clue and not so whiny.

Page count: 305p/15,837p ytd

110:50 The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett

The 2nd book in the Discworld series.  This one picks up where the last one left off with Rincewind and TwoFlowers falling off the disc into the void of space but miraculously, they end up landing safely back on the disc and their adventures continue.

I liked this one better than the first.  I felt it flowed better and I didn't have all the head scratching moments trying to figure out what was going on but it lost none of the crazy fun that I enjoyed with the first one.  So far, I'm really enjoying the series.

Page count: 241p/15,532p ytd

Monday, April 23, 2012

110:49 Blood Cross by Faith Hunter

The 2nd in the Jane Yellowrock series.  Jane has been hired by the Vampire Council of New Orleans to investigate the new-rogues that she killed during her last assignment and put a stop to them and whoever is making them.  What she doesn't find out until too late is that the group responsible for them is also stealing witch children and killing them and she has her witch friend Molly and her two witchy children visiting.

A bit better with the pacing than the last one and the background stuff was woven in better as well.  A bit more playing with Jane's Cherokee heritage but also putting more vampire history in and blending that in with Christianity.  Makes for an interesting blend of things.  Really enjoying the series.

Page count: 321p/15,291p ytd

Saturday, April 21, 2012

110:48 Skinwalker by Faith Hunter

The first book in the Jane Yellowrock series.  Urban fantasy but with a different twist.  The vampires are fairly standard, exist in families, drink blood, have just come out, etc.  Where we see differences are that there are only rumors of weres, elves, fairies, etc.  Jane herself is not a were but a skinwalker, one who can transform into more than one animal although she now has Beast living within her and they have an uneasy alliance but Beast and Jane are separate beings sharing a body.  More of a take on old Cherokee legends than the traditional European.

In this first novel, Jane has been hired to track down a rogue vampire in New Orleans.  Beast keeps referring to the rogue as liver-eater and that he smells of rot but also insists that his scent keeps changing.  Ms. Hunter keeps us guessing as to what exactly is going on up until the last act and does it well.  We only ever know as much as Jane/Beast does and her knowledge is limited.

A good start to the series and I'm eager to see where things go from here.

Page count: 320p/14,970p ytd

110:47 Touch of Greek by Tina Folsom

Triton, son of Poseidon, has ticked off Zeus yet again by dallying with his current mistress.  Zeus punishes him by turning him mortal and sending him to Earth until such time as he can earn the love of a woman, not for his looks but for his selflessness and generosity.  His friends aren't allowed to help him but those who try to hinder him will be rewarded.

I knew going in that this was a romance but the Greek mythology thing looked interesting to I gave it a try.  So not impressed.  The plot was non-existent.  There was very little actual interesting mythology twists in it and the writing was boring and repetitive.  Seriously, the author needs to utilize a thesaurus or spend less time trying to describe the same boring scenes and parts of anatomy so much.  If you are looking for a "sizzling" romance book, this is probably up your alley.  If you are looking for something with any kind of plot, real love, or heck, even decent sex scenes...pass.

Page count: 228p/14,650p ytd

Monday, April 16, 2012

110:46 Raven's Strike by Patricia Briggs

The 2nd of the Raven Duology.  There is no time to rest for Seraph and her family after their defeat of the Path.  On the way home they find more and more evidence that there is a new Shadowed about and one that seems to be targeting their family.  When the Emperor comes to them for help and the old Lark tells them that they must find the lost city, they realize that the fate of the world, not just their family, is resting in their hands.

A good ending to an epic fantasy tale.  I felt that the final show-down with the Shadowed felt a little rushed and too Deux Ex Machina but not enough to truly detract from the overall wonderful story telling and incredible world building of the duology.

Page count: 381p/14,422p ytd

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

10:45 Raven's Shadow by Patricia Briggs

Fantasy with an epic feel to it.  The Traveller's are sort of like Earth's gypsies except that within them are those Ordered born who have special powers that are to be used to help the others from The Shadowed who was imprisoned but not destroyed.  Unfortunately, the darkness is spreading and there is a group that is now collecting The Ordered and stealing their power to use for their own means.  When Seraph, an Ordered Raven, is told that her husband, an Ordered Owl, is dead she embarks on a quest with her Ordered children to find out what has really happened to him.

I really, really love the rich worlds and characters that Ms. Briggs brings to her stories.  I also love the way she reveals the history of the world throughout the story without doing a big core dump in the beginning but rather starting you off meeting the characters through their actions and/or thoughts.  A fabulous story teller!

Page count: 334p/14,041p ytd

110:44 Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

I always have a hard time writing reviews of classics like this because anything I can say about has already been said a billion times and so much better than I could ever express.  So I will sum up in one word....enchanting.

Page count: 135p/13,707p ytd

Saturday, April 7, 2012

110:43 Hungry Hearts by Gary McMahon

One of the Tomes of the Dead that Chris wanted me to read.   Great, the guy managed to write a zombie story without ever once using the word zombie and he takes pride in that.  I call shenanigans since all he did was substitute the phrase "walking dead" instead.  Same diff guy.  But really can I just say EWWWWWW!!!!!  I mean the serial killer who was finally able to realize his fantasy with the world going crazy was a big whatever.  The guy who snapped and decided to keep his wife "alive" after the serial killer was done killing her and she was a ZOMBIE was crazy but at least sort of understandable.  But when it develoved towards necrophilia that was just past the ew factor for me.  The story was definitely all about the gross out factor and in that it succeeded wonderfully and I'll admit the guy wrote creepy psychopaths well but I definitely won't be running out to find more of his books to read.  I will however be heading to the store to find some brain bleach.

Page count: 311p/13,572p ytd

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

110:42 The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

This is one that was recommended to me by my bookpusher, erm, local bookstore owner.  I had looked at it, picked it up, put it back, and walked away.  But something about it stayed with me and I ended up getting it for my kindle because I couldn't stop really thinking about it.

The book is simply like that.  It inserts itself into your brain, imprints itself there in it's folds, and just sits.  There are no loud bangs with this book.  No huge revelations, no explosions of action.  It simply is.  I can't tell you that I ever cared deeply about the main characters, except that's not the case.  I cared deeply about the circus itself.  It was it's own character and while it never spoke in words and was merely the venue, it was the most alive part of the book.  There were secondary characters that I cared about.

It's a quiet book but one that I found it easy to get lost inside of.  I would start reading and look up to find that my kids were done with their activity and it was an hour later and it seemed like mere moments.  And I would find myself trying to find more moments where I could read it because I wanted to escape into that quiet, beautiful, fascinating world.  I found the world itself rich and the language beautifully descriptive, hauntingly riveting.

Page count: 401p/13,261p ytd

110:41 Timeless by Gail Carriger

The 5th (and last) of the Parasol Protectorate series.  Alexia has been invited to bring Prudence to Egypt to meet the oldest living vampire queen in existence.  Of course, Alexia can do nothing simply so she ends up bringing not only her family but Ivy, Tunstell, their twins and nanny, and their acting troupe to perform for the queen as well.  Of course tho, nothing is ever simple.

The good ~ I liked how some of the secondary characters roles were finally fully flushed out and we got the answers to most of the questions that have been brought up during the series.  And yes, there is a HEA in here.

The bad ~ I felt the last half of the book was a bit rushed.  Too much going on trying to wrap everything up nicely and a bit hectically.  Not awfully done, but just lacked the wit and subtlety of the rest of the series trying to get everything in.

In all, I really enjoyed the book and the entire series.  As my first foray into steampunk of any kind, it definitely made a wonderful impression on me and I look forward to dabbling in it further.  I've also heard that there will be more books set in this world in which these characters will contribute but that they will not be the main characters.  Rumor has it that they will be more about Prudence instead.  I can only hope rumors are true in this case as I would love to read such stories.

Page count: 402p/12,860p

Monday, April 2, 2012

110:40 Making Thirteen Colonies by Joy Hakim

The 2nd book in the History of US series (5th-8th US History text).  Well, Jon likes them as much as he likes history at all (which is to say not much) but I will say that I think I was spoiled by the Oxford Ancient Times series.  This one just hasn't gripped me, the writing is repetitive in it's simplistic language, and I'm basically just ungripped.  I'm sure there are better books out there but the small chapters and easy reading is exactly what Jon needs so I think I'm stuck with it.  *sigh*  Only 8 more volumes left.

Page count: 185p/12,458p ytd

10:39 Heartless by Gail Carriger

The 4th book in the Parasol Protectorate.  The infant-inconvenience as Alexia refers to the babe has had the unfortunate side-effect of causing all the vampires to try to kill her.  Her only recourse is to allow the babe to be adopted by Lord Akeldama.  However, in doing so it means that she must move back into London to be able to still be part of the child's life once s/he is born and that means a whole host of other problems.  Add in the ghosts that keep coming around who are close to disanimation but giving her bits and pieces of dire warnings about the queen being danger and there goes Lady Maccoon all over London while 8mos pregnant trying to solve everything on her own.

Another delightful romp in this world.  Each book has gotten better than the last and I'm sorry that the next one is the last in the series.  I can only be happy that I only just discovered the series so I get to read the whole thing at once and not have to wait for each one to come out.

Page count: 385p/12,273p ytd