Monday, July 25, 2011

A Mini YA Binge

More catch-up.

'City of Lies' by Lian Tanner is a sequel to last year's 'Museum of Thieves'. There was some fear that, because this second volume wouldn't be set in the museum, it would somehow disappoint. However, fans of that first volume should be pleased with this second installment, which has parts set in the museum, so no favorite character is completely off-screen for the whole book. There are a lot of new characters introduced in this volume and some very interesting new facets to how Tanner's imagined world operates.

'Wisdom's Kiss' by Catherine Gilbert Murdock is apparently a sort-of sequel to 'Princess Ben'. However, having never read 'Princess Ben', I can honestly state that it is not necessary to the enjoyment of this volume. I love a good fairy tale, and this one had a lot to like. It has multiple POVs, which occasionally got distracting, but mostly worked quite well. It had a Happily Ever After that was very much not the HEA one would expect. There was magic and a wicked queen and a cat and a circus and lots of other clever, charming things. It's not going to change anyone's life, but it's a quite pleasant way to spend an evening.

One of my favorite of my recent reads was Curtis Jobling's 'Wereworld: Rise of the Wolf'. It's a good, strong YA fantasy series with a very interesting take on the myth of the were. It's also got plenty of fighting and magic and political intrigue and pirates and kick-ass female characters (it's a series that seems to be aimed at boys, so that last is more pleasantly surprising than you might imagine). It also has--dare I say it?--a lot of heart. Family and friendship play a vital role and, though both win through in the end, there are some very difficult challenges to get to the happy-ish ending. Ooooh...that reminds me of one of the things I liked very best about this book. See, I have this problem with MR and YA series especially, where the early volumes in the series are not complete stories. If, for whatever reason, the next volume isn't published, there's no ending, just an end. This book, however, did not have that problem. It has an ending. Yes, there's more stuff that could happen, and probably will. But, all the major action of this book? Done. Over. So, kudos to Mr. Jobling for not leaving me pissed off and frustrated. I'm actually really looking forward to future books in this series, rather than wanting to fling this one against the wall.

Okay. Looks like just a couple more days and we'll be all caught up. Finally. I really hope I don't stay away so long again in the future. This catching-up thing is a pain.

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