Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Week? It's Been a Week?

I promised myself I'd be better about posting. Just goes to show that I can't even keep promises to myself. So, a lot to get through, since it's been so very long.

'The Lady Most Likely' is a collaborative novel by Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Connie Brockway. And it's good. And sweet. And a nice summer read. But, the problem with a novel like this, with three different couples to be paired off before the page count expires, something has to give. Thankfully, it wasn't the romances themselves, which were all given the time to develop fairly naturally (house parties are wonderful for bringing couples together in a condensed time frame), but there was a serious lack of Sexy Fun Times. Now, I'm not one of those people who reads Romance just for the "naughty" bits, but I do want a bit of steam, and, with three stories to tell, this book barely managed a simmer. Honestly, though, if something had to be sacrificed, the sex is the least crucial to a good romance.

'Mercy Blade' is Faith Hunter's third Jane Yellowrock Urban Fantasy novel and it's The One Where Everything Changes. You know that novel, it happens in every UF series, but usually not until much later. The changes here are big and I'm very, very interested to see how they play out over the next book or two.

Hello, Bandwagon! I finally got around to reading George R.R. Martin's 'A Game of Thrones' and I am totally and completely hooked. In fact, I've already finished the second book in the series, 'A Clash of Kings' and have 'A Storm of Swords' wating in the TBR pile. There's no need for me to say anything, as there are entire websites devoted to the series, but I do have to wonder why I hadn't read these before now. Maybe some day I'll figure out what the hell I was thinking, but today is not that day.

'The Orchard' is an upcoming memoir by Theresa Weir and it was totally not my cup of tea at all. But, it was short, so I read the whole thing. It'll probably be a big hit with book clubs, especially in the Midwest.

I expected Maureen Johnson's 'The Name of the Star' to be something completely different than it was, which definitely colored my reaction to it. I liked it well enough once I got into it, but it took me awhile to appreciate it for what it was, rather than be disappointed by what it wasn't. I actually really enjoyed the last third or so and am hoping that Ms. Johnson writes more books with these characters, now that I know what not to expect.

'A Monster Calls' by Patrick Ness is an illustrated late middle-grade novel that was inspired by an idea from the late Siobhan Dowd. It's full of darkness and danger and folklore and melancholy and loss and stories that have a different lesson from the one you were expecting and it made me cry a little at several points. Not a happy vacation read, but a very good one.

And, finally, 'Daughter of Smoke and Bone' by Laini Taylor. I finished this one up last night and I really liked it, but it was one of those annoying YA novels that is part of a series and doesn't have a real ending of its own. Which kinda pissed me off. Especially since I liked the world Ms. Taylor created and her different take on the eternal war between angels and demons. In Taylor's mythology, neither side is all good or all evil, but has some of both and all the shades of grey in-between, as well. Her descripions of the characters and places are so vivid as to be almost visual. Unfortunately, in spite of the fact that the protagonist, Karou, is an art student who has 90+ sketchbooks in which she chronicles her life and in spite of the fact that Ms. Taylor's husband is Jim di Bartolo, who provided illustrations for her "Dreamdark" MR fairy novels and the cover illo for 'Lips Touch, Three Times', this book is entirely without illustration. Not that it needs it, but I can't help but feel that illustration would have enhanced the already vivid prose.

I promise to try to do this more than once a week, but I don't hold out a lot of faith in my ability to do so.

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