Saturday, June 30, 2007

June Reads

  1. Dreams Made Flesh - Anne Bishop (10/10)
    Anne Bishop continues to impress. This book contains four short stories from the past and future of the Black Jewels Realms and I love them all, but especially the ones about Lucivar and Marian and about Jaenelle and Daemon.
  2. Hunter Kiss - Marjorie M. Liu (8/10)
    Short story in "Wild Thing" anthology. I set out not wanting to like this - mostly because I can't afford to have another autobuy series. The budget just won't take it. The blurb - woman with living tattoos fights demons - and the fact it was writing present tense, which I don't really like, had me thinking I was probably safe. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Once again, Liu shows she can create a quite dark world and portray it in a compassionate and hopeful manner. The heroine, Maxine, is well drawn and likeable, the hero is pleasant with a suspicion of hidden depths and Maxine's "demons" are surprisingly compelling characters. I'm fairly sure I'll be reading the series after all.
  3. Games of Command - Linnea Sinclair (8/10)
    Another solid performance from Sinclair, but not my favourite of hers. I understand some part of this book was originally epublished, then it was edited and expanded for this edition. Unfortunately, I feel it suffers just a little as a result of this. Not much, but it means I didn't like "Games of Command" as much as her other books. There are two couples here and while Sinclair manages well sharing the spotlight, I think I would have preferred a slightly shorter book with one hero and heroine to cheer for. All the same, a most enjoyable read and I look forward to Sinclair's next outing with the fascinating title of "The Down Home Zombie Blues".
  4. Sky Coyote - Kage Baker (8/10)
    I read the first book in Kage Baker's Company series back in December last year. I enjoyed it, rating it 9/10, and arranged to borrow the next few in the series from a friend. Then I just failied to find time to read any of them. I finally picked up "Sky Coyote" this month and loved it. The first book set up the universe, this one started showing how tricksy and brilliantly clever it is. Suddenly, nothing is simple and I am totally hooked on the series. I'm reading my way through it and loving them all.
  5. Deadly Decisions - Kathy Reichs (7/10)
    Another good, solid entry in Reichs' series, atlhough bikers aren't my totally favourite subject.
  6. Mendoza in Hollywood - Kage Baker (9/10)
    And the good just keeps on going. I find it fascinating that Baker has set up this series with Mendoza as the pivot of the books and yet she isn't always the main character in a novel. She is in this one however, as we see her dealing with humanity again after centuries of blessed peace and solitude in the wilderness. Her life goes to hell in a handbasket from here as things get more complicated, more fascinating and more conspiracies rear their heads. Baker has a way of writing that makes all these things flow instead of backing up in one's brain and I'm left with a feeling of great satisfaction (and anticipation for the next volume) at the end of each book.
  7. Venetia - Georgette Heyer (9/10)
    I started this a while back when in a down moment as it has always been my favourite Georgette Heyer novel. I'm delighted to say that it still is as books don't always live up to our fond memories of them. Venetia and Damerel's autumn idyll, their bright wit and playfulness survive the years intact and I loved the book as much as ever.
  8. Black Projects, White Knights (9/10)
    As I said in my review of "Dreams Made Flesh", I'm not really much of a reader of short stories. However, I do enjoy them when they tell tales in a universe with which I am familiar. The author doesn't need to spend time on set up and being clever and can just get on with telling the tale. This is a most enjoyable collection of Company stories that I read through in three days - an indication of quality indeed for me. It fills in a lot of interesting bits and pieces and gives the whole universe Baker has created a deeper flavour.
  9. Faerie Wars - Herbie Brennan (6/10)
    This was this month's read for [FantasyFavorites]. Sadly, I was disappointed. All in all, I found it a big "meh" kind of book. It was a smooth and easy read - I read it in a couple of days easily - but it just didn't rise above the bunch in any way for me. It wasn't a bad book, it just didn't have anything that made it a particularly good book either.
  10. Relic - Douglas Preson & Lincoln Child (DNF - 5/10)
    I enjoyed about the first 2/3 of this, then it turned into "monster rampages" and I got bored. I read the end to check how it finished, felt cheated by the fact the "answer" to the mystery got turned around right at the end and was glad I stopped reading.
  11. The Graveyard Game - Kage Baker (9/10)
    More brilliance from Kage Baker. With this one, we finally leave our past and move into the author's imagined future. Because the story spans a couple of centuries, she is forced to use a narrator to fill us in on the changes over time. This probably shouldn't have worked, but it did, and with panache and style. As Joseph and Lewis try to find out what happened to Mendoza during and after the events of "Mendoza in Hollywood" we discover more about the Company, more about the cyborgs scattered through history and get provided with more and more questions about what is really going on. Rather than being annoying, it is all fascinating and my dedicated read of the series (Company book, other book, Company book etc) will continue. I couldn't wait for my friend to send me more books so I'm now making use of the library and have everything, including the last book that is published next week, on reserve.
  12. Megan's Mark - Lora Leigh (7/10)
    Another book in Leigh's Breeds series. A solid read, but nothing that pushes it up above the others in the series. My favourite remains "Elizabeth's Wolf" by a wide margin.


Mailyn said...

Anne Bishop's Black Jewels Trilogy is one of my all time faves Fantasy books. It's just awesome! Oh and I am a big fan of Faerie Wars. ^__^

Mailyn said...

BTW nice blog!

Jennie said...

I felt the same way about Games of Command--I loved it but it did feel a bit cobbled-together at times.

OOOHHH Venetia!! Loved that. Might be my favorite Heyer. No wait, The Nonesuch, no it's gotta be Devil's Cub. No, I don't know. :p