Monday, October 01, 2007

My September Reading

Sadly, after my wonderful August writing reviews, I just didn't feel up to it this month - and I read some really good books too. So here's my list and a short comment on each.

  1. The Raven Prince - Elizabeth Hoyt (7/10)
    Historical Romance; book 1 in the "Prince" trilogy.
    This was an okay read, with some interesting moments. There's one big plot point that I found the coincidences required to set up a bit much to swallow, but if that's ignored, the story runs fine.
  2. The Viscount Who Loved Me - Julia Quinn (7/10)
    Historical Romance; book 2 in the Bridgertons series.
    I like Julia Quinn's light, fun style and having a bit of a read at the beginning of the month, did a read through most of this series. A very pleasant, fun read with engaging characters and a wonderfully vicious croquet game.
  3. An Offer from a Gentleman - Julia Quinn (7/10)
    Historical Romance; book 3 in the Bridgertons series.
    Another nice, light read. The characters are likeable and seem good examples of their relative stations in life. A clear telling of the Cinderella story, which I tend to like. The resolution of how two people from very different social classes can marry is a bit like pulling a rabbit out of a hat, but does work all right.
  4. Romancing Mister Bridgerton - Julia Quinn (7/10)
    Historical Romance; book 4 in the Bridgertons series. I had liked the heroine in this one from when we first met her - in a horrible tangerine dress - back in The Duke and I so it was lovely to see her come into her own and get her own happy ending.
  5. Sebastian - Anne Bishop (10/10)
    Fantasy; book 1 of Ephemera.
    Having loved Bishop's Black Jewels books, I was eager to try something else of hers. This is a fascinating book, set in a world where a dark power was defeated long ago and to keep it trapped the work was shattered into pieces that are linked by "bridges" between them. It took a little while to fully grasp the world, but again Bishop has created something new and different. Sebastian is a half-incubus who finds himself caught up in the fight against the old evil, mostly because of his family connection to his cousin, who is a rogue practitioner of the power to link the broken landscapes and the only chance of defeating the evil. Along, the way, he also gets the girl.
  6. No Nest for the Wicket - Donna Andrews (8/10)
    Light mystery; book 7 in the Meg Langslow series.
    I love Meg Langslow and her crazy family. In this book she and her fiance, Michael, are hosting an "Extreme Croquet" tournament that turns into a murder investigation when Meg finds the body of a young woman who appears to have been killed from a blow to the head with a croquet mallet. The usual insanity occurs and a fun time is had by all - except perhaps the victim and the murderer of course.
  7. The Penguin Who Knew Too Much - Donna Andrews (9/10)
    Light mystery; book 8 in the Meg Langslow series.
    This time around, Meg and Michael find themselves playing host to a variety of zoo animals as well at the boy of the zookeeper who has been buried in their basment. I found several laugh out loud moments in this book and thoroughly enjoy the whole insanity. I look forward to the next installment in the series with delight.
  8. Caressed by Ice - Nalini Singh (10/10)
    Paranormal romance; book 3 in the Psy/Changeling series.
    This third book in Singh's series is, in my opinion, the best, primarily because of the balance she pulls off between the main needs of a book of this type. A good paranormal romance needs a relationship, an outside plot and worldbuilding. Singh weaves them together beautifully in this book, so that everything ties in to everything else and the romance grows organically with the rest of the story, rather than either taking it over or trying desperately to get out of the background, both of which often happen in books in this genre. Very likeable characters who develop realistically and in a satisfying manner. I also liked that the characters made decisions about what they were going to do next, instead of it just "kind of happening".
  9. To Sir Phillip, With Love - Julia Quinn (6/10)
    Historical romance; book 5 in the Bridgertons series.
    Acceptable entry in the series, but felt a bit forced in places. I felt that Eloise wasn't used to her full potential given how her character had been developed previously in the series. My infatuation with this series is beginning to fade.
  10. The Fire Opal - Catherine Asaro (7/10)
    Romantic fantasy; book 4 in the Lost Continent series.
    I personally think Asaro writes science fiction much better than fantasy and this book reinforces that opinion. It was a fine, pleasant read, but she can do much better. It was very slow to start, but picked up about halfway through to have a satisfying ending. I also liked the touch that suggested this "world" is some sort of appearing/vanishing continent in our world. I like these books, but I'm hanging out more for the next Skolian book.
  11. Lover Eternal - J. R. Ward (8/10)
    Paranormal romance; book 2 of the Black Dagger Brotherhood; reread.
    I was trying to reread this series before the new book came out (although I didn't make it) and again, I enjoyed my visit into the world. These are over the top books and the idea is to sit back and go for the ride. That's what I like about them, and how I approach them and I enjoyed myself.
  12. When He Was Wicked - Julia Quinn (6/10)
    Historical romance; book 6 in the Bridgertons series.
    Okay, I think I'm done with these. There was too much angsting in this book - "Oh no, I'm in love with my dead brother's widow and that is just so bad" - and I felt the characters wallowed in the situation rather than getting on with doing something useful. Not nearly as good as the earlier ones, although Francesca's conversation with her mother about falling in love again after being widowed was nice.
  13. Dark Possession - Christine Feehan (5/10)
    Paranormal romance; book "some big number" in the Carpathian series.
    Okay, it is actually book 18 if you count the short stories, which I do. This series has been failing on me for a long while now, but it is like a terrible addiction that I just can't shake and I keep buying the next one. This was a hardcover, which saved me, as I borrowed it from the library instead. I'm glad I did, as it didn't work for me at all. Ironically, Feehan fixed some of the things that were annoying about earlier books, but then added a whole lot of new stuff to her worldbuilding that I felt were a sign of lack of imagination rather than the addition of something new that fitted with what had gone before. At last, I think I"m cured.
  14. Belladonna - Anne Bishop (10/10)
    Fantasy; book 2 of Ephemera.
    This book follows Sebastian's cousin, Glorianna Belladonna, as she faces up to the face it is her job/destiny to defeat The Eater of the World. Along the way she learns more about the nature of the world, meets up with a very nice man and makes a huge sacrifice to save the world. This is a great book that pulls ahead of Sebastian just a little and beautifully finishes the story. Glorianna is a good character, and Michael is just lovely. There were two ways it could have ended, and while I would have been sad but happy with what seemed to be happening at first, I was also happily content with the way Bishop did finish it. I still liked the Black Jewels series best, but these were also excellent.
  15. Transformation - Carol Berg (10/10)
    Fantasy; book 1 of the Rai-Kirah.
    Another fantastic series. Carol Berg writes original fantasy that walks the line of dark fantasy with every tipping over. So we get a solid story with strong, deep worldbuilding and fascinating characters who are never simple and always flawed. The story follows both the complicated, building friendship between the slave, Seyonne and his princely owner, but their battle to save Zander's empire from being overtaken by demons. Seyonne, once trained to fight demons, finds himself caught between his loathing for the empire and his needs both to stop the demons and save Zander. There are two more books in the series - both of which promise to be equally complicated and fascinating - and I can't wait to find the time to read them.
  16. Wizard's Bane - Crystalwizard (6/10)
    Fantasy; book 1 of the Sojurn Chronicles; read for [FantasyFavorites].
    A solid read that appears on the surface to be a standard "travelling" fantasy, but carries some interesting hidden depths. The growing suspicion of a historical war between magic and psionics and the contrast between the local inhabitants of the planet (a fairly standard fantasy setting) and the high-tech psi characters from off-world raise this up to a higher level. My main issue with the book, which lowered its score, was that I got very tired of the travelling, travelling, travelling and the way we just kept on and on collection more members of the company. All the same, certainly not a bad book. Give it a try.
  17. So You Want to be a Wizard - Diane Duane (8/10)
    YA fantasy; book 1 of the Young Wizards series; reread; audiobook.
    I read the first three books in this series many years ago, when I was a lot closer to being a young adult myself. So I was delighted to see the books available as audioboks. I enjoyed meeting Nita and Kit all over again and going on their first wizardly adventure with them and hope to find time to listen to more of the books in the not too distant future. The narrator was fine, although every now and then the accents she put on for the children did great a little. All the same, it wasn't enough to distract from my enjoyment of the book.
  18. Lover Unbound - J. R. Ward (9/10)
    Paranormal romance; book 5 of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.
    I'd been waiting for this book since Lover Revealed came out, so when I found some negative reactions to it around the internet (always vague as I was avoiding spoilers) I was a bit worried of what I would think. However, once again I thoroughly enjoyed my ride with the Brothers. This book is less a focussed romance and looks more at all the characters and what is happening in their lives, so we have set-up for Phury's book, more on John Matthew, more about the other brothers, especially Butch, as well as the romance aspect of the story between V and Jane. If you're wanting just the romance, that is sure to annoy you. I liked it. There has also been complaints about the ending, but I was fine for it. I don't know if I think it was Ward's best option or not, but it worked for me and the sacrifice of the birds was a beautiful thing (you'll understand if/when you've read the book).

Books read this month: 18
DNFs this month: 0
10/10 reads this month: 4
New reads this month: 16
Rereads this month: 2

Books read so far in 2007 = 101
DNFs so far in 2007 = 8
10/10 reads so far in 2007 = 13
New reads so far in 2007 = 89
Rereads so far in 2007 = 12

1 comment:

Crazee4books said...

Hi Kerry,

Always a pleasure hearing from you on my blog. And then visiting your blog and taking notes on what books you've been reading, and the reviews that you've given them. It always gives me something to think about and consider when I go to pick out books for myself to read. And then there's the Marcus stories and scrape book layouts to enjoy as well.

I'm glad you read and enjoyed Sebastian and Belladonna. Great books. I'm half in love with Sebastian myself. Wonder if she'll do a third book in this series, perhaps focusing on Belladonna's brother, who's name escapes me at the moment.

I've been pondering the Carol Berg books, and thinking about picking them up sometime. Since you enjoyed them I might get them too, and give them a whirl.

Christine Feehan seems to be very popular, and very prolific, over here too but I pick up her books off the book shelf, look through them, and put them back down again. Don't know why.

I like the sound of the Donna Andrews books too. They sound like they're off the wall. I like the quirkiness and the humour too. Another name to add to my list.

I guess you guys must be enjoying Spring in your part of the world, while we're entering into Autumn.

Hope you're well, and Marcus is thriving. Thanks again for dropping by. Take care.