Reading Updatery #???

 Haven’t done one of these for a while, and while reading has been a little curtailed by work and New Ceres Nights commitments, it never ever stops 🙂

Cordelia’s Honor (omnibus of Shards of Honor and Barrayar), Lois McMaster Bujold, 596pp – Love Lois! Love love love. In a lot of ways, I wish I’d discovered her a long time ago, but in others, it’s fantastic to have so many books to track down and read! I’ve only read Miles books before, so was great to read the dynastic beginnings, although it meant I did know the fate of some of the characters involved.

The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman, Audio (8 disks, unabridged, read by Neil Gaiman) – This was a fantastic experience, having Neil Gaiman (who sounds a lot like Alan Rickman!) read this wonderful novel (or collection of interconnected short stories, however you like to look at it) to me. The story is dark, clever, cohesive and beautiful. The ending was not predictable, and I liked it a lot!

Many Bloody Returns, Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner (eds.), 355pp – Surprisingly good! I enjoyed every story in this collection. There are some fine authors here, some well known in the paranormal scene, others more recognised as crime writers, but all stories worked well. A bit of humour, a dash of romance, some mystery and some gore, and a myriad of different vampire "rules" to play with. Well done to the editors for a fine collection!

ASIM #38, Andromeda Spaceways Publishing Co-op, 96pp – One story that was quite beyond me, but the rest nicely readable.

The Chaos Crystal (Book 4 of The Immortals), Jennifer Fallon, 574pp – This has to have one of the STRANGEST endings of a fat fantasy series I’ve EVER read! It was almost, hmmm, fan fic-ish, in a strange way. The actual story was better written than the third book I think, and I was enjoying it very much, but the last few chapters just lost it for me. Preach, allude, and make some VERY strange assertions… I don’t want to spoil it for those yet to read, but oh yeah, very odd… And I’m not even entirely sure it made sense, but I’d have to reread the last bit again to be sure. It was almost like Ms Fallon couldn’t really figure out what to do with her characters! Certainly a very different thing to what I expected, but not in a good, twist in the tail kind of way…

Ransom My Heart, Meg Cabot (basically), 396pp – Amusing and fun, with core elements of what makes a good read and historical romance. Lots of fun.

The Stepsister Scheme, Jim C Hines, 344pp – About as far from Jig the goblin as you can get. I like Jig, but I LOVED Stepsister. Jim has a knack for writing complex and detailed characters, combined with clever plot and witty dialogue. There’s darkness here, but combined with the subject matter, it makes for a book that manages to be serious and fun at the same time. LOVE.

Miles Errant (Omnibus of "Borders of Infinity", Brothers in Arms and Mirror Dance), Lois McMaster Bujold, 746pp – I’m gradually filling out my Barrayaran books and loving them. This book is no different. I’m sad that I’m now closer to finishing off all the related stories and books than I am from starting them. It will end! Nooooo! 🙂

The Sandman: Endless Nights, Neil Gaiman, 152pp – What an awesome follow up to Sandman. Loves!

Death: The Time of Your Life, Neil Gaiman – I read these two Death graphic novels in the wrong order, but still thoroughly enjoyed them both. I get into trouble for reading graphic novels too fast and not taking in and examining the artwork. Wasn’t an issue this time. It’s that damn good, I had no trouble going slow and looking at every nuance of art.

Death: The High Cost of Living, Neil Gaiman – See previous 🙂

Identity Crisis, Brad Meltzer – I haven’t read huge amounts of DC since I was a teenager, although I pick up comics here and there. This book was so awesome that it managed to make me feel I didn’t NEED to have read decades of DC to "get" it. Fantastic story, great art. Love!

Astonishing X-Men: Torn, Joss Whedon – I’ve probably read more X-Men than any other comics over the years, but I only really picked this one up because Joss wrote it 🙂 Still, a good read, and I enjoyed it.

Succubus in the City, Nina Harper, 392 pp – This was quite readable, but there was a lot about it I didn’t like. For starters, it’s definitely not self contained. This is clearly the first of a series, although it’s not jacketed that way, and the end annoyed me. Secondly, I’m not a Sex in the City fan, and I think that detracted from my enjoyment of this style of story. It comes across fresh, but the whole succubus thing is the latest trend, and I like Jackie Kessler’s books better 🙂

The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Carrie Ryan, 320pp – Read in one sitting. Like the concept, although the premise is nothing new (I am Legend, The Stand, World War Z even…). Interestingly flawed protag and surprisingly dark. I want to read it again before I blog about it properly, because I read it so fast (it drew me along very quickly, which is good), I’m concerned that the superficial reading does it either an injustice as to how good it really is, or, alternatively, does a Twilight, in that it SEEMED good on first reading, but a more careful inspection proves it to be otherwise! Went by too quick to judge though. I know one thing – the marketing spin that’s hitting the Twilight crowd is going to disappoint a *lot* of teenage girls. It just doesn’t have the same emotionality as Meyer; however disappointing the books themselves are, the emotional pull of the relationships in the Twilight series are what the girls love about them – Forest of Hands and Teeth just doesn’t hit those same buttons.

 

Time Machines repaired while U Wait, KA Bedford – DNF: Well, I read up to around halfway, and then read the last couple of chapters. I’m really surprised this has received as much recognition as it has at the various awards because it simply didn’t hold me. It was repetitive, convoluted, full of fannish in-jokes, and was just not the sort of quality I was expecting. Not my cup of tea at all. Obviously a lot of people DO like it, as it is being extremely well received, but not one for me.

Jennifer Scales and the Ancient Furnace, MaryJanice Davidson & Anthony Alongi, 213pp – Quite surreal reading a YA MJD. A good premise, and an easy read – not quite as well executed as I would have liked, but typically MJD without the sexy bits really – hmmm, wonder if I’ll get into trouble for that comment (eyes   warily). Fun story though, I’ll recommend it to the kiddies.

I have the next three Jennifer Scales novels, the Young Miles omnibus and the two sequels to Scalzi’s Old Man’s War top of my TBR now, and a whole bunch of other stuff from Swancon and school and the public library too. And Firebirds Soaring to finish. And more books on the way. Ooh er… Must. Do. Cleaning. Must. Do. Marking. Might take a while to trawl through now 🙂

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Reading Updatery #???

  1. Anonymous

    Have you read Lois’s fantasy? It’s just as wonderful as her SF, if not more so. I can bring along Paladin of Souls to the next meeting if you want…

    • Anonymous

      Curse of Chalion first surely? (Yes, Paladin is my favourite but Curse does provide a lot of background)

      • Anonymous

        Oh, I forgot that was first. I must re-read them all…

      • Anonymous

        I managed to get book 3 of The Sharing Knife at the con, but alas got outbid for book 4 in the auction. Will get paperback to match others later instead.

    • Anonymous

      Have only read Vor books at this stage, but will be running out of those very soon. A sneak peek at her fantasy would be wonderful, thank you!

  2. Anonymous

    Yay!
    You liked the ending of The Graveyard Book? That was actually the only part that disappointed me. Without going into spoiler territory, it seemed like he fell back on a cliche to explain the motivation of the Jacks, with no real support or depth. It felt surprisingly flimsy to me. I loved the book overall, but….

    • Anonymous

      I liked that it didn’t end (for Bod) the way I expected. Instead of being neatly tied up, it made me feel that there could be more to Bod’s story – which I look forward to!
      And what, no comment on my Stepsister love?! 🙂 Can’t wait for the next one now …

      • Anonymous

        I never know exactly how or if to respond to comments on my books, so I end up defaulting to not saying anything. But I’m *very* happy that you liked it 🙂

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