Being sick is apparently conductive to reading lots. I even wrote an ASIF review last night! Love holidays…
Magic to the Bone, Devon Monk, 432pp – Yeah, this wasn’t great. VERY slow to start, and while it’s an interesting idea on how magic works, the story itself was too drawn out. Apparently it started life as a short story – it shows.
Untamed, PC Cast and Kristin Cast, 413pp – Surprisingly good. I’ve enjoyed reading this series – the occasional adolescent wish fulfilment aspects are understandable and reasonable, given the audience.
Hunted, PC Cast and Kristin Cast, 439pp – Some good plot and interesting and believable characterisation. This is one of the better YA vamp books, and an interesting premise.
Tommy Sullivan is a Freak, Meg Cabot – I’m a big Meg Cabot fan, but I wouldn’t say this is one of her better ones. A quick read, not very challenging, and some interesting characterisation. I like the way Meg writes – I’ve not read any of her Princess Diaries though!
White Witch, Black Curse, Kim Harrison, 552pp – This was terrible. I struggled with it for a week, put it down and devoured four books by favourite authors in the same time, then tried to come back to it. Just couldn’t do it. Simply too dense, I think too much back story that I just didn’t know from previous books, and too many characters and story arcs that seemed irrelevant to me. It was boring to read and gave me no reason to want to turn the pages. I just didn’t care.
Skin Trade, Laurell K Hamilton, 502pp – There were good things and bad things and interesting things about the latest in the Anita Blake series. First among the interesting was the new cover style. I’ve got paperback, trade, hardcover, Australian and international versions of the Anita series, and none of them look anything like this. In fact, I almost missed it on the shelf (I wasn’t expecting to see it – I was looking for a new JD Robb!). I’m not sure I like it, but it is different. More interesting. I’m absolutely certain I read the last book twice, and yet I found myself going "They did what? When? Why? What happened?" I felt like I’d missed something. It was weird. Bad things: very little of the regular cast involved. Jean Claude only by telephone, absolutely no Asher, Micah, Nathanial, Richard or Jason. That’s just wrong. More bad – sex with random strangers. Sure, that’s par for the course these days, but we’re down to sixteen year olds now. Urk. Good things: plot progression! In fact, big bad destruction style plot progression! More good – EDWARD! Big Edward fan, and I like that he’s humanised somewhat, while still being awesome. And some of the other characters were pretty interesting. And the plot wasn’t bad either, although I’m not sure there was enough (any?) foreshadowing of the ending to be completely fulfilling.
The Dragon Keeper: Book 1 of the Rain Wild Chronicles, Robin Hobb – While I really didn’t enjoy Hobb’s Soldier Son trilogy, this was a wonderful return to her liveships world, this time following the story of the new dragons we saw at the end of the last trilogy. Hobb has a talent for creating truly flawed but genuine characters you can’t help but be exasperated with while at the same time loving them and wanting them to do better. I really enjoyed this. Not quite as powerful or challenging or intricate as the Liveships or Assassin trilogies, but a damn good read.
An Indecent Proposal, Patricia Cabot, 336pp – Teehee. I saw Meg Cabot talk about this on her blog a couple of weeks ago (mentioning how saucy it was) and I tracked it down on Amazon marketplace (couldn’t get it on Fishpond or Better World Books). Got it super quick, and thoroughly enjoyed. Cabot’s skill with story and character is the same whether she’s writing romance or YA, and it’s fun, easy, sexy and good.
Passage: The Sharing Knife Book 3, Lois McMaster Bujold – I liked this series more and more as it went on. The evolution of the characters and the gradual unveiling of the world and the social structures in it. Great read.
Horizon: The Sharing Knife Book 4, Lois McMaster Bujold – I think this is the last book of the series, making it a quartet, as it’s finished off nicely. That’s not to say Bujold couldn’t turn around and write more, because the characters and the world are so rich. I literally could not put this last book down, and read until one in the morning to finish it. Love Lois!