Mini-reviews #12

Ah school holidays, how I love thee! Gets me all motivated and caught up!

The Book from Baden Dark
, James Moloney, 380pp. – I’m not really commenting on the Aurealis judging books I’m reading. But I read it 🙂                                               
White Star, Beth Vaughan, 252pp. – More romance novel than fantasy. Had a bit more polish than debut predecessor "Red Gloves" but was a bit obvious I think. Enjoyed the characters.

Fragile Eternity
, Melissa Marr, 389pp. – I kind of object to this being billed as YA, as the characters don’t behave or "feel" YA – even though they are in the right age range, they act in adult roles and don’t make teenage choices. I found it hard to feel anything much for the characters, as this is the third in the series, and I wasn’t all that invested. Not a bad read, and I daresay if I’d read the previous two, I would have enjoyed it more. Review coming from Fiction Focus.

Evernight, Claudia Gray, 327pp. – Best YA paranormal I’ve read in ages. It’s well written, got a good, if not unique premise, and the first half of the book was very cleverly put together. I really enjoyed reading it, and will be seeking out the following books with high hopes.

Raven’s Shadow
, Patricia Briggs – Briggs is a gifted storyteller, and her fantasy duologies are a great example of this. She provides unusual fantasy fare, not following the traditional formats, and I love it.

Raven Strike, Patricia Briggs – The second of the Raven duology, this book is a solid sequel and should not be read without having read Raven’s Shadow, but both are excellent.

Without Warning, John Birmingham, 560pp. – I’m a huge fan of Birmo’s World War 2.0 trilogy, and when I came across this I snapped it up. I’m so pleased I did. It was tightly plotted alternate future history, sublimely executed and just awesome. Loved it!

Circus of the Damned, The Lunatic Cafe, Bloody Bones, The Killing Dance,
Laurell K Hamilton – Okay, so I managed to run out of books. I had nothing new on the shelf that was jumping out at me (in fact, I think there was only one or two books there anyway!), so I decided the Anita Blakes could do with a reread. I often tell people the series is great til the fifth or sixth book, so wanted to prove it to myself. For some reason, books 1 & 2 are missing from my collection (ack!) so I started with book 3. And was absolutely amazed by a) how NONE sex there is! and b) how much of the original worldbuilding and characterisation changes from the early books to the later ones. I didn’t realise how much of her original premise Hamilton ignores later in the series, but it’s really obvious on the reread. Still, these early books are good solid stories, with great characters and interesting ideas. Book 6, the power and sex games start, and I think it’s downhill from here. Have a bunch of new books today though, so I won’t be rereading any more for a while 🙂

The Eternal Kiss,
Trisha Telep (ed), 416pp – A great collection of paranormal YA shorts, a lot of which actually focus on the downsides and darkness of vampirism, rather than the happy "Twilight" type! A very strong collection. See standout mentions over at Last Short Story.

Troll’s Eye View, Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling (eds), 200pp – A very pretty book to read, and some fun and creepy short stories here, looking at traditional fairy tales from the darker side – the villain’s perspective! See standout mentions at LSS, but a solid collection overall for upper primary and lower secondary ages. And some grownups 🙂

Holidays! So no doubt more soon 🙂

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