Mini-Reviews #18 – My reading lately

Ahem. When "lately" is given to mean for almost the entire year to date! I kind of forgot to post updates. I think I actually recorded my reading almost all the time, but with the lump of WA Premier’s Book Awards reading, I didn’t make notes on quite a few! 

Solace and Grief: The Rare book 1, Foz Meadows – Not bad for a first novel – a few too many characters and plot threads, and the writing wasn’t always engaging, but a good first book.

Single White Vampire, Lynsay Sands – An okay read, but some offensive attitudes and behaviours by the male vamps. Believable world-building.

Twilight: the graphic novel Vol. 1, Stephenie Meyer & Young Kim – Beautiful artwork, minimalist text, works very well even without the Twilight juggernaut behind it.

The Dead-Tossed Waves, Carrie Ryan – As with the first book, this story totally drags you along for the ride. It’s not all that deep, although it is dark, but it’s compelling. A bleak post-apocolyptic tale.

Candleman, Glenn Dakin – Quite good steampunkish fantasy on the dark side. A bit caricaturish at times, but engaging.

Shalador’s Lady, 
Anne Bishop – I loved this! Bishop is definitely on form with this Black Jewels novel. Literally could not put it down!

Stormlord Rising, Glenda Larke – Thoroughly enjoyed this – stands alone quite well, even though it’s the second of the trilogy. Action packed and great characters. A must-read of the year for fantasy lovers.

Dracula the Un-Dead, Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt – The best bit about the book was the essay at the end by the authors on how the book came to be, and why they made the choices they did in terms of story, character and so on, particularly in terms of reference to the original Dracula. A little clunky in the writing and I never really became immersed in the story because the narrative seemed very distant.

The Griffin’s Flight (The Fallen Moon Book Two), KJ Taylor – Sadly didn’t live up to the wonderful promise of the first book, which I really enjoyed. Still a reasonable read, but I wanted more.

Kitty and the House of Horrors, Carrie Vaughn – Carrie Vaughn has made it on to my automatic "must read" list. These books are fun, pacy and character driven. Look forward to the next!

The Fall of Ossard, Colin Taber – Interesting premise, executed dully. Not at all engaging although one of the more competently written self-published books I’ve read.

The Painted Man, Peter V Brett – Largely enjoyed, although a bit disappointed by some events at the end. A solid fantasy read.

Death Most Definite, Trent Jamieson – Fantastic debut novel from a skilful and compelling writer. Loved reading this and looking forward to the next book!

The Desert Spear, Peter V Brett – Another good read, lots of action, although the characterisation is a bit uneven. Not pleased there’s such a long wait til book 3!

The Wildkin’s Curse, Kate Forsyth – Took a while to get into, but really got good. I often find Forsyth’s books are slow to start – a bit offputting for the younger readers the books are aimed at, but worth the payoff.

The White Cat, Holly Black – Couldn’t put this down. Captivating characters, premise and plot.

Madigan Mine, Kirstyn McDermott – Took a long time to get into, but really kicked in about halfway through – second half of the book compelling

Dead in the Family, Charlaine Harris – Need to have read the short story "Gift Wrap" to get everything in this novel, and it’s very same old same old. Fans will love, newbies should not start here.

Hourglass, Claudia Gray – Really not a book to read if you haven’t read the rest of the series and seemed to drag a bit. Could have been shorter and tighter for a more effective story. 

The Hotel under the Sand, Kage Baker – This was lovely! At Alice in Wonderland end of the fantasy scale, I really enjoyed it. Clever and sad and sweet.

Ice, Sarah Beth Durst – This was different – it riffs on a non-European fairytale which is nice, but I’m not sure it really fits my definition of YA, which is what it is. An 18 year old getting pregnant to a man she knows mostly as a bear is a bit different…

Ceremony in Death, JD Robb – This is one of the early In Death books, and amazingly, one I hadn’t read. I’m gradually building up my collection of these, so was delighted to find one I hadn’t borrow-read from elsewhere! However, this is absolutely not one of the best of the series. Apart from the supernatural elements (which detracted from the usual SF feel of the books), there is a LOT of point-of-view jumping around, sometimes from paragraph to paragraph, which is, to me, a sign of lazy writing. A bit of a disappointment, and that’s the first time I’ve ever said that about one of these books!

Marvel 1602: Fantastic Four, Peter David & Pascal Alixe – Interesting, but not as good as the original Gaiman-authored Marvel 1602.

Power and Majesty, Tansy Rayner Roberts – Absolutely adored this. Can’t wait for the next volume!

Fables 13: the Great Fables Crossover, Willingham etal – Crossing over with Jack of the Fables and the new Literals titles, the 13th Fables compilation is probably the best in a while. I love the Page sisters, so any story that has them kicking butt is a good ‘un 🙂

Bone Crossed, Patricia Briggs – Patricia Briggs really is one of the best authors writing paranormal fantasy at the moment. In the fourth and fifth instalments of the Mercy Thompson series, she manages to maintain her cast of characters and her pace, without devolving into over the top plotting. Mercy is not super human (even if she is supernatural) – she’s been badly hurt, and it’s taking time to recover, rather than her just getting over it. I love the secondary characters in these books too, and devoured these two in only a couple of days!

Silver Borne, Patricia Briggs  

Demon Angel, Meljean Brook – Meh. This book was WAAAY too long and seemed really convoluted. I bought this (and books 2 & 3 set in the world) because of a short story by the author I read in an anthology, but this novel didn’t quite live up to it. I hope the series gets better (tighter), because I like the premise and the characters!

The King’s Bastard (The Chronicles of King Rolen’s Kin book 1), Rowena Cory Daniells – I really enjoyed this – very big fat fantasy, but action-packed and draws you through quickly. Might just be me, but it actually felt quite YA-ish in style and plot. Loved the characters, but Rowena is truly a NASTY person for what she puts them through! Can’t wait to read book 2.

Pawn of Prophecy (The Belgariad book 1) David Eddings
Queen of Sorcery (The Belgariad book 2) David Eddings     

Magician’s Gambit (The Belgariad book 3) David Eddings     

Castle of Wizardry (The Belgariad book 4) David Eddings

Enchanter’s End Game (The Belgariad book 5) David Eddings

Soulless, Gail Carriger – Love these!!

Gail Carriger  

Cinderella: from Fabletown with love,
Roberson, McManus etal – I’m such a big fan of Fabletown, so am really enjoying the spin offs so far. Cinderella is cool!

Lost Girls, Alan Moore & Melinda Gebbie – I really liked the premise of this series and the stories are very clever. Got perhaps a bit too over the top erotic, but it’s well done.

Rose by any other name, Maureen McCarthy – I’ve been meaning to read Maureen McCarthy for SO long, and I finally picked up the audio book at the library last week. I love listening to audio books in the car, but unless I’m travelling by myself on decent journeys, they take SO long to get through! This one I got so involved in, that yesterday when we went to the library again, I got the book, because I couldn’t wait to finish it. Yes, is good. Will be reading more.

The Dresden Files: Welcome to the Jungle, Jim Butcher etal – Having read a few Dresden novellas and the first two books of the series, I thoroughly enjoyed this original graphic novel of Harry. And while it was EASIER to follow because of that background, I think the authors did a great job laying backstory without overloading the plot at hand. Really good stuff, and will probably bring more readers to the series.

House of Mystery: Room and Boredom, Sturges, M, Willingham, B & Rossi, L – Picked this up on the strength of the Willingham name, and glad I did. Interesting, dark, unusual. I enjoyed it.
Spider-Girl: Marked for Death, Marvel – Cool! A "What-If" turned YA series. Great characters, lots of action, lots of hear – good stuff and I’ll be looking for more!

Avalon High Coronation Vol 3: Hunter’s Moon, Meg Cabot 

Wolverine 1: Prodigal Son, Marvel  

Serenity: Better Days, Whedon etal 

Serenity: Those left behind, Whedon etal 

Huntress: Year One, Ivory Madison etal – Really enjoyed this – dark and sad and action packed.

Batman: Hush, Loeb, Lee, Williams – This was BRILLIANT – absolutely loved it, read in one sitting – it’s great writing, great art, great colour. Favourite Batman EVA (could have something to do with showings by Huntress, Catwoman and Poison Ivy).

Moonshine, Alaya Johnson – Best urban fantasy I’ve read in ages. Couple of minor quibbles relating to modern dialogue in historical setting, which contributed to not feeling the setting, but the characters, story etc were great.

Brown Skin Blue Belinda Jeffrey
A Certain Music "Celeste Walters
Anne Spudvilas"
Audrey’s Big Secret "Christine Harris
Ann James"
Aussie Legends "Tom Baddeley
Tracey Gibbs"
Baby Wombat’s Week Jackie French
Battle for Rondo "Jenny Rowe
(Emily Rodda)"
Bear and Chook By The Sea "Lisa Shanahan
Emma Quay"
Beyond The Knock Knock Door Scott Monk
Billy and the Magical Boab Tree: A Fight with a Nasty Mite "Wounds Weston
Courtney Hodder"
Book From Baden Dark James Moloney
Bus to the Zoo "Mary Murphy
illustrator Josh Lee"
Captain Crabclaw’s Crew "Alexandra Lavau
(writing as Frances Watts)
David Legge"
Caterpillar and Butterfly Ambelin Kwaullinaym
Check on me "Andrew Daddo
Jonathan Bentley"
Chester and Gill Carol Faulkner
Cicada Summer Kate Constable
Clancy and Millie and the Very Fine House "Libby Gleeson
illustrator Freya Blackwood"
Clem Always Could Sarah Watt
Crocodile Cake "Palo Morgan
Chris Nixon"
Darius Bell and the Glitter Pool Odo Hirsh
Delilah’s Dream "Ian Trevaskis
illustrator Janine Dawson"
Demelza And The Dream Machine "Judi Anne Laws
Katherine Ann Ludley"
Dinosaur Knights Michael G Bauer
Don’t Breathe A Word Marianne Musgrove
Duck "Janet Holmes
illustrator Jonathan Bentley"
Dust Christine Bongers
Fearless "Colin Thompson
Sarah Davis"
Finding Home "Gary Crew
Susy Boyer"
Fox and fine Feathers Narelle Oliver
Free to a Good Home Colin Thompson
Grace Morris Gleitzman
Halloween "Karen Tayleur
Heath McKenzie"
Harry and Hopper Margaret Wild
HMAS Sydney – the Mystery of Australia’s Greatest Naval Disaster Mike Lefroy
Hush, Hush! "Margaret Wild
illustrator Bridget Stevens-Marzo"
Isabella’s Garden "Glenda Millard
illustrator Rebecca Cool"
Itsy-bitsy Babies "Margaret Wild
illustrator Jan Omerod"
Ivy Loves to give Freya Blackwood
Jakes Gigantic List Ken Spillman
Lessons for a Werewolf Warrior Jackie French
Lighthouse Girl Dianne Wolfer
Macbeth, You idiot! Don Henderson
Machino Supremo! Poems about machines "Janeen Brian
Mark Carthew
John Veeken"
Magenta McPhee Catherine Bateson
Mannie and the Long Brave Day Martine Murray
Maralinga – The Anangu Story Christobel Mattingley
Me, Oliver Bright "Megan De Kantzow
Sally Rippin"
Mr Chicken Goes To Paris Leigh Hobbs
My Feathered Friend Magoh Magee Geraldine Goretti Hallahan
My Mother’s Eyes Mark Wilson
My Silent World "Nette Hilton
Vincent Agostino"
My Sister Has a Big Black Beard Duncan Ball
Nerrilee’s World "Anne Hamilton
Sandra Temple"
One, Two Cockatoo! Sarah Garson
Our Daft Dog Danny Pamela Allen
Pearl Verses the Worlds "Sally Murphy
illustrator Heather Potter"
Pyro Watson and the Hidden Treasure Nette Hilton
Ruby and Leonard and the Great big Surprise Judith Rossell
Running With Horses Alison Lester
Sam’s Bush Journey "Sally Morgan
Ezekiel Kwaymullina
illustrations by Bronwyn Bancroft"
Sarah’s Heavy Heart Peter Carnavas
Sarindi and the Lucky Buddha Janine Fraser
Schumann The shoeman John Danalis
Something about Water "Penny Matthews
Tom Jellett"
Specky Magee and the Battle of the young Guns Felice Arena
Spider Lies Jen Banyard
Stanley Paste Aaron Blabey
Star Jumps Lorraine Marwood
Stuck! "Charlotte Calder
illustrator Mark Jackson"
Tahlia You Can Do It! "Christine Lister
Jodi Blokkeerus"
Tensy Farlow and the home for Mislaid children Jen Storer
The Adventures of Nanny Piggins Rachel Spratt
The Big Dig (Lightning Strikes) Meg McKinlay
The Big Picture Book of Human Civilisation John Long
The Billionaires’ Curse Richard Newsome
The Donkey Who Carried the Wounded Jackie French
The Dragons 1: Camelot Colin Thompson
The Greatest Sheep In History "Alexandra Lavau
(writing as Frances Watts)
The Hero of Little Street Gregory Rogers
The Land of Kur (Stopwatch Book 1) Sally Morgan
The Land of Mirthfull (Stopwatch Book 2) Sally Morgan
The Little Aussie Opposites Book Tamara Sheward
The Locket of Dreams Belinda Murrell
The Master (Lightning Strikes) Geoff Havel
The night they stormed Eureka Jackie French
The Remarkable Secret of Aunelie Bonhoffen Deborah Abela
The Scarecrow Sean Williams
The Short Tragic Life of Leo the Marsupial Lion "John Long
Jillian Ruse"
The slightly screwed life of Tony Chrysler Paul Collins
The Terrible Plop "Ursula Dubosarsky
Andrew Joyner"
the toymaker and the bird Pamela Allen
The Whisperer Fiona McIntosh
Two Bad Teddies Kilmeny Niland (deceased)
Victor’s Challenge "Pamela Freeman
illustrator Kim Gamble"
Vivi Finds Bean Vanessa Holle
Von Gobstopper’s Archade Alexandra Adornetto
Wendy Gus Gordan
Where’s Our Dad? "Karen Treanor
Louise Fowler-Tutt"
Willy Waggledagger: A Belt Around My Bum "Martin Chatterton
illustrator Gregory Rogers"
Willy Waggledagger: By the Picking of my Nose "Martin Chatterton
illustrator Gregory Rogers"
Zahara’s Rose "Libby Hathorn
Doris Unger"
Curly Saves Grandma’s House Sally Morgan
After Sue Lawson
All The Colours of Paradise Glenda Millard
Angel Fish Lili Wilkinson
Beatle Meets Destiny Gabrielle Williams
Bloodflower Christine Hinwood
Blue Noise Debra Oswald
Brown skin blue Belinda Jeffrey
Confessions of a Liar, Thief and Failed Sex God Bill Condon
Demelza And The Dream Machine "Judi Anne Laws
illustrator Katherine Ann Ludley"
Fill out this application and wait over there Ruth Starke
Fire Song Libby Hathorn
Girl Next Door Alyssa Brugman
Gotta B Claire Carmichael
Halfway to Good Kirsten Murphy
Hostage Karen Tayleur
I Lost My Mobile at the Mall Wendy Harmer
It’s yr life "Tempany Deckert
Tristan Bancks"
Jarvis 24 David Metzenthen
Keepinitreal Don Henderson
Last of the Braves Archimede Fusillo
Letters to Leonardo Dee White
Liar Justine Larbalestier
Loving Richard Feynman Penny Tangey
Mamas’s Song Ben Beaton
Measuring Up Gabrielle Jane Stroud
My Private Pectus Shane Thamm
Posse Kate Welshman
Raw Blue Kirsty Eager
Riding the Black Cockatoo John Danalis
Shakespeare: The Most Famous Man In London Tony Thompson
Siggy and Amber Doug Macleod
Smart Study: How To Study Less And Get More "Jane Genovese
illustrator Sharon Genovese"
Surf Ache Gerry Bobsien
Swerve Phillip Gwynne
The Adventures of Charlie and Moon Martin Meader
The Beginner’s Guide to Living Lia Hills
The Blue Plateau: A Landscape Memoir Mark Tredinnick
The Curse of the Bond Riders 1: Tallow Karen Brooks
The Devil You Know Leonie Norrington
The Good Daughter Amra Pajalic
The Lucky Ones Tohby Riddley
The Nest Paul Jennings
The Portal Opener Hannah Brown
The Reformed Vampire Support Group Catherine Jinks
The Silence Bruce Mutard
The Visconti House Elsbeth Edgar
The Winds of Heaven Judith Clarke
They Told Me I Had To Write This Kim Miller
Vulture’s Gate Kirsty Murray
When The Hipchicks Went To War Pamela Rushby

1 Comment

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One response to “Mini-Reviews #18 – My reading lately

  1. Anonymous

    Why are you buying a house in Tassie if not to move here??

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