Books: August 2013 – December 2013

50 books!

36) The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley – Very beautiful, but flawed. Separate post here.

37) Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold – This book is magnificent. This is fantasy at its most exquisite. I was taken aback by how much I loved this book, how little I wanted to stop and put it down for even a moment, especially when the first in the series left me dissatisfied.

38) Lion of Kent by Aleksandr Voinov and Kate Cotoner – This book was terrible. William was naive/childish and over eager, and I spent the majority of the novel feeling very, very embarrassed for him. That was just one of this books problems. There was not much to redeem it- except maybe though that it was at least mercifully short.

39) The Labyrinth Gate by Alis A. Rasmussen – This book starts with a lot of conveniences- oh we just happened to land up somewhere Victorian in our Victorian style wedding dress, just happened to run into some bored nobles who just happen to be the sort of people who take strangers to their homes and give them a place to stay without asking questions first and will then be kind enough to help us without showing much fear or wariness when they discover we’re from another world. But oh, it develops into a very fun adventure. It reminded me of a great children’s film – fun and light for the children, but with more than enough going on for the adults. (Though this is definitely a teen book)

40/41) Mariners Luck and Land of the Night by Kirby Crow – I had this whole big rant planned for these books but in the end I couldn’t get it to sound right. Neither of these books worked for me though, I found the the characters annoying, the politics too simplistic, the world well developed, but not quite rich or complex enough.(The likes of Lois McMaster Bujold and Martha Wells have spoiled me, perhaps) I wanted to like these books, this series, and I thought it had massive potential but ultimately it was wasted. The first book was good, but flawed, and things just got worse and worse from book to book. Very disappointed.

42) Few are Chosen by Storm Grant – This was short, fluffy and completely forgettable.

43) Dying Light by Stuart MacBride I wrote before that I found cold granite ok. Then I reread it and I totally fell for it. I found it gritty and dark, with a dark humour to match. It was seriously engrossing, and thoroughly entertaining. My timing was brilliant, as dying light was on offer for £1.99 I snapped it up and I am now a Logan McRae addict. This book was very dark, there was some scenes I could barely even read they disgusted me so much. I’ve never read a crime novel so visceral. And yet, this book was also funny and entertaining. The characters are definitely veering to the caricatures, to the these cannot exist in real life and no way they’d still be in a job, but well, I just found this book so enjoyable. It feels a bit wrong to find such a violent book so entertaining, but there you are. I’m dying to read the third, and am watching eagerly to see if it will go on offer.

44) The Hallowed Hunt by Lois McMaster Bujold – Sequel to Paladin of Souls. Started very strong, but unfortunately fizzled out at the end. Disappointing after the greatness of Paladin of Souls.

45) The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith – Average, a bit boring by the end. Separate post here.

46) The Blood Detective by Dan Waddell– You know what I said about the cuckoos calling with its uninspired characters, uninspired plot line and average setting? This book had fairly average characters and it was set in London but it did something with its plot I’ve never seen before, and drew me in with that: this book is about solving a crime through genealogy. It introduces us to a shy, awkward genealogist who becomes the key player in solving the crime (I loved Nigel Barnes and his impulsiveness that comes from his shyness) It drags us through all the various newspaper archives, death/birth/certificate archives and the like in London – draws us through the past as told through that was left behind, and shows how history, and the actions of our ancestors can still have a profound effect on our lives today. History is always there, as Barnes tells us, we just choose not to see it. It sounds a little out there but the author makes it work and its fascinating, and I never saw any of the twists coming, and I could never guess what was going to happen next, and even when I recognised we would not be told something if it wasn’t important, it still took me by surprise how everything came together in the end. This book was absolutely thrilling from beginning to end. I loved it. On saying that, I’m not sure I’ll be reading any more in the series. I’m just not sure how many times they can keep needing a genealogist before it becomes strange? And I guess I worry it won’t live up to this one.

47/48) Fadeout and Death Claims by Joseph Hansen – These books are so sad. The main character – Dave – is grieving for his dead lover and his grief is always there, clinging to every word, weighting down the pages. And the mysteries are so bleak. You can understand Dave’s weariness with his job – when he has to deal with the terrible things people do for money day in day out. They’re beautiful books, but emotional ones. In a very quiet, subdued way they are really quite affecting. I hope I can get hold of the rest of the series.

49) A Kiss for Midwinter by Courtney Milan – I’m not a historical romance reader typically, but I love Courtney Milan. I love the characters she creates and the romance she writes is so satisfying – you can really see how much the characters respect and admire each other, which for me is very romantic. Cannot wait to read one of her full length books.

50) Rosa and the Veil of Gold by Kim Wilkins – Enchanting, right until the end. Separate post here.