Not too many books this month, and I’m still rereading a lot as I’m still broke.
21) Faithful Place by Tana French – Man, I love Francis Mackey. He’s manipulative, cunning, cruel…you can assign all these nasty and dangerous words to him. Some of the things he did in this book were both terrifying and disgusting, the way he fucks with peoples minds. But underneath the tough exterior he is so vulnerable and has so many issues that he has clearly never bothered to deal with. I find him such a fascinating character and I just loved this book so much, of course not just for Frank, but for the story too. Its so simple, but devastating. It’s what I was talking about impact in the rant of strange. You do not need cults or conspiracies or serial killers or gore for impact. This is a book with a relatively straight forward plot, you can suspect the criminal quite early on, but it does matter who. it matters that it happened and that it affected a life, lives. it gets you deep down, this book does. You can see Rosie as Frank sees her and you can feel the ache of what-was right alongside him. Frank and Rosie were so young and filled with optimism in the flash backs and you don’t know that it would have worked, that they would have gotten away, that it would have lasted but by the end of the book you feel such anger, such hurt that they never got the chance to find out. This is part devastating love story, part crime novel and I love Tana French for that- for not making this a standard procedural but really digging deep into this small, awful crime and what a terrible, lasting thing loss is.
Also, as an aside: I adored the way Tana French wrote Frank’s relationship with his daughter and ex-wife. It was slightly heart breaking, but lovely.
22) House of Stone by Vaughn R Demont – This is not a great book, but its a very entertaining one .I do like this authors writing style, its quite chatty and conversational but never irritating, and there are moments of startling beauty and intelligence that can be truly moving amongst an otherwise light, humorous, plot hole filled book. It’s a satisfying quick read, as long as you don’t think about it too much afterwards, lest you start noticing all those flaws.
The only thing that really annoys me about this author is that all his books are loosely connected. they are all set in the same world, but at different times and amongst a different set of magical beings and honestly, its distracting because with every hint at another book I start trying to link them together, rather than focusing on the book on hand. Worse, I cannot fathom how they are supposed to go together and it drives me INSANE and it kinda ruins this authors books for me, just a little (although this book is not the worst for it. Some of his others suffer more from this terrible need to link them together)
23) Unnatural Selection by Ann Somerville- This book was…flat. It got better towards the end, when the characters finally started developing some chemistry but meh. Unlikeable characters, a relationship that felt forced, and a plot that was fairly mundane too. Also: I predicted the villain right from the start. No more ann somerville for me.
24) The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan – This is a short, very sweet, very romantic novella. Both characters had strong personalities but were extremely likeable. I especially like what Milan did with the character of the wolf- he could have easily been a bit of a jerk, but she fleshed him out marvellously and made him very sympathetic. The final marriage scene was gorgeously creative, so sweet and hot at once. And I loved that he grew to respect and admire her before loving her. And how, once the relationship began he still respected her such a great amount he would go to such great lengths for her, put her needs before his. That level of trust, respect and selfless support affects me more than any declaration of love.
25) Coyote’s Creed by Vaughn R. Demont – OK, so this is not a good book either. It’s better than House of Stone, but I say that only because I absolutely adore the characters of this book. I love Spencer especially. He’s an immature 18 year old delinquent with a bit of a heart of gold, but mostly he’s just a pathetic, mouthy brat. I love that. I love that he’s a immature teenager written like one and as such, completely unprepared for the adventure he’s been set on. I also love the handling of the main relationship- how Spencer is not in love, and that’s OK because he’s young and really not in the right head space for all that. There are some repeated phrases and stuff, and that would be annoying, if only it weren’t for the author making it an ongoing joke in the story itself that gets caled out by the characters themselves. You get the feeling that Demont really has a lot of fun writing his books. This book makes me laugh, and like House of Stone, there are these moments of beautiy that really get you. It’s totally flawed, but I love it anyway. (Now, if only its loose sequel did not slightly ruin this book for me. This book does suffer from being interconnected, unfortunately.)
26) Little Girl Lost by Brian McGilloway – I admit, I bought this mostly because it was 59p and I was desperate for something new to read that would not break the bank. This revealed itself to be a fairly interesting, albeit fairly standard police procedural. I think the reason I really enjoyed it was because I felt drawn to the main character- Lucy. She’s not a tough, hard drinking detective. She’s a vulnerable young woman, competent at her job but still unsure of herself, a police officer more because she was not sure what else to do rather than a passion for it. I really, really liked her. I do wish the book ended better though, the pacing went a bit funny toward the end and the ending felt slightly rushed to a conclusion, with a few frayed plot threads left hanging.
27) Country Mouse by Amy Lane and Aleksandr Voinov – This book was not what I expected. It sounded so fluffy and trite, but revealed itself to be something else entirely. There’s a surprising depth to this book and to these characters. And yet, I found myself merely liking it. Not loving it. I’m also a little annoyed that the sequel is £4.61, even though its equally as short.
28) Hemovore by Jordan Castillo Price – read this in one sitting. could not put it down. Vampirism as a disease is not exactly a unique plot, but it is always interesting to see what authors do with it. I liked it here, it was dark and slightly heartbreaking, but not entirely hopeless. Everything was consistent and made sense and I never felt lost. Also Mark and Jonathan were extremely likeable characters, and the romance very, very sweet. My only complaint is that it wraps up very neatly. Perhaps a little too neatly.