Friday, August 28, 2009

August Book Dump

Young Adult

by Beth Webb (sequel to Star Dancer)
(YA fantasy/historic)
Nothing particularly remarkable about this, the second in the series. I listened to it on audio book, read by the author, and she seemed to take rather a lot of delight from reading the gruesome bits. Her lisp was a bit distracting, however. Fast-paced plot where the bad guys are too bad and the good guys too good. Felt unconvincing and feel a little flat.

Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve (Mortal Engines Prequel bk 1)
(YA Steampunk)
A somewhat disappointing offering from the quirky Philip Reeve. Maybe it's just that this is no longer so fresh and exciting? Either way, it's clever, but it's not "Mortal Engines" and it's not "Larklight". The ending felt rather flat and although the characters were intriguing, it seemed rather lacklustre.

Lament by Maggie Steifvater
Not the best written or most convincing teenager/fey romance novel. Still, this story had its charms. Particularly James, the piper. A number of pop-culture references indicate that this book will date fairly fast and the plot is somewhat choppy. Still, it did build to a satisfying climax, even if the conclusion left a lot to be desired.

~ * ~

Fantasy (Adult)

Heir to Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier (Sevenwaters bk 4)
Marillier has the ability to captivate her readers, to entrance them and lure them into a delicious, sometimes frightening, always mysterious otherworld. If you want deep, forbidden - or at least forbidding, love and tangled loyalties, this is the fable for you. Her heroine is courageous and compassionate, her hero dark, brooding and haunted. The villain, cold, calculating and manipulative. It may sound cliched, but Marillier is a skilled story-teller and nothing she tells could ever be considered a cliche.

~ * ~

Paranormal (Adult)

Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison (Hollows bk 1)
Entertaining and quirky, this is the best Supernatural series I have discovered since the Dresden Files and Kelley Armstrong. The heroine, Rachel Morgan, is an ex-bounty hunter, having left her previous employee, she's now got a bounty on her head. She lives in a refurbished church with a non-practicing vampire and her bodyguard is 4-inches tall. Morgan is sassy, pretty kick-arse and jolly good at surviving. Demons, vampires, weres, fairies, subterfuge, killer tomatoes and random acts of violence and shapeshifting - this story has it all. Seriously addictive. Reminds me of Evanovich meets Buffy on a dark nght. Excitingly enough, a customer informed me this was a great series but the first book wasn't so good. But I read it and totally loved it (even if she does keep calling a mink a rodent - it's a mustelid you fool!) and if it just gets better from herein, I'm in for the long ride!

The Good, the Bad, the Undead by Kim Harrison (Hollows bk 2)
This supernatural Bounty-hunter series has me hooked. With its sassy heroine and a rather unexpected turn of events, it is difficult to put down. Ivy continues to grow as the Most Interesting Vampire I've ever read about. Jinks is still his awesome self and I cannot help but be fascinated by Trent. Plenty of surprises, wry humour and a non-stop-plot make for one highly addictive series

Every Which Way but Dead by Kim Harrison (Hollows bk 3)
With its sassy heroine, her tormented vampire flatmate, a highly-spirited pixie hoard and enough action, excitement and corruption, this series is horrendously addictive. I have made several special trips to libraries around town to pick up the next instalment. The characters are filled with life and personality and the plots barely leave you time to breath. With enough twists, turns and surprises to keep you on your toes. I strongly recommend this series to anyone who loves Janet Evanovich, Kelley Armstrong and Richelle Mead.

Turn Coat by Jim Butcher (Dresden bk 11)
Another enjoyable instalment in this addictive series. There's not much I can add, really, if you're already reading Dresden, you're bound to be hooked. And if you're not, well starting at #11 is a bad idea. Start with "Storm Front". If you like detective noir with supernatural beings, wry humour and a few unexpected twists (and the world's most awesome dog) READ THESE BOOKS! This one adds somewhat to the storyline, although did not prove to be as compulsive reading as some of the earlier volumes.

~ * ~

Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
Poignant and at times heart-breaking, this is a skillfully penned first novel. Like all Atkinson's work it displays quirk and charm, turning what could be very bleak fare indeed into something bittersweet. The characters are intriguing, with oddball personalities and teh family skeletons well worth unearthing. My one complaint is that a family tree would have been a nice addition, as the flashbacks got me somewhat disorientated on who was related how.

Silver Bough by Lisa Tuttle
(Modern-day "fairy" tale)
An interesting read, and the folklore aspect was intriguing. However, the plot felt disjointed and the relationships unconvincing. Nothing remarkable.

In Hovering Flight by Joyce Hinnefeld
Although the blurb sounded interesting, this proved to be a rather dull read indeed. Much of the plot occured in retrospections, with the characters coming across as relatively flat and undeveloped, reading more like someone's memoirs then an actual novel. And when I say memoirs, I mean the dull "this happened and then that happened". I felt it was supposed to be about the young woman, Scarlet, discovering more about the mother she barely knew through her diaries, but in actuality some of the facts were things the diary would not have revealed. Addie, the mother, still remains mostly a mysterious and mostly lacking much in the way of personality. the itneresting bits - the bits with the birds, were indispersed with a plot that could have been evocative and rich but failed on all counts.

Welcome to my Blog of Book Reviews

I have two particularly addictive hobbies - reading and drawing. As I already have my Daily Art blog, it has been suggested that I should keep a blog specifically for book reviews. I review everything I read on Facebook, and have been cross-posting it monthly to Livejournal. However, I now have fallen for the prestige of Blogspot. So from here in, I shall be cross-posting monthly my book reviews here.

I also write a lot of dining reviews, but as most of you do not live in the same city as me, that is probably not going to be a great deal of help.

So, if you follow this blog, expect monthly "book dumps". They will be in random order and an eclectic mix of literature. I'm a fairly diverse reader.