On hiatus

>> Saturday, March 02, 2013

Bye bye for a little while! I'm off to Uruguay for the rest of the month, both to welcome my first nephew (who looks like he'll be arriving sooner, rather than later) and for a much overdue holiday. See you in April!


February 2013 reads

>> Friday, March 01, 2013

Pretty good for a short month! A few DNFs -I'm becoming more and more willing to just drop books when they´re not working out, which I think is a good thing.

1 - Demon Blood, by Meljean Brook: A
original review here

Since I originally read these books as they came out, over a period of years, it's been difficult to compare them to each other, and realise how much better the series has got with every installment. Now that I've read all the previous ones in a matter of months, I can say that this one, the story of Guardian Rosalia and vampire Deacon, and her big plans to even out the fight between Guardians and their foes, is the best one so far. The plot is fantastic and jaw-dropping, and the romance is angsty and incredibly satisfying. I adored every page.

2 - Skios, by Michael Frayn: A-
review coming soon

A charming, irresponsible man decides, on an impulse, to claim to be the Dr. Norman Wilfred the beautiful young woman is waiting for outside of arrivals at Skios airport. Farce is not my favourite kind of comedy, but when it's done as well as this, and with as much satire, I love it.

3 - Doukakis's Apprentice, by Sarah Morgan: B+
review here

The Greek tycoon hero takes over the advertising agency the heroine has been running to get back at her father, who owns it. Very Harlequin Presents setup (well, it is an HP), but Morgan turns these elements on their heads and delivers a reasonable, intelligent hero and a heroine who gives as good as she gets. I really, really liked it.

4 - The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things, by Paula Byrne: B+
review here

A look at Jane Austen's life and times, using objects relevant to her life as a starting point. Really interesting and absorbing. I liked this thematic, rather than strictly linear, approach.

5 - King of Darkness, by Elizabeth Staab: B
review here

The set-up reminded me of JR Ward's books. We've got the newly ascended vampire king, struggling to lead his subjects in a fight against beings devoted to destroy them. It's got a completely different feel to it, though: no ridiculousness and larger-than-life exageration in the characters, and really strong females. It did fall down a bit on the plotting side, but it's a promising start.

6 - Death du Jour, by Kathy Reichs: B
review here

Audiobook. 2nd in the series featuring forensic anthropologist Dr. Tempe Brennan. In this book, Tempe's busy. There's a horrific domestic arson fire, the body of a candidate for sainthood for her to analyse, a missing girl, bodies found on a monkey island, plus, Tempe's worried about her sister. The coincidences were a bit much, but I was able to suspend disbelief and enjoyed seeing how it all came together.

7 - The Girl With The Cat Tattoo, by Theresa Weir: B-
review here

Max the cat is worried about his owner, who's still in a bad state after her husband's death. He decides to find her a man. Cute book, but it sometimes skated a bit too close to cutesy. I did like the scenes narrated from Max's POV, though. He was a very cat-like cat!

8 - Lessons in Love, by Charlie Cochrane: B-
review coming soon

Starts the Cambridge Fellows mystery series, in which the two titular characters, professors of English and Mathematics respectively, fall in love and solve mysteries in early 1900s Cambridge. I had some issues with stilted dialogue and that things felt a little bit simplistic, but the romance was sweet and very romantic, and I'll continue with the series.

9 - In Pale Battalions, by Robert Goddard: B-
review coming soon

Twisty, soap operaish novel involving family mysteries arising from the 1st World War. I liked the twists and was intrigued, but I found pretty much all the major characters unpleasant (even the ones who were supposed to be good guys) and some of the more soap opera elements made me roll my eyes.

10 - The House on Tradd Street, by Karen White: DNF
review here

Melanie unexpectedly inherits a historic old house, complete with ghosts. Jack suspects there's treasure hidden in it and approaches her. I stopped reading after realising that every single character was trying to bully Melanie into living her life as they thought she should be living it, especially the hero, who was an asshole about it, to boot.

11 - Beyond The Night, by Joss Ware: DNF
review here

Starts a post-apocalyptic series, centred around a group of men who wake up after an earthquake and find out they've been asleep for 50 years and the world has been devastated. The heroine in this one is part of the developing resistance against the beings she suspects of having caused the seemingly natural disasters that wrecked the world. I read about 2/3 of it. I was initially fascinated by the world-building, but then it all became too ridiculous. Plus, the romance just didn't engage me.

12 - Ash, by Malinda Lo: DNF
review here

I picked this one up because I heard it was a lesbian retelling of Cinderella, and thought that sounded interesting. The characters weren't, though, and the narrative felt very superficial. I struggled through almost half of it, and then gave up.

13 - Graceling, by Kristin Cashore: still reading
review coming soon

Set in a world where some people have special powers ('graces') that give them all sorts of skills, our main character is Katsa, whose grace is killing. So far, it's just as good as the wonderful Fire, and I'm loving it.

14 - A Murder is Announced, by Agatha Christie: still reading
review coming soon

When an invitation to "a murder" at someone's house in the village appears in the local paper, everyone assumes it either refers to a game or is a joke. But then someone dies. I'm about halfway through, and so far it's good, but not amazing.

15 - Calculated in Death, by JD Robb: still reading
review coming soon

Eve Dallas' latest outing takes her into Roarke's world of money and business. At least, that's what it looks like about a third into it. My main impression so far is that it's good, but sad.


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