August 2012 reads

>> Saturday, September 01, 2012

A bit of a strange month. I didn't read as much as usual (partly due to the Olympics: not only was I obsessively watching sports, I also had my brother staying at mine for the first two weeks of the month), and I had many more C reads than in other months. Still, a couple of extremely good ones as well.

Demon Moon, by Meljean Brook: A
original review here

I'm really, really enjoying my reread of the Guardians series. Each of the books and stories have been as good as I remembered (and it's good to see I still agree with my original reviews!), but reading them with knowledge of the entire series so far is even better. I'm so glad I'm doing this!

Shoot To Thrill, by PJ Tracy: B+
review coming soon

Book 5 in Tracy's Monkeewrench mystery series, one of my favourites. People are posting videos of real muders online, and Magozzi and Rolseth, helped by the Monkeewrench crew and an FBI agent with surprising depths, investigate. Interesting, and quite scary, actually, with a surprise ending. The next book has just come out, and I can't wait to see what on earth that ending meant.

Quatrain, by Sharon Shinn: B
review here

This is a collection of 4 short stories, each set in a universe established in one of Shinn's existing books or series. Really good standard. My favourite was the one set in the world of Heart of Gold. Shinn was somehow able to develop some quite complex things in such a short space. The stories set in Samaria and the Twelve Houses universe were also good. The one disappointment was the one related to Summers At Castle Auburn, but then, that book is not a favourite, either.

Never Stay Past Midnight, by Mira Lyn Kelly: B-
review coming soon

First it was supposed to be only a one-night-stand, then a no-strings-attached affair until Levi moved to another city. This being romance, they both want more. I found this one a bit hard to get into, because there was a lot of sex before I actually got to know the characters, and without knowing them, the whole committment-phobia thing didn't make all that much sense. The second half, once I got a feel for who these two were, was much better. The feelings felt real and both Levi and Elise had interesting issues.

A Share In Death, by Deborah Crombie: C+
review here

A Scotland Yard Superintendent is making use of his cousin's week in a time-share in Yorkshire when one of his fellow guests is found murdered. He's got no intention of having a busman's holiday, but he just keeps stumbling upon relevant bits of information, don't you know? This was the perfect C read. Mediocre, but with the plus that it was a fast read. Other than that, predictable, and with awkward characterisation. I've heard the rest of the series is good, so I won't write off Crombie completely, though.

The Cards of Life and Death, by Colleen Gleason: C
review coming soon

When lawyer Diana Iverson inherits a house from her great-aunt, she also inherits a pack of Tarot cards, a meddling, if handsome, neighbour, and someone who's determined to find something in the house. This was pretty mediocre. I liked the basic plot, but the characters were too often annoying, the paranormal plot wasn't particularly well-handled and, in the end, I was bored.

Geek Love, by Katherine Dunn: C
review coming soon

This month's reading group book. Olympia Binewski's parents decided to make sure their children would be assets to their travelling carnival. To that purpose, they experimented with all sorts of chemicals and radiations while Lily was pregnant. The results were the megalomaniac Arturo, the Aqua-boy; the singing Siamese twins, Ellie and Iffy; Olympia herself, a bald, albino, hunchback dwarf; and the disappointingly "norm" Chick, who only has telekinetic powers. This wasn't really to my taste, but to be honest, I thought I'd have a much harder time with it than I did. Still, I found Dunn's emphasis on being constantly shocking a bit juvenile.

Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel: still reading

Love, love, love this. It's basically the story of Thomas Cromwell's ascent to power, which is not particularly new territory, but the writing is what makes this so out-of-this-world amazing. I don't know how to describe it, beyond saying that it is beautiful and that every time I open the book I wallow in it (no better way to describe it).


Shannon C. 1 September 2012 at 16:10  

I am sad. Our reading twin streak is broken. Geek Love is one of my all-time favorite books!

I keep meaning to read the whole Guardians series, now that she's done with it. I loved them and they kept getting better. I don't know why I haven't.

Liz Mc2 1 September 2012 at 22:47  

Wolf Hall is so amazing. I loved how she makes someone as ruthless as Cromwell a human and sympathetic character, both recognizably "like us" and definitely someone from a different time. I have the sequel on my bedside table.

Also, definitely try Peter Robinson. That series is at almost 20 books and still going strong. There are some really great ones, and they're all solid.

Rosario 2 September 2012 at 07:18  

Shannon: Oh, no! :-D Well, if you ever decide to reread it, I'd love to read a review of it from you. I'm still not 100% sure what to make of it.

Liz Mc2: That's one of my favourite things about it, especially that she does it while not excusing or glossing over the ruthlessness. I've meant to read it for ages, but I picked it up now because of the sequel (I'm trying to read as many of the books on the Booker longlist as I can).

Thanks for the rec. The first book is available on kindle, so I'll give it a try.

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