February 2, 2015 by rachelcmann
Chosen and Hidden – Benedict Jacka – I really appreciate that the author acknowledged the carnage happening in these books. While Verus is not necessarily a bad guy he also wasn’t really a good guy and it’s true that most of his killings were done in self defense, he seemed to have a lot of defending to do and the body count was stacking up. While there’s still a lot of death happening here, there is at the very least some more awareness that perhaps murdering your enemies isn’t always the best solution. I doubt I’ll pick up any more of this series (not even sure there are any) but they were fun while they lasted. It’s nice to read about someone who walks the line between good and evil sometimes.
The Enchantment Emporium – Tanya Huff – I am 100% certain I’ve at least started this book before. But I couldn’t really remember any of the details so I finished it this time. The mythology involves a fair amount of polyamory and implied incest and I guess sex magic, but it was still pretty enjoyable. These are basically about a magical family and their attempts to save their small sliver of the world. The characters are funny and pretty realistic considering their magical prowess. I actually laughed out loud.
The Wild Ways – Tanya Huff – What can I say, sometimes you get into a mood for stuff and since everything else on my nightstand was serious I picked up the second of the series on my Kindle. I liked it better than the first one honestly. One, it follows a different (and I would say more interesting) person. Two, now that I kind of knew what to expect it was a little less jarring when the weird incest stuff popped up. This time we dealt with Selkies who, as a species, kind of creep me out.
The Future Falls – Tanya Huff – Yep, a mood. I found the third at the library and again, it really just hit the spot. The story got very into time travel and while it makes my brain hurt to think about the logistics, it was definitely a fun read. Lots more dragons which is pretty much always a good thing. Unfortunately if there’s another in the series it’s going to take a while to be published and I don’t know if I’ll remember the characters by then. It’s kind of like waiting for a TV show to be over before starting it, I start these book series but by the time the next installment comes out I’ve totally forgotten and have to start over (I’m looking at you Patrick Rothfuss Kingkiller Chronicles!)
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender – Leslye Walton – This is a strange and beautiful book. Regan at Peruse Project has been raving about it so I nabbed it. I wasn’t really sure what to expect which was good because I would have never expected this. It’s certainly a very sad story, full of heartbreak and unfulfilled dreams. Three generations of strange women who have been betrayed by men. It’s not for the faint of heart but it is beautifully written and very tender.
Lexicon – Max Barry – While I’ve heard good things about this novel and I had a vague sense that it was about people with a special power to use words to influence others, I was not expecting this novel to be quite so dark. There is very little, if any, joy or laughter to be found here and so I found myself intrigued but sort of begrudging my reading. Furthermore, it skips around in time with no rhyme, reason or warning which takes a while to get used to and by the end I was thoroughly annoyed with. Further-furthermore, the inserts of chat rooms and news stories and conspiracy theories about the lack of privacy and the general surveillance and information gathering our current lives entail felt more like tacked on proselytism that we should all take note and stop being such lemmings.
Evil Genius – Catherine Jinks – This book is one that just caught my eye when I was grabbing something nearby. It looked intriguing enough to pick up and when I needed something light and fluffy to read I burned through it pretty quickly. It’s about a young genius who discovers that he is actually the progeny of a criminal mastermind and goes off to a specialized college that was created specifically for him to learn to become his father’s successor. Things don’t go exactly as planned and the meddlesome adults in this story get their comeuppance.
Written in my Own Heart’s Blood – Diana Gabaldon – The Outlander series always takes some commitment, and the latest installment is no different. It’s been forever since I read the last one though so I had a fair amount of quizzical “wait, what?” moments before I could start enjoying it whole-heartedly. I’m not the biggest fan of historical romances, or at least, I’m not anymore except for these. These books are less about the strapping young man and the ingenue than about real history told from a unique point of view. I’ve tried to read other sweeping historicals since Outlander and found none of them to be worth finishing. These, while massive, are so engaging and now I have to wait like another two years for the next one.
Rock Breaks Scissors – William Poundstone – To be totally honest, I started skimming this pretty heavily towards the end, it gets a bit repetitive. But, overall it’s a very interesting book about how terrible human beings are at recognizing randomness. If you flip a coin 10x, 100x or 10000x the odds are the same, every flip is a 50/50 shot of heads or tails. But if you get 10 heads in a row in the 10000x trial that’s normal, if you get it when you only flip 10x that would be really strange and you would think it was rigged. (Law of large numbers also apply to small numbers) So while I don’t have a use for most of the advice, it was intriguing nevertheless.
Grave Witch – Kalayna Price – I’m writing this the morning after I finished this book and I’m drawing a total blank. It’s not that the book wasn’t good or engaging, it’s just that even with a relatively unique universe with Death, Fae and witches in abundance it just wasn’t that captivating after putting it down. I don’t know, that seems harsh because I did like it, but if I wasn’t writing this now I would no recollection of it later on.
Rampant – Diana Peterfreund – This book was a little bit weird. Unicorns are endangered man-eating monsters and an ancient sect of virgin warriors is re-assembled to fight the good fight – or is it? It’s a fluff piece but it’s got some darker moments and I can’t come up with a solid opinion on it.
Infinity (Chronicles of Nick) – Sherrilyn Kenyon – There’s a lot to process in this book and honestly, if it hadn’t been set in New Orleans I wouldn’t have kept reading it. It does pick up speed about half way through but there are too many characters – too many creatures. Just when you’ve got a handle on the theme and the main characters, she’s adds new ones.
Hero – Perry Moore – I just couldn’t get into it. Told from the point of view of a young man who lives in world where superheroes are a thing, and his father is on (but without any super powers) it just seemed too self indulgent to continue.