August 3, 2015 by rachelcmann
A lot of random Kindle books this month! Plus I creep myself out a lot and don’t sleep and if I stop making sense…blame the authors.
The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, Book 2) – Brandon Sanderson – OMG. These books are so
long! But so good! In fairness I had put this one down for a while to read other things and was dragging my feet to pick it back up but then! This one took a turn towards the end and I got sucked right back in.
Justice Calling (The Twenty-Sided Sorceress) (Volume 1)– Annie Ballet – I really enjoyed this witch-y book but it was pretty short. There was so much missed opportunity for build up of tension. There were so many ways to deepen the characters and make us care about them before putting them in peril. So when I reached the end it all felt a little shallow.
Anvil of Tears (The Reforged Trilogy Book 1) – Erica & Aaron Lindquist – I have to admit, this took me by surprise. It’s an alien space bounty hunter vs. hunted story but kind of so much more than that? It’s hard to explain but I’ll try… So first off, let’s just assume it’s the future. And humanity has moved into the stars, along the way they’ve encountered some alien life. Some of this alien life looks awfully familiar. There are insect people and dog people and ape people. And angels. There’s a lot of self-pity and whingeing in certain spots but I was really compelled and captivated!
Cosega Search (The Cosega Sequence Book 1)– Brandt Legg – I mean, who doesn’t get a kick of Indiana Jones meets DaVinci Code type of stories? An archeologist is on a mission to find something that will change our understanding of human history, and when he finds it the US government and the Vatican come crashing in. It’s pretty fast paced and very ridiculous. I don’t think I’ll bother with the next one but it’ll probably depend on my mood. Sometimes you need a good archeology thriller!
Autumn Bones: Agent of Hel– Jacqueline Carey – I enjoyed the heck out of this! It’s funny, it’s got good characters and even if the premise is a little outlandish at times. I like that the lead character (Daisy) is conflicted sometimes and not wholly good or wholly bad. The mythology is a bit scattered but really inclusive of just about every culture so that’s a nice change of pace. Reading this I had the thought that this is the style/tone I’d like to adopt in my own writing.
Poison Fruit: Agent of Hel– Jacqueline Carey – The saga continues! I have to admit though that the third book lost focus for me. A cute and funny transitional “Anyway” in the second book was used 5 times in the first 6 chapters in this book and I started to get distracted by what seemed like a crutch in the writing. It smoothed out and I zipped right through it. Like most series (in any medium) the writer has to keep raising the stakes and at some point it just becomes absurd. I’m willing to suspend a whole lot of belief (it is Sci-Fi after all) but at some point I’ll throw in the towel. This book brought me pretty close to towel throwing but I’ll still be keeping an eye out for Book 4.
Prudence (The Custard Protocol)– Gail Carriger – This steampunk author has been on my radar so when I saw this book I just nabbed it. But I guess I’m just not all that into steampunk? I can’t figure it out. It has everything I like! Anyway- this book, part of series, is cute and fluffy and has some clever twists and turns but at the end of the day I’m just not that into it. Bummer.
Annihilation: A Novel (The Southern Reach Trilogy Book 1)– Jeff Vandermeer – ::shudder:: I don’t remember where or when I first heard about The Southern Reach trilogy but it’s been on my list for a little while. I had no idea what to expect, which is probably a good thing because eeek. Told from the first person point of view is almost real-time, the first book is the tale of volunteer expedition member who goes into what appears to be something kind of Chernobyl like. There have been previous expeditions but people don’t really return so from the get-go you realize this is a suicide mission. But whatever has made this place a desolate wasteland seems more supernatural than anything else. It is creepy creepy creepy but impossible to put down! I’m terrified and excited to read the next two books. Maybe not on a week night…maybe only during the day…
The Night Season (Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell Book 4)– Chelsea Cain – This book in the series feels like an interlude. Our serial killer only makes a token appearance, and while the body count is still pretty high, it doesn’t have the same level of gore as the others. Which I am totally okay with! Archie (our long-suffering half dead detective) and Susan (spunky rebel reporter) continue to grow their unconventional friendship and once again they (spoiler) both end up very nearly dead. The motive for the killing spree felt a little weak this time around but I loved the extra history of Portland. Man does Cain know how to write books that should come with a tension building soundtrack!
Insanity (Mad in Wonderland)– Cameron Jace – There seems to be a glut of “Fairy Tale” re-tellings (and I’m not just saying this because I’ve been bingeing on Once Upon a Time). Maybe there have always been reinterpretations of old classics but they seem to be cropping around me more recently. And as a sub-genre I don’t mind them, it just makes me appreciate truly original content that much more. This particular one is spooky take on Alice in Wonderland where the Wonderlanders (Wonderlandians?) have infiltrated our world and are straight up murdering people. There are a lot of gaps in logic as well as in time & space but overall it was an enjoyable read. I won’t bother with more in the series but if you’re a Carroll fan you might enjoy these more.
Immortal Plague (The Judas Chronicles Book 1)– Aiden James – Umm. A book about an immortal Judas (like from the Bible) who is trying to collect his silver coins to maybe get into a heaven. The book isn’t very religious and it’s certainly a quick read, but it’s also a little disjointed in spots. I’m actually fine with the huge leaps in logic and suspension of physics. It’s the motives and lack of secondary character development that left me feeling unfulfilled.
Kill You Twice: An Archie Sheridan / Gretchen Lowell Novel – Chelsea Cain – Like all the others, this one gives you the heebie jeebies. Archie still needs some serious therapy and Gretchen is still evil evil evil. And Susan is still…well sort of dumb frankly. But these books are page turners even if they’re nightmare fodder.
Let Me Go (Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell) – Chelsea Cain – Did I mention that I can’t put them down? Like chips you know should stop eating because they’ll make you sick. Ugh. So good and so awful!
The Witches of Echo Park – Amber Benson – Honestly, when all is said and done I was a little disappointed. I picked this up at random but when I saw the author I was excited. But the book felt uneven. It has a fairly light tone for probably the first third of the book and then out of nowhere there is a graphic sex scene. And then it swaps back out of that to the same relatively light tone. The story didn’t feel particularly original and since the foreward talked about wanting to write about strong female relationships, this didn’t touch on that at all. The women in the coven are distrustful and seem more bound by duty than love. And the trope of a young woman returning home to take on the burden of leader of the coven when she had no idea that was in the works just feels tired. I’m really over the naive ingenue thing lately.
Libriomancer: (Magic Ex Libris Book 1) – Jim Hines – I enjoyed this so so much! I laughed out loud in several places and then had a fit of giggles. The concept is fresh – magic that allows libriomancers to physically manifest items from books (as long as they fit through the pages). Kind of the theme of a Tulpa (a Tibetan monster that is born from belief) where you can manifest something from sheer will. Yeah, it gets a little weird in spots but I just enjoyed the heck out of this
The Other Normals – Ned Vizzini – I enjoyed this until about 3/4 of the way through and then I kind of decided I didn’t really care anymore and skimmed to the end. About a young geek who’s into D&D type games the book chronicles his discovery and adventure in a parallel universe (The Other Normal). And while some of the mythology felt fresh, a lot of it just felt recycled.
Unfinished (Maybe I should call this “Abandoned”?)
Broken Symmetry – Dan Rix – I actually got about halfway through this before I thought “Oh God, I don’t care about these people!” It’s Inception basically, only instead of dreams its mirrors. And there’s a conspiracy.
Goals!: How to Get Everything You Want — Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible – Brian Tracy – This book is good. But there wasn’t a lot of new information. So I ended up skimming through a lot of it. My problem lately is not that I lack the drive or skills to achieve my goals but that I don’t really have a specific goal at the moment.