Well, I’ve read quite a few books lately… and bought even more! It’s an addiction, I tell you. But anyway, what I’ve been reading:
I finished reading Demon Angel by Meljean Brook. I’m not going to do a full review, because there are tons floating around the internet. Suffice to say, I thought it was a really good book. What I loved:
- Hugh and Lilith – I completely bought into their relationship and their feelings for each other. And in a romance, that is absolutely the most important thing.
- The originality of Ms Brook’s world – This isn’t a run-of-the-mill demon/vampire/whatever urban fantasy setting, which is pretty impressive considering that the number of books published in this genre nowadays.
- Sir Pup and Colin and all the other supporting characters – I never thought I’d find a three-headed dog sweet, but there you go…
Minor quibbles (because I always have them):
- I thought the story dragged in the parts towards the end – however, that could just be due to the fact that I was trying to finish it at 2am, so I could go to bed at a decent time!
- I couldn’t help noticing how light-heartedly Hugh and Lilith were taking things – I’m not sure if that was due to their past experience (after 800 years, you’ve probably seen it all), but you know, they just seem to laugh at inappropriate times. Or grin with mirth. Or have their eyes fill with amusement. Maybe this was an example of the author telling, not showing, but I started noticing it a lot in the second half of the book.
All in all, this is a B+ for me – fantastic debut with great writing. I’ll definitely buy Ms Brook’s next book, Demon Moon, coming out in June 2007 (set in the same world, with Colin and Savi being the main couple).
I also read the anthology Best New Paranormal Romance, edited by Paula Guran. I’ll be honest – not all the stories qualified as romance stories from my point of view. In a way, it’s a good thing the whole online debate happened, because if I had read this collection expecting it to be err… paranormal romance (funny that), I’d be rather disappointed. Out of the twelve stories, I would say that only two were romance:
- Catherine Asaro’s The Shadowed Heart – I liked this, but then I’m already a big fan of her Skolian Empire books, so no big surprise there
- Rebecca York’s Hero’s Welcome was also a romance – Unsurprisingly, as she writes mainly romance
A couple of others that I really liked, but would not classify as romance stories were:
- Heather Shaw’s Single White Farmhouse – It’s a quirky story that made me smile
- Deborah Coates’ Magic in a Certain Slant of Light – Umm… upon re-reading, maybe it is a romance, it certainly ends on a happy note, but still…
Also, I suppose I would question the use of “paranormal” in the title. This collection struck me very much as speculative fiction, rather than paranormal – oh well, to each his/her own! I will still look at upcoming Juno book releases, but will definitely make sure that I know whether it’s a romance or not before starting… (and yes, that may mean reading the last page before buying!).