Am off on hols tomorrow and I still haven’t packed. I’m such a procrastinator.
I realised I hadn’t done a wrap-up of books read in July yet, and so obviously, writing this post became a lot more interesting than packing. I belong to the school of thought that as long as you turn up at the airport with your passport and your plane ticket (e-ticket in this case), that’s all you need – you can buy anything else you need when you arrive…
Anyway, my July reading – 19 books read in total, probably slightly more than average.
Apart from Harry Potter (obviously), I really liked Jacqueline Carey‘s “Kushiel’s Justice”. Despite being the second book in her Imriel trilogy (dark fantasy), it didn’t suffer from the “middle child” syndrome, and I was completely captivated right from the start.
This book follows Imriel, one of the secondary characters from Ms Carey’s first Kushiel trilogy. A royal prince and son of a traitor, he’s meant to enter into a marriage of state. However, he falls passionately in love with Sidonie, the crown princess, probably the most “wrong” person ever for historical and political reasons. So this book deals with his conflict between duty and love, and trespassing against their universal precept of “Love as thou wilt”.
Don’t start with this book if you’re new to the series (start with Phedre and Jocelyn’s story – the first Kushiel trilogy), but this was a really good book. Her world is just so fascinating and rich, and despite me wanting to see more of Phedre and Jocelyn, I just enjoyed re-visiting Terre d’Ange.
Ohhhh, I have to rant though. Right, I’ve this err… slightly weird habit of reading the copyright page. Not always, but I do read it – I like reading all the bits of random information on this page, such as who the copyright belongs to, the typeface used (especially if it’s slightly unusual), the cover artist, etc, etc. (I did say it was a weird habit.)
And right at the bottom of the copyright page, there’s sometimes a bit of library catalogue info (in this book “Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data”, whatever that means – I don’t pretend to be an expert) – and there was a MAJOR spoiler in this summary. And I mean MAJOR. It pretty much gave away the plot. OMG. And the summary was provided by the PUBLISHER. I had read the first few chapters, and then flipped back to the copyright page (as you do), and read that sentence. And I just thought WTF???!!!
Anyway. It was still a good book though. But really.
Heh, didn’t mean to ramble – moving quickly on…
Another book I really liked in July was Kelley Armstrong‘s “Exit Strategy”. It’s her contemporary suspense debut, and the heroine is Nadia Stafford, a contract killer. I know – first-person from the perspective of a hit-err.. woman could be a bit icky and weird, but it’s not! It works and it was a very interesting perspective. I hope she writes more Nadia books.
Read my first Rachel Gibson books – for some reason, I’ve never read her before, but I did like her books. “Daisy’s Back in Town” in particular, I think I was just in the right mood for the Secret Baby plot. Yes, I know it’s cliched but I enjoyed it.
Unlike Stephanie Laurens‘ Big Secret plot in “What Price Love?”. I decided to read the Cynster book that had been sitting in my TBR pile and *sigh* regretted it. I did find the horse-racing world interesting (lots of nuggets of info), but oh dear, the heroine, Priss, really irritated me in this book. Her twin brother has accidentally been caught up in this major race-fixing plot, and she needs information from Dillon but she doesn’t want to tell him why. Aarrgghhh. Tell him already! Yes, I understand you not wanting to tell him the first time you meet him, but now that he’s made it blatantly clear that he’s going to help you out – just tell him, dammit.
And the purple prose. I ended up skimming through the love scenes. Which isn’t a very good sign for a romance, is it? I knew it was not working when Priss and Dillon had their first kiss, and instead of being all caught up in the moment, I ended up counting the number of pages it took to describe a kiss (five, if you’re interested). And IMO, the book could have been ended much sooner – once the plot was foiled, I’m afraid I lost interest in the last bit, where Priss was abducted by the mysterious Mr X. I used to love Stephanie Laurens, but I think I’m going to stop buying her books for a while.
Err… I’m going to stop here, because it’s been a super-long post. I’ll finish up my thoughts on my other July reads at some point. And I’m going to go and pack. Really. Probably won’t be updating much in the next couple of weeks, but I suspect I’ll be lurking here and there…