I’m never going to get organised enough to post my monthly reads on a regular basis or to review every single book I read (or even every other book), so here are some quick thoughts on a few books I’ve recently read.
I loved Karen Chance’s “Midnight’s Daughter” (urban fantasy), but I’d have to say it’s probably not one for new readers. Even though it’s the start of a new series, it’s set in the same world as her Cassie Palmer books and I suspect that without having read the Cassie books, the world-building would leave you a bit lost. This book also references a novella in the “On the Prowl” anthology, which I vaguely recalled, and so helped me to understand some events that occurred off-stage, so to speak. But I love Ms Chance’s writing and I enjoyed exploring more of her world through a different viewpoint. I want more.
I also read Mary Stewart’s “The Gabriel Hounds” (romantic suspense). I’m fascinated by contemporaries written decades ago because of the insight you get into everyday life and cultural norms back then. What life was like without mobile phones and the internet. When you had to go through an operator to make international calls. When it was acceptable to have a heroine who smokes. Anyway, I liked this one, especially the Middle East setting and the mystery of the reclusive and eccentric grand-aunt who styles herself after Lady Hester Stanhope. But I was wondering about the romance: [slight spoiler] – surely first cousins are slightly too close, especially if their fathers are twins (identical, I’m assuming)? Or was that considered acceptable back then? [/spoiler]*
And then I read Laurell K Hamilton’s “Swallowing Darkness” (err… paranormal romance? I’m not entirely sure how to classify this). I wasn’t going to read this one as I’ve almost given up on the Merry Gentry series, but my curiosity was piqued by several posts asking if this was the final Merry book (it isn’t, btw), which sort of implied that the overall story arc had reached a conclusion. It wasn’t as bad as one of the previous books (can’t remember which now, the one that pretty much consisted of a couple of scenes and nothing else) but it was almost a DNF for me, because I was just… bored. The bad guys would attack, Merry (or rather, the Goddess) would save the day and heal everyone. Repeat. Even the sex scenes felt tame to me (or maybe the heat-level that’s prevalent in romance nowadays has raised the bar a bit). FWIW, yes, there is some sort of conclusion to the whole Merry-Cel saga, but it’s definitely a borrow, not buy, book).
And I finished Richelle Mead’s “Succubus Dreams” (urban fantasy – I think) yesterday. As always, an entertaining read. I like the fact Ms Mead’s not afraid to have her characters move on and change, the series doesn’t feel static to me. And Georgina is a very likeable character. However, while I know I will probably get the next book in the series (and will enjoy it), I don’t feel as though I must know what happens next. I guess I’m not as invested in the series as I am in others.
*Spoilers in comments as well