Ploughing on with my year in review posts (I’m beginning to regret starting this!), here’s July to September:
A fairly quiet month reading-wise. I enjoyed Naomi Novik’s “Victory of Eagles” (historical fantasy, Book 5 of the Temeraire series) – how can you not like Temeraire? Ms Novik’s take on dragons and the Napoleonic Wars era remains fresh, and I recall shedding some tears during this one. That was probably expected, seeing how the previous book ended, but all’s well and I look forward to seeing what Will and Temeraire get up to next.
I liked Tanya Huff’s “The Heart of Valor” (military SF, Book 3 of the Confederation series). This surprised me slightly, because while I enjoy her urban fantasy books, her SF books had never really captured my imagination. This one did, to the extent I bought the next book in hardcover.
I also read Sherwood Smith’s “The Fox” and “King’s Shield” (fantasy, Book 2 and 3 of the Inda series). This is slightly different from her other books, as it isn’t YA, though I think it’s set in the same universe. I had a hard time getting into “The Fox”, primarily because it’s been around two years since I had read “Inda” (Book 1), and I struggled with the large cast of characters and multiple plotlines. However, by the end of “The Fox”, I was taken enough to buy “King’s Shield” in hardcover – here’s hoping I remember enough when “Treason’s Shore” (fourth and final book) comes out in August 2009.
The last book I really liked is Suzanne Brockmann’s “Into the Fire” (romantic suspense, Book 13 of the Troubleshooters series). I wasn’t quite sure going in, since the Jules/Robin arc had been wrapped up in the previous book (and Jules/Robin is up there with Sam/Alyssa for my favourite Brockmann couple), but I really liked this one. Though I will say it probably fell victim to the “everyone-who-has-ever-been-mentioned-pops-in-and-says-hi” curse. And I will be getting “Dark of Night” when it comes out in January (whoops, missed it off my January releases list) – while I’ve been unable to avoid DoN spoilers, I’m not that invested in the Sophia arc to have a strong opinion as to what the HEA should be.
Another quiet reading month, with the highlight being Patricia Briggs’ “Cry Wolf” (urban fantasy). I liked it so much that I was moved to declare if I could only ever read one author for the rest of my life, it would be Patricia Briggs. Not that I actually want to be in a situation where I had to read only one author, mind you. But still. I loved revisiting Ms Briggs’ Mercy universe from a different angle.
I won a copy of Julia Spencer-Fleming’s “I Shall Not Want” (romantic suspense, Book 6 in the Russ/Clare series) at Keishon’s earlier in the year, and finally got around to reading and reviewing it. I really liked the small-town feel and how Clare’s faith was blended seamlessly into the book, definitely a new series for me to follow.
Other books I read and liked during August were Neil Gaiman’s “Stardust” (fantasy, reviewed for the TBR challenge here) and Linda Howard’s “Death Angel” (romantic suspense). “Death Angel” got mixed reviews in blogland and I can get why, but Ms Howard made the rather unsympathetic main characters and the whole second chance at life scenario (which would normally make me roll my eyes and close the book) work for me.
Oh, and I was thrilled to find a 1958 paperback in pristine condition at a secondhand bookstore, it even had a promotional postcard in it and everything. Don’t laugh. Anyway, while I didn’t love the story that much (Josephine Tey’s “One Shilling for Candles”, mystery), I intend to read a few more books from Ms Tey’s backlist.
Speaking of quiet reading months, I only managed to finish five books in September (though I more than made up for this in October). That is shockingly low for me, but on the bright side, I did enjoy the books I read.
Jayne Castle’s “Dark Light” (futuristic romance) was a solid fluffy romance (and no, that’s not an oxymoron). If you read a Jayne Castle, you always know what you’re going to get, and that makes for a great comfort read. I also read Nalini Singh’s “Hostage to Pleasure” (paranormal romance, Book 5 of the Psy/Changeling series) and Ann Aguirre’s “Wanderlust” (SF romance, book 2 of the Jax series), both again worth the time.
And I read Cassandra Clare’s “City of Bones” and “City of Ashes” (YA urban fantasy, Books 1 and 2 of the Mortal Instruments trilogy). I was a bit on the fence after reading CoB, but bought CoA when I had to grab something in five minutes (hey, you know you need reading material). And I was very glad I did because I totally loved CoA and did a bit of a squee here.