I’m Still Here, Really…

Even though it’s almost been three weeks since I last posted. 

I’ve been away on work-related matters for the past week or so, and although I was planning on sticking up a “Gone Away” post, I was my usual disorganised last-minute self and ended up running out of time. 

Anyway, am back, slightly jetlagged, and to my joy, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller’s “Mouse & Dragon” is available online at Webscriptions.  I sneaked a peek because Baen does release e-versions early (it’s hitting the shelves June 1), and yay!  I believe M&D is the direct sequel to “Scout’s Progress”, one of the earlier books in their Liaden universe.

I didn’t actually read that much while travelling.  Actually, I ended up not bringing my e-reader with me. 

I know.

I debated this for quite a while, because I have so many ebooks I am yet to read (seriously, we’re talking a lot), and hey, isn’t one of the key selling points of an ereader is that it’s easy to carry around?

But I finally ended up setting it to one side, because I knew I wouldn’t have that much time to read, hence there being no point in bringing a wide selection of books.  And I was lugging so much work stuff in my carry-on that I really didn’t want to chuck a not-so-sturdy ereader in the mix.

So I decided it was an excellent opportunity to tackle my physical TBR pile and selected the following:

  • Robin McKinley’s “Sunshine” (urban fantasy): I have been meaning to read this forever.  Seriously.  I mean, everyone seems to love it.  And Angie did a recent post on its various covers, so it was in the forefront of my mind.
  • Susanna Kearsley’s “The Shadowy Horses” (romance): I picked this up a while back, err actually seven months back, looking at the date of that post, and have never quite felt in the right mood for it.  But I figured this would cover any romance cravings I had.
  • George Mann’s “The Osiris Ritual” (steampunk fantasy/mystery): Added to my TBR piles at the same time as the Kearsley, and yes, again it was never quite the right time.  So I added this to my travelling pile to deliver a mystery fix if I wanted one.

And I was really rather pleased with my selections because I had pretty much all bases covered and three books I’ve been meaning to finish for a while.  Yes, I probably put more thought into this than the rest of my packing.

Well, best-laid plans and all that… guess how many of the above I read? Three-quarters of one.  Wait, I can explain!

The day before I left, I had one of my library requests come in – Richelle Mead’s “Succubus Shadows”, the latest in her Georgina Kincaid series.  Now, I’m trying to make more use of my local library.  And Mead is one of those authors whose books I do like, but not love.  So I thought it would be a good library candidate and added my name to the reservations list, not expecting it to come in so soon, but arrive it did and I collected it the morning before I left.

And guess what?  Obviously I started flipping through it on the way home from the library, obviously I decided that since I had started, I needed to finish it, and obviously it ended up being the one book I did finish on the trip.  So much for tackling my TBR pile.

The three-quarters book is “Sunshine”, and I am determined to get through the rest of it this weekend.  I am liking it, but – and maybe it’s because I’ve been reading it at spare intervals throughout the week – I’m not that deeply invested in the characters.  It is very good writing, like the other McKinley stories I’ve read, but I’m missing that magic spark that makes me flip pages frantically until I hit “The End”.

And I may be distracted by that “Mouse & Dragon”.

16 thoughts on “I’m Still Here, Really…

  1. I keep meaning to go back and read Sunshine again. I read it and wasn’t at all impressed. I usually love Robin McKinley but that one was a miss for me. Now, Mouse and Dragon was a book I loved. I have already read it twice and plan to read it again when my hardcover arrives. Happy reading!

  2. I too was delighted to discover Mouse and Dragon on the webscriptions site yesterday and bought it on the spot. My hardcover will go on the shelf once it reaches these shores.

    I’m currently reading Fledgling and picked up my hardcover of Saltation today (I wanted to wait and read both together).

    I now have to decide if I will dive straight into Mouse and Dragon or start that reread of the entire series I’ve been planning for a few years.

    I have just finished Sunshine for the first time and really loved it. I found I had to read it quite slowly to follow the sentence structure, but that didn’t chance how much I enjoyed it.

    The Shadowy Horses is on my “when I find the time” mental list and I brought The Affinity Bridge home from the library today. So I really had to comment on your post, as it felt very much like I needed to jump up and shout “SNAP!”

  3. Kathy – I’m about halfway through and have just realised where M&D fits into the Liaden storyline. And oh, it sounds stupid, but I’m not sure I want to know how it all goes down. Damn. I am encouraged by the fact you have re-read it already though!

    Angie – I’m impressed by how versatile a writer Robin McKinley is, and I want to love Sunshine, but I’m not quite there. It is very possibly the stop-start nature of my reading, I’m thinking it’s not the sort of book you can dip in and out.

    Kerry – Snap indeed! I’ve been catching up on posts and have just read your Liaden series ordering post – will add my two cents in a bit 🙂 But it is slightly eerie how similar our reading mindsets are at the moment!

  4. Wooohooo, you’re back! Yay! Glad to hear from you, seriously, Li 😀 So where did you go?

    LOL, as long as you covered, that’s the important thing 😀

    Hey, did you ever finish Shadalor’s Lady?

  5. Nath – LOL, you’re good for my ego 😉 I am embarrassed to admit I am still about a third of the way through Shalador’s Lady. Arrghhh.

    I can’t seem to get into it properly, but that is probably less the fault of the book than the fact I have been rather distracted with other things. It is at the top of my To Finish pile – err… together with Sunshine 🙂

  6. Thanks for pointing out that the final version of Mouse&Dragon is already available.

    I’m not sure if it’s a follow-up to Scout’s Progress, I think it’s one of the strands that was still missing (much like Fledgling and Saltation were).

  7. LOL, take your time 😀 I was just wondering! i hope you enjoy it, because I know you were a bit disappointed with the first book… I thought the 2nd one was better 😀

  8. Estara – I’ve to go and check, because I’m bad with titles. I think Scout’s Progress is Daav/Aelliana’s story, isn’t it? M&D picks up immediately after the ending of that one, and I peeked at the last chapter of M&D (I know, bad) and I agree it fills in the blanks for their story, i.e. how Daav ends up where he does in the beginning of Fledgling.

    Nath – Yes, maybe that’s partly why I’m dragging my heels on Shalador’s Lady? But I am taking heart from you and the other reviews I’ve read, as the general gist is that the sequel is better.

  9. I’m now reading Scout’s Progress again and you’re right in that it’s the first part of Daav’s story with Aelliana, so I must have misremembered it wrong. Fledgling and Saltation are still connected to this storyline via Daav and Theo, but I’m not longer sure where they slot in. I guess I do have to do a major reread of all Liaden books this summer at the latest.

  10. Estara – I’ve managed to misplace my copy of Scout’s Progress myself, darn it. In hindsight, I should have re-read that before diving into Mouse & Dragon…

    • As much I want to dive straight into Mouse and Dragon, that’s my plan. I’m going to reread Scout’s Progress (and maybe Local Custom as well) first and make it all part of my “great Liaden reread” project that hasn’t acutally started yet.

      • Kerry – I was too impatient to do that, but I really think that would have made reading Saltation (and M&D) a better experience! And I love the reading order you put up at your blog, I think that’s a good one.

  11. Just happen upon your blog and I’m so glad I did. I love The Laiden Universe but haven’t had time for leisure reading because of grad school. Now that I know there are new stories about The Clan, I have something to look forward to reading for me over the Christmas break. Hope your trip was relaxing or productive.

    • Yay, another Liaden fan! The recent books have been great at filling in the gaps, and the next one, Ghost Ships (I think), is out next year and continues the story – am looking forward to it.

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