And the final four months of 2010…
But they were good ‘uns – I read Seanan McGuire‘s third Toby Daye book, “An Artificial Night” (oh, I have some crazy love for this series), and also really liked Jo Beverley‘s latest Georgian historical, “The Secret Duke”. I read very few historical romances nowadays, but Jo Beverley remains on my autobuy list because she brings her historical settings to life (and she writes in the Georgian period – I am a total sucker for men adorning themselves in lace and jewellery).
And I discovered Manna Francis‘s Administration series – a (free) online science fictional m/m series that I glommed over the month. Some really excellent writing set in a dystopian universe, with two main characters (one rather damaged to start with) growing over the series arc, and eventually giving you a HEA you can believe in. I know it doesn’t sound like the cheeriest of stories, and it’s not – it’s dark and violent and grim (I’m really selling this, aren’t I?) – but trust me, incredibly satisfying when you reach the end.
I read eight books during October – the highlight being the long-awaited new Miles Vorkosigan book, Lois McMaster Bujold‘s “Cryoburn”. You know how I said I could not wait for Elizabeth Peters‘ new Amelia Peabody? This was exactly the same, but even more so – seriously. And “Cryoburn” didn’t disappoint. It was perfectly-written on so many levels – it could be read as a straight Miles adventure/mystery (and Miles was very definitely at his “forward momentum” best in this one) , and then you hit the last pages and realisation comes crashing down on you, and you think “oh”. And start re-reading all over again.
I also liked Sharon Shinn‘s latest fantasy, “Troubled Waters”, and Ilona Andrews‘ new paranormal romance “Bayou Moon” – the latter met with almost universal praise throughout the blogosphere, while the former had more mixed reactions, IIRC.
I glommed new-to-me YA author Jaclyn Moriarty‘s fantastic epistolary-style novels following a group of teenagers attending both private and public high schools in Australia – they were completely addictive reading, cheeky and irreverent, yet completely compelling and poignant at times. I followed that up by reading four of Diana Wynne Jones‘ equally-addictive Chrestomanci YA fantasy novels – just so fun and inventive and plain good story-telling. And then to mix things up, I read all three of Erin McCarthy‘s stock-car racing contemporary romances – which were steamy, funny, and yes, addictive.
Yes, I do glomming in a big way – why do you ask?
Other books I enjoyed this month – Nalini Singh‘s “Play of Passion”, her latest Psy/Changeling paranormal romance, which I thought breathed fresh air into this long-running series (and just in time for the big Hawke/Sienna book next year), new-to-me m/m romance author Indigo Wren‘s “The Trap”, based on the Dear Author review which promised melodrama and angst in spades (it delivered), and Sharon Lee‘s contemporary fantasy “Carousel Tides”, which is one of the books that has done that weird trick of “the more I think about it, the more I realise how much I liked it”.
I wrapped up the year with 20 books (yep, more holidays) . However, not many books stood out for me – the biggest surprise was that I ended up reading a number of Joan Wolf‘s Regency romances. I used to love her historicals and stocked up on her backlist when they were re-released as ebooks at Fictionwise – they’ve sat unread until now, when for some strange reason, I just felt like dark brooding heroes, horse-mad heroines, and sweet romances.
And finally, new-to-me authors this month included Elizabeth C Bunce‘s “Starcrossed” (YA fantasy), Kalayna Price‘s “Grave Witch” (urban fantasy), Marie Sexton‘s “Strawberries for Dessert” (m/m romance) – I didn’t fall in love with any of these books, but I would definitely read more by these authors.
And that’s it! Next up will be the lists and statistics post, and maybe one about 2011 resolutions…
Previous 2010 wrap-up posts