Mostly Urban Fantasy

Here’s the rest of what I read last September, including the last book in Richelle Mead’s Succubus series.  Yes, an UF series finally wraps up.  As usual, reviews originally on Goodreads, with additional comments in italics.

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The Affair (Jack Reacher, #16)The Affair by Lee Child (suspense)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A page-turner that kept me engrossed, which is exactly what I expect every time I open a Jack Reacher book. THE AFFAIR was set very early on in Reacher’s career – it was rather interesting to see Reacher when he was in the army (well, just about). Also, like the more recent books, another small-town setting – I think I prefer it when he does big cities, but that’s probably my city girl side coming out! One thing that did bother me slightly about this book was what struck me as lawlessness – everyone (including Reacher himself) seemed to run around killing without facing any consequences.

Lee Child is one of those authors who don’t necessarily write in chronological order series-wise (others include Lois McMaster Bujold, Catherine Asaro, and Elizabeth Peters).  I’ve mixed feelings about this – while I enjoy having a look at earlier events that played a part in shaping the main characters, another part of me  just wants to know what happens next.  

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Spell Bound (Women of the Otherworld, #12)Spell Bound by Kelley Armstrong (urban fantasy)

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have to admit I wasn’t wowed by this installment, even as a long-time Otherworld (and Savannah) fan. I get the feeling we’re heading towards a big-bang climax to the series (with the final book out in 2012), and this had the “middle-book-trilogy” feel to it for me. None of the plot threads were really resolved in this book, though action-wise, my heart was speeding up towards the end.

I found it hard to empathise with Savannah – I’m not sure why, it certainly wasn’t that she was “immature”, as was constantly emphasised in the book. I have to say I didn’t really view her as being that, just more of someone who has strong powers and relies on them, as you would expect! I did like seeing more of the Cabals – I find them a fascinating construct – and also Savannah’s “other” family in this book.

So not a keeper, but I have to say I’m looking forward to seeing how Kelley Armstrong wraps up this series with the next and final book, Thirteen, because I have a feeling she was setting things up for this.

Speaking of UF series wrapping up… this wasn’t my favourite of the series, but I hope Kelley Armstrong pulls something special out of the bag for THIRTEEN (or 13 – I’m not entirely sure what the official title is!).

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Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1)Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (YA urban fantasy)

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked up BLOODLINES with some trepidation, after Cassandra Clare’s revisit to her original trilogy where she basically undid the conclusion to her previous books.

But (surprisingly?) BLOODLINES was an enjoyable return to an already-familiar world – perhaps because the main characters in the original Vampire Academy trilogy weren’t a looming presence, we got to get to know the new protagonists without constantly making unfair comparisons to Rose, Lissa, Dmitri, et al.

By the end of this book, I could see Sydney beginning to unbend, and I would look up the next book, The Golden Lily, when it releases. Not a must-read, but a decent one.

Only one thing… no more love triangles please?

Spin-offs from established series appear to be getting increasingly popular – I thought Richelle Mead delivered a good story in this one.  Admittedly, I wasn’t massively into the original VA series, so I didn’t miss Rose and the original gang – others may feel differently.

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Succubus Revealed (Georgina Kincaid, #6)Succubus Revealed by Richelle Mead (urban fantasy)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It is sometimes just so satisfying to read a final book in a series, especially when it is a perfect wrap-up.

I loved how Richelle Mead managed to resolve the insurmountable hurdles keeping Georgina and Seth apart, and though there were parts which were somewhat predictable and corny, this book was a good one. Great plotting – I really liked how seemingly unrelated events and characters in other books ended up playing an important part in this book. I admit to some tears being shed towards the end, and can I just say the final courtroom scene rocked.

I remember reading the first book back in 2007 and really liking the world Richelle Mead created (gosh, that was a bit of a rambling review).  It’s been a good series. 

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One Salt Sea (October Daye, #5)One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire (urban fantasy)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The best way to start a month is to read an October Daye book, IMO. I really liked this one – sleep deprivation was a fair price to pay on my part. Maybe a tad bit too much info-dumping in the story, but really, I savoured every word on each page and every bit of the world-building. I LOVE this series and this was a hugely satisfying instalment as we get to spend more time with Toby and her people (Quentin! Raj!) and more is revealed about Toby’s world. Yeah, sorry, nothing concrete to say – just some giddy fangirl gushing.

Speaking of good series, this is a fantastic one.  Admittedly, the early books were a bit patchy in places, but I think Seanan McGuire has hit her stride – this is probably my favourite UF series at the moment.

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12 thoughts on “Mostly Urban Fantasy

  1. LOL, I guess you could rename September as your UF month 🙂

    I think the official title is 13, but there was some issues in the US, so it was changed to Thirteen. And that’s exactly why I decided to wait for the three books to be all out to read the conclusion of this series. Sounds like it was a good decision on my part 🙂 I hope you really enjoyed 13!

    I think spin-off is also easier for authors than to invent/create new world from scratch. Plus, you already have a good following.

    I still have not read the Georgina series ^_^; But I know Ames and Monroe loved the conclusion. It is great to see an UF series ending well 🙂 I think one of the reasons UF series seem never-ending is basically because you follow the same characters. So it’s not like a PNR series where you introduced X number of characters and you know they will all have their books. Also, you know the main character in the UF will somehow develop to become something much bigger… and that usually takes a couple of books alone! LOL.Then there’s the schedule – a book a year is definitively not fast enough. But I think there’ll be a few coming to an end… and I don’t know, it’s like an era is over 😦

    • I think you were right to wait for all three books in the Armstrong series. Hopefully 13 (Thirteen!) will be a good ending.

      I agree on the spin-off front – I think it’s much easier to sell the idea especially if you already have a strong readership, as you say.

      And if you’re after a complete UF series, I’d totally rec the Georgina books. A bit uneven in spots, but generally a strong series, IIRC.

      I’ve just read the latest Sookie Stackhouse, and that is one series that really needs wrapping up. There are some series with the same main characters I don’t mind following – though more on the mystery/SF side (yes, it would be Amelia Peabody and Miles Vorkosigan…).

  2. I keep meaning to read more urban fantasy novels since I love the Kate Daniels series but I haven’t had the chance to do that lately. Next on my list is probably Nighshifted or the first Toby Daye book (I’ve heard such good things about that series).

    • I am such a Toby fangirl! I hope you do get around to reading that series. I’ve not read NIGHTSHIFTED though I am curious (and really like the concept).

  3. Did you read any other Kelly Armstrong? I’ve read the Gathering which I thought was alright. But, I really like the Darkest Powers trilogy! I stayed up all night and read all three books in one go — it had me hooked all the way through!

    • Hey Sharry – long time no “see”! I admit I prefer her “adult” UF books to her YA series, though primarily because I hated the cliffhangers in the trilogy. I read them as and when they were released, so may have had a different view if I had read them in one go.

      • Yes, it’s been a while (sadly, I didn’t even realize how much time has passed since I last signed in to my blog)!! I’ve been feeling really detached from everyone! I’m still testing out Kelley Armstrong. There are some of her books where I found the protagonist got on my nerves, but others where I immediately felt comfortable sinking into the first three books of the darkest powers. I think because I just like Chloe and Derek’s relationship! Maybe I should try her adult books..

      • I can identify with the unplanned blog hiatuses 😉

        Kelley Armstrong alternates between main POV characters in her adult books – it doesn’t bother me too much, but I suppose it depends on whether you like the protagonist or not! The Women of the Otherworld is a pretty long series, but worth reading IMO.

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