November Reading – Continued…

November hasn’t been a fantastic reading month for me.  More because I’ve been distracted with so many other things, which means I’ve not really been able to sit down and finish a book in a single sitting.

21412186I’ve just finished Catherine Asaro‘s UNDERCITY, which is technically a December release, but Baen releases the ebook edition on its own website a couple of weeks early.  UNDERCITY is a spin-off of her main Skolian Empire series – same universe, different characters, and set fairly early in the overall series timeline, I think.  The first part of the book is actually a novella (“The City of Cries”) written back in 2005.  I didn’t realise that until a good way in, and I’m not entirely sure using the novella as part of this book was a good decision as I thought its age showed.  Hard for me to pinpoint exactly why – perhaps it was that the world-building felt somewhat old-fashioned?  It’s funny how some stories date so quickly, while others don’t.

The story picked up once we moved to the more recently-written section of the book, and I was impressed by how she spun out additional story threads from the original novella.  Overall though, I have to say this was not a particularly exciting nor innovative SF novel – a decent mystery/adventure, yes, but it’s a story I’ve read before.  It made me realise that my fondness for her books is very much because of the emotional investment I have in the original Skolian Imperialate characters (I gave the most recent “proper” Ruby Empire book 5 stars on Goodreads…), which I’ve been reading since way before I started blogging.

Oh, and random fact: the first ebook I ever read was Catherine Asaro’s THE RUBY DICE on my now-retired Sony Reader.

20893315I also finished Tanya Huff‘s THE FUTURE FALLS.  Well, to be honest, I finished it a while back, but hadn’t quite figured out how to talk about it.  Partly because it’s one of her Gale Girls books, which is her kind-of-incestuous-if-you-squint-at-it fantasy series, what with family and magic and interfering aunties pairing up cousins left, right, and centre.  But also because… that ending.

Right, I did like TFF – okay, I really liked it – but I suspect a lot of it was because I read it with my romance hat on and therefore totally wallowed in Charlie and Jack’s star-crossed lovers situation all the way through.  I didn’t completely get Charlie in the previous book, but was surprised with how much I bonded with her in this one.  I loved the older woman-younger man dynamic as well (and Jack in his Dragon Prince guise was just plain adorable).  But the ending – I had to read the final chapters several times because I had no idea what happened the first time round (was that just me?). However, the fact I took the trouble to re-read the ending should tell you how much I enjoyed the story.  Because I really wanted to get it.  And I did figure it out eventually…  Now you see why I haven’t written about it before, right?

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4 thoughts on “November Reading – Continued…

  1. On Undercity. They should have separated the novella from the second half, it really didn’t flow together well. I was pleasantly surprised by the book. It certainly wasn’t innovative and it wont be remembered but it reminded me of some of the thrillers I used to read; comfortable and quick to read.

    • It was definitely one of those easy familiar-ish reads. Yes, interesting decision to include the original novella – not sure why, possibly because it meant 1/3 or so of the book was written already?

  2. I recently read Undercity also. I used to read the Skolian books, but haven’t for awhile so I kept trying to figure out where this one fell in the chronology! I have The Future Falls from the library and need to read it before it’s due back.

    • I hope you get to read THE FUTURE FALLS before you’ve to return it! I think Tanya Huff writes stories which are slightly different to the “standard” ones out there – or certainly her more recent books have been.

      The allusions to Roca’s(?) fairly recent broken engagement to Dayj helped me to place UNDERCITY, but yeah, I was slightly distracted trying to figure that one out too.

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