It’s barely March and I’ve flown through the backlists of three authors so far this year. That has to be some kind of a record. I will caveat this by saying most of the books have been in Kindle Unlimited, which helps!
The first author is probably no surprise if you’ve read my previous post. I started Rachel Neumeier’s BLACK DOG on an outward-bound flight, and by the time I flew back from holiday, I’d read all three novels in the series, plus the two short story collections. I’ve had the first book on my Kindle for ages (I suspect I picked it up when it was free at some point), and for some reason, it’s never really appealed – it’s a rather unevocative title, perhaps? But once I opened the book, Natividad’s story grabbed me and I was hooked. This is Neumeier doing urban fantasy, so it’s not your standard UF – I loved it. Yes, there are werewolves and action, but it’s full of feels and relationships, and of course, great worldbuilding.
And having read all Neumeier’s KU books, I’ve tracked down the rest of her backlist in print, mostly because the (traditionally published) e-versions are being listed at silly prices, and umm… the covers are beautiful. I’m easily swayed like that. I’m now the proud owner of four Neumeier hardcover/trade paperbacks, which is probably the most print books I’ve bought for a while. Totally worth it, I have to say.
Having finished with Rachel Neumeier’s backlist, I then picked up Mary Burchell’s MASQUERADE WITH MUSIC, partly because Jayne @ Dear Author had been singing Burchell’s praises for a while and also because it was free. It turned out to be the twelfth book in what is rather grandly titled “The Warrender Saga”, but is really a loosely-connected series with the main characters from the first book making appearances (sometimes cameos, sometimes more) in the following books.
Needless to say, I inhaled the whole series (and yes, all in KU) – there was something about the old-fashioned charm and romance in these books, combined with the author’s very evident love and knowledge of music, which was just what I needed. Reading all thirteen books in one go makes Burchell’s favoured plots quite obvious – there is liberal use of the Big Misunderstanding (which I quite like), as well as ones where the heroine deliberately conceals the truth and it all comes unravelled at some point (this, I like much less). The books were written over the 1960s, 70s and 80s, and so are period-contemporary in nature; I love discovering books like these as I feel they give more of an unfiltered perspective on the era as opposed to being written through a modern perspective – does that make sense?
And finally, my latest explorations have been within Jonathan P Brazee’s military SF backlist. He caught my eye when one of his stories was nominated for the Nebula awards, and I noticed most of his MilSF books were in KU. It’s going to sound like damning with faint praise (and maybe it is!), but they’re fast-paced and undemanding reading, and the kind of books I need right now.