Erin’s 2013 reading list

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  • #210324
    ErinMH
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    This one, I read (or rather, listened to) out of order. Because it’s not the sort of thing I could listen to with kids around, it took me a while to finish. As enjoyable as others in the series.

    Sadly, the local library system only has books 1-4 in this series, and I can’t afford to pick up the rest right now, so it’ll be a while longer before I catch up on Kate Daniels and Curran.

    #210325
    ErinMH
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    And having just said I couldn’t pick up the rest in the series, I nonetheless bought two novellas in the series (for which price I could’ve bought the next book) and stayed up until midnight reading one! I blame it on the lack of chapters — scene breaks don’t make as satisfying places to put a book down.

    #210326
    ErinMH
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    And second novella complete. Tomorrow, on to a different author for a break, I guess, much as I am loving the Kate Daniels world.

    #210327
    ErinMH
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    Volume 1: In the Dark collects issues 1-6.

    Volume 2: The Books of Magic collects issues 7-13, plus Annual #1.

    Feels like these had some cross-overs with other books because there were gaps and jumps, most especially in volume 1. When the New 52 launched, this wasn’t a title that interested me, which is kind of amusing since I’ve always liked Deadman, Zatanna, and John Constantine — and more years ago than I want to remember, I used to read the House of Mystery comics. Yeah, the House shows up, too. Anyway, not a light-hearted romp, but quite enjoyable. Might keep my eyes open for more.

    #210328
    ErinMH
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    The mystery deepens, the plot thickens, and I’m still intrigued by the world. Can’t wait to see what’s up nex with Emily, Navin, Trellis, and the rest.

    #210329
    ErinMH
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    Started this series based on a semi-recollection of Mar that it might use an idea I was thinking about. So far the series doesn’t, and it doesn’t appear that it’s set up to do so, but it’s an interesting series that I’ll continue nonetheless.

    #210330
    ErinMH
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    Read this to my daughter. We have all three Nancy Clancy chapter books from the library; we’ll start the second tomorrow. Probably encourage CG to read this in a year or two on her own, which may be a stepping stone to Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew.

    #210331
    ErinMH
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    Second in the series. There’s a pattern to the books — prologue, to set up the action; Arthur getting into trouble on Earth and heading to the House to try to stop the problems; the most uncomfortable moment for me in the book as he wanders blindly into a region where he knows no one and has no idea how to cope; and then a series of misadventures, meeting people to help and be helped by, culminating in a showdown with the Trustee of the day; and finally, returning home to learn what’s improved there — and get a hint of the disquiet to come on the next day.

    Yes, I’ll be finishing up the series, though the reading will be slower during the week.

    #210332
    ErinMH
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    This book is an engaging blend of fantasy, steampunk, and mystery, with a touch of legal thriller thrown in. From the beginning, the book has the reader asking questions — what happened to the god; why was Tara thrown out of the mages’ college; and if she deserved to be thrown out, why was she given a job offer from a prestigious firm? As new characters and factions are introduced, the questions multiply — why are the gargoyles (Stone Men) back in the city they’ve been barred from, do the blacksuits have individual initiative, and what happened to Kos’s missing essence? Mystery and depth pile upon each other to drive this story to a satisfying conclusion.

    Along the way, hints of the deeper world and backstory are introduced, from the Deathless Kings (whom we only see one of) to the creation of vampires and those addicted to their bite. It is a rich world with complex characters, and I look forward to reading the next book by Gladstone, TWO SERPENTS RISE.

    The only complaints I really have with this book are some of the word uses — “miniscule” used incorrectly rather than the proper “minuscule” is a peeve of mine, but far worse in my opinion was the use of the word “vivisectionist” to refer to someone dissecting a cadaver, when vivisection refers to cutting something that is alive. That threw me completely out of the book, and I do hope there are not more sloppy usages of this sort in Gladstone’s other books.

    Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from a Goodreads giveaway.

    #210333
    ErinMH
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    This book was okay. I liked the characters, and the setting was well done. The problem I had was the story didn’t have a lot of meat to it. The intrigue introduced early in the book didn’t go anywhere — left hanging for book three, I presume — and I was disappointed in the lack of action. Then, I couldn’t figure out what Daisy’s goal was supposed to be until almost the climax because she spent at least as much time wondering which of the hot guys around town she should go for as she did actually working at doing something. She spent most of the book reactive.

    I don’t think I’ll bother looking for the other books in the series. I prefer more structure and plot, and less of the nebulous “a bunch of things happened at roughly the same time.”

    #210334
    ErinMH
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    This was one of my favorite books of the year.

    The gods are awake. They can be killed. A bunch of them have embassies in Washington, DC. And Kyra Locke suddenly discovers that her family is far more involved with them than she’d ever imagined.

    #210335
    ErinMH
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    First in the series. I remember being skeptical of this book because descriptions of it didn’t conform to my notions of Celtic mythology. I do like the way Hearne dealt with that, by saying, “Hey, guess what, they got that wrong.” This is a fun, quick read with not a lot of substance to it — super-powerful ancient druid with goddess allies and gods out to kill him, werewolves and witches and vampires all in his daily life, and mega-magic weapons and armor. There’s blood and violence and sex and double-crossing, but not a lot that makes me feel Atticus really changes during the course of the book.

    None of which means I won’t read others in the series. Sometimes, a fun romp is just what I’m looking for.

    #210336
    ErinMH
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    Who doesn’t love a good ghost story at Christmas, especially when you manage to reference A Christmas Carol as well? Highly recommended.

    #210337
    ErinMH
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    Marfisk’s Regency romance. :) As I told her the other day, I actually haven’t read Regencies aside from Georgette Heyer’s — except for Mar’s and Elizabeth Boyce’s, both writers whose acquaintance I made here on FM. The voice is perfect, and the romance fun.

    #210338
    ErinMH
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    Received a free audio copy of the book for a review on my blog (which I need to write and post yet, and will copy in below when it’s done).

    Review:

    The Winds of Gath was originally released in 1967, the first in the Dumarest of Terra series. It has many of the hallmarks of classic space opera — worlds ruled by a single monarchy, simple (albeit pricey) travel between the stars, creatures that can be used to assassinate others, shadowy organizations, and a super-competent hero as comfortable with solving a mystery as with fighting for his life.

    One thing that did strike me as odd when compared to more recent fiction was the early lack of an over-arching goal for Dumarest: When the book begins, he is presented as simply a Traveler, one who takes passage between worlds to random destinations, merely to see new places and get new experiences. He inadvertently winds up on Gath, a world where it’s hard for Travelers to earn enough to get themselves off-world again, and so he develops an immediate goal. Once he has the means to do so, however, he stays on Gath for no reason that is spelled out — for the experience of the wind storm that can affect people’s minds? That’s the best guess I had. It’s not until we near the end of the book that we discover he does have an over-arching goal, to get back to Earth, a world most people don’t even know exists.

    Both the world of Gath and the larger environment humans live in — complete with dangers, mores, and customs — are well constructed. Tubb does a good job at drawing in the lines of politics, both within a world and across worlds, and most of the characters aside from Dumarest himself seem to have clear motivations.

    Although this book can be read on its own, but I will be seeking out the other books in the series to see how Dumarest proceeds from this point, whether the politics and conspiracies shown in this book play a deeper role, and discover whether Dumarest does indeed manage to get back to Earth.

    Disclosure: I received a free audio copy of this book in return for an honest review

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