Okay, the concept reminds me of Tanya Huff’s Summon the Keeper, which I haven’t read yet but which is held in high esteem by some of my friends. But Ilona Andrews’ writing is just darn fun. Dina is funny and takes no crap, the whole concept of the inns and the responsibilities of the inn keepers is good, and while Sean Evans is kind of an ass, he’s the kind of ass that can grow on you — like Curran, from the Kate Daniels books. I actually read this in one sitting, despite rather wanting to go to bed before I started, and when done, I handed it straight to my sister.
And come on, if nothing else grabs you, the unique “vampires” from actual outer space are a really cool concept. Between this and the magic/technology mixture in the Kate Daniels books, you’d better believe that the Andrews team can come up with some great settings and interesting worlds.
Guess I’m going to have to get my hands on Sweep in Peace, though I sort of hope that neither potential love interest turns out to be the one. Shoo, Sean. Go pee on someone else’s trees.
Oh thank goodness. I sort of knew it, because I read the extras with Curran’s POV, but Magic Bleeds is the point where Curran and Kate start communicating properly and fully, and they eventually stop running away from the issues between them. The scenes with them are great; there is indeed a sex scene or two, but you can skip it if that’s not what you’re reading the books for — there’s still an epic amount of fight scenes and showdowns. And witty one-liners and snarky banter.
I’ve never been too inclined to take this series too seriously, so it’s amazing that it does actually pull me in and make me need to know what happens. And at least, unlike the Mercy Thompson books, it’s not like everyone is in love with Kate. And the dynamics of Curran’s pack make more sense than Adam’s pack; while some oppose Kate, she also has allies, and there’s a more robust sense of politics within the Pack. I initially thought of it as lighter than the Mercy Thompson books, less serious, and while it is, and the steaminess is definitely higher, it seems to deal with things better. Like, people around Kate actually manage to respect what she’s capable of, for instance. As a consequence, I’m more invested in this whole group of characters.
Things this book did need more of: Derek. And possibly less of Saiman, because though I kind of want to know what’s up with him and why he’s been in all the books so far, he’s a creepy asshole.
Anyway, we’re getting more and more of Kate’s background, and it’s intriguing. It’s building to an epic climax, and I’m definitely invested in it enough that I might have to beg or borrow the next book right away.
And hopefully we get lots more of Grendel, because that dog is hilarious, and I love her justification for his final name.
I only meant to pick up the second Patricia Briggs book when I was at the library, but then I spotted this and Magic Bleeds, and I couldn’t resist it. It’s exactly what I’m in the mood for right now: snarky, full of action and a will-they-won’t-they romance. Curran and Kate are rather more powerful in that regard than either of Mercy’s paramours; I think I’ll read Magic Bleeds next, since I’m obviously in the mood for this world.
Again, it’s not deathless prose, the most subtle thing ever, etc, etc. However, I do like the worldbuilding, the slow reveal of Kate’s heritage, the various tangles of loyalties and friendships between the characters, and yeah, the snappy dialogue. If this one doesn’t make you laugh, then you must be in a state. (Or it isn’t your thing, and that’s fine. For me, though, it’s funny because it’s a give and take. No one gets humiliated, no one backs down.)
The action was particularly good in this one, with the arena fights. The mythological stuff in the background is interesting, too, and characters I didn’t expect to be developed were given a bit more time, a bit more colour.
It’s my birthday! Or, actually, it’s now two days after my birthday. I got some new bookish shirts (“high shelf esteem” being one of them; “I like to party and by party I mean read books” being another! They’re from LookHuman.com like the shirts I reviewed here) and a few new books. Hurrah.
And there was a library trip, of course.
I’m a little worried I’m going to blend the plots of the Mercy Thompson and Kate Daniels books if I read them at the same time… still, the library in Cardiff doesn’t have them, and the library at my parents’ does, so!
I was supposed to get Hawkeye for Christmas. Seriously! And now I finally have it and… I haven’t read volume three and my copy of volume three is not here. Gaaah.
What have you recently finished reading? On My Way to Jorvik, by John Sunderland, which is an autobiography by one of the people involved in creating the Jorvik museum, talking about how he got there considering he actually had no experience with museums at all. It’s okay, but it gets more interesting once he actually gets onto Jorvik — I was less interested in his personal life. And there was also Radio Free Albemuth, which I’ve already posted my review of.
What are you currently reading? We Are Here, by Michael Marshall Smith. Which I got spoilered for a bit, but spoilers don’t tend to bother me, and I was already figuring it out anyway. I love the way this guy writes, and have really enjoyed everything of his I’ve read, but this one is kinda slow — well written, but slow. It’s driving me a little batty because I really want to love it, and there’s so much to like, but… not enough happening. Or not enough happening that makes sense, anyway.
I’m also still reading Manon Lescaut, and next week in Fiction of Relationships is (I think) Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, which I love and adore. So I’m partway through a reread of that.
What will you read next? For once, I’m pretty sure — my books from the library ’round here, since soon I’m going back to where I normally live. So Timescape (Gregory Benford), Book of Skulls (Robert Silverberg) and, if there’s time, Magic Strikes (Ilona Andrews). If not, I know I can get that one from the local library.
I continue to really like this series. Sure, the writing isn’t sparkling deathless prose, but it’s functional and brings across the voice of the narrator — very no-nonsense, down to earth, tough-talking woman. What continues to intrigue and please me is the characterisation of Kate: stubborn, pig-headed, yes, but also willing to admit when she’s wrong, picking her battles, not afraid to admit when she needs help… Not afraid, even, to admit that she’s vulnerable, alone, that she’s not entirely happy to be without a partner. At the same time, she isn’t overly sentimental about it — though nor is she rushing into the bed of every guy who smiles at her.
Overall, it’s a good balance, to my mind. There’s also interesting world building — the circumstances of the magic waves in Atlanta, the history behind Kate that we don’t really get to know yet, the words of power, the different groups of supernaturals… And it’s pretty well paced: there were a couple of points where it seemed to stick a bit, but I pretty much read it in one go.
I keep coming to this expecting total bubblegum, but I come away happier than I expected because they dodge so many of my pet peeves and annoyances.
Good morning, folks. Once again I have acquired more books than anyone rightfully should, and can’t help but feel rather smug about that. But in the interests of stacking your shelves, let me just direct your attention to my giveaway post for Strange Chemistry/Exhibit A books here. Please link it to anyone you think will be interested: the authors concerned need our help right now.
Otherwise, back to your normal programming: Stacking the Shelves, as hosted by Tynga’s Reviews! This week with the theme I Just Got Paid So I Will Buy Everything, Who Cares About A Theme? Which isn’t as fun as buying all superhero novels all the time, but is still pretty fun.
I’m kind of most excited about The Invisible Orientation, because I’m halfway through and it talks so much sense about the range of queerness that’s out there, never mind just asexuality. But I’m also interested in Rachel Aaron and Josh Lanyon: it’s been a while since I read any Lanyon, but there was a point when I read his books like candy.
Another sciency week, apparently. The first two are my srs reading, the second two fuel my love of knowing really random crap.
Actually Christmas presents from my partner, but Amazon didn’t deliver the third volume and so I didn’t want to feature the fourth until now. But here they are! Time for me to get myself educated on some X-Men stuff. (I picked Ultimates because I liked their appearances in Ultimate Spider-man.)
I rebought the Garth Nix books, which I love, because they’re finally out in ebook in the UK and Clariel will be coming out soon. Otherwise it’s a mix of recs or liking the author’s other stuff. I’m very glad now I got Glaze, considering the bad news about Kim Curran’s publishers for her other books.
Bought (dead tree)
I’ve heard good buzz about the first two, I’ve liked some of Tidhar’s other work, and the third promises a more Arabian Nights than European setting, plus the first line is “Once there was a city of women.” Which is bound to catch my eye when I’m pretty sure it’s not referring to the Arthurian Castle of Maidens.
Yep, you guessed it, it’s Saturday, time for Tynga’s Reviews‘ Stacking the Shelves. I haven’t bought anything this week, either, but for some reason the library has increased my borrowing limit so I indulged a little there, and I have one ARC.
I’ve already started on Warbreaker, since I enjoyed The Rithmatist earlier this week. I wasn’t quite ready to dive into the Mistborn books…