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Summer Book Reviews

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First, let’s get this first piece of new over with:

I’VE MADE IT!

How exactly is that you ask? The Guild getting popular? An awesome role in the 13th episode of Dollhouse? Something bigger? Oh yes. Take a gander at this recent piece in the NEW-frikkin-YORKER:

“The success of the ebook is being fueled by the romance and erotic romance market,” Peter Smith, of ITworld, reports. Smith cites the actress and Kindle enthusiast Felicia Day, of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” who has been bingeing on paranormals like “Dark Needs at Night’s Edge.” “I’ve read like, 6 books this week and ordered about 10 more,” Day blogged. “It’s stuff I never would have checked out at the Barnes and Noble, because the gleaming and oily man chests would have made me blush too much.”

Oh yes, I’m the “oily chest” chick.  My Dad is proud all right. Er….whatever. Onto the book reviews I’ve accumulate for the past month or so:

Thorn Queen (Dark Swan, #2) – Richelle Mead
My appetite for the “tough paranormal chick” literature has waned in the recent months, namely because I think I’ve read them all. Like, hundreds this year it feels like. But this series really caught my interest with the first book, Storm Born. The second book, Thorn Queen, after a slow first couple of chapters lived up to expectations. Eugenie is a cool character, a real-life working Shaman but who is connected to the Faery world as well.  What I like about this series is that some takes place in “real life” and some in the Faery land.  It’s what the Merry Gentry series from Laurell Hamilton COULD have been (other than porn with lots of guys, bleck).  I really liked how the characters developed in this second book and a few twists in the romance were very satisfying.  I can’t spoil anything, except to say I really really hope that the ending isn’t a feign, and that a key character who’s yummy doesn’t turn bad in the third one!  If you like Laurell Hamilton, or Jeannie Frost or Lillith Saintcrow or Rachel Caine you’ll like this series.  Also, for a time the Kindle edition was free download on Amazon, not sure if it’s still free but check it out!

Naamah’s Kiss (Kushiel’s Legacy, #7): Jacqueline Carey

I loves me some Jacqueline Carey.  I mean, I even turned into a blithering idiot getting a video with her at last year’s Comicon.  Whatever.  She’s had two books come out lately, Sainta Olivia last month (which I liked a lot as well) and just recently Naamah’s Kiss, which I went out and bought in hardback because I need her on my “keep you long time” bookshelf.  So, if you’ve read the first 6 you’ll know the world, and this book is the start of a new series in the same world.  This time the heroine is Moirim, who turns out to be er… *slight spoiler*

a hot bisexual druid.  You read that right.

*end spoilers*

The world is lush and awesome, I love love it as always, and after we visit familiar territory we take a jaunt outside of the worlds that have been established towards the end of the book.  I enjoyed it a lot.  It’s hard to live up to Phedre and Jocelyn from the first trilogy, but this had enough intrigue and definitely set up for some tussles down the line.  There are a BUNCH of (awesome) racy scenes in this, so if you’re not into that…who’s not into that again?  I just think this author is the bomb and would read her grocery list if I could.  The book has a lot of romance in it, but the world building is so rich and thorough it’s really epic fantasy at its best.  I would compare her to Guy Gavriel Kay with way more naughty bits.

Desperate Duchesses: Eloisa James

Ok, boys look away.  This is pure romance crap coming towards you.  Eloisa James’ Duchess series, starting with Desperate Duchesses is crack, pure and simple.  Think “Pride and Prejudice” meets “Sex and the City” or the “OC”.  It’s amazingly addictive.  I’ve tried a lot of other authors in this historical romance genre lately, and none of them capture the flirtation and wit that this author does.  It’s just really enjoyable to be frivilous with these aristocrats.  I’ve read pretty much all her Duchess books and am working my way through her other series as well.  They’re all very similar, but enjoyable as the characters weave in and out and pair up book after book.  Fun reading.  I enjoy them with no shame…because I have the Kindle to hide behind. 😀

Best Served Cold: Joe Abercrombie

Boys, you can come back now. If you follow my reviews you already know my love for the First Law trilogy by Abercrombie.  Well, his latest installment, Best Served Cold, just is….as awesome.  Whew!  Cool thing is, a few of the secondary characters from his trilogy come back in this book and are much more fleshed out.  It’s a very cool way to expand the universe. If you like grit and blood and nastiness and double crossings, this is the author for you.  The realism of his descriptions and his world is really intoxicating.  After I read this book I wanted to log onto a FPS game and shoot me some zombies.  There’s no “romance” in this book, Abercrombie busts any of that into bits, and it’s so fun to watch!  I really loved it and hope to make a drooling YouTube video where I look like an idiot with him one day as well.  If you like George RR Martin, or Stephen Erikson or Brent Weeks or Richard Morgan’s SF books, try Abercrombie, you will not regret it.

Across the Nightingale Floor (Tales of the Otori, Book 1): Lian Hearn

So, do you like Kung Fu or Samurai films?  Did you like Memoirs of a Geisha?  Would you like those things combined and then some magic thrown in?  Then try this series starting with Across the Nightingale Floor.  I have a weakness for any movies involving Asian Martial arts, so I was sucked in big time!  The books are set in a nebulous country, but it’s so similar to Japan you might as well say it’s Japan.  There are feudal lords and women held hostage, orphans and assassins…it’s got it all.  Boys and girls will like this.  I will be continuing this series!

Whew, that’s a lot of reviews (and only a fraction of what I’ve read this summer)!  Books I read that I hate, I simply let the experience go off into the ether.  I know how hard it is to create things, so who am I to dissuade people from trying an author, or trash someone’s creation?  Everything is subjective.  I do add a lot more books than I blog about to my GoodReads account, occasionally those are a little more critical, but I only list ones I would want other people to try.  Here on the blog I try to feature my very favorites.  Hope you enjoy, let me know what you think!

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