August 6th, 2010

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Books!

Micro-reviews I think, I've read 7 since my last post & 6 are parts of series & I don't want to spoil (the other is also a sequel but more standalone).

"Windfall", "Firestorm" & "Thin Air" (books 30, 31 & 32) are all part of Rachel Caine's Weather Wardens series (the fourth to sixth books in it). Still fun, still full of "what the hell ...?" twists, but I think after 6 books I'm pretty much done. Tho part of that is that I've read a lot of urban fantasy stuff over the last month or so & I think I need to move on to another flavour of book to avoid it all beginning to seem the same. So maybe in a few months I'll stumble across book 7 in the library & give a whirl, but not right now.

"Kitty Goes to Washington", "Kitty Takes a Holiday" & "Kitty and the Silver Bullet" (books 33, 34 & 35) all by Carrie Vaughn. More urban fantasy, centring round Kitty a werewolf DJ who by accidentally outing herself on air has made herself a part of the more general supernatural coming out to society. I liked these - there's a good mix of the personal stuff (both to do with being a werewolf, and to do with being a person) and the bigger picture stuff. And one of the reasons I picked these out at the library was calico_reaction's recommendation of them as books where the heroine grew over the story arc, and Kitty certainly does. She starts as not just a submissive werewolf still coming to terms with the change but also an immature woman, and she ends up having grown up and worked out more of what she wants from life and living the life she wants. Again, tho, I likely won't be reading the next books in this series anytime soon - see above for urban fantasy burnout. But also these four books had such a satisfying arc and it's done. It feels like the end of the story - obviously Kitty's life won't turn out to be plain sailing now, but I'm not left with an itching to know more.

"Hand of Isis" by Jo Graham (book 36) is the sequel to "Black Ships" which is one of the two candidates for favourite book I read in July (the other candidate is "Oath of Fealty"). I'm not sure "Hand of Isis" was as good as the first one, but it's still a good book. It's set in Egypt at the time of the last Cleopatra (the famous one) - the point of view character is a half sister of Cleopatra's who is one of her two chief handmaidens so we get the story of Cleopatra's whole life. She's the reincarnation of the point of view character from "Black Ships", but that isn't actually the life she has flashes of half-memories of at times - instead it's the person she/he is in the (not yet published?) third book.
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Book Roundup for July

I typed up a list for a comment elsewhere a few days ago & thought I'd share it here too.

July was a good month for finishing books for me - as I'd finally finished a non-fiction book (on Egypt, very interesting, just slow going) at the end of June. So I was reading lots of fiction (and a lot of it fluffy stuff) for a change of pace. The list was:

"Library of the Dead" Glen Cooper
"Book of Souls" Glen Cooper
"Complete Short Stories" H. G. Wells
"Touch the Dark" Karen Chance
"The Margarets" Sherri S. Tepper
(All above reviewed here)

"Black Ships" Jo Graham
"Wake" Robert J. Sawyer
(Reviewed here)

"Summon the Keeper" Tanya Huff (review)

"Watch" Robert J. Sawyer
"Ill Wind" Rachel Caine
(Reviewed here)

"Honor of the Clan" John Ringo & Julie Cochrane
"The Hero" John Ringo & Michael Z. Wiliamson
"Heat Stroke" Rachel Caine
"Chill Factor" Rachel Caine
(Reviewed here)

"Kitty & The Midnight Hour" Carrie Vaughn
"Oath of Fealty" Elizabeth Moon
(Reviewed here)

"Windfall" Rachel Caine
"Firestorm" Rachel Caine
"Thin Air" Rachel Caine
"Kitty Goes To Washington" Carrie Vaughn
(Reviewed here (along with some others))

And good heavens, that looks an even longer list than I'd thought before I typed it all out! Favourite is a toss up between "Black Ships" and "Oath of Fealty". Biggest disappointment was "Summon the Keeper". Most surprisingly enjoyable was either the two Glenn Cooper books (conspiracy theory novels done right) or the Caine books (not just a very different take on the current urban fantasy genre, but full of twists & turns I didn't see coming which makes the books an awesome ride even if I strongly suspect they're a once-only pleasure).

That's 20 books read, and breaking it down by genre (er, my mental categorisation, may not match yours etc etc) I'd say that's: 10 urban fantasy, 2 conspiracy theory, 2 present day sci-fi, 2 military sci-fi, 1 epic fantasy, 1 historical fantasy, 1 sci-fi/fantasy blend and 1 fantastical tales (also short stories). Not quite as much urban fantasy as I'd thought, but still half of it with no other category getting anything like as much representation.
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