the sun is actually shining in seattle, and here i am, inside, writing a blog post. soon i will be inside a dark theatre, watching my third (of seven) SIFF film. i swear, i am going to go outside. and weed. just not today. instead, i will pass along my reading suggestions from this month:
hard bitten chloe neill – book 4 of the chicagoland vampires was stomach-droppingly good. while fending off the romantic advances of her master, ethan, merit must also figure out who is causing the raves happening around the city. and when i say raves, it’s not the kind you’re thinking of, with techno beats and ecstasy. no, these are parties of vampires and humans, where the vamps get to feed on the supposedly willing humans. the ending was jaw-dropping, in more ways that one, but also does a fantastic job of setting up book 5, due out in november. yay for not having to wait a full year!
dead reckoning charlaine harris – sookie’s getting a little fed up with all the animosity being shown toward her shifter friends, and with the tension that victor, the regent of louisiana, is causing between her and her vampire lover, eric, the sheriff of area 5. and this point in the series (this is book 11) i’m getting a little “meh” about sookie and her adventures. harris is supposedly wrapping up the series in another book or two, and while this book is better than book 10, it doesn’t feel all that important. actually, i take that back. there are a couple of important events that happen, or they will seem important in retrospect once the next book comes out. that’s provided, of course, that the next book is better than this one. here’s hoping it harkens back to the earlier books in the series.
the private papers of eastern jewel maureen lindley – this is one of the 15 or 20 books sitting on my bookshelf, unread. well, it was unread before i cracked it open. eastern jewel is the daughter of a manchu prince and a concubine, and as a child is sent to live in japan, where she quickly grows to love her adopted country, even thinking of herself as japanese. the story follows her life as a spy for the japanese government in china to the end, where she ends up in prison. the ending of the book almost saves the story; it leaves you wondering what really happened to her. but during her life, it seems like she just had a lot of sex. like, a LOT of sex. the woman had very few scruples about sleeping around.
the convent panos karnezis– a baby is unceremoniously dropped off on the steps of a convent, far from any other form of civilization. the ensuing chaos shakes the order to its foundations and makes more than one sister question her faith. while karnezis sets a brisk pace and keeps the story flowing, it doesn’t cover any new ground and what was probably meant as a twist or huge secret at the end was not surprising at all.
a discovery of witches deborah harkness – diana bishop is a historian who happens to be a witch, descending from a long line of powerful witches. when she calls up a manuscript, thought to be lost, in pursuit of her scholarly research, she meets matthew clairmont, a really really old vampire. soon they’re running for their lives as other witches, vampires, and even some daemons are coming after them, all wanting to get their hands on that manuscript…and diana. while the book is engaging, even entertaining at times, it’s also about 100 pages too long (harkness obviously didn’t use the same editor that hack contacted). for the sake of her readers, i sincerely hope that harkness cuts down the length of her next novel, as this is the first in a planned trilogy.
moon called patricia briggs – this must be my month for paranormal fiction. mercedes thompson happens to live next door to an alpha werewolf named adam. oh, and she can change into a coyote. when after a pack meeting a young werewolf turns up dead on her doorstep, mercy joins forces with adam and samuel, a wolf from her past, to find out who is trying to stir up unrest amongst the packs. set in the tri-cities, briggs spends a lot of time explaining her version of werewolves, and even though she’s obviously setting up a love triangle between mercy and the two wolves, it’s carefully and thoroughly woven into the overall story.