reading list as of september 27th

i owe you an apology for this post. for the last month, if you look at the list below, you’d think i’ve read nothing but urban fantasy novels. and you’d be right. part of it is my stupid hold list at the library: it’s flush with books my co-worker has recommended to me (and she LOVES urban fantasy/paranormal romance) and those are the books that people go through in a matter of hours, so they come in quickly. the other part stems from a combination of research for future projects of my own and needing to read something, anything that requires little in the way of concentration, and that’s where these books come in.

i’m a little ashamed of it. there are so many other great reads out there outside of the genre, and i do intend to get to them. this month just wasn’t it. so if urban fantasy and paranormal romance aren’t your cup of tea, i’d recommend skipping this post. or flip through the archives and see if there’s something from a past post that strikes your fancy.

oh, and i will warn you: i’m spoiling. if you don’t want to read spoilers, then don’t read this post. that is all.

drink deep chloe neill – i let out a fangirl squeal when a friend handed me an advanced editor copy of this book. not due out until november 1, neill throws yet another curve at us. something wonky’s going on with the magic in chicago and merit, still reeling from the death of her master and lover, ethan, has been told to investigate. with the help of jonah, a member of the secret group the red guard, they begin tracking down the culprit. the first half of the book is a little on the dull side. they move from one plausible explanation to the next, but it feels…meh. it’s not these guys, so it must be these guys kind of thing. when they do finally figure out who’s behind it, you’ll slap yourself on the forehead, because you knew exactly who it was, if you just paid closer attention to hard bitten, the previous book. neill, though, and i love her yet hate her for this, is setting up something rather interesting in merit’s love life. not ready to date, merit finds herself attracted to jonah, and then we’re introduced to “complimentary magic”-essentially two people’s skills running on the same wavelength, causing a zing of chemistry, which, apparently, merit and jonah share. why is this complicated? because…oh, crap. i can’t bring myself to do it. needless to say, i feel like neill giveth, then taketh away, then giveth again…only to taketh away in biting cold, out next august. that’s just my opinion.

hounded/hexed/hammered kevin hearne – reasons i loved these books: 1) the author clearly loves mythology. i don’t know that i’ve read a more thoroughly researched book outside of non-fiction. 2) hearne is a high school english teacher, and atticus o’sullivan, his main character, quotes shakespeare at random moments. it’s AWESOME. plus, these books are extremely well written. 3) they’re funny. not since christopher moore’s fool have i laughed out loud at something i was reading. the mental conversations between atticus and his wolfhound, oberon, are often hilarious. 4) the model they got for the cover is really hot. i do love me some yummy irish boys. 5) atticus gets to pal around with coyote, a vampire, some werewolves, and even has a beer with jesus, resulting in one of the best phrases in all three books: “assholes who do bad shit in my name”. (the iron druid chronicles, as the above books are called, are about the last known druid, atticus o’sullivan, who lives in 21st century arizona and faces off against ancient gods of the celtic, norse, and greek persuasion, all the while trying to maintain a low profile.)

cast in ruin michelle sagara – kaylin is saved from having to meet the emperor by being sent to the fief of tiamaris to investigate the deaths of seven women. the twist? the seven bodies are identical. not twins, clones. exactly the same. some loose ends from chaos are tied up, but more are unwound, and we finally get to see where sagara is taking the story between kaylin and severn (yay!). of course, i could be wrong. it could end in a completely different way. the endgame for the full story, though, is beginning to become apparent, which is great. nightshade makes a proposal of sorts to kaylin, which i’m guessing is the topic of the next book, cast in peril. sagara has said she’s now under contract for peril and three more books after that, so lots more elantra goodness to look forward to.

kiss of snow nalini singh – i almost didn’t include this book. the title is slightly embarrassing, the cover even more so. in the end, though, it’s about the story, and singh’s written an incredible one. sienna is a psy, a group of humans with mental abilities that have the power to destroy their own minds if they’re not careful. hawke is the alpha of the snowdancer wolves, the den sienna and her family found refuge in when they fled the psynet, the network that all psys are linked into. set in the year 2080, a war is brewing between the psys and the changelings, and even within the psynet itself. caught in the middle of it, sienna’s keeping a huge secret from her alpha-a destroy-the-world kind of secret. unlike a lot of paranormal romance, and romance in general, singh cuts extraneous fluff to a minimum, although a side plot involving the pack’s healer, lara, and walker, sienna’s uncle, feels underdeveloped. alternating between the military precision of the impending war and the burgeoning and highly combustible chemistry between her two lead characters, the pace moves along, hitting several high points before reaching its climax. i thought it was so well written, i went out and picked up the first book in her guild hunters series, angel’s blood, which is proving to be just as good.

heartless gail carriger – being 8 months pregnant isn’t slowing alexia maccon down in the least. between trying to decipher a ghost’s cryptic message about the death of the queen, her friend madam lafoux’s odd behavior, and the sudden appearance of her sister at her new home in london, she’s got her hands full. AND she and her husband must come up with an acceptable solution that will appease the local vampires regarding the “infant-inconvenience”. these delightful steampunk novels are great fun to read, and heartless was better than the previous book. the final book in the parasol protectorate series (titled timeless) is due out next spring, and i, for one, am looking forward to it.

*images via new american library, luna, and orbit

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