Reading list as of January 31st

I’m looking forward to February. Really looking forward to February. February is the month in which I avoid reading library books (I just suspended all of my holds. Woohoo!) February is also the month in which I will spend all of my writing time editing. Not looking forward to that.

You know what else I like about the library? It keeps track of books I’ve recently returned:

The Pledge Kimberly Derting – Charlaina Hart has a secret. In the country of Ludania, where different classes speak different languages and one class can’t understand the other’s language, she can. And this could get her killed. To complicate matters, she’s inexplicably drawn to Max, a soldier, who speaks a language she’s never heard before…yet she can understand him perfectly. I loved the world that Derting created and can’t wait to see what else she has planned for Charlie. The ending was the perfect kind of happy-ever-after, with more than a hint of the darkness still to come in the next book.

The Secret in Their Eyes Eduardo Sacheri – Unwilling to slink off into retirement, Chief Deputy Clerk Benjamin Chaparro decides to write a book about a case that has haunted him throughout his career-the rape and murder of a young wife. The story moves slowly, almost too slowly, and while it bills itself as a “tale that reveals the underpinnings of Argentina’s Dirty War”, there’s very little about the political strife that rocked the country through the late 70’s and into the 80’s. I was disappointed, because I love political strife, and I was hoping to learn more about the Dirty War. I’m still going to watch the movie though.

The Demon Lover Juliet Dark – Callie McFay doesn’t realize when she accepts a teaching position at Fairwick College that most of her colleagues are supernatural beings. Surrounded by witches, faeries, a couple of vampires and a demon or two, Callie tries to find out what’s causing the students to fall horribly ill. Unbeknownst to her, her new lover just happens to be an incubus and the most likely suspect. While I liked the almost academic way in which Dark wrote the novel, it felt stilted at times and the sub-plot involving Callie’s boyfriend Paul seemed like a plot device-she needed something to create tension, so she throws in a long-distance boyfriend. Gack. If you liked A Discovery of Witches, you’d probably like this book. Bonus: it’s not as long!

Everything Beautiful Began After Simon Van Booy – Rebecca, George, and Henry meet one summer in Athens, only to be torn apart by tragedy. What follows is a terribly depressing novel that follows Henry’s downward spiral. Why did I keep reading? It was one of the most beautifully written novels I’ve read in some time.

Magic Bites Ilona Andrews – Kate Daniels lives in a world where magic has destroyed most of the city of Atlanta, and technology fails on a regular basis. When her guardian is killed, she sets out to hunt down his killer, tangling with vampires and shifters…and pissing off the Beast Lord in the process. Kate kicks so much ass, I might like her even more than I like Buffy. And I love Buffy. The world Kate lives in sounds like a crazy place to live, and Andrews did a fantastic job of making you see a crumbled, tumbled-down city.

Battle Royale Koushun Takami – Japan morphs into the Republic of Greater East Asia, and every year a class of junior high students are dumped in a secluded location and told to kill each other. The last one standing is the winner. It’s pretty easy to see why so many people thought this novel was the inspiration for Suzanne Collins The Hunger Games, but Royale is much, much bloodier. Make no mistake-I wouldn’t want my middle school student reading this book. It is, however, quite awesome.

*images via Other Press and Ace Publishing

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