This month. This month, yo…it was a harsh one. Between some changes with the day job (we’re ramping up for May, aka Month From Hell), Fracture releasing, and other writing obligations, reading sort of fell by the wayside. Not to mention most everything I read this month was a review book, and those reviews were posted elsewhere.
Like Ashes by Sophie H. Morgan. Ashes released the same day Fracture did, and I gotta say, you need to read that book. You can read the review here. And Susan Ee’s Angelfall! THAT BOOK. You guys, THAT BOOK. I’m just…I have no words. It was fucking fantastic.
Not all my review books went well, though. I got about halfway through Jan-Philipp Sendker’s Whispering Shadows before giving up. Ex-pat Paul’s been living on a little island off the coast of Hong Kong for the past couple of years, since his son died and his marriage fell apart. He’s fallen into a rigid routine to help him get through the day, and he rarely speaks to anyone. On a hike in Hong Kong, he breaks routine and speaks with another American, a woman searching for her missing son. Paul allows himself to be dragged into the investigation and finds himself dealing with emotions he thought were long dead.
Whispering Shadows could have been good. The setting was vibrant, the characters interesting. But the pace was slow. Sendker went off on tangents that took too long to wind their way back to the point.
Boko Haram: Inside Nigeria’s Unholy War by Mike Smith was another disappointment. I’m very picky about non-fiction, and with Boko Haram, I was expecting more narrative style. I didn’t get it. I stopped just before the halfway mark, and at that point in the book, there’d been less about Boko Haram and more about how the seeds of dischord were sown in Nigeria. There’s a ton of history in the first half of the book, and by then I was like, okay, I get it. Nigeria’s been screwed for a very, very long time, and it was a prime breeding ground for an organization like Boko Haram.
Did I read anything else? Honestly, my brain is so fried at this point I can’t remember. I made it through a couple of TBR picks (Theresa Weir’s Come As You Are and Nicole Camden’s The Nekkid Truth), both of which were entertaining. Weir does a great job of integrating the seminal Nirvana song into the story line, and Camden’s heroine suffers from an intriguing disability – an accident leaves her unable to remember faces. I liked Truth better than Come As You Are, though I thought both needed a little more plot development.
Oh, and I just finished The Mad Tatter by J.M. Darhower. Reese dropped out of art school and now makes a living as a tattoo artist. He keeps his life simple – no attachments, live in the moment. Then he meets ballet student Avery Moore, and despite his best efforts, he forms a bond with Avery.
Darhower does a great job of sinking us into Reese’s point of view. This is the first romance I can remember reading in a long time that’s told entirely from the hero’s point of view. Plus, he’s an intriguing character – his true art form is graffiti. We’re talking Banksy level stuff here. You know he’s a good-looking guy because women are flirting with him all the time, but there’s nothing about how ripped he is, how women fall at his feet. Reese acknowledges he’s out of shape (he’s smoked for years and is just now trying to quit) and has some serious self-confidence issues. There were some plot threads I wanted to see more from (Reese’s relationship with his family, for instance) but overall, an good story without a huge helping of angst. Definitely an author worth checking out – she’s also the author of the immensely popular Sempre.
That’s it for me. I’ve got words to revise and a cat to pet. What did you read this month?
Copies of Whispering Shadows and Boko Haram: Inside Nigeria’s Unholy War provided by the publisher in exchange for review.