Sunday, December 01, 2013

Melanie's Week in Review - December 1, 2013

I hope all my American friends have had a great Thanksgiving. I can't believe it is now December and only a few weeks away from 2014. It feels like time is melting away....even more so when I realised it was time to write this post and I hadn't read very much. I am blaming work for my lack of reading. Not only is it 'tis the season to be jolly' it is also 'tis the season to infect your colleagues with your lurgy' which I have to say doesn't make for such a joyous lyric. It was a positive germ factory in my office this week and needless to say I am now sick (please insert sympathy here).

I wasn't very successful getting back on track reading new books but in an effort to make myself feel better I went back and re-read Once Burned and Twice Tempted from the Night Prince series by Jeaniene Frost. These were really quick reads, especially the second time around and I didn't tax myself too much with the plot (mainly because I had read it before). I prefer this series to the Night Huntress series and think I am the only person on the planet that doesn't get all excited about Cat and Bones. Leila and Vlad are way more interesting of a couple especially as Leila gets only a little mad at her vampire hubby for skewering his enemies in their dungeon. I also like the way that Frost ends each book. Rather than a big dramatic cliff hanger Frost has all the action earlier on (but still close to the end of the book) and then finishes practically mid-sentence. Each time I have read these books I always have to go back and check that there weren't any pages I had missed reading as they end so abruptly.

One book off my TBR that I did manage to read was Between Two Thorns which is the first in the Split Worlds series by Emma Newman. I got this book from NetGalley even though it was first published by Angry Robot back in February (2013). I wasn't immediately grabbed by the story which switches between Mundanis (where we, normal mundanes live) and Aquae Sulis which is in the Nether, an alternate world set more or less in 18th/19th century England and where the leading families are supported by a fae lord. Everyone is kept in line by the Arbiters who are effectively the police and who carry their souls around their neck in a pendant. There are several characters to keep you busy including Sam, a mundane who has witnessed a crime he has been charmed to forget, Max an Arbiter who is cut off from other Arbiters and whose soul now resides around the neck of a gargoyle and Cathy, who has escaped her overbearing parents to live in Mundanis. These characters all come together to try to solve the crime Sam has witnessed.

In the early chapters of the book the scenes would rapidly change between these three characters but it was Max and the Arbiters who I found the most difficult to come to grips with. I couldn't really understand the significance of why Arbiters had their souls implanted in a necklace and I am still not entirely sure other than perhaps being a plot device. None of the characters were particularly likeable but I did think Cathy was slightly more sympathetic. Cathy was trying to escape an arranged marriage and life of virtual servitude to a man she neither liked or respected as she tries to hide in Mundanis. Cathy also has all the best lines and my favourite was when she was wishing she was back at home (in Mundanis) playing Mass Effect rather than standing by the punchbowl in a crinoline heavy ball gown in Aquae Sulis.

Between Two Thorns was one of the reasons why I ended up reading the Night Prince series again. I couldn't really concentrate on the plot that kept rapidly switching between characters. It wasn't until mid way that I was actually engaged in the story. I did end up really enjoying this book and Newman leaves us with a great cliffhanger and I am off to find book 2 (and possibly 3 if I am super naughty).

In the midst of feeling sorry for myself and my impending cold I decided I need something else to read that I could get through really quickly. I had a quick look at what Amazon thought I should be reading and came across Damon, the first in the Protectors series by Teresa Gabelman. This book had good reviews on both Goodreads and Amazon but I wasn't impressed other than with my ability to read it in only 2 hours. I thought it was too stereotypical of the genre (vampire based PNR) and had a few direct similarities to the Sookie Stackhouse series where humans used vamps for their blood. I predicted every plot point and thought the characters were a bit one dimensional. Other readers enjoyed this book more than I but I felt a tad let down as I didn't think it lived up to all the stars it seemed to get.

That was it for me on the reading front. I am hoping I am more successful next week getting back on track. I hope you have a great week and until my next WIR as always, Happy Reading.


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