Sunday, March 23, 2014

Melanie's Week in Review - March 23, 2014

In my first week back at work for a while was a middling success on the reading front. I finished two books, I continued with one and started another. So what did I read?

I will start with the books that I finished. I discovered that the third book in the Blackthorn series, Blood Torn had been released so I had to read it. I have had a bit of a love/not love so much feeling with this series. I really liked the underlying plot but didn't like how the female characters were bullied and virtually forced into a sexual relationship by the heroes of the story. I thought that book 3 has turned a corner and focused much more on the plot than the sex. While the book's plot focuses on the love story between the werewolf Jask and the new serrryn Sophie a few characters from the previous books, mainly Caitlan Parish from book 1 return to help advance the plot. We find out what happens to her following the trial that exposed her friends and family as the villains. But back to the book's main characters, Sophie has just inherited her serryn powers and struggles to reconcile her attraction to Jask and her mission to fight the third species. This plot point takes us nearly to the end of the book before it is resolved in its almost happily ever after. The more interesting plot however, takes place behind the scenes in the overall plot arch. I am really looking forward to see how it unfolds. I was slightly disappointed with the cover. I really loved the gothic style book covers from the first two books but Blood Torn looked much more commercial. I am really looking forward to book 4 as there was some nastiness at the end of this book and I want to see someone get their comeuppance!

I also finished book 2 of Sentinels of New Orleans series, River Road by Suzanne Johnson. This was another book that I received in my Qwill book care package and one where I thought that the series has really improved. I liked book 1 - Royal Street but I thought that the lead character, DJ had some seriously growing up to do and grow up she did in the three years between books 1 and 2. In this instalment of the series DJ has been asked to investigate a conflict between two families of merman. Its starts as a simple case of 'who's poisoning the river' into a full blown murder investigation when two wizards are found murdered in a most disturbing fashion. DJ teams up with the undead pirate Jean Lafitte, her sentinel buddy Alex and his cousin and now loup garou Jake to solve the mystery. DJ has matured since book 1 and some of the dialogue (and inner dialogue) is quite amusing and I thought the plot was interesting. Johnson also creates an great teaser for the next book by bringing the elven connection of DJ's heritage more into the forefront of her life. The elven stick that DJ rescued from her father Gerry's house in book 1 is still with her and starts to become a silent character in her life. It is this magical tool that also brings DJ to the notice of the local elven kingpin who wants to get to know her. The elven stick reminded me a a similar plot device in the Mercy Thompson books by Patricia Briggs. Perhaps magical sticks are a big thing in elven folklore but I hope Johnson doesn't go too far with this. I love this book cover (and book 1's as well). I think the model is exactly how I pictured DJ and in combination with the swirling pattern of her hair and the elven stick make this an appealing cover.

So what didn't I finish? I am still reading Dream London by Tony Ballantine. This is a long book and quite confusing so I want to take my time with it. Plus I am reading it on my iBooks app (which I love) and didn't take my iPad into work with me this week so I only had a few opportunities to make much progress. A few weeks ago I started reading David Daglish's A Dance of Cloaks which is the first of the Shadowdance series.  I dip into it once or twice a week but never seem to make much progress. This book is everything I usually like - fantasy, complicated plot with different characters brought together in a series of plot twists and strong female leads but I find it hard to read. I can't quite put my finger on it other than I just haven't found a character that I really like and therefore, I am not really interested in them. Anyone else find this? I would like to know if I should persevere. I LOVE the cover though, so dramatic.

I am hoping to finish some of my 'in progress' books this week and start one (or two) more. I hope you have a good week ahead and until then Happy Reading.


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