Sunday, March 29, 2015

Melanie's Week in Review - March 29, 2015

I'm back! Did you miss me? Apologies for missing last week. I am very ashamed to say that I didn't get through enough books to tell you about. I was slightly better but not much. So what did I read over the last two weeks?

I finally got around to reading Symbiont by Mira Grant (Orbit, November 25, 2014). This is the second in the Grant's Parasitology series. The story continues with the world in chaos as the tapeworms that people used to prolong their health and lives are now turning them into zombies. Well not everyone. Sal is one of the few exceptions as a sentient tapeworm living in the body of a girl who died in a car accident. Book 2 focuses on Sal's struggle with coming to terms with who and what she is. She also has to come to terms with her 'cousins' being the cause of the ruination of mankind. This lesson comes at a cost and mostly to herself as Sal finds herself kidnapped not once but twice. How unlucky can 1 sentient tapeworm be? She isn't the only one who is kidnapped, tortured and experimented on. Tansy, who had sacrificed herself to save Sal at the end of book one - Parasite finds herself the subject of Dr Banks to quite a chilling end. Humanity is on the brink of destruction and Sal may be the key to its survival.

I have rather mixed views of Symbiont. It was pretty action packed but at the same time rather dull. I thought the middle part of the book really dragged and I was almost wishing a tapeworm zombie would munch one of the main characters - particularly Sal. The Hubinator did not like this book at all but I thought it was 'ok'. My problem with this book in particular was Sal herself. I realise that she trying to come to terms with what she was but boy, she was dull and an uber wimp. Even though I didn't really like Sal, I thought the parts where Sal ponders her humanity were compelling.

I was shamelessly looking through my Amazon recommendations and came across Forbidden Forest which was book 1 of the Legends of Regia by Tenaya Jayne (Cold Fire Publishing, December 5, 2013).  I had high hopes for this book as I was very sensible and read the sample first I thought the story of Forbidden Forest is the story of the crossbreed elf/shifter Forest who has been bonded against her will to an evil vampire could be interesting. Forest, who had been living on Earth is summoned back to her home of Regia to escort the blind vampire prince across a forest. Needless to say they are destined to be soulmates but Forest isn't sure she can trust another vampire with her life let alone her heart.

When I was reading this book I thought it had been written for the younger urban fantasy fan as despite the events that led to Forest to be slaved bonded  for a more mature reader the characters weren't written as such. Both Forest and Prince Syrus were so busy eating fruit loops and mooning over each other that the convoluted plot was hard to follow or even be interested in. This book was quite a disappointment but it was free so I can't complain too much.

The final book I want to tell you about is The Prophecy Con by Patrick Weekes ( 47North, September 23, 2014). This is the second book of the Rogues of the Republic series which finds one of my favourite gangs back together. This instalment follows closely on the heels of The Palace Job where Loch and her gang save the Heaven's Spire and all its inhabitants. In the process she unmasks a madman, finds her long lost sister and hooks up with the dutiful justicar Pyric. In book 2 she has been asked to steal an ancient book from the elves in order to stop a war. There is so many twists and turns, mysteries and intrigues that if I tell you anymore I risk spoiling the whole thing. What I can tell you is that Weekes has created a whole set of characters that you are invested in from page 1. It is very rare for me to like each character equally but Weekes has done it. This series and especially this book are an excellent example of story telling, action and characterisation. If you are a gamer and played either Mass Effect or Dragon Age then you will recognise Weekes' writing style. If not, hurry up and get playing!

Finally, I read and enjoyed The Lemoncholy  Life of Annie Aster by Scott Wilbanks (Sourcebooks Landmark, August 4, 2015). This is a debut novel and Wilbanks has written a cracking book. I will be writing a full review so keep your eye out.

That is enough for me this week and I hope I have made it up to you with this instalment of my WIR. Until next week happy reading.


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