Hello and welcome to summer London style. It was been gorgeous weather the last few days and going to be super sunny and hot, hot, hot next week. I can hardly wait as lucky me is off work for 6 whole weeks on gardening leave. Hip, hip, hooray. Well not to rub it in, of course. The downer is I will have less time to read. Well enough of the weather what did I read?
I had pre-ordered Trailer Park Fae which is the first in Lilith Saintcrow's new series Gallow and Ragged a few months ago. Amazon UK delayed its release and I had almost forgotten about it when all of a sudden it was on my Kindle. I liked the sound of the down on his luck, former favourite of the Queen of Summer Jeremiah Gallow and what happens when he meets Robin Ragged who looks surprisingly like his dead wife. I was expecting this to be modern day urban fantasy considering it's title and the plot largely set in a trailer park. I was prepared to forgive maybe a bit of fantasy to be thrown in when Gallow and Ragged enters Summer's court. What I wasn't expecting was writing so verbose that in parts it was almost intelligible on the first read through. I realise that Saintcrow was aiming for authenticity when dealing with the pureblood fae of fairy tales but I think this was at the expense of actually understanding what was going on. I found myself having to re-read parts more than once to ensure I captured what Saintcrow was really trying to say. In the end I found a bit tedious. Here is an example.
They would not be half so pretty had they once were when a mayfly mortal's brief blossoming and enchanted the eye and hand.
Of course, I know what this means but paragraph after paragraph of this type of verse was unexpected and in the end made the book a bit more effort to get through than I had hoped. Gallow and Ragged are interesting enough but both cornered the market on feeling sorry for themselves. Although I started to feel sorry for them by the end as they barely got to eat or change clothes for almost 300 pages. Saintcrow does leave us with quite a delightful twist at the end with a big juicy double cross but overall I only just liked Trailer Park Fae but didn't love it.
Second book on my list to read was Scardown (Wetwired / Jenny Casey 2) by Elizabeth Bear. You might remember I read book 1Hammered a few weeks ago. In this instalment Jenny spends most of her time on The Montreal - an alien spaceship the Canadian army has found and trying to fly with the help of the nanites and the AI Richard. The story flows rather seamlessly between earth (mainly Toronto) and the spaceship and between the political machinations of the Canadian president Riel and the morally corrupt Alberta Holmes and Fred Valens. Jenny is still finding her way in the romance department with her life long friend and love interest Gabe who is also romancing the scientist Elspeth. I thought this was quite odd as Gabe seemed committed to Jenny and Jenny didn't seem like the type of share. I think, however, the near annihilation of the earth at the hands of the Chinese government that may have put romance into perspective for this love triangle. Razorface is also back and looking for Jenny in Toronto. He is almost half the man he used to be. No longer the crimelord in charge of the underbelly of a whole city. Razorface is looking for revenge and has his sights on Alberta Holmes - the woman that killed his wife and his friend at the end of book 1.
Scardown doesn't really get going until the latter quarter of the book and then, boy it gets really exciting. So exciting in fact that I was reading it on the train and watched my station sail past when I finally remembered to look up from a particularly good bit. Bear doesn't protect her lead characters, and I think that Jenny is the only one that doesn't face getting killed off. A very sad ending for several good characters in this series so far. I enjoyed this book more than the last but I still wish Bear would spend less time allowing her characters to meander around the plot. It should be really engaging for 75% of the plot not just 25% of it.
Well that is all for me this week. I shall endeavour to get out in the sunshine and finish some books I have been meaning to read for ages now. Until next week Happy Reading!
A new feature for the Week in Review - book information!
Trailer Park Fae
Gallow and Ragged 1
Orbit, June 23, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
New York Times bestselling author Lilith Saintcrow returns to dark fantasy with a new series where the faery world inhabits diners, dive bars and trailer parks.
Jeremiah Gallow is just another construction worker, and that's the way he likes it. He's left his past behind, but some things cannot be erased. Like the tattoos on his arms that transform into a weapon, or that he was once closer to the Queen of Summer than any half-human should be. Now the half-sidhe all in Summer once feared is dragged back into the world of enchantment, danger, and fickle fae - by a woman who looks uncannily like his dead wife. Her name is Robin, and her secrets are more than enough to get them both killed. A plague has come, the fullborn-fae are dying, and the dark answer to Summer's Court is breaking loose.
The year is 2062, and after years on the run, Jenny Casey is back in the Canadian armed forces. Those who were once her enemies are now her allies, and at fifty, she's been handpicked for the most important mission of her life - a mission for which her artificially reconstructed body is perfectly suited. With the earth capable of sustaining life for just another century, Jenny - as pilot of the starship Montreal - must discover brave new worlds. And with time running out, she must succeed where others have failed.
Now Jenny is caught in a desperate battle where old resentments become bitter betrayals and justice takes the cruelest forms of vengeance. With the help of a brilliant AI, an ex-crime lord, and the man she loves, Jenny may just get her chance to save the world. If it doesn't come to an end first . . .
Jenny Casey 2
Spectra, June 28, 2005
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
The year is 2062, and after years on the run, Jenny Casey is back in the Canadian armed forces. Those who were once her enemies are now her allies, and at fifty, she’s been handpicked for the most important mission of her life–a mission for which her artificially reconstructed body is perfectly suited. With the earth capable of sustaining life for just another century, Jenny–as pilot of the starship Montreal–must discover brave new worlds. And with time running out, she must succeed where others have failed.
Now Jenny is caught in a desperate battle where old resentments become bitter betrayals and justice takes the cruelest forms of vengeance. With the help of a brilliant AI, an ex—crime lord, and the man she loves, Jenny may just get her chance to save the world. If it doesn’t come to an end first…