Monday, June 4, 2012

In Which I Review Books

Wow.  I haven't done a book review in a few months.  I think the last one I did was back in February.  Maybe March.  I'm not going to list all the books I read in these missing months because that would be an insanely long post and we all have better things to do than write/read such a post.  So I'll only be reviewing what I read in May.

Here we go:

Catamount- Rick Davidson- Life is too short for books like this.  And yet, I read the whole thing anyway.  Go figure.  Anyway, this story’s about a mountain lion that’s terrorizing the New Hampshire north country.  I could write pages and pages on what’s wrong with this book (Flat lifeless prose coupled with flat lifeless characters uttering flat lifeless dialogue, for example) which I kind of want to do but won’t do (you’re welcome) so I’ll just say this:  Certain scenes are told from the mountain lion’s POV.  It’s stated early on that the mountain lion sees in black and white.  But that doesn’t stop the catamount from having an excellent grasp of color.  And New England architecture.  And human speech.  Guess the catamount spent some time in night school.  Good for it.

Knee Deep- Jolene Perry- I find it to be a mark of a good read when I’m tense and stressed and sincerely worried about the main character.  That said, this is a good read.

Ready Player One- Ernest Cline- I’m not much of a gamer (not for a lack of trying. I just suck at gaming) but I really enjoyed this book.  I loved all the 80’s references.  Especially the stuff about Adventure because that was seriously my favorite Atari game ever.  But here’s the thing… I just can’t wrap my head around virtual reality.  I had a hard time reading parts of this book because I don't get it.  Sad, but true.  Still, if you're a gamer or love the 80's, you should read this book.

Bitterblue­- Kristin Cashore- It kills me to not have loved this novel more.  I enjoyed Graceling and Fire so so much and I anticipated I'd have the same love for this book that I did for the first two in this series.  But I just didn't. I spent too much time wanting the book to be over and that's just never a good sign.  There are good moments to be found but they're rather spread out.

Chasing The Bear- Robert B. Parker- A Young Spenser mystery. Read this book because I adore Robert B. Parker and Spenser.  This book gives readers a glimpse into what Spenser was like as a kid living with his father and two uncles.  I have one real complaint: I am probably the only Spenser fan who does NOT like Susan Silverman and I really thought that maybe, just maybe, I'd be spared the Susan Silverman lovefest in a book that's about a fourteen year old Spenser.  No dice.

Fairy Tale- Cyn Balog- Meh.  This isn’t a very long book and I was left feeling like it was over long before it should’ve been.  I’m also curious if there was some kind of endorsement deal worked out because there were so many brand names mentioned.  I know specifics are good but this felt like overkill.

The Iron King- Julie Kagawa- I wasn’t sure about this book when I started it.  It was probably bad timing on my part to start a second fairy themed book after reading a Meh fairy themed book so it took me a while to get interested in the characters and the story but eventually I got there. It’s definitely not the best thing I've ever read but it's not a bad read. I enjoy Robin Goodfellow (assuming he’ll reappear in the next book) and Ash the Winter Prince.  They’re the real reason I’ll read the next book.

The Iron Daughter- Julie Kagawa- While there are parts of this series which I find annoying, the overall story is interesting enough to make me want to read the next book.  And by that I really mean Puck and Ash are interesting enough to make me want to read the next book.

My Heart For Yours- Jolene Perry and Stephanie Campbell- A dual POV story about two broken up high school sweethearts who are brought back together when tragedy strikes.  Very flashback heavy, which made it made it hard to follow at times.  I had to go back and forth more than once to figure out what was happening and when it was happening.  I was also expecting some revelation surrounding Eamon’s death.  The way certain things were written, it just made me think there was more to come, some mystery to be solved.  All that said, there is some lovely writing to be found here.

The Iron Queen- Julie Kagawa- Apparently, I am determined to read the entire series this month.  Still like Puck even though much of his dialogue in this book feels likes it's trying too hard.  I still like Ash.  Not wild about the main character, Meghan, but I’m dealing with it.


  1. I haven't read much in the last months so I admire you tackling all of these. I miss my reading time and really need to get back to it. I was hemming and hawing over whether I should try the Kagawa series and now I'm even more in the no column.

  2. Kagawa must be doing something right to prompt you to read all of her books!

  3. Ah, Atari. I miss it. :)

    And I love books where you get tense and worried for the character(s). I aim to do that to/for readers with my work.

  4. Wow, you sure read a lot of books! I have my eye on Bitterblue. Interesting that this did not engross you as much as the other two. Graceling is probably my favorite. Fire was good, but some parts had me skipping. I'll still read Bitterblue just because I enjoy Cashore's prose. But I'll go in with less expectations so I won't be disappointed. :)

  5. @Melissa- Probably if I read less I would've finished all my editing. Live and learn.

    @Alex- Or it's that once I start a series, I'll finish a series.

    @Madeline- I miss the Atari too. Those were games I could actually sometimes win.

    @Precy- Next month, I'll probably read next to nothing.

  6. Great reviews of these books. I've been waiting to read the ones by Julie Kagawa.

  7. i love your honest reviews! thats alotta books!

  8. I really enjoyed reading these book reviews. I will indeed try to read these books.

  9. Haven't read any of those yet, so it was really helpful to see your reviews!

  10. I haven't read that many books all year! Thanks for the round-up.

  11. @Cherie- Yeah, I kept seeing Kagawa's books everywhere and thought I'd give them a shot. Then they had all of them at the library so that kind of sealed the deal for me.

    @Tara, Gina, Nicole and Annalisa- Thanks!

  12. I haven't read any of these but some sound like my sister would love them. Thank you so much for the list!

  13. So I'm not the only one who will finish something I don't like because I started it and am determined to finish it. Although, I'm getting better at not finishing some things that are just awful. (Scanning to the end doesn't count, does it?)

  14. I agree that life is too short for bad/boring/slow-moving books, yet I'm sitting here right now with one of those exact books beside me. I don't want to read it, but for some reason, I keep turning the pages. I can't wait until I'm finished.

  15. Interesting reviews. Thanks.

    I wonder which Bear young Spenser was chasing. Hope none of my clan.

    Blessings and (gentle Canadian) Bear hugs.

  16. I am laughing so hard at the endorsement deal question. You are brutally honest and an excellent writer which makes your reviews very fair. It will be tricky for me if you ever read mine bc I trust you.

  17. So the Iron King series is good? I've been debating reading them. On a scale of 1 to 10 where would they fall for you?

    Thanks for the recommendations!!

  18. Thanks for the book reviews!

    I thought Ash and Puck drove a good part of the series, too. Are you planning to read The Iron Knight? Because that focuses on just the two of them; there's very little Meghan.

  19. Wow! That's a lot of reading you do. Now I feel motivated to finish the three books I'm currently reading and do reviews for them.

  20. @Alleged, Rob-Bear, Stphen- Thank you!

    @Liz and Dana- I'm glad to know I'm not alone in this. =)

    @Christa- Of course I'm planning on reading your book and I'm sure you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

    @S.L.- I'd probably say 6.

    @Golden Eagle- I just finished The Iron Knight, actually. I thought I'd like it more than I did.

  21. I always enjoy your book blurbs. Ready Player One I thought was awesome. You just have to suspend your disbelief and go with virtual reality, even though sometimes it's idiotic. It works on the Star Trek holodeck. It doesn't work on Lawnmower Man. I think it works in Ready Player One.