Friday, March 1, 2013

In Which I Review Books

So I spent quite a lot of time in February editing and not reading, but I did manage to get a few titles under my belt. Here's what they were and what I thought of them...

Sever- Lauren DeStefano- (THIS WILL PROBABLY CONTAIN SPOILERS) The final novel in her Chemical Garden trilogy. I thought the first book was rather beautiful (as was its cover), and I liked it far more than I thought I would. The second book was still good, but it didn't thrill me nearly as much. This third book is beautifully written (though I quite hated the cover) and really sad at times (which I don't mind because I like sad stories). But, I also thought it was a tad incomplete, especially knowing this is the final installment in the series. I felt like poor Gabriel was reduced to an afterthought, and I thought, after everything he'd gone through in the first two books, that he deserved more. And Rhine spends two entire novels trying to find her way back to her brother, then when she finds him in this book, everything fell flat. I wasn't wild about the resolution of the virus/fever storyline, mostly because there didn't seem to be much to it. But I enjoyed Cecily and Linden and Reed and, again, the writing is lovely, and I did think the actual ending of the book was a very fitting end to the series.

Touch and Go- Lisa Gardner- I don't mean to sound condescending (well, no more than I usually do, anyway) as she's a bestselling author while I'm an unpublished nobody, but I think her books keep getting better. This is her first book where I didn't figure out the ending long before I got there. There were a number of well-placed red herrings (and one that seemed to be rather lame), but I thought this was a very well-crafted mystery. I liked the three narrators, particularly Wyatt (the New Hampshire cop) and I hope we see him again some time.

Looking For Rachel Wallace- Robert B. Parker- One of the early Spenser mysteries. I've loved this series ever since I started reading it in high school, and this novel is one of my favorites from that series. I decided to reread it the other day during a snowstorm and a snowstorm a big part of this novel. Plus, there are some very funny moments to be found here. If you're a fan of detective stories, and you haven't read this series, you really, really should.

The Lady of Rivers- Philippa Gregory- This is the third novel in her Cousins' War series, but the first chronologically. I am a huge fan of Gregory's novels, but I haven't been the biggest fan of this particular series (The second book, The Red Queen, I didn't much like at all).  It tells the story of Jacquetta, the mother of Elizabeth Woodville (who becomes the Queen of England and is the central character in the series's first book The White Queen) and I thought it fluctuated between being very cool and rather boring. So I didn't hate it, but neither did I love it. I vastly prefer the Tudor novels.

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That's going to do it for me today... I have to get back to editing. Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

32 comments:

  1. Nice reviews!

    I've been meaning to pick up a Spenser book for a long while now. I knew a guy who used to just rave about them.

    Another for my TBR list :)

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    1. I do recommend reading the series in order because he will reference past cases and people. I don't think it's a necessity to enjoy the series, but that's my own personal preference.

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  2. You read more than I did last month. Of course, I was editing as well.

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    1. I'm looking forward to not editing, so I can read more again.

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  3. I liked that Wyatt character, too, and I hope she brings him back.

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    1. Maybe we should start a Wyatt fan club.

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  4. sounds like i should read a parker novel.
    have you read game of thrones? or seen it?
    i think you would enjoy it - epic epic fantasy!

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    1. Yes, I own several copies of the Game of Thrones series, and the only reason I have HBO is the show.

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  5. I just finished reading a book and will have a review of it for next week. It was a good book but emotionally it was very difficult to get through. The next book I pick up better have the emotional equivalent of a happy meal.

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    1. I've been there before. Some books are emotionally draining, then I have to read a few brainless romance novels or something to help me recuperate.

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  6. 4 books? That's not bad. I think I got through one really good book and...I don't think I read another book all month. (Several short stories, but no novels.)

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    1. No, four books isn't bad, but I usually read more in February so I feel like I'm slacking.

      Though I have had a few months where all I read was my Entertainment Weekly.

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  7. I hate when mysteries are too easy to figure out. I like a good one that's tricky and satisfying.

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    1. I hate that too. Then I spend huge chunks of the novel screaming "It's that guy!" to the clueless law enforcement characters.

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  8. I haven't read any of these books, but I do like mysteries so Spencer sounds like a good one. As long as the ending isn't too easy to figure out and it isn't too bloody, I like them. Except the sort of silly ones where the murder weapon is a frozen fize or cheese knife, lol! Thanks for the reviews, MJ!

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. I just need to slow down. I meant fish, not fize!

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    3. I don't recall anyone ever dying by cheese knife or frozen fish in a Spenser novel. Plus, the early novels were published in the seventies, and the clothes are hysterical.

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  9. I think you read more than I did too. I'm hot and cold on Phillipa Gregory's books. Some I love and some I can't get through. Well, okay, I've only read two and that's how it went. I want to read The White Queen, though, since there is now a show based on the novel.

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    1. Which two did you read? I've read just about everything she's put out and have enjoyed most of them.

      I'd really like to see The White Queen show. I keep reading things about it. It looks like my kind of show.

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  10. That's me this month. LOTS of editing old mss and very little writing. But it's good for us too, flexes those editorial muscles we need. :)

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    1. True, very true. I know editing is good for the soul and the manuscript, but I still hate doing it. =)

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  11. Great reviews. I need to get revising and get off the internet! Have a good weekend.

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    1. I think if I stayed off the internet for a while, I'd probably be finished editing by now.

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  12. If you like historical have you read Wolf Hall? I just started it.

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    1. I've not read Wolf Hall. I own it, but I haven't read it yet. I've heard very good things about it though, so I'm looking forward to it.

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  13. dang, you were busy reading anyway you look at it!!

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    1. That's true. Between my MS and these books, I did spend the majority of the month reading something. I only had to mark one up with a red pen though.

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  14. Love the Spenser books and was a huge fan of the TV series. I have not read these Gregory books, but I do love her Tudor books. She is an amazing writer of history.

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    1. The Spenser tv series was so much fun. I used to watch the movies too, but I never loved anyone as Spenser. Robert Urich came the closest.

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  15. Great reviews, I've added some books to my TBR list (as if it wasn't already too long). But actually I was pleased to see what you said about the Tudor novels. I've had more than one person recommend them to me, and I think it's time I picked one up.

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    1. My favorites in that group were The Other Boleyn Girl and The Boleyn Inheritance.

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