Monday, July 8, 2013

In Which I Review Books

It's been a while since I've done a monthly book review. I think the last one was back in April and only covered books I'd read in March, so I have a lot of titles I haven't yet reviewed. And there are entirely too many for me to list them all, so what I'm going to do today is give you the highlights.

Here we go...

Smashed- Lisa Ludeke- (YA) I didn’t really care for the main character, so it made it hard for me to like this book. It was all right, but it didn’t wow me, or move me all that much.

Wonderland- Ace Atkins- The second Spenser mystery written by someone other than Robert B. Parker. I was really wowed by Lullaby, Atkins's first Spenser effort, so I was looking forward to this outing, but I didn't love it as much. It's not a bad read, by any means, though, and there's a bit at the end between Spenser and Vinnie that makes me concerned for future novels. Vinnie Morris is not someone you want mad at you.

Reconstructing AmeliaKimberly McCreight- Nice set-up and non-linear storytelling. Wishing there had been less tell and more show of the relationship between the two main characters. I also wish the pay-off, the resolution, whatever—I wish that had been better because I was left disappointed that I had invested all this time into this mystery and these characters and that was all I got out of it. But up until then, I enjoyed it very much.

A History of Weapons: Caltrops, Catapults, and lots of other things that can really mess you up- John O'Bryan- A funny and informative read that explores some of the “freakiest” weapons in history. Also discusses such important topics such as “Which is better? Scalping or Head Shrinking?”

Maguire's Corner- Heather M. Gardner- This story did not waste any time getting to the action. At the end of the first scene, I was going, "Wait...what just happened?" I enjoyed the characters  There was some clever, funny banter, and the story didn’t end where/when I thought it would. Always nice to be surprised and kept on one’s toes. Interested to read what'll happen next in this series.

Stormbringers- Philippa GregoryThe second book in her Order of Darkness young adult series. I vastly prefer her adult books. This particular book was filled with dialogue that made me cringe. It was flat, it was forced, it was…not good. In addition, one of her female characters became incredibly unlikeable in this outing.  And I think the UK cover is much better than the American one.

Grave Mercy- Robin LaFevers- Book #1 in the His Fair Assassin trilogy. A very cool book that I highly enjoyed. The premise (Assassin Nuns) was pretty damn awesome, and I really liked the characters. There were even lines that made me laugh out loud. The very second I reached the end of this book, I ran down the hall to get...

Dark Triumph- Robin LaFevers- The second in the His Fair Assassin trilogy. Another great outing. Love Sybella. Disappointed that I have to wait until 2014 to read the last in the series.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette?- Maria Semple- I wasn't sure about this story for a long time. It's well-written and the characters are interesting (if not likeable) but a lot of it is told through emails between characters and I found that format tiresome, but I got to the point where I just really wanted to know what happened. I wanted to understand the mystery behind everything, and I was pretty happy with how it all turned out.

The Shadow Spinner- Andrew Leon- Well, Chapters 1-22 anyway. As this is a serial novel whose ending has not yet been published (unless you want the physical book), I haven't yet read the end and so am not yet writing a review for it, but I did want to give Andrew a shout-out. I'm curious as to where this story will end up. I will say, however, that I'm not a fan of the serial novel. This isn't a reflection on Andrew's storytelling abilities, rather my own lack of patience.


So, that's gonna do it for me today. I'm off for another action-packed double shift at The Store. Yay. But on the plus side, my paycheck won't be nearly as embarrassing for once... Thanks for stopping by, and have a great week!

39 comments:

  1. You, impatient?
    Heather will be very happy with your review!

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    1. It comes as a real shock, doesn't it?

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  2. Assassin nuns? Most people wouldn't see that coming. Bet they're effective.

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    1. They seemed to hold their own in the books. Very cool concept.

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  3. I'm excited to read Heather's! :)
    I didn't even know Philippa Gregory had written a YA series. I like her adult books, that's too bad this one didn't really word. Writing for/about young people is a different ball game, though.

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    1. Yeah, Stormbringers is the second in the YA series. I liked the first book better than this one, but this series does not make me swoon.

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  4. I liked RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA, too, but I didn't love it. And I was torn about reading the second book in the Lafevers series. I enjoyed the first one, but it just felt overly long, and I didn't care for the romance angle (but that's just me.)

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    1. The second book is shorter. Fewer court politics, more fighting.

      I didn't mind the romance angle myself.

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  5. I merely slim these posts now, otherwise I will have too many books on my to read list which is already too long...

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    1. I think most writers have that problem. =)

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  6. Love your mini book reviews. Enjoy your day regardless of what comes your way.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

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  7. Replies
    1. I'm fine with my television shows being doled out an episode at a time, but I find I do not like my books that way.

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  8. I couldn't get into Grave Mercy but I know a lot of people loved it. Haven't read any of the others mentioned.

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    1. I could understand people having a hard time getting into Grave Mercy, but the whole thing was really right up my alley.

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  9. Whoa! Hey, thanks! Even if you don't like the serialized aspect. It is, after all, an experiment.
    Part 25 is today, by the way.

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  10. Hey, have I told you how much I love you lately?

    Thank you for the very nice review. I was getting concerned as I read your others because you didn't seem to be too happy with what you had been reading. I'm glad you liked it and are looking forward to more. I am currently writing more, so that's handy.

    I appreciate that you took the time.

    If you ever need me to come to your work and 'have a talk' with your boss, you let me know. :)

    Heather

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    1. Stop it, I'm blushing!

      And yeah, I know. I am rather picky about books and end up not liking a lot of them. But I want to be honest so when people read that I liked a book they know it means something.

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  11. Heather's book was fantastic! I have to read LaFevers' books too. I've heard a lot of good things about them. So many books, so little time!

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    1. I was just saying that to myself (as I unpacked yet another box of books I ordered). I need to find a way to get more hours into my day.

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  12. I like serialized books. I guess I'm weird that way. But I have a tendency to read until 4 AM when I get into something, and having to stop because I run out of book is a good way to get me to not stay up until 4 AM.

    It's better if the thing is all published, though. I learned this the hard way.

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    1. I'm up until at least 4am most nights anyway, whether I have something to read or not.

      But I am not enjoying waiting for the next chapter of a serial to be released.

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  13. I've been wondering about Grave Mercy! Yay! Now I know I can read it. And I would totally love to read the History of Weapons. Right up my alley :) Thanks for this post!!!

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    1. The History of weapons was just a lot of fun. I love writing stories where reading books about weapons counts as research.

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  14. I think I'm going to have to pick up the His Fair Assassin books...

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  15. The weapons book interests me most. Wow, you've read a lot of good books. I'm collecting Shadow Spinner and hope to read them all when they are complete.

    ......dhole

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    1. That's what I should've done with Shadow Spinner. Oh well...I'll know better for next time.

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  16. Wow, I don't know any of these books... *shifty eyes* I think I remember seeing someone else blog about His Fair Assassin just this past month, though...unless there also happens to be some other book out there featuring assassin nuns! XD

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    1. Yeah, the assassin nun book has been out for a while now. I was just late to the party. As usual.

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  17. Ooh these are all very intriguing books. I'm particularly interested in that weapons book. Might come in handy for writing stories.
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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    1. That's the whole reason I picked up the weapons book. Plus, I just really like weapons.

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  18. yay! reviews!
    wow, lots of sequels. and thats why we need to write them, hook readers with the first and they want more!
    i agree with the email/letter format, not my fave. and the series series... i hate waiting too!

    and yay for maguires corner!

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  19. Great reviews! And the assassin nuns' stories sound awesome!

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  20. Holy moly - go you! I love that you read so many and gave concise and easy-to-read reviews of them. I understood just what you meant about each one. Awesome job! :-)

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  21. Thank you so much for sharing these great reviews.I will have to check these books out. I have an award on my blog for you.

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  22. Reconstructing Amelia sounded quite good until I read to the end of your review. I think it was the non-linear description that made me curious.

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