snugglekitty: (bookbabe)
Title: Path of the Sun
Author: Violette Malan
Series: Dhulyn and Parno #4
Genre: Sword and sorcery, mercenaries, fantasy.
Setting: The isolated kingdom of Menoin.
Reason for Reading: I loved books one and three in the series.
Finished In: Weeks.
Pages: 374
Copyright Date: 2010
Cover: Another lovely CGI of our favorite mercenaries. Dhulyn's hair is shaved off to stubble, Parno is looking a little less naive. They stand in front of a maze.
First line: "Epion Arkarion waited until moonrise to travel the last portion of his journey back to the palace in Uraklios."
Best part: I liked the cliffhanger ending.
Worst part: It really dragged in the middle. Also, revealing the villain in the prologue is a little weird.
Grade: C
Recommended for: Fans of mercenary fantasty shouldn't miss it.
Related Reads: The Sleeping God by the same author. Assassin Fantastic edited by Martin Greenberg.
snugglekitty: (dragon reading)
Title: Intrigues
Author: Mercedes Lackey
Series: Book Two of The Collegium Chronicles (book one was Foundation)
Genre: Fantasy fluff
Setting: Valdemar, at the founding of the Collegium in the time of King Kiril.
Reason for Reading: Lackey's books never quite get bad enough to make me swear off her.
Finished In: Days. I admit it, all right? Days.
Pages: 328
Copyright Date: 2010
Cover: One of the standard ones by Jody A. Lee – it's in greens and golds and shows a boy on a galloping horse with leaves blowing past them.
First line: “Mags slapped the palm of his hand against the blue-painted wood of the stable door, and it banged open, whacking into the frame as Mags hurried through it.”
Best part: Lackey books when they don't explicitly suck are like warm comforting crack to me.
Worst part: Something went really wrong with the ending of this one, specifically the “tearful reunion of friends” part.
Imaginary Theme Song: “This is the song that never ends... it just goes on and on my friend...”
Grade: C+
Recommended for: Inveterate Lackey fans. Anyone who isn't familiar with Valdemar would really be better served starting with Arrows of the Queen or at least the first book in the trilogy (I assume it's a trilogy) Foundation.
Related Reads: Foundation, Arrows of the Queen, and Burning Brightly by the same author.
snugglekitty: (Default)
Title: The Time of the Dark
Author: Barbara Hambly
Series: Darwath Trilogy, book one.
Genre: Dimension-traveling fantasy.
Setting: SoCal in the late seventies, Darwath 3000 years after the last invasion of the Dark.
Reason for Reading: My metamour let me pick through a box of books she was giving away, this trilogy was among them.
Finished In: Days. Hambly is a good writer, though somewhat unpolished in this one.
Pages: 263. Fantasy novels are written much longer than they used to be.
Copyright Date: 1982
Cover: A wizard holding a staff sits at a Formica table. He has a Budweiser in his other hand. His expression is forbidding. Also, I somehow managed to drop this book a couple of times so the cover is kind of falling apart.
First line: "Gil knew that it was only a dream."
Best part: It was very engrossing, and I enjoyed the characters.
Worst part: It was also pretty derivative.
Imaginary Theme Song: LOTR theme song.
Grade: A solid B. I'm pretty sure I'll want to read it again once I'm done with the whole trilogy.
Recommended for: Fantasy fans, especially those who like female swordswomen and nonromantic pairings.
Related Reads: Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Sabre and Shadow by SM Stirling and Shirley Meier.

Gil is a scholar of medieval history, troubled by dreams of an impossible city beseiged by mysterious dark creatures. Rudy is a happy-go-lucky motorcycle afficianado with some talents in the spraypaint department. A chance encounter with the otherworldly wizard Gandalf Belgarath Ingold soon takes them far from their homes, to a place more passionate and frightening than they've ever known before.

This is a good one, folks. Sure, it's not the most original plot in the history of the universe, but the characters kept me turning pages. I'm interested to see where she goes with the rest of the trilogy, and particularly with the Darwath standalones she apparently wrote later.
snugglekitty: (suzuki)
Title: Kindred Spirits: How the Remarkable Bond Between Humans & Animals Can Change the Way We Live
Author: Allen M. Schoen
Genre: Nonfiction, animals, natural medicine
Reason for Reading: Someone from my bio-family recommended it, actually.
Finished In: Days, it was surprisingly fast-paced for nonfiction.
Pages: 280
Copyright Date: 2001
Cover: A human reaching out a hand, a dog putting its paw in.
First line: "Several years ago, Carol, a fifty-year-old single working mother, entered my office with her fourteen-year-old son Scott, and King, their German shepherd."
Best part: The stories about the animals Schoen has met.
Worst part: The author clearly thinks very highly of himself.
Imaginary Theme Song: "Living Planet" by Jay Mankita
Grade: C+. I really liked it, and the appendices were great, but I probably won't read it again.
Recommended for: Animal lovers who are curious about natural medicine should definitely give it a look.
Related Reads: Merle's Door by Ted Kerasote, The New Natural Cat by Anitra Frazier.
snugglekitty: (bookbabe)
Title: Land of the Burning Sands
Author: Rachel Neumeier
Series: Griffin Mage book 2
Genre: Fantasy with talking animals.
Setting: The edge of civilization and the desert.
Reason for Reading: My metamour got me into this series.
Finished In: Days
Pages: 441, plus an excerpt from book three
Copyright Date: 2010
Cover: A wing, a sand dune, some curlicues.
First line: "Gereint Enseichen sat on a narrow pallet in the lowest cellar of the Anteirden townhouse, waiting."
Best part: This book was both compelling and quite different from the previous installment.
Worst part: It was oddly jarring (though perhaps that was the intent?) to see the story from the perspective of another side.
Imaginary Theme Song: Taqasim.
Grade: B+
Recommended for: Fans of the series.
Related Reads: Lord of the Changing Winds by the same author.
snugglekitty: (bookbabe)
Title: Some Golden Harbor
Author: David Drake
Series: Lt. Leary book five
Genre: Space opera
Setting: Principally Dunbar's World, which is not what we would call a bastion of intergalactic awesomeness.
Reason for Reading: I love the series.
Finished In: Days
Pages: 530, including an excerpt from In the Stormy Red Sky
Copyright Date: 2006
Cover: What seems strange to me about the covers of these books is that my favorite character, Adele Mundy, seems to look completely different every time.
First line: "'This way, mistress,' said the hostess of Pleasaunce Style, dipping slightly at the knees before turning to lead Adele Mundy into the restaurant."
Best part: A buddy for Tovera, one of my favorite psychopathic characters.
Worst part: A sameness is starting to develop, I am forced to admit that.
Imaginary Theme Song: "It's the Same the Whole World Over." I love that Drake has his spacers sing authentic drinking songs and working songs.
Grade: C+
Recommended for: Fans of the series, although honestly you could pick it up at any point. You'd just miss some of the awesome origin story stuff in the first book, about how Adele and Daniel got together in the first place.
Related Reads: With the Lightnings by the same author. The Sleeping God by Violette Malan; even though that is a fantasy series the partnership feels a little similar to me.
snugglekitty: (lioness)
That's right kids, one trashy book called Moonshine was just not enough!

Title: Moonshine
Author: Alaya Johnson
Series: It's technically a standalone. It felt like there would be sequels, but there has been no announcement of that yet.
Genre: SPT.
Setting: A New York City ruled by Tammany Hall, in which vampires are second class citizens.
Reason for Reading: How could I not read a sexy pentacle tattoo novel set in the jazz era? Come now. How long have you been reading this blog, anyway?
Finished In: Days.
Pages: 288
Copyright Date: 2010
Cover: A woman's neck with two vampire bites on it. She's wearing red lipstick and a cityscape is below her. The word MOONSHINE is in red except for one white O. A quote exclaims, "Gangs of New York meets True Blood!"
First line: "I skidded on a patch of ice as I rounded the corner on Lafayette Street, only years of experience saving me as I tottered in the bar twelve inches between a shuttered horse-drawn hansom cab and a Model-T."
Best part: A schoolteacher who works for vampire rights and sings jazz? What about that is not a good time?
Worst part: The parts with Zephyr's parents made me cringe. Not that they were poorly written - they were very well-written to make you cringe.
Imaginary Theme Song: "Remember" by Billy Holiday
Grade: B+
Recommended for: Anyone intrigued by the premise. Anyone who thinks SPT is starting to get a little old.
Related Reads: Chasing Midnight by Susan Krinard. The Vampire Files by PN Elrod.
snugglekitty: (Default)
Who reads two trashy novels called Moonshine in a row? I do, that's who

Title: Moonshine
Author: Rob Thurman (interestingly, a pen name for Robyn - this author is female.)
Series: Cal Leandros book 2
Genre: SPT (Sexy Pentacle Tattoo).
Setting: NYC and New Jersey, with monsters. Lots of monsters.
Reason for Reading: I'm not sure I can explain. I just wanted to even though I knew it wouldn't be that good.
Finished In: Days.
Pages: 338
Copyright Date: 2007
Cover: Dean, I mean Nic, is holding a sword and wearing a muscle shirt. Sam, I mean Cal, looms in a trench coat. The New York skyline and a full moon are behind them.
First line: "I was born a monster."
Best part: The developing romantic relationships.
Worst part: The main villain was just... I mean, really?
Imaginary Theme Song: The theme from Supernatural.
Grade:
Recommended for: Anyone who likes the show Supernatural ought to read these books, and yes I am looking at YOU [livejournal.com profile] samidha!
Related Reads: Nightlife by the same author, Dead to Me by Anton Strout.

The many legions of Supernatural fans should read this tale of brotherly love and werewolves.
snugglekitty: (bookbabe)
Title: The Painted Boy
Author: Charles de Lint
Genre: Urban fantasy
Setting: American desert, modern day.
Reason for Reading: I read almost all of deLint's books as they come out.
Finished In: Days
Pages: 431
Copyright Date: November 2010
Cover: A stylized dragon, Asian-style. At the bottom is a small italicized tag line - "His secret lives on his skin."
First line: "The boy had finally fallen asleep."
Best part: I liked seeing deLint tackle some new characters and ideas.
Worst part: What is it about dragons and gangs, anyway? How did that get to be so cliched?
Imaginary Theme Song: "Beat It" by Michael Jackson
Grade: B
Recommended for: Those interested in urban fantasy, but wanting it to be a little less urban.
Related Reads: Medicine Road or The Mystery of Grace by the same author.

My first book of 2011, woo hoo!

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