Thursday, September 30, 2010

September reading list

Here's my list for September - Total 9 books

Chosen by Jeanne Stein *****
The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell ******
Queen of Shadows by Dianne Sylvan **
Grimrose Path by Rob Thurman *****
The Darkest Edge of Dawn by Kelly Gay *****
Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire *****
A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire *****
An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire *****
On the Edge by Ilona Andrews *****

It was another slow month for me for various reasons. Can I say I'm glad September is behind me? Not because of the books, just life. Books are what save my sanity and this month's list is filled with good books.

With the exception of one (which I'll talk about last), this month's books are 5 stars (or more, really, in the case of The Angels are the Reapers - you can read my separate blog about that). All have strong female characters, well developed worlds, intelligent dialogue, action, believable relationships and are just plain excellent.

Chosen by Jeanne Stein - This is the 6th in the Anna Strong series. Anna is a vampire - not by choice. This book delves more into the relationship with her new boyfriend while she struggles to come to terms with herself & what being a vampire means to her future. Oh - and she's totally bad-ass when necessary. I love this series.

Grimrose Path by Rob Thurman - This is the second in the Trickster series. Trixa is a bar owner & a trickster god. Leo is her friend, a fellow bartender & a god himself. Griffin & Zeke are my favorite part of this series - I love their relationship because its so sweet & crazy at the same time (an angel & demon in love? *g*). Rob is an incredible writer. Trixa does not think like a human and she tries to trick the reader in the story (hey, she's a trickster). I love that.

The Darkest Edge of Dawn by Kelly Gay - This is the second in a series. It is better than the first book. Charlie is a cop & mom to a budding teenager. The relationship between her & Hank her partner develops in interesting ways. Charlie is tough, with a lone wolf attitude that takes some serious adjusting in this book. I really love the story in these books, with one minor frustration. In the first book, her male characters sometimes seem interchangeable in description. BUT Hank & Rex both developed nicely in this second book.

Rosemary and Rue, A Local Habitation, & An Artificial Light by Seanan McGuire - I've had these in my TBR pile for a while. I deliberately waited until the 3rd book came out to read them. October Daye is half fae & a private investigator. The series starts off with her trying to rescue a fae queen & princess only to fail & be turned into a koi by the bad guy...for 14 years! When she wakes from the spell its to find the world has moved on without her - her boyfriend and daughter are lost to her & she's not only alone, she's pissed at the world. She's working in a grocery store when she gets sucked back into fae politics. Tybalt, the King of Cats, is comparable to Curran from Ilona Andrew's Kate Daniels series. I love him. Seanan isn't afraid to kill off main characters and October goes through a lot of crap. These books are fantastic. I highly recommend them.

On the Edge by Ilona Andrews is about Rose, who lives in the Edge - kind of the space between the human world and the fae word. She's not a blueblood fae, but she has the power of one & that makes her a hot commodity for lesser nobles intent on breeding stronger children. She's not too happy with that. She's got enough trouble raising her two young brothers, dealing with her zombie-like grandfather and paying the bills. Her latest suitor? Declan. Enter some evil and it makes for a fantastic story. Ilona Andrews is actually a husband & wife team & never fail to deliver. In fact, they post short stories on their website to entertain fans. How can you not love that?

Finally, Queen of Shadows by Dianne Sylvan - 3 Stars - This is a tough one to recommend. I wanted to like it. It's well written...the characters are well developed, the world is well developed, the story is there.... My problem with it is this... The main character, Miranda, is weak. Not only is she weak, she's kind of pathetic. She's a psychic who can hear people's thoughts & its driving her insane. Her only escape is her music. She meets a guy - David (who is the head of the local vampire house) at a gig. They have an instant attraction that can't be pursued because he's hunting vampires who are on a killing spree (she of course doesn't know any of that). Anyway, after the gig she's headed home & is attacked in an alley and violently & horrifically gang raped. She somehow in the moments before being murdered manages to kill her attackers pyschically. David finds her & brings her home with him where he teaches her to control & use her gift while she heals physically & mentally. In the meantime, he's dealing with rogue vampires who are trying to bring him down. I didn't like the victimization of women in this book - they were all portrayed as these weak creatures practically begging for abuse from anyone or anything that crossed their path. Or at least that's how it felt to me. Maybe I'm just over critical. I've read other books where women are raped - its a theme a lot of authors use to build a strong character. It doesn't usually bother me*. This did - mainly because it was unnecessary when the character was already a fucked up mess. Still, its not a badly written book, just not my thing. So it gets 2 stars.

*by doesn't bother me I do not mean rape doesn't bother me - I mean this...rape is an act of violence & it is horrible, vile & disturbing. It's the absolute worst thing a female character can suffer, but also something that can explain their bad-ass fight-back attitude. I don't like to see it in a story, but I'm not going to condemn a book because the author took that route to develop their character.

So, that's my rundown for September. Hopefully, October will be a month where I can crank through my growing stack of TBR's. Ugh.

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