Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff
In this novel, set soon after the events of “Stormdancer,” our heroine, Yukiko, is traveling the county sowing the seeds of rebellion while the ruling elite scramble to find a leader who can keep the power structure from crumbling. There is a lot of stuff going on in this book. The many swirling stories can feel disjointed at times but I’m still enthralled by the world that Mr. Kristoff has created. It is rich and feels lived in. Set in an alternative, steampunk version of shogunate Japan, the worlds of mystical beasts and advanced mechanized warfare collide. I’m looking forward to the conclusion of the trilogy to see which side prevails.
All Shall Be Well by Deborah Crombie
I read the first in Deborah Crombie’s mystery series in September of last year and enjoyed the introduction to her main characters, Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James. In this second novel, Kincaid’s terminally ill neighbor dies peacefully in her sleep but Kincaid has a suspicious feeling. Ms. Crombie’s stories are written with wit and humor but it’s her characters that will continue bring me back to her series. Her books are less about the mystery, although I will admit to being surprised by the ending, and more about the depth of her characters and the emerging histories behind even secondary characters. After only two books, I’ve grown especially attached to Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid. He has a good mix of intuition and smarts. He is also portrayed as genuine and caring. I don’t know about you, but I will certainly keep reading Deborah Crombie.
Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
Review: I’m still amazed at how much stuff Scott Lynch can pile into one novel! The second installment of his Gentleman Bastards series includes a casino heist, poison, pirates, a prison break, and at least 3 different aliases for his main characters. And that’s not even close to all the action and adventure packed into “Red Seas Under Red Skies.” I’ve complained before that Scott Lynch’s books feel too long to me but I have to admit that they are a roaring good time.
Timebound by Rysa Walker
Review: This is the first book in what I’m assuming will be a series about a teenage girl, Kate, who has inherited the ability to jump through time using an antique medallion. I thought it was a pretty good story overall. The time travel elements were fine though they did not add anything new. There are still time shifts, alternate timelines and bad consequences if you see yourself. However, the characters and story kept me interested until the end and beyond as I will probably keep reading the series.
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
Review: What if the world only had supervillians without any superheroes to fight them? That is the supremely interesting premise of Brandon Sanderson’s latest fantasy series. And boy is this a doozy of an opener! I tore through Sanderson’s thoroughly unique world and now can’t wait for the next installment. I know. Shame on me for waiting this long to read a Brandon Sanderson novel but now that I have, I whole-heartedly recommend his effective writing and hearty imagination.
The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett
Total Reading Time: 2.5 hours
Review: I think Terry Pratchett must be cut from the same cloth as Douglas Adams because this book felt like the fantasy version of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” It had the same weird names, same silliness and the same loose plot lines. It wasn’t as funny but still quite amusing. Overall, job well done because I’m always a fan of more weird in the world.
Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel by Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris
Total Reading Time: 4.5 hours
Review: The writing style reminded me a lot of old serials. It was a good choice for the steampunk setting because it gave the story an even more retro feel. In terms of the plot, it was okay. Some parts were more amusing than others. I can’t believe I’m saying this but this book might actually make a better movie than book. Maybe it’s that some of the descriptions of what should have been interesting machines and other steampunk tropes left something to be desired and so I wanted to be able to see them on-screen.
Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen
Total Reading Time: 3.25 hours
Start a little slow.
Entertaining by the end.
That’s right… it’s a haiku. Why? Because I can. 🙂
The Woman Who Died A Lot by Jasper Fforde
Total Reading Time: 4.25 hours
Review: The best way of describing a Jasper Fforde Thursday Next series novel is: very odd in a scintillatingly scrumptious way. This latest installment includes memory manipulation, doppelgangers, and an honest to God (pun intended) deity smiting. Mr. Fforde’s imagination, humor and story construction are just to die for!