August Reading List
Ilona Andrews, Chloe Neill, Faith Hunter and Mark Lawrence
In August, I was not feeling very authory or writer-like and read more than wrote :( As was mentioned in the previous month's reading list, I first finished Ilona Andrews' Magic Rises, the 6th book in the Kate Daniels series, first and I have nothing great to report. The team heads over to Europe and I disliked nearly everything in the story from that point on. Curran, Kate's lion lover-man has changed completely without warning and us readers have to read about our fearless butt-kicking, name-taking heroine almost navel gazing... Oh Noes! What did I do wrong? Why does he hate me? Is she really that much better than me? The later given reason does not sell it for me. If what is written is true (I know, fantasy fiction with magic and weres so 'true' is not really up for debate), then Curran is no longer a strong lion-man. He's a weak kitten. Disapppointing to say the least.
I had plans originally to read the next in the Kate Daniels series, but I needed a break from book 6 and grabbed instead The Viel by Chloe Neill. The Viel is an urban fantasy, first in the Devil's Isle series. It's a great world setting/idea! The veil is torn and worn hits the US, centered around New Orleans. It was torn by supernatural creatures such as faires and the like. Fairies and not good in this novel! They brought magic with them when the broke the veil and some humans are sensitive to that magic, meaning they develop powers themselves, but they can't necessarily control it and change into wraiths. This leads to sensitives being locked up in prison even if they did nothing except live. I wish I loved the writing. It wasn't bad, but it didn't grip me. Not sure if the problem was that it was too slow or there were too many characters or the main character was too wooden or maybe that the romance just wasn't there. I don't know... I will absolutely consider reading the 2nd book in the series because I do like the premise but not yet!
Then I decided to read book 7 of the Kate Daniels series, Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews. It was better than the previous thankfully! Most noticable, Curran was gone for a good part of the book and, while that annoyed me, it was good her was. Still annoyed me though, for two reasons. One, because I hadn't expected he would leave Kate alone so soon after the horrible he acted to her in the previous novel. Two, I had to read her pining for mister perfect wonderful Curran. Ugh. However, to the good, Ilona Andrews did a good job writing the passages focused on despair. Either it was very strong writing or I am maybe too quick and easy to connect to depression? ANYWAY, i liked the ending of the novel. Great change that she does not somehow have god-like powers that appeared out of nowhere to lay waste to everything. This book read like a series ending almost but there are 3 more books in the Kate Daniels world. I am happy with this end, however and will be taking a break before picking up books 8 and on. I still consider it worth reading the series but maybe skip book 6 :)
Changing tactics, I picked up the next book in an old series that appeared in my monthly reading list previously: Soulwood. Specifically, book 5, Spells For The Dead by Faith Hunter. I had hoped the main character, Nell, would change in the next novel, to get more violent or follow her baser instincts, but it didn't happen. This book seems to have skipped over some of the building of story as we readers just keep running across more dead bodies. Seems to me that PsyLED is pretty bad at their job... Sure, they stick people in null rooms to recover from evil magic eventually, but I'm not a fan of so many deaths of people, that we aren't even introduced to until they are dead, just to make/continue a plot point. Also, if you had a favorite supporting character, maybe preferred them over Nell, you may be in for some disappointment. If you liked the empath Tandy or cat-man Rick, you may not like this book as they are barely included. In my case, I want to read a novel from T. Laine's, the witch, point of view! She was heavily included in this novel and I now prefer reading about her than Nell ;)
Lastly, I decided I wanted to read more gritty stuff and picked up Red Sister, the first novel in the Book of the Ancestor series, by Mark Lawrence. He writes masterfully and this novel is no different! I read it so fast, I had to stop myself and re-read chapters as I was afraid I had, or would, miss important things. Mark Lawrence is a wizard at world building and I felt a part of Nona's world early on. This novel is a 'coming of age' novel. The main character, Nona, gets considerably more powerful as trains, learns, makes mistakes, etc, but all along has come special abilities that she hides. If you like coming of age style books, you can't go wrong picking up this book! If you don't care for that trope, I still suggets you try it as the writing is so good, I still think you'll like it :) Aroung half-way through the novel, I ran across my first disappointment and it got worse rather than better. Nona appears to have terrible self-esteem or self-worth that she allows people to beat her bloody without complaint. I hated reading those passages and cringed when she got picked yet again for beating. Not fun. I also didn't care for the epilogue. It skips too many important things and forces us readers to just accept everything that changed/happened without giving any reason as to why. So, while I disliked a few things, the book was so well-written, I will be grabbing book 2!