Sorry for the lateness of this list. It’s been a kind of crazy few days, and the rest of the week doesn’t look any different.
Uncharted Territory by Connie Willis: This seemed rather ho-hum, especially when compared to the time-travel books. Some funny parts, but generally not worth it.
Passage by Lois McMaster Bujold: Third in the Sharing Knife books. Dag and Fawn float down the river, in the company of one of Fawn’s brothers, a flatboat captain looking for her father and fiancee, and a whole lot of trouble. I enjoyed it.
Dragon Bones by Patricia Briggs: I wasn’t sure how I would like this one, but in the end I really did. The characters were nicely drawn and the world was an interesting one. There’s a sequel, which I will definitely try to read.
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin: I had extremely mixed feelings here. On the one hand, I loved the world and the images–goodness, Jemisin has a gift for description. On the other hand, I was never wild about the romance and in fact I’ve noticed that there’s a certain type of romance which I’m fairly allergic to and which this definitely falls into. However, the sequel sounds really interesting.
Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass: Short, sweet story about a boy’s message from his dead father (not a supernatural one). While I enjoyed it, I also felt that the characters could all be reduced to a defining quirk, and this annoyed me. (Read for my 48/24 hr challenge.)
The Returning by Christine Hinwood: I picked this one up without knowing much about it because the blurb on the front was from Megan Whalen Turner, and the one on the back was from Melina Marchetta. Normally I don’t pay much attention to blurbs, but TWO of my favorite authors? I clearly needed to read this. I really liked it, the slow deepening of relationships and complexity. The style reminds me a bit of the Earthsea books, in that it is very removed. One note–I was surprised by a particular scene at the end, which was suddenly a bit content heavy. This is still a lovely, complex book.
Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis: I was pretty wary going into this because my experience with historical fiction is often a tortuous one. However, I enjoyed this book a lot. It’s not trying to be something other than a fun, sweet story, and the language was much evener than is often the case. Yay!
Guardians of the Desert by Leona Wisoker: I read the first book last month and really enjoyed it a lot. So I was looking forward to this one. Unfortunately, I wasn’t nearly as enamoured of it. I like the resolution of the central relationship, but there was this whole plotline that I didn’t like at all, and one of the major characters from the first book just sort of disappears! There appear to be two more books in the series, and I’ll probably stick around for them, especially since I liked the first book so much. (And hopefully that disappearing character will reappear.)
To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis: A re-read. I kept trying to figure out how much they knew at this point, as opposed to Blackout/All Clear. To be honest, while I loved this book, it also lacked some of the emotional power of the last two books.
The Tricksters by Margaret Mahy: I don’t even know how to describe this book. It’s part fantasy, part mystery, part family saga. I loved it, but I don’t know exactly why or anything.
Grace by Elizabeth Scott: I really liked the idea of this book, and most of the execution, but it was simply too short. I needed more time to get to know the characters and believe in their motivations and changes.
Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold: A re-read. I remembered enjoying this book. I did enjoy it, but it was also sheer torture! Ack! Ouch! Also, I kept expecting Ekaterin to be there. I love her so much, I want to retroactively stick her in all the other books.
Moon-Flash by Patricia McKillip: This is a single book containing Moon-Flash and The Moon and the Face. I thought I had only read the first one, but it turned out that I had read the second as well! It’s a fascinating concept, which I can say nothing about because I will ruin the whole thing!
Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr: I like the open and honest treatment of religion, which is sympathetic without being sentimental.
Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury: This is in the category of historical fiction which really didn’t work for me. I was willing to suspend my disbelief up to a certain point, but when the heroine is able to speak something like seven languages, including Greek and Russian, my suspension snaps. Actually, I’ll just link you to the Book Smugglers’ review, which said everything I wanted to.
The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kitteridge: I had started this book eons ago, and then gotten bogged down in the middle, and annoyed with both the steampunk and dystopian genres. I finally picked it back up because I felt like I ought to finish it and the cover was so pretty. I really enjoyed the last half, having far less of a problem with the love triangle than I often do. Anyway, looking forward to the sequels!
Song for a Dark Queen by Rosemary Sutcliff: Um, yes. Dark pretty much covers it. Sutcliff is often tragic, but I have never thought of her as depressing until I read this book.
Coyote Road ed by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling: An anthology of stories about tricksters. I was waffling until I saw the list of authors, which decided me in favor of reading it. I liked some of the stories, but I wasn’t super wild about the anthology as a whole. Not sure why, as I often like trickster characters. Maybe they need to have some kindness/humanity about them? Not sure.
Remake by Connie Willis: I continue to be far more impressed by the time travel books than anything else Willis has written. This had an interesting concept, but I had major problems with the narrator (as in, I wanted to smack him most of the time).
Nightspell by Leah Cypress: A companion book to Mistwood, which I loved. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out exactly how the two connected. In fact, I’m not sure how I feel about that connection. It’s hard to imagine a particular pivotal scene without it, and yet I was also somewhat distracted by the whole thing for a part of the book. HOWEVER! This is another beautifully imagined world, both wonderful and eerie. I loved the interaction between Darri, Callie, and Varis, who I unexpectedly loved. I was kind of sad about part of the ending, but it was a good sort of sad (the I wish it wasn’t like this, but I can’t see what other way it could have happened kind).
Paper Towns by John Green: I’m finally getting caught up on my John Green reading. In some ways, I felt like this was a bit of a re-hash (boy looking for unattainable girl), but it was also wickedly funny and I really enjoyed Q’s relationship with his friends.