Tag Archives: Ally Carter

Recent reading: Non-Cybils edition

I decided that during this Cybils season, I will try to read all Cybils books all the time during the week and then let myself read other stuff on the weekends. We’ll see how that works. At any rate, here’s what I read this weekend:

Deceiver by CJ Cherryh: I was engaged by this, because Cherryh, and then I hit a certain point and I was reading frantically and stayed up way too late because I had to know what happened. Which is to say, this is one of the more gripping installments at this end of the series.

Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore: Historical fantasy set in a city based on Weimar Berlin. I liked this one quite a bit, although I never completely bought the romance. But it’s an unusual and intriguing setting and Dolamore is very good at little bits of description that really set the scene.

Lulu and the Hedghog in the Rain by Hilary McKay: I’ve been going on about how wonderful Hilary McKay is, and how wonderful her Lulu books in particular are. But they really make me quite happy! I enjoyed the neighbors in this one, and Lulu’s absolute conviction that everyone should love animals as much as she does.

Perfect Scoundrels
by Ally Carter: I’ve been meaning to read this one since it first came out and actually had it checked out at one point. I did enjoy it, but found myself a little less invested in Kat’s adventures. Is it the book? Too much distance from the last story? Not sure.


Filed under bookish posts, reviews

September book list

A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan: A sort-of Sleeping Beauty, in the future. Reviewed {here}

Pegasus by Robin McKinley: A re-read. I loved it again, but it’s getting harder and harder to not know the ending. I’m also very afraid for my favorite of Sylvi’s brothers. I hope events prove me wrong, but eeeeep.

Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern: Mixed feelings. Reviewed {here}

Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton: Victorian literature WITH DRAGONS! Reviewed {here}

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater: A nice end to the trilogy. Reviewed {here}

False Colors by Georgette Heyer: One of my favorite Heyer novels. I think I like this one partly because it’s a mad situation, but the characters aren’t just in it for larks.

These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer: For some reason I wasn’t super wild about this one the first time I read it. I enjoyed it much more this time through, though I think Devil’s Cub will always top it.

The Hidden Coronet by Catherine Fisher: Third book in the series. Reviewed {here}

Jhereg; Yendi; Teckla by Steven Brust: A good, solid fantasy series. Reviewed {here}

A Curse as Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce: I bought a copy of this at a recent library booksale, despite not having entirely positive memories of it. It had been a long time since I read it, and I loved StarCrossed. I liked this one much more than I had remembered, but Digger will always be my favorite. (Liar’s Moon! November!)

Od Magic by Patricia McKillip: This is an odd one–I love some of the images and enjoy the characters, but it never crosses into LOVE.

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab: This was another book that I liked and felt like I should have loved. In this case, I’m not quite sure what kept me from loving it. Somehow I was expecting the plot to go a different route, though I did like what happened. And there was some insta-attraction, but the way it was handled didn’t leave me too bothered. And yet, somehow I was in the wrong mood or not engaged, or SOMETHING.

Lavinia by Ursula LeGuin: I fell in love with this book. Reviewed {here}

The Knocker at Death’s Door by Ellis Peters: I got this at a thrift store, because it’s Ellis Peters and she’s a bit hard to find. It’s not my favorite–it’s a bit gruesome and the romance at the end comes up pretty quickly. But it was still nice to re-read it.

Taltos by Steven Brust: The chronological beginning of the series. Explained some things. Other things made more sense having read later books. So, I’d say read this series in whatever order you like.

The Mystery of Mont Saint Michel by Michel Rouze: I had bought this awhile ago and never read it. A straightforward French kids mystery. It was pretty dated, though, and not in a good way.

The Heart of Veridon by Tim Akers: I can’t even tell you how long it took me to read this book. I was not wild about it–too much noir detective about the main character. Also, I didn’t care about Emily and I was obviously supposed to. There was some nice imagery, though.

Keeper by Kathi Appelt: I know a lot of people really liked this book, but I’ll just cut to the chase: I didn’t. It felt like a stereotypical Newbery book–and I don’t mean that in a good way. Kid on quest to find parent and/or parent figure. For me, there was little that was original or interesting about it.

Fury of the Phoenix by Cindy Pon: I think I liked this even better than the first book! I loved the backstory and the complexity that it gave Zhong Ye. I liked the fact that Ai Ling chose to do things for bad reasons. She’s far from a perfect heroine, but I enjoyed her character and her story.

And Both Were Young by Madeleine L’Engle: I’m kind of iffy on L’Engle’s early writing–some of it I like, some of it I don’t. This is probably my favorite of her earlier books.

The Coming of the Dragon by Rebecca Barnhouse: One of the reasons I loved Lavinia was the fact that I felt it brought a forgotten character of the source material to life, while still being in harmony with the source. Now, granted that I know Beowulf a lot better than I know the Aeneid, this is exactly where Coming of the Dragon falls short. It’s a nice coming of age story, but to me it never read as Beowulf.

No Such Thing As Dragons by Philip Reeve: I liked the various questions about identity and belief that it brought up. And on consideration, I decided that a certain spoilery bit at the end didn’t, in fact, bother me. But I never really loved it either.

Face Down Upon an Herbal by Kathy Lynn Emerson: An Elizabethan mystery, featuring a woman detective. While I find that aspect of it a bit dubious at times, it’s a fun read, and one of my favorite periods of history.

The Circle by Peter Lovesey: A contemporary mystery with little to set it apart. It’s part of a larger series, I believe, and I might have enjoyed it more if I had more investment in the detectives. But as it is, I don’t particularly care enough to keep reading.

The Margrave by Catherine Fisher: The last of the Relic-Master series. Overall, I liked it, though I did feel cheated of a certain moment which I had banked on happening and which didn’t occur. Left me feeling a bit defrauded.

Face Down in a Marrow-Bone Pie by Kathy Lynn Emerson: This is actually the first Lady Susannah mystery. I read them out of order. Because of that, some of the twists were spoiled for me, though the central mystery wasn’t.

Searching for Dragons by Patricia Wrede: Second book in the Enchanted Forest series, and the first to actually take place in the Enchanted Forest. These are, as always a mix of zany humor and zippy plots. However, the relationship between Mendenbar and Cimorene seems to have a little more reality to it than the rest.

Lady of Quality by Georgette Heyer: Not one of my favorites, but I hadn’t read it in awhile either.

Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter: This series continues to be a huge amount of fun! We get to delve into Uncle Eddie’s past, too, as well as develop the vexing question of Kat and Hale’s relationship.

The Time of the Ghost by Diana Wynne Jones: I remembered not liking this one very much, and…yeah. It’s eerie and unsettling and somehow bothers me in a way that no other Diana Wynne Jones story ever has. I’m struggling to put exactly what’s so bothersome into words, but it’s certainly there.

The Shattering by Karen Healey: There are lots of things about this that are great, from the setting to the characters. And yet somehow I was left with the same sort of unsettled, bothered feeling that I got from Time of the Ghost. I’m sure it doesn’t help that I read them in fairly close succession. But I do pay attention to what state a book leaves me in, and in this case it was a strange, scared one.

How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card: Some good tips, but also some things that are very outdated, and some others that I just didn’t quite agree with.

Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold: A reread. Very strange to go back to the beginning and see Cordelia and Aral so unfinished, as it were. The outline is there, but the details are far from filled in. Still, what a great beginning! And it’s so necessary if you want to understand Miles’s character.

Dark Parties by Sara Grant: I’m not sure I’m giving this a fair reading, because I’m so sick of dystopian fiction I could cry. But it read like yet another dystopian story. There’s a slight twist in that the main character is torn between the Boy and her best friend, rather than two boys. And yet, there wasn’t enough to really redeem this book for me.


Filed under bookish posts, monthly book list, reviews