Oh hello four day weekend, you have good timing! I have finally shaken the lurgy that took me down for two weeks – I feel terrible that I didn’t post a Bookends last week, the only one I’ve missed! But even if I had been able to sit and concentrate for long enough, I wouldn’t have had much to chat about. Turns out I struggle to read when poorly – being sick is actually very boring.
Anyway, I am all better now and I’ve got some great books to discuss from the past fortnight.
I’d seen a lot of hype over R Scarlett’s Blackest Gold series so I picked up the first book, Vein of Love on kindle. It was a nice easy read for a sick weekend but unfortunately it was a tad ridiculous. Our protagonist is a very naive young woman who is quickly wowed by the big, strong incubus she is betrothed to thanks to an ancient family pact. She claims she hates him and wants to be free from any promises yet she doesn’t really. It’s very eye-rolly and soo inconsistent! At the beginning of one chapter, she’s tightening the belt of her robe, one dialogue and two pages later she’s sat on the edge of a bed suddenly in a summer dress.. she did not leave the room nor get changed. EH?! Tip, of the iceberg. I won’t be continuing.
I then flew through the first three books in Patricia Brigg’s Mercy Thompson series, Moon Called, Blood Bound, Iron Kissed. This is an urban fantasy series following Mercedes Thompson. She is a mechanic and has the ability to shift into a coyote. She also happens to be surrounded by the paranormal. The fey, vampire hives and werewolf packs, the whole shebang. There is the teeniest tiniest romantic element but unlike most urban fantasy it does not take a prominent role and is really not steamy in the slightest. However, something happens in the third book which I think was well handled but was then completely undermined by the very last paragraph. It made me very cross so I’m not sure I’ll continue with the series.
I picked up Lauren Graham’s new book, In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It. It’s a very small book and is an edit of a speech she made to high school graduates. It was okay, but I felt she focussed too much on acting rather than seizing the day etc.. which I personally think would have been more inspiring.
I finished Adrian Tchaikovsky’s The Tiger and the Wolf too. Ah, it was so good! Not quite as wonderful as Guns of the Dawn but a close second. Once again his writing and world building is excellent, immersive and unique. It was a bit back and forth, but I did not see where the plot was going and it was a little heartbreaking! Okay a lot. The characters are incredibly vivid and Tchaikovsky really makes you have feelings for them, ranging from disgust and hatred to affection and respect. To some things inbetween. There’s a lot of moral ambiguity and toeing the line which was really interesting.
And finally, I finished Sebastien de Castell’s second Greatcoats book, Knight’s Shadow. Tricky, tricky, tricky. I enjoyed it but it didn’t quite hit the same note as the first book, Traitor’s Blade. It all got a bit ridiculous at times which jarred me out of the story and there wasn’t as much banter and humour in this one. I get why, it was darker and dirtier, but meh. I liked Traitor’s Blade so much because it managed to be funny AND dark.
Also the protagonist, Falcio. I liked him a lot more in book one. He didn’t half get preachy and introspective. Again, fine for the story, but he went on quite a lot and I lost interest.
Overall, I thought it was far too long. There were pages of Falcio’s inner-monolgue that could have been cut down and it took too long to get to the proper plot. The first 300 pages were a bit of a slog. Had it been a bit sharper, a bit tighter and had better pacing I think I would have enjoyed it more. I’ll carry on, but mainly because I loved Traitor’s Blade and I think the author is great.
And that’s it! Phew. I think I will aim to never miss another Bookends. Two weeks’ worth is too much 😀