Monday, February 18, 2013

Necromancing The Stone

Series: Necromancer (#2)
Genre: Adventure
Author: Lish McBride
Publisher: Macmillan

Second novels are a tricky business. As the saying goes, you have all your life to write your first and only a few months to write your second. The sophomore jinx is very much a reality -- it even has its' own TVTropes page. On the other hand, though, first novels tend to be where the young author makes all their worst mistakes. Writing, like chess, is learned by continuously and embarrassingly screwing up. So while the author may go into their second book with less enthusiasm, they compensate with more experience, a more assured hand, and an understanding of common pitfalls. So you also get books like Necromancing the Stone, the followup to 2010's Hold Me Closer, Necromancer which manages to exceed it's predecessor.

Monday, January 14, 2013


Series: Shifters (#4)
Genre: Adventure
Author: Rachel Vincent
Publisher: MIRA

Oh MAN, that feels so much better.

2012, as you may have noticed, wasn't such a great year for my blog. Between stressful events, burnout, and  some disenheartening reading choices, I didn't have a lot of energy or motivation to focus on this blog. So, for my 2013 new years resolution, I resolved to get back in the saddle and start reading again. I picked up the fourth volume of Rachel Vincent's werecat series hoping that it would remind me why I do this. Though at times frustrating, Vincent's saga of fur, fangs, and feminism has never failed to grab me. I'm happy to report that Prey continues the series' high standard of quality.

Monday, December 17, 2012


Series: Shapeshifters' Library (#1)
Genre: Adventure
Author: Amber Polo
Publisher: Self-published

Yes, I know. It was barely a month ago I swore off self-published books, and now here I am with another one. This is a special case. Most self-pubs, I get a request from the author to review, forget about how much I hate these things, and say "sure, I'll do it." Released is different; I approached the author about doing a review, because the idea was interesting. Then I promptly forgot about it. So, when I was clearing my slate of self-pubs, I remembered this, and figured that since I was the one who asked and that they've already been waiting quite some time, it would be rude of me to just toss the book out unread. So I read it, and I'm giving it a writeup, and I really wish I could say I enjoyed it. But alas, it's just the same problems as always.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Shifted Perspective (Non-Review)

There are certain rules to be followed when reviewing a book, especially if you're an author yourself. One of them is to evaluate the book as it is, not how you would have written it. I admit to having bent this rule in the past, but have generally respected it. Don't throw stones, after all. Don't rock the boat, don't open that can of worms, etc., etc.. Pick any idiom you want, you know what I mean. Well, I'm about to rock the boat big time. Shifted Perspective is such a fundamentally wretched book that I'm going to stand it up before you all and give you an enumerated list of how, exactly, author J. Bridger turned a decent idea into the festering pile of refuse it is today. (Which is why it's a non-review.) Mr. Bridger, if you are offended by what I am about to say about a book that you provided to me free-of-charge in exchange for my opinion, I am sorry. But I'm more sorry for myself for having suffered through it, because each of these 192 pages was like a knitting needle stabbed into my chest.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Kitty Steals the Show

Series: Kitty Norville (#10)
Genre: Adventure
Author: Carrie Vaughn
Publisher: Tor

I've reviewed so much Kitty Norville by this point that I worry about repeating myself. I want to call this book a "return to form", but have I used that term in relation to one of her other recent books? I can't remember, and I'm too lazy to look it up. But it's true. After wandering into unfamiliar territory in her last outing, Kitty has gotten back to basics. The latest entry in this long-running series hearkens back to the early days, full of strange, remarkable, and above all human characters. It pays off: Kitty Steals the Show is the series' best book in years.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wolf Girls

Series: Stand -Alone
Genre: Anthology
Author: Various (edited by Hannah Kate)
Publisher: Hic Dragones

I get a lot of requests to review my fellow indies. I don't accept anywhere near as many as I'd like to, especially since I'm now trying to balence a regular job and my own writing career with my blog. But when Hannah Kate asked me to review her small press' new anthology, I couldn't say no. Hannah's blog is one of the most underrated on the net (at least when it's not drowning in CFPs), and her academic background gives her a needed dose of perspective on the stories we all rant and rave about. As an anthologist, she proves just as adept, as do the collection of lesser-knowns and up-and-comers assembled to write for her.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Taken by Storm

Series: Raised by Wolves (#3)
Genre: Adventure
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher: Egmont

I'm fanboyish about Jennifer Lynn Barnes' Raised by Wolves series. This shouldn't be a secret to anybody who reads this blog regularly. So the news that Taken by Storm would be the last chapter of this series, at least for the time being, made me sad. After having read the book, however, I can totally see why Barnes wants to wrap things up. Taken by Storm is by no means a bad book, but there's a sense of fatigue about it; a feeling that's it's time to move on. All great stories, after all, must come to an end.