Thursday, July 28, 2011

Beyond Words pitch contest

Well, I whiffed on the YAtopia contest, but another day brings another opportunity. Victoria Marini is looking for a good two-sentence pitch over at Beyond Words. Let's see if I can do better this time. Check it out here.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Series: Wolves of Mercy Falls (#3)
Genre: Romance
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic

Maggie Stiefvater's Wolves of Mercy Falls series is an odd beast, one that's a lot better to read than to have read. Looking at it in retrospect, it's full of plot holes, writing fumbles, and pacing pacing problems. And, to be frank, Forever has a few more problems than usual. But in the moment of actually reading it, you're so enthralled by Stiefvater's detailed world-building and the realism of her characters, that none of that matters. I guess that in the end it's not love, but style, that conquers all. And whatever else you might say for or against it, Forever has the style. It's held on to the same strength of voice and expression that made the last two books hits, and thereby transcends it's limitations to provide a fitting finale to one of the best YA paranormals of recent memory.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Kitty's Big Trouble

Series: Kitty Norville (#9)
Genre: Adventure
Author: Carrie Vaughn
Publisher: Tor

Whenever I sit down to read a new book, I tear off a sheet from a small notepad to use as a bookmark. As I read, I write down notes as they occur to me, to help keep my thoughts straight for the eventual review. When I got through with Kitty's Big Trouble, the notepad sheet wound up being completely blank. I hadn't jotted down a single thing. This is good and bad. Good, because nothing sufficiently annoying to jar me out of the story happened. Bad, because nothing sufficiently good to require noting happened either. Don't get me wrong: Kitty's Big Trouble is a very enjoyable book, at least the best of the series since Kitty Raises Hell. But it's hampered by a recurrent problem with the Kitty Norville series: it lacks a certain intellectual depth. It's a popcorn read: tasty, but somewhat bland and, at the end of the day, unremarkable.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pitch contest over at YAtopia

I try to keep this blog reviews only -- no memes, no chatty posts, no fanboyish ranting. All killer, no filler. But, opportunity knocks, and the starving artist answers: YAtopia is having a pitch contest. Three lines to sell your MS to Vickie Motter, book-blogger and agent with Andrea Hurst. Entry requirements include a blog post with a link to the contest. So, here you are.

In all seriousness, you really should check out both Vickie's blog and YAtopia. Both are solid bloggers who keep consistent schedules and have informative and interesting things to say. I follow both, and YAtopia is on my blogroll over by the sidebar.

Wish me luck!

Monday, July 11, 2011


Series: The Otherworld (#1, "Elena" sub-series #1)
Genre: Romance (allegedly)/Adventure
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Penguin

I had meant to do Wolfsangel this week, but when I tracked it down at a local library, it was on the new books shelf and thus not for circulation. I wound up with Bitten instead because I happened to pass by the shelf where it was sitting en route to the restroom and thought "Well... why not?" These circumstances were interesting enough that I remarked half-jokingly to some friends that it must have been "destiny". And you know, there might be something to that. Bitten has wound up sandwiched on my reading schedule between the awesome Trial by Fire and my personal favorite series. Adding to that, midway through reading Bitten I was kidnapped by the muse and, lacking any dudes bad enough to save me, had to table my reading in favor of a week-long 30,000 word writing rampage. (Other writers will probably know what I mean.)  So perhaps it was by some divine providence that this unenviable place on my TBR list was taken by a book that never had a chance in hell of getting a good write-up from me.