Has it been three weeks since I’ve been away? It feels like forever! It's been busy several weeks for me and things have never been this good in a long time. And with all these happy changes that have been going on in my life, my mood readings have become more severe. I did a lot of genre hopping, unsure of what kind of story will appeal to me not to mention finding the time to read has also been a big challenge. Still, I’m happy that I’ve managed to squeeze in a few titles despite my busy schedule and all. Anyways, let me brass-tack my reading pile:
Let me kick this off by saying that if you haven’t read The Others, not only are you missing out, I’m also begging you to pick up Written in Red! Anne Bishop simply wove a magical and truly unique world with this one. Everything about The Others is inspired, memorable, and truly enthralling. Each installment is a gem which is why it was a blow to this clueless reader that ETCHED IN BONE is the last of the Lakeside Courtyard arc. Part of me is happy that it ended on such a high note while the other part of me is dead curious about Meg and Simon’s relationship. These two is one of the cutest couple that I’ve come across with and I’m dying to know how they’re going to make their relationship work considering they’re essentially two different species. If you’ve read the series, you’ll understand that this couple goes beyond the usual were/shifter-human pair-up. Anyway, I’m happy that ABishop isn’t done with this world. Needless to say, I’m dying to get my hands on Lake Silence (2018), a new arc featuring new characters set in a human town. I just can’t get enough of this world and I’m sure I’m not alone in saying, KEEP IT COMING!
TURN & THE DRAFTER: I read these Kim Harrison bestsellers back to back. I haven’t read The Hollows and I thought it’ll be a good intro to start with TURN, the prequel to KHarrison’s epic urban fantasy series. I’m unsure about TURN, as a prequel I was expecting this to have a “standalone” feel, like an arc that’s completely separate from The Hollows novels, yet I felt like I’m the plus one in a high school reunion.
As for THE DRAFTER, I have to say that I’m super impressed by the work that went on in the plot. There’s a lot of ins and outs, lots of forwards and backward that only a master storyteller can pull off. I took breaks in between reading just to marvel how utterly brilliant KHarrison is while trying to imagine what her plot chart looks like. My mind went BOOM! by the sheer complexity of this series’ universe and plotline. Dare I say that KHarrision outdid herself, and perhaps other sci-fi fantasy authors, by adding the word “omnipotent” to her resume?
Now although I enjoyed these two novels, I also felt a certain degree of disconnect with KHarrison. At firs,t I thought THE DRAFTER is too intricate for my puny mind to grasp but TURN also felt almost alien to me. It’s one of those things that I can’t specify like was it the dialogue or the style? I can’t say for certain, all I know if that I was unable to fully connect with KHarrison’s voice in both novels.
A DEATH BY ANY OTHER NAME is the third in a historical cozy mystery series and I seriously think I could’ve enjoyed and picked up from this point without having read the first two if not for all the talk about roses. I love roses but my knowledge about horticulture and roses, in general, are nil. One could argue that I could’ve ignored the technical stuff, and I agree! I even tried to keep up by Googling the jargons, roses, etc. but it got too much that the plot started to feel slow and my interest eventually slipped away. Sadly, this was a DNF for me.
Meanwhile, GIRL IN DISGUISE, another no-go started with such promise! Set during the Civil War with a heroine as the first female detective in the famed Pinkerton Agency, the novel has a strong feminist tone to it. It started off real good but it slowly turned into some sort of a memoir where the protagonist was just going through career highlights and didn't really dig deep in terms of character development and show compelling experiences to establish how being a detective changed her. I may be wrong because I did DNF this, but at 60% into the novel, there were a lot of missed opportunities like when she had a case assigned to her that brought her to Tennessee where she witnessed slaves being dragged through the streets by their owners like pets. These instances could've reinforced how strong of a woman Kate Warne is and that she is a woman beyond her time versus summing it up in so few a words missing the mark in terms of painting a more compelling scene.