Today I’m doing something a little different. I’m going to post short reviews of numerous books. Why? Because I’m amazingly behind, and this will be the only way to even partially catch up. It’s crazy to think that even though my life was crazy between January – June (cancer treatment, two surgeries, etc.), I’m STILL trying to catch up. So, here you go, short paragraph reviews of a few books to help me get my butt in gear.
A Dance of Cloaks – David Dalglish
A Dance of Cloaks is a lot of fun, plenty of action, likable characters with a plot that’s easy to get into. The problem? I’ve already read the Night Angel Trilogy, and this one felt a little same-old-same-old for my taste. If you are a huge fan of that type of book, or new to it, then you’ll probably love this one. As for me? I think I read too much to be overly impressed. That being said, I can see where the author could take a turn in future books of the series, and thus, set his books apart from so many others. I hope he does because I really enjoyed the easy flow of the narrative and loved his writing style.
Quintessence – David Walton
This book was a battle for me. On the one hand, I loved how Walton toyed with the themes of faith verses science. The narrative moved at a nice pace. The dialogue was believable and the characters were well drawn, if a bit shallow in some respects. On the other hand, the plot felt sort of ho-hum. Interesting, yes. Twisty-turny-edge-of-your-seat? No. Is that bad? Not really, but I did feel like this book left something to be desired. I would have appreciated a bit more surprise and ump. There are some deeper themes being played with and a plot that has some real potential, I just don’t feel like Quintessence ever attains it. Despite all of that, this book is unique enough to read, and to please those who read it.
Bronze Gods – A.A. Aguirre
Bronze Gods is part fun and part frustrating. There’s nothing that bothers me more than reading a detective novel where I’m constantly three steps ahead of the detectives. What fun is that? That being said, the two detectives in Bronze Gods almost make all the frustration worth it. They grow on you, and by the time the book has finished, you’ve ended up having a lot of fun with them, despite the fact that you want to slap them sometimes. The plot isn’t that surprising, a lot of it is formulaic, but the world is rather fascinating and the characters are a lot of fun. This is one of those books that has plenty of problems, but it’s enjoyable, despite them. Worth reading if you’re into something with an interesting world but doesn’t require deep thought.
The Human Division – John Scalzi
I don’t really like television for numerous reasons, so I struggled a bit with this book because it does read like a television show, in book form. Each chapter is a new episode in the series, type of thing. Despite that, it’s rather interesting, and not just for the unique way it is all put together. It’s Scalzi, so there’s a lot of dark humor and some deeper threads. I love how Scalzi writes on multiple levels. Even if this book did frustrate me in some respects, I enjoyed it. There really isn’t a clean resolution at the end, but it will leave readers wanting more – even readers who don’t like this sort of television-style book. I went into it not expecting much, and I ended it wanting to see what happens next. So get moving, Scalzi.
Charming – Elliott James
Oh, the infodumps!! They killed this otherwise wonderful book. Great world building, lovable characters, the author infused the “fantastic” into the world in a natural, effortless way. However, there are a lot of infodumps and they bog down the plot and get exhausting. That being said, I did have fun reading this anyway. I have high hopes for the next book in the series, and I doubt that it will be so infodump heavy. Recommended, but with reservation.
The Mad Scientist’s Daughter – Cassandra Rose Clark
I read this book because my kid saw it at the library. It had a moon on the cover. She’s obsessed with moons, so book = read. This is a fast read, and a fairly short book, comparatively speaking. The world is kind of vague, but the science fiction aspect is interesting. The romance is absolutely charming, which says a lot coming from this anti-romance reader. Totally recommend if you want something a little thoughtful, fast, absorbing, and very charming. Good job at nabbing this one, Angry Robot Books.