Happy 4th of July!!!
The past reading months has been a little more successful than May. Although the dominant genre is still fantasy, I managed to sneak in a crime novel and a little science fiction.
I also tried out something new (at least for me) and listened to my first audiobook: Sophie Kinsella Remember Me?. However, it was read in German, so I will write an individual entry in general later this month.
Anyway, lets begin with a little crime.
P.D. James – Death Comes to Pemberley
This story is a wonderful continuation of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice mixed with a crime story. Just as Austen, James paid attention to the relationships and development of the characters while filling the gap between the end of Austen’s novel and the beginning of James’s narrative logically and satisfactory.
The crime story is interesting yet not gory and bloody and integrates itself easily into my more relaxing crime reads a la Agatha Christie and Alexander McCall Smith – good crime fiction that lack the blood and gore of stories by Patricia Cornwell or an occasional Val McDermid. They let me sleep at night 🙂
Maria V Snyder – Poison Study
After my short fix of a calm crime story (I have to admit that I am recently more prone to the “calmer” crime fiction), I returned to the young adult fantasy genre.
Also another great book, Poison Study centers around Yelena who becomes the food taster for the Commander of Ixia and has to learn to survive on a world of political intrigue and where magic is punishable by death.
I loved this story because the character for once is not introduced as super powerful and all-knowing, but has to learn to become strong and how to navigate her life, her enemies, and her demons. The characters are likeable and funny and the story is fast paced with surprising and interesting narrative turns.
David Peter – Into the Void (Star Trek New Frontier Book 2)
I love Star Trek and I have watched many episodes (well, fine. I probably watched almost all of them) and reading a Star Trek novel or novella feels like a little throw back into my childhood. So being confronted with my inner fan girl, this Star Trek novel was a blast for me.
Into the Void is the second book in this series and deals with a new crew and ship – the Excalibur. In this second installment we learn how the crew comes together and prepares for their mission into the Thalon Empire.
These books are sadly quite short and deal with a small aspect of the overall storyline. Thus the crews coming together and the existing connections and/or animosities between the individual members is of central concern in this one, before the actual mission starts in the following books.
Moira Young – Blood Red Road (Dust Lands 1)
I came across this book by chance and although I had difficulties to adapting to the language, the lack of quotation marks, and to the main character, this book was an enjoyable read.
It was interesting for me to slowly understand and relate to a character that I did not necessarily like from the beginning. And though many developments between the characters were sometimes predictable, there are many mysteries left. I will definitely read the next installment.
Jim C. Hines – The Stepsister Scheme
My last book of this month was this fairy tale retelling. I enjoy fairy tales but I have been somewhat reluctant to read any. I have seen many retellings on TV and lets just say not all of them were great or even good. With an über-critical attitude I started this book.
It took me a while to warm up to this version but I eventually did. There are some elements that annoyed me a little and sometimes I wanted to shack the main character just because I could, but overall it was an interesting experience.
Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty (all with different names of course) work together to rescue Cinderella’s husband Armand after he was kidnapped by her stepsisters. But nothing is as simple and easy as it sounds. It is a mixture of Charlie’s Angels meets fairy tale characters. I intend to pick up the next installment.
The next month might be a little less successful when reading is concerned as I have to read quite a lot of theory for my dissertation. But I will do my best to spend some time with books. Have a great reading month July!