Late this month. I had a few days with a dead keyboard which really threw all my plans out of sync. Techie son in law tells me I don’t need a new laptop yet. It’s that last word I find ominous. Anyway, here we go with some of May’s reading.
New authors (new to me, anyway).
The excellent – a real ‘find’
Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree***** Gorgeous fantasy with a delicate ff romance between an orc and a succubus. The descriptions are fabulous with a focus on smell, touch, taste and hearing rather than sight. Apparently it’s the author’s first novel (he usually does the audio books for other people) and I really really hope there’ll be more. The world with its multi-species characters seems so real and grounded and the story was exciting. There’s the potential for sequels galore, perhaps with these characters and this location as background.
The Huntsmen by Tony Forder*** Competent and well written police procedural dealing with investigating a possible paedophile ring. I wasn’t sufficiently intrigued by the detectives or the location to follow the series. I know the author is well thought of by the FB UK Crime Book Club group and I can see why, but I think I need more than mere competence…
Whispers in the Woods by KC Carmine***. Disappointing, especially as it had been recommended after I’d written my Christmas tree-shifter story (see free stuff on my website). The tree shifting was used as a kind of extension of being ‘different’ and the story was an mm romance that looked at issues to do with coming out, homophobia, xenophobia, etc. especially in relation to Eastern Europe where the story was set. The plot wasn’t exciting and the romance was forgettable at best. Nicely written and full of social commentary but that’s about all I can say for it.
Luckless by Cari Z*** If you like lots of battles with monsters, go for it. I worked out the plot long before the ‘hero’ did, and was faintly bored. Especially because I skim explicit fight scenes as well as explicit sex scenes. It didn’t help that I had been reading the TJ Nichols series with much better developed mythological creatures. This author is not really completely new to me as I have come across them as a co-author with other writers. However, I decided to give their individual work a try but won’t bother again. Not bad – just not for me.
Jack: C S Lewis and his times by George Sayer*** It was interesting to read about the background to the Narnia books, and to get a picture of Oxford between the wars, but I couldn’t help wishing the biographer hadn’t been so excited about and invested in Jack’s conversion to Christianity. The final chapters that dealt with his marriage to Joy, an American, painted an almost unrecognisable picture from that in the film Shadowlands and I have to assume Sayer, as a friend of Lewis, gives a more accurate description.
Abandoned: (remember this is a personal choice – if a book is dire, I tend to finish it and say so!)
The Young Man’s Guide To Love And Loyalty by Clara Merrick It might be quite good but after a couple of pages trying to get my head round a steampunk world with a totally different history and a naval battle of epic proportions on behalf of unknown royalty, I gave up. Anyone who likes that kind of story – and I’m sure there are plenty of you out there – might love it. Please note that I abandoned the ‘classic’ Master and Commander series because of the naval battles, too, so it really isn’t a criticism of the writing.
The Harvest: Taken by M A Church Dale is kidnapped by an alien who wants him as his mate. The story line was predictable and not particularly well written or edited. I was quickly bored and gave up. I appreciate that it might not be derivative and that others I have read might well have been written later, but it’s not really a plot that appeals to me in the first place. I should have read the blurb with more care.