Saturday, 30 March 2013

Saturday Special: February in Review


Total books read: 14

Dare You To by Katie McGarry
By Any Other Name by Laura Jarratt
Smuggler's Kiss by Marie-Louise Jensen
Abyss by Tricia Rayburn
Essential She-Hulk Volume 1 by Stan Lee, David Kraft, John Buscema and Mike Vosberg

Knights of Pendragon: Once And Future by Dan Abnett, John Tomlinson, Gary Erskine & Andy Lanning
Twisted by Sara Shephard
Curse of Kings by Alex Barclay
Joy of X by Steven Strogatz
Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger
My Best Friend and Other Enemies by Catherine Wilkins 
15 Days Without A Head by Dave Cousins
Rumpole and the Reign of Terror by John Mortimer


Random Thoughts

After not reading comics for ages, I picked up a few individual issues that a friend lent me and two TPBs from the library. The good news is that some of the single issues were awesome - Superior Spider-Man has to be one of the strongest opening few issues I've ever seen. Unfortunately, both of the TPBs were pretty dire, with She-Hulk not having aged well and Once and Future being just awful - an interesting ecological message told in a really ham-fisted way.

Finally got book 9 of Pretty Little Liars, and it's as enjoyable as ever. Looking at other series, Rumpole and the Reign of Terror wasn't one of Mortimer's best - being rather too predictable, for a start - but anything starring the charismatic barrister is worth reading, and this was no exception. Tricia Rayburn's Abyss brought a dark YA paranormal series to a decent, if slightly anti-climactic, ending, while Gail Carriger's new series - a YA spin-off from her adult Parasol Protectorate sequence - got off to a good start with fabulous world-building, a great main characters, and a real sense of fun, and Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian combined to kick off their new trilogy with an intriguing story of three girls looking for revenge on people who've wronged them.


Book of the Month

3rd: Smuggler's Kiss by Marie-Louise Jensen - My first experience of the highly-regarded historical novelist showed me exactly why so many people rave about her! Brilliant narrator, fantastic love interest and a really strong setting combine to make this an outstanding read.

2nd: Curse of Kings by Alex Barclay - Wow! Adult crime author Alex Barclay turns her hands to children's fantasy with sensational results. A dark fantasy set in one of the most richly developed worlds I can remember for ages, the first novel in the Trials of Oland Born series has me chomping at the bit for the next book.

1st: By Any Other Name by Laura Jarratt - Jarratt follows up her stunning romance Skin Deep with a very different, but equally stunning, contemporary in By Any Other Name. More action-packed than her first book, but looking at just as many difficult issues and with more of the superb characterisation that she showed in Skin Deep, this establishes Jarratt as quite possibly the very best YA contemporary author out there today.

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