melita66: (maiko)
Yes, I'm still reading the Anita Blake series, although the previous book just about hit my squick/bored buttons. This book, Kiss the Dead, was a refreshing change as it focused more on her work with RPIT (the local police force that deals with paranormal crimes). There wasn't a sex scene until about halfway through the book! And then they seemed minor, and um, boring. Also not too much angst. The angst was mainly about the newest werelion to join who's still a teenager. She does find a new side effect of the ardeur, but it was mainly under control.
melita66: (ship)
I was very happy that The Siren Depths by Martha Wells was released early. It's the third book in the Raksura series which began with The Cloud Roads. The Raksura are a nonhuman race that lives on the Three Worlds (air, water, land, I believe). The main character is Moon, an Aeriat of the Raksura. Raksura are two races, Aeriat and Arbora. The Aeriat have two forms, one more human-looking and the other is scaled and winged. Moon spent most of his life wandering the Three Worlds after his 'mother', a warrior Aeriat, was killed. It turned out that she had rescued him and several Arbora from a disaster that befell their colony. In The Cloud Roads, he is found by an elder Raksura, Stone, who takes him to a small, struggling colony called Indigo Cloud. He's taken by a queen of the colony, Jade, as her first consort (a special type of Aeriat.

Consorts are normally coddled and protected until they become old enough and powerful enough to do what they want. Because of Moon's upbringing, he's much more independent. This makes a lot of trouble for him as he doesn't respond as anyone else expects. In this book, a neighboring colony's queen believes she recognizes which colony and bloodline he's from and contacts that colony without his knowledge. They show up, wanting him back, which is considered proper as Jade didn't negotiate with his birth colony, even though they weren't sure what it was. Once there, they get involved with more Fell (another race that looks somewhat like Raksura but prey on humanoid species). There's a nice wrap-up which settles Moon's future and reveals quite a bit of information about the Fell and what they were so interested in Moon and the other Raksura--why they were capturing them rather than just eating them.

If you like nicely complex characters and a twisty plot set in an interesting alien world with plenty of different races, I highly recommend these books. Wells has sold a set of short stories about the Raksura, and I look forward to reading more.
melita66: (maiko)
So I managed to finish two books within the last few weeks. I stayed up late a few nights for both and I definitely feel it. I kept lying down today while "playing" with one of the babies.

The first book is Necessity's Child by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. I read this as an electronic advanced reader's copy (eARC) from Baen books. This is not the final state of the book, but the draft send to Baen for copyediting/publishing (it's had any editorial changes done). It's set on Surebleak after Korval takes residence. One of the main characters is Syl Vor, Nova yos'Galan's child. He's somewhere around 8-10 years old and is rather solemn and without any playmates after the events of Plan B/I Dare. It's decided to send him to a new local school for that reason and to show that Korval trusts in the safety of the schools. A young girl called Anna (actually Kezzi) becomes entangled with Syl Vor and ends up adopted temporarily (fostered) with Korval. Kezzi is of the Bedel, a gypsy-like group. They practice the fleez (fleece?) and regularly steal from the gadje (anyone not one of them). A third viewpoint character awakens near one of the entrances to the Bedel's homes and is rescued by one of them. He turns out to be Liaden and a DoI agent. So it's their adventures. I liked it. It's not one of my favorite books by them, but interesting characters and a relatively quick-moving plot, as normal for a Lee/Miller book.

I then got to start The General's Mistress by Jo Graham. It's adapted from the real life person, Ida St. Elme, who was a courtesan and adventuress in Napoleonic France. This book chronicles Ida's life from the age of around 19 to 24. She's leaves her husband and escapes to France, where she ends up the mistress of General Victor Moreau first, and then General Michel Ney. Much of Graham's works fall into her Numinous World where the same people are re-incarnated and meet again. I need to re-read her books again, as I don't have a strong grasp on most of the character and don't always recognize a particular 'soul.' I'd have to call this books a bit racy; definitely adult, with some adult themes. I'm looking forward to the next book which is scheduled for next year sometime.
melita66: (ghibli house)
Patricia Wrede wraps up Eff's story in The Far West. Set in an alternative history, Eff lives in Columbia, aka the US, around the late 1800s. The new world didn't have any humans living in it before being settled by Avrupans (Europeans), Aphrikans (guess), and Cathayans (on the west coast). What the new world does have are a lot of dangerous creatures, both magical and not. Some of the founding fathers (Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson) created a magical barrier (Great Barrier) that runs along the Mississippi, over to the Great Lakes and then down the St. Lawrence Seaway/River. This blocks most magical creatures out and allows the country to be settled relatively safely.

Eff is the thirteen child of a professor who moves a lot of his family out to the great barrier to a new college that's starting up. Eff's twin is a seventh son of a seventh son with plenty of magical power to spare and she's always been overshadowed by him, and all the older siblings. She's been forging her own path in the two previous books, Thirteenth Child and Across the Great Barrier. She's studying both Avrupan and Aphrikan magic styles because she's always had trouble getting her magic to work properly. She also assists some professors with the college's menagerie. Because of this work and her previous experience on the far side of the Great Barrier, she's chosen to accompany one of the professors as an assistant on a scientific journey of discovery. They're going to try to reach the rocky mountains and see if they can figure out why some very dangerous magical creatures have started migrating towards the settled lands.

I liked the book, but nothing really stood out for me. Much of the book is homey details about Eff's relationships with her family and friends. The trip also discusses a lot of the logistical planning and accommodations that have to be made on any long trip like this. For instance, they winter over and how they prepare and cope is quite interesting. I do look forward to re-reading the entire trilogy which may change my feelings about this book.
melita66: (ship)
Wheee! The electronic advanced reader's copy (eARC) for Captain Vorpatril's Alliance was released a few weeks ago. I did manage to finish it within a few days, but then just fell down on getting this blog entry posted. Lois McMaster Bujold has a long-running series that's mostly about Miles Vorkosigan. He's a medically fragile count's son from a planet named Barrayar. He overcomes his physical issues and to have a wildly interesting life. Anyway, some of the books in the series are about other people like his parents but this new book is about his cousin, Ivan Vorpatril. Ivan, while pretty smart and competent (when he needs to be) has tried hard to not have an interesting life and spend as much of it as possible with "wine, women, and song." In this book, he finally gets his own adventure that doesn't include his cousin. An entry on the lighter side like Cetaganda, it has some lovely-to-me, OMG moments like chapters 5 and 6 and 12. Not a great Vorkosigan book (Memory and A Civil Campaign are my favorites), but any Bujold is miles ahead of a ton of books that are available.

Melissa Scott is now writing new books in the Astreiant series. This series was co-written by her partner, Lisa Barnett, who unfortunately died several years ago. Lethe Press is re-releasing the two existing books in the series, Point of Hopes and Point of Dreams, plus a new novella and novel. The city of Astreiant is divided into sections, "points," and policed by pointsmen and -women. It's roughly renaissance era (guns exist) and magic is real. Astrology does work in this world and plays an important role in the Point of Hopes novel. Nicholas Rathe is an unusual pointsman in that he refuses to take money to solve a case that sometimes leads him to unusual cases because he's known to be incorruptible. In Point of Hopes, he meets Philip Eslingen, an out-of-work soldier who ends up helping him solve a case of missing children. In Point of Dreams they end up working together again on a play-related murder. The new novella, Point of Knives, takes place in-between and fills in some of the gap. Philip and Nicholas are on-and-off lovers because Philip has been hired as a bodyguard by a shady trader so there's some angst that neither one's bosses are happy that they're involved at all. Another fun book, and I'm so pleased that she's continuing this series finally.


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November 2016

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