melita66: (ship)
Whew, it's been a while since I posted. I had a few dry periods, particularly over the holidays, but have been cracking along (relatively) since mid-January.

I was waiting for a few books to come out, and none of the new books sitting around were enticing so I ended up (re)reading a few Elizabeth Peters books in the Amelia Peabody-Emerson series. Both were later books, set after Ramses is an adult: Children of the Storm and The Golden One. I enjoyed the later books, after Ramses (Amelia's son) became an adult and had more control over his own destiny. These are set in and around WWI. This series can be an acquired taste. I liked the first book when I read it, somewhat of a pastiche on the old Haggard / romance novels, but Amelia, Emerson, et al. really grown on you, and I've wildly enjoyed almost all the books. I'll shall likely continue to acquire the ebooks and re-read the rest of the series this year. Oh, the Peabody-Emerson clan are British archaeologists in Egypt who end up tangling with a Master Criminal, tomb robbers, spies, and other nefarious characters.

It was definitely a short novel, but I managed somehow to finish Jo Walton's My Real Children over a weekend. It's the story of a woman relegated to an Alzheimer's unit who has confused days, and really confused days. So confusing that sometimes she remembers having 4 children and sometimes remembers having 3 children. The book tells both stories which led out of her having to answer 'yes' or 'no' to her boyfriend about whether she would marry him. Both stories had good and bad parts, so there's no answer as to which answer was correct. I found it very haunting and sad, and very difficult because I'd had a hard week, and it made for a hard weekend too. The ending though, wow. Also hard because my father lost his facilities before he died (as his mother did but hers was gradual and his more abrupt), and my maternal grandfather had also had problems before he died.

I definitely needed an upper after that, and settled on A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold. Miles Vorkosigan has fallen in love...he has a plan! I'm still not sure about the very visceral fight near the end (a bit too slapstick for my liking), but the Council of Counts scene, and of course, the dinner party earlier--priceless! Although someone could read this as their introduction to the Vorkosiverse, reading the rest of the series adds quite a bit to understanding the undercurrents and comments that occur in the book.

The eARC (electronic advanced reader's copy) of Dragon in Exile by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller was released either late in January or early in February. It continues from I Dare, Dragon Ship, and Necessity's Child. It opens a new five book series. Set mostly on Surebleak, it reveals that DoI is definitely still after Korval, and that there are likely other enemies of the clan heading to Surebleak to have their revenge, or to revel in Korval's downfall (as they think). Not a good place to start in the Korval Universe.

I then happened to see a reference that the Cormac and Amelia book was out, Low Midnight. This is a side book to the main Kitty Norville series, featuring Cormac, her husband's cousin, and his resident magician/wizard, Amelia. Cormac was convicted of manslaughter (I think) and has to spend several years in prison. While there, he's taken over by a ghost or spirit of a woman who had been convicted of murder and witchcraft a hundred years earlier. They combine forces to kill a supernatural creature, and Cormac agrees to Amelia's continued presence in his life. In this book, they take on a few mysteries trying to help Kitty and her battle against an ancient vampire who plans to take over the world. I like Cormac and Amelia a lot so was quite happy to read this book.

Meanwhile, the latest Order of the Air book, Wind Raker, by Melissa Scott and Jo Graham was released. Yeaaaa!!! These books deal with a set of aviators in Colorado, Gilchrist Aviation, a medium (she can see and talk to ghosts), and an archaeologist. They're also part of a lodge (magical). In this book, the archaeologist has been given a job on Oahu to prove that he can handle a dig. If it works, he'll be able to work on a dig in Alexandria, where they may have a lead to Alexander the Great's mausoleum. Why is it a problem? Jerry lost part of a leg in WWI, and it's the 1920s so getting around can be difficult. Meanwhile, Gilchrist Aviation is asked to test the new Catalina sea plane, also in Hawaii. At the same time, one of the aviators, Mitch and his wife (the medium), Stasi have custody of the three kids of a laborer/mechanic who left the kids and hasn't returned. Everyone ends up in Hawai'i, where they encounter Pelley again, a woman under a curse, and some early German shenanigans. Lots of fun.
melita66: (ship)
The latest Kitty book, Kitty in the Underworld by Carrie Vaughn, came out recently. I started it and was cooking along for about 90 pages or so. Wanting to see where it was going, I skipped to the end. Now I don't see any point in reading the middle bits. Ugh. I'm underwhelmed with the whole arch-enemy storyline about Roman. Yes, we've learned a bit more about him, but only a bit. I'd much rather have more Cormac and Amelia!

This would probably be a decent book for someone who hasn't read the rest of the series. The focus is on Kitty, and she's removed from her friends, family, and pack for most of the book.

I was much happier with the Stephanie Burgis book, Stolen Magic, the third book in the Kat Incorrigible series. Kat, Katherine Ann Stephenson, is the youngest daughter of four children. Their mother died when Kat was 10 days old, and several years later, their father remarried. The stepmama isn't quite an evil stepmother, but has worries about propriety (their mother was anything but) and would like to be higher on the social ladder. The previous books revealed that Kat inherited her mother's Guardian-style magic as well as witchery and her older sisters found future husbands. In this book, her brother (who has now eschewed gambling and drinking) meets a wonderful young woman--but she has all but sworn to never entertain any but the most upright man. The also family also has a carriage mishap on their way to Angeline and Frederick's marriage which turns out to be sabotage. Who was it aimed at? Mix in some smugglers, horrible future in-laws, and other relatives and you've got a delightful book.
melita66: (japanese fruit)
I had a lot more reading time than normal recently because I was out of town on a business trip. (No kids! Yea! ... Um, I missed them so much. Um, yeah, that's right)

I wanted to take a paperback because it would be lighter (and ya can't read an ebook on take-off and landing) and if it got dinged, no big deal. I settled on Carrie Vaughn's Kitty Rocks the House. It's the fifth book in the Kitty Norville series released by Tor. The first 7 were released by a different publisher and the series starts with Kitty and the Midnight Hour.

Kitty Norville is a deejay with a syndicated radio show about the supernatural. She's married to a lawyer, Ben. Both are werewolves and the alphas of the Denver pack. In the recent books, they've discovered that a group of vampires playing the Long Game plan to take over the world, really. Other oppose them, including the master vampire of Denver, Rick. Rick and Kitty are trying to connect with the other non-take-over-the-world vampires to stop it. In this book, Kitty has to deal with potential allies, a cranky sister, a thread to the pack, and a new threat to the equilibrium of the city. Cormac (and Amelia) make a few appearances--I always find them welcome.

Beyond being well-written, the Kitty series makes a nice change from most of the urban fantasy books on the market. Kitty hasn't 'powered up' beyond becoming more emotionally stable, assertive, and knowledgeable. The threats and squick haven't been ramping up that quickly either. You could probably read and enjoy this entry without reading the rest of the series, but there's quite a bit that you would miss. If you've been following the series, it's a worthwhile addition.
melita66: (raven)

I've been busy with my company's annual conference where I didn't read anything beyond a newspaper. I did manage to read a book and some e-novellas before it started.

This is about an on-going series. It may well contain spoilers, but they should be mild. If you hate any kind of spoilers, you may not want to read it.

Kitty's Big Trouble is the latest book about Kitty Norville by Carrie Vaughn. This is a fun series. It recently changed publishers because Vaughn wanted to write non-Kitty books. That seems a bit short-sighted by the publisher when you've got a hit series on your hands. The series was snatched up by Tor.

Kitty is a night-time DJ who, on a whim, decides one night to start talking about supernatural issues. The show becomes a big hit, probably because Kitty herself is a werewolf. Earlier books found her breaking free of her first pack and setting up her own and were narrowly focused in her home town in Colorado. Later books have ranged across the country and are opening up into one of those widespread-vampire-led-conspiracies that show up a lot. Anyway, that's a minor note in an overall very good series.

In this book, Kitty, her husband, Ben, and his cousin, Cormac, head to San Francisco. Kitty is asked to and help the vampire Anastasia acquire a magical object before bad guy vampire Roman does so. Roman appears to be trying to take over as many vampires as he can (weres are fodder). I have to admit I don't really remember anything about Anastasia and Roman from the earlier books, which reduced some of the emotional impact. ("Oh, no, it's Roman!" Umm, okay) They are like popcorn. I should probably re-read the series sometime.

Cormac, former vampire/werewolf hunter, is now a convicted felon and on parole. As such, he's not allowed to carry a gun. He's making do with magical objects now that he's hosting a 19th century witch. Yeah, it's getting strange.

One thing that got me at the end is that Kitty plans to go to England. cormac makes a statement about whether he can even get a passport. Oh, probably, but England doesn't have to let him in, and likely won't. I wonder if Vaughn will cover that in the next book?

I still recommend this series. We have forward movement on plot and characters unlike some other urban fantasy series. Kitty is pushy and talkative but it's great having a character that would rather discuss a problem and try to find a solution or persuade someone to help first. I don't recomment this book as an intro to the series though. Start at the beginning with Kitty and the Midnight Hour.


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