Recently Finished . . .
Dog-Nabbed, by Susan J. Kroupa
In this third delightful Doodlebugged mystery, Doodle, the labradoodle trained to sniff out bedbugs, is taken to the Appalachian hills by Molly’s dad (“the boss”) to visit Molly’s grandparents, some maternal relatives, and her old friend Lizzie.
Except that Lizzie isn’t available because her dad, grief-stricken at an accident that killed Lizzie’s older brother, has taken to listening to a “holy man” who denies the family pretty much everything. Except giving money to him. This man, Zeke, chases off Molly and Doodle when they try to explore the woods, until Molly stumbles on something she wasn’t supposed to see, and gets herself and Doodle lost in the process. (rest of review)
Ancillary Justice, by Anne Leckie
Loved this space opera. Slow to begin, with deliberate switches back and forth in time, this space opera features an ambiguous narrator/protagonist whose ambiguity is not only about gender but identity. The leisurely pacing begins to accelerate chapter by chapter, getting a second-stage jet boost when a weapon makes an appearance.
After that, the pacing accelerates to a ripping . . . not climax or resolution (review)
Bones of the Fair, by Andrea K. Höst
This book is a sequel to Champion of the Rose, however it reminded me more ofStained Glass Monsters in that most of the story is taken up with the intricacies of magic.
Though it takes place soon after the events of Champion of the Rose, only two characters from that book are involved in the events of this magical mystery. I’m glad to say that one of these is a favorite, Aspen. (The other was Soren, who alas stays behind.) The second is the Diamond, Aristide Courveur, who tends more toward a certain type of character (impossibly brilliant, beautiful, hard, detached, in control); this type of character I think is hard to make convincing or even interesting, as many authors tend to fall into the narrative trap of telling us how smart these guys are, and then doing the old bait and switch from brains to elaborating the details of their beauty, without truly demonstrating their superior wit and strategic moxie. Höst gives us this type in other novels, perhaps more successfully; in this one, she does employ this narrative device a bit, but still manages to make him convincing enough to carry the story: the Diamond is never more interesting than when he is facing defeat. (rest of review)
I’ve got a bunch of them going! Here are some that I am enjoying:
Lest Camelot Fall, by Danny Adams
What happened after Arthur died? This story begins hours later, as Lucian Arelianus arrives a bit too late to fight. Rich with period atmosphere, distinct personalities fleshing out the legendary characters and nicely introducing new ones, complex (the Christian priests are not all teeth-gnashingly evil and the Druids are not all enlightened postmodernists in tunics), with an interesting take on Merlin, whose magic incidentally works. But it cannot fix what man does to man, and why.
Black Dog, by Rachel Neumeier
Natividad and her brothers Alejandro and Miguel are on the run. One of them is a black dog, a werewolf, and there’s a nasty werewolf leader out to get them all. Really interesting take on the werewolf legend, gets off at a thundering pace and keeps on moving.
I have a slew of history books going, some for projects and some for fun. I’ll get to those another Wednesday.
How about you? Have you read any of these, and what did you think? Have you recommendations?