July Review Round-Up

So many books… So little time! I still have 59 on my TBR shelf – with 3 more on the way! Here’s a brief round-up of the books I’ve read recently. The following books aren’t listed in the order I read them – frankly because I can’t remember the order in which I did!

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson – I really hate Brandon Sanderson. No, not really. But Sanderson’s worlds are always so smoothly built and unique that I turn green and purple with envy. Warbreaker is a solid, engaging read. It plods a bit at the beginning until it can pick up a good pace and then tumbles you headlong in a breathless rush to the conclusion. I only have one beef with this: Why incorporate colors into your magic system and not give each color a different attribute? A bit more ‘oomph’ could have gone into that aspect; but as the whole thing was so involved already, I’m giving Sanderson a pass on this one. [Link][xrr rating=4.0/5 imageset=tiny_star]

Naamah’s Kiss by Jacqueline Carey – I loved all of Carey’s Kushiel books, so I was excited to see another series in the same world. This one takes place several generations later, so we – sadly – won’t be seeing any old friends. The main character, Moirin, doesn’t have the allure and sexual heat that Phèdre did. It’s still an engaging tale, though, as Moirin’s growing destiny leads her from Alba through Terre d’Ange and into Ch’in – a new and exotic place for readers to visit in this rich and enchanting world. [Link] [xrr rating=4.25/5 imageset=tiny_star]

Skinwalker by Faith Hunter – Hunter is another favorite of mine. I picked up her Rogue Mage series just as the first book was coming out and I’ve been hooked ever since. Jane Yellowrock is a skinwalker – the only one of her kind. She uses her unique shape-shifting abilities and a mysterious passenger on her soul known as Beast to hunt and kill rogue vampires. Hunter’s worlds are always immersive and intriguing. I found myself liking Jane’s world even better than Thorn’s – mostly because there’s no religious mythology to leave my head spinning. I recommend this for all fans of urban fantasy. [Link][xrr rating=4.75/5 imageset=tiny_star]

Mark of the Demon by Diana Rowland – I promised the author herself via Twitter that I would buy and read this book – because it has autopsies. Some bookstores are shelving this in romance – and that element is there – but it’s mostly a rough and tumble ride through the world of Kara Gillian, summoner of demons. Just when I thought I had the mystery solved, Rowland threw in a twist that left me panting from the exertion of trying to keep up! If you love CSI, crime, or autopsy shows on television, then boy is this the book for you. Very highly recommended. [Link][xrr rating=4.75/5 imageset=tiny_star]

Night Life by Caitlin Kittredge – This was my first foray into Kittredge’s solo writing. (See my review of Black & White here.) She’s created a dark world that sinks its teeth in and doesn’t let go. Luna Wilder is an Insoli werewolf – a loner without a pack, the bottom rung of werewolf society. A police officer investigating a series of grizzly murders, Luna teams up with a hunky alpha to find the killer. I’m still trying to figure out whether the name Luna is supposed to be sarcastic, though. It seems like a too-appropriate name for a werewolf. Other than that, I loved the writing and I can’t wait to read more of Kittredge’s work! [Link][xrr rating=4.0/5 imageset=tiny_star]

Salt and Silver by Anna Katherine – This book had a bigger romance element than I typically read but I gave it a chance because it was being so highly recommended. There were times when I wanted to strangle Allie because, hello, you’re in Hell! And there are things that want to eat you! Would you please stop ogling the man cookies and pay attention to staying alive? On the other hand, I loved the idea of Doorways into Hell and the demon hunters who protect them. The resolution to the end battle seemed just a tiny bit forced, but I’d jump at the chance to read a sequel anyway. Overall, Salt and Silver is a great piece of fun fluff reading. [Link][xrr rating=3.5/5 imageset=tiny_star]

Norse Code by Greg von Eekhout – I have to admit that I felt a little lost here. I know the basics of Norse mythology but there were times when the references in this book went over my head. I’m a Greek mythology buff, myself; but I tried not to let my lack of study detract too much from the story. The sheer disaster movie epic-ness of the plot kept me rolling headlong toward the end. I loved the premise and the events of the book. I didn’t fall in love with the characters. As much as I wanted to root for Mist and her murdered sister, Lilly, I just couldn’t bring myself to get too excited. I ended up with that “It’s not you, it’s me” kind of feeling. If you’re a Norse mythology fan, I urge you to disregard what I’ve said and read this book. In fact, give it a shot anyway. Because I honestly think the problem was more where I was at when I read this book then it was the actual book. [Link][xrr rating=3.0/5 imageset=tiny_star]

Red-Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells – If you have not read this book  yet, RUN, don’t walk to your nearest store (or website) and pick it up now. This is the most unique take on vampires I’ve seen possibly ever. And believe me, I’ve read a lot of vampire stories. I actually finished this book awhile ago so I won’t make any plot points.  I’ll just say that I’ve fallen in love with Sabina Kane and I want more. I can’t wait for the sequel! My only concession will be to say that yes, the title does seem unfortunate at first. But when you read the book, it all becomes clear. Now if only I could get my husband to read it and stop laughing… [Link][xrr rating=4.85/5 imageset=tiny_star]

Disclaimer: I am not an affiliate of anybody. I get nothing from your purchase of any of these items, except the pleasure of seeing someone pick up a good read. I’ve only linked to the first place to get them that I could Google. I also purchased all of these books myself and have received no compensation for anything written here. I also find it a shame that I need such a disclaimer. Happy reading!