Quick book reading update

Since I haven’t actually been buying books for any of this month, you’d think I’d get caught up faster on my reading and reviewing, right? Not so much. See my previous posts about all the shenanigans involved with our shiny Great Big Sea contest entry!

That said? I did want to do a quick summary of everything I’ve read lately. Full reviews will be coming, but this is to let you know what’s on the way! And now, recent Book Log entries, the short form:

#47 – Brains: A Zombie Memoir, by Robin Becker. As you might guess from the title, we’re talkin’ zombies here, folks. Short, quick, and hilarious. Four stars.

#48 – The Stepsister Scheme, by (Jim C. Hines). First of Hines’ Princess novels, introducing his versions of Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty. Think Disney Princesses meet Charlie’s Angels and you’ll get a very good feel for what this series is about. Highly entertaining! This one sets up what happens to this version of Cinderella after she gets her prince–and her stepsisters refuse to take this lying down. Four stars.

#49 – The Mermaid’s Madness, by . Second of his Princess novels. This one is the series’ take on the Little Mermaid. Darker of tone and overall, IMO, more cohesive than the first. Four stars.

#50 – Dark and Disorderly, by Bernita Harris. This is the first book I’ve read from Carina Press, and I gotta say I enjoyed it quite a bit. Nice urban fantasy, with the romance angle handed with a light touch–exactly how I like it. This particular UF heroine dispatches ghosts, and she knows she’s in trouble when the corpse of her dead husband attacks her in her own bathroom. Four stars.

#51 – On Her Trail, by Marcelle Dubé. This was also from Carina Press, although I actually won it as part of their launch promotion, which was pretty nifty. ^_^ This one is romantic suspense with just a touch of paranormal involved, and while it didn’t pack as much punch as I might have liked, I nonetheless found it a good read. Three stars.

#52 – Fatal Affair, by Marie Force. Another Carina, this one also romantic suspense, although with a political angle to it rather than a paranormal. A young Senator has been murdered, and the detective who has to work the case turns out to be the ex of the Senator’s assistant. Three stars.

#53 – Red Hood’s Revenge, by . Third of the Princess novels, just out a few weeks back. I LOVE his take on Red Riding Hood–who in this universe is a dread assassin who goes by the moniker Lady of the Red Hood, and whose red cape is magical and can give her wolf-shape. Also, great backstory here for Talia, the Sleeping Beauty character. Four stars.

#54 – Carnal Innocence, by Nora Roberts. One of her standalone romantic suspense novels, and yet another one with the formula of “outsider settles in a small town she’s got family ties to and is soon embroiled in MURDER ohnoez”. Nothing hugely unusual for Roberts but as usual, nicely executed. Three stars.

#55 – Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld. YA. This of course is the first of Westerfeld’s acclaimed dystopian YA series, and I’d gotten a free PDF of it a while back as part of his promotion of another recent book, Leviathan. Wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Found it more simplistic than I would have liked, but hey, it’s a YA novel–and his worldbuilding was fun. I’ll probably be buying an actual copy of this eventually. Three stars.

#56 – Matters of the Blood, by (Maria Lima). First of her UF series set in Texas, with a heroine who comes from a supernatural family and who’s just starting to come of age–and into her powers. Yet another UF series with a vampire love interest, although I do totally give Lima props for her colorful Texas setting, and I found the overall plot engaging. Four stars.

#57 – Blood, Smoke and Mirrors, by Robyn Bachar. This one was reviewed very well by the ladies over at Smart Bitches, so I had to check it out on general principle. Straddles the line between UF and paranormal romance, but for me slides more towards the latter since there’s heavy emphasis on the heroine’s relationship with her ex–as well as with the obligatory Mysterious Vampire. I found the heroine a bit too mouthy for the sake of being mouthy, but on the other hand, also liked that aside from being magically gifted, she was pretty much a regular girl. Three stars.

#58 – Crocodile on the Sandbank, by Elizabeth Peters. This is me beginning my Great Amelia Peabody Re-Read! :D I do of course have a long history of loving these books, and this one in particular, in which our heroine Amelia Peabody meets the irascible archaeologist Radcliffe Emerson–and in between arguing like crazy with him, must solve the mystery of a mummy’s appearances around their archaeological dig. Five stars. Because I love it so.

#59 – The Curse of the Pharoahs, by Elizabeth Peters. Book 2 of the Amelia Peabodies, mostly notable for me by the initial introduction of Amelia and Emerson’s son Ramses–who at this point has only a brief appearance to lay the groundwork for his later catastrophic precociousness. ;) Four stars.

#60 – The Mummy Case, by Elizabeth Peters. Book 3 of the Amelia Peabodies, in which Ramses for the first time actually accompanies his parents to Egypt, and general chaos ensues, surrounding a stolen mummy case as well as Emerson’s fury at being stuck with a dig site not worth any time or trouble. Muaha. Ramses is a bit too twee at this point of the series with his constant mispronunciations of “th”, but on the other hand, I love to death that he’s as eager to excavate as his parents are. Four stars.

#61 – Disturbed by Her Song, by Tanith Lee, Esther Garber, and Judas Garbah. This is an anthology that came out via Lethe Press, and which Outer Alliance members were invited to review. The latter two names are actually characters of Tanith Lee’s, and she’s using a conceit of “channeling” them, making all of the stories in the anthology theirs. While I found the conceit not to my taste, I very much admire that the stories by “Esther” have a much different feel to them than the ones by “Judas”. Both characters are queer, and so their stories all generally focus on same-sex love and desire. None of it is overtly erotic–but there’s some truly seductive language in here, and that’s almost eroticism enough. Will definitely be posting a fuller review later. Thanks to Craig Gidney for letting me review it!