Mage apprentices have been vanishing without a trace—and someone on the council might be involved. Alex Verus has no evidence, no witnesses, and no suspects. All he knows is that someone is keeping tabs on him. And after assassins target his own apprentice’s classmate, Alex sees that he doesn’t know the half of it—and that he could be the next to disappear…
I am all caught up on Benedict Jacka’s delightful Alex Verus series. This is a British Harry Dresden, urban fantasy from across the pond. I love wizards, I love books set in London, I love this series. This was an excellent installment, although it didn’t have nearly enough Arachne. The only downside to catching up on a favorite series is that it means I have to wait for the next in the series to hit the shelves. In this case, the title is Chosen and it is coming soon to a bookstore near my kindle e-reader on August 27, 2013.
While attempting to disprove that Homo vampiris, the vampire, could exist, Dr. Warthrop is asked by his former fiancé to rescue her husband from the Wendigo, a creature that starves even as it gorges itself on human flesh, and which has snatched him in the Canadian wilderness. Although Warthrop also considers the Wendigo to be fictitious, he relents and rescues her husband from death and starvation, and then sees the man transform into a Wendigo. Can the doctor and Will Henry hunt down the ultimate predator, who, like the legendary vampire, is neither living nor dead, whose hunger for human flesh is never satisfied?
So, I read a lot of books this month. Some of them will get more extensive treatment later when I do a full series discussion down the road a bit. The Curse of the Wendigo is likely to be one of those. It is the second book in Rick Yancey’s three book series that starts with The Monstrumologist. I love this series – gothic horror written in the style of Charles Dickens. The protagonist, Will Henry, is awesome with a side of adorable. And some of the stuff in this book will turn your stomach. In the best and most literate way possible. Rick Yancey rocks.
Twenty-year-old Camryn Bennett thought she knew exactly where her life was going. But after a wild night at the hottest club in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, she shocks everyone-including herself-when she decides to leave the only life she’s ever known and set out on her own. Grabbing her purse and her cell phone, Camryn boards a Greyhound bus ready to find herself. Instead, she finds Andrew Parrish.
Sexy and exciting, Andrew lives life like there is no tomorrow. He persuades Camryn to do things she never thought she would and shows her how to give in to her deepest, most forbidden desires. Soon he becomes the center of her daring new life, pulling love and lust and emotion out of her in ways she never imagined possible. But there is more to Andrew than Camryn realizes. Will his secret push them inseparably together-or destroy them forever?
I wish I could say I liked this book. Heck, I wish I could say that I found this book tolerable. Sadly, it would not be true. I hated this book. It is poorly written, the main character is annoying, and I nearly DNF’d it at the midpoint. The cover is sort of pretty, though, so there’s that. It is designated as category “NA” which should probably be renamed category “hot-bad-boy-falls-hard-for-good-girl-with-lots-of-slut-shaming-on-the-side” except that would be too long. I give up on this NA bullshit and I will read no more. If this is the future of publishing, I am going to need to find a new hobby.
Annie Phillips is thrilled to leave her past behind and begin a shiny new life on Belvedere Island, as a nanny for the picture-perfect Cohen family. In no time at all, she falls in love with the Cohens, especially with Libby, the beautiful young matriarch of the family. Life is better than she ever imagined. She even finds romance with the boy next door.
All too soon cracks appear in Annie’s seemingly perfect world. She’s blamed for mistakes she doesn’t remember making. Her bedroom door comes unhinged, and she feels like she’s always being watched. Libby, who once felt like a big sister, is suddenly cold and unforgiving. As she struggles to keep up with the demands of her new life, Annie’s fear gives way to frightening hallucinations. Is she tumbling into madness, or is something sinister at play?
As you can see from the plot summary, The Ruining billed itself as a bit of a psychological thriller, and it started out with PROMISE. Promise of chills. Promise of thrills. Promise of lots and lots of suspense. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the book all right, and I will definitely give this author another shot. But, in the end, there was a little too much damsel in distress, a few too many convenient solutions, and a little too much girl-gets-saved-by-boy for me. I wanted more than this book ended up being. I will give a thumbs up to the author’s use of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s iconic – and psychologically terrifying – novella The Yellow Wallpaper.
Troubled young Fawn Bluefield seeks a life beyond her family’s farm. But on the way to the city, she encounters a patrol of Lakewalkers, nomadic soldier-sorcerers from the northern woodlands. Feared necromancers armed with mysterious knives made of human bone, they wage a secret on-going war against the scourge of the “malices,” immortal entities that draw the life out of their victims, enslaving human and animal alike. It is Dag–a Lakewalker patroller weighed down by past sorrows and present responsibilities–who must come to Fawn’s aid when she is taken captive by a malice. They prevail at a devastating cost–unexpectedly binding their fates together as they embark upon a remarkable journey into danger and delight, prejudice and partnership . . .and perhaps even love.
Toward the end of the month, I was looking for a little foray into high fantasy. I had picked up Beguilement for (I think) .99 for my e-reader at some point. I’ve never read anything by Bujold except a little standalone Renaissance fantasy called The Spirit Ring a couple of years ago. I decided to give this one a try. I liked it. It is a very sweet, not at all epic, high fantasy that tells the story of Fawn, a young farm girl, and Dag, her Lakewalker lover. The course of true love never does run true, and especially NOT in high fantasy. This one was nice, though, and I will definitely read the sequels at some point.
*All italicized plot synopses taken from Goodreads under the fair use doctrine.