Friday Booktalk

I’ve had a lot of stuff going on so I haven’t been able to read as much as I normally do but I have a stack of books I haven’t even commented on yet!

Joe Hill’s Heart Shaped Box – I really loved this book. Heart Shaped Box is one of the best horror novels I’ve read in years. It’s dark and atmospheric. Hill does an amazing job at creating three dimensional characters and great dialog.
The ghost story is truly scary in places and downright uncomfortable in most others. The taut nature of the action and mystery as they get closer to the confrontation with the ghost is handled very well.

The end hung together and it worked. I’m also glad he followed up after the main story had ended.

Hill is a better writer than his father in many ways, he certainly does have his dad’s hand with creating characters who simply walk out of the pages. But he is his own man too and I sense some more really entertaining books from him in the future.

Karen Marie Moning’s Faefever: the third book in Moning’s dark urban fantasy series, Mac goes even deeper down the rabbit hole. She doesn’t know who to trust. She’s living in the gray and has begun to realize achieving the greater good sometimes means doing things you’d never do if you weren’t in a life and death struggle.

This book is dark, although not quite as dark in ways as book two. But there’s no quarter, no haven for Mac as we draw closer and closer to what may very well be the end of the world as we know it.

The writing is very engaging and powerful. It kept me off balance, just like Mac was. Can Barrons be trusted? Can V’Lane? Who is the LM? The end is a shocking cliff hanger and I’m eagerly awaiting the final installment

I went on a Gena Showalter binge in September and read her Alien Huntress series (can’t wait for the next one!)

Awaken Me Darkly: In the first book in her Alien Huntress series, Showalter builds an interesting alternative future where Earth shares its ground with aliens who are using portals to travel and settle here.

Of course this has caused some trouble so AIR has been created – an alien law enforcement agency where the agents keep the aliens in check and humans safe.

Mia Snow is a badass AIR enforcment agent – she kicks butt and takes names and she’s on the trail of an alien serial killer.

Kyrin is the male who keeps coming up as suspect number one but Mia’s instincts disagree with the evidence and then Kyrin begins to help her and their attraction is off the charts.

There are some great action scenes in the book. the chemistry and final HEA is not rushed. The twist in the story was something I began to figure out about halfway through but it still worked because it wasn’t such a huge reveal anyway.

Showalter has a great writing voice and her worldbuilding is impressive. Awaken Me Darkly is a great book

Enslave Me Sweetly: In the second entry in Showalter’s Alien Huntress series we get a nice flip of book one. This time the heroine, also involved with AIR but through a black ops angle, is an alien raised by a human man after her parents are murdered.

The hero is a shadowy (read sexy and mysterious) human who is partnered up with Eden after she’s injured when she fails on a mission. There’s great back and forth between Eden and Lucius from the first moment they meet on the page.

The mystery to solve is interesting, the romance is far more central to the story than it was in Awaken Me Darkly but I don’t think the overall story suffered for it at all.

Eden’s character is complex, she doesnt’ want to fail or disappoint but she’s got to overcome a past where she was a spoiled young woman. She has a lot to prove.

This is a wonderful continuation of the series!

Savor Me Slowly: Love the cover, it’s gorgeous!

I’d been anxious to read Jaxon’s story since we met him in Awaken Me Darkly. There is great chemistry between Mishka who has been so tortured and estanged from her human self she doesn’t really believe she’s deserving of love and affection and Jaxon, who is reserved and controlled but this woman eats away at that control and pulls out the man beneath the surface.

The overall story is good, it fits nicely with the other two. You’ll see characters from previous books, which is always fun, but the connection between Jaxon and L’Ace is awesome and he’s simply not going to let her go and once he finds out what she is, he’s even more conviced.

Lots of great, emotional angst here in a great new installment in the series.

Rachel Caine’s Gale Force: Caine’s Weather Warden series is what really sucked me into urban fantasy (and Kim harrison who I discovered right around the same time). I love it when in the hands of the right author, we get to follow one character or a group of familiar characters on a journey spanning several books.

In Gale Force, Rachel is finally going to get her HEA with David but of course it’s never what she expects and all kinds of insanity breaks loose. There’s tension between the new djin who David leads and the old djin and the marriage David proposes becomes a huge point of tension for reasons I won’t elaborate on and spoil the plot with.

There are betrayals where you least expect them and help where you weren’t looking. In short, Gale Force is yet another really wonderful book in a series I’ve loved for several years now.

There are more, but I’ll do those next week!

Everyone have a great weekend and congratulations to Jaci Burton whose Riding Temptation has been kicking butt and taking names and making all the lists! It’s well deserved and I love seeing someone like Jaci achieve all the success she so richly deserves.

7 comments to “Friday Booktalk”

  1. limecello
    October 17th, 2008 at 11:56 am · Link

    I’ve been meaning to read one of Gena Showalter’s books… and congratulations to Jaci! That’s so wonderful and she definitely deserves it 🙂

  2. Greta
    October 17th, 2008 at 3:23 pm · Link

    I need to read this series by Gena. I loved her demons from her Lords of the Underworld.

    I think I need to add Karen Marie Moning to my list of new authors to try. I’ve heard a lot of good things about her.

    WooHoo – on Jaci! I am so excited for her!

  3. Nancy
    October 18th, 2008 at 12:41 pm · Link

    I haven’t read Karen’s Fae series yet but I adooooore her McKeltar brother’s series and everyone I know tells me the Fae series is fantabulous as well so I’m picking the first one up asap. Could you tell me what book to start with in the Fae series?

  4. Lauren
    October 18th, 2008 at 2:34 pm · Link

    LC – yes, Jaci totally deserves all this success!

    Greta – I have the underworld books on my list to try next! I started reading KMM a few years ago with her paranormal romances. This is a big departure for her but I have really enjoyed them.

    Nancy – the first one is Darkfever, then Bloodfever and the third is Faefever. These are dark urban fantasy and they take place over a very short span of time. They’re all quite good but not very similar to her MacKeltar books (although they do make an appearance in the series!). I have really liked each one.

  5. Nancy
    October 18th, 2008 at 2:39 pm · Link

    Ah, thankie muchly! I shall pick up Darkfever then, asap! 🙂

  6. Lorelie
    October 18th, 2008 at 3:58 pm · Link

    When I finished Faefever, I had to keep telling myself “five book series. Five book series.” to be able to put it down without cursing a blue streak. Poor Mac!

  7. laurendane
    October 20th, 2008 at 6:54 am · Link

    Nancy – NP!

    Lorelie – I know! That ending was a gasper to be sure.