Well, I have been a reading machine this week with three books comfortably under my belt and a fourth nearly done!
First up was Rhoda Baxter’s Girl in Trouble. I know Rhoda IRL, and I absolutely love it when I’m properly able to rave about a friend’s book. Girl in Trouble isn’t my usual genre, but I have no problem reading something different if it’s good – and Girl in Trouble is an absolute smasher, a convincing romance with real emotional depth. I zipped through the novel in the space of 8 hours, it’s that good!
After that, I went back to my young adult TBR pile. CJ Archer’s The Medium caught my eye when it was in some promotion newsletter a while back, and it turned out to be a fabulous find. Set in Victorian-era London it’s slightly steampunk, largely supernatural and an utter delight.
Then a friend recommended Donna Augustine’s A Step into the Dark. This was a lesson in why you should give a book more than two paragraphs of a chance. If I’d just stumbled across it I know I’d have tossed it aside (metaphorically; it’s not really wise to throw your Kindle around). But because someone whose opinion I value (I’m looking at you, Kelly St Clare) said it was worth reading I gave it a bit longer, and I was pleased I did. More supernatural shenanigans abounded and Ollie, our heroine, was an absolute delight. I’m definitely going to read more of her adventures.
I am aware that none of this week’s reads feature in Shattered Worlds. I have strayed from my challenge, readers, I’m sorry to say. I wish I could tell you I’m most of the way through a Shattered Worlds book right now, but I’m not (I’m closing in on the end of the also-excellent Infernal Magic by CN Crawford – clearly I’m having a supernatural splurge this week). But I promise, once that’s done, I will get back on the straight and narrow next week, come what may!
I always knew filling the X slot in my alphabet reading challenge might be difficult, so when I spotted a book titled Xoe early in the year I grabbed it. Due to my lack of choice I wasn’t especially hopeful.
Fie on me for a cynical doubter! Actually, Xoe was mostly a fun read. The relationships between the female characters was great fun and well-depicted. The paranormal elements were good and intriguing (we had the introduction of demons to bring a different slant to the customary paranormal vampires and werewolves fare). What I enjoyed less was the romantic element which felt slightly forced and clichéd, as though the author had been told to make the romance more obvious. And there were an awful lot of fashion reports. Maybe this stuck with me because I rarely describe my characters, and never in detail (I’m often told off by editors for this). But what do you need to fix a character in your mind? I don’t think very much – maybe hair and eye colour, and then if something’s remarkable about them mention that: they might be very tall, or always wear a hat. But in Xoe we seemed to constantly get a run down of what each character was wearing when we met them, which I found unnecessary.
But maybe I’m the one out of step, reader – do you like a full and detailed description of characters, or just a broad stroke of description that you can fill in for yourself?
And it’s hard to believe I’m nearly at the end of my alphabet reading challenge! Check back next week to see what I’ve found starting with Y.
Well, my reading challenge is making my reading matter varied, if nothing else.
This week’s read, The Dark Days Club, was plucked out of my TBR pile, where it had been languishing for months. I think we got off to a bad start due to a misunderstanding. I was browsing in Waterstones when I saw it, picked it up to read the first few pages and liked it. For some reason (I can’t even begin to fathom the workings of my mind at this distance) I didn’t buy it, so I went home empty-handed.
Next day or so I decided I did want it, so went on Amazon and merrily typed in the title “Dark Deeds Society” – blank. No entries. Well, that can’t be right, I thought, but since I couldn’t remember the name of the author I was stuck.
So it wasn’t until I got back to Waterstones that I managed to get hold of a copy. (As an aside – people are always telling me that Amazon isn’t a book shop, it’s a search engine – the most sophisticated search engine in the world. Huh. Really? When it can’t fathom I mean Dark Days Club when I type Dark Deeds Society.?Colour me unimpressed.)
And then it just sat on my bookshelf until I knew I’d need a “D” book and picked it up.
I don’t know why it took me so long because it was excellent. Reminded me a little of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but with real depth of character and not much silliness. If you enjoyed that (I caught the film over Christmas) I definitely recommend this.
Join me next week to find out about my “E” read – can I get through a boxset in ten days?