Posts filed under ‘Audiobooks’

Just finished reading . . . An Artificial Night

An Artificial Night (October Daye series, book 3) by Seanan McGuire

This audiobook was given to me by Brilliance Audio for review purposes.
Audiobook read by Mary Robinette Kowal.
An Artificial NightHOW MANY MILES TO BABYLON?
Everyone in the Bay Area knows about Blind Michael, the unseen, dangerous figure whose Hunt sweeps the Berkeley hills on full moon nights. He’s a familiar hazard of life in the Kingdom of the Mists, and most people don’t waste time worrying about him. October “Toby” Daye certainly doesn’t. She has better things to worry about, like paying the electrical bill on time. So it’s understandable that she’d be upset when Blind Michael suddenly starts taking an interest in people that matter to her, like the youngest children of Mitch and Stacy Brown.
Tasked to find the missing children, and with the stakes growing higher by the minute, Toby has few choices and fewer allies to help her through the dangers yet to come. With the Luidaeg’s help and a candle to light her way home, there’s a chance that she’ll come through this latest danger…but the sudden appearance of her Fetch doesn’t give Toby all that much in the way of hope…

I always worry when I’m about to read (and review) a book that I’m really looking forward to. I’m afraid that my expectations are unrealistically high, and that the book is doomed before I even crack the spine (or turn on the ipod, as the case may be).

But, as with book 2 (A Local Habitation, reviewed here), An Artificial Night not only lived up the the high expectations, but took the series in ever more interesting and complex directions.

The above description describes the plot well, but for as much as I enjoyed the originality of the plot and the action kept me turning the pages, it was Toby’s character development that I found most absorbing.

AAN touched on two themes with regard to Toby. The first one was that of childhood. When Toby is commissioned to rescue the missing children from Blind Michael, she doesn’t realize how greatly she will have to get in touch with her own “childhood”, and her feelings about her own daughter from whom she is alienated. It was great to see a child-Toby still retain her intrinsic “Toby-ness”: brave, outspoken, and just a little bit irreverent.

In a lot of ways, her journeys through Blind Michael’s land reveals more about her than previous books. The second theme in AAN (and in the series in general) is that of the meaning of heroism. (And not necessarily the “heroism” of a typical uf kick-ass heroine, where the emphasis tends to be on the “kick-ass” part, but on the more classical definition of “hero”.) Toby spends much of the book denying that she is a hero. Yet, she embraces the ideals of a true hero—honor, loyalty, and the importance of keeping one’s word—and I love how through the course of the book she comes to accept what those around her keep telling her: that she is a true hero. When she finally did accept it, I really felt like cheering for her, and couldn’t help but think about what a long road she’s been on since escaping her enchantment as a goldfish in book 1.

Tybalt, the King of the Caith Sidhe, continues to drop in on Toby, and steal every scene he’s in. I love his dry sense of humor, and he always seems to get the best lines. I hope that the burbling chemistry between him and Toby that remains (at this point) mostly under the surface, will become more in the near future.

Mary Robinette Kowal did another wonderful job on the narration of this audiobook. She really has a way of imbuing each character’s voice with their distinctive personalities, and making it a fun listen.

I’m still hoping for an appearance of Toby’s estranged daughter, but at least in AAN, I gained a great deal of insight into Toby’s character that will (hopefully) lay the ground work for her daughter’s inclusion in a future book in the series. I was glad to see on Seanan McGurire’s livejournal that she has 2 more Toby books (The Brightest Fell and Ashes of Honor) in the works (among some other really interesting looking projects). I can’t wait to see what Toby will do next.

September 18, 2010 at 5:00 am 7 comments

A little bit of this, a little bit of that

Book plate detailThings are humming along here at the old homestead. My dad continues to improve. He event attended his Photoshop class this week! 2 more weeks left of little league and school, and I’m working more hours than I have in the last couple of years.

I’m taking on a major maintenance project on one of the sites I work on, and it means lots and LOTS of formatting, clean up, and link checking. All I can say is that I’m so glad I now have a dedicated laptop for the website work and a new modem/router. My old router had to constantly be reset, and let me tell you, it’s the little things that make work much more enjoyable. Also, I figure I’ll get lots of audiobook listening done, since this project is more labor/time intensive than brain intensive.

Speaking of audiobooks, I had my fingers crossed that Lynn Flewelling’s The White Road would be available in audiobook format on its release day (5/25), and it was! (Sometimes there’s a lag between release date and audiobook availability.) So, I’ve dropped everything, and am listening to Seregil and Alec’s most recent adventures.Catching Fire

The last audiobook I finished was Suzanne Collins’ excellent Catching Fire (The Hunger Games trilogy, book 2). It had me on the edge of my seat, and I can’t wait for the conclusion, Mockingjay, which will be released August 2010. I’ve actually gotten my guy hooked on the trilogy, and I may have to fight him for who gets to read/listen first!

Another awesome YA I read over the weekend was Kelley Armstrong’s The Reckoning. The ReckoningIt’s the conclusion to the Darkest Powers trilogy, and left me curious about something:

According to Kelley Armstrong’s newsletter, Chloe, Derek and Simon will be making an appearance in the new YA trilogy, Darkness Rising. But, will they be crossing over to the adult Otherworld series, as well? Though they are  a little bit younger than Savannah, I’d love to see them interacting with her. And, she needs some supes in her age group.

Magic BleedsThis week is such an incredibly rich week for book releases. Top of my list? Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews. Why? 3 words: Kate. And. Curran. There’s the little matter of the wager they made in the previous book, Magic Strikes. It’s time for them to settle up, and I can’t wait! :-)

The last couple of weeks I’ve been pretty lucky, and won a few books! First off, I won Nancy’s Theory of Style by Grace Coopersmith (aka Marta Acosta) over at Marta’s Vampire Wire. I also won a very generous fantasy package over at Lurve a la Mode. It included and Falling, Fly by Skyler White and The Spirit Lens by Carol Berg, 2 books I’ve been really curious about. I also won Feed by Mira Grant (aka Seanan McGuire) from Orbit Books. So, it’s an embarrassment of riches here at RBA. I can’t wait to delve into these very cool books! (I think I feel a “paying it forward” giveaway coming on. Stay tuned!)

Oh! And, I wanted to thank the lovely Janna over at E-Romance Reader for the lovely Bodacious Blogging Book Reviewers Award she gave me! I sort of stink at follow-through on awards, but am really going to try to post something in the next few days on it!

Here’s something to wrap up on a high note. I saw this on Twitter a couple of days ago. I don’t remember who RT’d it, but it’s Made. Of. Win.

After that, how can you not have a great day?

May 27, 2010 at 4:00 am 18 comments

2010 TBR Challenge (May): A Kiss Before the Apocalypse

2010 TBR Challenge

May’s 2010 TBR Challenge review.

I totally went off the map with this book, and it is not May’s “friends to lovers” theme. However, I’m so excited that I got my blogging mojo back this week (2 reviews in 1 week!). I’m going with it, and reviewing the urban fantasy…

A Kiss Before the Apocalpyse (Remy Chandler series, book 1) by Thomas E Sniegoski

This audiobook was given to me by Brilliance Audio for review purposes.
Audiobook read by Luke Daniels.
A Kiss Before the ApocalypseBoston P.I. Remy Chandler has many talents. He can will himself invisible, he can speak and understand any foreign language (including the language of animals), and if he listens carefully, he can hear thoughts.
Unusual, to say the least – for an ordinary man. But Remy is no ordinary man — he’s an angel. Generations ago, he chose to renounce heaven and live on Earth. He’s found a place among us ordinary humans; friendship, a job he’s good at — and love.
Now he is being drawn into a case with strong ties to his angelic past. The Angel of Death has gone missing — and Remy’s former colleagues have come to him for help. But what at first seems to be about tracing a missing person turns out to involve much more — a conspiracy that has as its goal the destruction of the human race.
And only Remy Chandler, formerly known as the angel Remiel, can stop it.

I’ve had this book on my To Be Bought list for ages. Like a number of other urban fantasy series I like (Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files and Kat Richardson’s Harper Blaine series are 2 that immediately come to mind), the Remy Chandler series is a uf series that is strongly rooted in the P.I. mystery genre. While the supernatural elements are key to the story, the plot is driven by Remy’s “case”, finding the missing Angel of Death.

AKbtA sets up a very original world. I love how it is equal parts gritty reality, with Boston providing local color, and angelic fantasy, with different factions of angels battling each other for a place of power here on earth and in the heavens.

However, what really makes AKbtA a good read/listen is Remy. He is unique among other angels for voluntarily walking away from his divine calling to live among humans. The only other angels who also live among them do so as punishment. So, Remy is isolated from both the heavenly host who can’t understand why he would leave their ranks and the earthly renegades who are ostracized from heaven.

A lot of times uf heroes are complete loners. But, while Remy’s set apart from his divine peers, his deepest connections are his earthly ones. I really liked that Remy has close ties, especially to his aging wife Madeleine, his police officer friend, Mulvahill, and his dog, a lab named Marlowe. (I may have the spelling of the names wrong, since I listened to the audiobook.)

His relationship with Madeleine was so poignant, and showed the flipside of relationships often depicted in uf/paranormals: what happens when the mortal in the relationship ages, and the immortal being does not.

I also loved how he was able to communicate with Marlowe, and have to admit I thought of my own lab (The Big Guy) while listening to Remy’s scenes with Marlowe.

My only issue was that at times it felt as if the pacing was a little slow. There was some impatience on my part to move forward past some of the set up and get to more action. However, when events do begin to fall into place, I was swept along with them.

Narrator Luke Daniels did an amazing job with the voice characterizations, giving unique (and realistic) voices to each person in the story. Best of all was his voice for Remy. It really conveyed the “average Joe” Remy has in some ways become. What did surprise me, at least at the beginning of the audiobook, was that Daniels’ narrative voice sounded a bit stiff. To my ear, however, that was remedied as the story progressed, and the narrative felt more relaxed and natural in the last half. Overall, though, the character voices really made the audio production.

May 20, 2010 at 10:00 am 7 comments

Just finished reading . . . A Local Habitation (audiobook)

A Local Habitation (October Daye series, book 2) by Seanan McGuire

This audiobook was given to me by Brilliance Audio for review purposes.
Audiobook read by Mary Robinette Kowal.

A Local HabitationTOBY’S HAVING A BAD DAY…

After spending fourteen years lost to both the fae and mortal worlds, only to be dragged back into Faerie by the murder of someone close to her, October “Toby” Daye really just wants to spend a little time getting her footing. She’s putting her life back together. Unfortunately, this means going back to work for Duke Sylvester Torquill of Shadowed Hills, doing her duty as a knight errant. That isn’t the sort of thing that exactly lends itself to a quiet existence, and before she knows it, Toby’s back on the road, heading for the County of Tamed Lightning in Fremont, California to check on Sylvester’s niece, January.

Things in Tamed Lightning turn out to be a lot stranger than they seemed at first glance, and Toby’s talent for finding trouble isn’t doing her any favors. With Quentin—a young foster from Sylvester’s Court—in tow, and the stakes getting higher all the time, it’s up to Toby to solve the mystery of Tamed Lightning, or face a failure whose cost will be too high for anyone to pay.

When this audiobook was offered to me for review by Brilliance Audio, I agreed to review it. Rosemary and Rue, book 1 in the October Daye series was one of my favorite urban fantasy series debuts of 2009, and I listed Seanan McGuire as one of my 2009 author discoveries. So, I had very high hopes for A Local Habitation, and, I was really pleased that it more than met my expectations.

First off, in terms of the audio production, I was very happy with Mary Robinette Kowal’s narration. Her voice was key to my enjoyment of the book, especially since ALH is told in 1st person. To me, this means her voice is Toby’s voice. MRK’s narration had a great blend of tough-girl (which Toby must be, since she is a knight errant), self-deprecating humor (Toby is always aware of her “outsider” status since she is a half-blood fae), and vulnerability (in much of ALH, she really doesn’t know what’s going on, and is struggling to protect the people around her). Her style reminded me of Marguerite Gavin, one of my favorite narrators, who is the voice of Rachel Morgan (Kim Harrison’s Hollows series) and Kitty Norville (Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville series).

The action in A Local Habitation begins shortly after the events of Rosemary and Rue. Toby is still uneasy with her connection to Shadowed Hills, though her loyalty to Sylvester is unwavering. When he asks for her help in finding out info about January, she is a good soldier, takes Quentin under her wing, and sets out for Tamed Lightning.

Bad things are happening in Tamed Lightning, and Toby finds that very little is what it seems. The people she is there to help seem to be hiding something, and it quickly becomes apparent that someone within the territory is responsible for the mysterious deaths that are occurring with increasing frequency.

Most of the action has the feel of a locked room mystery, and the claustrophobic tension ratchets up as the body count escalates. Seanan McGuire is merciless with Toby, and isn’t afraid of letting her heroine twist in the wind in helpless frustration at times. Yet, this serves the action of the story, and makes for an exciting read/listen.

About halfway through, I thought I had figured out “whodunit”. I was in a state of suspense through the second half of the story wondering if I was right or not. In the end, I was only partially correct, but it was such fun trying to look at the mystery from different angles. The mystery-lover in me really enjoyed this.

An Artificial NightMy favorite character is Tybalt, the King of the Cats. He is not around during most of the action, but does appear at key points, and I really love how his and Toby’s relationship is developing. While the story is told through Toby’s pov, it is clear that she is simply not seeing (or not emotionally at a point where she is capable of seeing) where their relationship might be heading. I can’t wait for more about this!

One thing I wish had been explored, even a little bit in A Local Habitation, is Toby’s relationship with her daughter. It’s an issue that is so monumental to Toby’s personality, and the touch of melancholy which is always with her always seems to me to be tied to their estrangement. However, that is the lovely thing about a series: issues not explored in one book may be covered in the next. An Artificial Night, book 3 in the series will be released September 7, 2010.

April 2, 2010 at 12:23 am 14 comments

February 2010 Read Books

It felt like I read much slower in February, but I was surprised when I counted and saw that I’d read 19 books. I think the unexpected number is due to the fact that a number of them were ebooks, a lot of which are shorter.

While writing this post, I realized I only read 2 actual print books this month. Crazy! I read 10 ebooks and listened to 7 audiobooks. I think I’m seeing that my new ereader is slightly changing the books I pick to read. Where before it felt like a bit of extra effort to read the ebooks (mostly due to technical mac/ebookwise issues), it’s now much easier with the nook. Therefore, I’m catching up on a big backlog of ebooks I’ve been meaning to read for a while. Of course, this means I’ve also been neglecting my print tbr shelves, so I can’t win, can I? *g*

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Kitty Raises HellKitty Raises Hell (Kitty Norville series, book 6) by Carrie Vaughn 2/28/10

Between Kitty Norville books, I always forget how utterly enjoyable this series is. I think its strength is Kitty herself. I love how she has grown (and continues to grow) from a werewolf, uncertain of her place in the world, to a more confident alpha.

I still wish there was more of Cormac. My heart aches for him (and Kitty) when she and Ben visit him. KRH features much more of Rick who is becoming one of my favorite vamps around. There are so many layers to that guy!

The cult of  Tiamat plot and the appearance of Roman was enjoyably twisty. I can’t wait for the next book, Kitty Goes to War, due out in June 2010.

  • Carrie Vaughn’s site.

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AquamarineAquamarine by Sara Bell 2/26/10 Ebook

A cute, sweet m/m sports romance. Friends to lovers, with family as a really nice supporting cast. Ford was wonderful as the “straight” friend who falls for out teammate/roommate Derek. My only complaint was that the sports end didn’t feel very realistic, wrt career paths for players and coaches given the copious amounts of  time I spend listening to my guy talking about the college and pro football industry.

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Shadows ReturnShadows Return (Nightrunners series, book 4) by Lynn Flewelling 2/25/10 Audiobook

Audiobook read by Adam Danoff. (It was a bit of adjustment getting used to a new narrator after the 1st 3 books read by someone else.

I’m so sad that I’ve now caught up with this series! I was worried that I wouldn’t enjoy this book as much as the other ones given that according to the description Alec and Seregil spend much of the story apart. However, I was really caught up in the action, and their reunion was great.

I loved getting to see Plenemar society, and got a better understanding of the conflict between it and Skala.

Here’s my Nightrunners series post.

Can’t wait for The White Road‘s May 25, 2010 release.

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Hue, Tine and ShadeHue, Tint and Shade (Petit Morts, novelette 1 of 5) by Jordan Castillo Price 2/24/10 Ebook

I just love how JCP is able to create these empathetic, socially awkward characters that I can’t help but root for. Tommy is painfully shy, but wants to break out of his shell. Through the mysterious chocolatier, he meets Nathan, who brings color, excitement, and romance to his life.

  • Jordan Castillo Price’s site.
  • Excerpt for Hue, Tint and Shade. (Scroll down linked page.)

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The Iron KingThe Iron King (The Iron Fey series, book 1) by Julie Kagawa 2/23/10 Ebook

Original YA with a wonderful take on the Fey. It was a great combination of familiar fae characters (Queens Titania and Mab, Puck, the Erl King) and new ones. I loved the story behind the origin of the Iron Fay, and Meghan was a wonderful heroine. Robbie was sweet, and the Winter Prince very broody and intense. I can’t wait to read more when book 2 comes out in August 2010.

  • Julie Kagawa’s site. (Music begins automatically on linked page.)
  • Excerpt for The Iron King.

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Night PleasuresNight Pleasures (Dark Hunter series, book 2) by Sherrilyn Kenyon 2/23/10 Audiobook

Audiobook read by Carrington MacDuffie.

It’s taken me a while to get back to this series, and I don’t know if I would have if it it hadn’t been in audiobook format. While I enjoyed this story for the most part I don’t think I’ll be working my way through the entire series. Kyrian was uber alpha and tough. Amanda was down to earth and reminded me of an old school heroine, ultra feminine and slightly clingy. I think there’s too much cheese factor for me to commit to the rest of the series. No matter the danger, they are always hyper aware of each other, wanting to jump each other’s bones no matter if the demon guy is about to get them. Just not for me. However, I think I’ll give this series 1 last try in the form of Night Play, which, when I reviewed Fantasy Lover last year, I remember some said was the best book in the series.

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Archangel's Kiss Archangel’s Kiss (Guild Hunter series, book 2) by Nalini Singh 2/19/10

Nalini Singh does it again with Archangel’s Kiss. I love getting to see the angel city. The originality of the series and the visual pictures her words make are just wonderful. I’m really enjoying where she is taking Elena in this series and how her relationship with Raphael is progressing.

Now, if only we can get Illium’s story soon!

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She's Got it BadShe’s Got it Bad by Sarah Mayberry 2/19/10 Audiobook

Audiobook read by Zoe Hunter. Read the full review for this book here.

Sarah Mayberry is my favorite category author, and She’s Got it Bad is now my favorite Mayberry! She packs a lot into the relatively short format of a Blaze catergory. Yet, the development of Zoe’s and Liam’s relationship never feels rushed or contrived.

I really liked Zoe, who was a very unique romance heroine. Liam, like Zoe, has some issues and considerable history with Zoe. He rushes in playing the Alpha trying to “fix” her. I love that she fights him when he oversteps, but doesn’t turn down genuine help (like a job) that she really needs, when he makes a reasonable offer.

My only complaint is that while the audiobook narrator did an OK job, I wish the book had been read with an Australian accent given how firmly Sarah Mayberry’s books are set in that country. However, even this minor distraction did not take away from my overall enjoyment of this book.

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Traitor's MoonTraitor’s Moon (Nightrunner series, book 3) by Lynn Flewelling 2/17/10 Audiobook

Audiobook read by Raymond Todd.

Seregil and Alec accompany Princess Klia (sp?) to Aurënen on a diplomatic mission. I loved seeing them as Talímenios (a committed same-sex couple) now, and how they are still getting used to their public “couplehood”.  Both of them are adjusting. I also really like getting to see more of the Aurënfaie and learning more about Seregil’s past and the story behind his exile.

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Love Under SiegeLove Under Siege (Brothers in Arms series, book 2) by Samantha Kane 2/14/10 Ebook

I love that Samantha Kane is really able to sell the love, romance, and emotion in her m/m/f books. Often in this genre there is an emotional imbalance between the characters, or 2 are the “main” relationship which doesn’t usually work for me as well. However, with the BiA series, there is a wonderful balance the the triads.
Of course, there requires a suspension of belief around some of the greater menage issues, but on the whole it is handled well, and I love the community of men and women being built into this series.

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Stalking DarknessStalking Darkness (Nightrunner series, book 2) by Lynn Flewelling 2/11/10 Audiobook

Audiobook read by Raymond Todd.

A couple of days after finishing Luck in the Shadows (book 1 in the Nightrunners series) I found that I couldn’t get Alec and Seregil out of my mind. I gave in and got Stalking Darkness eventhough my Audible points wouldn’t come in for another week. I was really glad I did.

Stalking Darkness WAS truly a dark tale. So much happens, I’m almost at a loss to sum it up in a brief mini-review. More is learned about the magic that resides both with the magicians of Skala (and Nysander in particular) and the necromancers of Plenimar. Alec and Seregil lead their double lives as Nightrunners and as bored society gadflies. Beka (Micum’s daughter) is now part of the Queen’s Horse Guard and fighting the war with Plenimar. All these disparate characters and elements come together in a compelling and tragic climax. Great stuff!

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Don't Look BackDon’t Look Back by Josh Lanyon 2/9/10 Ebook

Good romantic suspense about Peter, a museum director who has been falsely accused of embezzlement/theft from his work. I loved how (due to his amnesia) he is discovering what has happened to him as the reader does. Mike Griffin, the investigating officer is pissed off and out to nail Peter (ahem) for the crime. Isn’t he?

I love Mike’s alpha-ness. It’s clear that there’s more to his attitude than meets the eye, and it’s fun following Peter as he finds out what is really going on.

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I Spy Something BloodyI Spy Something Bloody by Josh Lanyon 2/8/10 Ebook

February DIK Challenge book. Read full reivew here.

For me, what makes this story is the protagonist, Mark. A spy with what sounds like MI-6, he’s hoping for a second chance at love with Stephen, and the suspense from this situation is just as strong as it is from the espionage story line.

For all of Mark’s macho job and “danger-man” persona, he is so vulnerable, both physically and emotionally. His love for Stephen is out there for all to see (especially Stephen and his jealous new boyfriend, Bryce). Stephen had such gentleness and sensitivity yet still had a core of steel, determined not to be hurt once again by Mark. Seeing him slowly lower his defenses against Mark was great reading.

I already have the sequel  I Spy Something Wicked loaded on my ereader and will be getting to it soon!

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Hard to HoldHard to Hold (Hard to Hold trilogy, book 1) by Stephanie Tyler 2/8/10 Ebook

I felt a real void after finishing Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters series, and set out to find more SEALs series. This one sure fit the bill! While I didn’t love it as much as I do the Brockmann, I did enjoy it quite a bit.

I really liked Isabelle, who was so strong and such a survivor after her abduction while doing humanitarian work in Africa. Jake was a great military alpha male whom I loved seeing connect with Isabelle. He was so aware of her and what she needed given what she was working through.

I’m looking forward to reading the other two in the trilogy, which tell Jake’s brothers’ stories.

  • Stephanie Tyler’s site.
  • Excerpt at author’s site.

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The Girl with the Dragon TattooThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium trilogy, book 1) by Stieg Larsson 2/7/10 Audiobook

Audiobook read by Martin Wenner.

A bit of a slow start, but once it built up some momentum was really a great story. Mostly this was due to the literary phenomenon that is Lisbeth Salander. She and Mikael Blomqvist investigate the 30 year old disappearance of a 16 year old girl, discovering that her fate may be intertwined with a number of mysterious deaths that have been going on for decades.

The investigation and Mikael’s story were interesting, but Lisbeth was the true draw here for me. She’s a young woman (early 20′s) who is under the guardianship of a victimizing opportunist, due to her early history of emotional instability. What happens with her is horrifying, and how she takes control of her life is utterly shocking and compelling.

I’m on the waiting list for the audiobook of book 2, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and I can’t wait for the release of TGwtDT movie, later this year.

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SympathySympathy by Jordan Castillo Price 2/6/10 Ebook/Short Story

I really liked this  sweet and touching story about Tony, a landscaper who is still dealing with the aftermath of an accident that took his father’s life and much of Tony’s health. He meets artist David, who is now living in the town’s “haunted house on a hill” and immediately they connect. There’s a lot going on emotionally for such a short (48 pgs) story. Very enjoyable.

  • Jordan Castillo Price’s site.

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Striking Sparks (A PsyCop novelette) by Jordan Castillo Price 2/4/10 Ebook

This “novelette” can be read after Criss Cross (PsyCop #2)

Two words. More. Crash.

Want more? OK. Vic and Jacob don’t make an appearance here, but as much as I love those guys, I didn’t miss them, since we get a closer look at Jacob’s ex (and the thorn in Vic’s side). We get a little more depth and insight into Crash, but here he serves as a foil to the closeted, engaged to be married Andrew, who shows up at the Tarot Card reader’s, downstairs from Sticks and Stones (Crash’s shop) looking for—something. He’s not sure what. What he finds is Crash.

This isn’t a romance with an hea. More of a sexy encounter. Fun reading!

  • Jordan Castillo Price’s site.
  • PsyCop site.

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Luck in the ShadowsLuck in the Shadows (Nightrunner series, book 1) by Lynn Flewelling 2/2/10 Audiobook

Audiobook read by Raymond Todd.

This book was slow to start, but once the characters were developed a little and the action gained momentum, it was a rollicking good listen. Since I’ve covered some of this book/series in my Nightrunners series post, I’m borrowing shamelessly from it.

Seregil, a young Aurënfaie (think elvish), is a wonderful character: witty and sharp, skilled in the ways of court and thievery, he surprises himself and those around him by taking Alec under his wing.

Alec is a 16 year old orphan who, until he is thrown in the prison cell where he meets Seregil, is all alone in the world and has been taking care of himself with his hunting skills and down to earth attitude.

Over the course of the first book, they come to rely on each other, often saving the other’s life. When Seregil is stricken by a mysterious magical illness, Alec proves that he is just as capable of taking care of him, and their dire situation.

This book is a great beginning to a wonderful fantasy series.

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The Art of DyingThe Art of Dying (Partners in Crime #4) by Josh Lanyon and Jordan Castillo Price 2/1/10 Ebook

The two novellas, “Lovers and Other Strangers” by Josh Lanyon and “Body Art” by Jordan Castillo Price are both good, but Josh Lanyon’s “LaOS” just stole my heart. Finn, recovering from a near fatal car accident has returned to his remote New England home for the first time since he’d discovered his lover, Con cheating on him with his twin brother, Fitch.

I loved how Finn saw and interpreted the world around him through color (like the colors of paints). (My mother loved to oil paint, and I spent much time as a kid in art stores looking at the tubes with their wonderful, evocative names.) I wasn’t sure I’d warm up to Con, especially given his infidelity, but I did and then some.

JL packs a lot into this 129 pg novella and it is now one of my favorite stories by him.

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This month really seemed to belong to the Nightrunner series for me. The series crept up on me slowly, and it wasn’t till a couple of days after I finished the first book, Luck in the Shadows, that I realized I had to get the next book. Immediately. After that, the glom was on.

My other top reads of the month were Josh Lanyon’s story “Lovers and Other Strangers” from The Art of Dying and I Spy Something Bloody. Also, Nalini Singh’s Archangel’s Kiss and Julie Kagawa’s The Iron King. So, YA, pnr/uf, m/m, romantic suspense. About par for the course! :-)

So, what were your favorite reads in February?

Check out my other 2010 reads here.

March 6, 2010 at 4:00 am 13 comments

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Vintage pin-up girl reading
Urban Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult, Mystery, M/M, Fantasy, Speculative Fiction, audiobooks, it just goes on and on...
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September 20, 2011:
Tempted by His Target
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Angels of Darkness with stories by Meljean Brook, Ilona Andrews, Nalini Singh, and Sharon Shinn

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