M. C. A. Hogarth (haikujaguar) wrote,

Recent Reads

I have been doing a lot of reading lately, but not much reviewing… so here’s a quick run-down of some of the stuff I’ve picked up lately.

From Kickstarter:
Captured by Fate (The Dragon’s Storm): I backed this one because it had dragons for main characters. And… indeed, it had dragons for main characters. I found it fairly engrossing; I only wish the editing on it had been better. So many typos! I can ignore a handful in a book, but when there seems to be one every few pages in a book that runs three hundred I start head-desking. This is particularly painful because for an e-book it’s expensive; I don’t think I’d pay the current asking price. But dragon-lovers might overlook the errors in favor of the evocative descriptions of flying that permeate the book.

Brass Legionnaire (The Steam Empire Chronicles): This is… Roman… steampunk. Roman… military… steampunk… YA. Seriously. Roman Empire + steampunk is awesome, no matter how you slice it. This one was written by an English teacher and the draft’s clean. The characters feel faded to me, but only because the setting is so awesome that everything else falls by the wayside. When I pay attention to the characters, I find them well-wrought. Just… come on. ROMAN STEAMPUNK. I don’t even like steampunk and I couldn’t resist. The price is right, too.

Resonant Blue: Teenage girl in Japan starts band. This one didn’t work for me; not enough plot for my taste, and the inside of the girl’s head didn’t feel like any teen girl I’d known (or been). However if you’re into the music genre you might like it more than me.

From Big Publishers:
The Hunger Games: Yes, I read it. The entire trilogy. It was very well done. I have no idea how it caught the public eye, though, because it puts the grim in grimdark. Having read it once, I can now never read it again, and that’s okay with me. But worth reading once, particularly if you want to 1. wring yourself out, or 2. be astonished at what can become popular and how ridiculous an exercise it is to guess at what’ll be the next hot trend. (Finally, bonus points to those of you who can guess who my favorite character was.)

From Indie or Quasi-Indie Authors:
Stealing the Elf-King’s Roses: I picked this one up directly from Diane Duane at her site, since she was having a sale. It’s a very enjoyable offering from her; sort of magic meets law enforcement in a Diane Duane-like ethical framework/universe (if you’ve read and like her work, you know what I mean). Not one of my favorites of hers, but I try never to miss a chance to visit her worldview. Her work is an excellent example of how an author’s morality can permeate a work and leave you feeling whole and clean afterwards.

Double Share (Solar Clipper Trader Tales): Book 4 in the Solar Clipper Trader series is beginning to show a trend I find disappointing. It feels a great deal like wish fulfillment; the strong friendship between men that showed up in the first books has sort of melted away, and now the main character is constantly surrounded by an assortment of wonderful women whom he respects greatly, but who all adore him. I’m going to stick it out til the series ends, but I don’t have much hope. My “Wow, he respects women!” vibe has slowly devolved to “um, this is beginning to feel sort of creepy.” Disappointing given the strong start to the series.

A Wind in Cairo: An oldie but goodie republished by the author (Judith Tarr), this is the story of a selfish prince who is transformed into an unruly horse and given to the daughter of his worst enemy. Wonderful because it’s got an Arabian Nights flavor/setting; Saladin even shows up. I won’t speak to the historical accuracy (particularly in regards to the female character’s ability to buck her role in life), but if you take it as a fantasy it’s got a lot to offer.

And that’s all I’ve got. I’m re-reading a lot of work right now (go go cost-savings!), but I’m keeping an eye on Kickstarter and other indie concerns to see if anything new and interesting shows up for a reasonable price.

Mirrored from MCAH Online.

Tags: indie books, kickstarter, reviews
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