Hello and welcome to another reading roundup. Again, it’s been a month where I’ve really struggled to focus on reading and blogging. I really should be more ruthless about putting books into my Did Not Finish pile. I spent too much of the month plodding through books which really weren’t doing anything for me.
[book-info]With regards to Yellow Brick War by Danielle Paige, I’ll be perfectly honest and say that my opinion and rating is heavily influenced by my – mistaken – impression that this was the final book in the Dorothy Must Die series. This is a series involving an updating and reimagining of the world of L Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz. I had been expecting, and looking forward to, resolution to the plot points introduced in Dorothy Must Die and The Wicked Will Rise. So coming towards the end of the book when I realised there were no resolutions coming, I felt annoyed and frustrated. My own fault, I freely admit it. Had I known there was one more book to come, I could have better appreciated the continued excellent worldbuilding and character development in Yellow Brick War. I will certainly read the conclusion when it comes out. I look forward to reading the conclusion of Amy’s story.
I gave Yellow Brick War three stars out of five.
[book-info number=1]A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro is one I should probably have consigned to the Did Not Finish pile much sooner than I did. The concept sounded fascinating. In Cavallaro’s world Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson were real and their modern day teen descendants Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson meet up at an exclusive boarding school to solve mysteries. It’s clear that a significant effort was made to reflect the personalities of Holmes and Watson in a modern day setting and to some extent it succeeded. What completely turned me off this book is that the author introduced sexual tension between Holmes and Watson. With that partnership it is a meeting of minds, not bodies and I personally lost all interest in the story after that. That is a personal opinion and your mileage may vary.
A Study in Charlotte rated barely two stars out of five on my scale.
[book-info number=2]This was my second attempt to read Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys. The first time I started, I just couldn’t get into it at all. This second attempt was much more successful. It’s clear that this is setting up a series. The book opens with a real bang – Blue is fated to meet and/or kill her one true love within the next year. I definitely want to read how that plays out. There were multiple points introduced that I expect will pay off in later books – I would say Stiefvater is an architect rather than a gardener. I found the characters interesting even if not all of them are immediately likeable – or intended to be so. The type of supernatural events in this book are ones that to me, personally, are very creepy. I will have to take a break and read a cutesy contemporary to clear my mind before I start The Dream Thieves!
I gave The Raven Boys four stars out of five.
[book-info number=3]Fire Touched is the ninth book in Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series. I must admit I wasn’t overly excited about reading it. I like Mercy and the rest of her allies; I just feel after nine books her story has pretty much come to an end. I’ve felt that way for the last couple of books. It’s like a long established, high quality TV procedural. You pretty much know what you are going to get going into it, but you still enjoy it. I keep saying I’m not going to read any more, yet I still do and still enjoy them.
I gave Fire Touched three and a half stars out of five.
In other news, I’m beginning to get excited about Book Expo of America, BEA, in Chicago in May. This will be my first time there, so if any of you old hats could give me some tips that would be very much appreciated.
Upcoming releases in April
There are two books coming out in April about which I’m rather excited.
The first of these is Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire. This is a young adult fantasy and I was drawn to it by the concept; what happens to young people like Alice or Dorothy when they return home from Wonderland or Oz? How do they adapt? Every Heart a Doorway is released on April 5th and I’ve preordered it in Kindle format.
The second is Eligible, the next in the Austen Project series of modern retellings of Jane Austen classics. Eligible is the adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and is written by Curtis Sittenfeld. There is a sneak peek of the audiobook available on SoundCloud, which sounds fantastic. I have preordered the book in audiobook format based on this snippet. That’s not to say I don’t have my concerns. The Austen project adaptations have ranged from the bland and uninspired (Emma, Sense and Sensibility) to the very, very good (Northanger Abbey). Pride and Prejudice is probably the best known – and most adapted – of Austen’s works and Eligible has a lot of work ahead of it to compare to the superb Lizzie Bennet Diaries YouTube series. I am intrigued that Sittenfeld has moved the story to Cincinnati and aged up our protagonists to nearly 40, giving a more modern pressure point for Lizzie and Jane to look for a husband. It could well work, and from the snippet I am cautiously optimistic. Eligible is released on April 26th.
Have a good week and will review more books soon.