Book 30: A Caress of Twilight by Laurell K. Hamilton - 326 pages
My little synopsis: With her harem of lovers/guards, Merry is now set with the task of not only getting pregnant with an heir in order to beat her cousin Cel to the Unseelie throne, but of protecting herself and her own before Cel gets out of prison. Back at work for the Grey Detective Agency, she is called upon by Maeve Reed, former Goddess and member of the Seelie court, who has a strange request for Merry and her men. Moreover, someone has let loose the evil Nameless and large numbers of people are turning up dead under mysterious circumstances that Merry knows has more to do with the Sidhe than the police are willing to admit. Never a dull day for an Unseelie Princess!
I liked this book, if not as much, than 90% as much as the first book. It seemed a bit slower and less seemed to happen though I'm not sure this is actually true. Again, the sex scenes are over the top, and if I hear Merry describe any part of her body as moon-like again, I'll deck her. Nonetheless, I do find this series engaging. The first part can drag a bit as Hamilton seems to waste a bit of time re-introducing things (I personally think that if you start a series midway through than its your own fault if things don't make sense - going over what happened in previous books is a waste of time). However, once she finally gets into the story, it’s good. Her harem of men are all delightfully funny and intriguing in their own way - I can't quite pick a favourite just yet. And I liked Andais more in this one - sure, she's sadistic and insane, but I felt she was more vulnerable and showed more humility in this one. Overall, I think this series has promise, but given what I've read in the reviews of later books on facebook, I'm not holding my breath for it to get better and better!
Book 31: The True Story of Butterfish by Nick Earls – 280 pages
My little synopsis: Curtis Holland was one half of Brisbane’s success story Butterfish, until the band’s third album tanked and the group disbanded. Moving back to suburban Brisbane to produce, Curtis’ attempt to move on with his life is complicated by his new neighbours, single mum Kate and her two children, Annaliese and Mark. But just as he’s coming to grips with the tough guy routine from Mark, and Annaliese’s crush on him, his former band mate Derek flies back into town.
Um, this book was different. It seemed to meander through a lot of people and topics but never quite reached a climax. Earls writes people really well. Curtis, the unwilling rock star; Kate, the struggling single mum; Annaliese, part woman, part girl, enamoured with Curtis; Mark, hating on his father while writing porn and raising fish to make money for his mum; Derek, hiding from reality under the lights of L.A. They are all very real and very believable. Yet, instead of exploring these people fully, Earls seemed to spend more time talking about Brisbane. I know that you take the Gateway Arterial to the airport, I know city cats, I know the highway to Caloundra. I’ve lived in Brisbane my whole life, I know these places. And I can’t imagine why a non-local would even care about how to get to Brisbane Airport, or the timetable of the public transport, or a highway to a small beach town. Earls seemed to spend more time babbling on and on about these details than he did about the characters. No one cares! Honestly, I truly feel that the reason that Brisbane, and Australian in general, writers don’t do well overseas is because they get too caught up in talking about Australia, and forget to tell a story. I was tired of reading about Kenmore and Gap Creek Road by page three (having said that, maybe I’m just annoyed because all books set in Brisbane seem to be set either in the CBD or on the North side (Kenmore being a North side suburb) and I am from the humble South side and would like for once a book to be set in my area!). Oh well, moving along, I think this book had some very bittersweet, very poignant moments and after I got through the first 120 or so pages I really got into it. Overall, an interesting look at fame and relationships and regret that could have been a whole lot more if it had talked about something other than Kenmore!
- From Modernism to Postmodernism: An Anthology by Lawrence Cahoone – 600 pages
- The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: Volume 2: The One Tree by Stephen Donaldson – 472 pages
- Seduced by Moonlight by Laurell K. Hamilton – 367 pages
- Next by Michael Crichton – 540 pages
And coming up:
- The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory – 486 pages
- Angels and Demons by Dan Brown – 620 pages
- Nightlight: A Parody by The Harvard Lampoon – 154 pages