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smeddley ([personal profile] smeddley) wrote2017-06-12 05:36 pm

May Books

35. Mind of Winter (Audio) * (26 April – 1 May) This a book entirely about atmosphere, and while the language, the repetitious, repetitious language is flowing and pretty, it mostly serves to extend what could be a good, intense short story into a novel you feel will never end. And that ending… a lot of reviews talk about the twist, the surprise, but by the time you get even remotely close it was pretty obvious. There was nothing shocking or surprising, it’s not a new plot device, and you were hand-fed a lot of what seemed to me pretty obvious clues. I will give the author points for wordplay, but it seemed more geared towards poetry – or, at least, a novel that went somewhere a little more quickly. I probably wouldn’t recommend this one to anyone.
CHALLENGE: PS/URC/MMD, A book with an unreliable narrator [or ambiguous ending]

36. The Graveyard Book ***** (29 April – 2 May) Quirky, odd, and dark, my favorite things! I really liked the characters in this book, and the writing, and (most of) the plot. I feel that the underlying mythology wasn’t possibly as clear as it could have been, who was what and some of their motivation and whatnot, but that didn’t really hurt my enjoyment of the story. It was an easy, fun, engaging read and I’d highly recommend it!
CHALLENGE: MMD/URD, A Newberry Award winner

37. Invasion of Privacy *** (7 May – 7 May) Predictable and full of a few too many clichés, but a fast read, so I’m very much middle-of-the-ground on this one. In some ways, it was just too much. Too much tragedy, too much espionage, too much action, too much packed into one story and it becomes really unbelievable. The characters, as well, are too much of their stereotypes. Cardboard cutouts of a cliché. The sick girl, the geeky girl, the washed-up journalist… all there to fulfill their very predictable roles. And while nothing is surprising, nothing is truly horrible, either. If it wasn’t for book club, I probably wouldn’t have read it, but I can see it being a decent airplane book. Something to keep your attention when you have nothing else to do but don’t want to get overly invested in a story. Recommended for people who love action books who also happen to be traveling.
CHALLENGE: PS, An espionage thriller

38. A Fatal Winter (Audio) *** (1 May – 15 May) This book left almost no impression on me. It’s not the worst cozy, nor is it the best. The characters are so-so, the plot is farfetched but okay, the writing is just… meh. Still too much info-dumping, and I am even less interested in the characters than I was after the first book. The mystery was… rather uninteresting and not compelling, and I just didn’t care by the end. I probably won’t read more in the series.
CHALLENGE: PS/URC: A book with one of the seasons in the title

39. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell (audio) *** (21 Mar – 22 May) This is a really great book for a certain kind of reader, but that reader is not me. The writing is good, the characters are unlikeable, but it works, and the world that the author builds is solid and coherent. It is also incredibly long, so long my checkout expired and I had to go back to the end of the holds queue and wait again! So I did have a bit of a break in the middle of the book. Still, the story flowed well, if slowly. If you’re into action and a very plot-centric book, this won’t do it for you. If you read for the flow of words, characters, and atmosphere, it might be for you. Historical, magical soap-opera drama with a touch of really bizarre? I don’t really know how to describe it.
CHALLENGE: MRC, a debut novel

40. Death of A Ghost *** (26 May – 26 May) I think every series eventually starts to peter out, and this one might be reaching that point. Getting Hamish out of any romantic entanglements is becoming part of the norm, and is getting more ridiculous. As is the continued employment of Blair, which is a convenient plot point. Still, most of the characters are interesting, the mysteries are fun, and if you’re just looking for a fluffy cozy, it’s still better than a lot of the cozies out there (though not as good as the beginning of the series!). If you’re invested in the series, I’d say it’s worth the read. If you’re not, I’d say start at the beginning, and if you’re still interested by the time you get to this book, give it a read.
CHALLENGE: URC, A book by an author who goes by at least one of their initials instead of their name