I know I'm trying to read more this year but seriously, I think I need to cut down on my supernatural fiction because I've been have some weird dreams. But as you can see from last month's reading list, that definitely didn't happen. Oh well, I'll call it research for when I write the supernatural novel TO END all supernatural novels. For those of you who aren't regular readers, Kat from Petticoats and Pemplums and I have this lil' pact where we post what we’ve read each month on our blogs, for better or worse, so we can stay motivated to read more. I'm mightily impressed with her April effort; the gal was travelling the world and she still managed to read four books! Kudos. Anyway, here's my reads:
I mentioned I was re-reading this series last month and yeah, I've come to the end. It was just as incredible as the first time I read it but I do think the third book is the weakest instalment. It lacks the OMFG brilliance of the first and the unpredictability of the second, plus the ending is a lil' too concise for me. In saying that, it's still incredible and the highlights for me were definitely in the city (some of the most horrific scenes in the series happen there) and after a certain pivotal character's death. Also, I loved Katniss' powerful, final act of rebellion. The Hunger Games fans, you know what I mean.
This is one of the freebies palmed off to me by our book reviewer because the press material said it was for “fans of The Hunger Games” aka one of my all time favourite book series. But let me preface this by saying Inside Out is NOTHING like The Hunger Games. The only similarity is that two young women unwittingly start a revolution. The rest couldn’t be more different. Having never read anything of Maria V. Snyder’s before, I’ve got to say this was damn good. I mean, it’s about an 18-year-old girl who essentially lives in air vents so to make that a really interesting and original read is impressive. It’s nearly impossible to talk about this too much without spoiling the book for you (because there are some jaw-dropping surprises) but this is a sci-fi actioner and quite unlike anything I’ve read before. Apparently this is the start of a trilogy, with the next book Outside In due to be released in July and giving the sneak peek at the first chapter . . . I’m really looking forward to it.
Neil Gaiman is a genius. What more really needs to be said? If you’ve read anything he’s written (Coraline, Sandman comic-series etc) then you know this to be true. The Graveyard Book is no exception and I just adored this. Like most Gaiman books, it’s a really dark, modern fairytale and man, the dialogue is just so beautifully written and the characters so rich. This follows Nobody `Bod’ Owens who’s brought up by ghosts and a vampire in a graveyard after his family is slaughtered by a serial killer when he’s a baby. The book follows him from toddler-age through to mid-teens and it’s a delightful read. It’s one of those books you can see yourself being read as a kid and then when you re-read it as an adult, you discover all these really dark undertones. In a nutshell, the cover quote “a modern classic” pretty much sums it up.
Okay, so I’m almost 20-years behind the eight ball here but at least I’m reading the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series now. I was listening to Sunday Night Safran and they had a vampire expert on and she described this series as the one that really started the whole vampire novel phenomenon. Of course, as a huge fan of said `non I got started these down. The first, Guilty Pleasures, was written in 1993 and with more than 19 books in the series now, you can really see how Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake influenced the she bad-ass in pop culture, particularly Buffy and even Sookie Stackhouse. But these aren’t amazing. I’ve only read three so far (working on the fourth at the moment) and yeah, they’re full of action and witty one-liners, but they lack the fun, charm and romance of Charlene Harris’ Southern Vampire series. Or even Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series. Okay, I’ll stop making comparisons before you all realise how much of this stuff I actually read. Don’t get me wrong, they’re okay, but I feel like we’re introduced to the Anita Blake character mid-way through her story and the brief mentions to her past are frustrating. Plus, I think Hamilton mixes too many mythologies here and that’s a pet hate of mine – it overdoes the supernatural element. In summary, these are good, not great and I’m not sure if I will make it through all of the novels but they are a quick, light read that I can smash between something heavier. As a side note, the first three novels were adapted into a Marvel comic book series which is actually pretty kick-ass.
So, until next month . . . .