I don't understand why, but every now and then I just don't feel like reading. I don't know if it's the stress of life, the overwhelming stack of books I have piled everywhere, or just a slump that happens every now and then, but when it happens I don't read. At all. No magazine, no newspapers, no flyers posted on the walls, and definitely no books.
It makes me sad just thinking about it, but at least I have the satisfaction of knowing the slump is over (for now). I've torn through two books in as many days, liking one and being kind of meh about the other. I'm lucky that one of these totally counts as a R.I.P. read; way behind on that challenge as well.
The Night Villa by Carol Goodman was the meh book. I know I've written about her before and I'm a big fan of her earlier books, the ones set somewhere in upstate New York. They've got a lyrical quality to them, in my mind, and I love the say she describes things. Sadly, I've not gotten that feeling from her later books and I think it might time for me to back off reading her for a bit. The Night Villa is set in Austin, TX, briefly, before moving to Naples, Italy, and the island of Capri. Professor Sophie Chase is chasing (not an intentional pun, I promise) too many things; her past-involving her ex who turned into a cult-worshiping freak, her ex lover-a fellow professor and the head of the expedition, and her thesis-involving the life of a female slave that Sophie feels very close to. There are the usual complications-mysterious bosses, whispered conversations, sly looks-, a gorgeous setting, and of course the main plot, which is discovering what secrets survived the volcanic explosion centuries ago that covered the island in layers of ash.
Maybe it was the fact that it read like her past books that turned me off, or maybe it was that because it read like her past books and I could see what was going to happen before it did that turned me off, but I think this might be my last Goodman for a while.
The other book was Faefever by Karen Marie Moning, the third book in her latest series. Mac, a sidhe-seer, is trying to survive the ever-encroaching darkness that the Unseelie fae are spreading while juggling both her boss/mentor/enemy Jericho Barrons and V'lane, the death-by-sex Seelie Prince that is her mentor/enemy/friend. She's in way over her head, being lied (Barrons, V'lane) to and betrayed (Rowena, head of the other sidhe-seers) by pretty much everyone she comes into contact with, and nothing she does seems to matter when the Lord Master--who seems to be both Fae and human and who also seduced and killed Mac's older sister--decides that he's going to bring down the walls the separate Earth from the Fae realms. It's on Halloween night, Samhain, when Mac finally figures out part of what's going on; it's too late at that point though to try and save anyone and the most she can do is try and save herself.
I liked the first two books in this series more that this one; Mac seemed way to slow-mentally-this time. There were several obvious clues that she should have picked up on, or at least mentioned, but she's spending so much time trying to juggle Barrons and V'lane that she seems to forget. She's also way to dependent on other people; not necessarily her fault though, as no one will tell her anything, or it's doled out in such tiny pieces that it doesn't do much good. It also didn't help that this time, Mac kept "breaking into" the story to tell us stuff, like this is important, or I'm really embarrassed by this bid. Those breaks kept throwing me out of the story; I really hope book four and five have less of those Mac-moments.
Now to go outside and celebrate the changing season for a bit; I love Fall.