Friday, March 26, 2010

What Angels Fear by C.S. Harris

What Angels Fear was exactly what I needed after finishing the last Julian Kestrel book; a rich, intricately-plotted tale with heroes who aren't heroes, ladies who take care of themselves, family secret after family secret, and at least five books in this series. (The last one might be my favorite part.)

Set in 1811, King George is soon to be replaced by the Prince of Wales. Powerful men make and break deals with powerful men. Bored soldiers, rakes, married men, and gamblers make their nights as amusing as they can by gambling away fortunes, fighting duels at dawn, and framing each other for murder.

Framed for the murder of a beautiful, young actress--who had more secrets than she did roles on stage--Sebastian St. Cyr eludes the constable in a desperate attempt to find out who framed him for murder. His search for the truth will take him from the London stage to masked balls, from political maneuvers to French spies, from secret to secret, until the truth is discovered. From family to friends, pickpockets and old lovers, nothing with stop Sebastian from finding out who framed him.

All in all, it was a fantastic story, I didn't see "it" coming, and I can not wait to read the next book in this series.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Devil in Music by Kate Ross

I held off reading The Devil in Music for as long as I could solely because it's the last book in the Julian Kestrel series and I knew I'd be heartbroken once it was over.

And you know what, I was right.

The final book in this series reveals more about Julian Kestrel and his life than the three previous books, satisfying my need to know something of his past, but ultimately it leaves more questions unanswered than answered. Back in Italy, for the first time in years, Julian finds himself caught up in a murder case that has been unsolved for five years. A young singer--whom only a few people have ever seen--has been assigned the blame, but Julian disagrees. Turning over one stone after another in his search, more questions are raised than answered. It will take everything Julian has to figure out the truth and lay rest to the secrets he has raised.

There's a huge cast of characters, from the beautiful widow, the envious brother, the emasculated son and his wife, her lover, political rivals, the missing tenor, the missing tenor's blind teacher, two traveling Englishmen, and a secret political organization, enough secrets to host an opera, and an ending that I honestly did not see coming. Seriously, I fell for the path Ross laid--hook, line, and singer--and just didn't see it coming.

And now it's over and I'll never learn the truth of Julian's past. Never find out all of his secrets. Never find out if Phillipa, the precocious twelve-year-old from the first book, grows up and fulfills her vow to marry Julian. Never find out anything more.

Except now I can reread the books and pick up on all the little clues I missed the first time. Who knows, maybe there's more of Julian Kestrel for me to discover.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The NYPL is working against me.

I am so close to reading 14.8 books this month. So very, very close. You know what would help? If the NYPL would transit my books already. Seriously. Why does it take a week plus to get my books from one branch of the NYPL to another branch? If my father can mail me a letter via USPS from Silverdale, Washington, to Brooklyn, New York, in two days, why can't the NYPL get me my books within three business days?

Am I asking for too much? I don't think so.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Gentlemen & Players by Joanne Harris

Wow.

I had forgotten how much I enjoyed Harris' stories. They're so beautifully written, with all of these little details that seem so unimportant and yet end up meaning so much. Her characters are real, complex, and never quite what they seem. The plots are straightforwardly full of twists and turns, and nothing ever happens quite like you think it's going to.

I used to love mysteries, devoured them in junior high and high school, but eventually lost my taste for them. The plots became stale, it was evident "whodunit," and I really felt that all of the characters had become the same. Thank God I didn't give up the genre completely, or I never would have read Gentlemen & Players. I can't decide which part of the story I liked the best, the small secrets that are slowly revealed, leading us to the truth, or the very real "players," of which only one knows the rules to this game.

Honestly, this book has it all; a cast full of old grudges and older secrets, an institution ripe for a fall, a town full of hate, and someone who has come back after fifteen years to settle an old score.

You'll never see this one coming.

The End of Publishing

via Moonrat, a video about the end of publishing.

Brilliant, just brilliant.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A brief update

Once again, I don't have enough hours in the day.

I've only just now started editing my NaNoWriMo novel for NaNoEdMo--fourteen days behind--and I think I might end up with something workable. Maybe.

Of course, I also need to write about the six books I've read and haven't posted about, hold down a full-time job, read more books, and find time to sleep.

I wonder which of these I'll let fall by the wayside first?

Friday, March 05, 2010

Monthly Update

And, just like last month, I did not meet my reading goals for the month. In fact, I read one less than I did in January.

Books read in February: 7
Books read total in 2010: 15
Books that should have been read so far in 2010: 28

Monday, March 01, 2010

NaNoEdMo

Please don't expect to see me much in March. It's NaNoEdMo and I have a NaNoWriMo to edit.