Thursday, February 5, 2009

Reading Summary: January 2009

Recently, I toyed with the idea of posting a Reading Summary for each month. I figured they will help me keep track of the books I’ve read, but the main reason (and a more compelling one) is that I’m not going to post a full-length commentary for each and every book like what I’ve done thus far. (Frankly, I'd rather spend the time reading than writing commentaries!) Full-length commentary will be written for Good-Fantastic-Phenomenal reads only; my take on others will be included in the Monthly Reading Summary. Sounds like a good plan, if I may say so myself. *grin*

Ok, here are the books I’ve read in January, in alphabetical order:

1. A Year In The Merde by Stephen Clarke (4 out of 5)

2. Dark Desires After Dark by Kresley Cole (Did Not Finish)

read info at author’s website

I know many (let’s face it … countless) readers who strongly preferred Cadeon’s story to Conrad’s (#3 on this list). I read Conrad’s first and I liked it very much.

I read this book up to Chapter 5 and didn’t want to continue because (1) it was more of the same in the Immortals After Dark storyline – manic, over-the-top action and characters (2) I was disappointed with the heroine. When I first learnt that she was a human, I looked forward to the story (yay! something different!) … how would she fare against a rage demon and how would their love story pan out? Turned out she was a halfling. Damn.

I’m tired of this series. I quit.

3. Dark Needs At Night’s Edge by Kresley Cole (4 out of 5)

full-length commentary coming soon

4. McKettrick’s Luck by Linda Lael Miller (4 out of 5)

5. Mission: Christmas by Lindsay McKenna & Susan Grant (4 out of 5)

full-length commentary coming soon

6. The Tales Of Beedle The Bard by J. K. Rowling (4.5 out of 5)

7. Veil Of Midnight by Lara Adrian (4 out of 5)

read info at author’s website

I wasn’t going to read this book as Nikolai was unexceptional in the earlier books but Christine’s review and my reading buddy, Mel, stirred my interest and I ended up buying it.

I was pleasantly surprised by Nikolai. Turned out I liked him. Can’t say the same for Renata though. I just wasn’t drawn to her. She was a strong, smart woman … so how come she revealed her Achilles heel to the baddie, who used it to keep her submissive all those years? And a certain rash thing she did … it almost made me toss the book in exasperation.

I like the Midnight Breed storyline so far, and I will definitely read the next book – Andreas’s story – for I like this intriguing character.

8. Veiled Truth by Vivi Anna (4 out of 5)

read info at author’s website

3rd book in the Valorian Chronicles series and I had high hopes. I liked Lyra in the 2nd book but she was wishy-washy in this one. Theron was marginally better and I liked him more than Lyra.

This book wrapped up all the mysteries carried forward from the previous two books and loose ends were tied up.

The best thing about this book (and indeed the whole series) is the author’s writing – effortless, evocative, readable, addictive – just simply good story-telling.

9. Winter Kissed by Michele Hauf & Vivi Anna (3 out of 5)

read info at Fantastic Fiction

There are two novellas in this one.

1st story – A Kiss Of Frost by Michele Hauf – was a strange tale and not a little ridiculous. Look what happened on page 13. It was a bitterly cold winter day, and the heroine traipsed down her driveway clad only in an unzipped hip-length coat, panties and snow boots, and that idiot had the presence of mind to mutter “Freezing”. Heh. Like it would be anything else?! Any surprise that the story went downhill from there? I did skim to the end – trust me, the ending was weird. (2 out of 5)

2nd story – Ice Bound by Vivi Anna – happily, this one was rather entertaining. Short but packed with relevant details, well-portrayed characters and emotional punch … all these made it a satisfactory read and a testament to the author’s skilful writing. (3.5 out of 5)

That’s it for January.


Brandy said...

I think you did good for January!

nath said...

Interesting post, Jace! Thank you for doing it :D I love it when people do this... I don't, because I never know which books I'll end up reviewing... but perhaps I should.

Sorry you're not liking the IAD series... there's definitively ups and downs. Cadeon story was meh, Conor as well LOL :) her new release however was very good :D

Phyl said...

Short summaries are easier, aren't they? It's why I do my 5 Phaves rather than review every book I read. Interesting that you jumped off the Immortals bandwagon. I've procrastinated over picking up book 4. Not sure why. I just started my first Midnight Breed book, Kiss of Midnight. Am liking it so far.

Jace said...

Brandy: Thanks! :D I'm in fact quite proud to have read 8, when 6 is usually the most I can do. :D

Nath: I hope my reading summaries will keep me more organized. :) I tend to forget what I've read a few months down the road. As for IAD, yeah, I can't bear to read it anymore. My reading buddies read Rydstrom's book and they rated it 3.5 I think.

Phyl: I've been following your 5 Phaves. :D Yes, short summaries are so much easier, especially for those I don't like very much. LOL

I liked Book 4 of IAD. I know MANY who didn't and that's why I'm going to do a full commentary on it - to share just why I liked it so much.

Midnight Breed - I'm glad you're liking the 1st book. :D The storyline progresses with each book and I think it's still worthwhile following it. Book 5 comes out in a few months. :D

Anonymous said...

I'm doing a monthly summary since Jan. 2007. I think it's a great way to keep track of my reading. And I'm trying to do short summaries there now, too, so that I can let go of the idea to review every book I read. That's exhausting and messes with my reading and I can't have that. LOL

I really liked "Dark Needs at Night's Edge" (my fav so far). It made me read the other ones and give the series another chance after I didn't like the first one and thought I was done with the series. :)

Thanks for your recap.

Jace said...

Hey Taja,

I so agree with you that we need to expunge from our consciousness the need to review EVERY book. LOL I find it stressful and it cuts into my limited reading time.

Oh, I'm so pleased that you liked DARK NEEDS! :D Makes me feel not so alone. :D I didn't quite like the 1st book either - I found the heroine too "girlish" - but I've enjoyed the 2nd, 3rd and of course 4th books. :)

Anonymous said...

I like the sound of Velied truth. Looks like you had a nice reading month.

Jace said...

Violet, Vivi Anna's Valorian Chronicles series (3 books so far, 4th coming out soon) is worth reading. Its premise is Paranormal + Crime Scene Investigation. I like her writing. :D

Amy said...

Great list, Jace! I really need to jump on the urban paranormal bandwagon and get reading the several I have in my collection. Oh, and the Laura Adrian series -- I stopped buying the newest until I've read the first ones in the series. I'm slow to pick up an ongoing series!

Jace said...

Hey Amy, thanks for dropping by. :D Yes, absolutely read the Lara Adrian books in sequence to enjoy the progressing storyline. :)