Books 26-38

Darkfever Karen Marie Moning Urban Fantasy 4/26/2014
Hooked Les Edgerton Writing 4/28/2014
The Fire in Fiction Donald Maas Writing 5/4/2014
Holding the Cards Joey Hill BDSM Romance 5/6/2014
The Hangman’s Daughter Oliver Pötzsch Historical Thriller 5/10/2014
Jacob Have I Loved Katherine Paterson Historical YA 5/2/2014
The Icy Touch John Shirley Tie-In Urban Fantasy 5/5/2014
The Chopping Block John Passarella Tie-In Urban Fantasy 5/10/2014
Grimm: Coins of Zakynthos David Greenawalt Comics Tie-In 5/10/2014
Grimm: 6-12, Grimm: Portland, Wu Mark Gaffen Comics Tie-In 5/15/2014
Grimm: The Warlock: 1-4 Jai Nitz Comics Tie-In 5/20/2014
Except the Dying Maureen Jennings Historical Mystery 5/24/2014
Under the Dragon’s Tail Maureen Jennings Historical Mystery 5/25/2014

I’ve fallen behind, and the likelihood of me catching up if I’m trying to do long reviews is virtually nil. So, a table, and a few thoughts.

Darkfever – it’s a good urban fantasy, set in Ireland. I kept reading even though I didn’t particularly care for the heroine. She did grow on me, but she kept putting herself and other people in unnecessary danger. I’m interested enough to read more, though.

I feel like I might have written these notes somewhere before, but so be it.

Hooked – a writing text about writing good beginnings. I’ve been using this an enormous amount since I read it. Highly recommended, despite the simplistic and somewhat repetitive writing.

The Fire in the Fiction — Donald Maas has a lot to say about writing. I love Writing the Breakout Novel and re-read it regularly before writing a story. The Fire in the Fiction is a bit more nebulous for me, but I’m sure I’ll keep reading it too. The main point here is to put passion in your writing, yours.

Holding the Cards — Joey Hill is the doyenne of FemDomme for a reason. Holding the Cards is cleverly sensual and sexual, takes on the way that sexuality isn’t always a yes or a no, and how damaged people can help each other by loving and trusting. On the other hand, I prefer Natural Law for being less insta-love and a little bit more hard-edged with the story. This one’s a nice BDSM beach idyll. Definitely worth the read and a clinic in writing sex scenes.

The Hangman’s Daughter — an incredibly clever historical thriller with an unusual cast of characters. It illuminates an oft overlook period in European history, and the interstices of medicine, torture and witchcraft. The translations are a bit clunky at times but the story is quite compelling and the characters are fascinating. It’s not going to be everyone’s cuppa, but it was definitely mine.

Jacob Have I Loved — a historical YA from before YA existed. This was one of my favorite books as I was growing up. Oddly, I remembered it with a strong romance in it, and remember reading it over and over and over. Yet when I reread, it wasn’t a romance at all until the end, and I didn’t remember most of the story. It’s the tale of two sisters. The talented one and the smart one in a tiny insular community. I expect it appealed to me because I was the smart one and my sister was the talented one. Anyhow, it’s still a great story, but it was so strange to go back to it so many years later. Not to mention my idea of romance has changed…. 😉

The Icy Touch, The Chopping Block, Grimm comics — these were background reading for a guilty pleasure pastime of mine. I like tie-ins and expanded universes and when I find a show that I like, I’ll often look to see what there is in the way of tie-ins. These are about par for the course with the exception of having pretty well-constructed storylines that I don’t always expect. I like the worldbuilding they did, although I’m not sure if all of it is supposed to have happened within TV canon. The Chopping Block in particular has an excellent premise; OTOH, it had plotholes you could drive a truck through. Still, as a whole, they were worth the read, especially if you can get them from a library.

Except the Dying, Under the Dragon’s Tail — similarly, tie-ins. Ish. I say ish because they were actually before the show, Murdoch Mysteries. As such, they’re a LOT better than the Grimm stuff. These were developed for television after a successful run of novels. I find some of the differences between them and the show interesting. It’s an interesting look into how adaptation for television happens, particularly how successful adaptation happens. The tone of the TV show is different, lighter and more playful with the viewer. The characters have been fleshed out and made more interesting as foils and love interests and sidekicks. What is nice is to see that a love triangle storyline developed on the show wasn’t created for television and at least the groundwork for it is laid in the books. The mysteries aren’t as tidy as they are on television, but they’re still good, and very much worth reading.