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EMR's book list 2012

Keep track of what you read in 2012. One thread per member, please.
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emr
Compulsive Reader
Location: Castilla

EMR's book list 2012

Postby emr » Mon February 13th, 2012, 11:59 am

January

1. Marathon: Freedom or Death by Cameron, Christian (5/5)
Amazing how Cameron can keep you glued to a 400 pages book mostly about greeks fighting each other and when you turn the last page you still want more! more!
"I saw him there, burning with godlike power on the wall, fighting so well that he seemed to glow with his own light. He had full bronze -cuirass, helmet, greaves, tigh guards, arm guards, shoulder cups, shield face- and his armour caught the fire of his city as it died, and rendered a golden sun atop its last defended wall."
Cameron must have been Greek in a previous life.

2. A Room Full of Bones by Griffiths, Elly (4/5)
3. Bundori by Rowland, Laura Joh (3/5)
I really want to like these books because I like exotic settings but somehow they don't quite interest me enough..
4. The Dark Enquiry (Lady Julia, #5) by Raybourn, Deanna (3/5)
I love Brisbane, really I do (sigh) but Lady Julia has become annoying to death lately. Some authors should seriously reconsider the first person narrative when they are going to leave their heroine at home petting the menagerie and gossiping with her sister about their numerous siblings, being the top cherry of conversation "who is dads favourite" (groan) And that for what looked like half the book while other more interesting things were happenning out of the scene.
5. Hawk Quest by Lyndon, Robert (5/5)
National Geographic meet the Normans! Woot!!! What a ride :) Non stop adventures for +600 pages... Any other author would have divided this into a trilogy keeping us for years on end begging for more. He delivers in one go and no loose ends :) I wouldnt mind another book though :D My only little complain is that although Caitlin was a credible character, there was absolutely no chemistry between them...
6. Deadly Engagement by Brant, Lucinda (2.5/5)
All those strident histrionic characters... :(
7. The Last Kashmiri Rose (Joe Sandilands, #1) by Cleverly, Barbara (4/5)
8. Child 44 by Smith, Tom Rob (4/5)
Another author who knows how to keep you glued to the book and make you feel almost guilty because you have an indoors bathroom...
9. Ragtime in Simla (Joe Sandilands, #2) by Cleverly, Barbara (4/5)
Very nice series.
"So many books, so little time."
— Frank Zappa

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Mon February 13th, 2012, 4:29 pm

Christian Cameron is so good. I recently read God of War, his story about Alexander the Great as told by one of his close companions and generals, Ptolemy (later founder of the Egyptian Ptolemaic Dynasty). I enjoyed it - he captures Ptolemy's voice perfectly- tough, shrewd, congenial and ruthlessly pragmatic. It's a very different view of Alexander than, say Mary Renault's, which sees Alexander through the eyes of hero-worship. Cameron's Alexander is more often seen as a monster- he's charismatic, but a megalomanic, vain and vengeful.

It is linked to the Tyrant series and we get to see Kineas again- hooray! I still haven't forgiven Cameron for killing off Kineas :)

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emr
Compulsive Reader
Location: Castilla

Postby emr » Mon February 13th, 2012, 4:53 pm

"annis" wrote:Christian Cameron is so good. I recently read God of War, his story about Alexander the Great as told by one of his close companions and generals, Ptolemy (later founder of the Egyptian Ptolemaic Dynasty). I enjoyed it - he captures Ptolemy's voice perfectly- tough, shrewd, congenial and ruthlessly pragmatic. It's a very different view of Alexander than, say Mary Renault's, which sees Alexander through the eyes of hero-worship. Cameron's Alexander is more often seen as a monster- he's charismatic, but a megalomanic, vain and vengeful.

It is linked to the Tyrant series and we get to see Kineas again- hooray! I still haven't forgiven Cameron for killing off Kineas :)


And I haven't forgiven him for killing off Philokles (*sniff)

I do have God of War here. The size of it :D But since this year I've decided to read at least one doorstopper every month (they keep accumulating) I think this one goes next :) Kineas huh? Cool :)
"So many books, so little time."

— Frank Zappa

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Mon February 13th, 2012, 7:18 pm

Reminded me to cross-post ny Amazon review of God of War here..

I agree about Caitlin in Hawk Quest (though I did absolutely love this book and hate to quibble). The development of a sexual relationship seemed to come out of nowhere- Vallon and Caitlin appeared to have nothing much more than contempt for each other for the most part - there wasn't really even that romantic trope sizzle where the characters hate each other with a passion that you just know is a cover for another sort of passion altogether :) The relationship between Wayland and Syth is much more credible.

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emr
Compulsive Reader
Location: Castilla

Postby emr » Sat March 3rd, 2012, 1:26 pm

February 2012

10. The Terioki Crossing by Fisher, Alan (5/5)
For the first half of the book I was thinking 4 stars but then around page 200 and on I couldn’t stop reading. And I loved it.
The title of this book is a little misleading. It makes you think that they are going to trudge through snow in the wild for pages on end in some kind of tale of survival. Not so.
The book follows the lives of three men and two women during the last days of the tsarist Russia and the start of the revolution, in Petrograd (Saint Petersburg) from 1916 to 1918 I think.
There is the Countess, arrogant, cold beauty, true to her upbringing and constantly wondering if she can love. The English engineer, hunted by his past; the American merchant; the ambitious Finnish student; and the man who walked to Greece on a peregrination and came back an atheist, at the centre of the new Bolsheviks regime. There are more characters around them who get their own part in something like a big puzzle where lives influence others and old crimes have to be paid for sometime. I love the way the characters cross sometimes without knowing each other and then the author smoothly changes direction to follow the second.
I can’t say much without revealing what happens. But I’ll say that every character is very real and alive. And the author manages to explain how the revolution started, the main historical facts, without boring you with data or names, painting the atmosphere of fear and danger that surrounds them all the time. It’s a story of love, or mostly of loneliness for the lack of it.
This book shares with Zemindar that they both won the Georgette Heyer Historical Novel Prize and they are both OOP. A real shame on modern publishers.

11. One Grave at a Time (Night Huntress, #6) by Frost, Jeaniene (3/5)
Getting a little tired of this author...
12. The Cardinal and the Queen by Anthony, Evelyn (3/5)
** spoiler alert ** “I love you” “I despise you” “I love her” “I hate him” “K then I hate her too” *rolls eyes. That sums up the “romantic” part of this book. The novel starts with 2 chapters written in a rush. They sound like dictated to someone who isn’t paying attention and never edited afterwards. Her style improves as the book progresses although she is careless with details like eye colour and such. Read as a biography of Richelieu the book is quite good. Such an intelligent man. As a romance? Nah I’ve seen better.
13. The Secret Speech by Tom Rob Smith (4/5)
Why did the author have to kill *him*? I liked the guy. I've been for 300 pages hoping he had survived... _ :(
14. The Damascened Blade (Joe Sandilands, #3) by Cleverly, Barbara (4/5)
Loving this series. The author makes a very convincing recreation of India in the 20s and even if you figure out the murderer in the first part you still have to discover that not everything is as it seems.
15. The Redemption of Alexander Seaton (Alexander Seaton, #1) by MacLean, Shona (3/5)
I started reading this book a couple years ago and gave up after 30 pages because a) It was so slow b) There were dozens of names c) Everybody talked like a master of rhetoric (yawn). But then I decided to give it a second try considering its title is not "The Mystery of..." but "The Redemption of..." so maybe the pace had to be slow. Well written book but I'm still confused with the trillion names...
16. Frenchman's Creek by Maurier, Daphne du (4/5)
17. The Palace Tiger (Joe Sandilands, #4) by Cleverly, Barbara (4/5)
Another good book in the series.
18. Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1) by Houck, Colleen (3/5)
So this is about a girl who acts, talks and thinks like a 10 years old and even wears ribbons in her hair and keeps repeating she's 18 but I think that's some typo :P She gets a job at a circus and meets a white tiger who is in fact a charming prince. And she has to help him break the spell.. She sounds childish all the time to me but if you have a 10 years old daughter go for this one. She'll love it. I got fed up of pink rooms and ribbons. I give up on this series.
19. The Butchered Man by Smart, Harriet (4/5)
This was quite good. I'm officially hooked on this series. Love what she has done of her 2 main characters. Very alive both of them. The book could use some editing though...
20. Hue and Cry (Hew Cullan Mystery, #1) by Mckay, Shirley (4/5)
21. The White Pearl by Furnivall, Kate (3.5/5)
Slow start. I never really warmed to the characters. Fine as a war-pirates adventure.
22. Once in Every Life by Hannah, Kristin (4/5)
Tess is a modern scientist who dies young and is given a second chance in the body of a 1800s woman who has died in childbirth. She jumps directly in the heart of a dysfunctional family and sets to fix it. Box-of-kleenex kind of book. For the most part it felt like reading an episode of Little House in the Prairie, kids included, except that she describes Jack as a young Sam Elliott…
23. The Baker Street Letters by Robertson, Michael (4/5)
24. The Return of Captain John Emmett by Speller, Elizabeth (5/5)
I never dream about the book I'm reading but this time for 2 days I kept seeing this WWI scenario and those men with shell-shock. She knows how to draw you in. Excellent.
25. The Titian Committee by Pears, Iain (4/5)
I like the subtle sense of humor in these books.
"So many books, so little time."

— Frank Zappa

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bevgray
Reader
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Contact:

Postby bevgray » Sat March 3rd, 2012, 5:21 pm

I remember reading FRENCHMAN'S CREEK years ago. I really enjoyed it.
Beverly C. Gray
Army Brat and Lover of Historical Fiction
Guests are always welcome at my Web Site

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emr
Compulsive Reader
Location: Castilla

Postby emr » Sun April 1st, 2012, 8:07 am

March 2012

26. The Price of the Stars (Mageworlds, #1) by Doyle, Debra (3/5)
This was too much of a mix Star-Wars + Vorkosigan universe. I can recognize every single character in here, and the Force idea, and the double personality twist. Entertaining but not too original.
27. The Bone Thief by Whitworth, V.M. (4/5)
First half of the book I was quite bored. I kept reading only because of the nice big font. Second half is much better, full of adventure.
28. Old Man's War (Old Man's War, #1) by Scalzi, John (5/5)
There is a scene where the master sergeant recites his reasons to hate every single new recruit, but he runs out of them with our hero because he is not a minority, or martial arts expert, or a singer, or gay, or clog dancer. He isn’t even a novelist. Their exchange is hilarious. This sergeant and some other topics in the book I think are meant to be tributes and not covers for lack of imagination. And this author has imagination. Excellent.
29. Shadow Game by Feehan, Christine (3/5)
The usual: Fireworks, volcanoes and waves after waves of ecstasy...
30. Heartsick by Cain, Chelsea (4/5)
A page turner.
31. An Old Magic by Cleverly, Barbara (5/5)
In 60 AD, Beca is a 14 years old Trinovante girl who is sold as a slave to a Roman family and manages to survive the Iceni massacre of their villa hiding and lying like a champion.

In 2002 Cambridge, Anna starts playing with a pendulum to locate a water line and soon discovers that there is a scary congregation of ghosts trying to communicate with her through the pendulum and through more direct ways.

Their 2 worlds cross due to an unfinished business and a curse. There is adventure, action, ugly ghosts, romance…

Well I loved it. I like that the girl acts and thinks like a girl and not some cunning middle aged woman. I like those scary scenes that made me look under the bed. I like the male characters, caring, funny, provocative or so very shy.

The Shadowy Horses novel by S. Kearsley comes to mind a couple times because we’ve got Romans and archaeologists and ghosts but this is a different story. If you liked that book you’re going to love this one too.

32. Lethal by Brown, Sandra (4/5)
33. The Brothers of Baker Street by Robertson, Michael (4/5)
Way too many coincidences but I do enjoy this series. The last scene was something out of a Doctor Who episode hehe.
34. God of War by Cameron, Christian (5/5)
The kind of book that sticks to your mind for days afterwards.
35. Roman Dusk (Saint-Germain series, #19) by Yarbro, Chelsea Quinn (2.5/5)
"She stretched up her hands as if to embrace the merry breezes as they frolicked by." Not very fond of her style of writing. And then, some scenes drag and drag no end: "May I borrow a stylus?" "Should I sign at the top or at the bottom?" As if I cared. Yawn.
36. Sweetheart (Gretchen Lowell #2) by Cain, Chelsea (4/5)
37. The Song of Achilles by Miller, Madeline (3/5)
I have problems to believe that Achiles, the great warrior, would have fallen in love with this lilly flower full of teen angst. And I wasn't expecting centaurs and goddesses walking around. I think I'm disappointed because I was expecting a more adult approach to the myth.
38. Evil at Heart by Cain, Chelsea (4/5)
This series is very addictive.
"So many books, so little time."

— Frank Zappa

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Sun April 1st, 2012, 9:29 am

Is Barbara Cleverly a bit like Barbara Erskine?

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emr
Compulsive Reader
Location: Castilla

Postby emr » Sun April 1st, 2012, 12:05 pm

"annis" wrote:Is Barbara Cleverly a bit like Barbara Erskine?


I'm not very fond of Barbara Erkskine. I have the impression that her books are all the same (TSTL heroine gets raped by unknown and stalked by at least 3 men while having some problems with ghosts) though I have only read 2 of them so maybe I'm generalizing.

BC writes mysteries. I'm currently reading and enjoying her Sandilands series. I like her because she's good with secondary characters and really good at creating sidekicks for Sandilands. And she is good with details. For example, why to make up a jazz band when she can give you the name of the real band who was playing that night at that club?

An old Magic by BC seems to be unique, a mix of mystery, romance, fantasy, archeology... and I'd say it's in the Susanna Kearsley style.
"So many books, so little time."

— Frank Zappa

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Sun April 1st, 2012, 12:21 pm

"emr" wrote:I'm not very fond of Barbara Erkskine. I have the impression that her books are all the same (TSTL heroine gets raped by unknown and stalked by at least 3 men while having some problems with ghosts) though I have only read 2 of them so maybe I'm generalizing.


Nah, they're pretty much all doormats of those I've read, with Child of the Phoenix being an exception, although it has been a few years since I've read it. Erskine does need to be spaced out or she wears very thin.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be


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