October Book Round-Up

Half-way through the month I discovered the 2011 Spooktacular October Paranormal Reading Challenge and decided to take part. Fortunately I had already read three books that qualified so I wasn’t starting from scratch in the middle of the month!

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RATINGS:
Like a Star @ heaven Dire – don’t waste your time
Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven OK, but nothing to write home about
Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven Very good – worth a read
Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven Excellent
Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven Superb – read it immediately!

BOOKS FINISHED:
64. Elizabeth Chadwick – Shadows and Strongholds
Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
Although I love historical fiction, I usually go for Roman, Tudor and Victorian era, with occasional forays into Georgian life, but for some reason the medieval period tends to slip past me. It was high time I rectified that ad I’m glad it was with this historical “faction” (fictionalised account of actual historical events). I loved Brunin and Hawise from the very start and immersed myself completely in their world, their friendship and their lives together, their relationship changing from childhood to adulthood.  I will certainly be looking out for more by this author, so if anyone has read more of her work and would like to recommend one or two they’ve particularly enjoyed, I would be very grateful!

65. Alyson Noël – Evermore (Immortals 1) Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
2011 Spooktacular October Paranormal Reading Challenge
This is one I picked up from the library – a new young adult urban fantasy/supernatural romance series for me to enjoy. And enjoy it I did. Ever Bloom is a little slower on the uptake than the likes of Bella Swan, but she’s no insipid, clingy, wimpy emo-teen either, which made this far more enjoyable than the Twilight Saga was all together.

66. Kelley Armstrong – Spellbound (WotOW 12) Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
2011 Spooktacular October Paranormal Reading Challenge
I was a little disappointed by this one, actually. I’m a HUGE fan of the series but Im’ not enjoying Savannah as a leading lady as much as I’d hoped. Waking the Witch (WotOW 11) was pretty good and Spellbound follows directly on from there, but it just didn’t get me anywhere near as excited. It’s still good, just not quite as good as the others in this series. Unfortunately, it’s been left wide open for another installment in this story arc. I just hope the next one will wind that story up and then we can move onto a different character in the driving seat – perhaps another Hope Adams or Jaime Vegas story, or coming full circle and returning to Elena Michaels – that would be very welcome!

67. Alyson Noël – Blue Moon (Immortals 2) Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
2011 Spooktacular October Paranormal Reading Challenge
Rather a disappointment, this one. The first book in the series was a little more original than some other (*ahem* Twilight *ahem*) urban fantasy series aimed at this age group and the heroine was a bit more solid and less wimpy than others, but in this second book, she went all Bella Swan on me and started mooning over her boyfriend who was being all aloof and ignoring her, so I’m sure you can understand why I was a little upset at this development. It was also very repetitive and predictable which made for dull reading. The two-star rating was being as generous as I could.

68. Titania Hardy – The House of the Wind (FOR REVIEW) Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
Full review HERE.

69. Alyson Noël – Shadowland (Immortals 3) Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
2011 Spooktacular October Paranormal Reading Challenge
This one is actually a darned sight better than the second in the series and I may well pick up the fourth in the series when I visit the library this morning (if it’s there!). Both the writing and the story have improved this time round and I found myself re-reading short passages where I enjoyed the words themselves.

I’m not a fan of misrepresenting Pagan religions (I’m not Wiccan, but I know people who are), or any religion, really, and what is described in this book is more akin to fantasy-based sorcery, but the author has attempted to ground it in reality by linking it to Wicca. However, the overall impression given by the author is a positive one – that magick can be used for good or bad and that it is the intent of the user that affects it and not magick itself being black or white (it’s all shades of grey, really). I can get on board with that.

70. Philippa Gregory – The Lady of the Rivers (Cousins’ War 3) Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
The third installment in the wonderful Cousins’ War series. I love historical fiction and although I usually go for Roman or Tudor, this isn’t too far out of my usual era as it’s the history of what happened right before the Tudor dynasty attained the throne – it’s how they got there really. I love this sort of historical faction. It took me a while to get through it, simply because I didn’t have much reading time and although I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the previous novel, it was very good and I found the characters of Jacquetta and Richard to be quite enchanting.

71. Stephen Cole – Wounded (Wereling Trilogy 1) Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
2011 Spooktacular October Paranormal Reading Challenge
At last, a young adult horror/paranormal trilogy that’s NOT about vampires! (Especially of the sparkly variety.) This is werewolves all the way and is a lot of fun with some decent thrills and spills along the way, and a fairly original premise to boot. On top of all this, it’s fairly short. All three of the books could have been put together in a single volume split into three parts, but it would have been a little chunky and perhaps intimidated the youth audience, so this bite-sized morsel (forgive me –  I couldn’t resist punning!) is just the ticket and ends on an open note, ready for the second book to pick up where it leaves off.

72. Stephen Cole – Prey (Wereling Trilogy 2) Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
2011 Spooktacular October Paranormal Reading Challenge
This second installment of the Wereling Trilogy is pretty exciting stuff! This is far more original than some other young adult paranormal novels and occasionally strays into some very adult themes (although there has been no sex so far, there has been the threat that Kate may be taken by force if her mother gets her hands on her and into the very situation Kate is trying to avoid). It’s quite gritty in places and there have been some real thrills so far. I’m looking forward to the final part now…

BOOKS STARTED (carrying over to November):
Various – Dates From Hell
2011 Spooktacular October Paranormal Reading Challenge
Compilation of four novellas by four different authors as follows:

  • Kim Harrison – Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil Like a Star @ heaven
    Absolutely dire. Reading this novella reminded me why I never got past the second book in the Rachel Morgan series. This novella includes the most unsexy and unexciting blood/sex scene I have ever had the misfortune to encounter and the story is both dull and predictable. I will be happy if I never read anything by this author again as long as I live.
  • The Claire Switch Project (CURRENTLY READING)
    So far it’s pretty decent and a damned sight better than the previous story, so I’m hopeful the others will be better too…
  • Kelley Armstrong – Chaotic
    Haven’t got this far yet, but I love Kelley Armstrong and am looking forward to it.
  • Lori Handeland – Dead Man Dating
    This will be my first experience of Lori Handeland’s writing…
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