This is a new feature for the blog aimed at providing some quick thoughts on books that I've recently read. While longer form reviews (such as the one I did for Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl here) will still appear on the blog, I like the idea of trying something shorter and different in my review style. Hence, ten-second reviews. I was on a reading tear earlier in the season, but admittedly have slacked off lately. Still, with the holiday season upon us now, I have a feeling that I'll be reading a bit more broadly. Until then, here are a few books that I've read and thought about recently ...
Heart of Obsidian / Nalini Singh
The amount of hype surrounding this book back in June was extreme. Enough to get me - someone who doesn't read paranormal romance all that much - to sit up and take notice. The excitement level for this book is what made me give the entire series a shot. The latest in the Psy-Changeling series, Heart of Obsidian follows former Councillor Kaleb Krychek as he finally recovers what - make that who - he's been searching for. Singh provides a well-written and tightly-plotted story in a world that remains remarkably fresh even as we enter book #12. Unfortunately, I was more than a little uneasy about the focus on Kaleb -- a clear psychopath. Further to that, any developments and progress that Sahara made in her own quest to heal were swept quickly away in scenes that we as the reader were told and not shown. Frustrating to say the least. Regardless, the plot was action-packed and quick-moving and I'm looking forward to the next in the series. • Rating: 3/5 stars
Final Jeopardy / Linda Fairstein
Sigh. I thought this book really could've been something. I was excited to start a new mystery/thriller series -- I saw that Fairstein had produced sixteen books in a series starring the character Alex Cooper. Surely, I thought, sixteen books meant some kind of redeeming qualities in plot and writing, right? Well, that may still be, I suppose for the series as a whole. But Final Jeopardy, as book #1, earned a great big did-not-finish status from me. Alex Cooper, a top prosecutor in New York's sex crimes unit, wakes one morning to find that a friend renting her farmhouse on Martha's Vineyard had been murdered. What follows was the typical procedural. Which would have been fine had the writing (first-person) not been drab, and the characters and the dialogue even more wince-inducing. From the forced banter between Alex and Detective Mike Chapman to the very dated nineties references (O.J. Simpson jokes, anyone?) this book just made me roll my eyes nearly every chapter. I made it (a pretty solid) halfway through before I started reading ahead. What I read certainly didn't make me want to read more. So now I've got to find another mystery series to get into, I guess. • Rating: DNF
Ride / J.C. Emery
Alexandra is a mafia princess who makes the wrong decision, putting her life in danger. She is whisked away to California to live under the protection of a local motorcycle club, and one of the members, though forbidden to her for a number of reasons, catches her eye. I was a little unsure how to rate this book, to be honest. On one hand, it's hitting my favourite trope at the moment: the motorcycle club. For that, I can almost forgive everything. And while the plot moved at a quick pace, I found that it really lost steam at the end with everything wrapped up in rather implausible ways. Further to that, the hero was a real asshole the vast majority of the time. This is something a reader sometimes has to accept when reading MC-based books -- but with this one? Man, there was absolutely no indication that the hero was in love at all. No change or progress in character was shown to indicate his feelings growing from lust into something more. In all, this was a quick and enjoyable read, particularly if one is willing to set some expectations aside. It's a book that is clearly set up for a series and, despite all the drawbacks, I will certainly check out #2 when it's released. • Rating: 2.75/5