Recently Read

These have mostly gone back to the library, so will be a little vague. Books here are Cherie Priest’s Those Who Went Remain There Still, Melissa Marr’s Graveminder, Lisa Shearin’s Magic Lost, Trouble Found, Jim Butcher’s Small Favor, Parnell Hall’s The KenKen Killings, and Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely.

Cherie Priest – Those Who Went Remain There Still

This is set in two times: one part in 1775, with Daniel Boone and his crew building a road through Kentucky and one part in 1899 in a small town off the road with feuding descendants of one of the crew. The chapters alternate times. The road crew is being hunted by something. The town is poor; few people manage to get out. Three of those who did get out are summoned back when the family patriarch dies; they are part of a group of six (three from each side of the feud) who have to go into a cave known as the Witch’s Pit to find the will. No one’s explored the Witch’s Pit very far; people who go in generally don’t come out. This is not my usual sort of thing; I’m not really interested in tales of the frontier or feuding small towns. I was interested in it enough to finish it but don’t have much else to say about it.

Melissa Marr – Graveminder

I waited until way too late to write about this; it’s all very hazy now. Maylene visited the newer graves in her small town with a ritual: three sips of a cordial, three sips on the ground, some conversation, and a final admonishment of “Sleep well, and stay where I put you.” Her (step)granddaughter Rebekkah accompanied her on her rounds when she was younger, but moved away once she was old enough. Maylene is murdered; Rebekkah comes back to town. She and Byron, the undertaker’s son, try to find out exactly what is going on with their town. I can say that I liked it well enough to want to read her other books, but on thinking about it afterwards, I had a couple of issues with it. Rebekkah was a very passive protagonist; she was mostly reacting to events instead of taking action on her own. She had an excuse; she was in shock after her grandmother’s death, but it still bothered me a little. I also felt that Rebekkah’s personal issues as presented throughout the book should not have been resolved as easily as they were by the end of the book.

Lisa Shearin – Magic Lost, Trouble Found

Raine Benares is an elven sorceress and a seeker; she finds lost people and things for a living. She is an average sorceress, but has a few tricks up her sleeve and can take care of herself. The book starts out with her watching the back of her friend Quentin (without his knowledge) while he breaks into the house of a necromancer. Her cousin Phaelan finds her there and waits with her. Quentin finds what he’s looking for, a group of goblins show up, there is fighting, and in the chaos, Raine ends up with an amulet. Everybody wants the amulet; Raine has to decide who to trust while trying to find out exactly what the amulet is. She finds that she cannot remove the amulet, and it enhances her powers. I enjoyed this; it was exactly what I was looking for at the time and was what the cover promised: a fast-paced, entertaining romp. I wanted to read more, and was disappointed that the library only had this one and the fifth in the series. It did have some clichéd elements; Raine of course had red hair, and the goblins had names like Sathrik Mal’Salin. The goblins were also described as tall, grey-skinned, exotically attractive; I continued to visualize them as short and ugly because that’s what I think of when I think goblin.

Jim Butcher – Small Favor

One of the Dresden Files books; when I read through the series last year the library branch didn’t have this one, so I skipped it and went on to the next one. I think it’s the tenth book in the series; if you liked the others, you’d probably like this one. Harry gets recruited by Mab to find out what happened to Marcone, there are investigations, seemingly random attacks, not-so-random attacks, mayhem, and bad things happening to good people. Harry takes a major beating, but comes out of it with new powers.

Parnell Hall – The KenKen Killings

I did not finish this; I didn’t even make it to the first murder. I picked this up off the new release shelf because it looked vaguely interesting even though I binged on mysteries recently and burned out on them. Part of my problem with this may have been that it was the twelfth book and I hadn’t read any of the others. Part of it was that I did not like Cora (the lead) and did not find her interesting enough to read about her anyway and part of it was that I did not like the writing style (pages of unattributed dialogue; I kept losing track of who was speaking).

Melissa Marr – Wicked Lovely

I did not finish this, but will try it again later. I had my fill of teen angst already this month with Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill’s Legacies and wasn’t in the mood for more.

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