I haven’t felt like I’ve been on top of my reading at all in the last couple of weeks, but the spreadsheet belies that a bit. I think the main problem is I’m receiving many more books than I’m getting through! Not necessarily a bad thing, but some of them have deadlines (Aurealis judging, review deadlines, Last Short Story end of year looming…) – I think I’m keeping up okay though :)
Swordplay, Denise Little (Ed), 311pp – Surprising amount of religiously inclined stories but some good yarns in here.
Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #40, Simon Petrie (ed), 96pp – A good issue from ASIM, with standouts for me being Ian McHugh’s "Once a month, on a Sunday" and Darren Goossen’s "Kadinsky’s Mistakes"
Aurealis #42, Stuart Mayne (ed), 142pp – High standard, with Jason Fischer’s "for want of a jesusman" top of my list (blogged at Last Short Story).
Gamer Fantastic, Martin H. Greenberg & Kerrie Hughes (eds), 307pp - I enjoyed a surprising amount of stories here, with Jim C. Hines’ "Mightier than the sword" an absolute standout! Also liked Jody Lynn Nye’s "Roles we play" and Bill Fawcett’s "Mission from Hel" and awful lot.
Warrior Wisewomen 2, Roby James (ed), 272pp – Fairly ordinary collection. No real standouts, and some stories that felt, to me, almost anti-feminist. That’s just my opinion, and it’s not the most learned one, but I simply couldn’t warm to most of the stories in this book.
The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance, Trisha Telep (ed.), 532pp – Some great paranormal authors, and some good solid stories in here. Nothing long enough to really sink your teeth into (pardon the pun), but some just left of centre which really appealed.
Batman Vampire – Found it very hard to put this down. An alternate Batman universe with characters I know and those I don’t, where Batman meets Dracula, and a kind of chaos ensues. Dark, depressing, sad and ultimately, totally cool!
Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand, Carrie Vaughan, 282pp – Fast paced and catchy, I enjoyed this even though I’ve not read any of the preceding books of the series. Vaughan does a good job of making the reader feel they know the characters, and avoids the problems inherent with series works generally, including overpopulated cast and overly powerful protags. I also really liked the human aspects of the story, particularly Kitty’s family. Full review HERE
Grave Secret, Charlaine Harris, 306pp – Definitely feels like a wrap up book, the fourth in the sequence, and seems like the loose ends are all tied. Not that a good end point ever stopped series writers, but anyway… Not a bad read, although I still don’t like the Tolliver/Harper thing – just didn’t seem to be handled quite right. A good read though. Full review HERE
AUREALIS AWARDS BOOKS – I’m not commenting on these, but my review of Jatta will appear in Fiction Focus next year.
Ranger’s Apprentice Book 8: The Kings of Clonmel, John Flanagan
Gotta B, Claire Carmichael
Jatta, Jenny Hale
I’m actually all caught up on books I’ve read and needed to review, but the TBR pile is getting scarily high. And I just ordered two more books this morning! Glutton/punishment… :)