Weeks 38, 39 & 40: Book Review Catch-up

So, after complaining that I didn’t get a book read in time to review two weeks ago, I have three books to review this week. As a result, I’m going to do mini-reviews because there are three of them.

Mini-Review #1: Veil of Shadows by Shiloh Walker

I really enjoyed this book. It’s the second in Walker’s “Veil” series. (I’m not sure if there’s an official series name or not, but Veil is in both titles, so that works as well as anything.) The series is a fantasy romance series, and if it wasn’t set in an alternate world it could easily be described as post-apocalyptic. It’s not set in a city as we know it, or it could be called urban fantasy. But it’s not high fantasy either… nor, strictly speaking, paranormal. It’s rather difficult to categorize, actually. Other than “books I like”.

Best parts: character development, world building, twists aplenty, we get to stay in touch with the main characters from book #1.

Worst parts: not as well defined a villain as in the first book of the series, plenty of POVs so that we don’t get as fully in the MCs heads as we could.

Grade: A-

Mini-Review #2: The Sleeping Beauty by Mercedes Lackey

The 500 Kingdoms series (which *is* high fantasy) is probably my current favorite Lackey series. I love her fairy tale retellings. (The Serpent’s Shadow and Phoenix and Ashes from the Elemental Masters series are probably my favorite indivual books of hers, but the rest of the series doesn’t work as well for me. The 500 Kingdoms series doesn’t have an individual book I like as much as those two, but the average rating is higher over the series.) This one, as you may have guessed, covers the Sleeping Beauty tale. However, it’s not *just* Sleeping Beauty. It’s also Snow White and the Nibelung tale, all rolled into one. And it works. I don’t think this is my favorite of the series, but it’s up there.

Best parts: the blending of fairy tales, the characteriation of the two main princes, the use of the Siegfried story in addition to the fairy tales we usually think of.

Worst parts: the ending seems a touch rushed and/or contrived (though this is practically expected, since it’s a fairy tale).

Grade: A

Mini-Review #3: Enchanted by Orson Scott Card

I like Orson Scott Card’s writing. Don’t get me wrong. However, I have discovered that I prefer his sci-fi to his fantasy. Enchanted, to me, read as a fantasy novel given a sci-fi treatment. (I actually didn’t finish it, so this may be resolved past the halfway mark.) Maybe it’s just in comparison to the books I’ve been reading lately, or maybe it’s that I’m looking for something different in fantasy novels than what Scott Card intended to write. Whatever the reason, I couldn’t get into the book enough to care about the characters. Result? About halfway through I put the books down in favor of something else, and I have no desire to pick it back up. Maybe at some later date I will try reading it again and have no problem getting through it, but for now… no thanks. I’ll read something that’s easier for me to enjoy.

Best parts: the concept, the level of detail put into the setting.

Worst parts: the characters fell flat to me, more focus seemed put on detailing the setting rather than making it come alive.

Grade: C


3 thoughts on “Weeks 38, 39 & 40: Book Review Catch-up

  1. Chris says:

    Oh yeah, if the author doesn’t get me to care about the characters, the book will be dnf for me, too.

  2. Seanna Lea says:

    It is really funny, but I have had Enchanted out from the library for at least 3 weeks and I haven’t gotten past chapter 5. It is a bit flat, but I feel like I should give it a bit more effort before putting it down for the count.

    Is Sleeping Beauty a new one in that series? I have read all of the ones at my library, but I cannot remember that one. My biggest complaint is that the romance hits you on the head even more than a normal fairy tale.

    • Nicole says:

      Sleeping Beauty is the newest, though I can’t recall how long it’s been out. A little while, at any rate. And this one does do the typical romance-hitting-you-over-the-head bit, though perhaps a bit less than in some of the others. (There are two serious contendors for the title of Hero, after all.)

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