(First Ten) Books I Reviewed
(These do not have to be formal reviews. A small sentence on a retailer site or Goodreads counts, too!)
Well, I don’t know if these were the first ten books I ever reviewed, but they’re they oldest reviews on my book review site, BookWyrmReads. These were all posted on WordPress at the beginning of 2007, but they may have been written earlier than that. I’m no longer sure of the exact dates. I’ll also link to my full review, and include a snippet below.
There is a shock value to the book, and after reading the introduction I understand why. There is still much sexual repression and misunderstanding, and the author wants to change that. However, I was expecting a more graphic and, well, icky book. This is well done, with enough shock to get the point across, and yet not so much that I was ever tempted to stop reading. It’s almost poetry.
There isn’t much that I can say about this book without ruining the plot of the first two for everyone, but I can say that the series is set in an alternate Regency England, where magic is an acceptable vocation. The two main characters are young ladies of quality, and while the books may be billed as young adult fiction, they have a freshness that adults will be able to enjoy just as much as teens. I really enjoy the series, and would love to see it continue.
This is definitely a romance. Very steamy. Do not read it if you don’t want to read about sex. However, if you want sex to go with your plot, this is a good choice. I was impressed with A Hunger Like No Other, and this sequel follows the tradition very nicely.
Prayer and God were prevalent in the book. It wouldn’t really have been a Christian novel if they weren’t. But it was prayer as a part of certain characters’ personality and beliefs. Prayer for the sake of other characters, not because the reader necessarily needed saving. Many times, it felt as if I was reading one of the paranormal books I’m fond of, only instead of good magic vs. bad magic, you have good spirits vs. bad. Instead of normal humans fighting off magic-induced possession, the possession is demonic.
The book itself is well executed, with lots of unexpected twists that – if less well explained than their counterparts in previous books – would probably stand up to a re-reading without making the reader feel like the wool has been pulled over her eyes. The clues to the puzzle are there, just hidden. As a lover of books, it kept me occupied and had some neat premises. As a lover of the specific characters, however, I hated it.
Now, the basic premise (which doesn’t get found out until quite a ways into the book) is that there are two alternate worlds, and you have an alternate self living in the other world. You can’t, however, cross between these worlds – unless your alternate self dies. And so Stile, our hero, finds himself able to cross the curtain (between the worlds) and gets into Phaze – where magic works.
The chapters are short, and while this suits the subject matter, it also suits the length a newspaper column would be. Each chapter is nicely contained and can be read really in any order, though some of them do reference prior chapters. They also contain wonderfully humorous snippets and chapter titles such as:
- “I’ll take ‘I Feel Like A Moron’ for $200, Alex”
- “I’m Writing This While Naked”
- “Do you know what a question mark is? If you don’t, then you can’t understand the last sentence, which means you’re no longer reading, which means the only people still reading are the ones who don’t need question marks defined.”
Over the course of the book, we follow the hero, Kit, and the heroine, Rue. They both have to learn how to deal with another Alpha – Kit, as the ruler of the drakon, is the Alpha male; Rue, as the only female who can Turn, by default becomes the Alpha female. Some of the happenings in the book (like the identity of the Smoke Thief and the happy ending) come as no surprise. However, the wonderful voice that Shana uses to tell the story makes the obvious parts of the plot very enjoyable.
[The heroine] seems pretty realistic to me, yet there were a few aspects of her character that I had to take with a grain of salt. It seemed that she was focused on different parts of her illness than I would have been in her position, and while I can understand it from a plot viewpoint, it did leave me rolling my eyes at her a few times.
What can I say without giving spoilers? Well, first of all, this is the 4th in the series, and while you could probably start anywhere and understand the plot (the author’s good like that) you will not enjoy the books that come before as much if you read them out of order, because there are definitely spoilers in each book for the series that has come before. This is not a read-out-of-order type of series.
So, a dozen years ago my reading habits were a bit different than they are now. I read more paranormal romance and fewer classics. Most of the books in this list aren’t ones I have re-read since, or have any desire to. (The exceptions: I’ve read The Mislaid Magician and The Smoke Thief at least once each since 2007, and they and Grammar Snobs are Great Big Meanies are all on my keeper shelf.) Still, it’s highly amusing to see what I was reading and reviewing when I started blogging on WordPress.