I loved the deep weirdness that existed at the core of Swamplandia. In fact, I would probably have given the book four stars just for that. The concepI loved the deep weirdness that existed at the core of Swamplandia. In fact, I would probably have given the book four stars just for that. The concepts were so refreshing...a family that wrestles alligators for a living, a girl who sees ghosts, a descent into the underworld. The characters were sharply drawn and while entirely different, they also managed to be relatable. I loved the main character Ava's point of view in what is essentially her coming-of-age story. Following the death of her mother, Ava must try to cope with her loss while attempting to keep her floundering family together. In fact the entire book is essentially about that--dealing with the loss of a mother, a central pillar of the family--but it loops so strangely with so many different journeys that you forget that until the end of the book. The language and wordplay are also fantastic.
That said, this book was brutal. Lots of the reviews I read say they were horrified and disappointed by the ending. I think so too...something happens at the end that is really terrible and I think could have been accomplished thematically by other means. Which is why this only gets three stars. Otherwise I was enchanted....more
Loved the heroine in this book. The Spymaster's Lady follows the enemies-turned-lovers British Head of Section Grey and French Spy Annique as they fleLoved the heroine in this book. The Spymaster's Lady follows the enemies-turned-lovers British Head of Section Grey and French Spy Annique as they flee across France to preserve dangerous war plans from falling into the wrong hands. Annique was smart, quick, and strong-willed, which very much made the book for me. I think I really enjoy romance novels only if the two lead characters have contentious relationships...makes it more fun!...more
This book was so good! I was surprised, because I was going in for a trashy romance novel, and got something much more. I loved the contentious relatiThis book was so good! I was surprised, because I was going in for a trashy romance novel, and got something much more. I loved the contentious relationship between the two leads, Dain and Jessica. I loved how Jessica was firey and independent and not afraid to speak her mind (with a very entertaining wit, no less). And I loved how there was actually some plot to the book--it was not just about romance and hot steamy love scenes (although there were a few of those), but about Dain dealing with his issues. A+ period romance....more
The Kingdom of the Gods completes N.K. Jemisin's Inheritance trilogy. While I loved the first and second books of this series, this third one seemed tThe Kingdom of the Gods completes N.K. Jemisin's Inheritance trilogy. While I loved the first and second books of this series, this third one seemed to drag. It follows the Trickster God Sieh as he becomes inextricably bonded to a mortal brother and sister. Their bond will have a profound impact on the world. As will the secret that the goddess Enefa blocked from Sieh's memory, before she died.
The concept as always was interesting, as I love books with mythologies of their own. But some of Sieh's trials and travails seemed unfocused. The book could have used a much tighter plot in the middle. The ending was satisfying, especially since it wraps up the story arc of the Big Three gods that spanned the three books, but it definitely lost my interest for a while there. All in all I'm glad I read it, if only for the ending....more
In this second book of the Song of Ice and Fire series, four different kings fight for the right to rule. I was again mostly impressed by how well-devIn this second book of the Song of Ice and Fire series, four different kings fight for the right to rule. I was again mostly impressed by how well-developed the characters are. It was interesting to get some new points of view, like Theon's...even though he's really the only character I can't stand. And I have to admit, I have a secret love for the Lannisters. I think Cersei and Tyrion are among my favorites. I know I'm probably not supposed to like Cersei, but I just admire what a ruthless woman she is. I loved the part towards the end where she tells Sansa love is dangerous and has the potential to destroy.
That said, only four stars because this seemed to move slower than Game of Thrones. I love the level of detail in these books, but sometimes Martin seems to get bogged down in it. Do I really need to know all the names of all the ships in a sea battle? I guess some people might appreciate the battle scenes, but I really just wanted to see what happened to the characters next. Nevertheless I'm so attached to them I'm definitely going to finish the series....more