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What Janine is Reading – Late 2011/Early 2012

It’s been over three months (!) since my last “What Janine is Reading” post. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to do one of these – the holidays got in the way, but it’s been six weeks since they ended and for that I don’t have a great excuse.

Here’s what I read between mid November and early February:

The Danger of Desire by Elizabeth Essex – This sensual regency era historical had its share of historical inaccuracies but the endearing heroine and hot love scenes made it worth reading. Review here. B-

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke – My husband and I tried to read this historical fantasy novel set during the Napoleonic Wars. The book is deliberately written in the style of a regency era book, for example using “shewed” in place of “showed.” The writing style is lovely, and the narration filled with wry asides like “They were gentleman-magicians, which is to say they never harmed any one by magic—nor ever done any one the slightest good.”

I was initially charmed and thought I was going to love this book, but the problem was that very little happened in the section we read. For a fantasy novel, there isn’t very much magic (not usually a complaint for me), and not much eventfulness of plot to make up for it. Nor is Norrell, the main character, sympathetic or likable. The book is over eight hundred kindle pages long, and since it takes more than 130 of these for Jonathan Strange, one of the two title characters, to appear, by that point I didn’t have the patience to wait for the much hinted at conflict between Strange and Norrell to materialize. 155 pages in, we quit. DNF.

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The Plumed Bonnet by Mary Balogh – I’ve been reading a lot of Balogh’s older traditional regencies and this is one of the better ones. It had a terrific beginning, a pretty good but less compelling middle and a wonderful ending. I loved the hero, and while I had a doubt or two about the heroine, I thought it was so interesting that her resentfulness stemmed from having been done a kindness she could not possibly repay. Review here. B+

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How the Marquess was Won by Julie Anne Long – I had high hopes for this one since I’ve loved some of Long’s books but the hero and heroine’s feelings deepened so much so soon after one meeting in which some repartee was exchanged and I couldn’t buy into that level of emotion. Before someone pipes up to say they fell in love at first sight, I will say I know that love at first sight exists, and I have bought intense, immediate feelings in books before. But I didn’t find it convincing here, and as a result I didn’t feel invested in the relationship and the couple. There were more minor flaws, too, as well as strengths like Long’s lovely writing style and amusing humor, but ultimately, I felt this was one of her weaker books. Review here. C/C+

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Ghost in the Machine by Barbara J. Hancock – This 88 page post apocalyptic romance novella was a wonderful surprise – different from most romances I read, eerie, haunting and romantic. I don’t have much negative to say about it aside from mentioning that it wasn’t always clear what was going on in the world, technology wise, and the ending was a touch too happy to match the story. Review here. High B+

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Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey – My husband and I read this together and we came close to quitting in the first third due to myriad issues detailed in my review. Good thing we didn’t, though, because the story improved considerably after the one third point. I can’t say I adored this book like so many readers but neither did I dislike it intensely like others. I am the rare reader who averages out the disappointing first third with the strong latter two thirds to come up with a C+/B- (I gave it a B- when I reviewed it, but in hindsight I think the grade should have been a touch lower).

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Graceling by Kristin Cashore — What a suspenseful, breathtaking, emotional read. This was another one I read with my husband. Jia reviewed this YA fantasy back in 2008. While I agree with her criticism of the villain’s one-dimensional nature and the resulting lack of complexity to the external conflict, I disagree with regard to the heroine. Where Jia felt that her killing Grace (power) was the only thing that made Katsa interesting, I was actually touched by the sense of isolation Katsa experienced as a result of being feared.

I also thought that Katsa began the book so out of touch with her own emotions as to almost be stunted (one reason she read younger than 18) and while this annoyed me at first, her growth in this area over the story’s course ultimately made me really root for her. Like Jia, I loved the romance between Katsa and Po, which hung on the issues of independence/interdependence/dependence. But in my case I also adored the survival story in the middle of the book which involves a secondary character. This was a wonderful book. B+/A-

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Not Wicked Enough by Carolyn Jewel– I recently reviewed this Regency set historical. My main criticism was that I didn’t feel there was much conflict to the story (either internal or external). The heroine’s protestations that she couldn’t fall in love again and the hero’s intention to eventually get engaged to someone else felt like mere lip service. The story was less than fully compelling, but whenever I picked up the book I enjoyed it because the characters were so endearing and the writing was beautiful. Review here. B-

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Angelfall by Susan Ee – What a disappointment this was, though on the bright side, I only paid 99 cents for it. This book has been selling well and earning raves so I thought it would be a good one to read with my husband. It started out quite promising but both of us were ultimately disappointed. Angelfall is certainly competently written, with a fair amount of action, so that even though we were tempted to quit reading partway, we kept reading to see what would happen next.

The biggest problem IMO is that the characters had such a limited emotional range. Raffe in particular was almost a one note character but even Penryn did not display a wide range of feelings. They both felt relatively flat to me as a result. You know it’s bad when a small secondary human character like Dee Dum is more intriguing than the supernatural hero of the story.

The worldbuilding was more interesting than the people, but as Jane notes in her review it didn’t always make sense. There were other things that didn’t make sense, for example, it was strongly implied that Penryn’s mentally ill mother had harmed Penryn’s little sister Paige, which is why Paige was wheelchair bound. If that was so, why wasn’t the mother ever arrested and locked up? These events took place before the angel attacks.

To make matters worse I also felt that Penryn lacked agency, since she spent much of the book following Raffe’s orders. I thought it was ironically symbolic when, in a crucial scene, she is literally paralyzed. Also the book, which starts out dark enough, turns into a full-fledged horror novel at the end, and the disturbing scenes late in the book left me in need of a palate cleanser.

I couldn’t help comparing this book to Ghost in the Machine which has a similar setup (both books have dystopian settings, heroines attempting a hopeless rescue her kidnapped younger sibling, and heroes who aid the rescue, have special powers and may be on the opposite side), but Ghost had a lot more heart. Despite the compelling plot, I can’t grade Angelfall higher than a C-.

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Have you guys read these books, and if so, what did you think of them? And do you ever find yourself more critical of books that many others love, as I did with Angelfall and Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell?

Janine Ballard loves well-paced, character-driven books. Examples include novels by Shana Abe, Loretta Chase, Patricia Gaffney, Cecilia Grant, Judith Ivory, Carolyn Jewel, Laura Kinsale, Julie Anne Long, Alison Richardson, Nalini Singh and Pam Rosenthal. Janine also writes fiction. Her critique partners are Sherry Thomas, Meredith Duran and Bettie Sharpe. Her erotic short story, "Kiss of Life", appears in the Berkley anthology AGONY/ECSTASY under the pen name Lily Daniels. You can email Janine at janineballard at gmail dot com. or find her on Twitter @janine_ballard.

36 Comments

  1. LG
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 13:15:07

    Oh, I loved Graceling – it hit the same buttons for me that Tamora Pierce’s books do.

    I’ve had Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell sitting on my floor, collecting dust, for a while now. I keep wanting to read it, but my TBR pile keeps growing and I find excuses not to. I think part of the issue is that it’s been years since I’ve read something quite that long. I hadn’t realized that it was written in the style of a regency era book. That…doesn’t exactly make me want to read it any sooner. ::sigh:: I’ll at least try it one of these days, but for now it will probably continue to sit there and gather dust.

    Kushiel’s Dart is one I tried years ago. I remember being very engrossed, but there came a point when I just had to stop. I don’t remember if I got stressed out about Phedre, or just couldn’t wrap my mind around a character like her, or both, but I had to quit reading. Every once in a while, I hear good things about her books and think “I should try it again,” but then I don’t.

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  2. Janine
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 13:20:38

    @LG: I’ve never read Tamora Pierce, but if her books are similar to Graceling, I should try them. Where do you recommend starting?

    Re. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, it’s a lot more readable than a genuine Regency era book, but it emulates them in certain ways. There are also a lot of endnotes, which meant clicking around (I was reading it on the kindle).

    FWIW, Kushiel’s Dart got a lot better for me after the one-third mark, when the foreshadowed event took place.

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  3. Amy Kathryn
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 13:40:40

    I recently reread Graceling in anticipation of the sequel, Bitterblue, being released soon. I also tried to read Fire again as I wasn’t able to get into it the first time around. I pushed through the prologue this time and liked it as well as Graceling. I really liked seeing the heroines grow and develop during the course of the novels.

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  4. Janine
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 13:58:26

    @Amy Kathryn: I haven’t read Fire yet but I really want to. And I’m looking forward to reading more about Bitterblue. I found her an interesting and compelling character even though she isn’t graced (at least I don’t think she is).

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  5. Maya S.
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 14:14:17

    The first time I got Jonathan Strange, I quit about 200 pages into it. I picked it up later on to bring on a long flight cross-country and after pushing past somwhere around page 300, I was immediately sucked in. But to be honest, having to read 300 pages before getting into a book is a little bit ridiculous. Her short stories are much more palatable, probably because the style works almost better on a much more limited scale.

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  6. Heather Greye
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 14:17:03

    @Janine:
    Okay, I’m not LG, but I adore Tamora Pierce, so I thought I’d answer.

    I’d start with the Song of the Lioness quartet:
    Alanna: the First Adventure
    In the Hands of the Goddess
    The Woman Who Rides like a Man
    Lioness Rampant

    From about age 13 to 23, Alanna was my go-to re-read. And I’m not a re-reader. I thought she was a wonderful, strong heroine. Not sure how they stand up now. Maybe I need another re-read.

    The Trickster duology
    Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen follow Alanna’s family

    The Beka Cooper series
    Terrier, Bloodhound and Mastiff follow an ancestor of one of the characters in the Lioness books

    I tried reading her other series, but they always struck me as intended for a younger audience, so I never glommed them as I did these other books.

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  7. Liz Mc2
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 14:20:02

    I loved parts of Strange and Norrell but found some stretches boring/dilatory to no effect (and I say this as a lover of big 19th century novels). It was always going to be a big book, but I think it could have lost a couple of hundred pages. If you liked Clarke’s style, you might try her short stories collected in Ladies of Grace Adieu. I remember loving several of those. @LG: at least the print version has footnotes, not endnotes; less flipping.

    I really liked Graceling but somehow wasn’t tempted to read more. Another thing to add to my “really should read” list.

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  8. Amy Kathryn
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 14:38:27

    @Janine: I don’t think Bitterblue is Graced but she must be stronger than most after the events in Graceling. I think the first time I tried to read Fire I was looking for a lighter read without knowing it and the prologue was just too much for me.

    I haven’t paid much attention it to it, but there is some controversy about the choices that Katsa and Fire make in the books in regard to their relationships and their bodies. I think it quite timely and thought provoking.

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  9. Janine
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 14:44:32

    @Maya S.:

    Her short stories are much more palatable

    I heard the same thing on Twitter, from Liz of the #7 comment here. I will keep it in mind.

    But to be honest, having to read 300 pages before getting into a book is a little bit ridiculous.

    Agreed. To a lesser extent that was my experience with Kushiel’s Dart as well. I stuck with it there and was rewarded, and possibly could have been with the Clarke as well. Interesting that they are both books that did very well despite their beginnings.

    @Heather Greye: Thanks for the recs! If I was to only read the first book of just one of her series, which do you think I should try?

    @Liz Mc2: Thanks for the feedback re. Clarke. I’ll try to post briefly about Fire if I read it, though it’s already been reviewed here by Jia.

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  10. Janine
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 14:47:52

    @Amy Kathryn: Bitterblue struck me as strong even just based on Graceling. I really liked her.

    I haven’t read Fire but with regard to Graceling is the controversy Katsa’s decision to sleep with Po but never marry?

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  11. LG
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 14:47:53

    @Heather Greye: I’m more partial to Pierce’s books starring Keladry (Protector of the Small quartet, first book is First Test) than the ones starring Alanna, but Alanna’s books are probably the better place to start, seeing as how Alanna becomes her secret patron.

    I also agree on the Beka Cooper recommendation, although I just realized I never read beyond the first book. I need to fix that.

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  12. Amy Kathryn
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 14:56:02

    @Janine: Exactly. Like Katsa and Po talk about, not everyone will understand how they choose to love but it is their relationship and they are happy with it.

    I will have to check out some Pierce.

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  13. Maya S.
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 15:46:39

    @Heather Greye: I agree that one should start with reading the Alanna series, but I also absolutely ADORE Daine’s quartet (starting with “Wild Magic”). Partly because it’s animal-focused and I love animals, and partly because Daine seemed to be a slightly more complex character than Alanna was at the beginning.

    I, personally, didn’t love the Tricksters duo. Ali was way too close to a Mary Sue for my comfort. But basically any of Pierce’s Tortall books are miles better than some of the YA being published now.

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  14. Darlynne
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 16:09:05

    I made it through Jonathan Strange when it first came out and have no idea, now, what it was about. Beautifully written and ultimately, for me, forgettable. Graceling, otoh, was outstanding and I’m looking forward to the next.

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  15. Janine
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 16:20:41

    @LG: Between Alanna and Beka, which is better to try?

    @Amy Kathryn: I liked that aspect of Po and Katsa’s relationship especially since (A) Katsa was so young, and (B) marriage where she lived meant ceding what rights and freedoms she had to a man. Po was loving and understanding enough to get that, and I loved him for it.

    @Maya S.: Another vote for starting with Alanna. I looked at the book on Amazon and based on the cover, it looks like it’s aimed at pretty young readers. Is that a wrong impression?

    @Darlynne: It’s neat how much love there is here for Graceling.

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  16. Maili
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 16:33:22

    Oh, for a work reason, I forced myself to read the entire Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell in one day. Entertaining in some places, dull as feck in other places, and annoying in a couple of places. If it was an ordinary read, I’d render it a DNF.

    Anyhow, when it was time for me to write it up a couple of days later, I couldn’t remember anything about the story. Just fragments. I was gutted. I mean, I couldn’t bring myself to re-read it, not even to skim, so I abandoned the write-up. It was a pizza, basically. Same base, interesting toppings and utterly forgettable.

    I found Angelfall quite entertaining, even with its flaws and all. I enjoy watching SF films – even the crappy ones – and I’m not that into SF/F novels (I can only enjoy some SF romances). I felt Angelfall was easier to imagine as a film, which is what made it a fun read.

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  17. Anthea Lawson
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 16:40:18

    Another big fan of Graceling, here! (In fact, I patterned my new POD release design after the gorgeous print design of Graceling.) But, much as I love Graceling, I think I love Fire even more. My ‘tween daughter didn’t though… The themes in Fire are darker and more intense, which may be why.

    Couldn’t get into Strange & Norrell, adored the Jaqueline Carey and didn’t find it too slow to start.

    I must go pick up the Barbara Hancock story, it sounds great!

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  18. Maya S.
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 17:09:05

    @Janine: The first Alanna book is definitely pitched at younger readers, but as the books continue they get more mature. I think I was 8 or 9 when I started reading them, but I’ve found that I only appreciate them more as I get older and re-read them. They are definitely YA, but I put them in the same class as Diana Wynne Jones and Eva Ibbotson (i.e. YA books that adults can absolutely enjoy).

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  19. LG
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 17:25:00

    @Janine: Ugh, hard to say, because it’s been so long since I’ve read any of the Alanna books or the first Beka Cooper book. Alanna seems to resonate really strongly with lots of Pierce fans, so maybe that would be the best place to start. However, because the Beka Cooper books take place chronologically before the Alanna books (200 years before, according to Wikipedia), I don’t think you’d come across too many confusing references to characters/events/details from other books.

    If someone who’s read the books more recently thinks otherwise, say so, but I think you’d probably be okay starting with whatever has the most details that interest you. In the first Alanna book, she pretends to be a boy in order to follow her dream of becoming a knight, while her twin brother Thom trains to become a mage. In the first Beka Cooper book, Beka is a young member of a group that’s essentially like the police. Alanna was opting to do something that people said only boys could do (which is probably what resonates so much with so many fans), while I don’t think that was all that much of an issue in the Beka Cooper book I read. If I remember correctly, Terrier (the first Beka Cooper book) was more focused on Beka’s fantasy world-style criminal investigation and the danger that put her in.

    Okay, I hope I didn’t get any of that wrong. I suppose I really need to do a Tamora Pierce reading and rereading project. :)

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  20. Maya S.
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 17:37:43

    @LG: You got the plots right. Personally, I enjoy the Alanna books more than the Beka books both because of nostalgia and because the third Beka book disappointed me thoroughly. They’re also written in completely different style- the Beka books are written as diary entries, whereas all the other Tortall books are in third person.

    Here’s a brief run-down of the major Tortall series:

    Alanna’s books: Alanna switches places with her twin brother so she can become a knight and he can become a mage. Follows her hiding her gender and her life as the first female knight in centuries.

    Daine’s books: Take place about 6-7 years after Alanna’s books. Follows Daine, who has the ability to speak with animals and her involvement in protecting the realm.

    Kel’s books: Follows Kel, who is the first girl to serve openly as a page/squire/knight. She is non-magical and there’s a major exploration of the Yamani culture, which is similar to that of Japan.

    Ali’s books: Alanna’s daughter, who takes after her father and wants to be a spy. Involves the race relations in the Copper Isles and its cultural dichotomy.

    Beka’s books: Set 200 years before Alanna’s and follows a girl who enforces law in the poorer sections of the capital. Follows one major case per book and also details her training and class relations.

    So, they really do follow much more mature topics than your standard YA. And they’re all great.

    (Sorry for all the posts, Tamora Pierce is what got me really into fantasy and was a huge influence on me growing up. I simply adore these books).

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  21. MarieC
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 18:06:17

    I really enjoyed Graceling, but haven’t gotten around to reading the subsequent books…

    But I have read the Kushiel Legacy series (two trilogies; haven’t started the Companion series) and loved them. Yes, initally reading through the worldbuilding can be a little exhausting, but it’s totally worth it! The drama seen the latter half of Kushiel’s Dart carries forward into the other books. Mostly, I fell in love with Joscelin and Phedre, and their loyalty to each other.

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  22. Susan
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 18:16:10

    @LG:

    I haven’t read the Beka Cooper series yet so I can’t compare those books to the Alanna books. (I was waiting for more books in the Beka series to come out since I can’t stand the wait between books. But the series is now apparently complete, so it’s safe to jump in.) I will say that I didn’t love the Alanna books as much as most people do. I like them, but am not rabid about them. It may be because I actually started with the Protector of the Small series (which I did love) and then moved on to the Immortals series. If I’d read the Alanna books first, maybe they would have been my favorites.

    Based on my experience, I didn’t have any problems by starting in the “middle,” so to speak. The world of Tortall was just as fully developed, and I was easily able to figure out what was going on.

    I started both Jonathan Strange and Kushiel’s Dart and set them aside. I intend to give both another shot at some point. Sometimes it’s just not the right time in my life for a book that I end up really enjoying at another time. (Or maybe not.)

    I have Graceling in my TBR pile, tho, so I’ll pick that up before revisiting JS or KD.

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  23. Janine
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 18:16:39

    @Maili: Wow, given what a bestseller Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell was, I’m surprised to find I’m not alone. I managed to finish Angelfall but obviously I am not on the love it bandwagon. I think many agree with you, though.

    @Anthea Lawson: Good to know that, I’ll look forward all the more to Fire. And another Strange & Norrell non-fan! The Hancock novella is terrific, I hope more people try it.

    @LG & @Maya S.: Thanks for all the info, but I fear I’m more confused than ever about where to start with Pierce’s books.

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  24. Janine
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 18:20:14

    @MarieC: I’ll probably read the next Kushiel book eventually, but they’re so long that I’m not in a rush for it.

    @Susan: Where do you recommend starting with Pierce’s books?
    Hope you have better luck with the Clarke and the Carey the second time. And that you enjoy Graceling.

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  25. Susan
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 18:23:54

    @Janine:

    Start w/ the Alanna books. They’re not the chronological start, but they’re the first Tortall books TP wrote and lay the groundwork for the world. Although some of the other books were richer (IMO), if you don’t like the Alanna books you probably won’t like the others.

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  26. Janine
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 18:29:37

    @Susan: Okay, will do.

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  27. dri
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 18:48:34

    Omigoodness, I ADORE Jonathan Strange And Mr Norrell. I’ve read it … twice. Yes, twice. *nods* And I never want it to end. *lol* There’s just something about the deftness of Susanna Clarke’s worldbuilding, the hilarity of her sarcasm (the white cat!), the gorgeous poetics and mysticism of it, all those lovely little stories tucked away in the footnotes. (My favourite is the Basque sailor anecdote.) That book always breaks my heart to pieces but my god, I love it so much. Pretty sure I have this huge crush on the Raven King. :p I can’t wait for the next book which will focus on Childermass and the lower classes although I imagine that will only emerge in another five or six years. Hee hee.

    On the other hand, I’ve heard enough about the Jacqueline Carey series to know all that politics will totally turn me off. :p

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  28. Susan
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 18:54:54

    @Janine:

    Happy reading, Janine!

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  29. LG
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 19:10:53

    @Susan: I just realized I can’t remember whether I started with the Alanna books or the Protector of the Small books. Maybe I started with the Protector of the Small books, and that’s why I like them better, too. Part of me thinks I would have preferred them regardless. I loved all the Yamani culture stuff, and I liked reading about how Kel dealt with the bullying she faced as the first girl-not-pretending-to-be-a-boy training to be a knight. I still love the weighted lance parts in First Test. Kel is awesome.

    @Janine: Sorry! Susan’s way is best, then. Nice and easy, start with the ones written first. :)

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  30. Janine
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 19:32:27

    @dri: I do think Clarke’s writing style is charming, I just found the pacing too sluggish. But I’m glad you enjoyed it so much.

    @Susan & @LG: Thanks!

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  31. Ducky
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 20:27:50

    I read Jonathan Strange when it first came out and I remember it being like a long distance run: I needed some endurance to make it through the slow sections. However, for me the beautiful parts made up for the parts I had trouble with. I recall that the ending haunted me for a long time.

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  32. Tae
    Feb 24, 2012 @ 06:24:08

    hrm… my husband loved Jonathan Strange and etc. I still have yet to pick it up. Neil Gaiman loved it and usually I agree with his viewpoints. I loved, loved, LOVED the Carey books. I love everything she writes, including the Banebreaker/Sundering books.

    I also loved, loved, loved the Cashore books. I think I loved Fire more than Graceling. I thought the controversy would have been Fire’s decision and subsequent action about having children.

    Hrm… I thought I was more in tune with Jia’s reading preferences, but perhaps I’m wrong

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  33. MarieC
    Feb 24, 2012 @ 07:30:17

    Janine, I agree; the lengths of the books can be daunting (I want to read George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones series, but EEEK! and he hasn’t even finished the series!)

    WhileI haven’t read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, it made me think of The Night Circus. A great story of love and magic. To be a bit shallow, the cover is beautiful, especially the UK version.

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  34. Janine
    Feb 24, 2012 @ 10:48:23

    @Ducky & @Tae: Glad you enjoyed Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. I did wonder if I would have to, had I stuck with it past the slow beginning, and maybe if the book hadn’t been so dauntingly long I would have.

    Tae, I am really looking forward to Fire now.

    @MarieC: I have been wanting to read The Night Circus so thanks for mentioning it. I haven’t seen the UK cover but even the American one is very pretty.

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  35. Bettie
    Feb 24, 2012 @ 12:12:28

    I read Ghost in the Machine on your rec, and really enjoyed it. It really wasn’t very clear about the technology aspects, and some of the action was fuzzy, but, my gosh, it was lovely and different, and just a pleasure to read. I’m going to keep an eye out for more of Hancock’s work.

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  36. Janine
    Feb 24, 2012 @ 13:35:22

    @Bettie: I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Agree about the technology, and also the action if you mean the stuff during the story’s climactic section. But yes, a pleasure to read for me too. I also need to look for more of her work.

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