Sirius’ Best of 2014
As you can see, my list this year is quite short. I am not sure how many books I have read (tried to keep track but failed), I have read and reviewed some great books which were published before this year, so you will not find them here. Here is the list.
This was probably the best redemption story I read last year. I was not sure how Lucas and Mark could be believably brought together considering the conflict that was set up between them, but I completely bought it. I thought Lucas was a great character, in a sense he reminded me of Jean Valjean. At times maybe he did feel a little bit too martyr-like, but at the same time this was the only way I could accept a character like him.
As I said in my review: The book also delivered a lot of social commentary, which in my opinion was integrated with the romance really well. This is no small feat, because too often I think that social commentary in romance gets chopped in favor of the happy ending, or it gets so preachy that I start to wonder where the romance went. It is understandable on the one hand, but on the other I too often find myself wishing that the writer had never attempted the social commentary in the first place. For this reader at least, this story achieved a pretty good balance, and I never felt that the social commentary was too heavy or preachy.
When I see “Blind eye books” publish a new title I usually buy it. This book is this writer’s first novel and I really liked it. The author thanks Mr. Dickens in the dedication, so it should come as no surprise that we have a boarding school and orphans in it. The boarding school is in the skies though and the book has a strong steampunk settings. Young Neil Franklin comes to teach in the school during hard times in his life and finds new friends, new enemies and new purpose in life. Wonderful female characters also exist in the book which is always a bonus for me.
http://dearauthor.com/book-reviews/overall-b-reviews/b-reviews/review-enlightened-enlightenment-book-3-by-joanna-chambers/ (my review).
I reviewed other two books in this series last year so I am only listing the third one here and the last book in the trilogy. I think that this is the best m/m historical series I have read in the last two years. I had a slight issue with the ending, but it did not take away from how much I loved these books.
I reviewed the other two books in this series last year, so I am only listing the third one, which is the last book in the trilogy. I think that this is the best m/m historical series I have read in the last two years. I had a slight issue with the ending, but it did not take away from how much I loved these books.
I saw Willaful putting this book on her best of 2014, but I had to do it as well. I have problems finding m/f romances I enjoy for reasons I do not always understand myself, but this (together with “The Lotus Palace”) was such a gem of a story that I loved every word in this book. I lost myself in ancient China, I thought the heroines had a quiet strength about them which did not feel anachronistic to me, and I really appreciated the love story.
Another wonderful m/f story that I loved. I actually loved this whole series so much. Thanks, Jane, for introducing me to this writer. I thought Corey was a wonderful heroine and I really liked the reasons for the reconciliation at the end.
Quite frankly I thought this was a stunning book. Masterpiece? No, but really good. Kaetrin recommended it to me; as you can see from her review, she liked it significantly less than I did, but she thought I might like it and boy, did I! For me personally, there were plenty of surprise revelations in the story in terms of the mythology, but as I said, I have very weak familiarity with Norse and maybe those who are better versed would be less surprised. There were undoubtedly allusions and foreshadowing that I missed. I was just having lots and lots of fun with this book so I didn’t mind.
And it does not end with a cliffhanger :)
For me, this is what a sequel should look like – a book which explores real, genuine issues which may have been not explored (or not explored in as much depth as they could be) in book one. I enjoyed the first book “Aliens, tails…” quite a lot, but this one was something else. I rarely see an m/m scifi romance which pays so much care and attention to the world building. Oh, there are books in the SFF genre which have great world building but where the romance is barely visible, and I love those books too, but this book blended romance and scifi so very well. Ondri and Liam continue to learn and grow in their relationship, and while learning new things about each other, they learn more about each other’s people too. The way the writer portrays the alien species is really cool. They *feel* alien and have enough distinct features and worldviews to make them different from humans, but at the same time they have enough in common with humans so as not to make the reader feel completely *alienated,* if that makes sense.
I smiled a lot when Ondry tried to figure out whether humans are rational beings through the linguistic concepts and it was very interesting to see how reader’s focus as to what matter most to Rownts shifted with Liam’s. Very fun book, highly recommended.