April 21st, 2010


Changes by Jim Butcher

Jim Butcher's "The Dresden Files" is an urban fantasy series with a gumshoe vibe. Following the adventures of Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, the series runs the gamut from funny, clever pulpiness to EPIC fights with the HORRIFIC darkness, trending more towards the latter as the series progresses.

Changes is the twelfth book in the series, and, sadly, the one that finally killed my affection for the series.

Collapse )

Long story short - I give this one a Zero out of Five. No, in fact, it gets a negative two, because it has killed my enthusiasm to read the previous books that I enjoyed. I'm never quite going to enjoy scenes with Mouse, or Susan, or Harry himself quite as much as I did.
  • Current Mood
As you wish.

Chronological Reading Challenge

A little while ago, I thought it would be an interesting project to read a given author's entire bibliography, in the order in which it was written.  I picked Lisa Jewell.  She's not one of my favourite authors, but she's got a back catalogue of about seven novels, which seemed reasonable, and I already owned about five of them.  I refer to this as the Chronological Reading Challenge, because I like naming things.

I didn't actually expect to get much more out of the books, reading them in this way, so I was quite surprised when I did find myself noticing more about them, and more connections between them.  In this case, as Jewell grew older, her books began to have more of a theme of horrible things happening to children.  I know that in the same time period, she became a mother, and I suspect that she just started thinking more about "what would it be like if...?" or "how would I cope if...?" around her children, if that makes sense.  Anyway, I wrote a couple of posts about it here.

Now, I'm thinking of repeating the challenge, but I don't know which author to pick.  Some of my favourite authors, Terry Pratchet, Stephen King and Sheri Tepper, are out because they have a back catalogue as long as my arm, some of which are quite hard to find in the library.  I quite like Ben Elton, but I recently gorged myself on some of his novels, so he's out, just at the minute.  Matt Beaumont, ditto, plus the library is missing at least three of his books.   Koji Suzuki, Trudi Canavan, Jenny Colgan, Nick Hornby?  All possibilities (although, I suspect I may run into problems finding some of Suzuki's).  Anyone have any ideas?

To narrow it down a little, I'd prefer a bibliography of about seven or eight novels, maybe a little more or less.  Someone who's relatively popular, so their work will be easy to find in the library.  I tend to like fantasy and sci-fi, fairytales, parodies, comedy-drama, and feminist works, like Atwood or Tepper.  I also have a secret love of chick-lit, particularly the stuff that's a little bit tongue-in-cheek.  Although I love Kinsella, she's out, because I'd also have to find everything she wrote as Madeline Wickham, and I enjoy those books a bit less.  And that's another thing, pseudonyms count too.

I can make a decision myself, of course, I just thought it might be more fun to pick someone whom I might not have considered before.

#38 Changes by Jim Butcher

There are spoilers in this review for previous books in the Dresden Files. For Changes, I spoil the first line, but so does the book jacket, so I feel I can get away with it. For the rest of the review, I’ll try to keep things pretty vague.

Collapse )

Rating: five out of five stars
Length: 441 pages
Source: borrowed from Tanner
Challenges- This book is not part of any challenges
Similar Books: The Hollow’s Series by Kim Harrison, the Women of the Underworld Series by Kelley Armstrong
Other books I've read by this author: Storm Front, Fool Moon, Grave Peril, Summer Knight (my review), Death Masks (my review), Blood Rites (my review), Dead Beat (my review), Proven Guilty (my review), White Night (my review), Small Favor (my review), and Turn Coat (my review). I've also read the short story "Something borrowed" from My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding (my review), and "Day Off" from Blood Lite (my review).

xposted to temporaryworlds , bookish , and goodreads
the fountain

Carrie by Stephen King


Quick review: Considering that I am a big King fan, it surprised friends when I mentioned that I hadn't yet read Carrie. This book has been sitting on my to-read shelf for nearly three years, yet I never seemed to reach for it. I finished it yesterday and it lived up to all my expectations. Most people will already know the story of Carrie or perhaps seen the film so if you liked the general storyline, then do hunt out the book and give it a read.

Carrie is a social outcast at her school, mainly because of her religious nutcase mother. She has been bullied ever since she first attended school but things turn sinister after a traumatising incident in the girls shower room. The hidden gift of telekinesis lies inside Carrie and is pushed out into the open whenever she experiences high levels of stress and misery. The now infamous Prom Night ending demonstrates her gift in full force to devastating effects. 10/10
  • quippe

One Foot In The Grave by Jeaniene Frost

The Blurb On The Back:

You can run from the grave, but you can’t hide ...

Half-vampire Cat Crawfield is now Special Agent Cat Crawfield, working for the government to rid the world of the rogue undead. She’s still using everything Bones, her sexy and dangerous ex, taught her, but when Cat is targeted for assassination, the only man who can help her is the vampire she left behind.

Being around him awakens all her emotions, from the adrenaline kick of slaying vampires side by side to the reckless passion that consumed them. But a price on her head – wanted: dead or half-alive – means her survival depends on teaming up with Bones. And no matter how hard she tries to keep things professional between them, she’ll find that desire lasts forever ... and that Bones won’t let her get away again.

Collapse )

The Verdict:

The world-building comes together well, Frost’s take on vampire society and rules is well thought through, the plot feels like filler to move on the overall series arc. There are enough steamy scenes to keep paranormal romance fans entertained, but I wish that the mystery had been a little better developed.

Cross-posted to books, bookworming and urbanfantasyfan.
  • quippe

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

The Blurb On The Back:

Wayward daughters. Missing husbands. Philandering partners. Curious conmen. If you’ve got a problem, and no one else can help you, then pay a visit to Precious Ramotswe, Botswana’s only – and finest – female private detective.

Her methods may not be convinced, and her manner not exactly Miss Marple, but she’s got warmth, wit and canny intuition on her side, not to mention Mr J. L. B. Matekoni, the charming proprietor of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors. And Precious is going to need them all as she sets out on the trail of a missing child, a case that tumbles our heroine into a hotbed of strange situations and more than a little danger ...

Collapse )

The Verdict:

Warm, funny, charming and surprisingly dark, this is a wonderful read with a real feel for Botswana and its people. Definitely worth a look.

Cross-posted to books and bookworming.