I took a few weeks off from this blog for a summer vacation and so haven’t updated anything since June. I didn’t stop reading though. On the contrary. Here’s a quick recap.
|False Security by Lindsay Buroker|
False Security by Lindsay Buroker continues her exciting UF series Death Before Dragons. In this fifth book, vampires are going missing, including Val’s vampire friend; Val accepts a job as a bodyguard to a tech billionaire, Zav takes her to the realm of elves to see her father, and Val ends up with roommates—and a new house too. For a woman who’s kept people at arm’s length, she’s building a nice new family for herself. Zav talks a lot about vigorous mating, now that he’s officially claimed her, but nothing really happens. There’s a lot of action, like always, and the final battle has bears and naked vampires in it. You don’t want to miss it. (4/5 stars on Goodreads)
|Twisted Twenty-six by Janet Evanovich|
Twisted Twenty-six is the latest in Janet Evanovich’s long-running Stephanie Plum mystery series. The series has felt tired for quite long now, but here it returns to its old form—to an extent. The stakes are genuinely high, violence has consequences, and humorous incidents don’t dominate everything else. Stephanie takes stock of her life, giving an impression of continuity between the books, which is usually lacking. Lesser side characters, Connie and Stephanie’s parents included, have actual roles. And the ending hints at the same story continuing in the next book. I’m really looking forward to it. (4/5 stars on Goodreads)
|False Value by Ben Aaronovitch|
False Value is the eight book in Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch, and it doesn’t let down. I had a brief scare at the beginning that Peter wouldn’t be his usual copper self, but luckily that didn’t turn out to be the case, as he’s undercover. The first part of the book was slightly different than usually, as it was told in alternating chapters in the present and the past to set up the reason for Peter’s latest assignment. Once that was over, the story advanced in the usual meandering manner where the reader isn’t entirely sure what’s going on until it’s all over. There was a bit more Beverly in this book than before—she is pregnant after all—and she is becoming a real person, but the other side characters remain a bit two dimensional. This includes the staples like Nightingale and Sergeant Guleed. There was some mayhem at the end, but Peter managed not to destroy half of London this time round. I’m not sure if I’m disappointed or not about that. (4/5 stars on Goodreads)
|Engagement and Espionage by Penny Reid|
Engagement and Espionage is a spinoff of Winston Brothers series by Penny Reid and starts a new Solving for Pie series. It features Cletus, the devious mastermind in hillbilly’s body, and his betrothed Jennifer the pie queen, and it’s a mystery, not romance—most of the time. The mystery of strangled chickens wasn’t terribly difficult to solve, but Jenn’s strained relationship with her parents took some work. And the two of them just couldn’t catch a break, mostly because Cletus couldn’t see past his romantic machinations. It was fun and emotional, like Ms Reid’s books usually are. I’ll definitely read the next book. (4/5 stars on Goodreads)
|Queen’s Gambit by Karen Chance|
Queen’s Gambit continues Karen Chance’s Dorina Basarab UF series. It’s the fifth book, but as the series is parallel with Chance’s other, longer series, it feels like Dory’s been around forever. The book has a promising start: a sneak attack separates Dory and Dorina, giving the latter a body of her own. From there, we follow two separate adventures, as they both try to figure out what has happened, why and by whom, and how to get back together again.
Unfortunately, instead of a proper plot, we have endless battles in both storylines, some of which don’t really have anything to do with the actual aim of the book. And then the book ends without any conclusion to either story. Dory ends up where she began, practically none the wiser, and Dorina’s story ends with a kind of a cliff-hanger.
Of the two stories, I liked Dorina’s better, as she has for the first time a chance to reflect her weird existence within Dory. Dory’s storyline evolved into endless discussion about her marriage with Louis-Césare, which got old after a while. The only good thing I can say about it is that they managed to talk things through and reach some sort of understanding.
This was not my favourite in the series by any means. But these books have had greatly uneven quality before, so I’m not giving up yet. And the way Dorina’s story ended, it gives me hope that the two series will connect properly for the first time in the next book. We’ll see. (3/5 stars on Goodreads)
|The Enforcer Enigma by G. L. Carriger|
The Enforcer Enigma is the third book in San Andreas Shifters M/M paranormal romance series by Gail Carriger, writing as G.L. Carriger. It’s been a while since I read the previous book, but it felt like coming home, warm and cosy. The characters and the entire pack are coming together nicely and they’re not constantly on defensive anymore, which changes the dynamic of the story.
Perhaps that’s why it felt like the love story of Colin and Judd took a backseat to the main plot. It was a nice mystery plot that was solved really fast, but I really would’ve liked to read more of the lovely pair. That said, the two stories went hand in hand, there were really good moments between the pair and it felt believable all the way. Colin opened up nicely and Judd finally found his home in Colin. On top of that, Trick was a great new addition to the group and I’ll definitely read how it’ll turn out with his bear in the next book. (4/5 stars on Goodreads)
On top of these books, I read a few I’d received free from NetGalley. I’ll write separate reviews of those later.