Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Books Read, New Series Found

by Kathy F.

Summer vacation is over, school is back, and Fall is on the way. How did you do on your summer reading? I didn't read all of the books I wanted, but I did find some good ones, as well as some new series that I will be continuing.

Remember, soon we will be starting the Hammered group read, so get caught up on Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid series, and buy or borrow book 3.

Here are 2 novels and one short that I recently read. One is a Young Adult (YA) and I'd group all as Urban Fantasy (UF).

The Woken Gods by Gwenda Bond

I love mythology, and books where the various pantheons exist in the same world (witnessed by my love of Hearne's Iron Druid and Andrews' Kate Daniels series), are devoured like candy-coated written goodness. In Bond's YA Woken Gods, it is five years since all of gods from all of the cultures around the world woke up. Chaos ensued until the Society emerged bearing relics that could hurt and even kill the gods. An uneasy truce remains, with the Trickster gods, Legba, Loki, Coyote, Enki and others, acting as go-betweens with the Society. Our story takes place in DC, home to the gods' embassies and our heroine, Kyra. She lives with her dad who works long hours as a researcher for the Society, her mom went crazy at the awakening and isn't around, and Kyra spends her time with her friends and trying to get a reaction out of her dad. To say she has trust issues is a massive understatement. Of course, soon her life is turned upside down, secrets come out and she is in a race against time to save everything that matters to her.

I enjoyed this one a lot. With the action taking place in the city, we get to see a bit of what it is like to live with the gods, with a few mentions of what life might be like outside in the rest of the world. There is definitely more to discover in this universe. I liked the characters. There isn't really a love triangle (definitely not with the main character), and although there is romance, this is not one where Kyra does stupid things because of her feelings for a boy (in the midst of dangerous dealings with powerful deities). Also of note, there are no bad boys. The male characters do not treat the female characters horribly because of their gender, or to "push them away for their own good" or any of the other common tropes. I liked that very much.

The end goes quickly, maybe a little too fast, and I'm hoping that we get the continuing adventures of Woken Gods soon. It's not a cliffhanger, but there is much to be explored still in this world.

[received a review copy]

Generation V (American Vampire #1) by M.L. Brennan

Fort is a vampire, but he is still a very young one, so he doesn't have the super strength or healing abilities of a fully transitioned vampire. He is trying desperately to remain human, much to the disgust of his older (and I mean OLDER brother and sister). Then he meets a visiting vampire who makes his psychotic sister look like Mother Theresa, and soon Fort is faced with putting his life on the line to stop him. Throw in a kitsune bodyguard who loves messing with him and soon the normally peaceful Fort is up to his ears in asskicking, even if his is the only ass getting kicked.

First of all, my thought through many parts was, "This is effed up." And it is, wonderfully, magnificently effed up. Horrible things happen, the whole way vampires are created in this world is nightmare fuel, and we have a MC who realizes how messed up his world is but feels powerless. Fort is a loser when we meet him. He abhors violence but sees all confrontation as a negative which means he is a doormat. I loved watching him grow.

Also, there is a nod to the very dark side of the devoted vampire lover that I felt was a very good touch.

I will be reading the next book, Iron Knight, out in January 2014.

Charmed I'm Sure (Pax Arcana #0.5) by Elliott James

This one is a prequel short story for the new Pax Arcana series. The title sounds quite cute and charming, but those aren't the words I'd use to describe this world. It is another one where the world is really effed up. The whole story was pretty much a long action scene, so I was happy.

Our MC comes from a long line of Knights who fight the supernatural creatures that prey on humanity. He is also something else. I was intrigued before, and now I am really looking forward to book 1.

I have a feeling there is going to be a lot of collateral damage in this series.
Charming, book 1 in the series, is out September 24.

What have you read lately?

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  1. I'm almost done with the Charming enovella (I started it on the train today, I'll finish it on the train home. :D) and I'm not sure what I feel about it. A lot of the jokes are falling flat for me and I'm not digging the whole "one long action scene with very little explanation" thing. I am still going to plow ahead with the actual book, but I'm thus far not 100%.

    I haven't heard a THING about Woken Gods and it sounds AWESOME! How did that one miss my radar? I totally want to try it now. I too am also a sucker for "godpunk" stories, especially because I grew up completely hooked on mythology and folklore. I get annoying excited when an obscure god or story comes up. It's like someone is talking about a band that I love. "I KNOW THAT COYOTE FOLKTALE!!!" I am so lame.

    1. I think I read this novella at the right moment just before I went to see Pacific Rim when I was in an ACTION-ROAR kind of mood. I don't think this will be a very funny series, but action-packed, oh yes.

      I loved Bond's Blackwood (centered on Roanoke - fav historical mystery EVER). Mythologies converging = YES.

  2. "Wonderfully, magnificently effed up" is totally going on my next business card! So delighted that you enjoyed Generation V, and now I can't wait to hear what you think of Iron Night!

    Thanks for including my book in your summer reading!

    1. :D I can't wait to see what you throw at Fort next!

    2. Mwa ha ha... *rubs hands together*