Monday, January 6, 2014

Mini Reviews from 2013

Looking back through my post drafts, I was caught off guard when I realized that there were 11 drafts for books I read but did not review.  I have no clue why, but my OCD won't let me clear the posts nor move the books off my desk until I write (at least briefly) about them. 
Here are the first 5:

The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
  • Series: Harvest Book
  • Paperback: 944 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (September 1, 2003)

My Take: I loved the history in this one, but it is not for the faint of heart or those easily offended.  The story is about a prostitute in Victorian England though, so I'm assuming those who pick this one up would expect some questionable language, situations, intimate details, etc.  Faber makes you feel like you need to take a shower.  
But, it's a realistic look at the times, the classes and expectations of society. 

Golden Lines:  He inserts a cigarette bewteen his lips an sucks a naked flame against it, reconfirming the decision he made almost immediately after leaving Mrs. Castaway's: that he must have Sugar entirely to himself.  An idle dream?  Not at all.  He need only be rich, and wealth, great wealth, is his for the claiming. (138)

Affliction by Laurell K. Hamilton
  • Series: Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter (Book 22)
  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Hardcover (July 2, 2013)

My Take:  I've had a love/hate relationship with this series for a while.  Of course, that's to be expected when a series makes it to 22 books...oy.  The last book in this series was a disaster, and I said so.  I was done.  As far as I was concerned, Hamilton had one more shot with me.  Affliction needed to blow me away like the first few books in this series did.  And, guess what?  It did.  The story is richer, the plotline secure, more Jean Claude and less sex with random characters, along with the expected zombie raisings and supernatural antics.  I'm still here, Anita Blake.  This series is also not for the faint of heart.

Golden Line:  The smell of decomposing flesh got stronger with every step down.  (441)

12th of Never by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro
  • Series: Women's Murder Club
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (April 29, 2013)

My Take: The Women's Murder Club series is also one with which I've had a love/hate relationship...I'm growing tired of James Patterson's worn out storylines...and the drama.  I started reading this series for the hang on to your seat puzzles these tough ladies were solving; now there are babies, love triangles, girlfriends and boyfriends.  Blech.  While 12th of Never is not the worst of this series; it isn't the best either.  There's one particular detail of this story that was built up throughout the entire novel and then solved...poof...just like that.  What??  Oh brother.  If I don't have anything else to read, I might read the next installment of this series.  :(

Golden Lines: "Don't worry about it, Cindy.  I can always find a place to sleep." (160)

Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris
  • Series: Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood (Book 13)
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Hardcover (May 7, 2013)

My Take: The Sookie Stackhouse series has been a good one.  You can actually read this series and watch the show (True Blood on HBO) and be entertained by them both since they are so different.  A couple of books ago, I think Harris was waining and even then struggling with how  much to push this storyline.  I was worried then, but all series have their ups and downs.  I appreciate the way Harris ended this series.  Interestingly enough, she didn't take the easy way out and wrap things up the way anyone thought she would :)  

Golden Lines:  I couldn't imagine a future without him.  But I also knew that if he turned away from me at this moment, somehow I would survive that, and I would find a way to flourish like the yard that still bloomed and grew around my family home.  I'm Sookie Stackhouse.  I belong here. (338)

Her Last Breath by Linda Castillo
Series: Kate Burkholder Novels (Book 5)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (June 18, 2013)

My Take:  This series keeps getting darker and darker...and I'm so not tired of it yet.  Castillo's challenge with each installment in this series is making the audience believe that all these murders could be taking place in the same small area and among the Amish communitites.  So far, she has met that challenge with gusto.  I'm also head over heels with the way Kate and Tomasetti's relationship is going.  Finally, a realistic, almost down to earth romance...if that makes any sense.

Golden Lines: "She was my best friend."
"I'm your best friend"
The words, the kindness, and the truth behind them triggers something inside me, like the shattering of a glass.  Setting down the beer, I lower my face into my hands and begin to cry.  (298).


  1. I read The Crimson Petal and the White when it first came out and I seem to recall going huh a lot. I think it was waaaaay over my head as a lot of literary fiction tends to be.

    1. I love the depth of literary fiction sometimes, but I was an English major so I call it a disease :/ I love all kinds of fiction just depends on what kind of mood I'm in :)

  2. I love the Kate Burkholder series too. I gave up on the 8th book of the Women's Murder Club series. Still love the Alex Cross series.

    1. I've really begun to wonder just how much of the Women's Murder Club series Patterson is actually writing. It started feeling more like a money making plot rather than a writing plot...if that makes sense. :P