Thursday, January 2, 2014

Thursday Round-up: Genre Books

I read a pile of books in the final days of last year (and the start of this one) and while I still have that New Year energy I'm going to try to give some quick responses. Genre books are comfort reads for me because I know where the station stops are, so I can relax into the story a bit more. It's a bit of a tribute to Nora Roberts that I read three of her books this month without getting tired of her.

Autumn Bones by Jacqueline CareyAutumn Bones, Jacqueline Carey. I enjoyed this lightweight second book in the Agents of Hel series, which chronicles a busy few weeks in the life of Daisy, part time file clerk and part time mediator between the eldrich and the mundane in a small Michigan tourist town that happens to contain the reborn lands of Hel, Norse goddess. Daisy doesn't take herself too seriously, and worries as much about her love life as she does about various crises with ghosts and ghouls and fairies (well, an apocalypse will focus her mind, but those don't last long). A few dangling threads indicate that the series hopes to continue, and while I won't batter down book stores to get the next, I won't dodge it very hard either.

All the Possibilities, Nora Roberts. I asked my sister for a fast book that takes place in Washington D.C. and she came over to my house with this romance.  It's a nice read from a few decades ago (1985), where she is a bohemian potter and he's a blossoming senator, and the main barrier to their happy-ever-after is her fear of loving a politician. It's a very reasonable fear, as she watched her father get gunned down during his campaign for president, but luckily her brother reassures that she'll still feel bad if Alan gets shot even if they don't get married, so why not be happy until then? That's the kind of logic I like to see in a romance.

Book CoverHeaven and Earth, Nora Roberts. This was a last-minute fill-in for my Colors challenge (I needed a shade of brown) so I went hunting in my sister's library. It's the middle story about three witches on a Massachusetts island, and the clumsy but brilliant (and buff) paranormal scientist who loves one of them. Probably because of the recent J.D. Robb I read, I enjoyed seeing tough cop Eve appear as tough cop Ripley, with her psychologist friend Myra phoning in a lot of the comforting talk of the witchy sister-in-law. Again, a fun read that didn't hold many surprises.

After Dead: What Came Next in the World of Sookie Stackhouse, Charlaine Harris. Since my biggest complaint with the last Sookie book was how much of it seemed to be there just to give closure on some of the minor characters, I approve of this efficient way of handling this. And I enjoyed the alphabet pictures throughout. It's definitely only a book for completests.

Calculated in DeathCalculated in Death, J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts). Not too gruesome, which is honestly the first thing I peek at with these books. Eve and Roarke get to stomp around being awesome and connecting with each other (good job catching the toddler football-style, Eve!) but I've pretty much forgotten the whole thing already.

Wyoming Bold, Diana Palmer. I picked this up as a possible Wyoming book (keen eyes I have). It did a few annoying things, for example slut-shaming ("Oh, I hope you don't mind that I don't sleep around like a tramp -- I know it's what people expect" "Not at all, little lady -- you keep yourself pure for me. I'll bring any experience we need to this bedchamber"). And the throw-away excuse that the bad guy started using drugs at the end to explain his sudden dive off the stupid cliff, which included him raving to his hostages "I can quit anytime I want!" had me giggling a bit. But it wasn't painful to finish.

Seed No Evil, Kate Collins. A cosy mystery I picked up for my geography challenge (this one takes place in Indiana). Although it's well into the double digits, I didn't mind picking up the threads in the middle; the main characters were identified and while I could tell that had backstory it didn't bother me that I didn't know everything. The balance between the relationship stuff and the mystery was handled well, even if I found the legal stuff around dealing with minors a bit unlikely.

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