Sunday, May 31, 2015

One Sentence Reviews: May

One sentence summaries, one sentence reviews of all the books of May--both the dross I've already mostly forgotten reading, and the gems I'm looking forward to reviewing. I finished up a number of series this month, so there isn't as much variety as before. (Maybe this will be the summer I get around to reading the Discworld books...)

P.S. 69 books and counting for 2015!

MAY 2015

  • Cold Magic by Kate Elliott (2010, steampunk)
    • Rambunctious Phoenician schoolgirls have magic, get married, and fail to explain their own plot despite repetitive fact-dumping about their alternate history/steampunk world. -- A lot of plot-induced headache with no payoff. 2/5 stars. (Full series review here!)
  • Cold Fire by Kate Elliott (2011, steampunk)
    • In which our heroines bumble into the Caribbean and make out with everyone; also, zombies. -- This one gets half a star more than the others because the free Caribbean society was interesting. 2.5/5 stars. (Full series review here!) 
  • Cold Steel by Kate Elliott (2013, steampunk)
    • In which our heroines get lost in their own plotlines, change sides several times for no reason, recap the plot to each other in every conversation, and I guess save the world; also, more zombies. -- I was really hoping the author would have the nerve to axe her narrator. 2/5 stars. (Full series review here!)
  • The Finger: A Novel of Love and Amputation by David L. Robbins (2014, contemporary/humor)
    • A flaky writer offers his girlfriend anything she asks to stay with him; she proposes permanent mutilation to demonstrate his sincerity; America's favorite talk show host rigs the outcome. -- A surprisingly tender book, for all of its comedic premise, with great side characters. 4/5 stars.
  • How To Kill A Rock Star by Tiffany DeBartolo (2005, contemporary romance)
    • Music-addicted reporter realizes that she can only secure her budding rock star fiancee's success by breaking up with him. -- A book to remind you of when you were young enough to give your heart 100% to the things you loved without shame. 4/5 stars.
  • Breath and Bones by Susann Cokal (2005, historical)
    • Fallen from convent grace to be an artist's model, Famke tracks her beloved painter across the American frontier, modifying his masterpieces as she goes. -- A great book about drop-kicking the male gaze and classical definitions of beauty, with a side of cross-dressing and robbery, ending as always with tuberculosis. 4.5/5 stars. (Full review here!)
  • Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw (1985, historical)
    • Egyptian street rat is blackmailed by two different factions into spying on Hatshepsut's court. -- A dated but nevertheless endearing book about an unapologetically terrible person. 3/5 stars.
  • The Undead Pool by Kim Harrison (2014, urban fantasy)
    • (Part of the Hollows series) Rachel Morgan accidentally steals pieces of a particulate elven goddess, which, as usual, nearly ends the world. -- The heart has gone out of the series, but the comedy and the action remain. 3/5 stars. (Full series review here!)
  • Into The Woods: Tales from the Hollows and Beyond by Kim Harrison (2012, urban fantasy)
    • (Part of the Hollows series) An anthology of various side stories and histories. -- These made so little impression I don't even remember finishing the anthology. 2/5 stars. (Full series review here!)
  • The Witch With No Name by Kim Harrison (2014, urban fantasy)
    • (Part of the Hollows series) Everything blows up. -- Don't ask me to summarize the final book in a series; I have to be vague. Still mad about Ivy. 3/5 stars. (Full series review here!)
  • Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (2009, contemporary thriller)
    • Former child-survivor of a brutal family massacre makes an appearance at a serial killer fan convention to supplement her donation-based income, learns the brother she put behind bars might have been innocent all along. -- Not personally moving like Flynn's other stories, but a solid thriller. 4/5 stars.
  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (2015, YA contemporary)
    • Gay high schooler is blackmailed into setting up his friend with a creep, or risk having his online relationship with a mystery fellow student outed for th world to judge. -- I was not prepared for this book about all the ways you have to keep coming out, over and over again, to be as cute as it was. 3.5/5 stars.
  • All The Rage by Courtney Summers (2015, YA contemporary)
    • High school rape victim is shunned after going public with her accusations, but joins in the search for another missing girl. -- A staggeringly brutal emotional journey that falls flat at the ending. 4/5 stars. (Full review here!)
  • Shackle and Sword by Alanna Morland (1999, fantasy)
    • Unappealing hero meanders through faux-medieval life while the gods have no effect upon his life whatsoever except to periodically remind the reader that he likes animals as much as he likes fighting. -- What a pointless book. 2/5 stars.

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