Friday, October 3, 2014

Monthly Reading List: September

(Not pictured: Chronicles of Steele: Raven (Episode 1)

Hunt for Red October (Jack Ryan #3) Tom Clancy

Well, that only took me a week and a half to read! Another great book by Tom Clancy. His character Jack Ryan is neither overused and in absolutely every scene, nor is he cliched into oblivion. It was a long book but absolutely worth the read. (And knowing that Sean Connery played one of the main roles in the film adaptation helped a lot!) Clancy uses the same attention to detail as Crichton, with the smallest oversight causing unexpected consequences. What happens when the U.S. Navy discovers that Russia's most powerful and advanced submarine has not only dodged the surveillance of its own country, but now they're gunning right for American shores? The Hunt begins!

The Tin Collectors (Shane Scully #1) Stephen J. Cannell

Almost didn't finish it. It's definitely a lot grittier than the crime novels I am used to. But I am glad I mucked through because I think it halfway redeemed itself in the end. 
Honestly, I only decided to read this because Cannell plays poker with Richard Castle. So at least two thirds of that set is worth their NYT Bestseller statuses... In my opinion, anyway.
Shane Scully is the typical good-cop-on-the-wrong-side-of-politics, and he's got temporary custody of a kid named Chooch who is as troubled as they come; he's being investigated by a feisty female federal agent who nearly cost him his career before, and this last situation threatens to be the one that gets him. Then, of course, as the facts begin to unfold and clues begin to surface, all is not as it seems...
Where Patterson dealt in weak characters in settings either outrageously exaggerated or unamusingly cliche, Cannell gives more of a "good, old-fashioned cop thriller" vibe, with some very colorful and well-founded characters to boot.

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) Marissa Meyer

Meyer does it again! Her characters are real and entertaining, the mesh of fairy tale with dystopian sci-fi is absolutely stellar, and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book!
She's telling a different story (Red Riding Hood, to the last book's Cinderella) but the treatment is the same... And in the process of introducing a new story and new characters, Meyer does a fantastic job of continuing where she left off in the last story and then bringing two girls from opposite sides of the world together. I love they way she foreshadows... Suddenly things that seemed small and insignificant in one storyline become central to the action in the next book, so you'd better pay attention! I loved every minute of this story!

Flyte (Septimus Heap #2) Angie Sage

So far so good. Sage continues her wonderfully entertaining saga of the ExtraOrdinary Wizard Apprentice Septimus Heap and his gaggle of wonderfully distinct characters populating her heartwarming story.
Septimus continues his development and must deal with not only the reanimated skeleton of the great evil wizard, DomDaniel, but also his ambitious brother, Simon, who is so outraged that Marcia chose Septimus as her apprentice that he is willing to do anything for DomDaniel to gain his approval and try to outdo his brother.
In the same way Magyk largely dwelt on getting acquainted with Jenna, here in Flyte we get a deeper look at Nicko, another Heap brother more welcoming to Septimus than Simon had been. Old characters and new, with unexpected tunnels and subterranean caves and a surprise dragon hatchling that expand Sage's fantastic world still further! 

The Rithmatist (Rithmatist #1) Brandon Sanderson

To be honest, I had always hated geometry. It has long been one of the most confusing and least practical branches of arithmetic. 
Leave it to Sanderson to make it entertaining! In his alternate world where the regions of the United States are all islands separated by waterways, there is a sort of Rithmatic power that brings two-dimensional chalk drawings to life—and attacks depend on certain angles, one's defense is only as strong as one's ability to inscribe perfect geometric shapes, and those who can't draw are vulnerable to those who can.
Not only is Sanderson's story accompanied by detailed diagrams that coincide with descriptions in the story and add an air of legitimacy to the situations described, but the characters are distinct and wonderfully individual. Many of them made me laugh! I really enjoyed this book... Too bad the sequel isn't coming out till next year!

Ruby Red (Precious Stone Trilogy #1) Kerstin Gier

Wow! I am so pleased to be proven wrong time and again with these suspiciously-smarmy-but-actually-fantastic YA novels! 
This one, I admit, I actively avoided because it mentioned kissing a handsome guy in the blurb on the back. The piece of advice I would give if this was a "How To Library" post was just to avoid books that broadcast their "romance" factor as their selling point; I am not a fan of smut because I feel that the characters are so busy fantasizing about each other that they don't ever get to actually DO anything of merit.

As with "Cinder," let me be the first to admit I WAS SO WRONG.

The main character, Gwyneth, was wonderfully dimensional. She does not fall into the "Family Dork" trope, nor the "destined for something more" cliche; I actually found her quite likable and credible. Oh, and the book isn't about romance; it's about the genetic disposition for time travel. And it actually makes sense, and the two love interests are from the same time period, so there's no "star-crossed lover" sort of tripe that usually clutters up YA novels with this premise! VERY fascinating!
This first book does an incredible job of both "setting the board" with the characters, if you will, and presenting questions that no doubt will be answered in the next books. Here I go into another series!

Chronicles of Steele: Raven (Episode 1) Pauline Creeden

Holy crow, what a tale! A couple months ago, followers might remember I featured a review of another book by Pauline Creeden, a supernatural sci-fi story. She's at it again, this time with a steampunk adventure like you've never heard before!
Raven Steele is a Reaper, a trained assassin who has taken many lives, and saved almost as many—till she happens to save the life of the Young Baron. Her world is thrown into a panic as saving the boy's life means taking so many others—yet at the same time, Raven must not exceed her quota, so potential threats to her mission are left alive to chase her once more as she struggles to bring the boy safely to an unknown end. I finished the first "episode" and was all ready to read the next one! Creeden never fails to entertain and uses realistic characters to stir the imagination!

(Since this was an ebook, I'm going to include a link to it: get your copy by clicking--> HERE <-- I strongly recommend it!)