Books for January and February 2009

Murder of Angels by Caitlin R. Kiernan [3.5/5]

This book rejoins some of the characters from Kiernan’s first novel, Silk, ten years later, and while the prose is extraordinary, I didn’t end up enjoying it as much as the previous novel, in part because I didn’t find the plot to be as focused as I’d have liked.

Princeps’ Fury (Codex Alera, Book 5) by Jim Butcher [4/5]

This is the fifth installment in the Codex Alera books, and it’s another great effort, with a plot that moves along quickly and lots of my favorite race, the Canim. There’s a major shakeup of Alera here, paving the way for what promised to be a really big finale to the series.

Pretties (Uglies Trilogy, Book 2) by Scott Westerfeld [ 3.5/5]

I didn’t find myself enjoying this second book in the Uglies trilogy as much as I enjoyed the first one, maybe because it didn’t feel like it broke much new ground or maybe because I didn’t like the main character, Tally, as much this time around. It’s still a well-written YA novel, but overall I’d say I was a bit disappointed, though I do plan to read the third book in the series.

Tales of Pain and Wonder by Caitlin R. Kiernan [4.5/5]

I won this collection of Kiernan’s stories in a raffle that benefited the KGB Fantastic Fiction reading series, and I’m very glad I did. There’s a lot of brilliant stuff in here, and even the stories I didn’t like quite as much (and I think it’d be weird to have somehow liked all of the stories equally) were still very much worth a read. The interior illustrations by Richard Kirk are great too, and fit well with the mood and style of the rest of the book. My only minor complaint would actually be that I wish the alternative table of contents, which shows all of the stories in narrative order rather than order of publication, had been at the front of the book rather than in the back. I guess I’ll have to try reading them in that order when I re-read the collection.

As-yet-unpublished manuscripts read:

  • Gideon by Alex Gordon (later draft)
  • A few other projects

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