So as I update The List
, it looks like I finish out 2011 with 210 brand-new books read, plus a bunch of re-reads, short stories, and graphic novels counted separately.
Some of the most recent stuff:
I just finished Gemma Halliday
's chick-lit comedic mystery/thriller Spying in High Heels
, which I started to determine if I wanted to buy the 5-book "boxed set" when Amazon had it as the Kindle Deal of the Day last week or so.
It was light, fluffy, sometimes overly silly but generally fun enough that I don't regret buying the bundle at $1.99 and have no qualms about reading the rest of the books.
Just prior to that today, I finished Bonnie Dee
's steampunk romantic suspense novelette, Like Clockwork
, which was a previous Carina Press freebie, to see if her writing was decent enough that I could use one of her other titles as filler if I used that Carina Press $5 off $10 purchase
to buy some of CP's rare non-romance books to make up the minimum amount.
Somewhat shallow, but with enough depth regarding the problem of replacing (and displacing) the poorer working classes with automated labour and an okay serial killer subplot that if she's got something else with an interesting premise, I wouldn't mind getting it as a filler item should I need a cart-stuffer.
Speaking of steampunk-with-some-romantic-suspense that's more to my taste, a few weeks ago read in library paperback the two most recent in Gail Carriger
's "Parasol Protectorate" series, Heartless
A nifty continuation of the surprise!storyline that closed out book #2, and gave an interesting look at more of how the tongue-in-cheek "preternatural" world worked, with a pleasant side visit to countries outside AU-Victorian-UK to see how things are handled there.
I think I like the series well enough that while they're normally mildly-enjoyable library reads for me, I'd be willing to splurge on them if Orbit once again has the bundle/discount promo deal on the earlier volumes when it releases the 5th book in paperback next year.
And a couple of days ago, I read another giveaway freebie, Andrea Speed
's Infected: Prey
, offered by m/m specialty publisher Dreamspinner Press, and turned out to be a nice 2-in-1 bonus book, essentially amounting to an omnibus package of two full-length separate-standalone-plotline novels bundled together. That seems rather good value for money for a title you can get for less than $3 with a good Fictionwise coupon sale.
This is a paranormal investigative murder mystery series set in a world very similar to ours, but with a viral infection causing a portion of the population to become werecats. The main character is an infected ex-cop PI who gets involved in cases where the killings are seemingly performed by other infected, or targeted against them.
That particular bit of the worldbuilding setup is interesting, but seems incomplete, as the infected are mostly normalized but stigmatized (and having certain legal protections/exemptions) in a way that makes me wonder what happened in the backhistory which kept the non-infected from hunting down and exterminating them all. Maybe that gets addressed in later books.
While there was some romance (vaguely kissing relationship drama stuff with fade-to-black alluded sex scenes), the main focus of the story was on hunting down whodunnit (more suspense/thriller-ish, with not that much in the way of Clues, though you could speculate on What and Why and maybe Who) and the main characters' internal monologue on what the world was like for people who lived with the werecat infection and how society viewed and treated them (ranging from worship via the creepy cult to the other creepy cult which saw them as devilspawn).
Which brings me to Best Out-of-Context Quote:
"Mock the sacred Xenu if you want, but you won't believe how much claiming you're a Scientologist gets you out of conversation."
Plus, it's got Canadian bisexuals who are genuinely attracted to and act upon attractions to both men and women without being stereotypically depraved and predatory about it or "only bi until I meet the right guy/girl/do it in a hawt ménage with my chosen opposite-sex mate". This tends to be rare. I hereby award bonus points.
Medium recommend if you like paranormal investigative mysteries involving non-naturally created were-people and don't mind a bit of gay relationship drama and a lot of swearing (no explicit romantic scenes, but plenty of explicit language and some not-too-explicit violence). I liked this enough that I've put the next few books in the series on my Fictionwise wishlist for the next really big coupon.