It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is a meme created at Book Journey to catalogue everything read in the past week, what you’re working on now, and what you hope to get to in the coming week.

Despite my anticipated choices from last week’s post, I haven’t been in much of a fantasy mood as of late. Unfortunately, this means that I’ve depleted most of my historical romance cache. Fortunately, that just means another excuse to go thrifting.

The Past Week

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

Alien Proliferation by Gini Koch

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean

The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt

Yours Until Dawn by Teresa Medeiros

Jaran by Kate Elliott

Married by Morning by Lisa Kleypas

 Reading Now

Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas

 The Week Ahead

To Sir Phillip, With Love by Julia Quinn

Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

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In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a meme created by Kristi over at The Story Siren to share new book acquisitions, whether bought, gifted, received for review, borrowed, or won.

Bought

  • Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones
  • Jaran by Kate Elliott
  • And Falling, Fly by Skyler White
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green
  • Virals by Kathy Reichs
  • Sebastien by Anne Bishop

Gifted

  • The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
  • A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
  • Rebel Angels by Libba Bray
  • Zombies vs. Unicorns Anthology

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is a meme created at Book Journey to catalogue everything read in the past week, what you’re working on now, and what you hope to get to in the coming week.

The Past Week

One Grave At a Time by Jeaniene Frost

Cold Fire by Kate Elliott

The Rift Walker by Clay and Susan Griffith

Reading Now

Love Story by Jennifer Echols

The Week Ahead

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Aftermath by Ann Aguirre

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a meme created by Kristi over at The Story Siren to share new book acquisitions, whether bought, gifted, received for review, borrowed, or won.

Bought

  • Vampire Empire Book Two: The Rift Walker by Clay and Susan Griffith

Gifted

  • Across the Universe by Beth Revis
  • Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
  • Love Story by Jennifer Echols
  • Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill

For Review

  • Cold Fire by Kate Elliott

Review: Cold Fire by Kate Elliott

While I am an avowed fantasy fan, there is a reason that most of my reading tends to stick to contemporary works. Not only do I find it easier to relate to modern characters and settings, but I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of turning the corner and running into the very same fantastical elements that I had just been reading about. Conversely, I’ve never been able to sink into works of epic or high fantasy, quickly becoming frustrated with the plethora of names and factions that seem to contribute in large part to the word count.

Cold Fire by Kate Elliott

While not high fantasy, Kate Elliott’s Spiritwalker Trilogy nevertheless has enough density of cultural and political description to qualify it as the sort of work that normally would have me headed for the hills. Yet, having read Cold Magic a few months ago, I was surprised by how eager I was for its follow-up, Cold Fire. Though Elliott doesn’t shy away from long stretches of exposition detailing various aspects of her complicated world, her story never veers into the tedious (and sometimes cheesy) territory that makes me wary of many fantasy works. As readers follow protagonist Cat on her efforts to protect herself, her cousin Bea, and a select few other loved ones from various figures intent on exploiting or eliminating them, it is apparent that Elliott has spent a great deal of time fleshing out her world. While all aspects of the political and magical systems that are a driving force to the story have not yet been explained, Elliott provides readers with enough information to infuse her world with reality. Cat’s journey is sometimes gritty and always believable, no matter if she is standing on the sand in a small village or sheltering from the resonance of a dragon’s dreams in the spirit world.

While I’ve not grown to love Elliott’s characters like old friends as I do the characters of many of my favorite series, I appreciate how Elliott doesn’t shy away from repeatedly highlighting their flaws. I might not always agree with Cat’s choices, but her thought processes feel real to me, and her emotions develop over the course of months rather than as the result of knee-jerk reactions. Likewise, Vai’s motives are not always apparent, and his courses of action are often suspicious, yet his choices seem appropriate or at least understandable given the difficult situations the characters are placed in. Though I was initially disappointed to read what appeared to be the start of yet another love triangle, I am so glad Elliott included it in this installment, for it is one of the only instances I have encountered where the triangle was not merely a plot device. Cat has reasons for behaving the way she does, and she doesn’t abandon those reasons lightly, even when the fallout from her actions appears to be more than she bargained for.

I first heard of the Spiritwalker Trilogy while searching for new steampunk titles. Save for a few references to airships and automatons, there really is not much steampunk in these books, which is unfortunate since I believe that Elliott could make some significant contributions to the genre if she so chose. However, Cold Fire does feature an interesting spin on another supernatural genre (which I won’t mention for fear of spoiling the surprise) that I hope plays a bigger role in the final book next year.

Cold Fire is released in the US on September 26, 2011. Be sure to check out Elliott’s website post-release for an extra scene that takes place during the events of Cold Fire.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is a meme created at Book Journey to catalogue everything read in the past week, what you’re working on now, and what you hope to get to in the coming week.

The Past Week

Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder

Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

Reading Now

One Grave At a Time by Jeaniene Frost

The Week Ahead

Cold Fire by Kate Elliott

The Rift Walker by Clay and Susan Griffith

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a meme created by Kristi over at The Story Siren to share new book acquisitions, whether bought, gifted, received for review, borrowed, or won.

This month’s post is a roundup for the past month’s book influx (it’s been a very good month).

Bought

  • Shadow Bound by Erin Kellison
  • Shadow Fall by Erin Kellison
  • Huntress Anthology
  • Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas
  • Heaven, Texas by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
  • When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James
  • Too Much Temptation by Lori Foster
  • Major Crush by Jennifer Echols
  • Princess in Waiting by Meg Cabot
  • Cold Magic by Kate Elliott
  • The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
  • The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
  • Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott
  • Are We There Yet? by David Levithan
  • The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan
  • Mia Tells It Like It Is (PD I & II) by Meg Cabot
  • Princess in Love by Meg Cabot
Gifted

  • Blood Challenge by Eileen Wilks
  • Wages of Sin by Jenna Maclaine
  • Grave Sins by Jenna Maclaine
  • Bound by Sin by Jenna Maclaine
  • Bitter Night by Diana Pharaoh Francis
  • Crimson Wind by Diana Pharaoh Francis
  • Reunion by Meg Cabot
  • The Proposition by Judith Ivory
  • Simple Jess by Pamela Morsi
  • A Summer to Remember by Mary Balogh
  • Simply Love by Mary Balogh

  • Fire by Kristin Cashore
  • Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr
  • The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade
  • Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
  • Where She Went by Gayle Forman
  • River Marked by Patricia Briggs
  • Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward
Won