What I’ve Read – May 2015

It seems like May was the month of Regency and dragons (and dragons in regency!), my reading months often have themes that I don’t notice until later.

Steelheart – Brandon Sanderson (library)

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.

Nobody fights the Epics… nobody but the Reckoners.  A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart – the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning – and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

This was a quick read and a really interesting idea, that the ones with superhero powers aren’t heros but villians and that it’s the powers that makes them villians! I liked that David is clearly on the spectrum and the running theme of him struggling with metaphors. I wanted to know more about the team, what got them there and so on. It built really well and there were quite a few twists at the end, (I totally saw 2 of the 3 coming) but I liked the way they worked out. I’ll probably read the next one when the library has it, so it’s a win.

Getting Worked Up – Erin Nicholas (borrowed)

Getting Dirty – Erin Nicholas (borrowed)

 Getting in the Spirit – Erin Nicholas (borrowed)

Getting in the Mood – Erin Nicholas (borrowed)

Getting It All – Erin Nicholas (borrowed)

So remember last month, I read the first Sapphire Falls book because it was free. Well, my friend Ruth read it too and bought all the books in the series currently available because she doesn’t have a self imposed book buying limit. So over the first Bank Holiday weekend I borrowed her kindle and read them all too. They are quick, easy and sweet books. Small town life is always wonderful and even though the coffee is awful and everything closes early, all the characters that don’t already live there are ready to drop everything and go live in the middle of nowhere. Everyone is kind and looks out for each other etc, etc. I’m not so sure that’s actually the case but it’s a nice place to visit!

 Temeraire – Naomi Novik (Library Book)

Captain Will Laurence has been at sea since he was just twelve years old; finding a warmer berth in Nelson’s navy than any he enjoyed as the youngest, least important son of Lord Allendale. Rising on merit to captain his own vessel, Laurence has earned himself a beautiful fiancée, society’s esteem and a golden future. But the war is not going well. It seems Britain can only wait as Napoleon plans to overrun her shores.

After a skirmish with a French ship, Laurence finds himself in charge of a rare cargo: a dragon egg bound for the Emperor himself. Dragons are much prized: properly trained, they can mount a fearsome attack from the skies. One of Laurence’s men must take the beast in hand and join the aviators’ cause, thus relinquishing all hope of a normal life.

But when the newly-hatched dragon ignores the young midshipman Laurence chose as its keeper and decides to imprint itself on the horrified captain instead, Laurence’s world falls apart. Gone is his golden future: gone his social standing, and soon his beautiful fiancée, as he is consigned to be the constant companion and trainer of the fighting dragon Temeraire

I really, really enjoyed this. It reminds me of Hornblower but with dragons. I’m going to be reading my way through the series!

The Heir – Grace Burrowes (library e-book)

The Soldier – Grace Burrowes (library e-book)

The Virtuoso – Grace Burrowes (library e-book)

Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish – Grace Burrowes (library e-book)

Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal – Grace Burrowes (library e-book)

Lady Eve’s Indiscretion – Grace Burrowes (library e-book)

Lady Jenny’s Christmas Portrait – Grace Burrowes (library e-book)

So last year I read Lady Louisa’s Christmas Knight and even though some of it wasn’t really period, it was a easy read with some very funny bits. And all the others in the series were available on the e-library and I needed comfort after the election and during the ridiculously busy and annoying work weeks in May, so I read them all. As you do. Burrowes has a way with characters, the family in these books feel like family and I love how you get a different view on each character because you see them from a different sibling’s perspective as well as seeing them as they see themselves. Reading them all on the trot, you notice that there is a theme of family and adoption running through them, which is lovely but not true to period. This along with some of the other stuff, the names of the characters, the constant cooking, the amount of time the entire family leaves the couple in question alone are anachronistic and there is some other stuff – London to Kent does not take you via Chester, if you were in Kent, the nearest port was not Bristol, Duchesses do not bake and some of the baking is too modern and American – muffins & cookies, The Duke of Wellington valuing the opinion of his wife (poor Kitty), there are others but if you can’t get over that, don’t for the love of God, read these, you’ll be driven nuts. Having said that some of it make me roar with laughter. The Duke talking about a son perhaps going “a bit nancy” because he’s heard that can happen in the Army (only really in the Marines), the ‘you’re from the North, you’re family motto, is probably “Thank God for friendly sheep” in Lady Maggie, the mentions of our ‘fat friend’ the Prince Regent and so on. They’re easy, comforting reads and just what I needed.

The Duke of Dark Desires – Miranda Neville (library e-book)

Rebellious Julian Fortescue never expected to inherit a dukedom, nor to find himself guardian to three young half-sisters. Now in the market for a governess, he lays eyes on Jane Grey and knows immediately she is qualified—to become his mistress. Yet the alluring woman appears impervious to him. Somehow Julian must find a way to make her succumb to temptation . . . without losing his heart and revealing the haunting mistakes of his past.

I put this on reserve in January, after a rave review from the Smart Bitches and having read the previous book (Lady Windermere’s Lover) in the series. It finally popped up on my e-library account in the middle of this month! This is all a bit crazy and while I’m sympathetic to people who have their heads chopped off, I also have quite a bit of sympathy for French peasants and the aim (if not the guillotining) of the French Revolution. So I didn’t really care about the heroine or her quest. Julian is fun though!

Throne of Jade – Naomi Novik (library e-book)

Captain William Laurence of the British Air Corps and his dragon, Temeraire, begin their slow voyage to China, fearful that upon landing they will be forced to part by Imperial decree.

Temeraire is a Celestial dragon, the most highly-prized of all draconic breeds; famed for their intelligence, agility and most of all for the Divine Wind – their terrible roar capable of shattering the heavy timbers of war ships, shattering woodland and destroying other dragons mid-flight. Temeraire’s egg was captured and claimed by the British at sea, but he was meant to be the companion of the Emperor Napoleon and not captained by a mere officer in the British Air Corps.

The Chinese have demanded his return and the British cannot refuse them – they cannot afford to provoke the asian super-power into allying themselves with the French – even if it costs them the most powerful weapon in their arsenal and inflicts the most unimaginable pain upon Laurence and his dragon.

As I said, I’m going to be reading through the series, this was just as much fun as the first and I really enjoyed it. I’ve reserved the next two so they’ll probably pop up in June’s list (I hope!)

About nicdempsey

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