2007 Book Reviews So Far…

So it’s taken me forever to get this list together, and for that I apologize. 🙂 I’m going to divide this post into two categories: novels and YA. I’ll make a separate post for short stories. In the future, I think it’ll be easier for me to post a review per book, but for now, let’s go with the list. 🙂

Shara Saunsaucie

Novels

In War Times
Writer: Kathleen Ann Goonan
Genre: Science Fiction/Alternate History
Publisher: Tor
Summary: World War II soldier Sam Dance attracts the attention of a beautiful and brilliant physicist, whose has plans for a device could change the very tide of the war and make the world a better place.
Review: I absolutely loved this book. It’s something you really have to sit down and take your time with, but Goonan’s use of both jazz theory and quantum theory is marvelous, and the story that unfolds is fascinating. I’d love to see this book nominated for a Hugo. For the full review, please click here.

The Hidden Worlds
Writer: Kristin Landon
Genre: Science Fiction/Romance
Publisher: Ace
Summary: Linnea’s need to help her sister leads her to uncover a secret about the Pilot Masters and her family’s involvement with them. Thinking this secret could help her save her family, Linnea gives up everything to go to the Pilot Master’s world, only to learn that what drove humanity away from Earth in the first place has found humanity and is destroying its colonies, one planet at a time.
Review: There’s lots of interesting elements to this book. Fans of Catherine Asaro’s Skolian Empire series will enjoy the romantic elements between Linnea and Iain, as well as the relationship between a pilot and his ship. Landon has created some very interesting cultures where women are second-class citizens–which gives Linnea a chance to rise above those challenges and change peoples’ minds–and the plot’s pretty solid. And while its never explicitly stated, I got the impression there was a diverse ethnicity in these characters as well as the settings. Like I said, lots of interesting elements. For a full review, click here.

Hurricane Moon
Writer: Alexis Glynn Latner
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Pyr
Summary: There’s something unusual about the newly colonized world of Green, and it may have something to do with its planet-sized moon, which is covered with water and constant hurricane activity.
Review: I really wanted to like this book, but it fell flat. The characters were unbelievable and acted more like children than professional scientists, and there’s never any real resolution to anything that happens. Rather than answering the big questions about the planet and its moon, the story centers more with a resolution concerning the main characters and their romantic relationships, which would’ve been fine, had those relationships been believable in the first place. For a full review, just click here.

Not Flesh Nor Feathers
Writer: Cherie Priest
Genre: Horror/Dark Fantasy
Publisher: Tor
Summary: The Tennessee River rises, and so does the dead. Reluctant medium Eden Moore has to figure out what they want, before they over run the city of Chattanooga.
Review: While this is the final book in Priest’s Eden Moore trilogy, it can easily stand on its own. But if you’re like me and can’t stand reading books out of order, get your hands on Four and Twenty Blackbirds and Wings to the Kingdom respectively. Why? Priest is fantastic with setting, atmosphere, mood. The stories are good and creepy, with lots of ghosts, murders, dark magic, and what really makes the books different from other books in the genre is that the heroine is biracial, and that plays a major role the books, particularly the first. Interested? Reviews are here for Four and Twenty Blackbirds, here for Wings to the Kingdom, and here for Not Flesh Nor Feathers.

Maledicte
Writer: Lane Robins
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Publisher: Del Ray
Summary: Kushiel’s Dart meets The Count of Monte Cristo, only there’s far more bloody revenge in this book than graphic sex. In order to avenge her childhood lover’s kidnapping, Miranda transforms herself into Maledicte, a bloodthirsty courtier, whose need for revenge is fed by a goddess who wants nothing more than to destroy.
Review: I can’t compare this to other girl-transforms-into-boy-to-survive-medieval-setting types of stories, as I haven’t read them, but I’m not sure those stories take the gender disguise quite as far as Robins does. Miranda, as Maledicte, is truly male, a self-perception that never slips except during certain sexual encounters, and only in front of those who know that Mal really is a girl. Even then, you’re so convinced of Mal’s masculinity that it’s hard to see him as anything but. The characters are dark, flawed, and total anti-heroes, but you can’t help but be fascinated. It’s a dark, violent book, but the sex itself is tame. For a full review, click here.

Keeping It Real (Quantum Gravity Book 1) 2007 US RELEASE ONLY
Writer: Justina Robson
Genre: Science Fantasy
Publisher: Pyr
Summary: Experimental cyborg Lila Black is assigned to guard elf rock-star Zal, only to learn there was more to the accident that made her a cyborg, and to fall in love with the insufferable elf that she can’t stand, all thanks to the Game.
Review: This is a really fun book that blends SF and fantasy elements quite well. There’s lots of humor, lots of pop-culture references, and frankly, this book is a lot of fun. It gets in touch with the inner-teenaged girl while still telling a good, adult-sized story. For a full review, just click here.

Selling Out (Quantum Gravity Book 2)
Writer:
Justina Robson
Genre: Science Fantasy
Publisher: Pyr
Summary: Lila Black is sent to Demonia to learn just how exactly elf rock-star Zal became part demon, and it all goes to hell from there.
Review: Very different from the first, Keeping it Real, as there’s no sex or romance. But it develops the overall story with far more detail. We learn more about everything and everyone, which is great, but the book is more set-up than anything. Still a good read for those who enjoy the first. The full review, including spoilers, is here.

The Hollower
Writer:
Mary SanGiovanni
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Leisure
Summary: A group of individuals are all haunted by a faceless being called The Hollower, and they must band together to defeat it or go mad alone.
Review: If you ever get a chance to hear SanGiovanni read, TAKE IT. That’s what made me get this book, because she’s such a damn good reader. The book isn’t bad, definitely a old-school horror in that there’s a single monster and everyone has to band together to fight it, but I’m not easily scared. Like, at all, so it didn’t scare me. 🙂 But the writing’s good, and if you’re a fan of horror, you should check it out. For a full review, which does include spoilers, please click here.

Kitty Takes a Holiday
Writer:
Carrie Vaughn
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Publisher: Warner Books
Summary: The third book in the Kitty series finds Kitty retired into the mountains, in a cabin, trying to write her memoir while she tries to cope with the events of books one and two. She’s struggling to find something human to hold on to, and the call of the wild is getting too tempting. It doesn’t take long for misfortune and adventure to find her, between the ritualistic sacrifices left on her doorstep to Cormac coming to her for help with their lawyer, Ben.
Review: I enjoyed it a lot, though it started out a bit slow. This book has a more similar feel to the tone and atmosphere of book one, which is a good thing, and the end just about broke my heart. For the full review, click here.

YA

Wicked Lovely
Writer:
Melissa Marr
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Teen
Summary: Rules: do not supposed to stare, speak to, or attract the attention of invisible faeries, and while Aislinn can see them, and she’s always followed rules, the faeries have discovered her anyway, and won’t rest until she gives them what they want.
Review: It’s a great debut. Not your typical romantic teenaged urban fantasy either, and that I really appreciated, because the story manages to break those rules. I read this book is less than 24 hours, it was that enjoyable, though admittedly, I’m not familiar with faery stories, so I also had no expectations. Still, it’s a great read. For a full review, which does include spoilers, please click here.

Uninvited
Writer:
Amanda Marrone
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Summary: Jordan’s dead ex-boyfriend isn’t dead at all. He’s become a vampire, and he wants her back. All she has to do is invite him through her bedroom window, and the way her life’s been going lately, that may not be such a bad idea…
Review: This book is less about vampires and more about a teenaged girl who’s screwed up and has to decide whether or not to give in to her misery or fight to get her life back on track. Michael, the dead ex-boyfriend, is merely the impetus for that decision. This is definitely not one of those vampires-are-beautiful-and-girls-can’t-resist-them books either, so don’t worry. For a full review, which does include spoilers, please click here.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Writer:
J.K. Rowling
Genre: Fantasy
Summary: I think we can do without the summary on this one, yes?
Review: Satisfied with the conclusion of the series, though there were plenty of problems with the book. For a full review, which does include spoilers, click here.

And that’s it from me for today. I’m working on a list of 2007 short stories (anthologies, mags, and online) that I’ve read this year, and hopefully, I’ll get that posted soon. Cheers!

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