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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Fiction we read in February

The Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher: We love his Dresden Files books (with the exception of the most recent entry...ugh), so we thought we would give his high fantasy a try. It started out rough, and we didn't care. Once we got into it, we appreciated the tight little story and the characters. They were a little black-and-white for us, a little too flat and blatantly "good-vs.-evil," but that's better than having no one to root for, like in the first Game of Thrones book. The writing is easy to understand, and the book was fun. We care enough to read the second one and watch where Butcher takes this, but we don't care enough to read it right away. We will take a little break first. Book grade: B-

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater: We liked everything about this YA book except for one thing. They way Maggie writes, you can't get sucked into a scene. She has paragraphs of character thoughts after every line in a conversation! She interrupts herself and her scenes so much that it feels choppy. She needs to let things flow. Otherwise, there are good characters, romance that actually works, a good story, and good use of magic. We loved the gang of guys and the main female character. We want to read the next one...we just hope it won't be so hard to read. Book grade: B

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl: This was like Twilight, only with the genders swapped and the more offensive/abusive elements removed. We liked the small-town, Southern Gothic setting and many of the adult characters. We also loved that the main character and narrator was a guy. He seemed cool. This was easy to read, but it was way too long, keeping this book from being tight and focused. It's not special or original, but it's enjoyable if you like YA paranormal romance, and we do. We weren't nuts about the ending. If we continue this series, we hope the writers take more risks. By playing it safe, the writers didn't write something bad, but they didn't hit any great notes either. Book grade: B

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