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No Wip Wednesday today, since I'm working frantically on my [community profile] soulexchange fic, and it's supposed to remain secret.

Plus, I totally skipped a day of writing, because yesterday White Hot, the second installment in the Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews came out, and I had to devour it first :)

IT WAS SO GOOD.
spoilers under the cut )

pameluke: (Default)
Look, I like alliterations and there's no days starting with R, alas.

One of the reasons I'm somewhat behind on writing is that I've been reading a lot lately, on top of all the stuff I've been watching. Most of it was really good though, so I definitely don't have any regrets. 

Thanks to [personal profile] isis , I started Course Of Honour a couple of weeks ago. Arranged Marriage in Space?? With slow-burn pining and lots of politics?Count me in. It finished last week, and I'm honestly sad it's over. I enjoyed it so much, both Kiem and Jainan were such great characters, with varying strengths and weakness, and I loved the world and all the politics. The slow-burn was delicious, and while I wished the author would have spent a little more time on the emotional resolution, I'm still absolutely in love with these two. And kind of hoping there'll be fanfic and/or missing scenes.

While I didn't participate in [community profile] fandom5k I did read and commented on quite a bit of fic. Overall I thought the exchange was really good quality wise. I'm definitely thinking about participating next year, if they lower the offering fandoms a little. I wrote an embarrassingly long comment (nearly hit the character limit) for i have named you queen (listen) by [personal profile] damkianna. It's a truly amazing F/F Original Work story, about a princess who gets herself out of a dire situation by proposing to another princess. It's filled with cultural conflicts and misunderstandings, is set in a super interesting desert world, with great political intrigue, and the main character has such an amazing voice, and such a layered personality. One of the best things I read so far this year. I even got out of bed after finishing it because I just had so much emotions about it, I couldn't share them by typing on my phone. It was so good.

I also really enjoyed Thorough-bass and human nature by [archiveofourown.org profile] MildredMost, which is a Pride and Prejudice story about Mary Bennet finding love and piano lessons. I never cared much for Mary, but this fic really brought home to me how much we only see her trough Lizzy's eyes, and how Mary really got the short end in her upbringing. I honestly got emotional when she got actual piano lessons and improved so marvellously, her crowning moment of awesome was so great and rewarding. I also really loved her love-interest, and truly, this is the kind of future I wish for her.

Next week the second book in the Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews comes out, so I've started my reread of Burn For Me. I'm really enjoying it, the Andrews' writing and characterisation is as ever top-notch, but I'd forgotten how much of a psychopath Mad Rogan is. Which I enjoy for plot reasons, but I'm kind of wary of him turning into a romantic lead. Basically, the Andrews' sold me on the fact that's mad so well, I'm not sure he can recover from that?
I always loved Kate and Curran's relationship from the Kate Daniels series, because they're so evenly matched, both somewhat homicidal maniacs who reach for violence as a response way too soon. They match well together because of that. Rogan and Nevada seem too fundamentally different at this point to really work as a couple, the power-imbalance seems to vast to me.
Don't get me wrong, I'm very willing to go wherever the Andrews' take me, and I have a lot of faith in their ability to truly have characters develop and grow. I'm just not sure they're getting the book space to really make it work.
In any case, I'm looking forward to the next instalment immensely.
pameluke: (Default)
So far January has been pretty filled with new things I've read and watched. I'm one of those people who tends to rereads entire series when a new book comes out, and rewatches entires seasons of shows when she gets reminded of a specific episode. It's a comfort thing mostly I think.

In any case I started the year with reading some New Adult romance. I'd really liked The Deal by Elle Kennedy, and her new books were getting a lot of good commentary, so then I got really into it. I honestly really love how Kennedy writes and I adore most of her characters. They feel real and human to me. My problem is mostly that I read Romance for the Happy Ever After fantasy, and due to the fact that New Adults are so very, very young, I tend to not buy the HEA. So I'm always so very thirsty for more, preferably 10 years later.
It's really weird, because I'll be reading her books smiling the entire time (except when I'm crying actual tears), and then the ending is there and I'm utterly dissatisfied. Lesson learned I guess: NA isn't for me, even if it took me four books :p 

Him
by Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen. It's a really short review, but I think this is my favorite of the four. Probably because it's a queer romance between friends, and also hockey. I smiled so much. 
Then there's the Off-Campus Series, by Elle Kennedy. Reviews: (I read the first one, The Deal, last year, and it is by far the best one. I still really recommend it.) The Mistake, ugh, they're just too young, and the ending was so sudden. The Score, I seriously loved the characters to bit, and it was a rollercoaster of emotions, but again, I kind of wanted to read there romance in 10 years. Also the ending with the surprise hook for the next book seriously turned me off, so I won't be continuing this series.

Because I don't tend to follow my own advise I also totally read two YA books. Contrary to the NA, those were pretty satisfying.

Much to my mothers glee, I finally read Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, which is a coming out/coming of age/gay romance story set in high school. I loved it, mostly because I bawled for like half of the book. Tears running so hard down my face I wasn't able to actually read anymore. Man, high school can be so brutal. Which is why I don't read much high school set stuff, but maybe the whole small doses make it better thing is true. Full review here.

Magic Stars by Ilona Andrews was a nice novella addition to the Kate Daniels world, which I love dearly, as most of you know. It focuses on Derek and Julie, which are very, very high upon my favorite characters list. (They were even the subject of my first ever yuletide gift!) And the Andrews' didn't disappoint. Mostly because I'd been missing Derek a lot in the latest books in the main series (so I'm happy that this is kicking off his own spin-off series), and because the MAJOR reveals we got dealt with issues I had with Julie's storyline ever since she was rescued. And dealt with how! I'm even more excited about the next Kate Daniels novel than I was before. Honestly, I'd probably read another 20 books in this series, the magic system remains so fresh, the worldbuilding is just so good, the lore is always so interesting, and they write such compelling characters. 

I also read two contemporary romances by Julie James, which where highly enjoyable, especially because of there setting in big city business life, but they were also ultimately slightly forgettable. Which isn't entirely the right word, I really enjoyed Love Irresistable for instance. But her romances never grab me so hard by the gut that I remember how that felt later. 

Last but not least, I also read The Martian by Andy Weir. Mostly because I wanted to read all the Yuletide fic, and also because I really want to see the movie (which got delayed because I went to see that other Space movie, aka Star Wars: The Force Awakens first).
I really liked the book. It did drag on occasion, but the good stuff was plenty and really, really good. I really liked how in your face all the science and math was, and Mark Whatney was just a really entertaining narrator.

And that was it for books this month. No new books coming out next month I'm particularly looking forward to, but I got really into Star Wars, so I'm probably going to check out a bunch of the old Expanded Universe novels, and possibly some of the new ones. And since there's a new foreigner book coming out in April, I should probably start rereading earlier this time (last time I read 15 books in 3 weeks, which kind of killed me, this time it's 16 books, so I should probably be smart and spread them out.)

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