What are you Reading? Debonnaire December 2019 edition

Richards

Adventurer
I'm trying out a new author (new to me, that is), Lisa Jackson, who's apparently been on the bestseller lists multiple times with her thrillers. This one is called "Fatal Burn" and deals with the kidnapping of a 13-year-old girl and a series of fires and murders surrounding the woman who gave her up for adoption at birth. She and the adoptive father are trying to find her, a task made more difficult by no demands (or any communication at all) from the kidnapper. It's okay; the story's interesting enough but the pace is dragged down my the constant time spent on the birth mother trying not to fall for the handsome adoptive father (he's a widower, she's a widow, so it's okay), but he's just so rugged, so masculine, so sensitive, so caring, etc. I imagine it's a bunch of female fans who have elevated her novels to the bestsellers list; I'm more like, "Okay, I get it, you're having feelings for him, I don't need to be reminded about it every damn chapter! Let's get on with the 'thriller' part of this thriller already!"

I'm about halfway through it and hoping the pace picks up. She has left a few clues about the identity of the kidnapper and I do want to see if I pegged it correctly. And I have another book of hers in my "to be read" pile, so I hope she turns out decent enough. But at this point she's not on my list of authors whose works I'd specifically seek out, nor on my list of authors I'd try to avoid in future.

Johnathan
 

Janx

Adventurer
Finished Longmire. Working on Scott Meyer's Fight or Flight, book 4 of his Magic 2.0 series.

It's still funny, but seeing the same joke setup across characters and books might be getting old.
 
Just started reading Fritz Leiber's Swords Against Wizardry. I have been slowly re-reading the whole Fafhrd and Grey Mouser series. Technically, book 3 was next, but my brother borrowed it a while back and can't find it. Shame.
 

Nellisir

Adventurer
Just read City of Brass, by S.A. Chakraborty.
It...did not live up to the hype. It's got good intentions and ideas, but the solid bones are buried in a steamy romance novel sauce of muscular djinni bodies, the ordinary human women (who aren't really ordinary) they're drawn to, and etc etc etc.
For the amount of praise it got, I expected more than "it was fine", but that was what I got.
 

Doc_Klueless

Doors and Corners
I'm working my way through the Alphabet Murder Mysteries by Sue Grafton. Currently I'm on R is for Ricochet. My mom loves those books so she turned me on to them. I'm really, really liking them. Next is the "Number Murder" mysteries/Stephanie Plum mysteries by Janet Evanovich which she also loves.

It's really given us something pleasant to chat about.
 

Richards

Adventurer
I'm now reading my second (and decidedly last) Lisa Jackson thriller, "Almost Dead," and while it has some interesting elements it's already (I'm 140 pages in, out of 419 total) devolving into another romance. I think I'm going to finish this book and then strike her from my list of authors; she's far too much at the romance end of the spectrum for me; I prefer my thrillers to be more focused on the thriller part of things.

Johnathan
 

KahlessNestor

Explorer
I'm working my way through the Alphabet Murder Mysteries by Sue Grafton. Currently I'm on R is for Ricochet. My mom loves those books so she turned me on to them. I'm really, really liking them. Next is the "Number Murder" mysteries/Stephanie Plum mysteries by Janet Evanovich which she also loves.

It's really given us something pleasant to chat about.
I enjoy the Stephanie Plum novels. After twenty or so they can be a bit samey, but the characters are so hilarious that you can ignore that. Good balance on the romance/mystery side, too.
 
Finished up Leiber's Swords Against Wizardry. Really enjoyed it, start to finish. The language is elegant, action-packed, sometimes wry. The climb of Stardock was gloriously tense, Lords of Quarmall like an insertion of Fafhrd and Grey Mouser into Gormenghast.

Next up is the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play script.
 

Mallus

Hero
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy.
Man, I've bounced off that as many times as I did Ulysses. So twice, I think. One day...

I just finished the Expanse novella Auberon, which had none of the series characters and all of the goodness you'd expect from Franck and Abraham.

I'm in the middle of two other books: Denis Johnson's posthumously published collection of short stories The Largesse of the Sea Maiden -- which is fantastic so far -- and John M. Ford's old Star Trek musical comedy How Much For Just The Planet -- which is very silly and very smart and proof that 'canon' is something only boring people care too much about.
 

Richards

Adventurer
I'm reading The Worlds of Poul Anderson, which is actually a compilation of three novels: Planet of No Return, The War of Two Worlds, and World Without Stars. However, each of these "novels" is just over 100 pages each, putting them more in the "novelette" or "novella" categories, I would think. In any case, it's interesting seeing what the author envisioned the future to be like, as these "novels" were apparently originally published in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.

Johnathan
 

Jdvn1

Hanging in there. Better than the alternative.
Anyone read Black Leopard, Red Wolf? I'm trying to decide whether to read that next, or Skyward.
 

Janx

Adventurer
Book 2 of The Hollows by Kim Harrison. It has a name, the title is clever, but alas I clicked to open it to quickly and I never see it anymore on my kindle. Kinda like cover art, I never see that stuff anymore with kindle books.
 

Nilbog

Snotling Herder
Just read City of Brass, by S.A. Chakraborty.
It...did not live up to the hype. It's got good intentions and ideas, but the solid bones are buried in a steamy romance novel sauce of muscular djinni bodies, the ordinary human women (who aren't really ordinary) they're drawn to, and etc etc etc.
For the amount of praise it got, I expected more than "it was fine", but that was what I got.
I feel very much the same, a wonderful setting and some good quality writing, and it got off to a great start, but as soon as they get to the aforementioned city of brass it descends into mills and boon territory with a little political intrigue thrown in. Very much wasted potential.

I've just completed Dark Imperium - plague war, I enjoyed it, somewhat predictable, but the writing is good and once it gets going its a nice fast paced novel, looking forward to the third instalment
 

KahlessNestor

Explorer
I've heard lots of good things about it, and it's been on my wishlist for a while, but I've been waiting for the Kindle version to go under $15.
I don't know the other one, but Skyward is excellent. Anything by Brandon Sanderson is.

I just finished reading through Eberron: Rising from the Last War, and now started Terry Pratchett's Wee Free Men. Nice getting back into Pratchett again. Hilarious as ever, and inspiring some worldbuilding.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Just finished Repercussions, book 8(-ish) in the Wearing the Cape series by Marion G. Harmon. While Superhero is not my normal genre*, these books are a pleasure. The early ones did a good amount of deconstruction of what it meant to be a superhero and what it meant to the average person, and some of the supplimental stuff at the back of this added to that.

After the diversion of Team-Ups and Crossovers, which was about Hope's growth, and Recursion, this is firmly back in the prime world line and boy does it run with it. Dresden Files level of changes and escalation happening in the world. Well done, and pretty action packed. I recommend it.

* The only other superhero book I read in 2019 was Spider-Man: The Darkest Hours by Jim Butcher. (See, my Dresden Files reference above was not out of left field.) While I was not familiar with the comic villain that this built from, it did a great job of introducing them and was well written. I can't compare it to other Spidey novels - I haven't read any - but it was quite enjoyable. Butcher does well writing snarky, quick witted characters with a bit of an offbeat sense of humor.

I'm currently reading Homeland for the first time. It's the first Drizzt book chronologically (though I understand a trilogy was written before this that had him). Was never really on my reading list.
 

trappedslider

Adventurer
I just started The Andromeda Evolution by Michael Crichton, Daniel H. Wilson.

Fifty years after The Andromeda Strain made Michael Crichton a household name—and spawned a new genre, the technothriller—the threat returns, in a gripping sequel that is terrifyingly realistic and resonant.

The Evolution is Coming.

In 1967, an extraterrestrial microbe came crashing down to Earth and nearly ended the human race. Accidental exposure to the particle—designated The Andromeda Strain—killed every resident of the town of Piedmont, Arizona, save for an elderly man and an infant boy. Over the next five days, a team of top scientists assigned to Project Wildfire worked valiantly to save the world from an epidemic of unimaginable proportions. In the moments before a catastrophic nuclear detonation, they succeeded.

In the ensuing decades, research on the microparticle continued. And the world thought it was safe…

Deep inside Fairchild Air Force Base, Project Eternal Vigilance has continued to watch and wait for the Andromeda Strain to reappear. On the verge of being shut down, the project has registered no activity—until now. A Brazilian terrain-mapping drone has detected a bizarre anomaly of otherworldly matter in the middle of the jungle, and, worse yet, the tell-tale chemical signature of the deadly microparticle.

With this shocking discovery, the next-generation Project Wildfire is activated, and a diverse team of experts hailing from all over the world is dispatched to investigate the potentially apocalyptic threat.

But the microbe is growing—evolving. And if the Wildfire team can’t reach the quarantine zone, enter the anomaly, and figure out how to stop it, this new Andromeda Evolution will annihilate all life as we know it.

It weaves the events of The Andromeda Strain into hidden history nicely,but one annoying thing is being remind almost all the time of what happened to the town in Arizona. Other than that so far it's good.
 

Richards

Adventurer
I'm just starting up XO by Jeffery Deaver. It's one of his Kathryn Dance novels - she's a character who got her start in an earlier Lincoln Rhyme novel, who works with the LAPD as an expert at body language analysis. I got it for a buck at a library book sale, and while I got a Lincoln Rhyme novel for Christmas (number 10 in his series) I'm dying to read, this one comes before it (apparently Lincoln makes an appearance), then I need to pick up number 9.

XO deals with one of Kathryn's friends, a country/western singer, who's got a deranged stalker coming after her. Oddly enough, this is the only novel I know of that has a soundtrack, as apparently there's an XO CD you can purchase that has the music mentioned in the book. (I'm not a country/western fan so the CD has absolutely no appeal to me, but it's an interesting concept.)

Johnathan
 

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