Books 23, 24, 25 & 26 - 2011
Book 23: Warrior Rising by P.C. Cast – 340 pages
Description from bookdepository.co.uk
From a stellar talent ("New York Times" bestselling author Karen Marie Moning) comes another scorchingly sensual, utterly delicious (“New York Times" bestselling author Gena Showalter) novel.
The Goddesses have had it with the Trojan War. So much devastation all because of some silly male egos. The worst of the bunch is that cocky, handsome brute Achilles. But the only way to stop a man like Achilles is to distract him with something far more pleasurable than combat. Enter Kat, a modern girl from Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Goddesses transform her into a Trojan princess, having no doubt that she’ll capture Achilles's attention. But can her independent spirit match the unquenchable fire of his epic rage? Goddess only knows!
Like all its predecessors, this book, the second last of thus far published Goddess Summoning series, succeeded with and suffered from the same things. It was funny, yes, and had some winning turns in the plot towards the end, but it fell down on its own clichés. The meddling of the clichés (three in this one!) got annoying fast, seeming to ignore some of the circumstances of the previous book, and act as a deus ex machine when required. The two main characters were also kind of stupid and seemed caricatures of real women rather than fleshed out characters. I realize I can’t expect much from a standard romance novel, but given my prior experience with some of Cast’s books I always hope she’ll suddenly return to the awesomeness that was Elphame’s Choice and Brighid’s Quest (I loved those books so much I named my dog Elphame!). It was an okay read, a decent retelling of the Trojan war, with a more satisfactory ending in some respects (its hard to go wrong when you can spend 300 or so pages imagining Brad Pitt (no other man can be Achilles in my mind, after watching Troy)) but it could have been so much more.
23 / 50 books. 46% done!
8569 / 15000 pages. 57% done!
Book 24: Cross Bones by Kathy Reichs – 348 pages
Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
'Death by self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head' is the on-scene assessment, but the victim's relatives are adamant in their rejection of suicide as an explanation. Discovered in a closet, a full week after death, the body is barely recognisable. Extreme heat has accelerated decomposition, and Dr Temperance Brennan's forensic expertise is required. Advanced putrefaction, and the scavenging of starving cats have made it virtually impossible to determine the trajectory of the bullet. But just as Tempe is attempting to make sense of the fracture patterning, an unknown man slips her a photograph of a skeleton, telling her it holds the answer to the man's death-Detective Andrew Ryan is also on the case and, as his relationship with Tempe heats up, together they try to figure out who this orthodox Jew in the Israeli 'import business' really was. Was he involved in the black market trade in antiquities? And whose is the skeleton in the photo? With the help of Jacob Drum, a biblical archaeologist and old friend from the University of North Carolina, Tempe follows the trail of clues all the way to Israel. In the Holy Land, she learns of a strange ossuary at Masada, a shroud, and a tomb that may have held the remains of Jesus' family. But the further she probes into the identity of the ancient skeleton, the more she seems to be putting herself in danger.
Like most of the Bones books, this one has melded into the others. I know this one was in Israel, and Jacob Drum may or may not have turned out to be a bad guy, and there was definitely some Tempe/Ryan action but beyond that I couldn’t tell you much about this book even a week after reading it. Not sure why the books are so forgetful for me, because the TV show certainly isn’t. Either way, I do remember Tempe being rather whimsical about Israel, which is never a good thing with someone like me, who’s always looking for the next travel destination.
24 / 50 books. 48% done!
8917 / 15000 pages. 59% done!
Book 25: Break No Bones by Kathy Reichs – 334 pages
Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
It's the second-to-last day of archaeological field school. Dr. Temperance Brennan's students are working on a site of prehistoric graves on Dewees, a barrier island north of Charleston, South Carolina, when a decomposing body is uncovered in a shallow grave off a lonely beach...The skeleton is articulated, the bone fresh and the vertebrae still connected by soft-tissue; the remains are encased in rotted fabric and topped by wisps of pale, blond hair - a recent burial, and a case Tempe must take. Dental remains and skeletal gender and race indicators suggest that the deceased is a middle-aged white male - but who was he? Why was he buried in a clandestine grave? And what does the unusual vertical hairline fracture of the sixth cervical vertebrae signify? While Tempe is trying to piece together the evidence, her personal life is thrown into turmoil. When a bullet - intended, perhaps, for her - puts Tempe's estranged husband Pete in hospital, her unexpectedly emotional response complicates her on-off relationship with Detective Andrew Ryan...But before long, another body is discovered - and Tempe finds herself drawn deeper into a shocking and chilling investigation, set to challenge her entire view of humanity…
Again, can’t remember the specifics of the case, but I do remember that Pete got shot, and there was a whole lot of hoopla with Tempe and Ryan’s relationship that made me want to beat myself in the head with the book. Beyond that, short of the book being about the president, I could not have told you the plot. The problem with these plots is that they all feel rather pedestrian. Maybe I’m just too disillusioned now, watched too many crime shows…oh well!
25 / 50 books. 50% done!
9251 / 15000 pages. 62% done!
Book 26: Goddess of Legend by P.C. Cast – 309 pages
Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
The new Goddess Summoning novel from the author of the multi-million selling House of Night phenomenon. After her car plummets off a bridge, Isabel, a world-weary photojournalist, struggles between life and death when she's saved by the Water Goddess-with one tiny caveat: Isabel must travel to another time to seduce the legendary Lancelot du Lac away from Queen Guinevere. The handsome knight is a dream for any woman in any century. But Isabel is the one who's seduced by King Arthur. For Isabel, a deal is a deal. Now, the King watches as fate takes from him the mysterious beauty he has come to worship, knowing all too well that any interference on his part could destroy the kingdom he loves.
This was by far the worst of the Goddess Summoning books, which perhaps had something to do with the fact that Cast wrote this in conjunction with another writer. Not that Cast is necessarily a stellar writer, but her lack of attention to this story in light of her work on the House of Night series seems to be the key driver behind the poor storytelling in this one. The one thing that helps it is the humour in the second half, but that’s if you can get to it. The language is jarring, and somehow, despite being set in Camelot, isn’t quite old English, nor is it modern English, instead a hybrid of the two (Cast should have just stuck to one rather than pretending she could write medieval style dialogue and fail miserably at it – my theory with anything in story telling is if you can’t do it, don’t, rather than doing a poor attempt that takes away from the overall story – this applies quite strongly to love scenes which the majority of the writing population suck at). It could have been so much better, seeing as it appears to be the last of the Goddess Summoning stories, but rather than leave me sad at the conclusion, its as if Cast was trying to leave fans of this series with a bad taste in their mouths in order to prevent any harassment over continuing the series. Not how I’d approach finishing up a series, but to each their own!
26 / 50 books. 52% done!
9560 / 15000 pages. 64% done!
- The Iliad by Homer – 408 pages
- The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory – 437 pages
- The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty – 388 pages
And coming up:
- The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: Volume 3: White Gold Wielder by Stephen Donaldson – 500 pages
- The Odyssey by Homer – 324 pages
- One for the Money by Janet Evanovich – 290 pages