Monday, January 28, 2013

Jacqui's review of 2012

A Late 2012 Review

Well apologies first, when Rob posted his excellent blog at the start of the New Year listing his favourite books on 2012, he did challenge me to do the same.
Well I had every intention to do so, and then work and life dared to get in the way, and so my response has slipped to now, but on the upside, at least I have still managed to reply in January!

As I have probably mentioned in some of my reviews, I am trying to write a book. Trying is definitely the right word; Rob puts me to shame with the amount that he writes! Sometimes it is great and the scenes seem to write themselves. Other times the characters are sitting round like actors waiting for their lines to be fed to them, and I huff, puff, and struggle to get anything down on paper.
This is normal I hear you say. Yes I know, but still very frustrating. I just feel sorry for my friend who I force to read what I write as I go along!

However, enough about my problems, what books did I enjoy last year?
I thought this would be a simple task, but how wrong could I be, as my short list very quickly became a very long list. I knew I had to do something to make it a bit manageable and not put any reader to sleep, so decided to be ruthless and make this a short list of five.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

This was a book I came across by accident, and bought on a whim. It has some flaws, more details on the some of the creatures would be nice, and maybe some of the dialogue was stilted. This is a first book for the author so some leeway is allowed. I found this to be an enjoyable fantasy novel and it was good enough to make me buy book 2 with no hesitation, so it definitely makes this list.

 Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett

The Game of Kings

 This was a series recommended by a friend, and am so glad he did. The writing is clever and skilful, with carefully crafted scenes and some of the best dialogue you will find.  You need to concentrate with the numerous sub plots, but it is definitely worth it, I have since read the second in the series, and the author has found herself at the top of my must read pile.

Whispers under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch

Rivers of London

The third book in the series, which luckily is just as good as the others if not better so an easy contender for this list.  Pc Peter Grant will always be one of my favourite characters, and the idea of a magic branch within the Met Police is brilliant. This book using the tunnels of the London underground as the setting is brilliant, I have always found the empty platforms a little creepy, and this story makes them more so!

 The Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad Williams

The Dirty Streets of Heaven

I had not read any of this author since the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series, but liked the description of this story. Angels and demons appearing when you die and going before a judge for your soul, has to be worth a read. The writing for anyone who has read any of Tad Williams work is as polished as any of his other works, and made my list with no effort.

Outlaw series by Angus Donald


Well this is a bit of a cheat, as including the whole series so far under this one! This is a different take on the Robin Hood legend. In this he is shown to be ruthless and violent - in fact just the sort of person you would imagine him to be. I enjoyed the series and am about to start the fourth book- Warlord- which I am really looking forward to.

So, they are my five books, though it could have easily extended to more. Among Thieves, Prince of Thorns, Vampire for Hire, see my list goes on.

Have always enjoyed reading books, but writing reviews seems to make the books mean more, maybe as you have to concentrate more on them. It seems strange now that I only started doing this about a year ago, so am grateful to Rob letting me doing this, and hope that people find what I have to say helpful in looking at books to read.