Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October Releases

There have been several books come out in the last couple of weeks, since An Echo in the Bone. I've been a busy girl reading them all, as well as reading the first two Aaron Elkins novels.
Charlaine Harris' book of Sookie Stackhouse short stories, A Touch of Dead came out. I was very excited about this book. I have most of the anthologies that contain these short stories already, but it's wonderful to have them all in one place. The one I hadn't read before was "Fairy Dust," that featured Claude and Claudine. It also has "Dracula Night," "One Word Answer," "Lucky," and "Gift Wrap." I do love the Sookie short stories, and can't wait for Ms. Harris to write more of them, and the regular books too of course.

I also just finished reading Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger, who wrote The Time Traveler's Wife. It was pretty different from that earlier novel, but I enjoyed it very much. I had a hard time seeing the overall plot at first, well, almost until the end really. It is kind of a story of the building, and the different lives within it. Although, there is really more focus on the people than the building. It has some interesting stories involving twins. One of the characters has OCD and the other is kind of directionless, or perhaps just trying to find himself again. The characters were fabulous and really drew me in. In fact, I would definitely have to read a sequel if Ms. Niffenegger were to write one.

I also read Lynsay Sands The Renegade Hunter. It was the continuing saga of her vampire novels. I really enjoy her take on vampires. In Ms. Sands novels, vampires are a result of a medical experiment of sorts gone awry in the lost city of Atlantis. Nano bots were created to repair damage from cancer and other diseases, but instead they didn't allow the patient to age. And, since the nanos are powered by blood and humans cannot produce enough blood on their own and required transfusions. Anyway, they live similarly to how we perceive vampires.
This particular book is the story of Nicholas, who had apparently gone rogue some 50 years before this book takes place and his finding his life mate.

I read the first two of Aaron Elkins series with forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver. I have to say, I have read all of the Kathy Reichs novels, and I do enjoy them immensely, but, I enjoy the more down to earth explanations in the Aaron Elkins books of the actual anthropology bits. There is good action and interesting mysteries. The first novel, Fellowship of Fear, feels like a spy novel, rather than an anthropological mystery. The second novel, The Dark Place, is more of an anthropological mystery. Neither feel as purely forensic anthropology as the Temperance Brennan novels by Kathy Reichs, but they have a nice quick pace and an intriguing mystery in them. I look forward to reading more of this series.

The new Kelley Armstrong book Frostbitten came out this week. I have downloaded it to Kindle, but haven't started reading it yet. I have to read Living with the Dead before I get to the new book. Of course, right now I've just started Witchling by Yasmine Galenorn.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

An Echo In The Bone by Diana Gabaldon

Diana Gabaldon's latest in the Outlander series was not a disappointment. The continuing epic story of Jaime and Claire Fraser and their family had some great payoff moments that I for one had been looking forward to. The writing was fabulous as always, I love the way she writes, her use of words, and especially the way you can hear the Scottish accents.
I admit to getting a little anxious for the story to move along. The book follows at least four different story arcs, and even though I had faith that they would wind together, I couldn't wait for them to do so.

Spoilers ahead!!!

I found myself getting weepy throughout the book. I realized I had "known" these characters since I read the first book in high school, and have re-read all of the books at least once, more for the older ones. So, some of the interactions between Jaime and Claire and many of the scenes between Roger and Bree, especially ones involving their reading the letters that Jaime and Claire had left for them had me reaching for the tissues.
The story arcs that I liked the least while I was reading them were the ones with William and John Grey, although, by the end when all the different lines completed the tapestry of the story I had a better appreciation for those story lines.
As far as the payoffs that I had been looking forward to that we got in this installment: Jaime, Claire, and Ian return to Scotland and Lallybroch; William finally finds out that Jaime is his father; Lord John Gray and Claire making peace with each other; Ian finding someone else to love after Emily; Jenny coming to America; not to mention the possible birth parents of Fergus.
I love the realism of the relationship between Jaime and Claire and how well they are aging. I like the interspersing of their letters to Bree and Roger with the narrative. I can completely understand the MacKenzie's wanting to not read all the letters right away. I read the book slower than I normally read to try to savour it a little. Especially since the next book isn't likely to be out for a couple years yet.