While I have enjoyed most of the books I read this month, in general it has felt like bit of an uninspired month again.
I started the month with the first of two Charlaine Harris novels. Day Shift is the author’s latest novel, and is the second in the Midnight trilogy, set in a small but unusual Midwest town. When a client dies midway through a meeting with psychic Manfred Bernardo, trouble comes to the remote town and affects the lives of the residents.
I read the first book in this trilogy last year and really enjoyed it, as it has the fun, mysterious air of Harris’ better novels. Day Shift was just as good, and brought a new dimension to the series, as it followed different characters to the previous book. All the people in Midnight have secrets, so it was interesting to see a few more of these revealed.
If you enjoyed any of Harris’ other books, give her latest series a go. I’m looking forward to book three.
March also saw my first abandoned book. I borrowed Voyager from the library, which is the third in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon – now a TV show. I really enjoyed the first book, which tells the story of a 1940s nurse who time travels back to 1700s Scotland and falls in love with a rugged rebel fighter.
The third book sees a future Claire trying to get back to Jamie Fraser, who she always believed had died at the Battle of Culloden.
At over 1,000 words, these are long novels, and the fact that I didn’t finish the second book should have told me not to bother with this one. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy the book, I just wasn’t enjoying it enough to work my way through that many pages.
On our trip to Riga, I wanted a book I knew would absorb my attention on the plane, so I reread J.K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith’s latest, Career of Evil. It’s only a few months since I wrote about this so I won’t go into detail again, but if you like crime fiction, you should check out the Cormoran Strike series.
Next up was my second Charlaine Harris novel, Shakespeare’s Christmas. This one was also borrowed from the library, and was the first I’ve read in the Lily Bard series. After returning home for her sister’s wedding, Lily finds herself caught up in a dangerous abduction case that her private detective boyfriend happens to be investigating.
After Day Shift and then Shakespeare’s Christmas, I realise just how much Harris likes to reuse characters from elsewhere in her universe. Lily Bard appeared in the Sookie Stackhouse books, so it was interesting to find out more about her character and her story.
It was another entertaining series that I’ll probably read more from in the future.
Finally this month was a book that I’ve been reading about online for ages, with numerous bloggers raving about how good it was. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab is a fantasy novel set in a world where there are four Londons in parallel universes, each infused with a different level of magic. Only a few people can move freely between the cities, but one of these is Kell, who finds himself in great danger when he comes into possession of an artefact from the lost city of Black London.
Hate to say it, but I really didn’t enjoy this, and I knew I wouldn’t even after a few pages. While it’s a great concept, I found the writing dull, the story flat and the characters annoying and not very engaging. I feel like I wasted time and money on this one, and I only finished it as I’d paid to download the novel. If you like the concept of a magical London, Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London books are better.