Recent Reads – June 2012

June 25, 2012

Dead in the WestDead in the West, by Joe R. Lansdale

I’d recommend this wild west zombie story mostly for folks who enjoy horror. It doesn’t stand out to me as much as some of the other things I’ve read from Lansdale, but it’s short and strange and I’m on a big historical supernatural kick at the moment. I also liked that these are magic-based zombies, which seem underused compared with the kind that come from viruses or some other contamination. Yeah, they all still shuffle after your guts, but supernatural zombies often lend a kind of “defeat the evil” vibe. Sometimes that feels like a refreshing change of pace from the post-apocalyptic infected hordes that are all over the place now.

Hold Me Closer, NecromancerHold Me Closer, Necromancer, by Lish McBride

When Sam learns that he has a secret, magical heritage, wackiness ensues. The characters and tone of this one are great, so it’s a must-read for YA fans. The romance explodes in intensity too quickly for my taste, and it skirts close to my pet peeve against supernaturally-induced making out. The rest of the book is cute enough that I’m overlooking that quibble. The chapter titles kept making me smile and hum the songs that they referenced, though most seemed more appropriate to someone my age than Sam’s. And the author gets bonus points for using a TMBG song.

Crucible of Gold (Temeraire, #7)Crucible of Gold, by Naomi Novik

So I mentioned I’ve got a historical supernatural fixation going on, right? I haven’t been thrilled with the last few entries in this series about dragons in the Napoleonic Wars, it started to feel like the plot was less of a concern than showing readers yet another new and exotic location. This book worked its way back to the larger story of the war though, and it gave me the feeling that the Lawrence and Temeraire World Tour of Being Treated Badly may be history. It was also much more fun than it’s last pair of predecessors, which always helps. When a series that I’ve loved starts to lose me, I always try to give it a few more books to pull me in again. This is the only case I can think of where that’s worked, and now I’m excited to read more of these.

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2 Responses to “Recent Reads – June 2012”

  1. Scott Says:

    I love the Naomi Novik books. I found them right after I had finished Patrick O’Brian’s series and was looking to get back to fantasy. How lucky was that. I have not read the most recent ones however, so I think it is time to revisit the series.

  2. Greg Says:

    Thank you for this list, these books look great! :)


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