May Reads 2021

            Another crazy month of reading down and I tore through NINE books. I’m also now at thirty-one reads for the year out of my fifty-five book goal. Obviously, I’m going to make that with no problem. Audiobooks have really been a game-changer for me. As for my overall reading list, I’ve marked off eight books, so I do need to put a little more focus on getting those books done. But I’m proud of my progress so far.

Soulblade by Lindsay Buroker

            Another in this series and I enjoyed it yet again.

I really liked the developments across all the characters and how things are turning out for them. Of course, I feel like I can’t say too much without including spoilers this late in the series.

            Just know it got pretty brutal at the end and I can’t wait to get started on the next (and last) installment of this series. I’m going to be sad to see these characters go.

Ark of Blood by J.F. Penn

            Another thrilling adventure with Morgan Sierra. I really love the knowledge behind her books, and I feel like I’m learning while being entertained.

            As I go deeper into this series, I love Morgan’s character more and more. She is selfless and brave and kick ass. She really will do whatever it takes to get a job done. Even when she’s injured and alone, she hangs on.

            A beautifully gory ending to this one and I’ve already downloaded the next book to keep reading.

The Snowman by Jo Nesbo

            This book had a lot of meat and I thoroughly enjoyed getting down to the bone. I love a good detective novel now and then and this was a good one. I’ve now realized it’s the middle of the series though, and will have to go back to book one. But I’m not complaining. And it read like a standalone, so I don’t feel like I missed out on any details.

            There were great highs and lows and personal turmoil in Harry’s life that made the case even more exciting. The clues he followed reminded me of Sherlock Holmes in the way he saw things that others didn’t.

            Every false line had me fooled until Harry revealed something new, and I was guessing all the way to the end. Really superb.

            The only thing I can complain about (and it’s not really a complaint) is just how every bit of small talk was a part of the dialogue. But it didn’t weight it down, so only a comment.

Guilty Pleasures by Laurel K. Hamilton

            Not sure why I picked this book or how I even got to the end. I don’t want to rant too long, so I’ll try to keep it to a quick list.

  1. Anita Blake is annoying
  2. No one cares what everyone is wearing. The only time it mattered was describing the strippers and where she had weapons hidden.
  3. The outcome was too predictable. Had the vampire killer picked as soon as it introduced him.
  4. The narrator for the audiobook was also annoying. But I guess it fits with Anita Blake’s character.

Anyway. I don’t see how this is a famous series. Total bore. Felt way too much like it was trying to copy the Sookie Stackhouse series. I will not be continuing.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

            Okay, how have I never read these before? I was obsessed with Harry Potter when I was younger, and this is HP’s angsty drunk cousin that I want to be friends with. I couldn’t get through fast enough and I’m on the second one now.

            Quentin and his friends are brooding geniuses and they’re hilarious and exactly who I want to hang out with at a magic school.

            I really liked the pacing. Not like HP that was one year per book, all four years of school and then some equal the first book. And maybe it could have been broken down and fleshed out, but I enjoyed it the way it was.

            And then the shit hits the fan, and they realize it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Wow.

            Quentin gives up and wants to be normal at one point and it could have ended there with the sad magician. But wait! There’s more! And on to the next.

The Dinner by Herman Koch

            I’m not sure how this book made me feel. It was on my reading list, but I can’t remember why. It was intriguing, sure, and the characters were fun to go along with… But I don’t know.

            The father was a little whiny and the way he just embraced violence in every aspect of life; it wasn’t a shock that his son acted the same way.

            And the way the parents would rather scrape it under the rug and pretend their son wasn’t involved in such a heinous crime… I don’t know. Way too cold for me to relate.

            The Magician King by Lev Grossman

            This second book of the series was even more amazing than the first. The tale got very dark and twisted and I loved it.

            I especially enjoyed finding out what happened to Julia while Quentin was away at school, lounging around and getting drunk. Her story was so tragic and I’m so happy with how things ended up for her at the close of this book.

            Quentin grew a lot in this one. He could accept responsibility for his actions, let someone else lead the way, and stood up for Julia in the end instead of pouting when things didn’t go how he wanted.

            I don’t feel like Eliot was on the page enough. I wanted to know more about what he did while Julia and Quentin were gone. That and Poppy deciding to stay in Fillory at the end are my only complaints.

            Can’t wait to get my hands on the next book. I have it on hold at the library and I can’t contain my excitement.

Oaths by Lindsay Buroker

            A great final book to the series. The storylines were wrapped up neatly, but with enough open-ended pieces for your imagination to create each characters’ happily ever after if you wanted.

            Jaxi continues to be my fave out of all of them. Keika in close second with all her lewd comments about the king.

            There was just enough danger and conflict to push the story along to the neat and tidy ending.

Now I’m off to pick which Buroker series to start next.

The Ins and Outs of Series and Story Guides by C. Michelle Jeffries

            I sped through this book in an afternoon. It had a lot of helpful tips that I will look back on as I embark on writing a series for the first time. Or at least for the first time that counts. Most of the book was blank pages for answering questions, which I guess would have been more helpful if I had this book in paperback. But I have an e-book copy, so it was a little odd. I might suggest editing the e-book version to not have a bunch of blank pages to flip past to get to the next chunk of advice.


            Let’s see if June will get me through ten books. I seem to keep increasing. I wonder how many books I’ll get to for 2021. It’s not even half over and I’m at 31. I wonder if I can make it to 100. Hmmm…

            What are some books I need to check out? Now that I have Libby and a library card, my options are endless and no longer confined to how many books I can pay for. Love it.