First Frost of Autumn (firstfrost) wrote,
First Frost of Autumn

Four books

Giants of the Frost (by Kim Wilkins)
It's the traditional urban fantasy, except instead of elves it has Aesir, and instead of Toronto it's set on a remote island in the Sea of Norway. But otherwise very similar. :) It's a romance/fantasy/horror mix, but with not quite enough of any of the three for me to find it compelling enough. The romance happens too easily; the horror isn't quite scary enough (but it does tell me a defense for the breath-sucking monsters of sleep paralysis, which I will be sure to make use of). The Aesir are nice, and Loki is the most well-rounded of the characters, and I quite like the cover; the book is not bad, but not as enthralling as I had hoped it would be from the enthusiastic Amazon reviews. Three stars, but not a keeper.

Conqueror's Moon (by Julian May)
Darn it! Another misleadingly good cover but not so good a book. And it's not a foolishly bad book that's interesting to review, either. An interestingly built world with interesting non-humans (and all the review quotes on the cover comment on the world-building). But all the human characters are unsympathetic and flat, though, whether they be scenery-chewing villains or generally hard-hearted protagonists, and the main character just doesn't seem to be around much. Disclaimer: I didn't finish it. Two stars. But look at the pretty cover!
Song of the Beast (by Carol Berg)
This is one of those books that Amazon told me incessantly that I'd like, over and over, until I gave in. It was right. The story starts with a bard, blessed by the god of Music, being released from a dungeon where he's been tortured for seventeen years - but he has no idea why. It's larger than life, in that traditional fantasy way, but it doesn't wander. In fact, I almost think it could have wandered a little more, as there were a couple of characters (like the King) who I would have liked to see more of. The mystery plus some plot twists reveal at a good pace (though I found the last twist about as unlikely as some of the characters did). One of the better executed cats-in-a-barrel romances that I've seen; many authors seem to leave it as "they fight, and then a miracle occurs!". Four stars: solidly good.

You Slay Me (by Katie MacAlister)
This is a total popcorn book that I include only for completeness. It's in the Anita Blake genre of sex, peril, and the paranormal. The heroine is crazily overconfident through ignorance ("Sure, I'll summon a demon; I don't really believe in them, so I expect it doesn't matter if I skimp on ingredients"), and she has the PC glow good luck of "everyone I talk to becomes my friend". But it's written with humor and a few good spooky touches. Three stars.
(Song of the Beast is the only one I'm keeping, so it's loanable).
Tags: book reviews
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