May 2015 Wrapup: Week 4

4 Jun

I’m super behind on this one, huh? I mean, it’s June. Like, almost-the-second-week-of-June. But I had BEA/BookCon last weekend (which I will post about eventually!) and then I got sick. Plus I’ve fallen desperately behind on makeup posts, so I’ve been hemming and hawing over that little dilemma. I could just, you know, work on some posts, but agonizing over it seems like a better option to my brain. Anyway, yeah. Week 4 of May, done! Finished my reading goals for the month! Halfway through Dresden, finally got to another one of the classics/giant monsters on my list. It was a good week!

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Death Masks, by Jim Butcher: Finished May 25th. This is the 5th book in the series, and for me it was when things really picked up and got serious. I did enjoy Summer Knight, the 4th book, more than any of the others, but until Death Masks the series was still “fun light guilty pleasure” to me. I mean, don’t get me wrong, they’re still not super serious literary fantasy, but Butcher ups the amp in Death Masks. More plot, more worldbuilding: we’re introduced to my favorite “group” so far, a pack of humans who worship/are vessels for fallen angels. I mean, how fun right? Who doesn’t want to read about crazy demon cults? Speaking of which, I have read a very high number of demon-centric books this year. Odd.

Lipstick Rating 4 Full

 

 

 

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Blood Rites, by Jim Butcher: Finished May 27th. Throughout the first 5 books, small threads have been teased at a steady but very slow pace. Obviously mentioning them at all would be a huge spoiler but let’s just say that this book is the one where the meta-plot (or one of them, at least) finally starts coming together. Secrets unveiled! Backstories finally fleshed out! Succubi running amok on the set of a porno! I have to say, I’m of mixed minds about the humor in these books. On one hand, they’re totally hilarious and I love Harry (and Bob, especially Bob). But on the other side, this series is never going to be a “wham” one for me because I tend to view them as light and fluffy, even when things are serious. Like brain candy. There are certainly some emotional scenes here, and they were quite effective, but still… the lighter tone sets these apart from the other series I’ve read this year. Which is a good thing (nobody wants only serious all the time), but it also has reminded me of why I usually don’t like urban fantasy. It tends to be a lighter, popcorn genre: Dresden is probably going to be my only real foray into it.

Lipstick Rating 3 And 1 Half

 

 

 

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Dead Beat, by Jim Butcher: Finished May 28th. The only bad thing about reading all of these back-to-back is that I get a bit confused about what happened in each book. They’ve blurred together. I’m looking at the summary thinking “um, which one is this?” And then I remember, this is the one with the polka. And Sue. So far, this has been my favorite: the plot is only loosely connected to the meta-plot (which, funnily enough, has been my favorite thing so far) but oh my god is it hilarious. But also, somehow, a lot darker in tone. Something that happened about 2 (3?) books back is really starting to eat away at Harry. So things are both a lot darker and a lot more hilarious. Which is exactly what I want in an urban fantasy. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll ride around on a zombie t-rex.

Lipstick Rating 4 And 1 Half

 

 

 

 

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Proven Guilty, by Jim Butcher: Finished May 30th. For me, this was a step back for the series, and very much a filler book. The thing is, I’m sure people could say that about Dead Beat, but I just HATED the main side-character from Proven Guilty. I didn’t care about the plot. The main monsters were cool, and I liked that the fairies eventually got involved, but I found myself skimming this one. It reminded me of the earlier books (especially Harry’s bizarre sexual fixation on Molly–who is friggin seventeen), mostly fluff without substance. And particularly light on the humor. Then again, I might also be Dresden’d out: reading 8 of the books in one month was a pretty intense journey. I’m actually going to take June off and read another series, then finish Dresden in July.

Lipstick Rating 3 Full

 

 

 

My goal this year is to read 150 books (I went past that last year, but this year I have some behemoths on the list so I’m giving myself wiggle room). Funnily enough, I hit book 75, halfway through my goal, with Proven Guilty–which is roughly halfway through the Dresden series. My plan for next month is to go light and pick maybe a trilogy, and then catch up on the books I had to pass over in May. Danielewski, Barker, and Bacigalupi, oh my!

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