Books in brief: Johnson, Andrews, Bourne, MacLean, Wilks

Jean Johnson, Damnation. Ace, 2014.

Final book in the Theirs Not To Reason Why space opera series. The weakest of the lot, and they didn’t start out particularly strong.

Ilona Andrews, Burn For Me. Berkeley, 2014.

First book in new series. I really dislike Andrews’ tendency to have very controlling men turn up in love interest roles. Otherwise this is a lot of fun, with explosions.

Eileen Wilks, Tempting Danger, Mortal Danger, Blood Lines, Night Season, Mortal Sins, Blood Magic, Blood Challenge, Death Magic and Mortal Ties. Berkeley, 2004-2012.

Urban fantasy series. Good fun, undemanding. Explosions, werewolves, demons, dragons, magic, and people having sex that is entirely too good to be anything but fiction.

Greg van Eekhout, Pacific Fire. Tor, 2015.

Read for review for Tor.com. Good book, heist-thriller-magic stuff. Sequel of sorts to California Bones.

Joanne Bourne, Rogue Spy. Ebook, 2014.

Romance. Spies. Napoleonic war period. Fun, but ahistorical in the espionage nonsense.

Sarah MacLean, Never Judge A Lady By Her Cover. Ebook, 2014.

Romance. Post-Regency pre-Victorian. Lady-owner of casino leading a double (triple?) life under three identities (one madam, one male casino owner, one disgraced lady having borne a bastard daughter) falls in love with a newspaper magnate with secrets of his own. Meh.

Books in brief: Moyer, Larke, Hodgell, Bourne, Duran

Jaime Lee Moyer, A Barricade in Hell. Tor, 2014. ARC courtesy of publisher.

Read for review for Tor.com. An improvement on the previous novel. Interesting-if-flawed ghost story/murder mystery set in San Francisco during WWI.

Glenda Larke, The Lascar’s Dagger. Orbit, 2014. Copy courtesy of publisher.

Read for inclusion in SWM column. Interesting fantasy clearly influenced by the mercantile 16th and 17th centuries. Pacing sags in the middle, much like Larke’s other books. Will discuss elsewhere.

P.C. Hodgell, The Sea of Time. Baen, 2014. Ebook. ARC courtesy of publisher.

Read for review. The latest P.C. Hodgell novel, which I’ve been gasping for. It is, alas, something of a middle book. But still full of Jame apologetically breaking things.

Joanna Bourne, The Spymaster’s Lady, My Lord and Spymaster, The Forbidden Rose and The Black Hawk. Ebooks, 2008-2013.

Romance novels set during the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. Heard of via Marie Brennan. I have a serious weakness for spies. There is not enough entertainment with spies in.

Meredith Duran, Wicked Becomes You, Your Wicked Heart, That Scandalous Summer, Bound By Your Touch, Fool Me Twice, Written On Your Skin. Ebooks, 2009-2014.

Historical romance novels. I probably shouldn’t have bought them all, but I was at the point in the scrabbling anxiety cycle where I needed to read something – compulsively – and romance novels were safe. Duran is good at her chosen genre.


Failed to get very far into A.M. Dellamonica’s Child of a Hidden Sea (Tor, 2014, ARC courtesy of the publisher). There’s nothing wrong with this book, but it’s a sort of portal fantasy and the tone and approach hasn’t grabbed me.