2020 Releases

The Rock Star's Familiar
The Vampire's Familiar
The Witch's Familiar
Phantasia: Bad Day On Olympus
Ice Cave
Destiny, Desire & Murder
Close to the Truth

Friday, 18 March 2011

What We Are Reading

Today joining us for What We Are Reading is Jess Anastasi (our resident reviewer), Nicky Strickland, Amanda Ashby, Wendy Godding and C.T Green.

Jess Anastasi

I've just finished Angel's Blood by Nalini Singh, which was just brilliant. So I went straight out and bought Archangel's Kiss and Archangel's Constort. I'm about half way through Archangel's Kiss and I have to say that while its a good read, it just doesn't have the same spark that Angel's Blood did. The characters, particularly Elena, are just reading a little flat to me. But I have high hopes that it'll pick up again in Archangels Consort, because we all know what a talented writer Nalini is. I'll probably even go and check out some of her psy-changeling series next.

Nicky Strickland

I promised myself this year to expand my reading areas. I’ve always been a reading omnivore but lately, I’ve been reading a lot series in the same field leaving less time to expand.

One of the results of this train of thought was trying out J.D. Robb’s ‘....in Death’ series. I’d tried a Nora Roberts trilogy a year ago and they weren’t really my cup of tea (or coffee). After talking to Eleni I hunted out J.D. Robb. I need to read long-running, established series in order and have made it to the 16th book Portrait in Death in about three months.  Each of the books are centred around Eve Dallas, a damaged homicide cop, and the cases she takes. The supporting cast, including her husband, Roarke keep me entertained as the series develops. You can read them out of order but I like the fact reading in order deepens the ties between the characters. The not-so-distant-future setting is a change to other crime I read set in our current world.

A series I’ve stayed with has been Simon R. Green’s Nightside. I’ve just finished The Good, The Bad & The Uncanny. It’s one of many UF I’ve followed over the years and the last couple I was starting to have doubts about whether to stick with them (the big climactic event occurred and it’s now in the aftermath of it). Good, Bad & Uncanny wasn’t bad, I think there are a few earlier ones I’d prefer but Green hasn’t put me off picking up the next one (A Hard Day’s Knight) to see if the new storyline emerging is worth following.

An Aussie author I’ve recently read is Trent Jamieson’s UF Death series (hmm I seem to have a death thing happening this year). Two have been released so far, Death Most Definite and Managing Death. I finished Managing Death a couple of weeks ago and thought the evolution into a series was quite good. It’s always a bonus for me if I can remember a scene or two after I’ve - Steve and his interactions with his throne are an example.

Doing this post I’ve realised I’ve also finished Carrie Vaughn’s Discord’s Apple. I’ve been reading Vaughn’s Kitty series since 2006 and was curious to see her play in another world. It’s an interesting premise pulling on ancient mythological characters from various parts of the world. I’ll admit it did take me a few chapters to get into it, but once in I was happy to go on the ride and see what was in the box.

So, one slight expansion of the genres I regularly read, a new author, an ongoing series and an author whose taken on a new world. One of these days I’ll contemplate something that hasn’t got fantastical elements....or not.

You can see my reads at Goodreads.


Amanda Ashby
Not only do I write YA books but I also work part time as a teen librarian so it’s probably no surprise that the four most recent books I’ve read have all been YAs!

Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden. I’ve been meaning to read this book for ages, because it goes out all the time at the library. Anyway, I finally started it on Friday night and finished it the following day. Amazing. It’s about a group of Australian kids who go out camping and when they come back a week later, the country has been invaded. They then need to decide how they are going to survive and what they are going to do to help their friends and family who are all been held captive by the enemy. Now I can’t wait to watch the movie, which recently came out on DVD and also dive into the second book in the series. A big thumbs up from me!

Forsaken –The Demon Trappers Book 1 by Jana Oliver. This is the first book in a new YA series. The thing I liked best about it was that it was set in a slightly different future. Not really dystopian or post apocalypse, but just one where everyone is broke and demons are taking over the world. Demon Trappers like Riley and her dad are paid by the Catholic Church to catch them, but then her dad is killed and Riley is forced to fend for herself. My only slight peeve was the number of times one of the MCs said the word ‘ya’. But overall, I really enjoyed it!

Incarcenon by Catherine Fischer. This book is crazy good! Half of it is set in a futuristic prison and the other half is set in a futuristic world that is all designed to look like a regency style world. However, the two halves come together as Claudia, on the outside, tries to rescue Finn on the inside and by the end it’s hard to decide which prison is worse.

The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud. I am such a huge fan of Jonathan Stroud, especially his Bartimaeus books, and this is my favorite yet. Bartimaeus is a 5000 year old djinni who thinks very highly of himself and is always getting bound to unappreciative masters who cause him all sorts of headaches. This time he’s back in Jerusalem with King Solomon and his famous ring and the story is the perfect combination of humor, action and cool history (oh, and a lot of completely hilarious footnotes as well).

Wendy Godding

I've just finished reading a young adult novel, Unearthly by Cynthia Hand. It stars Clara, a part angel, who uplifts her family to move to Wyoming in order to pursue her 'purpose' as an angel. This purpose just happens to revolve around a cute boy called Christian. This book was a bit slow to get into but by about a third of the way into it I was riveted. Hand has created a love triangle that is compelling, characters who are flawed and endearing at the same time as well as strongly interwoven mystery and supernatural elements. The ending is a little amibiguous so I am looking foward to the sequel.

Another young adult - yes I love young adult - book I've read recently is Across the Universe by Beth Revis. This book was amazing, with such an intriguing premise. I picked it up in the bookstore and read the first page, as I normally do, to see if it grabbed me. Did it? I read the first chapter standing in the book store. I finished it that night. It was so gripping that I couldn't let it out of my sight. Set in the near future it centres around Amy who joins her parents in being frozen onboard The Godspeed spaceship and sent 300 years into the future. But when Amy is awoken fifty years before she is due to reach their new planet, she finds herself in a world, a society, that is quite unlike anything she has known. This book is part mystery, part romance but utterly enthralling. I believe this is a trilogy so am anxiously awaiting book two.

C.T Green

~ Dreams of a Dark Warrior ~ Kresley Cole

As a fan of the Black Dagger Brotherhood – J.R. Ward, and Immortals After Dark - Kresley Cole, you could say I like the odd paranormal action/romance.

And after (im)patiently waiting for two months I finally got my sweaty little mitts on Cole’s latest release in the IAD series Dreams of a Dark Warrior.

It follows Demon from the Dark, which introduced the character of Declan Chase, a human intent on destroying immortals because of his dark and horrible past. We can assume it’s dark and horrible because he’s twitchy, scarred and pale. And, you know, tanned and emotionally stable just does not say Tortured Past.

When I read Demon from the Dark, I didn’t like the man and was a little dubious about a whole book devoted to someone who seemed intent on punishing my favourite characters! 

Cole however, manages to pull Declan back from the brink and turn him into a character you can’t help but love. Why? Because he overcomes his past (which does turn out to be rather horrible), saves the girl, defies death (again) and generally turns out to be a nice guy (did I mention the sexy Irish accent?). The action is great, the ahem ‘love scenes’ are scorching enough to roast potatoes with and we get more of Nix, who is quite frankly one of the funniest characters I have ever come across.

There are some interesting insights into other characters, particularly the Enemy of Old, Lothaire – you have to be paying attention for this one and also know about the Lore and IAD vampire physiology… oops nearly gave it away…

It was a highly enjoyable book and definitely up to Cole’s usual fantastic standard. Regrettably I got through its 515 pages in a day and it’s looking like the next release in the IAD series may be August 2011 or next year!

Oh goodness, look at the range of books - great to see some YA titles. Thank you ladies. More for me to add to my TBR pile!


  1. John Marsden's Tomorrow series is unput-downable. I devoured the first series in a week (thanks to unsubtle pushing of the kids at school to get into it). I haven't yet had the chance to get stuck into the second series - the Ellie Chronicles. But I'm assured they're good too.

  2. I loved the movie of Marsden's Tomorrow, really want to read the books now! And same goes with I Am Number Four (which is on daughter's bookshelf)
    Some great recommendations there!

  3. More great titles - I've started reading Nalini Singh's Angel's Blood, which I'm enjoying. I reread - actually heard on CD - Marsden's Tomorrow When The World Began and have read book 2 as well. So am slowly making my way through them.

    Nicky, glad you are enjoying J.D. Robb. Though I can't believe how many you have read. The next one on my list is book 3. You're a super duper reader.

    I'm finding all the books fascinating, so will have to chase them down.

  4. Thanks for pointing me in the direction Eleni. When I glom, I glom bad (I did first 5 seasons of Supernatural in 2ish weeks).....some may call it obssession LOL Definitely intriguing how she keeps the series alive and moving forward with the main characters and their immediate secondary cast.