There are plenty of January tasks to ignore, so I've been curled by the window plowing through the Christmas drifts of books. Yea!
First from the pile was Kelly Gay's The Darkest Edge of Dawn. This I had actually picked up to while away the evenings waiting to pick up my husband. That worked not at all, since I started it in the car, continued while eating dinner, watching tv, and "sleeping." Books, the previous incarnation of iRudeness. I was surprised by the forcefulness of the plot, since I had felt that the first book had suffered from the author's willingness to run her character through the wringer to the extent that I started to have Dresden flashbacks. This story is leaner and caught my attention like a snare, pulling me through the plot in a single arc and leaving me dangling and waiting for the next book.
The next book was one that I'd been saving, since I assumed that it would have the same glue-me-to-the-reading-window effect and, of course, it did. This was Seanan McGuire's latest October Daye novel, An Artificial Night. Ms. McGuire tells the best adult campfire stories, by which I mean stories that are not "quest for maturity" fairy tales, rather they are about heroism that doesn't drop away when the single monster of adolescence is slain. Mixed metaphor salad, fresh for y'all. :) An Artificial Night was excellent. The way that fairy and human and horror and wonder combined to make a nightmare quest for October captivated me, as did the way that my expectations are confounded--one has to pay attention, because this isn't a rote rhyme one can recite just because one has read the first stanza.
The last book (in the recently finished stack) was Minister Faust's The Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad. There should be a flashing sign inserted here with flashing smiley faces and exclamation points. This was a funny book and I enjoyed it thoroughly. There was grimness and horror, but I was so much in love with the main characters that I just held my breath and read through it. Hamza and Ye (the Coyote Kings) told a vivid tale (as did all the other POV characters, of which there were several) and I found myself rather unsubtly pushing this book on my husband pretty much from the beginning. Psst, buddy....*snicker, snicker*...wanna read a line? This is a quest tale as a sci-fi road movie complete with quotable lines and awesome characters that you will think about in odd moments in the future.
So far, the post-holiday book stack has been a tasty pyramid of goodies. There are a few books on Tolkien that promise to be more pedantic reads and one by Michael Moorcock on epic fantasy (clash of the titans ON MY NIGHTSTAND! Bwa ha ha ha!) that promises to make me feel yet more illiterate and poorly read. At some point, I will finish The Worm Ouroboros. Really. I will. On my list. There, in tiny print, bottom of page 10. Tolkien will guilt me into it.
Hope y'all have a cozy January!