December was a bit of a wonky month, as I’m sure it is for everyone, but I still got some good reading in. Here’s what I read last month:
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
(originally read December 2011)
5 stars (changed from 4 stars)
Partly because of the hype, partly because period fiction isn’t really my thing, and partly because of the epistolary format, this book had so much going against it from the start that I felt sure I would just “get through it.” I am so glad that I was wrong! Once I got used to the storytelling, I was completely entranced. Goes to show, you never really know whether or not you’ll enjoy a book until you give it a chance.
Silencing Sapphire, by Mia Thompson
After reading Stalking Sapphire I was curious to see how the series continued. This one was feeling like a solid 2-star book until about halfway through, when I started getting more invested. The closer it got to the end, the more twists were thrown in – some obvious and inevitable, others less so – and it really ended with a bang. This was a natural continuation from the first book, but the next could really go anywhere from here. I’m officially hooked.
(read my full review here: Silencing Sapphire)
Eaters of the Dead, by Michael Crichton
I stubbornly forced myself to finish this, even though it bored me from the start. I have no doubt that a modern retelling of Beowulf could be made exciting, but this particular style just didn’t do it for me. At least I’m one book closer to reading through all of Crichton. I find most of his books interesting, even when I don’t personally care for them. But this one couldn’t hold my interest at all.
The Other Queen, by Philippa Gregory
This wasn’t one of my favorite Philippa Gregory novels. It was a rather different take on “court life” since it didn’t include any characters at the true English court. None of the characters were particularly likeable, and it took me a long time to get a sense of Mary’s character despite roughly a third of the book being from her point of view. Still, despite some disappointment, there was enough here that I liked to save it from a 2-star rating.
The Blood Gospel, by James Rollins & Rebecca Cantrell
(originally read January 2013)
This book reads very much like a typical Rollins thriller, but there are some spots throughout where Cantrell’s influence shows through. The characters and the pacing are familiar, but there’s more of a supernatural element at work here than we typically see from Rollins. In short, it’s a gripping novel, one I thoroughly enjoyed, although the last ten pages or so seem to leave more questions asked than answered.
Blood Brothers, by James Rollins & Rebecca Cantrell
This was a good story that uses the mythology set up in The Blood Gospel. It was enjoyable, but as with most short stories, there just wasn’t enough to it to get me really excited. By the time I get invested in the characters, the story’s over. I am curious, though, to see how it ties to the next book, Innocent Blood, so I suppose it served its purpose.
Innocent Blood, by James Rollins & Rebecca Cantrell
Unfortunately, Innocent Blood lacked the punch of The Blood Gospel. I like the overall story, but there’s just a bit too much to it. There were too many secondary characters, too many flashbacks… at times it got overwhelming. I still want to see where Rollins and Cantrell take us next, but this one just didn’t grab me the way their first book did.
The Rescue, by Nicholas Sparks
Typical tug-on-your-heartstrings sap, but there was nothing about this story or these characters to make them stand out, or to make me care what happened to them. It’s not a good sign when I read a book designed to take advantage of my emotions and don’t really feel anything. Not sure if it’s this book specifically, or if I’ve just outgrown Nicholas Sparks.
The King’s Deception, by Steve Berry
(originally read June 2013)
This is sooner than I’ll usually do a re-read, but I always like to have something familiar for over the holidays, where most of my reading time comes in short snippets and I can’t completely lose myself in a book. And having recently read a couple of Philippa Gregory books focusing on Queen Elizabeth I, I was eager to return to this one.
(read my full review here: The King’s Deception)
What was your favorite book last month?