June was a pretty average month in terms of numbers, but I’ve been doing more re-reading, which I love! Especially since returning to my favorites is a great way to balance out some of the books that just don’t blow me away. Here’s what I read last month:
Bloodline, by James Rollins
(originally read June 2012)
This is a great addition to the Sigma Force series. All of the regulars are here, as well as a couple new faces. Kane totally stole the show, and I loved the scenes from his POV. The story was yet another compelling, high-stakes adventure; nothing new for the Sigma team. But some things that have been building for the past several books finally come to a head, and overall I thought it was a great payoff.
(read my full review here: Bloodline)
The Kill Switch, by James Rollins & Grant Blackwood
Maybe I would have been better off not re-reading Bloodline (one of my favorites) before reading this one. I was so looking forward to Tucker and Kane getting their own adventure… but maybe they’re just better in the background, part of a larger cast of characters rather than having to carry the book all on their own. The fact that perspective never shifted away from the pair felt unusual for a Rollins thriller. This story wasn’t bad, but I didn’t love it the way I was hoping to.
(read my full review here: The Kill Switch)
Firestarter, by Stephen King
On a very superficial level, this reminded me of Carrie, but I think this one shows how King evolved as a writer just in the few years between the two books. I connected with nearly every character more, and I really liked the complexities to Andy’s and Charlie’s abilities. This story had the depth and development that I would have liked from Carrie, which was just too straightforward for me.
Hard Kill, by J.B. Turner
The opening seemed hollow to me. Who is this guy who’s gone missing? Why do I care? What are the stakes? For too long, the only answer is a vague concern about national security; not until much later does a picture start to develop. And even once things pick up, it’s all action and no depth, nothing to make the story – or the characters – stand out. The first novel, while not a new favorite, at least made me want to read more about Jon Reznick. I can’t say the same about this one.
Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett
This wasn’t compulsively page-turning, but it was a book I could lose myself in. I felt like I was one of those hostages in this impossibly strange situation, and my shared love of music helped with that I’m sure. I think I would have preferred the book without the epilogue, even though it is fitting in a way. Regardless, this is a book I checked out from the library multiple times before finally being in the right mood to actually read it, and I’m very glad I finally did.
The Cure, by Douglas E. Richards
This is a really quick and fun thriller, although it’s more science fiction than I thought I was signing up for… not good or bad, just different, and I can definitely see how other readers might be put off. I don’t think it finished as strong as it started, but it did keep me entertained, and I’m curious to see what else this author has come up with.
(read my full review here: The Cure)
The Bells, by Richard Harvell
(originally read March 2012)
This is one of those books that just speaks to me as a reader. I was pulled very quickly and deeply into the world of this young boy. There were certainly some disturbing parts (to be expected in a story about a castrato). For me, though, any unpleasantness was eclipsed by two things: music and love.
No Mercy, by John Gilstrap
Jonathan Grave is sort of like a real world Batman. (Okay, maybe that’s a bad comparison since both are fictional and neither actually have super powers.) He’s wealthy enough that he can pretty much do whatever he wants… and what he chooses to do is everything the cops can’t. No going by the book, no waiting for authorization, just doing what needs to be done. It had a good plot and good characters, and I definitely plan to continue the series.
The Crown, by Nancy Bilyeau
Most historical fiction I’ve read has featured real historical figures, but from what I can tell, this particular member of the Stafford family is completely fictional. Joanna is an interesting heroine, and I liked her quest to solve a historical (for her) mystery. Unfortunately, I felt like it lost steam at the end, but it was still a quick and mostly enjoyable read.
Wit’ch War, by James Clemens
(originally read May 2009)
4 stars (changed from 5 stars)
This is still my favorite book of the series (so far…) but it didn’t have quite the same impact on me this time around. When I’d originally rated this 5 stars, it was one of only a handful, and I was still working out what ratings meant to me. This was a great book, the highlight of the series… but it doesn’t have that indescribable 5-star quality. Either way, I’m eager to finish my re-read of this series.
What was your favorite book last month?