Thursday, March 1, 2012

Quick & Dirty Reviews: Eh, Whatever

So far, this year has not been a great one for me in terms of my book reading.  I'm reading less due to real life obligations and quite a few of the books I have managed to read have turned out to be duds.  It's been a bit disheartening and made me a tich grumpy.  But I persevere.  I know a great book is just around the corner.  Below are a couple of quick reviews of some of my recent reads.    

Wild Cat (Shifters Unbound, #3) by Jennifer Ashley
I find the world building in this series really interesting - Shape shifters are forced to wear collars that inhibit their aggression and they must live in "Shiftertowns".  They are barred from using certain types of technology such as the Internet, cable, and dvds, and it is legal for humans to hunt and kill uncollared shape shifters.  In this world, I am not sure Shifters are even considered 2nd class citizens.  More like 3rd or 4th.  Not something I'm used to seeing in paranormal romances.  It is really fascinating.  But the romance part is kinda ordinary and a little dull and doesn't live up to the world it takes place in.  There's a hunky Latino cop and an unimpressive Feline shifter heroine. He's a standard beefcake hero who doesn't really stand out in my mind from all the other hot cops out there in Romancelandia.  The heroine is the second-in-command at the Shiftertown... but I couldn't tell you why.  She is kind of a pussy (no pun intended), and when she comes face to face with the dude responsible for the death of her mate, the dude who has also been trying to kill her, she ultimately forgives him because he had a good reason.  Seriously?  And she's the second toughest shifter in Shiftertown?  Despite that, this is an ok read, light and quick moving.  The world is arresting, the main couple underwhelming but inoffensive, and the long-term story arc is deepened further.  Throw in a bunch of action scenes plus some sexy sex and your left with a decent bedtime fantasy read.  GRADE C+  

Hammered (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #3) by Kevin Hearne
In the third volume of the Iron Druid Chronicles, Atticus and a bunch of magical dudes set out to kill Thor, stopping along the way for some boring male bonding, peppered with cheap fan geek jokes, while occasionally wondering if they are acting “too gay.”  I guess that no matter how old you are, no matter how powerful your powers are, no matter the life you have lived and the cultures you have encountered in your long, long lifetime… a guy still worries about being thought a fag.  These guys have been around for hundreds and hundreds of years but you’d never know it by the way they act.  As with the first two books, Atticus is not believable as a thousand year old druid.  In the past we have heard how he cultivates a certain personality so he can pass as a 21-year-old human except its not that hard because, emotionally, he is a 21-year-old, filled with unsuccessful snark and lame quips.  There is a lot of death in this book but who cares?  These characters are dull and ordinary despite being extraordinary beings.  It's a cliche that men don't share their feelings; if you go by this book it's because their feelings are boring, petulant, and self-involved.  The book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger but I couldn't muster up the energy to care.  GRADE C-

Where'd I Get 'Em:  I received both books via

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