Luke Anth’s #CBR5 Review #03: Kitty and The Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn

3.5 Stars

For one of my first re-reads of the year, I decided to go with the Kitty Norville series, mainly because I honestly can’t remember too much of them. I remember at the time I first read them they were simply little enjoyable (but not amazing books) that I eventually dropped as other series took over.

Where as before, this series was slightly above average…the continued slide of the urban fantasy genre itself has now moved these up to be a good series. The first starts off with a lot of the problems most debut’s do, but overshadows them with a cast of enjoyable characters and an enjoyable, if over-simplified plot.

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LukeAnth’s #CBR5 Review #2: When Love Comes To Town by Tom Lennon

Only now just being published in America (which is how I got this for free of Netgalley), this gay novel was originally published in 1993 and while probably a daring read at the time, it’s late American publication has left it feeling rather dated.

Have you ever read a book that is perfectly acceptable, has well-rounded characters but is so cliche that it’s kind of hard to go on reading? That’s what I found with this book, it wasn’t that I hated it, it’s just that it’s a story that I’ve read so many times it became boring. I tried to judge the book on what it would have been like to read at the time of it’s publication in 1993, which is why I gave it three stars in this review, but I would find it hard to recommend to anyone who is a regular reader of gay fiction. I don’t even read that much, and it was still rather cliche to me. It deals with all the usual coming out tropes that have been featured everywhere else, down to the obligatory gay bashing, but I just couldn’t read on as I knew where it was all going. It’s a shame really as the writing as is actually rather good.

Also, don’t let the light-hearted cover fool you, this one is an angsty coming out read.

LukeAnth’s #CBR5 Review #1: The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

2.5 Stars
A seemingly hugely popular series that I’ve never read? Let’s see what all the fuss is about.

I struggled with the rating on this one, as the last 100 pages or so where Thursday actually enters and alters the novel of ‘Jane Eyre’ were terrific, if only it wasn’t for the 250 pages before it, this novel may have gotten four stars.

This is clearly a bit of a fluff novel, and I can’t say I was expecting greatness but I did expect a good time, yet all I got was a mighty big confused face every time a new chapter started. For one thing, this novel is written in the first person (which I’m usually fine with), but it’s also written from different perspectives and these change without warning meaning you’re never really sure who is speaking until a characters name pop’s up. Also, since it’s a first person narrative the writer actually makes our heroine hold a mirror up to her face so she can describe herself…kind of embarrassing.

The world building was slightly strange, the back of the book quotes the line ‘Forget all the rules of time, space, and reality…’, okay? Any reason these don’t apply other than for the author to have easy situations to connect his plot points? The villan here is laughably campy and over the top, and oh yeah, he has powers, why? Nobody knows, nobody else does and it’s never explained why he’s so special. He can also only be killed by silver….why? Nobody knows. You get my point, there are some huge gaps in information here, and plot holes you could lose yourself in. I did like the heroine, it was nice that she was a little older than usual, and was a ‘plain jane’ who actually gets treated like one, but the love interest was the definition of filler, filler sometimes inappropriately timed. One scene has her Aunt being kidnapped, only for her to go on a date straight after and never mention it.

Overall, it was disappointing but possibly saved a little by the last 100 pages or so. Enough to pick up the sequel? Possibly, but if that ends up being the same as this one, I will not be carrying on any further.

I’m also seriously hoping that the author’s other series ‘Nursery Crimes’ are better than this, as I’ve been looking forward to those books. Possibly time to lower my expectations.