Category Archives: 52 Books In 52 Weeks

#’s 10-14 Terrier and The Song of the Lioness Quartet ~~ Tamora Pierce

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#10 Terrier ~~ Tamora Pierce

4 of 5 Stars

Beka Cooper is a rookie with the law-enforcing Provost’s Guard, and she’s been assigned to the Lower City. It’s a tough beat that’s about to get tougher, as Beka’s limited ability to communicate with the dead clues her in to an underworld conspiracy. Someone close to Beka is using dark magic to profit from the Lower City’s criminal enterprises–and the result is a crime wave the likes of which the Provost’s Guard has never seen before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#11-14 The Song of the Lioness Quartet ~~ Tamora Pierce

4 1/2 out of 5 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alanna: The First Adventure

“From now on I’m Alan of Trebond, the younger twin. I’ll be a knight.”

And so young Alanna of Trebond begins the journey to knighthood. Alanna has always craved the adventure and daring allowed only for boys; her twin brother, Thom, yearns to learn the art of magic. So one day they decide to switch places: Disguised as a girl, Thom heads for the convent; Alanna, pretending to be a boy, is on her way to the castle of King Roald to begin her training as a page. But the road to knighthood is not an easy one. As Alanna masters the skills necessary for battle, she must also learn to control her heart and to discern her enemies from her allies. Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna’s first adventure begins. one that will lead to the fulfillment of her dreams and make her a legend in the land.

In the Hand of the Goddess

“I don’t want to fall in love. I just want to be a warrior maiden.”

Still disguised as a boy, Alanna becomes a squire to none other than the prince of the realm. Prince Jonathan is not only Alanna’s liege lord, he is also her best friend — and one of the few who knows the secret of her true identity. But when a mysterious sorcerer threatens the prince’s life, it will take all of Alanna’s skill, strength, and magical power to protect him — even at the risk of revealing who she really is…

Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna’s second adventure continues the saga of a girl who dares to follow her dreams — and the magical destiny that awaits her.

The Woman Who Rides Like a Man

A knight at last, Alanna of Trebond heads out to seek adventure in the desert of Tortall. Captured by desert tribesmen, she is forced to prove herself in a magical duel to the death. But her real challenge doesn’t come until after she wins. As the first female shaman, Alanna must fight to change the ancient traditions of the stubborn desert tribes — for their own sake and for the sake of all Tortall.

Lioness Rampant

Having achieved her dream of becoming the first female knight errant, Alanna of Trebond is not sure what to do next. Perhaps being a knight errant is not all that Alanna needs….But Alanna must push her uncertainty aside when a new challenge arises. She must recover the Dominion Jewel, a legendary gem with enormous power for good — but only in the right hands. And she must work quickly. Tortall is in great danger, and Alanna’s archenemy, Duke Roger, is back — and more powerful than ever. In this final book of the Song of the Lioness quartet, Alanna discovers that she indeed has a future worthy of her mythic past — both as a warrior and as a woman.

Ana Says: Alanna: The First Adventure was published in 1983 when I was just a toddler. It wasn’t until twenty years later that, through the wonders of the Science Fiction Book Club, I found this omnibus collection. I tore through all four books in a day or so and then immediately ordered every other Tamora Pierce omnibus collection they offered. Tammy writes strong female characters who aren’t afraid to get dirty and play with the boys. She doesn’t shy away from sex and female sexuality, but she also doesn’t punch you in the face with it. Alanna is strong and independent, but she also asks for help from others (usually when she digs herself in too deep). Tammy is one of my favorite authors and I re-read her books every couple of years. Nearly thirty years after the first book was published, they’re still relevant and still entertaining.

#9 Late Eclipses ~~ Seanan McGuire

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#9 Late Eclipses ~~ Seanan McGuire

4 of 5 Stars

IT’S DARKEST JUST BEFORE THE DAWN

With Blind Michael and his Hunt safely behind her, October “Toby” Daye is doing her best to settle back into a normal routine—or as normal of a routine as she can manage, with her personal Fetch now paying half the rent. Still, things seem to be mostly under control…until the events of a single night send everything reeling. Now, with the Queen of the Mists watching her back and the Lady of the Tea Gardens deathly ill, Toby has no choice but to get involved, no matter how much she wants to avoid it.

The trials ahead will be some of the worst faced by Toby and her strange band of allies, and not even Tybalt will be able to escape totally unscathed. What’s worse, the Luidaeg is unavailable to help them. This time, they’re on their own. And people keep making Toby wear dresses, which is just adding insult to dangerous injury…

 

#8 Radiant Shadows ~~ Melissa Marr

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#8 Radiant Shadows ~~ Melissa Marr

4 of 5 Stars

Hunger for nourishment.

Hunger for touch.

Hunger to belong.

 

Half-human and half-faery, Ani is driven by her hungers.

 

Those same appetites also attract powerful enemies and uncertain allies, including Devlin. He was created as an assassin and is brother to the faeries’ coolly logical High Queen and to her chaotic twin, the embodiment of War. Devlin wants to keep Ani safe from his sisters, knowing that if he fails, he will be the instrument of Ani’s death.

 

Ani isn’t one to be guarded while others fight battles for her, though. She has the courage to protect herself and the ability to alter Devlin’s plans—and his life. The two are drawn together, each with reason to fear the other and to fear for one another. But as they grow closer, a larger threat imperils the whole of Faerie. Will saving the faery realm mean losing each other?

 

#’s 6&7 Blameless and Heartless ~~ Gail Carriger

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#6 Blameless ~~ Gail Carriger

3 of 5 stars

Quitting her husband’s house and moving back in with her horrible family, Lady Maccon becomes the scandal of the London season.
Queen Victoria dismisses her from the Shadow Council, and the only person who can explain anything, Lord Akeldama, unexpectedly leaves town. To top it all off, Alexia is attacked by homicidal mechanical ladybugs, indicating, as only ladybugs can, the fact that all of London’s vampires are now very much interested in seeing Alexia quite thoroughly dead.
While Lord Maccon elects to get progressively more inebriated and Professor Lyall desperately tries to hold the Woolsey werewolf pack together, Alexia flees England for Italy in search of the mysterious Templars. Only they know enough about the preternatural to explain her increasingly inconvenient condition, but they may be worse than the vampires — and they’re armed with pesto.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#7 Heartless ~~ Gail Carriger

3 1/2 of 5 stars

Lady Alexia Maccon, soulless, is at it again, only this time the trouble is not her fault. When a mad ghost threatens the queen, Alexia is on the case, following a trail that leads her deep into her husband’s past. Top that off with a sister who has joined the suffragette movement (shocking ), Madame Lefoux’s latest mechanical invention, and a plague of zombie porcupines and Alexia barely has time to remember she happens to be eight months pregnant.
Will Alexia manage to determine who is trying to kill Queen Victoria before it is too late? Is it the vampires again or is there a traitor lurking about in wolf’s clothing? And what, exactly, has taken up residence in Lord Akeldama’s second best closet?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ana Says: I enjoyed the first two books, Soulless and Changeless, right up until the very end of Changeless. The end of Changeless made me want to throw the book across the room and never pick up this series again. Changeless ended on a trope that I hate with a fiery passion — the easily resolved by just a bit of conversation and use of brains misunderstanding. It was also quite obviously a set-up for the next book. I was assured by several people that the series righted itself, and it has. A little bit.

Blameless saw a distinct lack of Conall and Alexia bickering and Lord Akeldama was almost completely absent and I think the book suffered for it. Alexia wasn’t nearly as charming without Conall as a foil.

Heartless just sort of meandered everywhere. I forgot what the main plot was at several points. It felt like everything was set up simply for Alexia to find out more about her father and Conall.

I really don’t know if I’m going to pick up Timeless. The character interactions are fun and enjoyable, but overall, I’m finding the stories lacking. Also, I really wish that whoever is doing the covers would do something about Alexia constantly looking like she’s bald and about to lose her wig.

 

 

#5 Relic ~~ Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

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#5 Relic ~~ Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

4 of 5 stars

 

Just days before a massive exhibition opens at the popular New York Museum of Natural History, visitors are being savagely murdered in the museum’s dark hallways and secret rooms. Autopsies indicate that the killer cannot be human…

But the museum’s directors plan to go ahead with a big bash to celebrate the new exhibition, in spite of the murders.

Museum researcher Margo Green must find out who–or what–is doing the killing. But can she do it in time to stop the massacre?

 

Ana Says: I started reading this before Christmas, but set it down because it wasn’t holding my interest. I’m so glad I decided to pick it back up and give it a second chance because I really enjoyed this book. Some of the characters (especially the more antagonistic ones) were a bit flat, but the story was so engrossing I barely even noticed them. Agent Pendergast is a charmingly complex character and my biggest gripe is that he didn’t have nearly enough page time.

#4 An Artificial Night ~~ Seanan McGuire

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An Artificial Night ~~ Seanan McGuire

4 of 5 stars

 

HOW MANY MILES TO BABYLON?

 

 

 

Everyone in the Bay Area knows about Blind Michael, the unseen, dangerous figure whose Hunt sweeps the Berkeley hills on full moon nights. He’s a familiar hazard of life in the Kingdom of the Mists, and most people don’t waste time worrying about him. October “Toby” Daye certainly doesn’t. She has better things to worry about, like paying the electrical bill on time. So it’s understandable that she’d be upset when Blind Michael suddenly starts taking an interest in people that matter to her, like the youngest children of Mitch and Stacy Brown.

 

Tasked to find the missing children, and with the stakes growing higher by the minute, Toby has few choices and fewer allies to help her through the dangers yet to come. With the Luidaeg’s help and a candle to light her way home, there’s a chance that she’ll come through this latest danger…but the sudden appearance of her Fetch doesn’t give Toby all that much in the way of hope…

An Artificial Night is the third book in the October Daye series, a modern urban fantasy set in both the San Francisco Bay Area and the Faerie Kingdom of the Mists which overlays Northern California.

 

 

 

 

#3 Raven Cursed ~~ Faith Hunter

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Raven Cursed ~~ Faith Hunter

4 of 5 Stars

The vampires of Asheville, North Carolina, want to establish their own clan, but since they owe loyalty to the Master Vampire of New Orleans they must work out the terms with him. To come up with an equitable solution, he sends an envoy with the best bodyguard blood money can buy: Jane Yellowrock.

But when a group of local campers are attacked by something fanged, Jane goes from escort to investigator. Unless she wants to face a very angry master vampire, she will have to work overtime to find the killer. It’s a good thing she’s worth every penny.