Mini reviews, post-semester edition

I have had such grand plans for my few weeks off between spring and summer semesters–play Skyrim, knit, crochet, read, basically do everything I haven’t had much time for during the semester. As it turns out, while a little bit of crafting has happened and Skyrim hasn’t been touched (I ragequit a while back at a place I kept getting killed in, so…), I have been reading voraciously. Rather than write full-scale reviews, I figured I would just post mini-reviews, so here are my most recent three reads.

Locke and Key: Alpha and Omega, Joe Hill. I have been waiting eagerly for the conclusion of this creepy graphic novel series. Without including spoilers for the previous books for those who haven’t read them yet, I will say that I wasn’t sure how things were going to play out after the fifth book’s major cliffhanger ending. The answer is with Hill’s signature blend of humor, pathos, and darkness. As expected, terrible things do happen to characters, with some dark consequences that can only be fixed too late. One of the side characters, Rufus, gets more of a starring role in this volume, which is by turns humorous and heartbreaking in his perspective. Overall verdict: if you haven’t read Locke and Key yet, go start at the beginning with Welcome to Lovecraft. Then come back here and we can squee over its awesomeness together, ok?

Dark Triumph, Robin LaFevers. The sequel to Grave Mercy, this was, if possible, even better. Darker, mostly. While very definitely a sequel in terms of the larger background political plot, this installment focused on poor broken Sybella and her return to her familial viper’s nest at the behest of her convent. The purity of motives of the good sisters of St. Mortain is further undermined, while yet another character learns to navigate her powers and learn to trust herself–and of course, eventually fall in love. The pacing was particularly well-done, with a lot tenser pacing and less of the bloat of the previous installment–more killing, less politics. I can’t wait to see the conclusion to this trilogy.

Seduce Me at Sunrise, Lisa Kleypas. Hmm. One of these books is not quite like the others, is it?  While my other reads have been dark and broody and tragic, this is mostly fluffy fun. The second book of the Hathaways series, I had to see how this pairing would play out after meeting them in Mine Till Midnight. The long-standing history and smouldering-yet-forbidden attraction between sweet, frail Win and rugged, gruff Merripen was at times oddly paced, with odd jumping around between flashbacks and then a flash-forward at the end. That said, the cast of characters has again made it worthwhile. Win made for an entertaining heroine in her own right, with a wickedness and zest for life that was somewhat hidden when she wasn’t the main protagonist. A few of the plot developments made me roll my eyes at the ridiculousness then laugh aloud at the next twist, so it balanced out overall. And yes, I’m continuing the series because they’re just sheer fun.

Current reads-in-progress: A Clash of Kings, George R.R. Martin. True Grit, Charles Portis.


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