salinea: Emma Frost, sitting comfortably (chill)
Inda, The Fox, King's Shield, & Treason's Shore by Sherwood Smith
A very interesting series which I am at a loss as how to sumarise. It's about this guy who we follow from his childhood to adulthood, and as we do the story expend to include a whole lot of characters and the scope of the plot widens in nifty ways; but it's still mostly about this guy, Inda, who is kind of a tactical genius, born of a noble family in a country that turns out to be the barbaric, warlike and imperialistic upstarts of the region, which scares more than a bit their more civilised & peaceful neighbors and are also feeling threatened by the big byzantine Empire (- and at this point I start cracking myself because I guess that makes them the fantasy Barrayar, which is funny because asides from being a tactical genius, and, well, gathering himself his own army out of sheer happenstances and charisma while very young and away from home, Inda is nothing like Miles. Although Evred is a little bit like Gregor.)
The narration was told in omniscient 3rd person PoV, which i've realised that I've grown very unused to, and I generally doesn't like. It works for the sake of this story though, although it frequently left me feel a bit remote from the emotional action. In particular, despite having romantic & sexual relationships having a strong effect on the plot (in very various ways, this is a world where heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual, demisexual, polyamourous, monoamourous, & so on people all clearly exist and are represented at some point in the text) it never feels like a romance, because we're often plainly told of shifts in relationships. It's a bit off putting at times, but definitely not bad either.
The plot is overall very good; focused on the military and political events as well as how they affect all sorts of characters. In the end quite affecting.

Fearless by James Campbell
Sequel of Dauntless. Don't have much to add from what I said of it, it's more of the same.

Rivers of London & Moon over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch
Very good urban fantasy crime stories set in London about a freshly minted cop who ends up apprenticing as a wizard to deal with weird crimes. I especially enjoy the writing, in those, very nice quality of atmosphere and mood. Very, very British in ways both modern and old for all you guys on my flist who seem to like that sort of things. And the protagonist is a smartass which I always enjoy (also biracial, which is nice).

Dangerous Grounds, Old Poison, Blood Heat by Josh Lanyon
Two elite partner cops having arguments about their relationships and whether they should have one while fighting bad guys, etc. Mostly decent.

Storms & Stars by Jaydon Neena
Space opera stuck on a desert island planet. M/M novel. It was... err, not very good yet kept me entertained for some reason.

Smiley's People by John Le Carré
Third & last of the George Smiley series. I... don't actually have much to say about it? But it was good. Probably as good as Tinker Tailor. Great conclusion.

A Strange Place in Time by Alyx Shaw
A M/M fantasy novel with very little plot, and mildly entertaining banter & characters. I feel like I was much more entertained by it than its quality warranted, actually.

Archer's Heart by Astrid Amara
The Mahabharata as a M/M romance novel. Asides from the fact I feel it short changes Hindu philosophy quite a bit, this is a pretty solid M/M novel and an entertaining read.

Bundori by Laura Joh Rowland
Boring crap. I remember way back when I read Shinju I thought ti was boring too. Why did I try this series again?

Shadow of the Templar by M Chandler
Pretty good M/M caper series about a FBI and a catburglar. The catburglar character is very good as a cross between the mild-mannered badass & the smooth & smug badass character type ; and there's some very fun banter (if sometimes overly indulgent). I also like the solid use of the supporting cast; and there some very emotional twists here and there to keep the plot entertaining. Also a plus, Amanda Waller makes an appearance as a supporting character at some. (I mean, not really, but hardass middle-aged CIA agent who is an awesome pain in the ass of our FBI protagonist - I couldn't not picture her as Amanda Waller OKAY).

February 2016

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