Assassins In Love by Kris DeLake
So...I read this.
This book is an example of why an author should always choose their book's title with care. When this was picked for a book club selection, I almost didn't touch it with a nine-foot pole. Assassins in Love? Seriously? Plus the guy on the cover with his shirt off while posing with his gun ('cause shirtless gun handling is useful?) was like cheesewhiz icing on an already cheesy cake.
Then I looked at the author and discovered Kris DeLake is actually a pen name for Kristine Kathryn Rusch who happens to be a Hugo award winning author.
The longer I stared at the book, the more I decided "Assassins in Love" wasn't cheesy...it was clever/funny/whatever.
So, I bought it.
And you know what? It wasn't that bad. It was actually pretty good. And I knew exactly what I was going to get with the book -- what's the plot synopsis, you ask? Well, let me tell you. There are two assassins. And they fall in love. Ok, you good? Well, there may be a few more twists and turns to the story than just boy meets girl, but the title is pretty straightforward. DeLake's writing style is very engaging and makes for a quick read. Lots of sexy bits as well...(what did I expect? They're Assassins...and they're In Love...).
So, what did I learn from my Assassins in Love foray? Don't judge a book by its title.
[Read Oct. 2013]
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
You know that moment when you're reading a book and you can feel it sink its claws into you to the point where you are just compelled to read it?
Yeah...totally had that moment with this book. And what's sad is I could have read it last year...but instead it just sat on my shelf waiting for me to pick it up. It's time finally came, however, and now I wish I had picked it up back when I initially bought it.
What a wonderful read! The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is labeled "fantasy", but I might argue it's actually more of a mythology. The story follows Yeine Darr who, after living among her father's people for her whole life, is forced to travel to her mother's homeland to take her place in the succession of the nation's crown. Yeine travels reluctantly as there is no love lost between her and her Grandfather, the ruler of the Arameri nation. Once within the Arameri palace, Sky, Yeine meets Lord Nahadoth (the Dark Lord) and several of his godling children who are all enslaved as weapons to be used by the full-blooded Arameri. As Yeine cultivates complicated relationships with the personified deities and muddles through her newfound world of politics, she discovers that the path to her inheritance is much more complicated than she ever would have thought.
I found the story to be utterly absorbing. Could it have been more complex and intricate? Definitely. But, for the amount of plot within the story, I thought the amount of politics to be in good proportion. It seems that several fantasy authors tend to put TOO much politics into their writing in an attempt to further develop the world. I'm not saying that approach is bad...I'm just saying that I don't prefer a lot of politics - it can bog the story down.
The world building was a little weak as well and I want to know so much more about this world. I wish there was a map in the front of the book... I take comfort in the fact that this is the first in a trilogy and based on the description of the next installment, I think the world building will be expanded upon.
I loved this book.
[Read Oct. 2013]