I meant to get up early yesterday and write a Sunday Salon about my meh week of reading but decided to do laundry instead (there were many reason that laundry become the overriding thing to do yesterday) and then sat down and read all day instead of writing. There was also some beer drinking and football watching later in the evening, which brings me to Monday…
Let’s start with what I read last week:
Esperanza by Trish J. MacGregor
The Mosaic of Shadows by Tom Haper
Dracula in Love by Karen Essex
And why it was meh:
I had very high hopes for Esperanza. It’s set in Ecuador, features ghosts, and looked like an all around great read. It wasn’t bad but didn’t thrill me the way I expected it to. I loved the mythology behind the ghosts (in the book they’re referred to as brujos which is a reference to South American witchcraft) and it worked so well in the story. Thick backs of fog to hide the ghosts, mythical cities, and a country full of folklore were part of the allure. The problem was really one of execution I guess. While I was interested the whole time, there were a few places that made me stop and wonder if I had missed something because the story went off in strange ways. For instance, at some point the story time travels and I have nothing against time travel, it just felt like a wha??? moment. I was willing with the ghosts that want to possess people but not so willing with the time travel. Why couldn’t we just stick with the ghosts?
The Mosaic of Shadows had a perfect setting, Byzantium, a mystery which I was willing to accept under the guise of historical fiction, and some interesting characters. It states very clearly on the cover that it’s a Byzantium mystery but it wasn’t much of a mystery for me but that didn’t disappoint at all since I’m not a mystery person anyway, but somewhere along the way, it fell flat. I finished but even though the ending was exciting, I couldn’t really get into it. Not sure why. This book is the first in a series but I don’t know if I’m going to keep up with it although I may re-think that in the future because the following books look really good.
Dracula in Love has been sitting on my TBR pile for a long time. I read a few reviews early on and wasn’t so sure it was for me. I gave in on Sunday and decided that it would be the day for reading it. I still feel that it may not have been the book for me after finishing it and I like vampire stories and have a very deep affection for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. This book followed the same epistolary style but was told from Mina’s point of view. Several of the reviews I read noted the amount of sex; some found it too much, others didn’t seem to think anything of it. Don’t forget it takes place in Victorian England so sex, while deeply thought about wasn’t much talked about. It didn’t bother me in the least but the silly references about it were annoying. Also, while most of the same characters appear (Dr. Seward, Arthur Holmwood, Jonathan Harker, Dr.Van Helsing, etc.) they have been changed slightly and have become so maddening that I wanted to slap a few — Seward in particular who seemed to diagnose each and every woman he met with some sex related disease of the mind. Anyway, the last 100 pages were good but I had to go through 267 pages to get there. And there was one thing that bothered me immensely and if you want to know what it was you can highlight this text (Fairy vampires? Really? Why? Me throwing hands in air…) but I won’t ruin it for everyone by saying it out loud.
So there you have it, my week of meh. I’m moving on to some non-fiction as a brain cleanser and then I plan to pick up an author I know I like and see what happens. I started Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach and I’m loving it. Her writing is spectacular. After that, Bernard Cornwell and some Saxons will be up next.
And, very important to note — Book Blogger Appreciation Week (BBAW) starts today. I have to admit that I’m already behind, which seems to be my life these days. This week will be filled with a new question each day, and I’m going to try and participate as much as I can with work and life intrusions happening as they do. I started my blog last year shortly after BBAW and didn’t get to participate but I remember being so impressed with the sense of community that it created that it gave me the inspiration to start Just Book Reading. So I guess I owe something to BBAW after all. 🙂
I’m behind on visiting other blogs as well and hope to do a little reading and commenting this week too, which being BBAW, seems to very appropriate.