Books & Blog: May 21, 2017

  • Ararat, Christopher Golden
  • The Black Wolves of Boston, Wen Spencer
  • Magic for Nothing, Seanan McGuire
  • Bound, Benedict Jacka
  • Less than a Treason, Dana Stabenow

 

It’s been a long time since I felt I had the leisure to write a Book & Blog. Obviously, I’ve read lots of books in that time, and I won’t get around to talking about them all. But these books were at the top of the pile on my desk, and I liked them all.

 

Ararat is my friend Chris Golden’s latest book, and it’s a frightening tale of what’s  unleashed with the finding of the actual ark on the actual Mt. Ararat, and what becomes of the people who are working on the dig. This is a read-with-the-lights-on type of book, and it’s one that doing great things for Chris.

 

A lot of you have already read something by Wen Spencer, whom I met briefly many years ago, but it had been a while since I picked up one of her books. The Black Wolves of Boston was a delight all the way through. It’s equally good as a YA as it is as an adult book. No talking down in Spencer’s books. The protagonists are the ancient vampire Silas Decker, who is retreating into a hoarder’s solitude, Eloise, the Virtue pledged to track down evil, Seth, the werewolf prince of Boston who has been kept from taking power, and Joshua, who has (up until the time the book opens) believed he’s a normal and somewhat insignificant teenager. They are all wrong about various things, and more than right about others, and these four make a great team.

 

I like everything Seanan McGuire has written, and Magic for Nothing is not an exeption. It’s one of her Incryptid books, told from the viewpoint of Antimony Price. We’ve heard from her oldest sister Verity and her brother, but now Annie is called to go undercover since she is the only Price who does not have a strong family resemblance. Annie’s family does not know everything about Annie, however, and the things they don’t know can make all the difference.

 

Bound is the grimmest chapter by far in the fascinating and difficult life of Alex Verus, a mage both powerful and vulnerable. Alex is a good person, or at least not a despicable person, but he was tarred and feathered with his past apprenticeship with the dark mage Richard Drakh. Now Alex is in the position he’s tried to dodge for several books; once again, he’s under Richard’s power. Alex is resourceful and clever, and he needs everything he’s got to survive.

 

Dana Stabenow is the author of the long-running Kate Shugak detective novels, set in Alaska and featuring a native American detective who is both smart and tough. The end of the last novel left Kate in the worst position ever, and this novel touches on that crisis and then skips to four months later. The minute Kate reluctantly rejoins society, she’s faced with a murder to solve, and the inhabitants of the Park, her colleagues in Fairbanks, and her many friends are all present to help tell her story and solve the crime.

 

 

Blog

 

My travel schedule is up on this website, and I’m working on 2018’s list. I am going to a lot of conventions this year, for one reason or another, but next year I’m cutting back. I know, I said that in 2016, and look what I’m doing this year! But so far I’ve turned down four events and accepted two for 2018, and I hope to keep that proportion steady.

 

It’s not that I don’t like meeting my readers. I do, very much. And I like signing books for people who’ve been kind enough to buy them. It’s all the in between that’s so tiring. Airports, cabs, hotels, bookstores, over and over. When you’re in your mid-sixties, you begin to wonder why you’re still on the same old treadmill.

 

The highlights this year include getting the Lifetime Achievement Award at Malice Domestic last month – what a great evening, with all my family and my closest friends around me! Around the table were my agent, Joshua Bilmes, my dear friends Dana Cameron, Toni L.P. Kelner (Leigh Perry), and Paula Woldan, my husband Hal, my stepgrandson and my daughter and her partner, my son and his wife, and my single son. I even felt pretty! Next big moment will be on July 24 — the premiere of “Midnight Texas.” I’ve seen two episodes, and I enjoyed them SO much.  Another Aurora will be on HMM tonight, and that’s a fun event, too. I’ll be tweeting during the show, with the help of my daughter-in-law.

 

Thanks for being patient during the long hiatus of this feature, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can make myself get back on a regular schedule writing this. I do love to recommend books!

 

Charlaine Harris