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21 March 2010 @ 12:10 am
Books #18-23  
18) The Finishing Touches by Hester Browne (Chick-Lit, 416 pages)
Wonderful! Delightful! Charming! I enjoyed this just as much as I had her Little Lady Agency books. I had loads of fun reading how Betsy revitalized the school and trying to solve the mystery of her parentage at the same time. 4/5

19) The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie (Mystery, 297 pages)
This was the first Christie I've ever read, and overall, I liked it. My brain loved the story and the plot twists throughout that made me keep questioning my assumptions. Nicely done mystery. However, I was annoyed by John Hasting, who I thought was arrogant, impulsive, and useless... Too bad he was the narrator. I'll keep reading through the Poirot series and hope that Hastings becomes less tiresome. 3.5/5

20) Soulless by Gail Carriger (Steampunk Fantasy, 357 pages)
Amazingly quirky romantic steampunk fluff! This was a very fun read with some original musings on what makes the supernatural supernatural. Amusing characters, great descriptions, and a charming heroine with plenty of spunk. The only thing that I didn't like was the schizophrenic POV shifts, but easily ignored after a while in favor of the story. Kudos! 4/5

21) Walking Dead by C.E. Murphy (Urban Fantasy, 416 pages)
This is the fourth and latest book in Murphy's Walker Papers series, about a reluctant half-Native American, half-Irish shaman cop. I honestly would I probably liked this better if I had read this in larger chunks. Instead, I set this aside for days at a time, and had trouble remembering who characters were when they reappeared. Though the fact that I was able to put this book down and not think about it for days does say something about it, I guess.

This book was par for the course for this series. Fun and entertaining urban fantasy; nothing too special, but good commuting book. While I like the background characters more than Joanne, who honestly needs to be fleshed out a lot more, I appreciate that Murphy doesn't make Joanne into this all-powerful uberchick (like some other urban fantasy authors have down with their heroines) that save the day singlehandedly. 3.5/5

22) Parade of Shadows by Gloria Whelan (Young Adult/Historical Fiction, 304 pages)
This was a bit if a disappointment. I had expected more of an adventure/quest story given the description. Instead, I had a coming of age story -- which I have no objections to, per se. I've read another book by Whalen before and liked it. But I had a hard time getting into Parade of Shadows. I didn't like the narrator much, and found her to be childish, impractical, and whiny -- which, I guess, is what a teenager is, so I can't fault Whalen too much for that characterization. The narrative also dragged in spots. I think I might have enjoyed the book better if I had a better sense of what it was supposed to be. 3.5/5

23) The Lost Slayer by Christopher Golden (Media Tie-In/Fantasy, 573 pages)
A Buffy: the Vampire Slayer novelization. Christopher Golden is one of the better media tie-in authors out there. Good story, good grasp of the characters. But it seemed like I was getting hit over the head with the message of the book. 3.5/5